Creamy New England clam chowder is the perfect soup for soup season. Tender clams in a creamy soup filled with tender potatoes and smoky bacon is the perfect comfort food. I could eat soup all year long even though it is highly consumed during the fall and winter seasons. I love clam chowder and was inspired to try and make my own after having some at The Cheesecake Factory. This isn't a "Cheesecake Factory copy cat recipe" but this homemade clam chowder recipe in my opinion is better!
My personal favorite is is creamy New England Clam Chowder over Manhattan Clam Chowder. If you do not know the difference, New England is a cream based soup and Manhattan is a tomato based broth. Give me the CREAM! If you love New England Clam Chowder you will love this delicious recipe. It can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. If you think it's good on the first time, wait until the next day when all the flavors have meld together!
New England Clam Chowder Ingredients
Clams- We will be cheating here and using canned clams but if you have access to fresh clams and would love to use them, that would be awesome!
Heavy Cream- This is what makes the soup rich and creamy!
Clam Juice- Reinforces the clam flavor throughout the soup
Russet Potatoes- Perfect for the soup because they make it hearty and helps thicken. You can also use red potatoes and yukon gold potatoes.
Bacon- It's true when they say bacon makes everything better. Smoky bacon is used as a garnish and the rendered fat is used to cook the soup. To make it meatless, you can omit this ingredient.
Let's Make This New England Clam Chowder Recipe!
Cook chopped bacon in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat until crispy and fat is rendered. Use a slotted spoon to remove cooked bacon from bacon drippings and drain on paper towel and set aside.
You can use all the remaining bacon grease or remove some if it's too much. Add the butter to the pot and melt to mix with the bacon fat. Once the butter is melted, add in the onion. Cook until onion is tender for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the flour to coat the onions and cook for a minute.
Add chicken broth, clam juice, potatoes, black pepper, salt, thyme, bay leaf, and cayenne pepper to the pot. Stir to mix it all together. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer covered for 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
Pour in heavy cream and chopped clams to create the creamy broth. After mixing and heating through add in most of the crispy bacon. Give a final stir and the chowder is now ready to serve.
Garnish with chopped chives and/or extra bacon and enjoy!
Things To Top Clam Chowder With
- Fresh Chives/ Fresh Parsley
- Oyster Crackers
- Crusty Bread
- Hot Sauce
Other Soup Recipes You May Enjoy
Creamy New England Clam Chowder
- 3 6.5 oz cans chopped clams drained
- 8 oz clam juice
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 medium russet potatoes peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 6 strips bacon diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp flour
- In a large pot cook the bacon until crispy and fat is rendered. Remove and set aside on paper towel to drain. Reserve some or all of the bacon fat in the pot.
- Melt butter in the pot. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes until tender. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add flour and stir cooking for an additional minute.
- Add broth, clam juice, potatoes, pepper, salt, thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaf to the pot and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 15 minutes.
- Add heavy cream, chopped clams and most of the bacon and stir to combine and heat through.
- Serve with a garnish of chives and remaining bacon.