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Low-Carb Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe

I love cooking, but I had to make some big changes when my doctor put me on a low-carb diet. Luckily, healthy food can still be tasty!

Manhattan clam chowder ready for dinner

Manhattan clam chowder ready for dinner

Doctor's Orders

Since the doctor put me on a very low-carb diet, it's been a challenge finding healthy foods that are also appetizing and that I will like. Being Italian, I love my pasta and pizza and garlic bread, but I can't eat any of it anymore. Not for a long time, anyhow.

I came across this clam chowder that looked so good, but it had a lot of potatoes in it. I used only one little potato. It also called for shrimp, but I didn't want that either; I was hungry for clam chowder. So I tweaked a few things in the original recipe and made it my own. Remember—you can tweak any recipe to make it your own if you don't like a certain ingredient in it. The base of it must be kept the same, however.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It's easy to make and doesn't take long at all. If you chop your vegetables ahead of time and store them in an airtight container or a zip-top plastic bag in the refrigerator, then it won't take long to put this chowder together.

Mangiaro Bene!

Clam chowder on the stove

Clam chowder on the stove

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

1 hour 10 min

1 hour 40 min

Makes 10 servings


  • 2 cans clams
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomaotes
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, dried
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, I used a little more
  • 1 small potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup parsley, dried

More Changes

Remember I said to make a recipe your own? Well I made changes to the original recipe by:

  • Using canned clams instead of buying chowder clams and chopping and steaming and chopping them. It's a time saver.
  • Using dried parsley instead of fresh parsley.


  1. In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Add the onions, pepper, carrots, and celery and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Drain the clams saving the juice and add the clams to the vegetables. Also add the tomatoes, clam juice, water, bay leaf, thyme, and ground pepper. Add salt to your taste.
  3. Bring to a boil and add potatoes and stir. Simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Manhattan Clam Chowder History

According to "What's Cooking America":

"Some historians say that Manhattan Clam Chowder was originally called Coney Island Clam Chowder and/or Fulton Market Clam Chowder. Both of these names were used in the 1890s.

"Both of the below cookbooks, written by Alessandro Filippini and Charles Ranhofer, who both worked at the famous Delmonice’s Restaurant in New York at different times, were considered as most important cook books in modern cooking. Since nearly everything that Delmonic’s Restaurant served was widely imitated, it is certain that several New York upscale restaurants probably sold a version of tomato-based clam chowder, today known as Manhattan Clam Chowder."

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© 2018 Rachel L Alba