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5 from 5 votes

Clam Chowder

Creamy, delicious New England Clam Chowder full of onions, bacon and clams. Each bite is packed full of flavor!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 364kcal
Author: Julie Evink


  • 4 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 5 medium Yukon gold potatoes unpeeled, diced (about 1 ½ pounds)
  • 2 cans chopped clams with their juice 6.5 oz each
  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • ¾ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish optional
  • Crusty bread for serving


  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, bring water and bouillon cubes to a boil. Add diced potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes until fork tender. Drain and set potatoes aside. Rinse and dry the pot for the next step.
  • Over medium heat, add bacon and onions to the pot, cook until bacon is crispy, and onions are translucent, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the butter to the pot. Once it is melted add the flour, stirring constantly, until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add the milk one cup at a time, thoroughly stirring until incorporated. Allow liquid to come to a boil until thick and bubbly, and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Add potatoes and clams with their liquid to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!


Ingredient Tip: For a twist on this soup, try adding smoked salmon instead of bacon. It’s so good! If you try it, wait to add the chopped smoked salmon until the end – it’s already cooked, so it just needs to warm up before serving the soup.
Cooking Tip: To save on dishes, I like to use one pot but it does take a little longer to make the soup this way. To speed things up, boil the potatoes in one pot and, while they’re cooking, cook the bacon and onions in a separate pot – it will save about ten minutes.
Make-Ahead Tip: If you want to split up the work, boil the potatoes in advance and then keep them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the soup.
Garnish Tip: Chopped fresh parsley or sliced chives add a pop of color and fresh flavor. For some crunch, top your yummy clam chowder with some oyster crackers.
What is the difference between New England clam chowder and Manhattan clam chowder?
The New England version, like I’m sharing today, is a creamy white soup. The Manhattan version is made with a tomato-based broth that isn’t creamy.
What kind of potatoes should you use?
You will want to use waxier potatoes that will hold their shape once they are boiled. Yukon gold or red potatoes are great. You can use russet potatoes, but I recommend peeling them first and be careful to not overcook them because they can get mushy.
Can you use half and half or heavy cream?
If you want a richer soup, you can use half and half instead of whole milk. As far as heavy cream, I would use milk to make the soup and then add a few splashes of heavy cream at the end just to add a little more creaminess.
Can you use fresh clams?
I haven’t made it with fresh clams because canned clams are so much easier. Without testing it first, I can’t say how you will need to prep and cook fresh clams for this recipe.
How long does it keep?
The leftovers will keep well in the refrigerator for up to four days. 


Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 559mg | Potassium: 887mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 475IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 220mg | Iron: 2mg