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Overhead view of a white bowl of clam chowder on a blue napkin beside saltine crackers.

Down East Clam Chowder

  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: Approximately 6 servings


  • 4 ounces bacon slices or salt pork (about 4 slices), chopped
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pint clams (roughly chopped) in their juices
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (more or less, to taste)
  • 6 cups potatoes that are peeled and cut into approximately 1 inch cubes
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a dutch oven or soup pot, fry bacon over medium heat until browned. Add onion and butter. Cook onions until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add clams with their juices*, Old Bay seasoning and pepper. Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and simmer for approximately 1 1/2 hours (stirring occasionally), or until clams are tender.
  3. Add potatoes* and stir to combine.  Cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Top with parsley when serving, if desired.


  • *If you don’t have enough juices from the clams for a sufficient amount of broth, add enough water to cover ingredients in pot.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: down east clam chowder