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How to Make Clam Chowder From Scratch

Clam chowder is a rich and flavorful soup that is a favorite among seafood lovers.


Clam chowder is a thick and satisfying soup that is traditionally prepared with clams, potatoes, onions, and a variety of other flavorful ingredients. It’s a traditional dish from New England that’s wonderful for a brisk winter day or a relaxing evening at home. In this tutorial, we will show you how to make clam chowder by walking you through the process step by step.


  • 6 ounces bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups clam juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups chopped clams
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Step 1: Cook the bacon

In a large pot, cook the diced bacon over medium heat until it becomes crispy. Once the bacon is cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside on a paper towel-lined plate.

Step 2: Cook the onions, celery, and garlic

In the same pot, add the chopped onions and celery. Cook until the onions are translucent, and the celery is tender. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Step 3: Add the flour

Sprinkle the all-purpose flour over the onion and celery mixture and stir well. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.

Step 4: Add the clam juice

Slowly pour the clam juice into the pot, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Add the potatoes and herbs

Add the diced potatoes, bay leaf, and thyme to the pot. Simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.

Step 6: Add the clams and cream

Add the chopped clams and heavy cream to the pot. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the clams are heated through.

Step 7: Adjust the seasoning

Taste the chowder and add salt and pepper to your liking. Keep in mind that the bacon and clam juice is already salty, so be cautious with the salt.

Step 8: Serve and enjoy

Serve the clam chowder hot, topped with the crispy bacon bits and some chopped parsley, if desired.


  • Be careful not to overcook the clams, as they can become tough and rubbery.
  • You can use fresh clams or canned clams for this recipe. If using canned clams, make sure to drain them before adding them to the pot.
  • For a thicker chowder, you can use more flour or puree some of the potatoes before adding the clams and cream.
  • If you don’t have clam juice, you can use fish or vegetable broth instead.
  • The chowder can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Step 9: Clean and prepare the clams

If you are using fresh clams, you will need to clean and prepare them before adding them to the chowder. Rinse the clams thoroughly under cold running water and scrub them with a brush to remove any dirt or sand. Discard any clams that are already open or have cracked shells. Place the cleaned clams in a large pot with 1 cup of water and bring them to a boil. Cook until the clams open, then remove them from the pot and discard any clams that did not open. Chop the cooked clams and set them aside.

Step 10: Customize the recipe

Clam chowder is a versatile recipe that can be customized to your liking. You can add other seafood such as shrimp, scallops, or crab meat, or add vegetables such as carrots, corn, or leeks. You can also adjust the thickness of the chowder by adding more or less cream or flour.

Step 11: Serve with bread

Clam chowder is traditionally served with crusty bread such as sourdough or French bread. The bread can be used to dip into the chowder or to soak up any remaining broth.


The preparation of clam chowder is a straightforward process that yields a delectable soup that is suitable for any event. You only need a few straightforward ingredients and some fundamental cooking skills to make a hearty and flavorful soup that will blow the minds of your loved ones and acquaintances. If you want your clam chowder to turn out perfect every time, just follow these steps and tips.

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