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Clam Chowder recipe

Clam Chowder Recipes

Clam chowder is a creamy soup that's like a warm hug in a bowl. It's filled with tender clams, cozy potatoes, and sometimes sweet corn or crispy bacon bits. Each spoonful is rich and hearty, perfect for dipping bread into or just enjoying on its own on a chilly day.

101 recipes to choose from

Recipes (101)

Discover 101 unique Clam Chowder recipes. Each with it's own twist on the recipe. Read our review top find our top Clam Chowder recipes out there.

Clam chowder recipe
# 1

Clam chowder

delicious. magazine

There’s no soup more comforting than a proper clam chowder – made with chorizo, sherry, fresh clams and cream. Serve with crusty bread to soak up every last drop. And if you want to make this recipe a...

    • Gluten-Free
Corn and Clam Chowder With Zucchini and Herbs recipe
# 2

Summer corn and clam chowder is like a clambake in a bowl, emphasizing the sweetness of each ingredient. To give the chowder a somewhat Italian slant and to magnify the corn flavor, a handful of polen...

    • Gluten-Free

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Pressure-Cooker Sonoran Clam Chowder recipe
# 3

Being from New England originally I always appreciated a good rich clam chowder. But living in the Southwest the past 35 years, I have learned to appreciate the Sonoran flavors. This recipe blends a c...

Low Fat Clam Chowder recipe

Low Fat Clam Chowder

Recipe Girl®

Perfect for fans of clam chowder who are looking for a healthier version!

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Top 3 Recipe Review

A Spicy Twist on the Classic

delicious. magazine

The Clam Chowder from Delicious. magazine is a bold take on the traditional chowder, infusing it with a spicy kick from hot chili powder and smoked paprika. The addition of chorizo adds depth and a smoky flavor that complements the clams beautifully. The use of white wine, sherry, and lemon zest brings an acidity that cuts through the richness of double cream and butter, making this version stand out for those who enjoy a more complex flavor profile.

Fresh Summer Garden Delight

NYT Cooking

NYT Cooking's Corn and Clam Chowder With Zucchini and Herbs is like summer in a bowl. It combines fresh corn, zucchini, herbs, and polenta to create a lighter yet satisfying dish. This recipe stands out for its use of lime halves squeezed at the end; this citrus note elevates the natural sweetness of the clams and vegetables. It's an excellent choice for those who prefer their chowder brimming with garden-fresh ingredients.

Southwestern Comfort in Record Time

Taste of Home

Taste of Home offers an innovative Pressure-Cooker Sonoran Clam Chowder that packs southwestern flavors into a comforting bowl. With peppered bacon strips, green chiles, taco seasoning, and cilantro playing pivotal roles alongside traditional clam chowder elements like potatoes and cream, this recipe is perfect for those looking to experiment with regional twists without spending hours in the kitchen.


Each clam chowder recipe brings its unique flair to this classic comfort food: Delicious. magazine goes bold with spices; NYT Cooking keeps it light with fresh produce; while Taste of Home takes us on a quick trip to the Southwest with its pressure-cooker method. Whether you crave innovation or tradition in your soup bowl will guide your choice among these delightful variations on clam chowder.

Frequently asked questions

1. What type of clams should I use for clam chowder?

For clam chowder, the best type of clams to use are hard-shell clams (also known as quahogs) from the East Coast of the United States. The smaller cherrystone or littleneck clams are a good choice because they tend to be more tender and flavorful. If you're on the West Coast, you can also use Manila clams, which have a sweet taste.

If fresh clams are not available, you can also use canned minced or chopped clams. However, keep in mind that fresh will usually provide a better flavor and texture for your chowder.

Here's how to prepare them:

  1. If using fresh clams:
    • Rinse them thoroughly under cold water.
    • Steam them until they open up.
    • Remove the clam meat and chop it if necessary.
    • Strain the broth produced during steaming through cheesecloth or a fine sieve and reserve it for adding depth of flavor to your chowder.
  2. If using canned clams:
    • Drain the liquid but save it for your chowder as it is packed with flavor.
    • Check for any bits of shell or sand before adding them into your soup.

Remember that overcooking can make clams tough and chewy, so add them towards the end of cooking time if they're pre-cooked (like canned) or just long enough to cook through if they're fresh.

2. Is it necessary to use heavy cream in clam chowder or can I substitute with a lighter option?

Certainly! In traditional clam chowder recipes, heavy cream is often used to create a rich and creamy texture. However, if you're looking for a lighter option, you can definitely substitute it with other ingredients. Here are some alternatives:

  1. Whole Milk: This will give you a lighter soup while still providing some creaminess.
  2. Half-and-Half: A mixture of milk and cream that's lighter than heavy cream but richer than milk alone.
  3. Evaporated Milk: Offers richness without the added fat of heavy cream.
  4. Low-Fat or Fat-Free Cream Cheese: Melted into the soup, it can provide a creamy texture without as much fat.
  5. Pureed Potatoes or Cauliflower: These vegetables can thicken your chowder naturally when blended into the broth.

Remember that using these substitutes may alter the final taste and consistency of your clam chowder slightly compared to using heavy cream, but they are viable options for creating a healthier version of this classic dish.

3. How do I thicken clam chowder if it's too thin?

If your clam chowder is too thin and you're looking to thicken it, there are several methods you can use. Here are some options:

1. Flour or Cornstarch (Roux or Slurry)

  • Roux: Melt equal parts butter and flour in a separate pan, cook for a minute to remove the raw flour taste, then whisk into your chowder.
  • Slurry: Mix cornstarch with cold water in equal parts until smooth, then stir into the hot chowder.

2. Potato Flakes

  • Add instant potato flakes directly into the chowder and stir until desired thickness is reached.

3. Pureed Vegetables

  • Take some of the potatoes or other vegetables from your chowder, puree them, and mix back into the pot.

4. Heavy Cream or Half-and-Half

  • Stir in heavy cream or half-and-half for a richer consistency.

5. Arrowroot Powder

  • Similar to cornstarch; mix with cold water first before adding it to avoid clumping.

When thickening soup:

  1. Always add thickeners gradually; you can always add more if needed.
  2. Stir constantly after adding a thickener to prevent clumping.
  3. Allow the soup to simmer for a few minutes as some thickeners need time to reach their full thickening potential.
  4. Be cautious with flours and starches as they can alter the flavor if used excessively.

Remember that clam chowder will also naturally thicken upon cooling, so consider letting it sit for a bit before deciding if it needs additional thickening agents!

4. Can I freeze clam chowder for later use?

Yes, you can freeze clam chowder for later use. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind to ensure the quality of the soup when thawed and reheated. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Cooling: Allow the clam chowder to cool completely before freezing. This helps prevent bacterial growth and also allows the soup to freeze more quickly, which is better for maintaining its texture.
  2. Portioning: If possible, freeze the chowder in individual portions or amounts that you will likely consume at one time. This makes it easier to thaw only what you need without having to defrost a large batch.
  3. Containers: Use airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags for storage. Leave about an inch of headspace in containers because liquids expand when frozen.
  4. Labeling: Label your containers with the date and contents so you can keep track of how long they've been stored.
  5. Freezing Time: For best quality, try to use your frozen clam chowder within 2-3 months.
  6. Thawing and Reheating:
    • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator if possible.
    • Reheat gently on the stove over low heat until hot; avoid boiling as this could cause dairy components to separate and affect texture.
    • If necessary, add a bit more milk or cream while reheating if the consistency is too thick after freezing.

Note: Clam chowder that contains potatoes may have a change in texture since potatoes can become grainy after freezing and thawing; consider this if texture is important for your enjoyment of the dish.

Remember that while freezing extends shelf life, it's always best practice to consume food sooner rather than later for optimal taste and safety!

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