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This Clam Chowder Soup Recipe is the BEST ONE you’ll ever eat. It’s a creamy New England Clam Chowder full of clams, potatoes, and delicious flavor. It’s an easy one-pot soup recipe that uses canned clams, clam juice, and roux to thicken the creamy base. It’s one of my all-time favorites and never disappoints!

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Table of Contents
  1. BEST Clam Chowder in the WORLD!
  2. Why You’ll Love This Recipe
  3. Clam Chowder Ingredients
  4. How to Make Clam Chowder Soup
  5. Expert Tips
  6. FAQ:
  7. More of My Favorite Soup Recipes
  8. Mom’s Clam Chowder Soup Recipe

BEST Clam Chowder in the WORLD!

This is the clam chowder I fell in love with as a kid! I know, clams, right? But, hear me out: if you’re craving a comforting bowl of deliciousness, this clam chowder soup recipe is the thing to make.

It’s hearty, creamy, and totally satisfying. It has the perfect balance of clams, potatoes, and aromatics combined with a thickened broth for the best bowl of soup.

The recipe is from my mom, who got it from my dance teacher during my long-ago tap-dancing days. Mom fell in love with it and made it at least a couple of times a year. I love it so much I still get big cravings for it, and my craving doesn’t go away until I make it.

I absolutely love clam chowder – it’s my favorite soup – but this one compares to no other clam chowder soup I’ve ever had. It’s seriously the best clam chowder recipe, and I’ve tried them all.

The flavor of this chowder is three-dimensional. It’s kind of an abstract concept, I know, but it’s true. Once you taste it and compare it to other recipes, you’ll realize this one is so much fuller and more well-rounded.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

The trifecta that makes this clam chowder the best are these three things:

  • Garlic and green onions: This flavor combo is fantastic. Green onions aren’t as potent as other onions, and they have a fresh flavor.The aroma when you sauté them with the garlic in the oil is so good, I dream about it sometimes.
  • Clam juice: There are many clam chowder recipes out there made with chicken stock. Um, no. This is clam chowder, so I use clam juice from a bottle and canned clams. It adds a TON of flavor.
  • Roux: The last part is the flour and butter mixture, also known as the roux. I don’t use a ton of butter or flour – just enough to thicken the soup, so it has some body. This isn’t a super thick clam chowder, but it’s a step up from soup in terms of thickness. The soup is so balanced – it doesn’t taste like milk with some clams. It tastes like clams in a creamy, lightly thickened soup.

The other great part about this recipe is it’s a one-pot soup recipe. You can use the same pot to boil the potatoes, make the roux, and simmer the soup. Three cheers for easy clean-up!

Clam Chowder Ingredients

Red potatoes – you can leave the skin on or peel them before you cut them into bite-sized pieces.

Chopped green onions: I love the flavor green onions bring to this, instead of using regular yellow ones.

Minced garlic: The flavor of the garlic adds SO much to the soup!

Unsalted butter: You can substitute salted if needed.

All-purpose flour: This helps thicken the soup.

Half and half: Don’t have it? Use regular milk.

Clams: You’ll need two kinds of clam flavor, Canned chopped clams with the juice and a bottle of Clam juice.

Spices: Salt, Pepper, Dried basil

Process shots of how to make clam chowder soup

How to Make Clam Chowder Soup

  1. Place the cubed potatoes in a pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook them until they are fork-tender. Drain off the water and set the potatoes aside.
  2. In the same pot, you boiled the potatoes cook the onions and garlic in olive oil until they are fragrant.
  3. Add the butter and, once it’s melted, stir in the flour and cook it for about a minute or so.
  4. Whisk in the half and half, combining well with the butter and flour mixture. Cook and whisk the mixture for about five minutes or until it thickens
  5. Add the clam juice and reserved juice from the canned clams and stir.
  6. Once the soup is hot, add the potatoes and clams. Cook the chowder for about five minutes or until the clams are hot.
  7. 7. Serve immediately with crusty sourdough or oyster crackers sprinkled on top.
bowl of clam chowder with spoon inside

Expert Tips

If you make this recipe in one pot, it does take some time. I’d rather spend more time cooking than cleaning up, so I prefer the one-pot method. If you want to speed up the process, you can boil the potatoes in one pot while you start assembling the soup in a second pot. It will save some time, but there will be more to clean up.

I like red potatoes for the color, but you can use other waxy potatoes like Yukon golds or new potatoes.

Don’t overcook the clams. Wait to add them until the end and cook them long enough to warm them up. This should only take about five minutes. If you overcook them, they will be tough.

We love this clam chowder with some crusty sourdough bread on the side to soak up every last drop. You can also serve it in a bread bowl or top it with oyster crackers or crushed saltines.

FAQ:

Is clam chowder a soup?

Chowder is a type of soup that is hearty and comforting. Different clam chowder recipes will be thicker like stew or thinner like soup. My recipe is in the middle – rich and creamy but not too thick.

What are the different types of clam chowder?

There are two types of clam chowder: New England clam chowder and Manhattan clam chowder. The New England style, like my recipe, is made with half and half, which gives it a creamy texture. Manhattan style is made with tomatoes and no milk or half and half.

How to store leftover clam chowder?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If should keep well for up to four days. If it thickens after it’s chilled, add a splash of half and half or clam juice when you warm it up.

Can you freeze clam chowder?

Technically, you can freeze clam chowder, but the vegetables don’t always hold up great, and the half and half can separate. I prefer to enjoy it all and not freeze it. However, if you want to freeze it, allow the soup to fully cool and keep it in a freezer-safe container. It will keep for several months.

This is such a special New England clam chowder soup recipe and just writing about it makes me want to make another batch ASAP! It’s tried and true and delicious every time. I hope you love it just as much as I do!

More of My Favorite Soup Recipes

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bowl of clam chowder with spoon inside

Mom’s Clam Chowder Soup

5 from 3 votes
My Mom’s Clam Chowder Soup Recipe is the BEST ONE you’ll ever eat. This New England Clam Chowder is creamy and full of clams and potatoes and delicious flavor.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Serving Size 1 /6 recipe

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups (300g) cubed red potatoes (about 7-8 baby potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil
  • ¼ cup (15g) chopped green onions (about 2 onions)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 4 tablespoons 57g unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (32g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 pint (473ml) half and half or whole milk
  • 4 6.5 ounces each cans chopped clams (with juice)
  • 1 jar 8 ounces/236g clam juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil

Instructions

  • Cube the red potatoes bite sized. You can peel them or not, your choice. Place them in your soup pot and cover with enough water to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until just fork tender. (Cooking time will depend on potato size.) Drain and set aside.
  • Open the canned clams and drain the juice into a measuring cup. Set the clams aside for the end of cooking.
  • Place the pot back on the stove over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the green onions and garlic. Stir until fragrant, just under minute or so, then add butter and cook until the butter is melted. Stir in the flour and cook a minute or two.
  • Whisk in the half and half, making sure to fully mix in the flour mixture. Cook about 5 minutes or so, or until the mixture thickens, stirring often and whisking when necessary. Be sure to get all the bits off the bottom while you’re stirring so the flour mixture doesn’t stick.
  • Once the milk mixture has thickened, add the jar of clam juice and the reserved juice from the cans of clams. Stir to combine then cook until hot.
  • Once the soup is hot, add the potatoes and clams and cook no more than 5 minutes, or until clams are hot.
  • Serve immediately with crusty sourdough.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • We love this served with sourdough bread!
  • Feel free to use whole milk in place of the half and half.
  • Don’t add the clams until the soup is basically done – if you cook them too long they’ll get tough.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 recipe | Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 7477mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Author Dorothy Kern
Keyword chowder, clam

The Best Clam Chowder Soup Recipe is THIS one! It’s my mom’s recipe and it’s a creamy chunky New England Clam Chowder with potatoes and tons of flavor!

Last Updated on March 8, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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11 Comments

  1. Adding bacon and using thyme makes for a richer chowder. Cook the bacon crisp and use the oil for the sautéing eliminate basil (too strong) and use dried thyme.

  2. How would you adapt this if you used fresh clams instead of canned clams. I would use the juice out of the clams when I open them .

  3. If you Brown the onions, add the potatoes and broth, which is not a secret in New England, then add clams when potatoes are done you can smash/mash a few potatoes to thicken the Chowder. You won’t need flor that way.  I am a New England purest. 

  4. I love your story telling with your recipes and I love that this one is from Darlene to your mom and now to the rest of the world! Looks like a total winner!