New England Clam Chowder Recipe – Creamy robust chowder with tons of flavor and appeal. This is the perfect soup for winter!

clam chowder

New England Chowder

Warm steamy clams with aromatic leeks, fennel and tarragon add a fresh flair to this Perfect New England Clam Chowder Recipe!

Hearty and satisfying, it will certainly chase your chills away.

Buttery baby clams and tender potatoes bathed in gentle soothing herb infused cream sauce make a Perfect New England Clam Chowder Recipe. 

There are many versions of this classic soup, some quite heavy and fatty. I have decided to make my Perfect New England Clam Chowder Recipe a bit lighter.

Pork fat is replaced with butter, and heavy cream is replaced with half and half, and the thick floury paste of roux is replaced by a light corn starch slurry.

clam chowder

Best Of New England

Although shy of those fats, it still brims with rich delicious flavors and I wouldn’t exactly call it low-calorie. You won’t be forced  to take a nap after you eat this clam chowder, unless of course, you just want to.

Once you have experienced the ease of making this Perfect New England Clam Chowder Recipe and have enjoyed the notable fresh flavors of the dish, you won’t want to settle for anything but homemade again.

It is definitely worth the effort to make your own soups and stews. There are no more cans of soup or even bags of dry soup mix in my cupboard, even the gourmet kinds. They are just a disappointment to my family compared to homemade.

Go ahead, make your own clam chowder. You can do it!

chowder recipe

Best Chowder Around

Just think of all of those artificial flavors, colors and preservatives you won’t be ingesting even if your clams are canned.

The added bonus is fresh vegetables and fresh ingredients in your diet. I feel healthier already, don’t you?

Enjoy your Perfect New England Clam Chowder Recipe as is or garnish with fennel leaves, tarragon, and a sprinkle of those cute little oyster crackers.

chowder recipe

Clam Chowder Ingredients

  • Diced Leek – both the white and green parts 
  • Diced Fennel – including the bulb, stalk, and leaves
  • Diced potatoes
  • Canned Baby Clams or Fresh Shelled Clams
  • Clam Juice – If you use the canned baby clams, then use the saved juice from the can.
  • White Wine
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Chopped Tarragon
  • Bay Leaf
  • Salt
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Half & Half
  • Cornstarch
  • Oyster Crackers for topping
New England

How to Make New England Clam Chowder

  1. After cutting the leeks, make sure to clean them well to make sure that all the excess sand is gone. 
  2. In a 4-quart pot, warm the butter and oil over medium heat. Then add in the leeks and fennel and sauté all together until they become soft. 
  3. Add in the potatoes, bay leaf, tarragon, clam juice, wine, salt, and lemon pepper to the pot. Bring it to a slow boil. Then let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes become tender enough to easily stick a fork in them. 
  4. Then gently mix in the clams and half & half. Bring to a simmer. 
  5. Mix the cornstarch and cool water until it starts to form a slurry. Slowly pour small amounts into the chowder, stirring continuously. This will thicken the soup. Feel free to add as much as you like until you get your desired thickness of the chowder. You do not have to use the whole slurry. 
  6. Serve this chowder warm and enjoy!

Get our Full (Printable) New England Clam Chowder Recipe Below. Enjoy!


Frequently Asked Questions

How long can this recipe last?

You can store this recipe in the fridge for 3 to 5 days when kept in an airtight container. When you go to reheat this soup, stir the chowder before warming it up to make sure that the cream base does not curdle. 

Can you freeze this recipe?

This recipe can be kept in the freezer for 4 to 6 months, but needs to be thawed out quickly rather than slowly. Place the airtight container in a pan of hot water and allow it to thaw into chunks. Then warm on the stove over medium heat and allow it to simmer until fully heated.

winter soup (Clam Chowder)

What to Serve with Clam Chowder

Try this amazing soup with… 

winter chowder (clam chowder)

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New England Clam Chowder Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Perfect New England Clam Chowder Recipe – Creamy robust chowder with tons of flavor and appeal. This is the perfect soup for winter!
Servings: 8


  • 1 cup diced leek, white and green
  • 1 cup diced fennel (bulb, stalk and leaves)
  • 1 pound diced potatoes, peeled if thick-skinned (3 1/2 cups)
  • 20 ounces canned baby clams, (save clam juice) or 20 ounces fresh shelled clams
  • 8 ounces clam juice (1 bottle)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups half & half
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • Oyster crackers for topping, optional


  • Clean the leeks well after chopping; sometimes they are sandy. In a 4-quart pot, warm the butter and oil over medium heat. Sauté the leeks and fennel in butter and olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, bay leaf, lemon pepper, salt, tarragon, clam juice and wine. Bring to a slow boil, simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.
  • Gently mix in the clams and half & half. Bring to a simmer.
  • Mix the cornstarch with 1/4 cup cool water to form a slurry. Slowly pour a little of the slurry into the simmering chowder, stirring constantly, to thicken the soup. Add just a little at a time until your desired thickness is reached. Do not use it all, if not needed. Serve warm!


Serving: 1cup, Calories: 243kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 504mg, Potassium: 475mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 665IU, Vitamin C: 11.6mg, Calcium: 127mg, Iron: 2.8mg
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier
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