This DELICIOUS Clam Chowder with potatoes and vegetables is one of my favorite easy soup recipes to make during the cooler months. The clam chowder broth is thick and creamy like a Boston or New England clam chowder and it tastes like it came from a restaurant!

A small white soup bowl filled with clam chowder with a crusty piece of bread and spoon in it and another soup bowl and extra bread slices in the background.

Clam Chowder

It’s soup season and I can’t tell you how happy I am about it! I love how warm and comforting soups are, but I also love how they are their own type of all-in-one meal. They have veggies and protein and all you need is a simple salad or a baguette and you’ve got a complete meal for your family.

I’ve come to learn that people can be as particular about their clam chowder as they are about gumbo! This recipe from my mom has all of the things I think make a great clam chowder including lots of clams, a creamy base, and very small diced potatoes. It’s amazing and super easy to make!

Different types of clam chowder:

You may hear clam chowder called Boston clam chowder, New England clam chowder, or Manhattan clam chowder.  So what’s the difference?  Boston and New England clam chowder are two names that describe the same type of clam chowder!  New England (or Boston) clam chowder is a creamy or broth based chowder made with potatoes, vegetables and clams.  This recipe fits that description.  The difference between New England clam chowder and Manhattan clam chowder is that Manhattan chowder is a red, tomato based chowder with clams, and vegetables.

What is clam chowder made of?

The basic ingredients in this Clam chowder include: clams, chicken broth, potatoes, butter, onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic, flour, milk, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Overhead photo of a wood cutting board with the ingredients for clam chowder, including potatoes, chopped celery, onion and bell peppers.

How to make creamy clam chowder:

Start by draining the clams and adding the juice from the clams to a large stock pot.
Next, add chicken broth and diced potatoes to the pot, simmer, and add the bay leaf.

While the potatoes cook, melt butter and olive oil in a second pot.  Add the onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic and cook until tender.  Stir in the flour, cook for 30 seconds and gradually stir in the milk and half and half.

Process photos for making clam chowder including a photo of a soup pot with potatoes cooking in clam juice, and a photo of a saucepan with a cream vegetable base for clam chowder.
Simmer the mixture and cook until it has thickened. Stir the creamy mixture into the cooked potatoes.  Add salt, pepper, vinegar, and reserved clams. Cook for 5 more minutes.

A red soup pot full of clam chowder with a ladle spooning a serving out of the pot.

Can you freeze clam chowder?

I generally do not like to freeze soups with potatoes and in them because the potatoes can get soft and mushy. However, I know some people don’t mind and have frozen clam chowder successfully. If you do decide to freeze it, freeze it in small batches in freezer safe containers.

Two bowls of clam chowder on a wood board with a napkin and slices of toasted bread in the background.

 

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Recipe

A small white soup bowl filled with clam chowder with a crusty piece of bread and spoon in it and another soup bowl and extra bread slices in the background.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 45 mins
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Ingredients
  

  • 4 6.5 ounce cans chopped clams
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes , peeled and diced (about 3 medium potatoes)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 ribs celery (about 1 cup), diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper , diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper , diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely minced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Drain the clams, adding the juice from the cans to a large stock pot. Set the clams aside.
  • Add chicken broth and diced potatoes to the pot (the liquid should just barely cover the potatoes). Bring to a simmer, add the bay leaf, and cook until the potatoes are barely fork tender, about 5-6 minutes.
  • While the potatoes cook, in a second pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic and cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Stir in the flour and cook for 30 seconds. Gradually stir in the milk and half and half, whisking as you add them to break up any clumps of flour. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook until the thickened, about 5 minutes 
  • Stir the creamy mixture into the potatoes. Stir in the salt, pepper, vinegar, and reserved clams. Cook for 5 more minutes.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 337kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 7gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 527mgPotassium: 741mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 880IUVitamin C: 29.8mgCalcium: 119mgIron: 1.7mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Thanks for the recipe! I added 4 slices of bacon and browned it before adding the veggies. I also added 1 tsp of old bay seasoning. I used two cups half and half and no milk and an extra cup of chicken broth. It turned out great!

  2. 3 stars
    The flavor was there. I mess up with the roux (too thick for me) but then the flour and the butter were not equal parts plus I am mixing a roux with vegetables in it making it hard to stir. I will try again but I have made simpler clam chowders before