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In this healthy clam chowder recipe, traditional heavy cream is replaced with milk and flour-thickened clam juice and we keep sodium amounts reasonable with lower-sodium clam juice instead of higher-sodium broths. By making your own creamy clam chowder, you can save up to 300 calories, 20 grams of saturated fat and 500 milligrams of sodium per serving compared to many store-bought or restaurant chowders.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, Soup Cookbook


Recipe Summary

45 mins

Nutrition Profile:



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 3 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle flour, thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add clam juice (or seafood stock) and milk; bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly.

  • Stir in potatoes and bring just to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

  • Add clams and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve topped with bacon and chives, if desired.


Tip: Check the label carefully when using clam juice because the sodium can vary dramatically among different brands. We test with Bar Harbor clam juice, with only 120 mg sodium per 2-ounce serving.

To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days, slowly reheat over medium-low or microwave on Medium power.

Nutrition Facts

1 1/2 cups
229 calories; protein 12.2g; carbohydrates 26.5g; dietary fiber 3.6g; sugars 5g; fat 9g; saturated fat 1.8g; cholesterol 35.3mg; vitamin a iu 199.9IU; vitamin c 11.9mg; folate 60.4mcg; calcium 105.1mg; iron 2.9mg; magnesium 44.6mg; potassium 693.2mg; sodium 476.8mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

1 1/2 fat, 1 1/2 starch, 1 lean protein, 1/2 vegetable