Clam Chowder

5 from 1 vote

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A rich, creamy bowl of Clam Chowder is the epitome of comfort food to me. I crave this soup year round-not just in the colder months. Bonus points for this recipe being gluten free too!

Making clam chowder at home is more delicious, more flavorful and more cost efficient than ordering it at a restaurant. This soup is also ridiculously easy to whip up. Need I say more?!

top view of a creamy chowder soup and two plates next to it with crunchy round bread bowls on white plates with the top perfectly cut off and chunky cream soup and a spoon
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Clam Chowder Recipe

My kids RAVE over this meal. It is easily one of our family favorites and for good reason. This homemade clam chowder uses cornstarch instead of flour making it gluten free. This recipe also omits the bacon but we don’t miss it because it is big on flavor. 

Clam chowder also makes for THE best leftovers. The flavors have a chance to really marinate together and it is so good the next day or two! 

Making clam chowder is surprising simple and budget friendly. I use canned clams and clam juice. That combo makes the flavor out of this world. Canned clams are very affordable and you get way more clams per bowl than any restaurant version.

crunchy round bread bowl on white plate with the top perfectly cut off and chunky cream soup and a spoon in it a second plate in the background

What do I serve with clam chowder? 

I like to complete this meal by serving a green salad with clam chowder. If you aren’t restrictive with gluten, a loaf of bread would make a wonderful side as well. Next level bread? Make bread bowls for your clam chowder, this bread bowl recipe is a real show stopper. Oyster crackers are also really yummy to serve with clam chowder.

Are canned clams healthy?

Canned clams are healthy and a budget friendly way to get in protein. They also contain a good amount zinc, iron, potassium and omega 3s. I really like the Snow’s brand, but feel free to use what you like or can find.

close up 6 large round rolls baked golden brown and a little x on the tops line a silicone baking sheet and a few of the rolls are hollowed for the bread bowl

What is the difference between New England clam chowder and other clam chowders?

New England clam chowder is the more well known chowder. It is the typical creamy, white soup. Whereas the Manhattan clam chowder has a red, tomato base. 

Should I rinse canned clams?

Don’t rinse canned clams because it will dilute the flavor. Also, be sure to not drain off the clam juice, just put it in the clam chowder as well. Trust me on this one. It will make a huge difference in the taste of your soup. 

white plate holding a large crunchy round bread soup bowl with chunky chowder the center and a silver spoon

More soup recipes:

If you’ve tried this easy homemade clam chowder recipe or any other recipe on Bless this Mess, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories AND add your photo to your comment so that other can see your creation.

top view of a creamy chowder soup and two plates next to it with crunchy round bread bowls on white plates with the top perfectly cut off and chunky cream soup and a spoon
5 from 1 vote

Clam Chowder

You’ll love how quick and easy this clam chowder recipe is and your family will love it as much as mine. It’s rich and creamy but oh so simple to make. 
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 to 3 stalks celery,, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium onion,, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic or 2 cloves minced
  • 2 pounds potatoes,, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves,, or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • 2 jars clam juice, (8 ounce jars)
  • 2 can minced clams with juice, (6.5 ounce cans)
  • 4 cups chicken or seafood stock
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • chopped fresh chives for serving,, optional
  • bread bowls or oyster crackers for serving,, optional


  • In a large stockpot or Dutch oven add the butter, chopped celery, and onion, and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the potatoes, thyme, clams with juice, clam juice, and chicken stock to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to medium. Add a lid to the pot and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • When the potatoes are tender add the cold water to a small bowl and whisk in the cornstarch. Add the cornstarch mixture to the stock pot and stir to combine. Let the mixture simmer for 3 more minutes.
  • Add the cream, salt, and pepper and remove from the heat.
  • Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve in
    bread bowl or normal bowls with chopped chives and oyster crackers


  • I really like Snow’s brand clams.
  • You can add more clams to this recipe and you can replace some of the chicken stock with more clam juice. The taste is great. This is just how I make it for my family because it’s a little more economical like this.
  • I’ve made this with new red potatoes and I didn’t peel them. That works just fine too.
  • I don’t like bacon in my clam chowder, I think it hides the clam flavor. That being said, if you do like it, fry up 4-6 pieces in your Dutch oven first, remove the bacon and cook the veggies in the remaining bacon grease instead of butter. Add the crumbled cooked bacon before serving.
  • If you have the time you can cook the potatoes longer than just to the tender stage. Sometimes I’ll cook them an extra 15-20 minutes until they are super super tender, it makes the soup thicker and we like it like this too.


Serving: 1large bowlful, Calories: 531kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 38g, Saturated Fat: 24g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 115mg, Sodium: 1098mg, Potassium: 920mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1430IU, Vitamin C: 32mg, Calcium: 91mg, Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

I have a feeling that Clam Chowder is going to become one of your go-to recipes. It is full of flavor, creamy and so easy to make.

About Melissa

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