Homemade clam chowder with chunks of potato, celery, and clams in a creamy base is one of the best comfort foods in the world! This version is extra easy, relying on canned clams so you can enjoy it wherever you live!
I got this New England clam chowder recipe from my mom, who got it from my grandma, who happened to be a great cook. I have made a few minor changes to it, but it is basically the same delicious clam chowder I grew up with.
It’s been a favorite family recipe for decades. My kids like this chowder so much that they often request it for their birthdays. It is so, so good!
What’s the difference between Boston and New England clam chowder?
Since Boston is part of New England, they are the same soup, just with a different name. Both are milky white in color, have a creamy base, and are filled with potatoes, clams, celery, and other ingredients. You can find dozens of different recipes!
Manhattan clam chowder on the other hand, is tomato based with a clear broth, and has a much different flavor.
Is New England clam chowder thick or thin?
That’s a matter of personal preference. Authentic clam chowder is typically not thickened, just relying on starch from the potatoes and cream for consistency. But the best clam chowder recipe is going to be the one that you adapt to your taste!
Do I have to use the cream of celery soup?
HOW TO MAKE CLAM CHOWDER (The easy way!)
- PREP – Chop the onion and celery, peel and chop the potatoes into 1/2″ chunks.
- COOK VEGGIES – Place the onions, celery, potatoes, garlic, salt, water, and juice from the clams in a 6 quart soup pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn heat down to medium or medium low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
- FINISH THE SOUP – Stir in the evaporated milk, half & half, clams, cream of celery soup, parsley, and pepper.
- HEAT THROUGH – Turn the heat to low or medium low and heat through, but stir it often so it doesn’t scorch on the bottom. If you want a thicker soup, you can use a potato masher to mash some of the potatoes.
Storing leftover clam chowder
What goes good with New England clam chowder?
- Generally I serve it with a loaf of homemade French bread or no knead artisan bread.
- I think Red Lobster biscuits go with just about any dinner!
- A simple caesar salad or wedge salad is a great way to start the meal.
- Corn on the cob is great, especially when it’s fresh.
- For an extra hearty meal, you can serve some grilled cheese sandwiches for dunking.
- Or go simple and serve some saltines or oyster crackers.
- Obviously, to really make an impression, go with a clam chowder bread bowl, just like they serve at your favorite restaurant! It’s amazing garnished with bacon!
MORE TASTY CHOWDER RECIPES
- Ham and Potato Chowder
- Bacon Corn Chowder
- Salmon Chowder
- Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder
- Smoky Corn Chowder
EASY CLAM CHOWDER RECIPE
New England Clam Chowder
The easiest ever homemade clam chowder - cream of celery soup makes it so quick to make, no thickening needed! It is seriously so delicious.
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 celery stalks, sliced
- 7 potatoes, peeled and diced ( about 7 cups diced)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp better than bouillon, chicken flavor
- 2 cups water
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 3 6.5 oz cans minced clams (with the juice)
- 2 10.5 oz cans cream of celery soup
- 1 Tbsp parsley flakes
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 cups half & half
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- Wash and chop the onion and celery. Peel and dice the potatoes.
- Place veggies, garlic, salt, bouillon, juice from the clams, and water in a 6 quart soup pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium or medium low heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add evaporated milk, clams, cream of celery soup, parsley, pepper, half & half, and red wine vinegar.
- Heat soup through over medium low heat, stirring often so it doesn't scorch.
-Using minced clams instead of chopped makes this recipe much more kid friendly. Clams can be somewhat tough, so having them minced eliminates those chewy pieces.
-You can use a cup of heavy cream and a cup of milk in place of the half & half.
-This soup is extra yummy garnished with crispy bacon.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 311Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 1008mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 17g
Every time I make this easy clam chowder recipe I think of my sweet grandma who passed away a several years ago. It is one of our very favorite soup recipes. I hope your family enjoys it as much as we do!
Journa Liz Ramirez
This clam chowder is so good! We tried this at home and it became our new family’s favorite! Thank you for this highly recommended recipe. We enjoyed it so much.
Happy to hear it is a new favorite!
This is a hit! My family loves this creamy clam chowder. It is so easy to make and flavorful, our new go-to comfort food. Thanks for this wonderful recipe Kara!
You are so welcome! It really is the perfect comfort food, especially with bacon. 🙂