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National New England Clam Chowder Day is January 21st

January 19, 2010

best-new-england-clam-chowder-recipe ever!

New England Clam Chowder is a wonderful hearty ‘soup’ and makes a wonderful meal all unto itself.

Rather easy to make, a good chowder to try and make for those new to chowders. So let’s make some in light of January 21st being National New England Clam Chowder Day!

This is an updated version of the recipe my grandmother and mother used for many years. I have since substituted the salt pork with bacon. You can even use the no-fat half-n-half to substitute for the cream when called for in the recipe to help lower the amount of calories along with 1% milk.

Serve the chowder with freshly chopped parlsey on top and a loaf of crusty bread and you are good to go!

This is one of those great recipes that is easy to make when the weather outside is on the chilly side, it’s raining and you need something comforting for your soul. New England Clam Chowder really is a wonderful soup to have in your arsenal of recipes to make during the winter months and it takes just under one hour to make until it’s ready to eat.


  • 2-3 large cans of clams (the clams are located where you find the tuna fish in your grocery store) enough for two cups of clams plus the broth/liquor that the clams came in.
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 6 slices of cooked bacon till crisp broken into little pieces – or chopped up prior to cooking it.
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 3 cups of sliced or diced potatoes (red bliss looks great and you do not have to remove skins) but cut them small enough to be able for at least one piece to land up on a spoon when eating. I like to cut them up in 1-1/2 inch pieces.
  • 2-1/2 cups scalded milk (scalding is optional – and it does change the texture of the milk slightly which is a good factor, but not completely needed) (and you can use 1% or 2% milk here, but whole milk is really preferred)
  • 1/2 cup cream. For substitutions, you can use light cream, half-n-half, or even the no-fat half-n-half (though I prefer to use authentic cream for the real deal and flavor of this chowder)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grounded pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley


  • deep soup pot, spoon, one working stove top

Directions on how to make the very best authentic New England Clam Chowder:

  1. Slice up bacon and add to pan and saute till crisp but not overly done.
  2. While bacon is cooking, drain and reserve the liquor/broth of the clams. Chop up clams to the size you would like and set aside. Make sure to save the juices that the clams came in!
  3. Go back to your cooking bacon, add chopped onions and continue cooking. If you worry about bacon fat, remove bacon, drain all fat, then put back with the onions and use half of the butter as called for in the recipe.
  4. Cook onions only until soft (about five minutes) but not browned, add potatoes, clam juice/liquor, and water – let come to a simmer and then cook for ten minutes.
  5. Add chopped clams, scalded milk and cream. Add the freshly ground pepper.
  6. Bring down the heat – and cook slowly on a low heat for 15-20 minutes. Add butter. Do not let it boil, but simmer – stirring occasionally. Taste test the chowder, add salt if needed.
  7. When ready to serve, pour into your favorite bowls and add a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley.

Enjoy this heart warming chowder and tell me how you enjoyed making it and how great it was!

Chow Ciao for Now! ~Chef Maven

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2010 4:52 pm

    In the ingredients list, there is no water, however…in the directions in calls for water. I added water to cover potatoes, I hope it turns out okay!!

  2. chefmaven permalink
    January 22, 2010 5:08 pm

    Thanks C. Brand – I have since updated the recipe which calls for 2 cups of cold water. Thanks for your eyes there in catching my small error!
    ~Chef Maven

  3. January 24, 2010 12:18 am

    Helloall . First off wonderful page . I loved reading your blog.Just wanted to tell u, I voted your blog up on stumbleupon . Have a good night

  4. January 29, 2010 4:41 pm

    Has somebody here made a snow barbeque? Sounds like it could be a good time.

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