Best Ever Creamy Clam Chowder

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Creamy Clam Chowder with potatoes and vegetables is one of my favorite easy soup recipes! It’s thick and creamy and tastes as if it came straight from a restaurant! It’s SO GOOD!

Chock full of flavor, this clam chowder is hard to beat! And if you love this recipe then you’ve got to try this delicious Cheeseburger Soup, this amazing Broccoli Cheese, or this Sausage Tortellini Soup! You will love them all!

A bowl of clam chowder with a crostini in it.

Delicious Clam Chowder

Soup season has arrived and I am here for it! I love this time of year when new soup recipes are popping up everywhere! There is just nothing like dipping some yummy bread into warm soup. This clam chowder is unbelievably delicious and full of GOOD flavor! And clams, it’s chock full of them!! If you are as ready for soup season as I am then this clam chowder is a great place to start! It will kick off the season and keep you coming back for more!

This is such a simple soup but the flavors together are delicious. I love to add extra veggies too, like bell peppers, to give it flavor, color and crunch. In fact, try making this Crostini or this French Baguette to dip into it! It really takes it up a notch and is an easy way to add in the perfect side dish! Go ahead and give this a try. It’s a recipe that will for sure get a “WOW!” from all of your family and friends!

What’s In Clam Chowder?

This recipe has super simple ingredients, most of which you will already have in your kitchen! See the recipe card below for exact ingredient measurements!

  • Bacon: The bacon really add the most amazing extra flavor to this recipe!
  • Onion: You need the onion for some added flavor.
  • Celery: Dice up your celery and put it in the chowder for an added crunch.
  • Garlic cloves: If you don’t have any fresh garlic cloves on hand then you can use the minced garlic in your fridge. ½ tsp equals about one clove of garlic!
  • Flour: I used all purpose flour in this recipe
  • Chopped clams: You can’t have clam chowder without some amazingly delicious clams!
  • Chicken broth: This is used instead of water so that the base of your chowder has some additional flavor.
  • Milk: You can use 1% or 2% for this recipe.
  • Half and half: This is what will start to make your base of your chowder nice and creamy.
  • Russet potatoes: Peel these up and dice them before adding them to the chowder.
  • Salt and pepper: Add as much or little of these seasonings as you would like, just until it tastes just right to you!

Let’s Make Some Chowder!

This clam chowder only takes about 15 minutes to make from start to finish! You are going to love how this tastes so let’s get cooking!

  1. Cook bacon: In a large pot over medium high heat add the bacon and cook until slightly crisp and no longer pink. Then, remove it to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add in the vegetables (except potatoes): Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook until tender and then add the flour and stir.
  3. Stir in liquids and potatoes: Add in the juice from the clams, chicken broth, milk and half and half and stir until there aren’t any clumps. Add in the potatoes.
  4. Boil, add in clams and bacon, serve: Bring the pot to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer until the potatoes are tender and the soup is thick. Then, stir in the clams and salt and pepper to taste. Once you are done then top with crumbled bacon and serve.
6 pictures showing step by step instructions on how to make chowder.

Make it Into a Meal!

This clam chowder is absolutely divine and you can’t let that go to waste! Go ahead and make it into an entire meal with sides and a delicious dessert. Invite everyone you know over and then make it a party! Everyone needs a taste of this amazing clam chowder!

  • Add a salad: Soup and salad just go together! They balance each other out with warm and cool tastes and are just perfect. Because they are so good togethers, try making this Wedge Salad to go with it!
  • Cook up some bread: You can’t fully appreciate chowder without dipping some bread into it! In fact, buy a loaf of fresh French bread from the grocery store! Or, go the extra mile and bake up this amazing Crostini or French Baguette to go with it!
  • Don’t forget the dessert!: Never underestimate the power of a delicious dessert to finish off your meal! You can go simple and delicious with these Best Ever Pecan Pie Bars or go a bit fancier and serve this gorgeous Black Forest Cake!
A ladle being dipped into chowder.

What are the different types of clam chowder?

You may hear clam chowder called Boston clam chowder, New England clam chowder, or Manhattan clam chowder. So what’s the difference? Boston and New England clam chowder are two names that describe the same type of clam chowder! New England (or Boston) clam chowder is a creamy or broth-based chowder made with potatoes, vegetables, and clams. This recipe fits that description. Manhattan chowder is a red, tomato-based chowder with clams and vegetables.

A close up of clam chowder in a ladle.

How to Store Leftovers

This clam chowder recipe makes great leftovers! In fact, it is even better the next day! Once it has cooled down then place it in an airtight container. Then, go ahead and put it in your fridge and it will last 3-4 days!

A bowl of clam chowder with a spoon and a crostini.

Clam Chowder

4.56 from 18 votes
Creamy Clam Chowder with potatoes and vegetables is one of my favorite easy soup recipes! It's thick and creamy and tastes as if it came straight from a restaurant! It's SOO GOOD!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 8 people


  • 6 slices bacon diced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 (6.5 ounce cans) chopped clams
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 4 medium russet potatoes peeled and diced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large pot over medium-high heat add the bacon and cook until slightly crisp and no longer pink. Remove it to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  • Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook until tender. Add the flour and stir.
  • Add in the juice from the clams, chicken broth, milk, and half and half, then stir until there aren't any clumps. Add in the potatoes.
  • Bring the pot to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer until the potatoes are tender and the soup is thick. Stir in the clams and salt and pepper to taste. Top with crumbled bacon and serve.


Updated on October 30, 2021
Originally Posted on October 22, 2018


Serves: 8

Calories174kcal (9%)Carbohydrates9g (3%)Protein3g (6%)Fat14g (22%)Saturated Fat7g (35%)Cholesterol29mg (10%)Sodium86mg (4%)Potassium113mg (3%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar2g (2%)Vitamin A340IU (7%)Vitamin C0.5mg (1%)Calcium69mg (7%)Iron0.4mg (2%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword clam chowder
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. If I use Calm Chowder as my appetizer, what main dishes should I use? Does steak or fried chicken work? or do I need to do fish?

      1. 5 stars
        I made this tonight. Super easy, super delicious! Added Old Bay 30% less sodium. Served with crusty bread.

  2. 3 stars
    I didn’t realize that the juice from the clams was supposed to be separated until after I added both. Hopefully it won’t make a difference too much. Maybe put clams with juice separated in the ingredients section? Totally my fault but would be easier to have that listed in ingredients

  3. 5 stars
    Made this today. Was perfect for a(nother) rainy day in Northern California! I added carrots and used colored potatoes (white, red and purple), which made the dish beautiful to look at, too. Thank you. ❤️

  4. I love clam chowder and can’t wait to try this recipe. I was trying to find out more about the clams. 4 6oz cans? Where does one find them? Are fresh clams better? You throw them in at the end, do you cook them? For how long? Might be nice to show a close-up of how small to chop them up. Thanks for this recipe.

    1. The 4.6 ounce clams are available at most grocery stores in the canned meats aarea.Most pieces are about 1/2 of an inch or less.

  5. 5 stars
    I made a version of this last night and it was quite good. I modified it just a bit (tl/dr: more fat for the roux was the only thing I found to be an essential mod) and found some tips that might help others.

    1) I added 1 cup of carrots because I prefer to have them in my chowder. I cooked them with the onion and celery.

    2) I didn’t have bacon but based on another recipe I don’t think there would be enough fat for the roux, which may be why some have said the flour burned. I used 2 tbsp butter for the veggies to sub for the bacon fat, then another 6 tbsp butter added with the garlic (I didn’t want the garlic to burn) before adding the flour.

    3) the soup thickened a lot with the roux described above, so I added about 4 oz more stock to thin it a little. I might try using a little white wine next time. I agree with another commenter that you may be able to make this healthier if you cook russets in the broth and omit some (personally I wouldn’t omit all) of the flour, half and half, and my added butter, or by pureeing some of the potatoes with an immersion blender. I think you’d have to double the broth in that case though. I didn’t care so much about the fat content because I wanted a rich chowder, so I used less starchy potatoes than russets (similar to Yukon golds) so the potatoes held up better.

    4) Maybe my teens were sneaking extra when I wasn’t looking, but I think this makes 6 servings at best, not 8.

    1. In other words, you used this recipe as a base to create your own version of clam chowder? I have always used the exact directions the first time I try a recipe. If I feel it would fit me better to tweak it a little I will do that later.

  6. 4 stars
    Lovely basic recipe. I used fish stock instead of chicken broth as I use a lot of shrimp, save and freeze the shells, and then make fish stock when I have enough shells. But chicken stock is a good alternative if no fish stock. I added a bit of butter to the bacon fat and also added fresh thyme and tarragon. I boiled the potatoes in the stock (did not add flour – boiling the potatoes in the stock without the dairy added will create a thick stock from the potato starch). Added the clams and dairy when the potatoes were done and the stock boiled down. If you find the stock is decreasing too much while boiling, you can always add more. It was lovely and since my fish stock has no added sodium, it’s great for those of us who don’t like it too salty! But you can always season to taste. I would suggest putting out hot sauce for guests as that is the real Boston way to eat clam chowder. If you want some added starch, add some frozen corn kernels to it for a clam corn chowder! Thank you for the recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    OMGOSH…This recipe is DELICIOUS. I substituted New Potatoes and used evaporated milk. The combination of EVERYTHING is just sooooo creamy. I will make this again and share with my friends. THANK YOU .

  8. Your claim chowder sucks I was so embarrassed to serve that. Your timing was way off. It tasted nothing like clam chowder and I no my seafood I am from the Maryland area

      1. It did take me about the total time to just dice and chop. I had everything ready to put it. I am cooking the potatoes now. And to the guy who thinks it sucks, you need to stir more. Anyway I think it’s going to be delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

  9. 5 stars
    Very nice recipe 🙂 I used Yukon Gold potatoes and they worked just fine (question answered, Marilee!). Seasoned the onions / celery / +small pieces of carrot / garlic with salt and pepper before adding the flower or liquids, which infused some of those flavors (I added just a little salt and pepper again after testing post-liquids), a splash of Worcestershire sauce with liquids for a bit of umami. Worked great and was a hit with everyone!

    One question: I wasn’t able to use all the flour. I sifted in about 2/3 of the 1/2 cup, but once I got half of it in, it started to stick onto the bottom of the pot and when I scraped that’s when clumps came up that I thought I wouldn’t be able to stir out with the liquids (did I assume wrong? too impatient?). Would love some advice 🙂

    1. Bryan, try cooking the potatoes in just the stock without adding the dairy and you won’t need to add flour. The potatoes will add the necessary starch to create the thickening you need. If it boils down too much, just add a bit more stock or some white wine.

  10. 5 stars
    Recipe looked super easy & Ono!!! IFYKYK
    Made a double batch off the top; Easy!!
    Shared w/3 of my Senior neighbors.
    They Loved it!! Hubby enjoyed & so did I
    Served it w/Toasted Bolillo Rolls YUM!!!
    Mahalo for the recipe 😋

  11. 5 stars
    I doubled this recipe it was delicious the best tasting New England chowder since I moved from the north good comfort food. I did use softer potatoes since that was all I had but it didn’t make any difference in taste. Out of this world.

  12. I accidentally bought yellow yukon potatoes instead of russets. I know that sometimes the type of potatoes are important to stick to with some recipes. Will this be a problem or will it be ok??

    1. The Yukon potatoes will be a little on the soft side but if that’s all that you have they should be ok! As long as you are ok with a change in texture in the soup. I hope that you love it!

  13. Is it really only 86mg of sodium per serving? If so, this is amazing and my husband who is sodium restricted would love it!

    1. 5 stars
      I made this today. Excellent! I cut down to two potatoes instead of four. I added thyme. Easy to make and OH SO GOOD! Thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      Love the chowder!!! prepared it for family who is hard to please but not this time..they loved it..
      Followed the recipe exactly as posted..Will definitely do again and again and again..

    2. 3 stars
      I made it for dinner last night it was a disaster! My fault first I didn’t chop up the bacon, it took forever to cook. Second I think I added too much flour- 1/2 cup would have been fine. Once I got to the potatoes I turned down the heat to simmer and it took over an hour to get them to soften up. It was waaay too thick so I added more milk. Anyway about 8:09 it was ready I stated at 5:15. and yes the bottom of the pan was scorched. We ate it was actually pretty good but it didn’t look like any Clam Chowder I had ever seen. But it tasted ok. Definitely will not be making this one again. Probably not a recipe for someone with my ability. Wife still loves me though. And plus on a side note my wife burned the biscuits. So yeah.

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