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Creamy New England Style Cheesy Clam Chowder


Adapted from my mothers simple clam chowder recipe. This very rich flavored chowder is excellent with a thick slab of hot, crusty homemade buttered bread or with crackers. If using crackers, crumble some over the top and serve more on the side. Also, if desired, it goes nicely with a rich porter ale such as Narragansett's seasonal winter porter or any rich porter available in your area.

Rate this recipe 4.3/5 (34 Votes)


  • 3 dozen well scrubbed cherrystone clams
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 rashers fine chopped bacon
  • 1 medium fine chopped red onion
  • 1 medium fine chopped white onion
  • 1 fine chopped carrot
  • 2 stalks fine chopped celery with stringy ribs removed
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 pounds peeled Yukon gold potatoes cut in 1" cubes
  • 1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • Coarse sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Garnish with coarse chopped flat leaf parsley and pats of butter


Level of difficulty Average
Cost Average budget


Step 1

In a large pot, bring clams and 3 cups water to a boil, cover and cook til clams have opened, 3 to 5 minutes (discard any that don't open). Remove clams to large bowl. Strain 2 cups ot the liquid into a measuring cup, add water if necessary. Remove meat from shells and coarse chop.

Step 2

In a 6 quart Dutch oven, cook bacon on medium-low til crisp, 8 to 10 minutes, remove and chop. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat, add onions, carrots and celery, cook til soft, about 5 minutes. Add thyme, parsley, potatoes, cooking liquid, and remaining cup water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer til the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove 2 cups, puree in blender until smooth, return to soup and add cream. Simmer on low til heated through, about 5 minutes. Add clams, bacon and hot sauce, season with salt and pepper to taste, stir well. Serve garnished with the chopped parsley and a pat of butter.


For a very interesting variation, substitute 1 cup crumbled blue cheese for the Monterey jack cheese.

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Chef Tips and Tricks

Three Cheese Baguette

You'll drool over this 3 cheese, bacon-wrapped baguette.



  • Blue cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Mozarella
  • 1 baguette
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Bacon


  1. Cut your cheeses into thin slices
  2. Slice baguette down the middle (like a sandwich)
  3. Layer cheddar, blue, and mozarella cheese inside the bread
  4. Top with sun-dried tomatoes
  5. Close baguette and wrap with bacon strips
  6. Put in oven and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees
  7. Slice and serve!

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