One Pot Clam Chowder is an easy recipe that can be made on the stove or in your instant pot! This classic New England chowder is rich, thick, and so creamy!
Clam chowder is the ultimate, thick and creamy fall and winter comfort food made from scratch! This is a classic New England Style chowder vs. Manhattan style which is made with a tomato style broth! The creamy version is our favorite. We have tested this recipe on the stove as well as the instant pot to make sure it's easy, and you can choose which method works best for you! I am happy to report, it is delicious either way! Because I am landlocked in Kansas, I chose to use canned clams for this recipe. Canned clams are going to be readily available to everyone, but if you have and are familiar with fresh clams, you can use them! Don't worry about using clams from a can, this recipe tastes perfectly restaurant quality. Be sure to try out many more of our Soup Recipes while you are here!
How to Thicken Clam Chowder:
This soup uses a mix of broth, milk, heavy cream, and clam juice (see below for substitutes) and is super easy to thicken up! After testing many different ways, the best way to thicken was to mix the heavy cream and flour together until smooth. Then, it goes right into the soup and just simmers for a few minutes until perfectly thickened!
Clam Chowder Recipe Notes:
- Remember that the seasonings as I have listed are just a starting point, and to my own taste. Be sure to taste the soup at the end and add more salt, pepper, thyme or any other seasonings that you love.
- We love serving this chowder with bread like dinner rolls, or even a loaf of French bread! You can also add meat like crispy cooked and chopped bacon, or even diced up ham are both delicious! Other options for serving are hot sauce, saltines or oyster crackers, parsley, or green onions.
- This recipe calls for using clam juice, which is really easy to find! If for some reason you can't find it, or don't have it you can sub it out! Just use the same amount of fish stock, or use an equal mixture of chicken broth and water.
- You can store this in the refrigerator for up to 3 days for best results. When reheating, keep in mind that the soup may have separated a little because of the cream. Reheat it in the microwave for 1 minute, stir, and then heat for one more minute before serving. Or, reheat on LOW heat on the stove top, while whisking so the soup comes back together.
One Pot Clam Chowder
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- ½ Large White Onion peeled and diced
- 2 teaspoons Minced Garlic
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Dried thyme OR 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 Red Potatoes peeled and cut into bite size pieces (about 2 ½ cups)
- 1 Cup Canned Baby Clams drained from the water
- 1 8-oz Jar Clam Juice**
- 1 ½ - 2 Cups Chicken Broth
- ½ Cup Milk
- 1 ½ Cups Heavy Cream
- ⅓ Cup All Purpose Flour
- Optional: Chopped cooked bacon dinner rolls, and green onions for serving
STOVE TOP VERSION:
- Heat a medium size soup pot over medium heat and add in the butter and onion. Stir and cook until the onion becomes translucent and add in the garlic, salt, pepper and fresh thyme.
- Stir and cook until the garlic and thyme become fragrant.
- Add in the potatoes and clams and pour in the clam juice and 1 ½ cups of the chicken broth.
- Stir to combine and bring it to a boil over high heat.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are just cooked but not super soft.
- Reduce the heat to low medium and pour in the milk. Mix the flour and heavy cream together.
- Pour it into the soup and stir to combine.
- Bring the soup to a low simmer and stir every thirty seconds to prevent burning. Simmer until the soup has thickened. If it thickens too much, add in the remaining chicken broth, stir and remove it from the heat.
- Serve immediately with bread, bacon, chopped green onions as desired.
INSTANT POT VERSION:
- Set the instant pot to sauté mode. Add in the butter and onion and stir every minute or so until the onion becomes translucent.
- Turn the instant pot off and add in the garlic, salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Stir and let it cook with the residual heat from the pan.
- Add in the potatoes and clams and pour in the clam juice and 1 ½ cups of chicken broth.
- Place the lid on the instant pot and close the quick release valve.
- Set the instant pot to manual mode for 6 minutes.
- Once cooked, quick release the pressure, being careful not to burn yourself with the hot steam.
- Remove the lid once all of the steam has been released and pour in the milk. Mix the heavy cream and flour together in a bowl and pour it into the pot as well. Stir to combine.
- Set the instant pot to the low sauté mode.
- Let the broth simmer and thicken as you stir the entire time to prevent burning.
- Once it has thickened slightly, turn the instant pot off and continue stirring for 2-3 minutes until the pot cools down. The soup will continue to thicken as it cools. If it thickens too much, pour in the remaining chicken broth and stir. Serve immediately.
This is my family’s favorite so I’ve made this recipe a lot of times and it’s perfect just as is! We serve it in sourdough bread bowls and it’s even better! Thanks for sharing this recipe!
I made this tonight but used a variety of seafood. Fresh clams, scallops, shrimp and lobster. Since I added the extra meat I used 2 cups of chicken broth and it came out perfect. Only change I would make if using extra liquid is to use 16oz of the clam juice then leave it at 1.5 cups of chicken broth.
Patricia @ Grab a Plate says
I cannot believe this is one of my favorite soups and I've never made it for myself! I love this recipe! Can't wait to give it a go!
The perfect comfort food during this season! My family will love it!
Sara Welch says
Love soup season for recipes just like this one! Looking forward to warming up with this for dinner tonight!
This looks so delicious and tasty! My husband is definitely going to love this recipe! I'm so excited to make this!
Toni Dash says
This is SO comforting!! I can't wait to make it again!
The best kind of comfort food! Loved how simple it was to make!