Rhode Island Clam Chowder Recipe (2024)



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I love this recipe and have made it several times. It may be sacrilege, but I use canned clams (3-4 of those small cans) and the juice and then enough bottled clam juice to make 4 cups broth and it comes out delicious. One of these days I'll get ambitious a story it with real clams!


Nice recipe. Instead of cheesecloth, use a coffee filter in a medium sized strainer over a bowl.


No more supremacy battle between New England (dairy) and Manhattan (tomato) chowder: they're fighting for second place behind this recipe! Skipping cream and tomato lets the salt water clam essence shine through perfectly. After steaming clams, reduce the strained broth over medium heat until you have the amount required for the soup -- it will help concentrate the flavors. Taste before throwing in more salt! Leftovers keep well for a few days.


I have reconciled the chowder wars with new nomenclature. We have City, Farmer, and Fisherman chowder. The City folks emptied their ice boxes of leftovers when they made chowder. The farmers had milk in abundance. The fisherman had neither ice boxes or cows on their vessel, but they had potatoes and onions and butter and preferred their chowder pure and clear.

Joy Griswold

That is it! (but w/o the butter, but Ok) I live is South County, RI and that is how we do it.... simple and delicious, fresh dill is good, too, if you don't have thyme, either or....


Good recipe but I would suggest a few changes:Do not steam the clams open- this makes them tough. Instead shuck them, with the juice, into a bowl and stain out the juice. Use the fresh clam juice as the liquid in the recipe (I never have used wine - but not opposed to it!) Chop the raw clams and add them JUST before you serve the chowder so they are warmed but essentially raw. The second suggestion makes a huge difference and is really easy - use leeks instead of onions .


Love this recipe! To any pescatarians/non-pork eaters out there, I’ve made this with and without the pork, and (though maybe it’s sacrilege?!) I think I actually prefer it without. I just used a bit more butter and salt to make up the difference, and that worked nicely. So, if anyone is worrying that this might be bland without the pork, don’t—there’s a nice delicate briny flavor that comes through, and though it’s a different dish, it’s just as good!


We loved this recipe and I, like another reviewer, made it with canned clams, their juice, and bottled clam juice in lieu of fresh clams. So delicious and you never miss the cream!


I love New England style Chowder but this could be my new Fav. Much lighter and just as flavorful. Made it to the specs and the results were great. Don't miss the step where the Chowder cures. I left it in the pot for two hours and then reheated. It made a big difference in the consistency and flavor.


A non-disposable metal mesh coffee filter is a handy replacement for paper coffee filters and cheesecloth.


Store didn't have quite enough clams (16) so I made up the difference with a chopped (small) lobster tail and a nice piece of halibut. I know these additions push the recipe into the 'seafood chowder' lane but the basic ingredients made for an astoundingly perfect dish on a cold, rainy day here in California. Thank you.

Cassie Ferrier

This is my go to recipe for Clam Chowder, love the broth better than cream or tomato. My only addition is a heavy teaspoon of dried ginger. It adds a great wake up call.


Whole milk? Then you made New England clam chowder, not Rhode Island.


Yes, this is a good work-around. The juice from 4 cans(filtered) plus 2 8-oz bottles is perfect.


Make sure the salt pork is cut in fine dice and cooked to a deep mahogany brown. You can easily leave out the celery, but don't stint on the onions and potatoes. I have never used wine, only whole milk. Don't let the chowder heat to more than a simmer, or it might curdle.

Lauren P.

Has anyone used razor clams with this recipe? I’m wondering how much would equal quahogs? Maybe the clams measured by weight would be helpful for non-east coast people.

David Spence

The recipe says "Remove clams from shells, and set those aside as well." But what are we supposed to do with those shells?


Tried this because of the mention of Block Island in the description. Using Sam’s guidance, I opened the clams and added them at the end vs. steaming them. This recipe fills in some of the gaps in an old family recipe that was missing a few details so hard to replicate. It worked perfectly. And, if you are concerned about opening all those clams, try a clam ram. Made quick work of 40 clams. Thank you!

Scott Hammer

Like others, I also committed sacrilege by using canned clams. Otherwise, I made it according to the recipe and it came out great! Next time I'll use four cans of clams instead of three and add a little more clam juice. I may reduce the number of potatoes slightly, too.


Prep/cook time is an hour. A suggested time frame for curing would be most helpful: an hour, overnight? Tasting it freshly made it’s a bit too clammy(?) so hard to tell how long for it to mellow.

Allen H

The origin of clear broth chowder just may be in North Carolina from colonial times. It's a bit different today as 'back then' the broth was from actually using the salty waters of Core Sound when it was clean enough to use directly. It's by far the best tasting chowder style. It's pretty close to the Rhode Island style herein and everyone has their own close version. A bit of bacon or salt pork does add some flavor but use it sparingly as it can overpower the entire dish.


Happy to make this recipe as a nod to my home state. Made it according to directions. It's wicked good chowdah!


I always have shrimp broth in my freezer. The addition adds another layer of flavor. I like a thicker consistency so I grate a potato toward the end of cooking.


Ever since the first time I ate noank clam chowder in CT, I've never fixed any other kind. But as a pescatarian/vegetarian for the last 50 years who still misses bacon, I have been known to add 1-3 bits of smashed up bacon bits to give it just a hint of bacon...any more than that and it tastes artificial.

Rick Bella

Amazing to see this recipe. I make an astonishing similar recipe after trying to imitate a local restaurant. The only difference is I don't chop up the clams. Either way, I can attest that the outcome is -- and will be -- delicious.


Made this exactly as written and was the best clam chowder I have ever had. This will become a winter staple.


Since my days of sailing in Long Island Sound and around Block Island, Rhode Island Clam Chowder has been my favorite and I'm glad to have a recipe -- BUT I have a couple of comments on the recipe: 12 Red Bliss Potatoes -- they come in sizes from golf ball to soft ball -- could you provide a measurement? Add 4 cups of clam broth -- when it isn't mentioned in the ingredient list? I KNOW we're supposed to read the recipe through first, but that's a serious omission.


I've been making Rhode Island clam chowder (sometimes converted to fish chowder) for over 40 years, since I first discovered it. I skip the fatty pork and use less salt and whatever potatoes are on hand. If I have it, I use leftover jarred gefilte fish broth to make it richer. It's the best chowder ever!

Betsy Carson

Close kin to Green Chowder in North Carolin and Pawley's Island Clam Chowder in South Carolina. Excellent!

Anne in Maine

Red potatoes come in many sizes--how much is "12 potatoes?"

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Rhode Island Clam Chowder Recipe (2024)
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