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red clam chowder manhattan style in a bowl

Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe

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5 from 5 reviews


This Classic Manhattan-Style Red Clam Chowder has chunks of tender potatoes, celery and fennel and is loaded with freshly shucked clams.


  • 6 slices uncooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups diced sweet onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 bulb fennel, diced, plus chopped fronds for serving
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, optional
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups clam juice, (16 fl ounces) such as Bar Harbor brand
  • 2 large white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 14-ounce can diced canned tomatoes* See note
  • 2 cups raw shucked clams in juice* See note


  1. Place bacon in the bottom of a large heavy-bottom soup pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring often until the bacon is crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the bacon pieces to a plate lined with a paper towel with a slotted spoon. 
  2. Add oil to the bacon fat and add onion, garlic and salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high, stir in fennel, celery, thyme, smoked paprika, celery seed and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables start to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add wine, if using, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the wine is mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes. 
  5. Add in broth, clam juice and potatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low or to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 14 minutes. 
  6. Add tomatoes and clams and return to a steady simmer, stirring often. Simmer 1 minute. Stir in bacon and remove from the heat. Ladle chowder into bowls and top with chopped fennel fronds. Serve hot.


Ingredient Note: 

Canned Diced Tomatoes: We love the smoky flavor fire roasted diced tomatoes add to the chowder. If you like a little bit of spice, look for those with added green chiles.

Shucked Clams: These chopped shucked clams are sold by the pound in brine in deli containers at the fish counter in large supermarkets, seafood markets, and meat markets. Sometimes they’re frozen. Thaw in the fridge overnight. If still frozen, set the deli container in a warm water bath for 30 minutes and use immediately. Include the packing brine in the recipe.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Seafood


  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 362
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Fat: 15 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 32 g
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