Clam Chowder is the ultimate comfort food with tender clams, creamy potatoes and of course salty, smoky bacon!
Wonderfully creamy New England Clam Chowder is way easier than you think to make at home and about to become a new family favorite!
This easy clam chowder recipe has rich flavor for the perfect bowl of comfort!
- 3 6.5 oz. cans chopped/minced clams in clam juice
- 8 ounces clam juice
- 6 thick center-cut bacon strips chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 stalks celery finely chopped
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 ¼ pounds russet potatoes peeled and diced into ¼-½” cubes, approx. 3 ½ cups
- 3–5 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon each dried parsley dried oregano, salt
- ¼ teaspoon each dried thyme pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Oyster crackers
- Fresh parsley
Drain clam juice from cans into a measuring cup. Add enough bottled clam juice to equal 2 ½ cups. Set aside.
In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until fat is rendered and slightly brown. Remove half of the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. To the remaining bacon and drippings, melt in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat.
Increase heat to medium high and add celery and onion. Saute for 5-7 minutes or until onions are soft. Add potatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes (if using) and sauté 30 seconds. Sprinkle in flour and cook an additional 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth, reserved 2 ½ cups clam juice, chicken bouillon, bay leaves and all seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are very tender.
Stir in heavy cream and bring to a simmer to heat through. Discard bay leaves. Remove from heat and stir in clams. Taste and add salt/pepper to taste. (You may or may not need additional salt depending on how salty your clams and bacon are.) For a thinner or less chunky soup stir in additional heavy cream/milk or chicken broth.
Top individual servings with reserved bacon and oyster crackers and fresh parsley if desired.