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bowl of clam chowder with two spoons

New England Clam Chowder

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cups 1x


This easy homemade New England clam chowder is a classic creamy soup.  It tastes the best made with smoky bacon, tender clams, and diced potatoes.  This simple soup is comforting, and guaranteed to satisfy your cravings for a bowl of comfort food on a cold winter night.



  • 6 slices bacon, crumbled
  • 2 cups yellow onion, finely chopped (122g)
  • 1 1/4 cups celery, finely diced (160g)
  • 1 1/4 cups carrots, finely diced (170g)
  • 4 1/2 cups yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 3 large potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease (reserved from frying the bacon)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (30g)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (45g)
  • 1 1/4 cups clam juice (reserved from the 2 cans of clams; 295 ml)
  • 2 cups filtered water (475 ml)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (120 ml)
  • 2 1/2 cup milk (600 ml)
  • 2 10-ounce cans of whole baby clams (295g)
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup oyster crackers


How to Make Stove Top:

  1. Fry the bacon in a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat, turning the slices once or twice with a fork.  This should take 10 minutes.  Drain the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate, and pour the bacon grease into a bowl and set aside.  Let the bacon cool, then break into smaller pieces.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in a 6-quart Dutch oven set over medium high heat.  Add the carrots, onion, and celery and saute for 8 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, then cook the mixture for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
  4. Gradually add the reserved clam juice from the canned clams, whisking constantly to break up any lumps.
  5. Pour in the water, then add the cubed potatoes, fresh thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper.  Mix well to combine.  Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, so the potatoes won't stick to the bottom of the pot.  The chowder will start to thicken from the potato starch.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, then add the cream, milk, and whole baby clams.  Stir gently and let the the milk and clams heat through, roughly 5 minutes.  Be careful not to boil the chowder.  Remove from the heat and stir in the crumbled bacon.
  7. Serve warm with fresh parsley and oyster crackers.

How to Make in the Crock Pot:

  1. Chop up the bacon, fry in a cast iron skillet over medium low heat until fat is rendered.  Remove the bacon and drain the fat except for 3 tablespoons.
  2. In the same skillet over medium high heat, saute the mirepox (onion, celery and carrot) until soft, roughly 8 minutes.
  3. In a large crock pot, add 1/2 the bacon, the mirepox, water, diced potatoes, and spices.  Stir and cover.
  4. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  5. During the last hour, whisk 4 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1 cup of whole milk to make a slurry.  Also remove some of the diced potatoes and mash them.  The addition of these two things will help thicken the broth.  Add the slurry, mashed potatoes, whole milk (1 1/2 cups), 1/2 cup of heavy cream and the clams.  Stir.  Adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Cook until the diced potatoes are done and the broth has thickened.
  6. Serve warm with a garnish of bacon, parsley and oyster crackers.


  • Make this up to two days ahead then reheat on medium low on the stovetop before your event.
  • Adding the clams during the last 5 minutes of cooking to make sure they stay tender.
  • Increase the flour, decrease the liquid, add mashed potatoes, or let it simmer uncovered, if you need your soup thicker.
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: creamy clam chowder recipe, new england clam chowder

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