Quick Clam Chowder

Photo by Jason Clee

Quick Clam Chowder
Serves: Makes about 2 quarts
  • 3 to 4 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced medium, (about 2 cups)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 cans (6.5 ounces) minced clams, clams and juice separated
  • 2 bottles (8 ounces each) clam juice (preferably Doxsee brand)
  • 3 medium boiling potatoes
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt and ground black or white pepper
  1. Fry bacon over medium in a large soup kettle until fat renders and bacon crisps, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add onion to the bacon and drippings; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour; stir until lightly colored, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in canned and bottled clam juice and 1 cup of water. Add potatoes, bay leaf, and thyme, bring to a boil, reduce heat and the simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add clams, cream, and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper; return to a simmer. Remove from heat and serve.


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  1. Nancy says

    Made this last week – it was easy and delicious. I had frozen clams in the freezer, Sammy’s Clammy’s or something like that, and used a seafood stock powder from Penzy’s. It was fabulous!

  2. Sylvia says

    This is my favorite clam chowder recipe ever. I made it once and accidentally caramelized the onions and it was reaaallly good that way too. Now we make it that way all the time. We keep cans of minced clams and bottles of clam juice on hand in the pantry at all times so we can make this whenever the craving strikes.

  3. Sharon says

    Yeah, you can use any kind of bacon you want! I also like to use hot dogs (I know…but I do at least use organic and sustainably-raised hot dogs!) as a form of cooking fat. Kind of bacony, but with a little more meaty substance–and all-beef hot dogs are tastier than beef bacon, at least in my opinion.

    Turkey bacon would work, too. I just remember from my no-meat days that turkey bacon doesn’t render much fat, so you might want to throw in some EVOO.

  4. sandy oldfield says

    we’re lucky to be able to dig our own clams and make a similar chowder with the leftover steamers and broth (strained) that we cooked them in (onions and sometimes garlic sauteed in a bit of butter with white wine or vermouth and some water). it’s less salty than bottled clam juice and both the clams and broth can be frozen for future use. this is a quintessential new england clam chowder with lots of clams and not too thick. delicious!

  5. Pattie says

    This sounds great. My son loves clam chower, but I never seem to have the time to make a version with too many steps. This looks quick and easy, and more importantly delicious!

  6. Windy says

    Just thought I’d let you know I submitted this as my favorite soup for #SoupaPalooza over at the TidyMom and DineandDish blogs (with attribution, of course!). I love clam chowder…

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