The Best New England Clam Chowder

A bowl of clam chowder.

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5 from 2 reviews

Nothing says "comfort food," like a warm bowl of New England clam chowder. This thick and creamy clam chowder is loaded with clams, bacon, potatoes, and a handful of unexpected yet tasty seasonings.


Units Scale
  • 8 slices bacon, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery, finely diced
  • 2 cups potatoes, diced
  • 2 6 ounce cans chopped clams, liquid reserved
  • 8 ounce bottle of clam juice
  • 2 medium bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups half and half
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


1. Cook bacon in a large pot. Once cooked, crumble and set aside on a paper towel. Keep 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease in the pot.

2. Place diced vegetables in the pot, and cover with the clam juice and juice drained from the clams. Add bay leaves.

3. Over high heat, heat to boiling. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-high and boil for 12 minutes or until softened.

4. Meanwhile, add butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until melted. Add flour and stir until smooth. Gradually add in half and half, a little at a time, letting it absorb the liquid before adding more. This prevents lumps from forming.

5. When the roux is creamy, thick, and smooth, add it to the large pot and stir. Add vinegar, seasonings, clams, and half of the crumbled bacon.

6. Serve with additional chopped parsley, the remaining bacon, and oyster crackers, if desired.



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