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.
This recipe is a favorite I published in the early days of FoodieCrush. This past weekend I ran into a friend at the grocery store who said she’d been searching for the famous clam chowder recipe from Salt Lake City’s Market Street Grill, which reminded me to re-share this easy clam chowder recipe with some updated photos for you. So, without further adieu, here is a re-post of the best clam chowder recipe, in my opinion, EVER.
It was a greeting that one of my fellow waiters at my post-college/pre-real-life-seafood-restaurant-job has been teased about for lo’ these many years. And he has NEVER been happy about hearing it again, and again, and again.
See, that job at Salt Lake City’s Market Street Grill was all about presentation and customer service. That meant every dish, every cup and even every spoon was served by the waiter from a tray.
So when you had a 6-top—that’s waiter-speak for a table of six—who all ordered the house specialty, famous clam chowder, we would load up a HUGE tray, hoist it high over our heads with the straightest arm we could possible muster, and charge forth through the sea of waiting to be seated customers to serve our eagerly awaiting diners bowls of creamy, white chowder in heavy china bowls with plated liners.
One especially busy night—it must have been a big rush before a Utah Jazz basketball game—my friend had a big table and of course they all ordered chowder. He loaded up the tray, even stacking the bowls two high! It was a feat to behold for mere waiter mortals.
Breathless from running between tables and the kitchen, we watched him navigate his way through the crowded waiting area, arm hoisted high with nary a wobbly arm in sight. And then, he hit the double french door frame. Literally. Hit it, clipped the china bowls still hovering overhead. And then like a dominoe-ing Humpty Dumpty, all the bowls came tumbling down.
Clam Chowder, all over his head, his shirt, everywhere. And ever since then, he has fondly been called Chowda-head.
Here is the very recipe, delicious in every respect, the best clam chowder recipe outside of New England. Yep, I’m staking my claim.
What’s in This Clam Chowder?
The ingredients list for this clam chowder soup is fairly short for such a flavorful dish. And before you ask me, no, you can’t substitute low-fat versions of any of the ingredients listed below. Homemade clam chowder doesn’t taste good when you try to make it healthier.
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 easy clam chowder 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 clam 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 clam chowder 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 clam chowder super flavorful, creamy, and rich.
More Creamy Soup Recipes You’ll Love
- Fish Chowder
- Slow Cooker Corn Chowder
- Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup
- The Best Cheeseburger Soup
- Tomato Basil Soup
Market Street Clam Chowder
- 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 Cookbook.
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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