Skip to Content

New England Clam Chowder

This rich and creamy homemade New England clam chowder is packed full of meaty clams, bacon, buttery yellow potatoes, and a touch of heavy cream.

New England Clam Chowder in a large pot.

Have you been craving the perfect winter soup?

Well, look no further than this hearty homemade New England clam chowder!

This chowder is packed full of clams, veggies, bacon, potatoes, and a touch of cream.

I made this soup extra easy but using canned clams (well, for the photos I might have added a few fresh steamed clams) in water but you can use fresh clams if they are easy to find in your area.

This soup is extra hearty and is a dream to serve on cold winter days.

Plus it’s ready in under an hour and great topped with oyster crackers, crispy bacon, and even a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning.

New England Clam Chowder in a bowl.

Ingredients for New England clam chowder

  • Thick sliced bacon
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Yellow baby potatoes
  • Fresh thyme
  • Dried oregano
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • Canned clams in water
  • Clam juice
  • Heavy cream

Using fresh clams

Using canned clams is perfectly acceptable for this recipe, but it is equally delicious if you opt to use fresh clams.

To use fresh clams steam 2 dozen cleaned cherrystone clams.

After they are steamed, pull out the clams and chop them for the soup.

Add them to the soup in place of the canned cans.

However, because you’ll be using fresh clams you won’t have the juice from the canned clams which we use as part of the broth. The juice from the cans equals roughly 2 cups so add in 2 cups, or 2 extra (8ounce) bottles of clam juice.

Using chicken stock

If you’re looking to make this soup less clammy (or you can’t find clam juice) you can replace the bottled clam juice with chicken stock.

Toppings for clam chowder

I’m happy to eat my clam chowder any way I can get it but my favorite toppings are:

  • Crispy bacon
  • Oyster crackers
  • Minced fresh parsley
  • Sprinkle Old Bay seasoning
  • Dash of hot sauce
New England Clam Chowder served with oyster crackers.

More soup recipes

This homemade new England clam chowder is easily made with fresh clams, cream and buttery potatoes. It's the perfect winter soup.

Homemade New England Clam Chowder

This rich and creamy homemade New England clam chowder is packed full of meaty fresh clams, bacon, buttery yellow potatoes, and just a touch of heavy cream. This is the perfect soup for cold winter days and nights.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 8 slices thick sliced bacon diced
  • 2 celery stalks small dice
  • 1 large yellow onion small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 pounds baby yellow potatoes cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 6.5 ounce cans chopped clams in water USE THE CLAM JUICE DON'T DRAIN
  • 3 8 ounce bottles clam juice 3 cups
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  • In a large soup pot set over medium heat add bacon.
  • Once the bacon starts to render its fat add in diced celery and onion.
  • Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft and translucent.
  • Add in garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • If your bacon does not give off a lot of fat drizzle in a little olive oil or a tablespoon of unsalted butter.
  • Add potatoes, thyme leaves, red pepper flakes, oregano, kosher, salt, and black pepper to the pan. Stir to combine.
  • Sprinkle in flour and toss to combine until you see no more dry flour.
  • Add the clams WITH THEIR JUICE to the pan along with bottled clam juice and bay leaf.
  • Stir and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until your potatoes are fork tender.
  • When your potatoes are soft add your heavy cream, stir to combine, taste, and season if needed, and serve hot with oyster crackers.


  • Using fresh clams: Steam 2 dozen cherrystone clams and dice the meat. You'll need to use 2 more cups of clam juice to make up for the lack of clam juice found in the cans.
  • Each can of diced clams should give you 1/2 cup of clam juice. That means you'll like need 3 bottles of clam juice.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 861mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword clam soup, classic clam chowder, homemade clam chowder, homemade new england clam chowder, new england clam chowder
Did you try this recipe?Leave a comment and 5 star review!

About Brandy!

I am a food lover and recipe developer bringing you delicious recipes that taste great and are easy to make! My food is inspired by travels around the world and my love of flavorful food. A list of things that make me happy: cats, Coke Zero, houseplants, and travel. Read more...

Recipe Rating

Domestic Marvels

Wednesday 17th of April 2019

Hrmm that was weird, my comment got eaten. Anyway I wanted to say that it's nice to know that someone else also mentioned this as I had trouble finding the same info elsewhere. This was the first place that told me the answer. Thanks.

Sasha Jamison

Saturday 10th of November 2018

My husband and son went fishing but instead of fish they came with a whole bucket of clams. He wants me to make clam chowder but I got rid of the juice where they were steamed, in your recipe calls for that and where I live I can’t get bottled clam juice, what could I do then? Your recipe looks amazing and I really want to try it!!!


Friday 29th of December 2017

Thanks to show us a simple but spacial recipe. I could make it at home next holiday for my lover son john Andree. Only potatoes and heavy crime and it will be a delicious food.

Sabrina @ Familynano

Sunday 13th of November 2016

This is the best clam chowder i have ever eaten,it will be my forever receipt. Thank Brandy

Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

Saturday 21st of February 2015

Brandy, I want a big bowl of this soup AND your tom kha gai chicken coconut soup. . but don't want to get up from the couch and my blanket b/c it's so freaking cold. I have issues. love this soup. . it's gorgeous!


as seen on promo graphic


as seen on promo graphic