Soups & Salads | October 5, 2020

Boston Clam Chowder

A delicious and creamy Boston Clam Chowder packed with veggies and served in homemade bread bowls. The ultimate way to enjoy something comforting any day of the year and better still you can eat the bowl and use it for dunking.


A 3/4 view shot of clam chowder is bread bowls. the chowder is garnished with fresh parsley and dripping out the bread bowls. The bread bowls are atop a wooden cutting board.

What Is Boston Clam Chowder?

New England clam chowder, occasionally referred to as Boston or Boston-style Clam Chowder, is a milk or cream-based chowder, and is often of a thicker consistency than other regional styles like Manhattan clam chowder that is tomato based.  Boston Clam Chowder features potatoes and a rich creamy white base.

A close up shot of boston clam chowder in a bread bowl. The chowder is garnished with fresh parsley

What Do I Need To Make Boston Clam Chowder?

For this recipe you will need:

  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 4 carrots
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 1 leek
  • 4 reb potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 8oz bottles clam juice
  • 2 6.5oz cans chopped clams with juice
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 quart half and half
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • fresh cracked black pepper

Incase you weren’t familiar with a leek, this is a leek. It’s basically a larger green onion that when heated, kinda melts into the soup, where green onions generally hold their shape better. I love the melty leeks…

This calls for clam juice, and YES, I shudder a little when I hear that too, but it really boosts the flavor without being fishy. I promise. You won’t even know. It should be right next to the canned clams.

The indgredients needed for clam chowder on a baking sheet. They include clam juice, potatoes, carrots, celery, flour, butter, clams, cream, and leaks.

How Do You Make Clam Chowder From Scratch?

1. Dice your veggies.

2. Heat olive oil is a 5qt dutch oven.

3. Add carrots and saute until tender crisp.

4. Add in potatoes, leeks, celery, and garlic.

Process shots of how to make clam chowder.

5. Pour in clam juice and diced clams along with liquid and simmer until potatoes are fork tender.

6. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan prepare a roux by melting 1/2 cup of butter.

7. Whisk in 1/2 cup of flour and cook about 1 minutes.

8. Slowly whisk in half and half.

Process shots of how to make clam chowder.

9. Stir roux into soup.

10. Add in seasoning and simmer to combine.

11. Serve in bread bowls if desired.

Process shots of how to make clam chowder.

Chower Q & A

What’s The Best Way To Thicken A Chowder?

The best way to thicken this Boston Clam Chowder is by making a roux. It’s a base of butter and flour that is cooked for a minute or so before slowly adding milk to create a thick white sauce. The important part is to constantly whisk the roux as you’re slowly adding the milk to avoid any lumps forming.

What’s The Difference Between New England Clam Chowder and Boston Chowder?

The simple answer is there isn’t a difference between Boston Clam Chowder and New England Clam Chowder.  Chowder basically means a soup that is made with a roux base (as explained above) and there are SO many chowders out there.

Take Manhattan chowder for example it’s made with a tomato broth base and it’s really delicious. The Boston happens to be our family favorite, what’s yours?

A 3/4 view shot of clam chowder is bread bowls. the chowder is garnished with fresh parsley and dripping out the bread bowls. The bread bowls are atop a wooden cutting board.

Why is is called Boston clam chowder?

One of Boston’s oldest and most famous restaurants, Union Oyster House has been serving clam chowder since its beginnings in the 1850s. They’ve stuck to the same recipe, because why mess with something that’s survived decades? Featuring fresh clams and plenty of history, this bowl is rich and creamy, a true classic.

What are the two types of chowder?

Many regional variations exist, but the three most prevalent are New England or “white” clam chowder, Rhode Island or “clear” clam chowder, and Manhattan or “red” clam chowder.

And overhead shot of clam chowder in a white bowl. The chowder is garnished with fresh parsley.

I Love Soup Season!  Do You Have Other Recipes?

Yes! Check out our:

Weight Loss Soup

Chicken Stew

Beef Stew

An overhead shot of boston clam chowder in bread bowls. There are two bowls atop a wooden cutting boar with two small condiment bowls to the side filled with black pepper and crushed red pepper.

What Should I Serve With Boston Clam Chowder?

Try Our:

Boston clam chowder in a white dutch over. The cast iron pot is atop a white baking sheet and a wooden spoon is set to the side.

Keep In Touch

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5 from 1 vote
A straight on shot of two bread bowls filled with creamy boston clam chowder. bow have a silver spoon stuck into them. There is chowder dripping out of the bread bowls.
Boston Clam Chowder
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Homemade bread bows with new england clam chowder

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: clam chowder, fish soup
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 446 kcal
Author: Stephanie
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 leek
  • 4 red potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 16 oz clam juice or "broth"
  • 13 oz cans chopped clams with juice
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 quart half-and-half
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes {optional}
  • fresh-cracked black pepper
  1. Chop all the veggies.
  2. Saute the carrots in the olive oil until slightly softened. Add in the rest of the veggies, the clams and the clam broth. Simmer until potatoes have softened.
  3. In separate saucepan, melt butter, then whisk in flour to make a roux.
  4. Slowly whisk in the half-and-half until mixed thoroughly.
  5. Add this mixture to the veggies, heat on low without simmering or bubbling, as you want to keep the half-and-half from curdling. Add spices. Serve in cut-out bread bowls.
Recipe Notes

*If you cannot find clam broth or juice, you may use chicken broth, or even water to reach desired consistency.

Nutrition Facts
Boston Clam Chowder
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 446 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 16g100%
Cholesterol 76mg25%
Sodium 1034mg45%
Potassium 858mg25%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 6253IU125%
Vitamin C 17mg21%
Calcium 170mg17%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. I can’t wait to try it. My son is not a good eater but he is so creative and appreciates art. Every time I find something out of the box (like snails, caviar in nori and thins like that) he will eat it just fine. And the best part of all is that I will put mineral supplements in the food because the heat doesn’t alter them at a molecule level… We have try this in San Francisco and loved it… Do you have any other creative yet simple recipe to share?… and tell us the little story so we can come up with dinner and entertainment (we love stories like the thing about your grandma’s secret recipe) He is 9 so he wants to feel like powerful for knowing some secret that his friends do not know… Well, he loves attention also, that helps!