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Chunky Clam Chowder

Who doesn’t love a warm bowl of thick chunky clam chowder? Growing up in coastal towns really made me fall in love with clam chowder. The thick tender potatoes in a creamy clam soup base….yum! My DH loves clam chowder so I always try to cook up a nice pot on a windy day since we don’t get many cold days here in Costa Rica!

Delicious Rating: This easy recipe gets all the stars in my book. It is thick and chunky. The clams are abundant and the chowder base is creamy and not thin at all. I add bacon to just have bacon! And since when was bacon and seafood and potatoes a bad combination? This is by far my favorite and the best clam chowder recipe I have ever cooked up. Let me know what you think of it!


Chunky Clam Chowder
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yields: 10 bowls
Serve with sourdough bread.
  • 1 pack of Bacon
  • 4 medium can of whole or minced clams
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 cup celery, minced
  • 3 large potatoes, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, diced
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Fry bacon and let drain on paper towels, crumble.
  2. Cook onion, celery, potatoes, and carrots in bacon grease for 5 minutes.
  3. Add clam juice to pan and some water to cover vegetables and cook vegetables for another 5-10 minutes or until tender.
  4. In a large heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat.
  5. Whisk in flour until smooth.
  6. Whisk in milk and cream, whisking constantly for 7 minutes until thick and smooth.
  7. Stir in vegetables and clam juice.
  8. Add bacon.
  9. Stir in clams just before serving.
  10. Stir in red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

If a recipe starts with bacon then I know it will be a good day!

Natural tendency when opening cans is to drain them out in the sink. This recipes keeps the clam juice that adds so much more flavor to the chowder.

Some shy away from making a roux. The only thing you need to know is to KEEP WHISKING! Don’t stop. It really give you an arm workout for sure!

Add the clams when you know you are ready to serve within five minutes. The longer they heat the more chewy they become. I like to take the pan off the heat and then add the clams. They will heat thoroughly but won’t keep heating up.

You may be thinking about leaving the red wine vinegar out but please do not. It makes this clam chowder more than just perfect. It is subtle but gives the chowder a definite deliciousness!


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