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small white soup bowl full of new england clam chowder recipe and garnished with parsley
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4.79 from 55 votes

New England Clam Chowder

This New England Clam Chowder is the absolute best!  This easy clam chowder recipe makes perfect comfort food for a cold night.  Made with bacon, plenty of potatoes, and with just the right amount of cream, you will be a chowder master with my instructions for how to make clam chowder.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: clam chowder, clam chowder recipe, new england clam chowder
Servings: 6 bowls
Calories: 359kcal
Author: Lisa Longley


  • 4 slices of thick cut bacon diced into small pieces
  • 3 cups clam juice or chicken stock see note
  • 4 6.5 oz cans of chopped clams, liquid reserved (see step 2)
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes about five medium diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 TBSPs well minced parsley
  • salt and pepper


  • In a large stew pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring often.
  • While the bacon is cooking, drain the clam juice from the canned clams into a measuring cup. You will need approximately 3 cups more of clam juice or chicken stock to get a total of 4 1/2 cups of liquid.
  • Add the diced celery and onions, cooking until they are translucent and very soft.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds, being careful that the garlic doesn't burn.
  • Stir in the flour, coating all of the veggies and the bacon. Continue cooking about a minute until the flour begins to brown.
  • EXTREMELY gradually, pour in the clam juice (or clam juice/chicken stock mixture). Pour about two tablespoons at a time (no need to measure, this is just an estimate), whisking it into the flour veggie mixture. There should be no visible liquid between each pour. The veggies should look like a gummy mess. Continue this way until you use all the liquid, pouring more quickly at the end.
  • Add the potatoes, thyme, and bay leaves and increase the heat to high and bring to a boil (you are looking for big bubbles at the surface). Then reduce to a simmer (the lowest you can go heat wise and still see bubbles) and continue cooking for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
  • Stir in the cream and chopped clams, and let heat through for a minute. Remove from the heat stir in the fresh parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



As mentioned in the post, if you are looking for a budget friendly version of this recipe you can use the clam juice from the clams and get the rest of your liquid from chicken stock.


Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.2g | Protein: 13.2g | Fat: 16.1g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.7g | Cholesterol: 50.8mg | Sodium: 1207.4mg | Potassium: 487mg | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 2.1g | Vitamin A: 113IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 31.6mg | Iron: 2.8mg