Best Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe How To Make 2021

Best Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe How To Make 2021

Clam chowder is any of several chowder soups in American cuisine containing clams and broth or milk. In addition to clams, common ingredients include diced potatoes, salt pork, onions, and celery. Other vegetables are not typically used. 

I went to college in Boston, Massachusetts so I am familiar with New England clam chowder. When I went out for dinner, which wasn’t often, I always ordered it.

In fact, I looked forward to the clam chowder. No doubt about it, this buttery, creamy, stick-to-your-ribs soup is delicious, especially on a winter night.

My love of New England chowder did not change my love of Manhattan chowder. I am originally from Long Island, New York, and our family used to go to Jones Beach, on the South shore of the island, to swim.

We stayed for the evening water show and clam chowder. An elementary school student at the time, I loved the chowder and the little packets of round crackers that came with it.

A recipe in “The Healthy Cook,” published by “Prevention Magazine,” contains clam juice, reduced-sodium canned tomatoes, garlic, and hot pepper sauce.

The original “Joy of Cooking” book recipe contains bacon, canned tomatoes, ketchup, and butter. Other Manhattan chowder recipes have green pepper in them. I didn’t want green pepper, ketchup, hot sauce, or garlic in my chowder.

What did I want? I wanted lots of clam flavor and lots of vegetables. Read my recipe and you will see it has more vegetables than clams. There is hardly any fat because the bacon fat has been cooked off.

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Canned clams and juice contain salt so I have omitted it from the recipe. Stir up a batch of Manhattan clam chowder today and give it the praise it deserves!


  • 2 14.5-ounce cans of whole, no salt tomatoes, and juice
  • 4 6.5-ounce cans chopped clams and juice
  • 1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • A cup sweet baby carrots (from a package)
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons pre-cooked real bacon pieces
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned pepper


Pour canned tomatoes into soup kettle. Cut tomatoes into bite-size pieces with kitchen shears. Chop the celery and onions and add to the soup kettle.

Add remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer for one hour. Or simmer in a slow cooker, on low, for four hours. This Manhattan clam chowder tastes even better the next day. Makes 12 one-cup servings.

Sometimes my mother made Manhattan clam chowder from scratch and it was delicious. Dad opened the clamshells and removed the meat with a small, stubby knife.

I remember being a bit scared as I watched him. But chef and writer James Beard hated Manhattan chowder. He described it as vegetable soup with clams dumped in it. With all due respect to James Beard, I love Manhattan chowder because of the vegetables and clams.

Some food historians think Manhattan chowder was also known as Coney Island chowder and Fulton Market chowder, after the famous Fulton Fish Market in New York City.

Manhattan clam chowder was also called Connecticut chowder. I found many recipes for the tomato-based chowder in my cookbooks.

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The name “Manhattan” comes to us from the word manna-hata, which means “island of many hills” in the language of the Lenape Native Americans.

The island was purchased in 1626 from the Lenape by Peter Minuit, the third director of New Netherland, the territory discovered by the Dutch East India Company.

The island was acquired for 60 guilders worth of trade goods, which has historically been translated to about $24 but is said to be about the equivalent of $500-$700 in today’s United States currency.

In the late 1800s, Manhattan clam chowder was called “Coney Island clam chowder” and sometimes”Fulton Fish Market clam chowder” (named after the Fulton Fish Market established in New York in 1822).

The name “Manhattan clam chowder” became popular in the early 1900s. In contrast with New England clam chowder, Manhattan clam chowder is characterized by a transparent broth of a reddish color from one of its most important ingredients: tomatoes!

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Here is a delicious recipe for Manhattan clam chowder that I have developed:


  • 4 6.5 oz. cans minced clams in clam juice
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 medium spuds, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 110.75 oz. can condensed tomato soup
  • 211.5 oz. cans V-8 vegetable juice
  • 314.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper

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Fry bacon in an 8-quart kettle. Add the fresh veggies and lightly sauté in the bacon grease for about 10 minutes. Add the canned items (except for clams) and simmer for about 3 hours.

Now, Add the clams, including the clam juice, and simmer for ½ hour or until ready to eat. Serves 10 to 14. Just freeze the leftovers and have them again!

I love New York!

Manhattan Clam Chowder
Manhattan Clam Chowder

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