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The BEST New England Clam Chowder Recipe

New England Clam Chowder Recipe is one of those dishes that has you dreaming of watching the ocean waves crash upon the rocks with the salty breeze blowing back your hair. Fresh clams, potatoes, cream, and a little butter add up to one of the most famous soups in the world. I love chowders, add a little seafood, and you’ve got heaven in a bowl.

If you’re looking for more yummy soup and chowder recipes, Smoked Salmon Chowder and To-Die-For Hungarian Mushroom Soup will help you on your culinary journey.

The Best New England Clam Chowder Recipe in a Bread Bowl
New England Clam Chowder Recipe

There’s something magical about finding a seafood restaurant that sells authentic clam chowder.  Add some oyster crackers to the top, and you’re diving into a bowl of something divine.

This recipe for New England clam chowder with fresh clams is so easy to make. Make a side salad with this recipe, and you have a complete meal that everyone will love.

Most people don’t know how easy it is to make seafood stews at home.  Now, I would prefer to take a trip to coastal New England, but that is only sometimes possible.

One year my parents took our family on vacation to Vermont to see our aunt, uncle, and cousins.  Since we were in the area, we took a day trip to Maine.

I was young, but I remember being in awe of everything about the state.  While at the beach, I found several starfish that had washed ashore.

Those starfish were promptly hidden in the beach bag because I knew my mom wouldn’t let me take them with me.  When I got into my aunt’s car to go back to her house, I stored them under the front seat for safekeeping.

I think at this point you can figure out I wasn’t an easy kid to raise. The next day my aunt’s car smelled something awful, and my relatives got a story to talk about for the rest of my life.

I surmised from the event that even at a very young age, I instinctively wanted to take a little piece of Maine back home with me. Those starfish were my tokens of the East Coast.

Now that I’m older and wiser, I’ve realized that a yummy hot bowl of clam chowder does the same trick as those starfish.  “Maine in a bread bowl” is what I like to call this delicious New England clam chowder recipe.

New England clam chowder is a creamy soup that is beloved by many. Made with canned clams, clam broth, and other ingredients like potatoes and onions, this chowder has a rich and savory flavor that is hard to resist.

The use of minced clams and clam broth is key to making authentic New England Clam Chowder, as it brings out the unique taste of the sea. This classic dish is a staple in the Northeast region of the United States and is enjoyed by seafood lovers all over the world.

Recipe for New England Clam Chowder Trivia

Did you know that the Union Oyster House in Boston is the longest continuously running restaurant in the United States? They’ve been open since 1836, and New England clam chowder recipe has been on the menu since the beginning.

The first mention of creamy clam chowder was from the west coast of France.  

I found this recipe for New England Clam Chowder in a vintage cookbook called Cooking for Comfort.  You can find a copy of it here on Amazon.

What’s the difference between Boston Clam Chowder and New England Clam Chowder? 

There’s no difference. Boston Clam Chowder and New England Clam Chowder are the same thing.

What is New England Clam Chowder? 

The New England clam chowder recipe has heavy cream broth. Manhattan clam chowder in the one with the red tomato broth.

Creating a Cozy Life Group: 

Since you clicked on this New England Clam Chowder recipe, I’m guessing you like all things cozy living. I created a Facebook group called Creating a Cozy Life with over 116,000 like-minded souls.

It’s a group where we share recipes, pictures of things that leave you in awe, and ideas on how to make your life just a little bit more snug. Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cabin.

Easy Recipe for New England Clam Chowder
Close-up New England Clam Chowder Recipe

Here’s the New England Style Clam Chowder Recipe

Simple Ingredients

1 large onion, chopped finely

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups bottled clam juice

2 medium-sized new potatoes, cleaned and diced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon flour

1 1/2 pints shucked clams, chop the tender clams into bite-sized pieces

Chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste

Directions for Making Creamy Clam Chowder

1) Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large pot. Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent.

2) Add the clam juice, diced potatoes, bay leaf and thyme to the onions. Bring the mixture to a boil.

3) Simmer 10-15 minutes the mixture until the potatoes are tender.

4) Add the cream and bring mixture to a simmer.

5) In a separate bowl, mix a little of the milk into the flour until you have a paste. Add in the remaining milk and stir.

6) Add flour and milk mixture to the soup and stir.

7) Reduce the heat as low as possible. Add the chopped clams for a few minutes on low heat, until the fresh clam meat is cooked.

8) Discard the bay leaf.

9) Season the creamy soup with salt and black pepper.

10) Garnish the New England Clam Chowder recipe with chopped fresh parsley.

This will be one of the best bowls of clam chowder you’ll have. The whole family will love it!

The Best New England Clam Chowder Recipe - If you're looking for an easy chowder recipe to make - this amazing New England Clam Chowder is the perfect choice! / Chowder Recipes / Chowder Soup / Soup Recipes / Soups and Stews / Soup Ideas / Soup Recipes Slow Cooker / Dinner Recipes / Dinner Ideas
Recipe for New England Clam Chowder

Tips for making New England Clam Chowder recipe

  • Don’t discard using the flour. If you do, the soup will curdle.
  • Oyster crackers or saltines are usually served with the creamy New England clam chowder recipe.
  • If you’re looking for creative ways to top your soups, check out this post Best Soup Topping Ideas to wow your guests. You can top this clam chowder recipe with chopped parsley, hot sauce, chopped red bell peppers, chives, or chili oil.
  • You can substitute new potatoes with Yukon gold potatoes, red potatoes, or russet potatoes.
  • Canned clams can be used in this delicious chowder. Small cans of clams can be found the canned good aisle of the grocery store. Just make sure you drain the clam meat before using.
  • You can add crispy bacon or salt pork to the recipe. Add the cooked bacon or salt pork at the end of the recipe for best results.
  • The amount of clams used isn’t set in stone, if you want more feel free to add some!
  • For more flavor, add a Worcestershire sauce or a little white wine to taste.
  • You can serve this New England Clam Chowder recipe in a large bowl, individual bread bowls, or individual soup bowls.
  • If you want to thin out this clam chowder, you can add chicken broth to the chowder.
  • You can also add minced garlic to the onions for more flavor.

Can New England Clam Chowder Recipe be frozen?

You can freeze this New England clam chowder soup recipe, but it won’t taste the same after you reheat it. Freezing food with dairy changes the structure of the recipe. I would advise you not to.

Making this New England clam chowder recipe is way easier than you thought, right? Sometimes we believe something that tastes good is difficult to recreate. This creamy chowder is simple to cook.

We’ve reached the end of this yummy New England Clam Chowder recipe. I hope you enjoyed it.

Let me know in the comments below how you liked this Best Clam Chowder Recipe.  

Make sure you join our Creating a Cozy Life group. You’re not going to believe how amazing it is.

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Thanks for stopping by. I’m so happy you found us!

Other Amazing Soup Recipes to Try 

Printable Recipe Card for New England Clam Chowder with Nutrition Facts

The Best New England Clam Chowder Recipe
Yield: 8 cups

New England Clam Chowder

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Authentic New England Clam Chowder is one of those recipes that has you dreaming of watching the ocean waves crash upon the rocks with the salty breeze blowing back your hair. You may not be able to get to the ocean anytime soon, but you can bring a little taste of it to your home with this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups clam juice
  • 2 medium-sized new potatoes, cleaned and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/2 pints shucked clams, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
  • Chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent.
  2. Add the clam juice, diced potatoes, bay leaf and thyme to the onions.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  
  3. Simmer 10-15 minutes the mixture until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Add the cream and bring mixture to a simmer.  
  5. In a separate bowl, mix a little of the milk into the flour until you have a paste.  Add in the remaining milk and stir.  
  6. Add flour and milk mixture to the soup and stir.
  7. Reduce the heat as low as possible.  Add the clams for a few minutes, until they are cooked.  
  8. Discard the bay leaf.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 569Total Fat 37gSaturated Fat 22gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 184mgSodium 1673mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 34g

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Ashlee

Wednesday 28th of February 2024

Made this tonight with canned clams but otherwise made it to the exact recipe and it was really good, trying to get the right amount of salt though as my hubby and I both added quite a bit to our individual servings. Any suggestions on exact measurements of salt? Also curious if doubling the butter would make it a bit more rich tasting. Like I said it was really good, I just can’t put my finger on what’s missing 🤔

Kelly Morse

Thursday 29th of February 2024

I think adding a little butter won't hurt! It's hard to say because everyone's tastes are so different. I have a banana bread recipe that most people love, but some people say it's not sweet enough and others say it's too sweet! Thank you for letting me know you liked the recipe. - Kelly

Becky

Sunday 4th of February 2024

The best and most authentic recipe for New England clam chowder. Back in the day when "no meat on Friday" religious rule in effect this is what was served. The only thing we occasionally add is a few tablespoons of Sherry. Congratulations a great job 👏

Kelly Morse

Tuesday 6th of February 2024

Thank you so much Becky! I appreciate the feedback. Great idea on the sherry! - Thanks, Kelly

Becky

Friday 2nd of February 2024

❤️☘️❤️ The best realistic recipe for clam chowder. Being of the older crowd due to our religion we could not have meat on Friday. The only thing I occasionally add is a couple of tablespoons of Sherry. *****+ to you

Jim MacKay

Saturday 27th of January 2024

This is the real clam chowder. Celery does not belong in a chowder. Nor does garlic. It's very simple.bI do however ad bacon as it gives a subtle rich smokey flavor. If you want real NE clam chowder this is it.

Kelly Morse

Sunday 28th of January 2024

Thank you so much Jim! I appreciate the feedback. - Kelly

Kiersten

Sunday 3rd of December 2023

Do you think I could make this in the morning, keep it on warm in the crockpot for 3 hours or so and then serve it?

Kelly

Monday 4th of December 2023

Hello Kiersten! I would not do that because of the dairy in the clam chowder. You can make it and leave out the dairy and then add it at the end before serving. - Kelly

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