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Creamy Clam Chowder Recipe

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The Ultimate Creamy Clam Chowder Recipe: A Seafood Delight

When it comes to comforting and satisfying meals, few dishes can compare to a steaming bowl of creamy clam chowder. This classic seafood soup has been enjoyed for generations, and its rich flavors and creamy texture make it a favorite among seafood lovers. In this article, we will explore the history of clam chowder, delve into the key ingredients that make it so delicious, and provide you with a step-by-step recipe to recreate this culinary masterpiece in your own kitchen.

The History of Clam Chowder

Clam chowder has a long and storied history, with its origins dating back to the early days of American colonialism. The dish is believed to have been inspired by traditional fish stews brought over by European settlers, who adapted the recipe to include local ingredients such as clams and potatoes.

Over the years, clam chowder has evolved into various regional variations, each with its own unique twist. The most well-known versions include New England clam chowder, Manhattan clam chowder, and Rhode Island clam chowder. While New England clam chowder is characterized by its creamy base, Manhattan clam chowder features a tomato-based broth, and Rhode Island clam chowder is known for its clear broth.

The Key Ingredients

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a closer look at the key ingredients that give clam chowder its distinctive flavor and texture:

1. Fresh Clams

The star of the show, fresh clams are the heart and soul of any clam chowder recipe. While there are various types of clams that can be used, littleneck clams and quahogs are the most commonly used varieties. These briny bivalves add a delightful oceanic flavor to the soup.

2. Potatoes

Potatoes are an essential ingredient in clam chowder, providing a hearty and comforting element to the dish. Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes are often used due to their starchy texture, which helps thicken the soup.

3. Bacon

Bacon adds a smoky and savory note to the chowder, complementing the sweetness of the clams. It also provides a delicious crunch when sprinkled on top as a garnish.

4. Onions, Celery, and Garlic

These aromatic vegetables form the flavor base of the chowder, adding depth and complexity to the soup. They are typically sautéed in butter or bacon fat before the other ingredients are added.

5. Heavy Cream

The secret to achieving that luscious, creamy texture lies in the addition of heavy cream. This ingredient not only adds richness but also helps to bind the flavors together.

6. Herbs and Spices

To enhance the overall flavor profile of the chowder, herbs such as thyme and bay leaves are often used. Additionally, a touch of black pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper can add a subtle kick to the soup.

The Creamy Clam Chowder Recipe

Now that we’ve covered the key ingredients, it’s time to dive into the step-by-step recipe for making a delicious batch of creamy clam chowder:


  • 2 pounds fresh clams
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Scrub the clams under cold running water to remove any dirt or sand. Discard any clams that are cracked or do not close when tapped.
  2. In a large pot, cook the diced bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the bacon fat in the pot.
  3. Add the chopped onion, celery, and minced garlic to the pot and sauté until the vegetables are softened and fragrant.
  4. Add the diced potatoes, clam juice, bay leaf, and thyme leaves to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  5. While the potatoes are cooking, steam the clams in a separate pot until they open. Discard any clams that do not open.
  6. Once the potatoes are tender and the clams have opened, remove the clams from their shells and chop them into bite-sized pieces.
  7. Add the chopped clams and heavy cream to the pot with the potatoes. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  8. Season the chowder with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf.
  9. Ladle the creamy clam chowder into bowls and garnish with the crispy bacon and chopped fresh parsley.

Enjoy your homemade creamy clam chowder with some crusty bread or oyster crackers for a truly satisfying meal.


Creamy clam chowder is a timeless classic that continues to delight seafood enthusiasts around the world. By understanding the history and key ingredients of this beloved dish, you can now confidently recreate it in your own kitchen. Whether you prefer the creamy richness of New England clam chowder or the tangy tomato base of Manhattan clam chowder, this versatile recipe can be adapted to suit your taste preferences. So gather your ingredients, put on your apron, and get ready to savor the flavors of the sea in a bowl of homemade clam chowder.

Written by


Lisa is a renowned chef and the proud owner of MyJhola, a unique online culinary haven. Her passion for the culinary arts is evident in every dish she crafts and every word she pens on her blog. With an innate ability to weave traditional techniques with modern twists, Lisa's creations are a testament to her expertise and love for food.By shedding light on the sources and uses of raw materials and imparting invaluable cooking tips, Lisa ensures that her readers are not just satiated but also enlightened. Each dish she showcases is a story, a journey she invites her readers to embark upon.

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