New England Clam Chowder Recipe

New England clam chowder
Armstrong Studios/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Ratings (13)
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
334 Calories
16g Fat
30g Carbs
18g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The early New England clam chowders were usually made with fish and it wasn’t until the last hundred years or so that the clam, and other shellfish, took over the starring role. By the way, if you like your chowder on the thicker side you can mash some of the cooked potatoes into the soup before finishing the chowder.


  • 2 slices bacon (cut into 1/4-inch pieces)
  • 1 large yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 medium russet potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • dash black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups canned minced clams (drained, juice reserved)

Steps to Make It

  1. In​ a large saucepan, over medium-high heat cook the bacon until almost crisp. Reduce the heat to low, add 1 tablespoon of the butter, the onions, and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to brown the onions. Add the flour and cook for 2 more minutes.

  2. Whisk in water and reserved clam juice, and once combined add the potatoes. Season with the salt and pepper, increase heat to medium, bring to a simmer, and cook uncovered until potatoes are tender.

  3. Reduce heat to very low, pour in half-and-half, add the rest of the butter, and clams, and cook until heated through. Do not boil! Turn off heat, adjust seasoning, and serve hot.