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Homemade Clam Chowder

homemade clam chowder recipe
Yes. In May.

I’m sorry. I know this would have been 62% more appropriate to post in January when we were all freezing (and when you were asking for the recipe!), but sometimes things just don’t work out the way we want them to.

And since I’m in charge of this here blog, I can do things like posting soup recipes in May.


This recipe is sort of a highly (highly) modified version of a recipe I got from All Recipes.

I did try Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe for Clam Chowder, but after making it twice, I came to the conclusion that I just do not prefer bacon in my clam chowder.

crispy bacon

Bacon is the bomb in Baked Potato Soup, but I cannot manage to love it in clam chowder.

So, this is a bacon-free clam chowder.

homemade clam chowder recipe

It is not a fat-free clam chowder. In fact, it calls for a stick of butter and and a quart of half and half. It tastes delicious, though.

And really, if you’re looking for a low-calorie dish, why are you even eating clam chowder???

saltine crackers

I made this on a really busy day, so I don’t have step by step photos. It’s not super complicated, though, so I think you’ll be ok.

Basically, you’re going to make two different pots of stuff and then dump them all together in a big pot with the clams.

Or, if you are more brilliant than me, you’ll use a big pot for one of these mixtures and save yourself a dish.

To make the first pot, saute celery and onions until they’re soft. Add a minced clove of garlic and saute it for 30 seconds. Stir in a bottle of clam juice plus the juice from two cans of clams along with 4 cups of potatoes (I use red potatoes. Russets will be too mooshy.).

Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.

To make the second pot, melt 1/2 cup of butter and stir in 1/2 cup of flour. Cook and stir it until it’s bubbly, and then gradually stir in 1 quart of half and half. Stirring regularly, bring it to a boil and boil for 1 minute.

Combine the potato mixture and the half and half mixture along with the clams. It looks like it won’t come together properly at first, but if you gently mix it, it will turn into a lovely, creamy soup.

Add pepper to taste and salt if you feel it’s necessary. I usually find that the butter and clam juice provide plenty of salt, but your mileage may vary.

Heat the soup just until it’s warm.

Of course, I think you should serve it with some good bread. Braided Cheese Bread was my choice that day.

clam chowder recipe

Homemade Clam Chowder

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 minced clove garlic
  • 4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1 bottle clam juice
  • 2 10-ounce cans minced clams, drained with juice reserved
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 quart half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt to taste


1.Saute onion and celery in butter until softened. Add garlic and saute 1 minute.

2. Add potatoes, clam juice (include juice reserved from cans). If necessary, add enough water to cover potatoes. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.

3. In a large, heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in half and half, and bring to a boil, stirring regularly. Boil 1 minute.

4. Add potato/clam juice mixture along with the sugar, black pepper, and reserved clams. Salt to taste. Heat to desired serving temperature.

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 676Total Fat 36gSaturated Fat 23gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 166mgSodium 1557mgCarbohydrates 54gFiber 4gSugar 15gProtein 34g

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Tuesday 6th of February 2018

Thank you for another, tasty recipe! I had never made chowder before, but I will definitely make this again.

Two things: For lazy dicers like myself, you don't want the potatoes too large because it just adds to the cook time. Mine were on the large size of bite-size. I will dice smaller next time! Also a gallon of whole milk was cheaper than a quart of half and half, so I used whole milk. It still came out with a great consistency and texture.


Saturday 11th of November 2017

Made this. So very good! I was looking for a chowder recipe without bacon that measured up and this one totally did. Shared it with a co-worker. He brought it home and he and his 8-year old daughter had a battle over who gets the soup since she liked it so much. Thank you!


Friday 24th of October 2014

Delicious! my family LOVES it! I've been looking for a chowder with this consistency for quite a while, the perfect lunch for after a rainy soccer game in the fall in Canada! (although we do add bacon!). Have made it numerous times and it always turns out fantastic!


Friday 31st of January 2014

Oooh. I'd love to make my own clam chowder soup, rather than doctoring the canned variety. This looks yummy!

Quick question: How big is the bottle of clam juice? 6oz? 12oz? It's not an ingredient that I've ever purchased, so I'm not familiar with it.


Friday 8th of February 2013

Thank you for a bacon free perfected recipe it is superb and I appreciate all the work you did to refine a traditional fav of many

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