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Contest-Winning New England Clam Chowder Recipe
Contest-Winning New England Clam Chowder Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Contest-Winning New England Clam Chowder Recipe

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4.5 38
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In the Pacific Northwest, we dig our own razor clams and I grind them for the chowder! Since these aren't readily available, the canned clams are perfectly acceptable. —Sandy Larson, Port Angeles, Washington
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 35 min.
MAKES:5 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 35 min.
MAKES: 5 servings


  • 4 center-cut bacon strips
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
  • 3 teaspoons reduced-sodium chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat-free half-and-half, divided
  • 2 cans (6-1/2 ounces each) chopped clams, undrained

Nutritional Facts

1-1/3 cups equals 260 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 22 mg cholesterol, 788 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 13 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 1 lean meat.


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain; set aside. Saute celery and onion in the drippings until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the potatoes, water, clam juice, bouillon, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 cup half-and-half until smooth. Gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Stir in clams and remaining half-and-half; heat through (do not boil). Crumble the reserved bacon; sprinkle over each serving. Yield: 5 servings.
Originally published as New England Clam Chowder in Healthy Cooking October/November 2008, p31

Nutritional Facts

1-1/3 cups equals 260 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 22 mg cholesterol, 788 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 13 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 1 lean meat.

Reviews for Contest-Winning New England Clam Chowder

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Reviewed May. 4, 2015

"I prepared this for a party of 50 yesterday following instructions exactly with the exception of the "low fat" 1/2 n 1/2. I used regular and cut out 1/5 of the recommendation. It turned out to be an ABSOLUTE CROWD PLEASER! I received favorable remarks all afternoon and was asked by several to add it to my menu. I doubt that I'll add it to the cafe's menu, but I will DEFINITELY offer it on the catering, There is no doubt about this recipe winning contests. Thank you for sharing it"

Reviewed Apr. 17, 2015

"As a working cook for over 7 years I was dubious about the idea of adding a flour slurry so late in the cooking process. Regrettably, I was correct. The flavor was overwhelmed by raw flour.

I would suggest making the rue (that's what it is) in the pot before adding the liquids.
You do that and leave out most if not all of the half/half then you will come closer to a perfect chowder.
Other than those issues the flavor profile was on point. i look forward to trying this again while trusting in my instincts..."

Reviewed Mar. 2, 2015

"I have been using the same chowder recipe for years and decided to try this one last night. I am so glad I did. It was absolutely delicious. I added extra garlic and carrots. I also used three cans of clams. I used one cup of half and half, as recommended by other reviewers, and the consistency of the chowder was perfect."

Reviewed Feb. 13, 2015

"Great! I used fresh clams though."

Reviewed Dec. 1, 2014

"I remember growing up in Hoquiam, Washington and having fresh razor clams when we were allowed to dig for the season. Living in Tennessee now it is not the same but making clam chowder is like being back home. Instead of using bacon in my clam chowder I use smoked jowl to saute my onions in. Next week I will be making this for my daughter's Tae Kwon Do masters. Since they are from Korea I am trying my best to cook things for their taste and when I mentioned clam chowder Master Park licked his lips and said he can't wait. I love cooking for them because so far I have not had one complaint from them about my cooking in American, Korean, Chinese and Italian Dishes."

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