How to Make the Best Clam Chowder, According to Our Test Kitchen

Learn how to make a creamy, yet healthy, soup.

Whether you prefer a tomato-based broth or a cream-based one, clam chowder is a staple in New England during the summer months. Here, we update the traditional cream-laden version for a healthier—and faster—recipe that's just as luscious as the original. Get the recipe below, and find out how a few key ingredients can transform clam and corn chowder into a dish that you'll want to make all year long.

Clam & Corn Chowder
Jason Donnelly

4 Key Ingredients for a Healthier Clam Chowder

An illustration of chowder ingredients on a designed background
Emma Dibben

Swap Heavy Cream for Whole Milk

Most chowder recipes call for heavy cream to, ahem, make it creamy. To lighten things up, we opt for whole milk instead, which still packs in a lot of richness while saving you more than 220 calories per serving.

Make the Most of Canned Clams

Clams are one of the most sustainable seafood choices, according to Seafood Watch, and several canned brands have the Marine Stewardship Council Certification (look for their blue fish seal). Choosing canned saves you from having to shuck or steam fresh clams.

Choose Waxy Potatoes

Skip starchy potatoes, like russets, which would fall apart in this recipe—you want to be able to bite into a tender, recognizable piece of potato! That's why waxy kinds are the go-tos here (choose either yellow or red). These hold their shape well when cooked.

Use Fresh Corn

In addition to being more plump than frozen corn, the fresh stuff has the added benefit of coming with the flavorful cobs. We throw them in while the soup simmers so all that sweet starch gets extracted, giving the chowder more depth.

Recipe to Try

01 of 01

Clam & Corn Chowder

Clam & Corn Chowder
Jason Donnelly
Was this page helpful?
Related Articles