Homemade clam chowder is easy and such a treat. It is creamy, but light and so satisfying. This creamy clam chowder recipe is loaded with tender clams, silky potatoes, and crunchy bacon.
Creamy soups are such a treat. I fell in love with them on our honeymoon in Mexico where we enjoyed 5-star dining for the first time in our lives. It’s so fun to recreate restaurant-quality dishes at home like this Zuppa Toscana Recipe, our Chicken Wild Rice Soup, and definitely Chicken Tortilla Soup.
Easy Clam Chowder Video Tutorial:
Clam Chowder Recipe
This clam chowder is hearty and loaded. Nearly every bite has clams in it which is awesome because what you get at restaurants is very little clams and veggies but just a ton of cream. I find homemade clam chowder is so much more enjoyable than dining out.
It’s a recipe that’s actually way easier to make than you might think! Make this bowl full of comfort next time you crave a soup to warm you up on a cool night. This recipe has rich flavor and is even better than Panera’s clam chowder!
What Is Clam Chowder?
This creamy clam chowder recipe rivals the best clam chowder I have tried and it’s not as guilty with only 1 cup of cream for the entire pot, but it sure tastes indulgent (WINNING!). It has simple ingredients with minimal prep. You can start with fresh clams if you wish but using canned clams is so easy and less expensive than purchasing clams by the pound.
Ingredients for Clam Chowder:
Don’t let this seemingly long list of ingredients scare you away from this clam chowder recipe. Odds are most of what you need is already tucked away in your pantry.
- Lean bacon
- Basic Vegetables: Carrots, Celery ribs, Onion, potatoes
- All-purpose flour
- Low sodium chicken broth or stock
- Chopped clams
- Simple Seasonings: Bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, Dried thyme, Salt and Black pepper
- Milk and Whipping cream
The SECRET INGREDIENT: The cilantro on top is brilliant – an idea I picked up from my favorite restaurant clam chowder. Try it and you’ll want to top all of your clam chowders with bacon and cilantro forever!
How To Make Clam Chowder
- Brown Bacon: Heat a large pot or dutch oven and add the chopped bacon. Sauté until browned and crisp then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Sautee Vegetables: Add prepared carrots, onion, and celery and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until soft and golden. Sprinkle in flour, and saute another minute, stirring constantly.
- Add Broth and Seasoning: Add chicken broth, chopped clams with their juice,1 bay leaf, Worcestershire, Tabasco sauce, dried thyme, tsp salt, and black pepper. Bring soup to a light boil.
- Cook Potatoes: While the soup is heating up, chop potatoes, add to the pot, then stir in the milk and whipping cream. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and lightly boil until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, garnish with cooked bacon and fresh cilantro.
Tips For Making Th Best Clam Chowder
- Don’t skip the bacon. That little bit of bacon adds so much flavor, both in the soup and as a topping and makes every bite completely irresistible.
- To make this a vegetarian clam chowder, simply leave out the bacon, and replace the chicken broth with a vegetable broth or the substitute of your choice.
- The soup will thicken more as it cools. If needed, you can thin it out by adding more milk or chicken broth and bringing it to a boil once more.
- That gorgeous dutch oven can be found here (affiliate link). It’s also more fun to cook in one – it feels rustic and charming to push bacon around with a wooden spatula in one of these. The dutch oven is a tool that cooks have been using for centuries.
Homemade clam chowder is creamy, hearty and so satisfying. All you need are some crackers or Dinner Rolls to soak up that chowder.
More Classic Soup Recipes You Will Love
- Zuppa Toscana – a copycat recipe that’s even better than olive garden’s!
- Potato Soup – Loaded with bacon and cheese for a bowl full comfort
- Easy Chicken Noodle Soup – Exactly what you imagine when you think of homemade chicken noodle soup
- Corn Chowder – A soup recipe you’ll love to make in summer
- Classic Borscht – Our family’s go-to recipe for red beet soup that I know you’ll love
- Beef Stew – A hearty beef stew with wonderful flavor from the slow roasting.
Clam Chowder Recipe (VIDEO)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Homemade clam chowder is easy and a real treat. It’s creamy, but light and so satisfying. This creamy clam chowder recipe is loaded with tender clams, silky potatoes and crunchy bacon.
Cost to Make:
Clam Chowder Recipe
Calories: 231 kcal
Servings: 8 people (1 cup servings)
cut into 1/2″ strips
sliced into thin rings or half rings
low sodium chicken broth or stock
chopped clams with their juice
from 2 (6.5 oz) cans
salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper
or to taste
6 medium potatoes (yukon gold or russet), peeled
whipping cream or heavy whipping cream
Heat a large pot or dutch oven over med/high heat and add the chopped bacon. Sauté, stirring occasionally until browned and crisp then transfer to paper towel lined plate. Keep 3 Tbsp of bacon grease in the pot (discard excess if desired).
Add prepared carrots, onion and celery and continue cooking over med/nigh heat, stirring occasionally until soft and golden (7-8 min). Sprinkle in 4 Tbsp flour, and saute another minute, stirring constantly.
Add 2 cups chicken broth, 1 cup chopped clams with their juice,1 bay leaf, 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire, 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Bring soup to a light boil.
While soup is heating up, chop potatoes into bite-sized pieces about 1/4″ thick. Add potatoes to pot then stir in 2 cups milk and 1 cup whipping cream. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and lightly boil until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork (about 20 min). Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, garnish with cooked bacon and fresh cilantro.
The soup will thicken more as it cools. If needed, you can thin it out by adding more milk or chicken broth and bringing it to a boil once more.
Clam Chowder Recipe (VIDEO)
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Vitamin A 3140IU63%
Vitamin C 12.5mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Q: What is your all-time favorite comfort soup? We would love to hear from you in a comment below! 🙂