New England Clam Chowder

This easy New England Clam Chowder is rich and creamy and is made without bacon. This classic white clam chowder is sure to please the “chowdah” lover on your list.
A bowl of creamy white clam chowder on a striped blue towel. A small wooden spoon sits at the bottom left and saltine crackers are at the top right.


Clam Chowder Ingredients and Tools:

For full measurements, see the recipe card below, you will need:


  • Chopped Clams – Fresh or canned both work well. We use leftover clams from a Clam Boil.
  • Clam Juice – Fresh or bottled both works well. We generally reserve the drippings from a clam boil which we freeze for later.
  • Potatoes – Russets or Yukon Gold potatoes work well for boiling.
  • Onion – Sweet Vidalia or Spanish yellow. 
  • Butter – Salted or unsalted both are fine.
  • Flour – I use all-purpose flour but a gluten-free flour or cornstarch would also be fine as the thickener.
  • Salt & Pepper – to taste to season the soup base.
  • Oyster Crackers – optional
  • Parsley – Freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley is my favorite.
A bowl of New England Clam chowder with a spoonful about to be eaten.


The ingredients for New England Clam Chowder.

How to prepare New England Clam Chowder without Bacon:

Step 1Step 1
Step 3Step 3
Step 2Step 2
Step 4Step 4


For full instructions, see the recipe card below. But you will:

Step 1: Saute the onions.
Step 2: Make the roux.
Step 3: Add the clam juice and cook the potatoes.
Step 4: Add the cream and chopped clams.
A finished pot of creamy New England Clam Chowder being ladled out of a blue Dutch oven cast iron pot.

Homemade Clam Chowder Recipe FAQs:

How much is a portion?

This recipe makes about 8 cups of chowder. A typical serving is about 2 cups. Therefore, the nutritional calculation is based on a 2 cup serving.

How to store leftovers?

Store leftovers refrigerated in a covered air-tight container. Leftover chowder is good up to 4-days. 

How to reheat leftovers?

Reheat leftovers in a small saucepan [paid link] over medium-low heat until heated through and bubbling.


A bowl of creamy clam chowder with crackers on top.


Side Dish Ideas | What to serve with Creamy Clam Chowder:

In New England, we serve clam chowder with small saltine “oyster” crackers, but this is also delicious served with homemade Clam cakes which are great for dunking into this creamy soup.



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New England clam chowder 14

New England Clam Chowder

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
This easy New England Clam Chowder is rich and creamy and is made without bacon. Also known as white clam chowder or Rhode Island Clam Chowder, this homemade rich & creamy chowder is sure to please the "chowdah" lover on your list!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 332 kcal


  • Dutch Oven with lid
  • Ladle


  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 cup Onion , diced
  • 2 tablespoons All-purpose flour [See Note 1]
  • 3 cups Clam juice
  • 1 pound Potatoes , peeled, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups Chopped clams
  • 3 cups Whole Milk
  • 1 tsp Salt , to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper , to taste
  • 1 tbsp Parsley. freshly chopped


  • In a heavy stockpot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and then add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent about 5-7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, drain the clam juice from the chopped clams and combine with enough bottled juice to equal 3 cups of liquid.
  • Once the onions are cooked, add the flour and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes, to form the roux. The roux should remain golden and not be browned.
  • Now, whisk in the clam juice, bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it is too thick, add more clam juice (or water) to adjust the consistency.
  • Add the potatoes and simmer until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  • When the potatoes are tender, add the clams and cream to the soup base. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat before boiling so the milk doesn't separate.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with Oyster Crackers and freshly chopped parsley.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve with our New England Clam Cakes.


Serving: 10ozCalories: 332kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 13gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 1276mgPotassium: 879mgFiber: 4gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 708IUVitamin C: 22mgVitamin D: 2µgVitamin E: 1mgVitamin K: 1µgCalcium: 267mgFolate: 53µgIron: 4mgZinc: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

9 thoughts on “New England Clam Chowder”

  1. I grew up in Rhode Island and miss chowder and clam cakes. This recipe is wonderful. Going to make it again for a big group of people in New Jersey who need a little Rhode Island comfort food!

  2. Your recipes for chowder and clam cakes are almost identical to mine. Grew up in R.I. And made this so frequently and now for our children every time we get together. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I made the Clam Chowder for Super Bowl Sunday . It was a big hit and gone by halftime. It was the best I have had in a long time. will be making again real soon. Thank you for posting.


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