How to Make Delicious New England Clam Chowder | Dish on Fish
Clams/ Featured Dish

Soup’s On! How to Make Delicious New England Clam Chowder

Ahoy there, Seafoodies!

Let’s take a journey to the heart of any fisherman’s kitchen and revisit a timeless classic—New England-Style Clam Chowder! We believe this hearty soup is a superb companion for any season, but especially during those early fall or spring days when there’s still a nip in the air. Clam Chowder is a celebration of juicy clams, chunky potatoes, fragrant vegetables and a broth that’s nothing short of heavenly. What’s not to love?!

Now, here’s a delightful Dish on Fish twist: to enjoy this decadent meal every day—we’ve crafted a lightened-up chowder without compromising on taste. By using low-fat milk, you can savor every spoonful guilt-free. We’ve also created a rich texture by partially puréeing the simmered potato-vegetable mixture, eliminating the need for heavy cream. We know chowder lovers have strong opinions about consistency, some favoring a stick-to-your-ribs stew, while others lean towards a lighter soup. The beauty of this recipe? You can tailor it to your taste, and it’s amazing no matter how you blend it!

Before we get boiling, let’s talk about the stars of the show… clams. No surprise, but we adore them! Keep a few cans of clams in your pantry and you’re just moments away from adding a burst of flavor and nutrition to soups, pastas and dips. Of course, we have a soft spot for fresh clams too—just soak them for 20 minutes and steam until they open. The key is not to overcook them, and most recipes, including this one, suggest adding clams toward the end of the overall cooking time.

Apart from being entirely sumptuous, clams are also nutritional superstars! Like their shellfish cousins in the mollusk family, clams are lean mean protein machines, packing a punch of nutrients. A mere 3-ounce serving of clams delivers an impressive amount of brain-boosting vitamin B-12, two-thirds of your daily iron quota for sustained energy, and a healthy dose of immune-boosting champions like selenium, vitamin C and zinc. They’re also a great source of magnesium, potassium and inflammation-fighting omega-3s, all contributing to your overall optimal wellness.

And with this chowder, you’re not only treating your taste buds but also meeting the recommended 2 to 3 servings of seafood per week, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. So, grab your oyster crackers, a hunk of crusty bread or even a bread bowl, and let’s dive into this comforting delight! 

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New England-Style Clam Chowder

New England-Style Clam Chowder

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 68 Servings 1x


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 celery stalks, finely diced
  • ¾ cup low-fat milk
  • ¾ cup half-and-half
  • 3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
  • 2 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams in clam juice (juice reserved)
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb. russet or Yukon potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon smoked salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (or to desired taste)
  • Crusty sourdough bread or oyster crackers, as accompaniment


  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery; sauté until vegetables are tender and translucent, about 2 minutes.
  2. While vegetables are cooking, put milk, half-and-half and flour into a medium bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Add milk mixture, reserved clam juice, broth, potatoes, bay leaf, smoked salt and pepper to pot. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until potatoes are fork-tender and the soup thickens, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove bay leaf. Partially blend the soup using an immersion blender; puree until soup reaches desired consistency.
  5. Add clams and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until clams are firm and cooked through.
  6. Serve chowder with crusty sourdough bread or oyster crackers.
  • Author: Dish on Fish
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Category: Clams

Keywords: Clams, Clam Recipes, Soup, New England-Style Clam Chowder

If you’re hungry for more fantastic seafood recipes like this one, be sure to download our Dish on Fish e-cookbook, “Everyday Seafood Recipes.

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