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clam chowder recipes

Explore this classic American soup, from authentic regional variations—think New England, Manhattan, Rhode Island—to modern adaptations and twists like a hot-smoked salmon and leek chowder and a gorgeous lobster chowder. There’s a tasty chowder here for every chowder connoisseur.


New England Clam Chowder

Creamy, hearty New England clam chowder is by far the most popular chowder style. It gets its thick texture from a combination of heavy cream and puréed potatoes.

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Manhattan Clam Chowder

Manhattan clam chowder is distinctive for its use of tomatoes, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes—additions likely influenced by the tomato-based fish and clam soups of Mediterranean fishing communities. The sweet tomatoes really complement the smoky bacon and salty clams, and the lack of milk or cream make it lighter than its New England counterpart.

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Rhode Island Clam Chowder

This thin, clear-broth chowder is the least common style; even in Rhode Island, it’s often served alongside the more familiar New England and sometimes Manhattan chowders. It's the true seafood-lover's clam chowder, containing neither dairy nor tomatoes to mask the fresh sea flavors.

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Salt Cod and Corn Chowder

Salt-drying improves the flavor and texture of otherwise bland codfish, making it flaky and toothsome, and salt cod (aka bacalhau in Portuguese, or bacalao in Spanish) is a staple ingredient in the Mediterranean. Serve this creamy stew with oyster crackers, if you like.

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Creamy Seafood Chowder with Bacon, Thyme & Jalapeno

The cream in the soup tempers most of the jalapeño’s heat, but you can still taste its bright, fresh flavor.

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Quick Clam Chowder with Bacon, Tomatoes & Bell Peppers

This quick-and-dirty rendition makes it easy to satisfy a chowder craving even on a busy weeknight. Its tomato base makes it Manhattan-like in character.

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Summer Corn Chowder with Scallions, Bacon & Potatoes

Here’s a chowder that’s not about seafood at all; instead, it makes the most of a bumper crop of summer corn, using the cobs to infuse even more corn flavor into the broth.

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Smoked Salmon and Leek Chowder

The rich flavor of hot-smoked salmon is balanced by sweet leeks and dill in this creamy chowder.

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New England Lobster Chowder

There’s simply nothing better after a day at the beach than this beautiful chowder. With relatively few (and simple) ingredients, it’s worth lugging your big stockpot to the beach house to make this.

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