The Ultimate Guide to the Best Clam Chowder Recipe in the World: A Flavorful and Creamy Delight!

Looking for the ultimate clam chowder recipe that will leave your taste buds wanting more? Look no further, because we’ve found the best clam chowder recipe in the world. Get ready to indulge in a creamy and savory dish that’s sure to impress even the toughest food critics.

The Key Ingredients for the Best Clam Chowder Recipe in the World


The star ingredient of clam chowder is, of course, the clams. The best clam chowder recipe calls for fresh clams that are still alive when you purchase them. Look for hard-shell clams like quahogs or littlenecks, which have a briny flavor that complements the creaminess of the soup. Be sure to scrub the shells clean before cooking.


Bacon adds smokiness and depth of flavor to clam chowder. Use thick-cut bacon and cook it until crispy before adding it to the soup. Save some bacon fat to sauté the vegetables for even more flavor.


Potatoes add heartiness and texture to clam chowder. Choose waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold or red potatoes, which hold their shape better than starchy varieties. Cut them into small cubes so they cook quickly and evenly.


Cream gives clam chowder its signature creamy texture and richness. Use heavy cream or half-and-half for a decadent soup.

Other ingredients:

  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley (for garnish)

How to Prepare and Cook Clams for the Best Clam Chowder Recipe

Cleaning Clams:

To clean clams, rinse them under cold water and scrub the shells with a stiff brush to remove any dirt or sand. Discard any clams that are cracked, open, or don’t close when tapped.

Steaming Clams:

To cook clams for clam chowder, steam them in a large pot with a little bit of water until they open up. This should take about 5-10 minutes. Discard any clams that don’t open.

Removing Clam Meat:

Once the clams have cooled down enough to handle, remove the meat from the shells and chop it into small pieces. Reserve some of the cooking liquid to add to the soup for extra flavor.

The Ideal Consistency and Texture of a Perfect Bowl of Clam Chowder

The perfect clam chowder should be creamy and thick without being too heavy or starchy. The broth should be smooth and velvety, with chunks of tender potatoes and juicy clams throughout. The consistency should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but not so thick that it feels like glue. If your soup is too thin, you can thicken it by whisking together equal parts flour and butter (called a roux) and adding it to the soup gradually until it reaches your desired thickness.

Secret Tips and Techniques to Enhance the Flavor of the Best Clam Chowder Recipe

  • Add clam juice: In addition to using fresh clams, you can also add bottled clam juice to enhance the briny flavor of your soup.
  • Sauté vegetables in bacon fat: Use leftover bacon fat instead of oil or butter to sauté your onions and celery for an extra layer of smoky flavor.
  • Add herbs and spices: Fresh thyme and bay leaves add depth of flavor to clam chowder. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a subtle kick.
  • Let it rest: Letting your clam chowder sit for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator allows the flavors to meld together and intensify.

Adapting the Best Clam Chowder Recipe for Different Dietary Restrictions or Preferences

Clam chowder can easily be adapted to suit different dietary restrictions or preferences.

  • Vegan: Use vegetable broth instead of clam juice, omit the clams, and use coconut milk instead of cream.
  • Dairy-free: Use almond milk or soy milk instead of cream.
  • Gluten-free: Use cornstarch or arrowroot powder instead of flour to thicken the soup.

You can also experiment with different types of clams, such as razor clams or geoducks, for a unique twist on traditional clam chowder. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

In conclusion, the search for the best clam chowder recipe in the world is subjective and varies from person to person. However, with experimentation and personal taste preferences, one can create their own version of the perfect clam chowder.


What is a thickening agent for clam chowder?

To thicken a simmering or boiling liquid quickly, create a cornstarch “slurry” by mixing equal parts cornstarch and cold water. After thoroughly mixing the slurry, slowly stir it into the liquid and watch as it thickens immediately.

What is different with Rhode Island clam chowder?

Rhode Island chowder is a type of chowder made from a tomato broth base and potatoes, without any other vegetables. It is unique from other chowder styles because it doesn’t contain milk or cream. Additionally, the clear broth allows the flavor of the clams to be the dominant taste.

What is the most famous clam chowder?

The New England clam chowder is a famous and widely loved version of the dish. It consists of clams, onions, corn, celery, bacon, or salt pork, and potatoes, and has been praised by renowned chef Ryan Hardy of The Coach House on Martha’s Vineyard.

What are the three types of clam chowder?

There are different types of clam chowder depending on the region, but the three most common are New England or “white” which contains milk or cream, Manhattan or “red” which contains tomatoes, and Rhode Island or “clear” which does not include either of those ingredients.

What is the best thickening agent to use in making a thick soup?

Cornstarch serves as a potent thickening agent and only a small amount is needed to achieve a thickened consistency. To utilize cornstarch as a thickener, create a slurry by mixing it with a small quantity of cold liquid, such as water, wine, or stock, and whisking until thick. Gradually add the slurry to a simmering soup, stirring continuously to adjust the final consistency.

Which state has the best clam chowder?

Cream-based clam chowder is often associated with Maine and Massachusetts and is considered a classic dish in Boston’s historic neighborhoods. It is even known as one of Maine’s most iconic dishes.

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