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Best Clam Chowder Recipe - EASY!

Kathryn Skaggs is the founder of Latter-day Saint Women Stand, a community of over 50K faithful Latter-day Saint women who love their faith!

Clam Chowder For The Holidays - A Christmas Favorite!

Christmas Clam Chowder - A Classic Recipe

Christmas Clam Chowder - A Classic Recipe

My Family's Favorite Clam Chowder Recipe

I have been making my family's favorite Clam Chowder recipe, every Christmas Eve, for well over 30 years now. Each year I ask my family what they would like for Christmas eve this year? Without fail, they insist on my traditional Christmas Eve Clam Chowder, with their grandma's Skaggs homemade rolls!

Well, as life goes -- time passes, and now a few of my children are now married, with families of their own. Unfortunately, they aren't all able to make it home for Christmas Eve Clam Chowder with the rest of the family. So, because they have requested my Clam Chowder recipe, and others - I have decided to post them here.

Christmas is a wonderful holiday, and the foods that we grow up with are powerful in creating our positive memories of these special times. Just as I brought with me, when I married and left home, a few of those special recipes from my own mother -- - my daughters desire to do the same.

The funny thing is, that I feel better knowing that we are all cooking the same recipes, and enjoying them with family -- even though we can't all be together in the same place.

This Christmas Eve, my heart will feel a closeness to my daughters who are away this year -- because I know that we will all be enjoying those activities and recipes that we all grew up together doing.

No doubt, phone calls will pass back and forth, with questions about this recipe or that recipe that I have shared with them. We will all report our successful Christmas Eve Clam Chowder - that will have had the power to connect us through our own familial traditions!

Clam Chowder - It's All In The Presentation....

Nothing warms the soul on Christmas Eve, like a steaming bowl of Clam Chowder!

Nothing warms the soul on Christmas Eve, like a steaming bowl of Clam Chowder!

New England Clam Chowder Recipe - EASY!

This really is the BEST Christmas Clam Chowder recipe that you can find. It is simple, thus it lends itself to much variation.

2-3 small cans of minced clams (chopped are okay, too)

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 cup finely chopped onions

2 cups chopped potatoes (bite size)

Drain the juices from the clams into a big pot and add just enough water to barely cover all vegetable. (reserve clams) Cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

While your vegetables are simmering, you will make a white sauce...

Basic White Sauce

3/4 cup margarine or butter

3/4 cup flour 1/2 tsp. sugar (optional)

1quart half and half

1-1/2 tsp salt pepper to taste (If you are fussy, you can use white pepper)

Scroll to Continue

Melt butter in saucepan. Whisk in the flour.... and then add all of the half and half. You will continually stir this at a medium heat, until it thickens. (Please be patient with your white sauce, and don't turn the heat up, too high.)

Add the White Sauce to the cooked vegetables - add clams and stir to eat!


Note:  You can add many variations to this Clam Chowder recipe; serve with crumbled bacon, chives, parsley, etc...  You might even try adding corn.  You can also chop your vegetables a bit more chunky, if you prefer a chunky chowder.  I always found with my young children, that finely chopping the veggies was the best way to prepare the chowder, to their liking:-)



I love to hear your comments...

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on December 15, 2010:

It easily makes 8 large servings.

Kim on December 15, 2010:

How many does this feed?

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on March 06, 2010:

I'm so happy that your family loved the clam chowder! I know my family does, too. And isn't it a million times better than what comes out of the can? Thanks for sharing your success:)


Babydollchap on March 06, 2010:

Made this for my family last night and they absolutely loved it! It was my first attempt at making homemade chowder and it was fantastic. I will definitely be keeping this recipe and have officially given up on canned chowder. Thanks for sharing it.

hamil331 on April 23, 2009:

Can't wait to try clam chowder, THANKS

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on March 08, 2009:


Hooray! I'm so glad you had such success with this clam chowder recipe, and that your family enjoyed it. The addition of cayenne sounds great, especially if you like your chowder with a bit of a punch. Thank you for taking the time, to come back and comment on your finished product.



jim10 from ma on March 08, 2009:

Well I finally got around to making clam chowder and it came out great. My oldest son who is very picky about his clam chowder loved it and my wife liked it too. It is usually pretty tough to please them. But, this recipe turned out great. I added some cayenne pepper because they like it spicy. My son still likes Boston Chowda best. But, they have been making Clam Chowder everyday for years. And well this was my first time. I'm sure I will get it closer next time. Thanks for the great recipe.

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on January 07, 2009:

Princessa -

Happy New Year to you, too! Oh yes, I double dare you to make it. Never again will you need to linger on old memories. You can now - re-create that truly luxurious experience - at home! LOL I have never thought to describe my clam chowder, as luxurious - however, now that you have - I can see how perfect that is:-)



Wendy Iturrizaga from France on January 07, 2009:

Hi, Happy New Year, and all the best.

You certainly made my mouth water thinking about this delicious dish. I only had clam chowder once while I was in NY but the memories of the luxurious texture and flavour have remained intact in my ‘taste memories’. I should try this recipe at home. Thanks!

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on December 23, 2008:

Hi Jim -

If you do get to that Chowder Fest, I hope you will write a Hub about it. Let me know how your Clam Chowder turns out, if your try this recipe.



jim10 from ma on December 23, 2008:

My oldest son Liam loves clam chowder. Luckily we live down the street from the Boston Chowda home office. He loves it when I stop there and get a few containers. He says it is his favorite. Better than Legal Seafood and every canned clam chowder or local restaurant. We keep meaning to go to Chowder Fest in Boston. Hopefully we will make it in 2009. I will bookmark this Hub so I can try out your recipe and surprise him one of these days. Thanks a lot.

Shirley Anderson from Ontario, Canada on December 21, 2008:

I don't cook but this sounds really yummy! I've never heard of serving chowder for Christmas but why not? I always think of New England when I hear anything about clams or chowder.

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on December 21, 2008:

MrM -

I will anxiously await your report, as to how your clam chowder turns out, and if it will be on your Christmas Eve menu, for next year:-)



MrMarmalade from Sydney on December 21, 2008:

Love chowder. Can not have for this Christmas. All planned out.

Will make for New years Eve.

If it ives up to your recomendationI will bring it back to Christmas Eve 2009


Maureen on December 20, 2008:

Thanks for this delicious looking recipe. I plan to try it out on my daughters and their families during the holidays! I will let you know how it turns out. I love your blog! Thanks for sharing. :)


Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on December 19, 2008:

Stephanie -

That's hilarious! You are truly a better woman than I.... and much more disciplined! I could never diet during the holidays, because I don't have that kind of self-control! LOL

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. And about your confession, your secret is safe with me:-)



Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on December 18, 2008:

Seriously, when I read this earlier today, my diet went out the window and my stomach loudly demanded some of your clam chowder. It sounds so good! Thanks for a great recipe! Steph

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on December 18, 2008:

Claudia -

This clam chowder recipe is delicious... I assure you:-)



Claudia Goldstein on December 18, 2008:

This recipes looks delicious. Never had clam chowder for Christmas eve dinner. Going to have to copy this recipe to try it sometime....

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on December 18, 2008:

robie2 -

Mine, too! For our family, it just would not seem like Christmas - without Clam Chowder on Christmas EVE:-)



Roberta Kyle from Central New Jersey on December 18, 2008:

New England calm cowder is my all time personal favorite-- yum!

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on December 18, 2008:

Michelle -

Now I will be thinking of you, too -- knowing that both you and your mom are making clam chowder for Christmas!

Love you, too:-)

Merry Christmas,

Aunt Kathryn

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on December 18, 2008:

Brittney -

Thanks for encouraging me to share this recipe with you, because now we have it in print, for all eternity.  Remember to call me when you are making it, and I will be happy to coach you through it. 

But really, I am confident that your clam chowder will turn out beautifully.  I'll be thinking of you, for sure.

Merry Christmas



Michelle on December 18, 2008:

We do Christmas Eve Clam Chowder every year too! Rest assured my Mom and I will both be making it at the same time you and my cousins are. Although, two of them will likely start before us since they are in different time zones. :)

Brittney on December 18, 2008:

As one of those daugthers, this is a must try recipe! Thanks for posting and sharing this great family tradition. I'm a little nervous it won't turn out "just like mom makes it" but I'll let you know! This is way better than a "normal Christmas Eve dinner" of turkey and whatever other people make? Looking forward to carrying on this tradition with our growing family since we can't be home for Christmas this year :)

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on December 18, 2008:

Becky -

I really want to hear how your "Christmas" clam chowder turns out! 

I decided that it was easier to type up these Christmas recipe request from my daughters, and share them with everyone, through my blogs.

 It is also selfish on my part, because it forces me to organize all of my favorite recipes.

Thanks for stopping by:-)



Becky Jamison on December 18, 2008:

My husband loves clam chowder. I'm going to actually try to make him some using your recipe. Thanks for the motivation!

There are a couple things he makes on Christmas Eve and last night his youngest daughter called from New York asking for a recipe since she won't be home. It makes ya feel good to know they miss it and want it for their own family celebration! Thanks for a nice post!

Kathryn Skaggs (author) from Southern California on December 18, 2008:

TLC Grandparent -

Have it your way - no problem. Like I said, this Clam Chowder recipe is easy, and can be modified in so many ways. Oh, and this is as good as any "restaurant" Clam Chowder. In fact, my family is most always disappointed when ordering Clam Chowder in a restaurant, as it never compares to our Christmas Eve Clam Chowder:-)



TLC Grandparent from Maryland, USA on December 18, 2008:

Looks good! (Hold the onions please.) I used to live in New England, and several restaurants served this style of clam chowder.

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