The Best New England Clam Chowder Recipe
Is there ever a bad time for chowder? This New England clam chowder recipe is rich, hearty, comforting, and loaded with flavor. It’s the perfect comfort food for colder months—a quiet winter night or crisp fall day.
What Is in New England Clam Chowder?
Clam chowder is a thick, rich, creamy, hearty soup that’s typically made with:
- Clams (fresh or canned)
- Cream and/or milk
- Chicken broth or stock
- Aromatics (such as dill weed or a bay leaf)
There are many different types of chowders—and many varieties of clam chowders—but New England clam chowder is the most popular.
How to Make New England Clam Chowder
This New England clam chowder recipe is made with a simple cream of celery soup base from onions, flour, milk, celery, and bone broth.
Sauteed bacon adds smoky flavor, while clams are salty and tangy, with a satisfying, chewy texture. Fork-tender potatoes are added at the last step. Once the cream of celery soup is combined with clams, potatoes, milk, and dill weed, the chowder is ready to be served in a warm, soft sourdough bread bowl or topped with crunchy crackers.
The prep time for this recipe is only twenty minutes because we’ve taken a little shortcut. Instead of using fresh clams, we’ve opted for canned clams. This makes the New England clam chowder recipe quicker and easier to prepare, reduces the cost of ingredients (fresh clams can be more than triple the price), and the clam juice adds extra flavor.
New England Clam Chowder Calories and Nutrition Info
This clam chowder recipe has less than 600 calories per serving (not counting calories from bread or crackers if added).
As a cream-based soup, traditional New England clam chowder tends to be higher in saturated fats and is loaded with sodium. However, this version is lower in sodium—530 mg— because it’s made with Kettle & Fire Bone Broth, rather than regular broth or stock, which is usually high in sodium.
As an added health benefit, bone broth contains collagen, a protein that supports gut, bone, skin, and joint health.
New England Clam Chowder
This New England clam chowder recipe is rich, creamy, savory, and satisfying. Ready in 50 minutes. Made with bone broth for a new twist on an old classic.
- 6-7 slices bacon cut into small pieces
- 1 pound red or yellow potatoes
- 1 medium white onion diced
- 1 (10-oz) can whole baby clams
- 2 stalks celery finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk divided
- 1 cup Kettle & Fire Chicken Bone Broth divided
- 1 teaspoon dill weed
- salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Stir occasionally (about 10 minutes).
While the bacon is cooking, make cream of celery soup. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup chopped onion and sauté until fragrant (3-5 minutes).
Add celery into the skillet; stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle with flour and sauté with onion and celery for a minute or two.
Whisk in 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes until it’s thickened.
While the cream of celery soup is simmering, the bacon should be ready. Stir in the rest of the onion into the saucepan and cook until translucent.
Add the juice from the clams and 1/2 cup chicken broth, followed by potatoes. Cover and cook over medium heat until potatoes are fork-tender (about 15-20 minutes). Stir occasionally.
While potatoes are cooking, check and complete the cream of celery soup.
Once the potatoes are done, add clams, cream of celery soup, 1/2 cup milk, heavy cream and dill weed. Stir everything together consistently and cook the chowder over medium-low heat for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
- I would recommend serving this clam chowder in bread bowls. I used sourdough bread. To prepare, cut the top of the bread with a serrated knife, leaving as much of the bread as possible behind. Tear away the inner bread with your fingers. Be sure never to break through the outside crust.
- Don’t waste the top and the inner bread. Dip in the chowder and you will be licking your fingers.
- Bread nutrition is not included in the nutrition facts.
About the Author
Sharon Chen is the founder and creator behind StreetSmart Kitchen, a recipe website that helps busy professionals to prepare healthy meals in less time they ever thought possible. Download her Top 18 One-Dish Meals Cookbook for free here: http://bit.ly/SSK-Free-Cookbook