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Classic New England Clam Chowder

This classic New England clam chowder recipe includes all the traditional ingredients for true New England chowdah–fresh shellfish, bacon, potatoes, and cream–yet it’s rich and thick without turning glunky.

Prep Time

    •    Prep and cook time: 40 minutes
    •    Yield: Serves 6


    •    2 tbsps flour
    •    3 cups water
    •    1 cup heavy cream
    •    1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
    •    4 bacon strips, finely chopped
    •    2 tbsps chopped fresh parsley
    •    1 medium size Spanish onion, diced small
    •    3 large red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
    •    7 pounds cherrystone clams, scrubbed and rinsed


  1. In a large soup pot over high heat, add clams to water. Bring to a boil and cook just until clams open, about 10 minutes. Remove clams from broth and set aside. (Discard any clams that don't open.) Strain broth through a sieve lined with a coffee filter and set aside.
  2. Clean your soup pot; then, over medium-high heat, sauté bacon until it's browned and fat is rendered. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper towel. Discard all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Add diced onion to pot and sauté until translucent.
  3. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute, being careful not to brown. Whisk in reserved clam broth. Add potatoes and thyme, and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Remove clams from shells, reserving liquid, and chop roughly. Strain liquid; then add clams and liquid to pot. Stir in parsley, cream, and reserved bacon; cook just long enough to heat clams through, about 3 minutes.

This great family recipe is thanks to New England Recipes at


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