Creamy Clam Chowder is delicious, filling, and insanely flavorful. One of the best things about this comforting soup recipe is you can enjoy it all year long.
This post is all about how to make this Creamy Clam Chowder Recipe.
There’s nothing quite like the taste of creamy clam chowder. The recipe’s ingredients make a thick and hearty soup you won’t find in a can of store-bought clam chowder. The crispy strips of bacon, red potatoes, whole clams, corn, and fresh garlic make an authentic chowder like New England’s iconic version.
Because these ingredients simmer together in one pot, you’ll be amazed by the amount of flavor found in each warm bite. While you can use fresh clams in this recipe, you can also use canned clams to simplify things.
Because this clam chowder recipe is easy to make, you can check any intimidation you might have at the door. The step-by-step recipe instructions will guide you through any questions you may have about this warm and savory soup.
And, if you’re unsure how to serve creamy clam chowder, you can find those details below as well. Let’s dive into the recipe so you can begin serving it to your friends and family for lunch, dinner, or even as a snack!
Creamy Clam Chowder Recipe
Ingredients You’ll Need For This Recipe:
- 4 Slices of Bacon, diced.
- Whole Kernel Corn, 1 cup, frozen or canned.
- Yellow Onion, chopped, 1.5 cups.
- Celery, finely chopped, 1/2 cup.
- Water, 2.5 to 3 cups. Potato tops should be almost covered in water so they’re tender after cooking.
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Red potatoes, 4 cups (about 4 medium-sized potatoes) peeled and cubed. Once the potatoes are cooked, mash them.
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced.
- Salt, 1.5 teaspoons.
- Ground Black Pepper, 1/2 teaspoon.
- Half & Half Cream, 2 cups.
- (2) 10-ounce cans of Whole Clams, drained.
- Flour, 1/4 cup.
- Butter, 1/4 cup.
- Garnish the clam chowder with fresh chives and oyster crackers. Or serve with a couple of slices of french baguette bread or in a bread bowl.
Equipment You’ll Need To Make This Creamy Clam Chowder Recipe:
- Sharp knife for chopping
How To Make This Best Clam Chowder Recipe, Step-By-Step
Step 1: Add the diced bacon to a large stockpot or dutch oven and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon pieces with tongs and place them on a paper towel. Set aside.
Step 2: Keeping the bacon grease, start adding the chopped onions, minced garlic, and finely diced celery to the pot and cook on medium heat for about five minutes.
Step 3: Next, add water, salt, pepper, one bay leaf, and the peeled/cubed potatoes to the pot. Stir ingredients together. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the potatoes until they are tender. Keep the pot uncovered. This will take about 15 minutes.
Step 4: You need to make a roux that will add thickness to the creamy clam chowder. Add 1/4 cup melted butter to a small bowl and gradually mix in 1/4 cup of flour until creamy. Set this bowl aside.
Step 5: Add the half and half cream to the large pot and mix. Next, add the roux to the mixture and stir. Begin mashing the tender potatoes with a fork.
Step 6: Drain the canned clams in the sink and add them to the pot with the corn. You can also add the crispy bacon bits back to the pot.
Step 7: Cook the clam chowder on medium for an additional five minutes, so the soup is heated thoroughly. The soup mustn’t boil.
Step 8: Sample the soup and add more pepper or salt if needed.
Step 9: Serve immediately and garnish each bowl with fresh chives. Serve with oyster crackers or a couple of slices of french baguette bread.
Questions For This Best Thick And Creamy Clam Chowder Recipe:
What To Serve With Clam Chowder?
Garnish the top with fresh chives and oyster crackers. You can serve this chowder in a bread bowl if you prefer. A couple of slices of toasted french baguette bread also goes perfectly with this soup.
Why Is This Recipe Better Than Canned Clam Chowder?
Because this creamy clam chowder recipe calls for fresh ingredients, you just can’t beat the taste of the homemade stuff! It’s not to say you can’t enjoy canned clam chowder, but the flavors won’t be as intense, and the freshness is never guaranteed.
Can This Best Clam Chowder Be Frozen?
Yes! You can store clam chowder in the refrigerator for up to three days, but after that, you should freeze the leftovers. Store the soup in a vacuum air sealer bag or an airtight container. Cover the container with plastic wrap and then with foil. Be sure to label and date the soup.
Why Is This Creamy Clam Chowder Recipe So Easy?
While the recipe’s main ingredients are fresh, the clams are canned. Using canned clams for this recipe will save you time. Of course, fresh clams are fantastic, but they require extra time.
How Do I Make My Clam Chowder Thicker?
This recipe calls for roux, which is melted butter and flour mixed together. Once you add the creamy roux to the soup, it helps thicken it and give it an extra hearty flavor. Some recipes call for corn starch, but roux is much more flavorful.
Who Makes The Best Clam Chowder?
New England is known for making the best clam chowder. If you’re wondering what brand makes the best can of clam chowder, the consensus points towards Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder.
If you don’t plan on visiting New England any time soon, follow this creamy clam chowder recipe for an authentic runner-up!
What Is Illegal To Put In New England Clam Chowder?
This might sound like a funny question, but it’s completely legit! In 1939 a bill was introduced in Maine, making it illegal to put tomatoes in clam chowder.
Tomatoes are a New York thing, hence the Manhattan Clam Chowder version, which is tomato-based. New England’s version is cream-based, calling for no tomatoes.
What Is Clam Chowder Broth Made Of?
The broth is cream-based and seasoned with onions, garlic, a bay leaf, pepper, and salt. Some recipes call for clam juice, chicken broth, or water to be added to the cream base.
Best Recipe Variations For Clam Chowder:
Creamy Clam Chowder Without Bacon
You can follow this recipe and omit the bacon. Because you won’t have the bacon drippings when cooking the onions and garlic, you can substitute that with olive oil.
Manhattan Clam Chowder
Manhattan clam chowder is healthier because it doesn’t have a cream base. Instead, it uses tomatoes. Follow this recipe here to give it a try.
Clam Chowder With Cream Of Potato Soup
This recipe has a creamy potato base because the potatoes are mashed. While it’s a creamy clam chowder recipe, the tender mashed potatoes add substance and extra thickness.
Creamy Clam Chowder With Bacon
This recipe does call for bacon. However, adding more bacon is entirely up to you. Some people like to garnish their warm clam chowder with crispy bacon bits, which is also entirely up to you!
Best Thick and Creamy Clam Chowder Recipe
Just follow this recipe, duh.
Creamy New England Clam Chowder
This recipe is creamy and follows the authentic New England way of preparing clam chowder. Are you looking for the best New England canned clam chowder? Again, try Campbell’s Chunky New England version.
Creamy Clam Chowder Recipe
- Dutch Oven or Large Stockpot
- Sharp knife
- Measuring spoons and cups
Ingredients For This Creamy Clam Chowder Recipe
- 4 Slices of bacon, diced.
- 1 cup Whole kernel corn, frozen or canned.
- 1.5 cups Yellow onion, chopped.
- 1/2 cup Celery, finely chopped.
- 2.5-3 cups Water. Potato tops should be almost covered in water so they're tender after cooking.
- 1 Bay leaf
- 4 cups Red Potatoes, peeled and cubed.
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced.
- 1.5 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 2 cups Half and Half Cream
- 2 10-ounce cans Whole clams, drained.
- 1/4 cup Flour
- 1/4 cup Butter, melted.
- Garnish the chowder with fresh chives and oyster crackers.
Instructions For This Creamy Clam Chowder Recipe
- Keeping the bacon grease, start adding the chopped onions, minced garlic, and finely diced celery to the pot and cook on medium heat for about five minutes.
- Next, add water, salt, pepper, one bay leaf, and the peeled/cubed potatoes to the pot. Stir ingredients together. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the potatoes until they are tender. Keep the pot uncovered. This will take about 15 minutes.
- Drain the canned clams in the sink and add them to the pot with the corn. You can also add the crispy bacon bits back to the pot.
- Cook the clam chowder on medium for an additional five minutes, so the soup is heated thoroughly. The soup mustn’t boil.
- Sample the soup and add more pepper or salt if needed.
Final Thoughts On This Creamy Clam Chowder Recipe
Now that you have all of the best tips for making this creamy clam chowder soup recipe, you can start sharing it with your friends and family. This soup is perfect for any time of the year because it’s hearty and always full of flavor. Not many will turn down a warm bowl of this addictive goodness!
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