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Manhattan Clam Chowder

Yield: Serves 8

Servings: Yields about 9 cups

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.


  • 2 oz. thick-cut bacon (about 1-1/2 slices), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into small dice (about 2 cups)
  • 4 tender inner celery stalks with some leaves, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick (about 1 cup)
  • 1 generous Tbs. finely chopped garlic (from about 3 large cloves)
  • 5 cups diluted clam broth, plus the reserved clam meat (1-1/2 to 2 cups), finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained, juice reserved, tomatoes cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 lb. large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch dice (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8  tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 250
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 70
  • Fat (g): 8
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 55
  • Sodium (mg): 1120
  • Carbohydrates (g): 23
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 21


  • Put the bacon in a wide heavy-duty 4- to 5-quart pot or Dutch oven and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to turn crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour off and discard all of the bacon fat, leaving the bacon in the pot. Add the olive oil and onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. It’s fine if it colors a bit. Add the celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes more. Add the clam broth, carrots, tomatoes, tomato juice, potatoes, oregano, bay leaves, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes and carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the soup from the heat, wait until it stops simmering (this may take a minute if you’re using a Dutch oven), and stir in the clams and chopped parsley. Discard the bay leaves and season to taste with additional black pepper, if desired.

Crusty bread is the perfect accompaniment.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • Scrapple | 08/07/2021

    This recipe is close to a good chowder but just misses the mark. I'd forego the garlic and oregano since this isn't an Italian dish. Other mild spices might suggest themselves. Same with the red pepper. A good chowder shouldn't need any heat. Not sure why you say to buy whole tomatoes and dice them when diced tomatoes are available on the same shelf. And you want me to find fresh clams and make a broth? Did you know you can buy jars of clam juice? Same with clams, available in cans at a store near you. Much less mess and work. Finally, crusty bread is okay, but real prefer oyster crackers, or at a pinch break up some Stoned Wheat Thins.

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