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Easy Creamy New England Clam Chowder

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This delicious New England clam chowder is easy to make and is ready to eat in about a half an hour. It’s creamy, comforting and oh so good! 

close up of spoon in bowl of creamy clam chowder with oyster crackers

Creamy chowders are a filling and wonderful way to enjoy a bowl of soup.  This New England clam chowder is lent friendly and super delicious. There are plenty of chunks to fill you up and the flavor is fabulous. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make! 

 I have always been a fan of clam chowder.  I grew up on the canned stuff and liked it well enough.

 It wasn’t until the first time I had it in a restaurant that I knew how much better it could be. You too can have the good stuff, and it’s quicker than you’d think! 

bowl of New England clam chowder with soup crackers

Much like the recipe for my brother’s shrimp and fish chowder, the clam version is delicious with the vegetables cooked in bacon grease. It adds that certain something to the final flavor. 

Feel free to do that and stir some bacon in at the end if you’d like.  This time I thought I’d keep the recipe lent friendly and bacon free.

 You won’t miss it. It is absolutely delicious as written!

The most time consuming part of the recipe is chopping the vegetables.  You will want to get the potatoes in nice small cubes.

 It is easier to eat with half inch or smaller pieces. Plus they will cook more evenly and quickly. 

small cubes of potato, chopped celery and onion being cooked in dutch oven.

Sautéing the chopped onions and celery makes them perfect in the final soup. It also gives the potatoes a chance to get started being cooked, ensuring they are cooked through before the soup is finished.

If you live on the coast, using canned clams may seem sacrilegious. For us in the center of the country, it is an obvious best choice.

enameled dutch oven full of new England clam chowder.

Sourcing great clams is not always easy in a small town. Plus the canned chopped clams are ready to go! 

The clams and the liquor give such a great flavor. The texture of the clams end up great too with almost no effort. 

Enjoy a bowl with some oyster crackers, a sprinkle of fresh parsley or even a squeeze of lemon. No matter how you top it, you’ll be happy you gave it a go.

While you are in the canned seafood aisle picking up the clams, pick up an extra.  Then whip up some of our family’s favorite clam dip.  It is creamy, delicious and perfect on potato chips or veggies. 

Yield: 8 Servings

Easy Creamy New England Clam Chowder

bowl of creamy clam chowder with oyster crackers

Creamy chowders are a filling and wonderful way to enjoy a bowl of soup. This New England clam chowder is lent friendly and super delicious. There are plenty of chunks to fill you up and the flavor is fabulous. You'll be surprised how easy it is to make!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 stalks celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 medium potatoes (I used red)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups vegetable or seafood stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 (6.5 ounce) cans chopped clams
  • 1.5 cups half and half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: oyster crackers or lemon wedges for serving

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice the celery, finely dice the onion and cut the potato into approximately 1//2-1/4 inch cubes.
  2. In large stockpot or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and potatoes along with a quarter teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, thyme and flour. Stir to coat everything with the flour and cook for a minute or two, stirring frequently.
  4. Slowly pour in the stock, scraping up the bits on the bottom of the pan as you do. Add the milk, bay leaf and clams (with the juice!)
  5. Cook over medium heat until it just starts to bubble then drop the heat to medium low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the half and half, heating until warmed through. Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.
  7. If you would like to adjust the final thickness of your chowder, you can add a splash of milk to thin it further or let it simmer for a few more minutes to thicken it a bit.
  8. Enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 260Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 388mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 12g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

This delicious New England clam chowder is easy to make and is ready to eat in about a half an hour. It's creamy, comforting and oh so good!

Share with your friends!

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Southern Home Express

Thursday 12th of March 2020

This looks so delicious!

Carlee

Thursday 19th of March 2020

It really is!

Andrea Nine

Wednesday 11th of March 2020

The perfect hearty soup and this recipe looks so easy, a lot of people get intimidated by clam chowder but all they need is this recipe my friend!

Carlee

Thursday 19th of March 2020

It really is easy and so darn delicious!

Sherrie

Wednesday 21st of October 2015

Hi, Sounds yummy. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

Carlee

Wednesday 21st of October 2015

This is one of my all-time favorite soups. I am glad we are back to soup season!

Carole

Friday 4th of September 2015

Oooh, I'd like this, Carlee! Cheers from Caroles' Chatter

Carlee

Friday 4th of September 2015

It is so good, Carole! Thanks for stopping by!

Kim at Life in a House

Monday 23rd of March 2015

My husband loves seafood chowder, as do I .. definitely pinned to my Food Talk board and saved for future reference!

Carlee

Tuesday 24th of March 2015

We love it too! This is our go to recipe. Even our toddler likes it (though he likes to add goldfish to his!)

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