A favorite of locals and tourists alike, this creamy clam chowder recipe comes from one of Salt Lake City’s longest running restaurants, Market Street Grill, and is easy to make at home.
Creamy New England Clam Chowder
Creamy, full of vegetables and lush with clams, this homemade clam chowder recipe is delicious in every respect, and I’m saying it loud and proud that it’s the best clam chowder recipe outside of New England. Yep, I’m staking my claim.
It comes from the restaurant where I met my husband when we were both servers, Salt Lake City’s acclaimed Market Street Grill, where this chowder is probably still one of the most popular bowls of soup you will find in the state. From San Francisco to New England, I’ve been to a whole lot of places and ordered a whole lot of chowder, and still to this day, this chowder is tops on my list.
What’s in This Clam Chowder?
You may be asking what I couldn’t keep straight for a long time. What’s the difference between Boston, New England, and Manhattan clam chowder? As a young chowderhead I was only ever introduced to New England clam chowder, which is the same as Boston clam chowder with it’s white creamy broth made for made from a flour and butter roux. Manhattan clam chowder has a tomato broth.
The ingredients list for this creamy chowder soup is fairly short for such a flavorful dish.
This New England style clam chowder is made without bacon. And before you ask me, no, you can’t substitute low-fat versions of any of the ingredients listed below because the chowder will be thinner and not as savory. Homemade clam chowder just doesn’t taste good when you try to make it healthier, so instead, just eat a little less and revel in it’s lush flavor.
Here are the clam chowder ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Green pepper
- Salt and pepper
- Dried thyme
- Bay leaves
- Sherry wine
- Half and half
How to Make Clam Chowder
First, you’ll need to add everything but the flour, half and half, and butter to a large pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are soft.
Stir together the melted butter and flour in an oven-safe container and bake for 30 minutes to eliminate the raw flour flavor. Once baked, stir the flour mixture into the chowder, then remove from the heat.
Slowly stir in the half and half, then return the clam chowder to the heat and cook until it reaches your desired serving temperature.
Can I Freeze Clam Chowder?
I don’t recommend doing so since this recipe contains a lot of butter and half and half. If you freeze and reheat this clam chowder soup, I think the dairy would split and your chowder would have an odd texture.
Can I Make This Gluten-Free?
I’ve only ever made this chowder recipe as written, so I’m not sure if you can use a gluten-free flour base to make the roux. If you make a gluten-free version of this easy clam chowder recipe and it turns out well, please leave a comment below letting me know!
Tips for Making the Best Clam Chowder
You can use canned or frozen clams in this clam chowder recipe. Use whichever is easiest for you to find, and make sure to chop them up so they’re easier to eat.
For the best flavor and texture, you’ll want to use real butter in this recipe, not margarine or another butter alternative. If you use salted butter, give the soup a taste before adding additional salt, just to be safe.
I don’t recommend using whole milk in place of the half and half. The half and half contains more fat, which makes this chowder super flavorful, creamy, and rich.
More Creamy Soup Recipes You’ll Love
- Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup
- The Best Cheeseburger Soup
- Tomato Basil Soup
- Fish Chowder
- Slow Cooker Corn Chowder
The BEST Clam Chowder (Market Street Grill Copycat)
- 1 cup potatoes diced 1/2 inch
- 1 cup celery diced 1/2 inch
- 1 cup onion diced 1/2 inch
- 1 cup green pepper diced 1/2 inch
- 1 cup leeks tops and bottoms, diced 1/2 inch
- 3/4 cup chopped clams canned or frozen
- 3/4 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 3/4 tablespoon dried thyme
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco
- 3/4 cup sherry wine
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter melted
- 2 cups water
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 quarts half and half
In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except butter, flour and half and half. Simmer together until potatoes are thoroughly cooked.
Combine melted butter and flour in an ovenproof container and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes to eliminate the raw flour flavor and stabilize chowder.
Stir roux (butter flour mixture) into chowder and cook and stir until thick. Mixture will be slightly less thick than cookie dough. Remove chowder from heat. Stir in half and half until blended. Heat to serving temperature, stirring occasionally and serve immediately with crusty sourdough bread and extra Tabasco.
Recipe from The Utah Dining Car Cookbook, Ogden Junior League.
More Clam Recipes to Try
- The Best Clam Dip EVER
- Linguine con Vongole (Linguine with Clam Sauce)
- How to Make the Best Steamed Clams
- Ina Garten’s Easy Cioppino Recipe
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