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Quick and Easy Clam Chowder Recipe

Thelma is a syndicated newspaper food columnist and a former field editor for Taste of Home magazine.

New England Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder is a filling meal when served with crackers and a piece of fruit.

Clam Chowder is a filling meal when served with crackers and a piece of fruit.

A Good Meal Choice for a Beginner or Experienced Cook

Soups and chowders are popular anytime of the year, especially winter. However, many recipes require a long cooking time for the ingredients to cook slowly while the flavors meld together. That's not the case with this quick and easy clam chowder that tastes just as delicious as the versions that simmer all day.

Two Kinds of Clam Chowder

Did you know there are two kinds of clam chowder? There is Manhattan clam chowder, which has tomatoes as a main ingredient and is a red color. Also, there is New England clam chowder, which my family prefers and is the one featured in this recipe.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

30 min

40 min

4 servings


  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, cut fine
  • 2 6oz. cans chopped clams
  • 2 medium potatoes, chopped in small pieces
  • 2 6oz. cans cream of potato soup
  • milk
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Cut the Potatoes in Small Pieces



  1. In a large pot, saute onion and celery pieces in butter.
  2. Add both cans of chopped clams, including the juice.
  3. Add the potatoes and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until you can easily stick a fork in the potatoes. You don't want to cook them until they are soft like mashed potatoes as you want them to retain their shape in the chowder and not be mushy.
  4. Stir in both cans of soup.
  5. You are now ready to add the milk but you need to decide if you want to use more or less milk than the recipe requires. This will depend on your family's preference for a thin or thick chowder. I pour the milk into one of the empty soup cans and use that amount for a nice medium consistency.
  6. Let simmer a few minutes until hot. Serve with saltine crackers if desired.

Cooking the Potatoes in Clam Juice


Chowder Is Ready to Serve When Hot


Difference Between Soup and Chowder

You might wonder what the difference is between a soup and a chowder. Typically, a cream soup like this is pureed to a smooth texture. A cream chowder is thicker and chunky like this one which gains those qualities from the potatoes. However, that explanation doesn't tell us why the Manhattan version is called a chowder!

© 2017 Thelma Raker Coffone

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