Just like Mo's Clam Chowder Recipe that we get every time we go to the Oregon coast, this is loaded with clams and bacon. It's a creamy, hearty soup full of classic flavors! Homemade clam chowder is easier to make than you think and this classic Boston Clam Chowder is a hearty delicious meal!
Love this? Next time try this Potato Soup Recipe - it is the BEST!!
Why you'll love this recipe
The original Mo's restaurant is in Seaside, Oregon serves a big bowl of clam chowder in yummy bread bowls with thick creamy chowder spilling over the sides.
It's a must-stop location so you can be sure to score a bowl of Mo's chowder, but just in case you miss it, there are restaurants in Depot Bay, Cannon Beach and Lincoln City. In fact there are now restaurants all over the United States.
The Oregon chowder belt starts in Lincoln City and extends north on the Oregon coast up to Seaside. There are some great chowders available.
And now... well.... we don't live in Oregon so since then I've developed my version of their soup!
This homemade clam chowder recipe I've developed after years of recipe development. It's terrific because it's really a pantry/refrigerator type meal and so you can always keep the ingredients on hand.
It's a New England-Style Chowder, rich and thick. It is heavenly!
This is the BEST Chowder! For the exact measurements, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- bacon - salty bacon slices add richness
- celery, onion, carrot - for crunch and freshness.
- flour - thickens the chowder
- butter - works in conjunction with the flour to thicken and add creaminess, also adding richness.
- chicken stock - though I've made this with clam juice or stock I think it makes it too "fishy" - I bet you'll love this combination!
- canned clams - I recommend whole canned clams (not chopped!), save the clam broth. Fresh cherrystone clams or razor clams can be used when available, the canned clams are much more accessible.
- heavy cream - for creamy richness.
- russet potatoes - the perfect hearty potato for this soup!
- chili powder, salt
andground pepper - to perfectly flavor this chowder!
Everyday ingredients, in fact, you probably have (almost) everything in your fridge or pantry. This is a great dinner idea for tonight!
This is an overview of the instructions. For the complete directions just scroll down to the bottom!
- In a large pot, add the diced bacon and sauté bacon until crispy, remove cooked bacon and drain on paper towels.
- Dice the vegetables, drain the clams reserving juice.
- Add the butter to the pot with the bacon grease, then add the onion, celery and carrots sauté over medium heat until softened.
- Stir in the flour and season. Cookout the flour.
- Add the chicken stock and clam juice.
- Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender.
- Add the cream and clams. Bring to a boil and taste and adjust the seasonings.
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Wooden Spoon - I have a dozen of these!
Russet potatoes are the BEST choice for Mo's clam chowder. As the potatoes cook, they release starch and help thicken the chowder. It's a hearty potato with a meaty texture and perfect for this soup!
It would be great to use fresh, but I want you to make this often so now is the time to utilize your pantry. Canned clams are a great choice and are much more affordable than fresh and a ton less work!
Choose whole canned clams rather than minced and roughly chop them yourself. Canned minced clams are so tiny and they don't have a whole lot of flavor.
Similar in flavor, the main difference different between Boston and New England Chowder is the broth is thicker and creamier in Boston Clam Chowder.
The New England version is more of a thin clear broth. And Manhattan Chowder? That's a tomato-based broth.
Adding the clams at the end will ensure they stay tender! If you add it earlier in the cooking process they become tough and rubbery.
Bacon is an important part of the flavoring, so don't skip it! In fact if you make a little extra? Just scatter it on the top of the soup for garnish!
As the soup cools it will thicken. If it's too thick add a splash of chicken stock to thin it out.
Do you want to learn how to make the BEST Homemade Soups, Stews and Chowders? Read Homemade Soup; A Complete Guide get all of my tips and tricks!
Vegetarian Corn Chowder - bursting with yummy corn flavor, this soup takes less than 30 minutes to make and is AMAZING!
Turkey Corn Chowder - don't toss your holiday leftovers, transform it into this rich, delicious chowder. No turkey? No problem, use rotisserie chicken instead.
Corn and Potato Chowder - savory and delicious, this is an old fashioned chowda filled with crunchy sweet corn, creamy potatoes and plenty of cheese - YUM!
So many soups, so little time! 😋
I bet you're wondering what's good with
This light garden salad is filled with fresh ingredients. It's easy to make and serve with a creamy vinaigrette.
This Honey Glazed Orange Salad is wonderful, especially in the fall and winter when citrus is at its peak. A perfect combination of flavors.
Both light and delicious, these would be great choices! And if you're not serving the chowder in a bread bowl (which is always a great choice!) you'll definitely want some dinner rolls or some of this yummy cast iron skillet cornbread.
Best Clam Chowder Recipe
- 3 large russet potatoes peeled and diced
- 6 strips bacon thick-cut
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 carrot peeled and diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 10 oz. canned whole clams do not drain clams, be sure to reserve the juice.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoon flour
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
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- Dice the bacon and render the fat In a large stockpot. Saute bacon over medium heat until crispy, remove from pan Drain on paper towels, set aside.
- Dice the onion and celery. Peel and dice the carrots and potatoes.
- Drain the clams, reserving the juice. Roughly chop the clams, set aside
- In the same pot used to cook the bacon, drain off a bit of the oil. Add the butter then add onion, celery and carrots to the pot and saute over medium heat until softened about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the flour & mix it well with the softened veggies, season with salt, pepper, garlic and chili powder - cook for 2 minutes.
- Now add the chicken stock and the juice from the 2 cans of chopped clams, and potatoes. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Stirring often, cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- When the potatoes are tender, add the cream, clams and bacon. Heat thru and taste the seasonings. Depending on how salty the bacon is you may need to add an additional ½ teaspoon of salt.
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First published December 4, 2019 - Last updated November 4, 2021