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Manhattan clam chowder is the perfect way to cozy up during cooler weather or any time of the year, really! A creamy and rich tomato base, with tender potatoes, clams, fresh veggies, and savory bits of bacon throughout. It’s easy to make, and sure to become a new favorite!

Overhead view of Manhattan clam chowder in a large white soup bowl with chunks of diced potatoes and chopped clams.

🥣 What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • Manhattan clam chowder is full of absolutely delicious flavor! The tomato base has just a splash of cream to create a rich and comforting base. Then, it’s packed with flavorful baby clams, fresh veggies, tender potatoes, and savory bits of bacon. It’s a hearty soup that will satisfy without making you feel weighed down!
  • It’s super easy to make. The most hands-on step is cooking the bacon and sautéing the veggies in the beginning. Then, all that’s left is to add the remaining ingredients and allow the flavors to simmer to perfection. The best part? Everything is done in one pot! In less than an hour, you’ll have an irresistible soup that’s perfect for entertaining, or just as a tasty weeknight meal.
  • Manhattan clam chowder is perfect as an appetizer or main course. Serve it as an appetizer before an Italian meal like Chicken Romano or Gluten Free Lasagna. Or, pair it with a crusty baguette for a light, satisfying, and easy dinner!

👩🏼‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

  • If your soup isn’t as thick as you’d prefer, smash a couple potatoes against the side of the pot, then stir together. The starch from the potatoes will thicken the sauce!
  • When cooking the bacon, don’t cook it until crispy. You’ll want to get it cooked just enough that some fat has rendered in the pot. Then, you’ll add the veggies and sauté in the bacon fat for the best flavor.
  • After adding the heavy cream to the chowder, it’s important to avoid bringing the mixture to a boil, as it could break and curdle. You’ll want to remove the dutch oven from heat, then stir in the heavy cream for best results!
Overhead view of Manhattan clam chowder in a large white soup bowl with chunks of diced potatoes and chopped clams.

Savory Seafood Dishes We ❤️

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 55 minutes
Manhattan clam chowder has a creamy tomato base, with tender potatoes, clams, and bits of bacon throughout. It's easy to make, and the perfect soup for any time of the year!
6 servings


  • dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot, 4-quart or 6-quart
  • Large wooden spoon


For the Manhattan Clam Chowder

  • 6 strips thick-cut bacon diced into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 large celery rib diced
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • ½ tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 2 cups chicken broth or more clam juice
  • 1 ½ pounds diced yukon gold potatoes 3-4 potatoes, depending on size
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup heavy cream at room temperature
  • 2 10-ounce cans chopped baby clams drained, juice reserved
  • reserved juice from cans of clams
  • 3 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • salt to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Serving Suggestions (All Optional)

  • saltine crackers
  • oyster crackers


  • Place large dutch oven on stovetop over low heat. When pot is warm, add 6 strips thick-cut bacon. Once bacon has rendered a few tablespoons of fat, increase heat to medium. Cook bacon until crisp and golden brown.
  • Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat, keeping bacon in pot. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 3 cloves garlic to pot. Stir constantly, 30 to 60 seconds, until fragrant.
  • Add 1 cup diced yellow onion, 1 large celery rib, and 2 medium carrots to pot. Stir to incorporate, then sauté ingredients 10 minutes or until vegetables have softened.
  • When vegetables have softened, add ½ tablespoon tomato paste, 1 ½ pounds diced yukon gold potatoes, 1 cup bottled clam juice, reserved clam juice, and 2 cups chicken broth. Stir to incorporate, making sure to scrape bottom of pot to loosen any ingredients that may have stuck during sauté. Note: Increase amount of broth as needed so that broth just barely covers potatoes
  • Increase heat to medium, bring mixture to boil. Once boiling, cover and cook potatoes vigorously, 10 minutes, until soft on outside and firm in center.
  • After 10 minutes, ff broth hasn't thickened lightly, smash a few potatoes against the side of the pot, and cook 1 to 2 minutes more to release starch.
  • Once broth has thickened, add 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoesStir to incorporate, then simmer for 5 more minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat. Add ½ cup heavy cream, 2 10-ounce cans chopped baby clams, 3 pinches cayenne pepper, and 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley, adjusting seasonings to taste. Add more salt and freshly cracked black pepper as needed.
  • Serve warm, with saltine crackers or oyster crackers, if desired.
  • Make it Dairy Free: Use unsweetened canned coconut cream instead of heavy cream.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 378calProtein: 13gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.05gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 892mgPotassium: 729mgTotal Carbs: 28gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gNet Carbs: 24gVitamin A: 4030IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 73mgIron: 5mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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