You'll save money and time when you treat the family to a steamy bowl of this creamy Southern style Clam Chowder at your own kitchen table. Serve it with a side of oyster crackers or warm bread and butter to round out the meal.
Easy Clam Chowder Recipe
How do you make Clam Chowder? I begin by frying bacon in a large Dutch oven. Save the drippings in the pot then set aside the bacon for later. Cook the diced onion and celery in the drippings until softened then add the garlic cooking just until it's fragrant usually around one minute. Add the flour and seasonings and whisk in chicken stock. Add the potatoes then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or just until they're fork tender. Uncover, add the chopped clams, clam juice and half and half then simmer until the flavors marry.
How to Make the Best Clam Chowder Recipe
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Clam Chowder: Two 6.5 ounce cans clams, russet potatoes, bacon, diced onion, diced celery, minced garlic, chicken or vegetable stock, all purpose flour, half and half, seafood seasoning i.e. Old Bay or Seafood Magic, salt, black pepper and cayenne or a few dashes of hot sauce), green onions and garlic bread, crackers or croutons for serving.
- Kitchen tools you'll need: A 6 quart Dutch oven or similar, a sharp knife and cutting board, measuring cups and spoons, a large spoon for stirring.
- Different Brands of seafood seasoning have varying amounts of sodium. Depending on the brand used, you may need to adjust the amount of salt called for in the recipe to your personal taste.
- You can also use Creole or Cajun seasoning in this chowder recipe.
- At the end of cooking, test the thickness and make any adjustments. To thin, add more half and half. To thicken, mash some of the potatoes or use cornstarch dissolved in cold half and half then whisk into the chowder. You can repeat this process until it reaches your desired level of thickness.
- Serve Clam Chowder with saltine crackers, with Dutch Oven Artisan White Bread and butter or whip-up a batch of my Ranch Oyster Crackers to sprinkle on top for crunch.
- Store leftover Clam Chowder chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in single servings over medium heat on the stovetop. Add additional milk or chicken stock to thin.
More Easy Soup Recipes to Make
Soup is a fantastic way to stretch those grocery dollars into tummy filling meals for the family. More easy soup recipes you may also like to try:
- Everyone loves a big bowl of Taco Soup for casual family meals and game day snacking.
- Make your own rich French Onion Soup at home.
- Skip the bun and enjoy a big bowl of Cheeseburger Soup, instead.
- Slow Cooker Potato Soup is flavored with cubed ham.
- Creamy Tomato Cheese Tortellini Soup.
- One Pot Chicken Noodle Soup will cure what ails ya!
- Instant Pot Vegetable Beef Soup comes together in no time flat.
- Crispy Chicken Coconut Lime Soup from Noble Pig.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 medium sweet onion finely diced
- 1 cup diced celery
- 3 large russet potatoes (around 4 cups) ½ inch cubes
- 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon seafood seasoning i.e. Old Bay or Seafood Magic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne OR few dashes hot sauce optional
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 6.5 oz cans clams drained and chopped, reserve liquid
- 2 cups half and half (OR 1 cup milk and 1 cup heavy cream) plus additional as needed
- 4 green onions thinly sliced
- garlic bread, croutons or crackers or oyster crackers for serving
- Cook bacon in a 6 quart Dutch oven or similar over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined platter to drain, then chop. Set aside.
- Reserve ¼ cup drippings in pot. To the drippings add onion and celery. Cook over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes or just until tender and beginning to brown. Add minced garlic, cook for 1 minute longer.
- Add flour to the pot, mixing until absorbed. Gradually whisk in chicken stock. Add diced potatoes, seafood seasoning ,salt, pepper and cayenne. Mix well.
- Cover and cook for 15 minutes over medium or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Chop clams. Once potatoes are fork tender uncover and add chopped clams, reserved juice, and half and half. Bring to a gentle boil for 1-2 minutes and test thickness. (To thicken, remove some potatoes and mash then return to pot. To thin, add additional half and half.) Add half of cooked bacon back to chowder, mix until evenly distributed.
- Serve immediately garnished with bacon and green onions along with garlic bread, crackers or topped with croutons.
- Alternate thickening technique: Dissolve 2 tablespoons cornstarch in just enough cold half and half until dissolved. Whisk into pot, repeating until desired consistency is reached.
Jo Ann Katzmarek
Never made it before...was DELICIOUS!
I'm so happy you enjoyed it, thank you!
Lynda L True
The only thing making this any different than New England Clam Chowder would be the chives. Add a little cream Sherry, however, just a tad. That's the New England secret.
I'll take it either way Lynda, we love clam chowder, thanks!