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Two crocks of New England Clam Chowder on a tray with bread, oyster crackers and herbs scattered around.
New England Clam Chowder
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

This New England clam chowder is stick-to-your-ribs, creamy satisfaction in a bowl! Loaded with bacon, clams, potatoes, you'll want to dive in and not come up for air.

Course: Soup/Stew
Cuisine: American
Keyword: clam chowder
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 410 kcal
  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 19.5 oz canned clams, chopped, drain and reserve juice (3 - 6.5 oz cans)
  • 3 cups clam juice (+reserved juice)
  • 3 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into a 1/2 inch dice (about 4 cups)
  • dash of hot sauce (Tabasco)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  1. Set a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over med/high heat and cook the bacon until brown and crisp. Remove to drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

  2. Add the butter to the bacon grease in the pot (don't drain) and lower the heat to medium. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft and golden, about 5-7 mins.

  3. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 mins. Slowly stir in the clam juice (you should have about 4 1/2 cups in total including the reserved juice). Cover and bring to a boil.

  4. Reduce to a simmer and add the potatoes, hot sauce, herbs, and seasonings. Season generously with kosher salt.

  5. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked though, about 15 mins.
  6. Stir in the half and half, heavy cream, clams, and bacon (crumbled). Cover and simmer over very low heat, about 10 mins.

  7. Spoon into bowls or cups and serve with oyster crackers if desired.
Recipe Notes
  • Soup or chowders shouldn't be so thick that you spoon will stay upright if you let go. A soup is a soup, it’s not a pudding and shouldn’t be the consistency of mashed potatoes. Creamy and satisfying…yes. Gloppy and floury….no.
  • Cut your potatoes to the same size so they cook evenly. 
  • Don't bring your chowder to a boil after adding the cream and half n half. Allow it to simmer on low until thick and creamy.
  • Reserve a little of the crumbled bacon to garnish your chowder for serving.
Nutrition Facts
New England Clam Chowder
Amount Per Serving
Calories 410 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 636mg28%
Potassium 694mg20%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 1055IU21%
Vitamin C 18.2mg22%
Calcium 150mg15%
Iron 3.5mg19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.