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5 from 5 votes

My New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder, made in 30 minutes, is a bowl of comfort loaded with tender clams, potatoes, celery and onions in a beautiful, cream-based broth.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, Western
Keyword: clam chowder, New England Clam Chowder
Servings: 6
Calories: 317kcal
Author: Kevin Is Cooking


  • 6 slices bacon thick cut
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped (about 1 cup total)
  • 2 ribs of celery chopped (about 1 cup total)
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 6.5 oz cans chopped clams undrained
  • 8 oz bottle clam juice
  • 2 cups heavy cream or Half and Half
  • 4 cups new white potatoes cubed small
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt and black pepper each
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves


  • Drain clam juice from each can into a measuring cup and keep clams separate in a small bowl.
  • Cut bacon slices into sliced 1/2" pieces. Add to a large stock pot over medium low heat. Slowly render and cook until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add the onions and celery to the bacon fat, turn heat up to medium high and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and flour and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add both the drained and bottle of clam juice, heavy cream, potatoes, kosher salt, pepper and thyme. Stir to mix thoroughly and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally, scraping bottom of pan.
  • Use a potato masher and carefully mash to desired thickness. I like to leave chunks of potatoes. Add the reserved clams, stir through and cook another minute or two until warmed through.
  • Serve topped with bacon crumbles and crusty bread.


Kitchen tips for New England Clam Chowder

  1. Keep those wonderful, tender clams out of the soup until the last minutes to heat through. So many times I read recipes where they are added too early and get overcooked. I mean, like bits of rubber. No bueno. We want tender clams in each spoonful!
  2. This recipe is for the New England version, but if you want to make the Boston version, simply bump the flour from 1/4 cup to a 1/3 and omit the added bottle of clam juice. Just use the 4 cans of chopped clams and their juices. This makes for a thicker version.
  3. I like to use small new white potatoes, not Russet or red potatoes in this soup.
  4. Go for the thick cut bacon and slowly render to crisp. These are great for the topping as opposed to the thinner version.
  5. I use heavy cream, to lighten it up, substitute with half and half.


Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 383mg | Potassium: 712mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 424IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 4mg