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Quick and Easy Clam Chowder Recipe

Clam chowder, a beloved classic in American cuisine, is a comforting soup that warms both body and soul.

With its creamy texture and savory flavors, clam chowder has a rich history dating back to early settlers in New England.

Today, it remains a staple on menus across the country, offering a taste of coastal freshness wherever it’s served.

Why Make Clam Chowder at Home?

Making clam chowder at home not only allows you to customize the flavors to your liking but also ensures you’re using fresh, quality ingredients.

Plus, it’s surprisingly simple and quick to prepare, making it a perfect choice for a cozy weeknight dinner or a gathering with friends.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Before you dive into cooking, gather these essential ingredients:

Step-by-Step Instructions

Prep and Cook the Clams

  1. Clean the Clams: Scrub fresh clams under cold water to remove any sand or grit. If using canned clams, drain and rinse them.
  2. Steam the Clams: In a large pot, add about an inch of water and steam the clams over medium-high heat until they open, about 5-7 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open.
  3. Remove the Clams: Once cooked, remove the clams from their shells, chop them into bite-sized pieces, and set aside.

Prepare the Chowder Base

  1. Cook the Bacon: In the same pot, cook diced bacon or salt pork until crispy. Remove the crispy bits, leaving the rendered fat in the pot.
  2. Sauté Vegetables: Add diced onions and celery to the pot and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. Make the Roux: Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir to coat, cooking for 1-2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
  4. Add Broth and Potatoes: Gradually pour in clam broth (from steaming) and chicken broth, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Add diced potatoes and bring to a simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Finish and Serve

  1. Add Clams and Cream: Stir in chopped clams and heavy cream. Simmer gently for another 5-10 minutes until heated through and flavors meld.
  2. Season to Taste: Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of thyme or parsley for added flavor.

Tips for the Perfect Clam Chowder


In conclusion, making quick and easy clam chowder at home is a rewarding experience that allows you to savor the flavors of the sea in a comforting bowl of soup.

With a few simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you can enjoy restaurant-quality clam chowder right in your own kitchen.

Unique FAQs About Clam Chowder

Can I use canned clams instead of fresh ones?

Absolutely! Canned clams are a convenient option and work well in this recipe.

How can I make clam chowder thicker or thinner?

Adjust the amount of roux (butter and flour mixture) for a thicker chowder or add more broth for a thinner consistency.

Is clam chowder gluten-free?

Traditional clam chowder is not gluten-free due to the use of flour for thickening. However, you can use gluten-free flour alternatives.

Can I freeze clam chowder?

While possible, cream-based soups like clam chowder can separate when frozen and reheated. It’s best enjoyed fresh.

What can I serve with clam chowder?

Clam chowder pairs beautifully with crusty bread, oyster crackers, or a side salad for a complete meal.

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