Classic New England Clam Chowder

New England clam chowder
Armstrong Studios/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
334 Calories
16g Fat
30g Carbs
18g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 334
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 64mg 21%
Sodium 1371mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 18g
Calcium 170mg 13%
*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.
(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.