Homemade New England Clam Chowder Soup

New England clam chowder (also known as Boston Clam Chowder) is creamy soup due to the use of milk or cream, which gives it that recognizable white color. It's thick and made with clams, potatoes, onions, leeks, celery and at times includes salt pork.​

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy eating, homemade clam chowder soup, new england clam chowder
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Maria


  • 6 slices bacon diced
  • 1 cup onions diced
  • 1 cup leeks sliced
  • 1 cup celery sliced
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup red potatoes peeled and diced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup clam juice can buy this bottled at the canned fish section
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground blak pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 4 pcs bay leaves
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 3 cans clam diced or 2 cups fresh live clams
  • 4 cups half and half
  • 2 pcs green onions sliced thinly

Oyster crackers

  • 12 oz bag of oyster crackers
  • 1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dill weed
  • 3/4 cup salad oil


​If steaming fresh clams

  1. scrub clams to get rid of any grit
  2. Bring 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup chicken broth and 6 cloves garlic to a boil. Add clams, cover and steam for 6 minutes until they open up.

  3. If a few clams do not open, throw them out. Drain clams, scoop out meat and chop.

Clam Chowder

  1. Heat stove to medium low. Drizzle olive oil to the bottom of a large pot. Add bacon pieces and cook until crispy.
  2. Remove cooked bacon and place on a paper-towel lined plate.

  3. Increase heat to medium. Add onions, celery and leek and saute in bacon fat about 3 to 4 minutes. Add flour and stir and cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Add potatoes, chicken broth, clam juice, salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaves and Tabasco sauce. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  5. Add half and half along with chopped clams. Stir well.
  6. Increase heat to medium and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often.
  7. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Oyster crackers:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix oil and ranch dressing in a ziploc bag. Add crackers and shake to fully coat the crackers.
  3. Pour out in a sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Recipe Notes

Note: the oyster crackers can be baked while the soup is simmering in order to save time.