|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 32g||41%|
|Saturated Fat 15g||75%|
|Total Carbohydrate 52g||19%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||14%|
|Total Sugars 8g|
|Vitamin C 38mg||189%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This easy and great-tasting clam chowder cooks in the slow cooker in just four hours. Made with potatoes, milk, bacon (or salt pork), and canned minced clams, this thick and creamy recipe is satisfying and full of flavor. Clams are a great source of protein at a relatively low caloric cost, as a 3-ounce serving has about 125 calories but is packed with 22 grams of protein, plus several vitamins and minerals. (An egg has 6 grams of protein, for comparison.)
We prefer bottled clam juice as the cooking liquid, but water or chicken stock may be used instead. If you use salted or low-sodium chicken broth, go easy on any additional salt. Taste halfway through the cooking process, and once the chowder is done, add more if needed.
This creamy soup is great for lunch or dinner on a cold day, and because it's made in the crock pot, it can be transported easily to potlucks. Serve with oyster crackers, saltines, or French bread.
4 (6 1/2-ounce) cans minced clams, with juice
6 ounces salt pork, or bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
6 to 8 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups water, low-sodium chicken broth, or clam juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups half-and-half, cream, or whole milk, divided
4 tablespoons cornstarch
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
If necessary, chop or slice the clams into bite-sized pieces.
In a skillet, fry the salt pork or diced bacon and onion until golden brown. Drain and set aside. Alternatively, if you have a crock pot with a sauté feature, fry the bacon right in the crock pot, then drain some of the fat.
Add the pork or bacon and onion to the slow cooker; add the clams and mix well.
Add the cubed potatoes and the water, low-sodium chicken broth, or clam juice. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the freshly ground black pepper.
Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or until the vegetables are tender.
As the crock pot mixture completes 3 hours of cooking, combine 1 cup of the half-and-half, cream, or milk with the cornstarch.
Add the cornstarch mixture and the remaining 3 cups half-and-half, cream, or milk to the slow cooker and stir to blend. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, if needed. Let the dairy mixture heat up.
Top each bowl of chowder with a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley.
Variations and Substitutions
You can add one or more of the following ingredients or use one of our suggested substitutions for different and equally delicious clam chowders:
- For extra crunch and texture add 1/2 cup of chopped celery to the skillet along with the onion.
- Add a teaspoon of chopped fresh garlic when the onion and bacon are browned and then cook for about 1 more minute.
- Use diced lean ham instead of pork or bacon to cut down on calories and sodium.
- For a richer chowder, use only half-and-half instead of milk.
- Fry a few extra strips of bacon, refrigerate while the chowder cooks, and crumble them when cold so you can use them as a garnish to top the finished chowder.
- Use sliced green onion tops, shredded mild cheese, or chopped chives to garnish each serving.