Quick and Easy Clam Chowder Recipe

Updated on February 2, 2017
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Thelma is a syndicated newspaper food columnist and a former field editor for Taste of Home magazine.

5 stars from 1 rating of Clam Chowder

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. | Source

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 time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: 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

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!

Which clam chowder does your family prefer?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Thelma Raker Coffone


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        Ruth Gideon 4 months ago

        I prepared this clam chowder last night and it was delicious. The best thing about it is how fast you can make it. I served it with a grilled cheese sandwich and it was the perfect quick and easy recipe for a winter supper.

      • Country Homemaker profile image

        Thelma Raker Coffone 14 months ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

        Susan I truly like this version better than one that takes hours to simmer. I'm all about quick and easy! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • SusanDeppner profile image

        Susan Deppner 14 months ago from Arkansas USA

        Your clam chowder sounds delicious! You've used one of my favorite techniques, including a canned soup in the recipe to make the work go faster. Pinning and saving this recipe to prepare soon!