Thick and Chunky New England Clam Chowder

Thick and Chunky New England Clam Chowder

This thick and chunky New England Clam Chowder is a hearty meal that is perfect for a cold winter day.  


  • 3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped into 1/4 inch dice. You can cook some extra strips to use as garnish. 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, diced 1/4 inch 
  • 1/2 cup celery, (about 1 rib) diced 1/4 inch
  • 3 cups red potatoes, 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 cans chopped clams, juice reserved (should yield 1 cup of clam juice)
  • Water (enough to cover vegetables after pouring in clam juice)
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2 cups half & half, warmed
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water (optional)


  1. Brown the bacon in a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
  2. When bacon is browned, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the onions and celery. Cook until the vegetables are lightly browned and translucent.
  4. Add the clam juice and potatoes to the pot.  Then add enough water to just cover the potatoes.
  5. Bring to a boil.  Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.
  6. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and continue stirring for about 3 minutes until lightly golden.
  7. Slowly pour in the warmed half & half while constantly stirring.  Continue stirring and cooking until it has thickened (see picture in post for reference).
  8. Once your cream base is thickened, use a rubber spatula to transfer it to the pot with the vegetables, and whisk to combine.
  9. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, nutmeg, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  10. *(Optional) To thicken the mixture further, make a slurry with the cornstarch and a tablespoon of water.  Add this to the pot and stir until combined.
  11. Stir in clams.
  12. Garnish with bacon and parsley, and serve with oyster crackers.


Serve with oyster crackers!  

*To avoid clumping, stir up the cornstarch slurry immediately before pouring it into the chowder. 

Keywords: chowder, bacon, clams, New England, potatoes