new england clam chowder with torn croutons mug
New England Clam Chowder in a Mug

My homemade version of Snow’s clam chowder recipe is chunky, savory, and spoonfuls of deliciousness. Chopped bacon bits and chunky potatoes in a creamy seafood stew make this the recipe ultimate comfort food. I use Snow’s canned clams because they are easy to source and they taste great.

Before they were bought out by the producer Bumble Bee Foods, Snow’s made one of the best canned clam chowders. Snow’s condensed clam chowder was a thick soup that you throw into a small pot and add water until hot and chunky.

In the past couple years, Snow’s changed their recipe and lost their reputation for being the best clam chowder from the North Atlantic. I still really like Snow’s for their canned clams, so I started experimenting on recreating a really good clam chowder recipe using Snow’s clams. I nailed it and now I’m sharing the recipe with you.

This creamy chowder is so good that you’ll find yourself saving cans of clams in your pantry so you can make more chowder on a whim. Pair with some crackers, and fresh herbs and you have the perfect creamy soup. This may be the best family friendly New England clam chowder.

Does this taste like Snow’s canned clam chowder?

My chowder is creamy and chunky similar to Snow’s canned clam chowder but it does not taste the same. I create a rich flavor by adding fresh ingredients to chunks of hearty potatoes, to highlight the rich clam flavor made with tender clams.

The original recipe for Snow’s clam chowder is an old family recipe from Pine Point, Maine, close to Old Orchard Beach. My recipe comes from Austin, Texas, but don’t judge. We don’t have the Cape Cod cold water to fresh source our seafood, but we definitely have good grocery stores to get all the best ingredients here.

I tried many different ingredients and recipes to find out how to make this recipe hit home. The secret was creating a creaminess that was thick, chunky, with the occasional chewy and crunchy. A vegetable broth adds light balance to the creaminess of the soup.

This recipe was tested and approved by whole family, including my toddler. Yes, it’s that good! I’m happy to be introducing him to this version as opposed to the canned soup. It has less sodium, fats, and preservatives than the canned variety, and is also a good source of protein and calcium.

Enjoy this New England Style Clam Chowder with my home-made Torn Croutons.

What you need

You can get clams at your local seafood market. Clams may be difficult to source, and may be expensive depending on season. My favorite canned clams is Snow’s. It tastes very similar to fresh clams.

You can get Snow’s canned clams on Amazon. It comes in a 6 pack, so you can put as many or as little clams as you like in your dish. Add more clam meat if you prefer. You don’t need to add the juice for the additional clams.

Thicker cut potatoes may need more time to cook, so you can add it before the soup gets too thick.

Vegetable broth. I like to make my vegetable broth from scratch, store the unused portion in your freezer, and bring it out before use. You can also use chicken broth, or the chicken boullion powder to add depth.

Bacon. I start with uncooked bacon, and I let it fry while I’m working on the other steps. You can also prepare it beforehand and it will still taste good, since it goes directly into the soup.

White wine vinegar helps tone down the rich creaminess and balance out the fattiness of the bacon.

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon strips, uncooked
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, optional
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder, Knorr or Dasida brand
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or unsalted chicken broth
  • 13 ounces chopped clams, juices reserved (2×6.5 ounce cans)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup half and half
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black peppercorn, or 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons white wine vinegar (optional)
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup torn croutons for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook bacon: In a large skillet over medium high heat, fry bacon until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Once bacon has been cooked: Chop into small 1/4 inch pieces.
  3. Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add diced onions, stirring frequently, until onions become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Next, add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add thyme (and optional sage) and stir for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  4. Add flour and mix until it is absorbed by the onion, garlic, thyme, and sage and becomes lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in milk, chicken bouillon powder, vegetable stock, clam juice and bay leaf. Stir occasionally until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add potatoes into the pot. Turn heat up to high, let boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
  6. Stir in half and half and clams until heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Add most of the cooked bacon pieces to pot, reserving some for garnish. Add salt, fresh cracked black peppercorn, and optional white wine vinegar. Stir. If the soup is too thick, stir more half and half as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  7. Remove from heat. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with more bacon, parsley, and torn croutons or crackers. Serve immediately. If the chowder is too thick, add a half cup water and mix.

How long does clam chowder last?

You can refrigerate this recipe in airtight containers up to 3-4 days.

You can freeze it in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags to enjoy later.

What to serve with clam chowder?

Torn Croutons, oyster crackers, saltine crackers, croutons, anything cracker-y and crunchy you can pair it with.

FAQs

Is clam chowder healthy?

Besides the nutrients in the clams, potatoes, and vegetable broth, it’s not very healthy. The cream and bacon makes it high in fat, calories, and sodium.

Can you eat clams during pregnancy?

Yes, pregnant women can eat clams as long as they’re thoroughly cooked.

What is the difference between New England and Manhattan clam chowder?

New England clam chowder is creamy, starchy, potato-y, and chewy. Manhattan clam chowder has a red, tomato-based broth and no milk or cream. Manhattan-style chowder also sometimes contains other vegetables, like celery and carrots.

New England Style Clam Chowder

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories 544
This Clam Chowder is creamy, savory, and filling. Paired with crusty bread and fresh bacon for the trifecta of a perfect soup.

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon sage (or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, optional)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder (Knorr or Dasida brand)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 13 ounces chopped clams, juices reserved ((2×6.5 ounce cans))
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 medium Russet potatoes (peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black peppercorn (or 1/8 teaspoon black pepper)
  • 1 tablespoons white wine vinegar ((optional))
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves (chopped)
  • ½ cup torn croutons (for garnish)

Instructions 

  • If bacon is uncooked: In a large skillet over medium high heat, fry bacon until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Once bacon has been cooked: Chop into small 1/4 inch pieces.
  • Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter. Add diced onions, stirring frequently, until onions become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add thyme (and optional sage) and stir for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  • Add flour and mix until it is absorbed by the onion, garlic, thyme, and sage and becomes lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in milk, chicken bouillon powder, vegetable stock, clam juice and bay leaf. Stir occasionally until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add potatoes into the pot. Turn heat up to high, let boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
  • Stir in half and half and clams until heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Add most of the bacon pieces to pot, reserving some for garnish. Add salt, fresh cracked black peppercorn, and optional white wine vinegar. Stir. If the soup is too thick, stir more half and half as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  • Remove from heat. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with more bacon, parsley, and torn croutons or crackers. Serve immediately.

Notes

This recipe can be refrigerated in airtight containers up to 3-4 days.
You can freeze it in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags to enjoy later.
Author: denthu
Calories: 544kcal
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dutch oven

Nutrition

Serving: 1 person | Calories: 544kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 983mg | Potassium: 1022mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1016IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 195mg | Iron: 3mg

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