My Faster Clam Chowder

There are so many versions of creamy clam chowder, this is my favorite FASTER one.

My other favorite is more time consuming to make and a bit more deeply flavored, but involves cooking clams in the shell, steeping the stock, etc.

When time is short and I want Creamy Clam Chowder this is the one I turn to. I use frozen shucked clams, or chopped clams from the can.

As usual, for most soups or stews I rarely measure, but this is the general recipe I use for my faster clam chowder. Occasionally I'll serve them in homemade bread boules/bowls as I did the other day.

I tried a new-to-me recipe for the bread bowls, it is from "Celebrate the Rain", a cookbook by the Seattle Junior League. They were remarkably good; you can read more about them in the post just below this one.

My Favorite Faster Clam Chowder
---> Printable copy is available Here.

1/3 cup cubed salt pork,
OR 6 to 8 strips thick-sliced bacon, cut cross-wise into 1/4" wide strips
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
4 ribs celery, small to medium dice
You may want to add a finely diced carrot, I usually don't
1 to 2 cloves chopped garlic (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon or more fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
 1 to 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cans (6 ounce can) chopped clams, with their juices
2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
10 ounces clam juice (can use chicken stock)
3 cups half-and-half (can use whole milk)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (more or less, to your taste)
A few dashes hot sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Slowly cook salt pork or bacon in a large stockpot until fat is rendered (don't overcook); remove salt pork or bacon from pan and reserve.

Melt butter in the bacon fat in the stockpot. Add onions, celery, and garlic to the pot; cook on medium-high heat until the vegetables are transparent. Add flour, stir and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add diced potatoes, clam juice and milk, bay leaf and thyme; bring to a boil. Simmer and stir for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in clams to heat through. (At this point you can add in the cooked pork or bacon, if desired.) Season to taste with salt and pepper and hot sauce if using.

Remove from heat, find and discard bay leaf. Allow chowder to cool just slightly. Serve, garnished with chopped parsley.

I don't add the fresh, minced parsley to the chowder while it's cooking because it loses it's bright green color. Instead I serve it on top, or in a small serving dish with a spoon and let each person add, and stir in their own. And I pass the peppermill at the table ~ some people I know like lots of freshly ground black pepper in their chowder. Others like a couple of shakes of hot sauce, or a pat of butter to float on top so I offer those, too.

It's VERY good.

Just the way I like it.

If you try this version, I hope you like it, too.


  1. Jacques loves chowders..I have a quickie too..I'll compare..Looks great in the bowls Mary.

  2. I've been meaning to try a calm chowder recipe. Yours look good.

  3. You're killing me, Mary! It looks so good! I'd love to eat the fats version or the slow, but I'd need a Benadryl chaser! It looks amazing!

  4. That was FAST not fats, LOL!

  5. Clam chowder is my favorite soup. And your recipe sounds wonderful.

    It is so pretty served in your bread boules. A lovely presentation. Makes me hungry.

  6. How beautiful! It looks delicious, Mari.

    I hope you and yours had a great holiday!

  7. I love chowder in bread bowls! Your recipes for both looks wonderful.

  8. I love chowder in bread bowls, it's just so comforting. Not to mention less clean up! Your photos are beautiful. Happy New Year!

  9. Thank you SO much for your comments!

    I truly appreciate them. Thank you for taking the time to let me know what you think. :)

    Have a wonderful New Year everyone.

  10. Mary, NE clam chowder was one of my biggest sellers when I catered. I love it..and the bread bowls are wonderful!
    I buy the large cans of clams at SAMS, but they no longer carry the minced, Costco either, in the large cans, and the chopped pieces are just a bit too big, so I have to chop them. In the warmer monhts I use fresh clams from the end of our street...much better flavor, but not always available...:)

  11. I don't get when you say 1/2 all purpose flour,do you mean 1/2 tablespoon?I am gonna make this for my son today.He love clam chowder.

  12. What does 1/2 all purpose flour mean? 1/2 Tbsp? Please reply. Thanks.

  13. Tried this chowder over the winter and am making again tonight. My boyfriend LOVES it. I add some old bay but outside of that, I stick to the exact recipe. Thanks!

  14. This is the best recipe for clam chowder I have found!

  15. This is the best recipe for clam chowder! We love it!


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


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