The Classic Clam Chowder Recipe: Creamy, Comforting, and Delicious

5 Min Read


Clam chowder, a beloved classic, is a creamy, comforting soup perfect for chilly days or whenever you crave something hearty and satisfying. Originating from the New England region, clam chowder is known for its rich texture, flavorful clams, and comforting potatoes. This guide will take you through a step-by-step recipe to create a delicious clam chowder that will warm your heart and satisfy your taste buds. Whether you’re a seafood lover or looking to try something new, this recipe is sure to become a favorite.


  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups clam juice (or seafood stock)
  • 2 cups diced potatoes (Yukon Gold or Russet)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups canned clams, drained (reserve the liquid)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Cook the Bacon:
    • In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the rendered fat in the pot.
  2. Sauté the Vegetables:
    • Add the chopped onion and celery to the pot with the bacon fat. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Make the Roux:
    • Sprinkle the flour over the sautéed vegetables and stir well to coat. Cook for about 2 minutes to eliminate the raw flour taste.
  4. Add the Liquids:
    • Gradually add the clam juice (or seafood stock) and reserved clam liquid while stirring continuously to prevent lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  5. Cook the Potatoes:
    • Add the diced potatoes, bay leaf, and thyme to the pot. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Add the Clams and Cream:
    • Stir in the heavy cream and the drained clams. Cook for another 5 minutes, just until the clams are heated through. Do not let the soup boil, as the cream can curdle.
  7. Season and Serve:
    • Remove the bay leaf and season the chowder with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the chowder into bowls and garnish with the crispy bacon and fresh parsley.
  8. Enjoy:
    • Serve your classic clam chowder hot, accompanied by oyster crackers or crusty bread for a truly comforting meal.


Clam chowder is a timeless dish that offers a perfect blend of creamy richness and hearty flavors. By following this classic recipe, you can create a bowl of clam chowder that brings the comfort and taste of New England into your kitchen. Whether enjoyed as a starter or a main course, this clam chowder is sure to delight and warm you up from the inside out. Happy cooking!


Q1: Can I use fresh clams instead of canned clams?

A: Yes, you can use fresh clams. Steam them until they open, then chop the meat and use the cooking liquid in place of some of the clam juice.

Q2: How can I thicken my clam chowder?

A: For a thicker chowder, you can increase the amount of flour in the roux or add a small amount of cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water) towards the end of cooking.

Q3: Can I make clam chowder ahead of time?

A: Yes, clam chowder can be made ahead of time and reheated gently on the stovetop. The flavors often meld and improve after sitting for a day.

Q4: What are some variations of clam chowder?

A: Besides the classic New England style, there’s also Manhattan clam chowder (tomato-based) and Rhode Island clam chowder (clear broth). Each has its own unique flavor profile.

Q5: Can I freeze leftover clam chowder?

A: Yes, clam chowder can be frozen. Allow it to cool completely, then store in airtight containers or freezer bags. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat gently on the stovetop.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Exit mobile version