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bowl of Manhattan clam chowder

Grandma's Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe

  • Author: amycaseycooks
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


This delicious Manhattan Clam Chowder recipe is a healthier version than the creamy New England style chowder. With it's brothy tomato base and loaded with clams, carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, zucchini, and fresh thyme, this hearty chowder is a family favorite!


Units Scale
  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion,1/2 inch dice, about 2 cups
  • 2 stalks of celery, 1/2 inch dice, about 2 cups
  • 3 carrots, 1/2 inch dice, about 2 cups
  • 2 medium zucchini, 1/2 inch dice, about 2 cups
  • 2 medium potatoes, 1/2 inch dice, about 3 cups
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 (8 ounce) bottles clam juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 pound clam meat, about 2 cups (or about 5 (6 1/2 ounce) cans, drained)
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside. Leave the bacon fat in the pot.
  2. Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the pot. Sauté the vegetables for about 6 to 8 minutes or until softened and the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the zucchini, potatoes, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, clam juice, and thyme leaves to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the chowder for about 15 to 20 minutes. The chowder will be slightly thickened and the potatoes will be tender.
  4. Add the clams and stir to just heat the clams through. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper.


  • After cooking the bacon, remove it from the pot. If its left in the pot, the crispy bacon bites will become mushy when sautéed with the other vegetables. Leave the bacon fat behind as this will be used to sauté the onion, celery, and carrots.
  • Dice the zucchini and potatoes in about 1/2 inch dice. The vegetables will hold their shape when simmered and will be just the right size to eat.
  • The fresh thyme can be added to the chowder still on the stalk. The leaves will fall off as the chowder simmers. To easily pick the woody stalks out of the hot liquid, tie them together with some kitchen twine.
  • Add the clams after the chowder has simmered. Cooking the clams too long will make them tough and rubbery.
  • Taste the chowder before seasoning with kosher salt and pepper. Clams and clam juice are naturally briny. It's always easier to add more salt. But it is difficult to make a salty chowder less salty.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: entrée
  • Method: cook on stove top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 161
  • Sugar: 9.8 g
  • Sodium: 641 mg
  • Fat: 4.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.4 mg
  • Fiber: 6.3 g
  • Protein: 8.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 10 mg

Keywords: Manhattan clam chowder recipe, chowder, soup, clams