Award Winning Clam Chowder

Award Winning Clam Chowder

This is hands down our family’s favorite clam chowder. It has just the right amount of creaminess, the potatoes are just the right texture, and it isn’t fishy at all.  Yum.  We love it so much.

There are a lot of clam chowder recipes out there, all claiming to be the best.
But really, this is the BEST EVER.

 This particular chowder is:
1} my husband’s specialty recipe ~ he can whip it up in 45 minutes flat and he has perfected it
2} not only award-winning, but prize-winning ~ it has won 1st place in every soup cook-off
it has been entered in
3} one of our all-time favorite meals
4} likely the BEST clam chowder you will ever eat

We have served this soup at church socials, hubby’s work pot-lucks, dinner parties, Christmas Day family parties, book club luncheons, and just at home for us {frequently}. We often share it with friends and have given it as a gift to friends and neighbors for Christmas and have taken it to families with new babies and sick families that needed a meal brought in.

It’s really good the first day, but the second and third days are the best! Give it a try and see how your family likes it. I hope it becomes a favorite for your family like it is for ours.

Award-winning Clam Chowder

Yield: Makes about 12 servings

Award-winning Clam Chowder


  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 6 (*or more) medium potatoes, diced 1/2" or a little smaller ~ leave skin on (*see note below in directions)
  • 1 large can (51 ounces) clams (from Costco)
  • 1-1/2 cups butter
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 quarts half & half
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • pepper to taste (we use a lot of coarse pepper, as you can see in the above photo)
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar


  1. Drain the juice from the clams and pour into a large soup pot. Add the onions and potatoes. *Dice and add more potatoes, if needed, so that they come up to just over the top of the juice. Simmer until barely tender.
  2. In another large pot melt the butter. Add the flour and blend well with a whisk. Add the half & half and cook and stir with a whisk until smooth and thick.
  3. Combine the two pots into whichever pot is the largest.
  4. Add the clams and vinegar. Heat through.


Although this soup is delicious served right after making it, we usually prepare it one or two days prior to serving it so the flavors blend.



{Click here to see where I link up.}

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


23 Responses to Award Winning Clam Chowder

  1. Haley @ The Saucy Apple December 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Okay, so I love chowder, but I’m terrified to try clam chowder. I know… how did I make it so far in life without trying this dish? The closest I’ve ever come to a seafood chowder is the corn and crab chowder at Bonefish Grill. But I love that, so maybe I’ll love this, too? 🙂 It could be a weekend to try new things.

    • Lori December 11, 2012 at 12:58 am #

      Haley ~ Give this recipe a try.It is not fishy at all. Hopefully you will love it.

  2. Lengel December 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Thanks Lori for this recipe! We were one of those families blessed with this gift years ago! My kids even thought it was the best meal we were given during that time I was sick.

    • Lori January 8, 2013 at 12:37 am #

      Haha. I’m surprised they even remember it ~ that was a long time ago. Now you can make it for all of them.

  3. Jayne December 13, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    mmm… clam chowder. I’ll take this soup any day. It’s one of my absolute favourites.

    • Lori December 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

      Hi Jayne, thanks for stopping by. I took a look at your blog and it looks like you have a lot of good & interesting recipes that I want to try out myself. I love the sharing that goes on through blogging.

  4. Jeanie December 15, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    Lori, I just printed this out and WILL make i! I love clam chowder. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lori December 16, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

      Oh good, Jeanie. I hope you will love it as much as we do.

  5. Heather October 8, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    I love clam chowder…although my husband is not big into seafood (we are from Maine, I don’t understand it!). I would love for you to share this at the what i am eating link up

    • Lori October 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

      What?! Maine and not into seafood?! He might like this recipe because it isn’t fishy at all.

    • Lori October 11, 2013 at 12:54 am #

      Oops, I just noticed that you invited me to your link party and I missed the deadline. I’ll make sure I come to your next one to link up this recipe.

  6. Debbie November 11, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    I’m a little confused. The recipe says to drain the clams, and then states to add more potatoes if needed to come just over the top of the juice. There is no mention of adding the clams.. Please explain.. Do I keep the juice or drain and discard? Thank you, it looks delicious.

    • Lori November 12, 2013 at 12:37 am #

      Hi Debbie ~ I’m so sorry about the confusion. And about the mistake on the recipe. I’m surprised that either I or someone else hasn’t caught that before now. I’ve corrected it. But this is what you do:

      ~ Keep the juice – pour it into the pan and add the chopped onions and potatoes. Then add more potatoes to the pan until they come to just over the top of the juice and cook until tender.

      ~ After you’ve made the white sauce ~ combine it and everything from the other pot together.

      ~ Then add the clams and vinegar and heat through.

      I hope this clears it up for you. Please feel free to message me again if you need to. Enjoy the soup!

      • Kathy soule September 23, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

        What is the point of adding vinegar???? I I just think it’s a strange choice to add vinegar to a rich & creamy clam chawda

        • Lori October 31, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

          The red wine vinegar adds to the depth of flavor and a lot of clam chowder recipes have vinegar in them. Feel free to leave it out if you don’t like it though.

  7. Susan Broze January 12, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    Ok, this recipe looks great, but one question…how many oz. is the can of clams? I purchased clams at Costco, and it is 15 oz., but I’m thinking that’s not enough clams for 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 2 quarts of half and half. Clarification, please!

    • Lori January 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

      Thank you, Susan, for asking for this clarification ~ I will adjust the recipe to indicate the size of can needed. We use one 51 ounce can of clams that we purchase at Costco. Let me know how you like the soup.

  8. Richard Powers May 9, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

    Can this be called New England clam chowder. I notice there is no salt pork or bacon in the ingredients.
    I don’t think i have ever seen a clam chowder without them. Will i miss them?

    • Lori May 9, 2016 at 6:38 pm #

      Hi Richard, This is our version of New England clam chowder and although practically every clam chowder recipe includes bacon, we prefer it without (we also leave out the celery). Give it a try and see how you like it. You can always add the bacon if you like it better but really, everyone that has had this loves it. Let me know how you like it! 🙂

  9. Richard Powers May 10, 2016 at 10:13 am #

    ok I will be making it this week.

  10. Richard Powers May 23, 2016 at 9:42 am #

    OK i followed the recipe and made this chowder last week so here is my take on it. I didn’t realize how much this recipe would make wow! it made a lot. The first day we tried it and were not impressed. It was kind of bland. The second day it was a little better so i gave some to different family members. By the fourth day the rave reviews started coming in. I can see why you said to give it some time. The recipe makes a delicious fairly thick chowder if you wait to eat it. It felt a little strange putting vinegar in it but it came out great. I will make it again but i will try to cut the recipe to half.


  1. Whole30 Clam Chowder | The Beard and Blondes - June 15, 2016

    […] This soup was AWESOME! It is my favorite paleo recipe to date. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit where the idea came from but…blogs aren’t interesting without the wacky stuff added at least some of the time, right? I dreamed it up. When I was reading It Starts With Food, it mentions that as you are cutting back on addictive foods and trying to get ideas for new food you might start dreaming about your favorites. I have never dreamed about food before, but sure enough I woke up about 2:00am right after a dream featuring me in the kitchen trying to make a paleo clam chowder. haha And guess what? The recipe totally worked! The normal recipe I use for making clam chowder is an awesome recipe. I actually won a church soup competition from using it last fall, and you can find it on this awesome blog here:   […]

  2. Annual Meal Plan 2018-2019 - Maggie's Milk - August 7, 2018

    […] to using actual cookbooks for most things. There are a few favorites I have linked (for instance, this clam chowder is delicious and uses a whole can of Costco […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes