New England Clam Chowder With Quick Ingredients With Culinary Delight

Get ready to be swept away on a culinary journey with this irresistible New England Clam Chowder recipe! Imagine your taste buds diving into a symphony of flavors, as this creamy and hearty soup captivates your senses.

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New England Clam Chowder Recipe Unlocking The Secrets  And Deliciousness

But what exactly is it that sets the New England Clam Chowder apart? It’s an iconic, creamy white soup, featuring fresh clams, potatoes, onions, and bacon, with a taste that evokes the very essence of the New England coast. 

This recipe has a rich heritage, tracing back to the region’s early settlers. Its popularity has spanned centuries, making it a beloved comfort food in American cuisine.

Now, you don’t have to travel all the way to the East Coast to experience this culinary delight! We’ve crafted the perfect guide to creating your own authentic New England Clam Chowder right at home.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a cooking novice, this recipe will guide you step by step, unveiling the secrets of this traditional masterpiece.

Ready to transport your kitchen to the seaside with the enticing aromas of clams and the rich creaminess of a perfect chowder? Embrace the adventure and create a soup that’s not just a meal but an experience.

This incredible New England Clam Chowder recipe lets you dive into the depths of flavor and tradition!

What Is New England Clam Chowder Recipe?

New England Clam Chowder, also known as Boston Clam Chowder, is a traditional, hearty soup known for its creamy base and rich seafood flavor. Originating from the northeastern United States, specifically the New England region, it has become a staple of American cuisine.

The core ingredients of New England Clam Chowder are clams, potatoes, onions, and often bacon or salt pork; all simmered together in a creamy broth. The soup is commonly thickened with a roux (a mixture of fat and flour) and milk or cream, resulting in its characteristic thick, creamy consistency. 

The clams used can be fresh, canned, or frozen, but traditionally, quahogs, a type of hard-shell clams native to the East Coast, are used.

This chowder is traditionally served with oyster crackers on top, adding a crunchy texture that contrasts with the creamy soup.

Over time, the recipe has seen many variations, but the creamy broth and hearty ingredients have remained constant, making it a comforting, filling dish, particularly popular during cold weather.

History And Origin Of Soup Recipe

New England Clam Chowder, a creamy soup featuring clams and potatoes, is rooted in the Northeastern United States. Originating in the 18th century, the recipe draws from both European settlers’ soup-making techniques and Native Americans’ abundant clam harvesting.

English, French, and Portuguese immigrants influenced the chowder tradition, but the rich cream base distinguishes the New England variety. A staple in maritime communities, the dish became synonymous with the New England region.

While the recipe has evolved, its core ingredients remain, symbolizing the marriage of Old World methods with New World ingredients, and it continues to be a beloved comfort food.

Interesting Facts About  New England Clam Chowder

Here are a few interesting facts about the New England Clam Chowder recipe:

  • Clam Chowder Law: In 1939, a legislator in Maine proposed a bill to make adding tomatoes to clam chowder illegal, showing how seriously New England takes its clam chowder!
  • Age-old Recipe: Clam chowder recipes date back to the 18th century, making it a long-standing traditional dish in American cuisine.
  • Variations Across Regions: While the New England version of clam chowder is creamy, the Manhattan version uses tomatoes and has a red color, while the Rhode Island version is broth-based and clear.
  • Chowder from “Chaudière”: The term “chowder” comes from the French word “chaudière,” which means a pot or cauldron in which the fisherman made their stews.
  • National Clam Chowder Day: The United States recognizes ‘National Clam Chowder Day’ on February 25th, celebrating this beloved dish.
  • A Staple in Mariner Culture: New England Clam Chowder was a staple food amongst sailors and fishermen, as the ingredients were readily available, and the dish was hearty and satisfying.
  • Famous Boston Clam Chowder: The New England Clam Chowder is especially famous in Boston and a must-have item for tourists visiting this historic city.
  • Crackers Tradition: Oyster or saltine crackers are traditionally served with clam chowder on the side or sprinkled on top, adding a satisfying crunch to each spoonful. The tradition of adding crackers dates back to at least the 19th century.

What Makes The Soup Special?

  • Clams: Fresh clams are a crucial part of this soup, providing a unique, briny flavor that is the signature of clam chowder. Canned clams can also be used, but many believe fresh clams elevate the soup to the next level.
  • Regional Identity: This soup is strongly associated with the New England region of the United States, and especially with states like Maine and Massachusetts.
    In fact, in 1939, a bill was introduced in Maine to make adding tomatoes to clam chowder illegal! This reflects the strong regional identity of the dish.
  • Versatility: While the basic recipe is simple, it’s also highly adaptable. You can add other types of seafood, different vegetables, or various herbs and spices to make your own recipe.
  • Historical Significance: Clam chowder has been around since at least the 18th century, and it’s become an important part of American culinary tradition.
    In particular, it’s often associated with the northeastern United States’s sea-faring culture and the region’s Native American heritage.
New England Clam Chowder is special for several reasons

Ingredients List

Littleneck clams4 quarts (about 1-2/3 cups yield, when cooked and chopped)
Garlic clove1, chopped
Water1 cup
Salt pork2 oz, finely chopped
Chopped onions2 cups
Flour3 Tbsp
Potatoes1-1/2 lbs, peeled, and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
Clam broth4-1/2 cups
Fish stock3 cups
Light cream2 cups

Key Ingredients Required For Soup

For making New England Clam Chowder, the key ingredients are:

  • Clams: This is the main protein of the dish. You can use fresh or canned clams based on availability. If using canned, reserve the juice to add flavor to the soup.
  • Potatoes: Idaho or Yukon Gold potatoes are commonly used. They should be cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Onions and Celery: These vegetables form the base of the soup and add depth to its flavor.
  • Cream: Heavy cream or half-and-half is used to give the chowder its characteristic creamy texture.
  • Butter: It adds richness to the soup and is also used to sauté the vegetables.
  • Flour: This is used to thicken the soup. All-purpose flour is typically used, but other types can be used for gluten-free versions.
  • Seasonings: Common seasonings include salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Some recipes might also add thyme or a dash of hot sauce.
  • Garnish: The soup is typically garnished with fresh parsley and oyster crackers.

Ingredient Tips 

  • Butter and Olive Oil: Using a combination of butter and olive oil provides a balance of flavor and prevents the butter from burning. Always melt them together over low-medium heat to avoid overheating.
  • Onion and Celery: These two ingredients form the aromatic base of the soup. Be sure to dice them evenly for consistent cooking.
  • Idaho Potato: Idaho potatoes, also known as russet potatoes, are starchy and ideal for this soup as they help thicken the broth. You can substitute with other starchy potatoes if necessary.
  • Clam Broth: Clam broth gives the soup its characteristic seafood flavor. If you can’t find clam broth, substitute it with fish stock or vegetable broth in a pinch.
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves: Fresh thyme lends a subtle earthiness to the soup. If fresh thyme isn’t available, you can use dried thyme – remember the conversion, 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs equals 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.
  • Minced Clams: Fresh clams will give you the most authentic flavor, but canned clams can work in a pinch. If using canned, be sure to save the juice for added flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper: Adjust these to your taste. It’s always better to add less at first – you can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s in the soup.
  • General Tip: When cooking, prepare all your ingredients (chop, measure, etc.) before you start. This technique, called “mise en place,” can help make your cooking process smoother and more enjoyable.

Can You Vary The Soup With Other Ingredients?

The New England Clam Chowder recipe is quite versatile and can be modified to accommodate various dietary preferences or restrictions. Here are some suggestions:

  • Keto

To make this soup keto-friendly, you can reduce the amount of onion and replace the flour with a low-carb thickening agent like xanthan gum. Also, replace the potatoes with a lower-carb vegetable such as cauliflower.

  • Paleo

For a Paleo version, you can substitute the heavy cream with full-fat coconut milk and use arrowroot powder or tapioca starch instead of all-purpose flour. Also, be sure to use a Paleo-friendly cooking fat like ghee instead of butter.

  • Gluten-Free

Make the chowder gluten-free using a gluten-free flour blend or cornstarch as a thickener instead of regular flour. Ensure that any broth or canned clams used are also certified gluten-free.

  • Whole30

To make this recipe Whole30-compliant, replace the heavy cream with full-fat coconut milk, use ghee instead of butter, and omit the flour entirely or replace it with arrowroot powder.

  • Dairy-Free

For a dairy-free version of the soup, you can replace the butter with a dairy-free alternative like olive oil, and replace the heavy cream with non-dairy milk like coconut or almond milk. Make sure to choose an unsweetened and unflavored variety.

  • Vegetarian

To make a vegetarian version, you could substitute the clams with a mix of mushrooms and other vegetables to give a similar texture. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

The Soup With Other Ingredients

Recipe Directions

  • Clean the clams to remove grit and sand. Steam them with chopped garlic and water until they open (6-10 minutes).
  • Drain the clams, reserve the broth, and mince the clam meat. Filter the broth to remove any grit or sand.
  • Slowly cook salt pork in a large pot until cracklings become crispy. Remove cracklings, leaving the fat in the pot.
  • Slowly cook chopped onions in the same pot with the rendered fat until soft and translucent.
  • Stir in flour and cook for 3 minutes to create a roux. Slowly add the reserved clam broth and fish stock, whisking to prevent lumps.
  • Add diced potatoes and simmer until cooked through (about 15 minutes).
  • Stir in the minced clams and salt pork cracklings. Pour in light cream and heat until combined.
  • Serve in large soup bowls with oyster crackers on the side.
Soup Considered Good

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

New England Clam Chowder is a classic dish with many possible variations, add-ons, and toppings. Here are a few ideas:


  • Corn Chowder: Substitute half the clams with fresh or frozen corn kernels for a summery take on the classic recipe.
  • Manhattan Clam Chowder: This is a tomato-based version with a lighter broth that’s tangy and full of veggies.
  • Seafood Chowder: Use a mix of seafood like fish, shrimp, scallops, or mussels in place of or in addition to the clams.


  • Bacon: While traditional recipes use salt pork, adding crispy bacon to the chowder or using it as a garnish adds a nice smoky flavor.
  • Vegetables: Add other vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, or corn for added texture and flavor.
  • Herbs: Fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or dill can be added for extra flavor.


  • Croutons: Instead of the traditional oyster crackers, try homemade croutons for added crunch.
  • Cheese: A sprinkle of sharp cheddar or smoky gouda can contrast the creamy chowder.
  • Fresh Herbs: Sprinkling freshly chopped herbs like parsley or chives adds color and a fresh flavor contrast.
  • Sour Cream or Crème Fraîche: A dollop on top can add a tangy flavor and creamy texture.
  • Hot Sauce: For those who like a bit of heat, a drizzle of hot sauce can be a great addition.

Scaling The Recipe

Scaling a recipe up or down involves adjusting each ingredient’s quantities according to your desired servings. Here’s how you might go about doing this:

  • Decide On The Number Of Servings

Determine how many servings you need. The recipe I provided makes about 4 servings.

  • Calculate The Scaling Factor

Divide the number of servings you need by the number of servings the recipe makes to get your scaling factor. For example, if you need 8 servings, your scaling factor would be 8 ÷ 4 = 2.

  • Adjust The Ingredient Quantities

Multiply the quantity of each ingredient in the original recipe by the scaling factor. For example, if the recipe calls for 2 cans of clams and you’re scaling by a factor of 2, you would need 2 x 2 = 4 cans of clams.

Remember that cooking times may also need to be adjusted when scaling a recipe. A larger quantity of soup will likely take longer to come to a simmer, and the potatoes might take longer to cook through.

What Is Used For Garnishing Soup?

Garnishing a soup like New England Clam Chowder can enhance its visual appeal and add a pop of color and flavor. Here are some common garnishes:

  • Fresh Herbs: Chopped fresh parsley is a traditional garnish for clam chowder. Other herbs like chives or dill can also be used.
  • Oyster Crackers: These small, round crackers are a classic topping for clam chowder and add a delightful crunch.
  • Bacon Bits: While not traditionally used in New England Clam Chowder, crispy bacon bits can add a smoky flavor and a crunchy texture.
  • Extra Drizzle of Cream: A slight drizzle of heavy cream or half-and-half on top of the soup can give it a luxurious appearance.
  • Grated Cheese: A sprinkle of grated cheddar or parmesan cheese can add an extra layer of flavor.
  • Ground Black Pepper: A light sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper adds flavor and looks attractive.
  • Paprika or Cayenne: Consider a dash of paprika or cayenne pepper for a pop of color and a bit of heat.
  • Fresh Lemon Wedges: Serving with a wedge of fresh lemon on the side allows diners to add a squeeze of bright, acidic flavor if they wish.

Can I Make Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot? 

You can make New England clam chowder in both a slow cooker and an Instant Pot. Here’s a general guide for each method:

Slow Cooker Method

  • In a skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Remove and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, sauté onions and celery until they soften.
  • Transfer the cooked bacon, onions, celery, potatoes, clams (with juice), chicken broth, thyme, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours; until the potatoes are tender.
  • Melt butter and whisk in flour in a separate saucepan to create a roux. Cook for a few minutes.
  • Stir the roux mixture into the slow cooker and add the heavy cream. Cook for an additional 30 minutes on low until the soup thickens.
  • Adjust the seasoning if needed and serve hot.

Instant Pot Method

  • Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function. Cook the bacon until crispy. Remove and set aside.
  • Sauté onions and celery in the bacon grease until softened.
  • Add potatoes, clams (with juice), chicken broth, thyme, salt, and pepper to the Instant Pot.
  • Close the lid, set the vent to sealing, and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Once the cooking time is complete, allow for a natural pressure release for about 5 minutes, then carefully quickly release the remaining pressure.
  • Melt butter and whisk flour in a separate saucepan to create a roux. Cook for a few minutes.
  • Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function again and stir in the roux mixture and heavy cream. Cook for a few minutes until the soup thickens.
  • Adjust the seasoning if needed and serve hot.

Can I Use Store Bought Broth Or Should I Make My Own?

You can use store-bought broth as a convenient option for making New England clam chowder. While making your own broth from scratch can provide a more flavorful and customized base for the soup; using store-bought broth can still yield delicious results.

If using store-bought broth, opt for a high-quality brand and select a type of broth that complements the flavors of the clam chowder, such as chicken or vegetable broth.

Be mindful of the sodium content in the store-bought broth, and adjust the seasoning accordingly to avoid oversalting the chowder.

If you decide to make your own broth, it can add an extra layer of depth to the flavors of the chowder. You can make a homemade broth by simmering chicken bones or a combination of chicken and vegetable scraps with water, herbs, and aromatics for a few hours.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?

You can certainly experiment with different types of meat, fish, pasta, vegetables, and other ingredients to create variations of New England clam chowder.

While traditional New England clam chowder typically includes clams, potatoes, onions, and bacon, you can customize the recipe to suit your preferences and dietary restrictions. 

Here are some ideas:

  • Meat: Instead of bacon, you can use other types of smoked or cured meats like pancetta or ham to add flavor. You could also incorporate cooked chicken or turkey for a different twist.
  • Fish: While New England clam chowder traditionally uses clams, you can substitute or combine them with other seafood such as shrimp, crab, or white fish like cod or haddock.
  • Pasta: Add cooked pasta, such as small shells or elbow macaroni, to make the chowder heartier and more filling.
  • Vegetables: Besides onions and potatoes, you can include additional vegetables like corn, carrots, celery, or peas for added color, texture, and flavor.
  • Herbs and Seasonings: Experiment with different herbs and spices to enhance the taste. Common choices include thyme, parsley, bay leaves, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables etc For The Soup

Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making Soup

Some tips and tricks for making soup:

Prepping Tips

  • Read the recipe thoroughly before you start, and gather all the necessary ingredients and equipment.
  • Chop and prepare all your ingredients ahead of time to make the cooking process smoother.
  • Consider pre-cooking certain ingredients like beans or tougher vegetables before adding them to the soup for even cooking.

Cooking Tips

  • Sauté aromatic vegetables like onions, garlic, and celery at the beginning to build a flavorful base for your soup.
  • Don’t rush the cooking process. Simmer the soup slowly over low heat to allow flavors to meld together.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning as you go. Add salt and pepper gradually, and consider using herbs and spices to enhance the flavor profile.
  • If using meat or poultry, sear it before adding it to the soup for added depth of flavor.
  • Use homemade broth or stock if possible for a richer taste, but quality store-bought versions can work well too.
  • Consider layering flavors by adding ingredients in stages rather than dumping everything in at once. This allows for better ingredient integration.
Success Tips - Tips And Tricks For Making Soup

Nutrition Values

New England Clam Chowder packs a nutritional punch. Rich in protein from clams, it supports muscle health. Various vegetables offer essential vitamins and fiber, promoting digestion and heart health. 

Potatoes provide energy-boosting complex carbs, while dairy adds a dose of calcium for bone strength. However, mind the sodium and saturated fats.

What Are The Total Calories In The Soup? 

The total calories in a New England Clam Chowder serving can vary based on the specific ingredients and quantities used. However, a general estimate would be around 400-450 calories per serving, assuming the recipe yields 4 servings. 

This calorie count considers a recipe that includes heavy cream, butter, clams, potatoes, and other ingredients as specified in the original recipe provided.

Remember that using low-fat milk instead of cream, reducing the amount of butter, or making other modifications can lower the calorie content. Conversely, adding additional cream, butter, or other ingredients can increase it.

For the most accurate calorie count, you would need to calculate the calories based on the specific brands and amounts of each ingredient used in your recipe.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Soup

The traditional New England Clam Chowder may not be suitable for some dietary restrictions, but it can be adapted with modifications. Here are some common dietary restrictions and considerations:

  • Gluten-Free

Traditional chowder uses flour as a thickener, which contains gluten. You could use a gluten-free flour blend, cornstarch, or another gluten-free thickening agent to make it gluten-free.

  • Dairy-Free/Lactose-Free

The soup contains dairy in the form of butter and cream. For a dairy-free version, you can use olive oil or a dairy-free margarine instead of butter, and a non-dairy milk like almond or coconut milk instead of cream.

  • Vegan/Vegetarian

Clam chowder is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans because it contains clams. For a vegetarian or vegan version, you could replace the clams with mushrooms or other vegetables, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

  • Low-Sodium

Store-bought broth and canned clams can contain high levels of sodium. Look for low-sodium broth and clams to reduce sodium, or make your own broth. You can also limit the amount of added salt.

  • Low-Fat

The soup is relatively high in fat due to the butter and cream. You could use less butter or a lower-fat substitute for a lower-fat version and replace the cream with half-and-half or whole milk.

  • Shellfish Allergies

Anyone with a shellfish allergy should avoid clam chowder unless the clams are replaced with a non-shellfish alternative.

Health Benefits Of The Soup

Soups like New England Clam Chowder can have various health benefits, especially when they’re made with wholesome ingredients. Here are some potential health benefits of this soup:

  • Protein: Clams are a good source of lean protein, which is important for muscle growth and repair.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Clams are also high in various vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B12 and iron. Potatoes, onions, and celery add more vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C and potassium.
  • Hydration: Soups are high in water content, which can contribute to daily fluid intake and help prevent dehydration.
  • Fiber: Potatoes and vegetables in the soup provide dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps to keep you feeling full longer.
  • Low Calorie: While the traditional recipe can be somewhat high in fat due to the cream and butter, it’s possible to make a lower-calorie version using lower-fat alternatives.
  • Heart Health: The omega-3 fatty acids found in clams and other seafood can benefit heart health, including reducing the risk of heart disease.

Nutrition Table

New England Clam Chowder nutrition table

How Can I Make Soup In Low Sodium? 

To make New England clam chowder with lower sodium content, here are some tips:

  • Use low-sodium or no-sodium broth: Opt for low-sodium or no-sodium chicken or vegetable broth as the base for your chowder. This will significantly reduce the overall sodium content of the soup.
  • Choose fresh clams: Instead of using canned clams or clam juice, opt for fresh clams. Fresh clams have lower sodium content compared to their canned counterparts.
  • Rinse the clams: If using canned clams, drain and rinse them thoroughly under cold water before adding them to the chowder. This can help remove excess sodium from the clams.
  • Limit added salt: Be mindful of the amount of salt you add to the chowder during the cooking process. Taste the soup before adding any additional salt, and adjust the seasoning with other herbs and spices instead.
  • Control the amount of salt in other ingredients: Pay attention to the sodium content of other ingredients you use, such as bacon or store-bought seasonings. Choose low-sodium options or adjust the quantities accordingly.
  • Add flavor with herbs and spices: Enhance the flavor of your chowder with herbs and spices like thyme, bay leaves, black pepper, and garlic instead of relying solely on salt.
  • Increase the use of fresh ingredients: Incorporate fresh vegetables, such as onions, celery, and carrots, to add natural flavors and reduce the need for additional seasoning.

How Can I Make Soup Lower In Sugar? 

TTo make New England clam chowder lower in sugar, here are some suggestions:

  • Limit or omit added sweeteners: Traditional New England clam chowder typically does not include added sweeteners. Avoid adding ingredients like sugar, honey, or sweetened condensed milk to the recipe.
  • Use fresh ingredients: Opt for fresh vegetables and clams instead of canned or processed versions. Fresh ingredients tend to have lower sugar content than their canned or preserved counterparts.
  • Skip or reduce high-sugar toppings: Avoid adding toppings like sweetened croutons or sugary bacon bits, which can increase the overall sugar content of the chowder.
  • Choose low-sugar or unsweetened dairy alternatives: If you prefer a dairy-free or lower-sugar option, use unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, or other plant-based milk substitutes instead of regular milk or heavy cream.
  • Adjust seasoning with herbs and spices: Enhance the flavor of the chowder with herbs, spices, and aromatics like thyme, black pepper, garlic, and bay leaves. This allows you to rely less on sugar or sweet ingredients for flavor.
  • Taste and adjust: Taste the chowder as you cook and adjust the seasoning as needed. By balancing the other flavors and using natural umami-rich ingredients like clams and bacon, you can reduce the desire for added sweetness.

How To Serve The Soup In The Best Way? 

Serving soup in an appealing and appetizing way can greatly enhance the dining experience. Here are some tips on how to serve your soup:

Serving soup appealing and appetizingly can significantly enhance the dining experience. Here are some tips on how to serve your soup:

  • Pre-Warm the Bowls: Warm your soup bowls before serving. You can do this by filling them with hot water and emptying them just before serving. This keeps the soup warmer for longer.
  • Consider Portions: Don’t fill the bowl to the brim. Serving smaller portions not only looks more appealing; but also prevents spills and makes the soup easier to eat.
  • Garnishing: Enhance the visual appeal of your soup with a simple garnish. A sprig of fresh herbs like parsley, a dollop of cream, some shredded cheese, croutons, or a sprinkle of spices can make your soup look restaurant quality.
  • Accompaniments: Depending on the soup, consider what to serve alongside it. Crusty bread, a side salad, or a grilled sandwich can complement soup beautifully.
  • Ladle It: Use a ladle to serve your soup. It’s not only practical but also prevents spills and splashes.
  • Serve Immediately: Soup is best served hot, straight from the stove. If you’re serving for a dinner party, ensure your guests are seated and ready before serving the soup.
  • Serving Utensils: Provide the right utensils. A soup spoon and a small plate for the soup bowl to rest on can make the meal feel more considered and formal.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Recipe

The perfect side dishes for soup should complement its flavors and add a contrasting texture. Here are a few ideas that pair well with a variety of soups, including spinach soup:

  • Crusty Bread: A loaf of fresh, warm bread is always a good companion for soup. You can use it to soak up the broth or enjoy its comforting taste alongside.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: This is a classic soup side dish, especially for tomato or vegetable-based soups. The warm, melted cheese and toasted bread contrast with a smooth, creamy soup bowl.
  • Salad: A light, crisp salad can provide a refreshing contrast to a hot, hearty soup. A simple green salad, Caesar salad, or even a tangy coleslaw could work.
  • Roasted Vegetables: These provide a different texture and a flavor that compliments many types of soup, particularly cream-based ones like spinach soup.
  • Crackers or Breadsticks: These offer a crunchy texture that can be a pleasant contrast to the smooth consistency of soup.
  • Quiche or Savory Tart: A small slice can add a rich, savory element to your meal, balancing a light, brothy soup.
  • Rice or Grain Pilaf: For soups with a thin consistency, a side of rice or grain pilaf can add substance to the meal, making it more filling.

How Long Can We Store The Soup?

Storing soup properly can help maintain its flavor and freshness. New England clam chowder can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. It is important to properly store it in an airtight container to maintain freshness and prevent contamination.

If you plan to store it longer, you can freeze the chowder for up to 2-3 months. However, the texture and flavor may change slightly after freezing and thawing.

Can I Make Soup In Advance? 

You can make New England clam chowder in advance. It is a great dish to prepare ahead of time, as the flavors tend to develop and meld together over time, resulting in a more flavorful chowder.

After cooking the chowder, allow it to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it. 

When you’re ready to serve, gently reheat the chowder on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired temperature.

What Can Be Done With Leftover Soup?

Leftover soup, such as New England Clam Chowder, can be repurposed in several creative and delicious ways. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Reheat and Eat: This is the simplest way to utilize leftover soup. Just reheat it in a saucepan or in the microwave. Remember to stir frequently to ensure even heating.
  • Turn it into a Sauce: Reduce your leftover soup on the stove to thicken it, and use it as a creamy sauce over pasta, rice, or grilled chicken. Clam chowder, in particular, can make a fantastic seafood sauce.
  • Create a Casserole: Combine your leftover soup with some cooked pasta, vegetables, or protein, top with cheese, and bake in the oven for a quick and easy casserole.
  • Make a Pie: Consider using your thick soup as a savory pie or pastry filling. Pour your soup into a pie crust, top with another crust or mashed potatoes, and bake until golden brown.
  • Use as a Base for Another Soup: Leftover soup can be the perfect base for another soup. Add some more broth or water, throw in different vegetables or proteins, and you have a brand-new dish.

Special Tools Required While Cooking Soup

Preparing New England Clam Chowder only requires specialized tools beyond basic kitchen essentials. Here’s a list:

  • Large Pot or Dutch Oven: You’ll need this to sauté your vegetables and simmer the chowder.
  • Sharp Knife and Cutting Board: These are necessary for chopping vegetables and potatoes.
  • Stirring Spoon: A wooden spoon or similar tool helps stir the ingredients as they cook.
  • Ladle: This helps serve the chowder.
  • Can Opener: A can opener is a must if you’re using canned clams.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: These are important for accurately measuring your ingredients.
  • Peeler: A vegetable peeler can be handy if you prefer to peel your potatoes.
  • Immersion Blender: If you prefer a smoother chowder, an immersion blender can be used to puree part of the soup while leaving some texture.
  • Slow Cooker or Instant Pot: These devices can also be used to make chowder, mainly if you prefer a “set it and forget it” cooking method.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Origin Of New England Clam Chowder?

New England Clam Chowder is a traditional dish that originated in the northeastern United States, particularly in the New England region. The soup has its roots in the fishing villages of this area and is known for its creamy base and rich seafood flavor.

Can I Use Canned Clams For New England Clam Chowder?

Yes, you can use canned clams for making New England Clam Chowder. However, using fresh clams will give the soup a more authentic flavor. Canned or frozen clams can be a good alternative if fresh clams aren’t available.

How Long Does Leftover New England Clam Chowder Last In The Fridge?

Properly stored, leftover New England Clam Chowder can last in the refrigerator for about three to four days. Always refrigerate within two hours of cooking and reheat thoroughly before eating.

Can I Freeze New England Clam Chowder?

Yes, you can freeze New England Clam Chowder. To freeze, cool the chowder at room temperature, then cover and place it in the freezer. It can last up to 2-3 months in the freezer. 

However, because it is a cream-based soup, the texture may change slightly upon thawing and reheating, with the potential for the cream to separate or become grainy.

What Can I Serve With New England Clam Chowder?

New England Clam Chowder is traditionally served with oyster crackers, which add a satisfying crunch. It also pairs well with a fresh, crusty bread, or a green salad. Consider serving alongside a main dish like grilled fish or chicken for a complete meal.

New England Clam Chowder Recipe Unlocking The Secrets  And Deliciousness

New England Clam Chowder Recipe Unlocking The Secrets  And Deliciousness

5 from 4 votes
Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Chowder


Prep time


Cooking time





New England Clam Chowder is a creamy and hearty American soup made with fresh clams, potatoes, onions, bacon, cream, and seasonings. With its rich and savory flavor, it is a popular dish enjoyed in seafood restaurants. Served in a bread bowl or alongside oyster crackers, this comforting soup is a classic and satisfying meal option.


  • Littleneck clams

  • Garlic clove

  • Water

  • Salt pork

  • Chopped onions

  • Flour

  • Potatoes

  • Clam broth

  • Fish stock

  • Light cream

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Prepare The Clams
    Begin by thoroughly cleaning the clams to remove any grit or sand. Place the cleaned clams in a large pot, along with the chopped garlic and water. Cover the pot and steam the clams over medium heat just until they open, which should take about 6 to 10 minutes, depending on their size.Once done, drain the clams, reserving the broth. Remove the clam meat from the shells, mince it, and set it aside. Filter the reserved clam broth through coffee filters or cheesecloth to remove any leftover grit or sand, and set it aside.

  • Render The Salt Pork
    Slowly cook the salt pork in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over low heat. Continue cooking until the fat decreases and the salt pork pieces (cracklings) become crispy. Remove the cracklings with a slotted spoon and set them aside, leaving the fat in the pot.
  • Cook The Onions
    Slowly cook the chopped onions in the same pot with the rendered fat over medium heat. Stir frequently and cook for about 6 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent but not browned.
  • Add Flour And Broths
    Stir the flour into the pot with the onions, cooking and stirring for another 3 minutes. This will create a roux that will help thicken the chowder. Slowly add the reserved clam broth and the fish stock to the pot, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming.
  • Cook The Potatoes
    Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, then add the diced potatoes. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, which should take about 15 minutes.
  • Add Clams, Cracklings, And Cream
    Stir in the reserved minced clams and salt pork cracklings. Pour in the light cream and stir until well combined. Continue heating the chowder over low heat until it reaches your preferred serving temperature.
  • Serve The Chowder
    If desired, ladle the finished chowder into large soup bowls, serving with a side of oyster crackers. Enjoy your homemade New England Clam Chowder!


  • New England Clam Chowder is a classic American soup that originated in the New England region.
  • It is made with fresh clams, potatoes, onions, bacon, cream, and seasonings.
  • The soup has a creamy and hearty texture with a rich, savory flavor.
  • New England Clam Chowder is often served in a bread bowl or alongside oyster crackers.
  • It is a popular dish in seafood restaurants and is enjoyed as a comforting and satisfying meal.
Hanna Barnes

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