Clam Chowder
In the Kitchen,  Soup

Easy Clam Chowder

Since this is a great time of year for soup and that’s one category that received several votes in my recipe request poll, I’m sharing a great soup today.

I know not everyone likes clam chowder, but for those of you that do, I bet you know your favorite place to get it. It seems to be something you check out when eating at a seafood restaurant. And when I say clam chowder, I mean New England Clam Chowder. Who would eat the other one???

So, think of your favorite and imagine being able to make it at home. And easily. Nothing fancy about this recipe. But it’s oh so good. Even the next day, so make plenty. You don’t have to imagine anymore. 😋

A couple of tips

First, do you ever make bacon, only to have a few strips left? And what do you do with those? Throw them away? Save them thinking you’ll use them and then throw them away anyway? Well, I have a solution.

How many recipes do you have that require just a few strips of bacon? I have at least two – this clam chowder and baked beans. I hate buying bacon when I only need 3-4 strips. What do I do? Any time I have leftover strips, I freeze them.

All you do is wrap the bacon in packages of 3 or 4 with Saran wrap and then with aluminum foil. Stick them in the freezer and pull one out when you need just a few strips. Freezing your bacon also makes it easier to chop it. So don’t thaw it. Pull it out just when you’re ready to dice it and throw it in the pan.

Second, this recipe calls for a lot of liquid, which I don’t use. I like my chowder thicker. I’ve also started using half and half instead of milk, but milk works just fine. But when it says to add another cup of half and half, later in the recipe, don’t do it. Or, do it just enough to reach the consistency you prefer. I made this last night and ended up adding no more than the first cup.

Easy Clam Chowder

Clam chowder is amazingly easy to make at home. This version is creamy, flavorful, and full of clams.

Course Main Dish
Keyword clam chowder
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 4 slices bacon (diced)
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1/2 t. dried thyme
  • 3 T. flour
  • 1 c. milk (or use half and half)
  • 1 c. vegetable stock
  • 2 6.5 oz. cans chopped clams (reserve the juice)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 russet potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1 c. half and half (this is what you may not need at all)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat.

  2. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes.

  3. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate, leaving the bacon grease in the pot. Set the bacon aside.

  4. Melt butter in the pot. Add garlic and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.

  5. Stir in the thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  6. Whisk in the flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.

  7. Gradually whisk in milk/half and half, vegetable stock, clam juice, and bay leaf and cook, whisking constantly until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes.

  8. Stir in the potatoes.

  9. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

  10. Stir in the half and half (if you want your soup thinner) and the clams until heated through.

  11. Season with salt and pepper.

  12. Serve immediately and garnish with the cooked bacon.

Recipe Notes

Original recipe from


  • Donna

    I love clam chowder, and this recipe looks great! My husband is from Maine and insists most clam chowders are too thick, so I would probably have to use the extra liquid. I do love the little oyster crackers, too.

    • Retired Introvert

      Tim’s big into the oyster crackers but I prefer my soup as is. I will, however, eat the crackers without the soup. Since you have an “expert”, I can’t wait to hear how this chowder stacks up.