New England Clam Chowder – The Cookie Rookie®


This easy New England Clam Chowder recipe is loaded with bacon, clams, veggies and a host of other delectable goodies. Comfort food at its finest!

new england clam chowder in gray bowls with oyster crackers and spoons.

New England Style Clam Chowder

Thick, creamy, and rich in savory flavors, New England Style Clam Chowder is a new favorite in our house! It’s a simple seafood recipe that serves up a super satisfying bowl of cozy goodness. Packed with clams, potatoes, bacon, and much more in a deliciously thick broth, it makes such a hearty dinner. Plus it’s so easy to make!

Looking for other easy dinner recipes? Why not also try my Creamy Swiss Chicken Bake and my Beef Lo Mein.

Why You’ll Love this New England Clam Chowder Recipe:

  • CREAMY: The broth is made with chicken bouillon and cream, it’s rich and delicious!
  • SAVORY: Made with crispy bacon and clams, this will sate your savory taste buds!
  • EASY: Made mainly with kitchen staples, it’s easy to whip up a big batch!

This chowder is loaded with wonderful textures, from the melt-in-the-mouth potatoes to the juicy clams and crispy bacon!

new england clam chowder in a gray bowl with oyster crackers and a spoon.
new england clam chowder in a gray bowl with oyster crackers and a spoon.

How to Make New England Clam Chowder

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

  1. Add your broth ingredients to a Dutch oven and simmer.
  2. Add fried bacon and sautéed veggies to the Dutch oven.
  3. Add the clams and simmer for another 15 mins.
  4. For the seasoned crackers, mix the ingredients in a bowl and bake for 15 mins.
  5. Sprinkle crackers, serve, and enjoy!
new england clam chowder in gray bowls with oyster crackers and spoons.
new england clam chowder in gray bowls with oyster crackers and spoons.
What is chowder?

Chowder is a type of soup characterized by its creamy and rich broth, often made thick through the addition of heavy cream or milk. New England clam chowder includes clams, bacon, potatoes, and vegetables.

What’s the difference between New England clam chowder and Manhattan clam chowder?

New England clam chowder is thick and creamy thanks to lots of heavy cream and potatoes, while Manhattan clam chowder is thin and brothy due to its tomato base. Manhattan clam chowder does not contain any dairy at all and instead contains a larger quantity of vegetables, making it more similar to a minestrone soup than a traditional chowder.

Is New England clam chowder gluten-free?

Unfortunately, New England clam chowder is not gluten-free because it contains all-purpose flour as a thickening agent. You could make it gluten-free by using 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water in place of the all-purpose flour. To make the seasoned crackers gluten-free, use gluten-free oyster crackers.

Can I make New England clam chowder in a crockpot?

I do not recommend making this chowder in a crockpot, as the clams will likely overcook and become rubbery and tough.

Can I freeze New England clam chowder?

I do not recommend freezing New England clam chowder because the cream will likely separate and the potatoes will become mushy. If you do choose to freeze clam chowder, do so before adding the cream, and only add the cream after the soup has thawed overnight in the refrigerator.

Serving Suggestions

This chowder is a meal on its own but you can certainly amp things up with a few sides. Here are some of our faves:

Whether you decide to have this with sides or on its own, you will be super satisfied!

new england clam chowder in a gray bowl with oyster crackers and a spoon.
new england clam chowder in a gray bowl with oyster crackers and a spoon.

Make Ahead Instructions

The seasoned oyster crackers can be made up to 2 weeks ahead and stored in an airtight container. The chowder itself can be made up to 1 day in advance, but do not add the cream until you’re ready to serve it.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover New England clam chowder in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Gently reheat on the stovetop, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until just warmed through.

Freezing Instructions

I do not recommend freezing clam chowder, as the cream is likely to separate and the potatoes may become mushy. If you choose to freeze this chowder, I recommend you do so before adding the cream, and stir in the cream only after allowing the soup to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Chowder Tips

  • If you’d like to use fresh clams, use cherrystone, quahogs, or little necks.
    • If using fresh clams, be sure to scrub the shells, boil the clams until they pop open (discard any clams that do not open), clean the bellies, then chop the clams into bite-sized pieces.
    • Save the clam cooking liquid to reduce into a clam stock for the chowder.
  • While I recommend using russet potatoes for this recipe, you can also use Yukon gold.
  • Use heavy cream in place of the half-and-half for a richer chowder.
  • If you prefer a thicker consistency, you can increase the amount of flour in the recipe by 1-2 tablespoons.
  • If the soup thickens too much while simmering, add a little more half-and-half, milk, or cream.  If it is too thin, cook longer to reduce to desired thickness.
new england clam chowder in a gray bowl with oyster crackers and a spoon.

New England Clan Chowder is iconic and for good reason, it’s delicious! Some may find the idea of putting this together rather daunting, but this really is super simple and serves up a wonderfully rich and comforting seafood chowder. It’s perfect for cozy nights!

If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy!



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