My Best Clam Chowder
Featured in Allrecipes Magazine

My Best Clam Chowder


"A delicious, traditional, cream based chowder, this recipe calls for the standard chowder ingredients: onion, celery, potatoes, diced carrots, clams, and cream. A little red wine vinegar is added before serving for extra flavor."

Ingredients 50 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 501 cals

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Original recipe yields 8 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 501 kcal
  • 25%
  • Fat:
  • 32.7 g
  • 50%
  • Carbs:
  • 28.4g
  • 9%
  • Protein:
  • 23.9 g
  • 48%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 137 mg
  • 46%
  • Sodium:
  • 712 mg
  • 28%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

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  1. Drain juice from clams into a large skillet over the onions, celery, potatoes and carrots. Add water to cover, and cook over medium heat until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Whisk in cream and stir constantly until thick and smooth. Stir in vegetables and clam juice. Heat through, but do not boil.
  3. Stir in clams just before serving. If they cook too much they get tough. When clams are heated through, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.
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Reviews 1325

  1. 1713 Ratings


This was awesome. One modification, as per some earlier readers' comments: Before doing anything, I browned six strips of bacon in the large skillet, removed them and let them drain. Then, I added the veggies to the bacon fat and proceeded as described (with clam juice, water, etc.) Crumbled the bacon into the soup after it was all combined. Adds fat, but a huge flavor too. Simply outstanding recipe here -- I love the red wine vinegar idea. Thank you!!

Crystal S

Very good base recipe but definitely does not warrant five stars. To increase flavor, I substituted clam juice for the water, added bacon grease in leiu of half the butter. The bacon grease, while not exactly healthy, gave the chowder a better flavor (IMPORTANT NOTE: You must let the roux cook down before adding the half and half ~ this will eliminate the flour taste that so many are noting in their reviews). Added 1/2 teaspoon of Bay Seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder for more flavor. Used a mix of chopped and minced clams and substituted 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt for a portion of the 1 1/2 teaspoon regular salt. Stirred only 1 tablespoon of the vinegar into the chowder prior to serving. Topped the chowder with crumbled bacon and a few chives for color. Helpful Tips: For a smokey flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke which adds depth and complexity to the chowder base. Add fresh grilled corn cut off the cob which increases the smokey flavor. Replace black ground pepper with white pepper ~ it has a more delicate flavor than the ground black pepper which can be rather harsh with such a creamy base. Most Important: Do not add the clams to the chowder until you are ready to serve ~ the longer seafood "cooks" the tougher it becomes! Delicious with the changes.


I have been a clam chowder fan for as long as I can remember. I order clam chowder often - when it's available. This recipe is exceptional and compares favorably with the best clam chowder recipes I've tasted in fine restaurants. I did the bacon thing as many other reviewers recommended. I'm glad I did. It added just one more interesting taste element to this already fantastic flavored soup. I prefer my soup thick, so I used all 1/2 & 1/2 as well as a trace of heavy whipping cream that I wanted to get rid of. When the soup was slightly thicker than even I like, I thinned it out ever so slightly with a little skim milk. The only recommendation I might add, for those that prefer the consistency of more substantial clam; get the chopped clam instead of the minced. I think that's what I'll do next time I fix this, which will be often! It's good enough to be an award winning soup!