10 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

This light New England style chowder can be made with fresh or canned clams. Thyme, bacon, red potatoes, two types of milk (evaporated milk and reduced fat 1% milk) and a splash of sherry keep it authentic, but if you like your chowder thick consider making a roux.

How to Make It

Step 1

Drain clams in a colander over a bowl, reserving juice. Add bottled clam juice to reserved juice to equal 3 1/2 cups. Set aside clams and juice.

Step 2

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Return bacon to pan; increase heat to medium-high. Add onion, celery, and butter; sauté 6 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Step 3

Add clam juice mixture, potato, and next 4 ingredients (through bay leaf); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Stir in clams, evaporated milk, 1% milk, and sherry. Cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf. Sprinkle with parsley.

Chef's Notes

If fresh clams are available, use about 1 1/2 cups chopped clams.

Ratings & Reviews

JFoster13's Review

March 22, 2013
Really, really good--I made the roux and added bouillon to it (beef-flavored) since I didn't want to use bacon. (no meat with feet for me) I followed the recipe to the letter the rest of the way. I thought it was great, and since I wanted it a little thicker, I followed the directions and made the roux first. To the people above who gave few stars and complained about the thinness, I learned in FIFTH grade how to effectively follow directions. It says in the first paragraph if you want it thick, start with a roux!! It only takes five minutes. Jeez. In all, a GREAT alternative to cream-based "chow-dah". Only thing I'd add is some oyster crackers sprinkled on top!!

VASLP1's Review

February 18, 2013

YankeeBelle1863's Review

May 25, 2012
I made this and as the daughter of a Bay Stater, I was looking for a thicker chowder which to me IS chowder. This was way too thin and more like soup. Next time I'll make a rue first. Otherwise the flavor was terrific! It just needed to be thicker.

kristina35's Review

January 05, 2012

SingingGourmand's Review

January 02, 2012
My husband humored me as I made this -- he was sure it wasn't going to turn out. Boy, was he glad he was wrong! It was amazing. My favorite Boston restaurant makes their chowder just this consistency, but I'm sure adding a little roux would satisfy anyone who wants it thicker. The only change I made was to use a mix of purple and white fingerling potatoes, which made for a pretty appearance.

CookeRoo3's Review

March 19, 2011
I registered just so I could review this recipe. This isn't chowder. I'm from New England and I need a little more body in my chowder. Not stand-your-spoon-in thick, but a little thicker than this, please! The flavors were nice but I just need some more substance....not milk soup! Went down the drain as no one in my family liked it all.

DeliaC's Review

October 08, 2010
Holy cats, this was good. I very rarely give a recipe 5 stars, but this is one of the best CL recipes I have made. However I should be honest in saying I doctored it up a bit. I added a couple more strips of bacon, sauteed the thyme with the veggies, subbed out 1/2 cup white wine for 1/2 cup of clam juice, and served it in a bread bowl. Definitely a keeper.

Onecentinvegas's Review

July 28, 2010
As clam chowders go, this one is all that! I've made this several times, after trying different recipes, but so far, this one is the best I've tried. It is easy and fairly quick. It does come out thin, but I add a little cornstarch to some evaporated milk toward the end to thicken it before serving. My husband LOVES it!

RBN1122's Review

June 29, 2010
I thought this was good. I like alittle more substance to my chowder so next time I will add alot more veggies. The picture for this meal makes it look like there is alot of chunks in the soup and mine didnt come out that way.

tfoodie's Review

January 06, 2010
I made this with fresh clams. It was good but it wasn't fantastic. I do like a thicker chowder, but for the calorie count you can't beat this recipe. My husband was dubious since I made the mistake of telling him it was lowfat, but he and the rest of the family seemed to like it well enough. I would make it again but might try to thicken it a bit next time.