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15 Minute New England Clam Chowder

This is a fantastic easy New England Clam Chowder recipe, “no recipe” that can be made in a quarter of the time it takes to make a traditional clam chowder.

Easy New England Clam Chowder Recipe

Why You’ll Love this New England Clam Chowder Recipe

  • Quick & Easy: This is no recipe that says 15 minutes but really isn’t. There are just 8 simple ingredients and preparation time is just 5 minutes.
  • Perfect Balance: There is no long preparation and you still get fresh ingredients combined with canned staples to create a wonderful meal.
  • Camping Recipe: Impress your camping friends with this elevated meal with ingredients that are easy to bring along on your next outdoor adventure. You can even substitute the half and half with powdered half and half.

New England Clam Chowder Ingredients

  • Canned chopped clams: Canned clams are already shucked, cleaned, and chopped for you and the brine is a ready-made clam juice for this recipe.
  • Cooked bacon: Bacon adds a savory flavor to balance the bitterness of the clams. Pre-made salt pork is an excellent substitute to make this recipe even easier.
  • Celery: Only need to chop two celery sticks or ribs for this recipe.
  • Dehydrated onion: Skip the tears and use dehydrated onions.
  • Cream of celery soup, mushroom & potato soups: The soups are the ultimate shortcut to this recipe and add just the right amount of potatoes, seasoning and creamy chowder flavor.
  • Half and half: The half and half adds cream while thinning out the soups. Milk is a fine substitute.

(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with detailed recipe instructions.)

How to Make New England Clam Chowder

  1. Add Ingredients: Add the clam juice, bacon, celery and dehydrated onion over a medium-high heat until tender.
  2. Add Creamy Base: Add the soups and half and half and bring to a boil.
  3. Add Clams: Add the clams, heat and then you’re ready to serve.
Bread Bowl New England Clam Chowder

Make with Fresh or Frozen Clams

This recipe can easily be made with fresh or frozen clams, if you prefer. You just need to clean and prepare the clams and either make your own clam juice or substitute with pre-made clam juice. You’ll need about 8 oz of clam juice for this recipe.

New England Clam Chowder Tips and Variations

  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and oyster crackers. Try this quick and easy Old Bay Seasoned Oyster Cracker recipe.
  • Serve alone or in a bread bowl (sour dough is my favorite!).
  • Make it a seafood chowder by adding fish like cod or shrimp, scallops or even imitation crab.
  • Add another can of clams if you prefer lots of clams in your clam chowder.
Bread Bowl New England Clam Chowder

15-minute New England Clam Chowder

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This is a fantastic easy New England Clam Chowder recipe, "no recipe" that can be made in a quarter of the time it takes to make a traditional clam chowder.


  • 2 6.5 oz. cans of chopped clams
  • 6 strips cooked bacon, diced; salt pork is an excellent substitute
  • 2 celery sticks chopped
  • 2 tbsp dehydrated onion
  • 1 10.5 oz can cream of celery soup
  • 1 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 10.5 oz can cream of potato soup
  • 2 cups half and half or substitute milk


    1. Drain clam juice from canned clams into dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, celery and dehydrated onion in juice for 10 minutes or until tender.
    2. Add the 3 cans of soup and half and half. Bring to boil and desired consistency.
    3. Add the clams but do not bring to boil again.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 472Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 1298mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 20g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Types of Clam Chowder

There are many types of clam chowder and often what separates a type of clam chowder is its base. While Boston style New England Clam chowder and Manhattan Clam are the most popular there are many more.

  • New England Clam Chowder (Boston): Milk and cream base.
  • Manhattan Clam Chowder: Tomato base with no milk or cream.
  • Rhode Island Clam Chowder: Clear broth, no milk or cream.
  • Maine Clam Chowder: Made with soft-shell clams and often thin and brothy versus thick and creamy.
  • Minorcan Clam Chowder: Originates from Florida and is made with spicy sausage, tomatoes, clams, and onions.
  • Hatteras Clam Chowder: A North Carolina chowder that is made with clams, potatoes, onions, bacon, and corn.
  • Pacific Northwest Clam Chowder: This chowder is made with native razor clams and sometimes with salmon plus fish stock, cream, and vegetables.
  • Connecticut Clam Chowder: Similar to New England only it isn’t made with fish stock or clam juice instead of a cream base.
  • Portuguese Clam Chowder (Caldo Verde): Made with clams, potatoes, onions, garlic, and kale in a chicken or vegetable broth.
  • Long Island Clam Chowder: A combination of New England and Manhattan this chowder twist is made with tomatoes and cream.
  • San Francisco Clam Chowder: A New England chowder served in a sour dough bread bowl.

More great soup recipes:

Kristy Bernardo
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