U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


  1. Home
  2. Explore Resources
  3. Easy Clam Chowder

Easy Clam Chowder

Clam chowder is simple to make. Plus, this tasty, but lightened up version has less fat than its cream-based counterpart and a healthy dose of good-for-you nutrients like iron, vitamin B12, fiber, protein, and potassium. Simple, delicious, and nutritious, this easy chowder will taste like it's been cooking all day!

Add whatever vegetables you have on hand to make this your own or make use of what's in your fridge.


2 T vegetable oil
1⁄2 onion (chopped)
1 c potato (chopped)
1 c celery (chopped)
1 c carrots (chopped)
2 clv garlic (chopped or 2 tsp chili powder)
1 t smoked paprika (or chili powder)
2 cn clam juice (6.5 oz cans in juice)
2 c water (or broth)
1 bay leaf
2 t dried thyme
1⁄2 c low-fat or non-fat milk

Yield amount

6 Servings

Preparation time

15 minutes

Cooking time

25 minutes

Total time

40 minutes


  1. Wash hands and then rinse vegetables before getting started.
  2. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onions, potato, celery, and carrots. Cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until softened.
  3. Add the garlic and paprika or chili powder and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  4. Add the clams in their juice as well as the broth, bay leaf and thyme. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are soft.
  5. When ready to serve, turn off the heat and add the milk and discard the bay leaf. Serve with a salad, or a slice of whole wheat toast.


Add greens like spinach, or kale for added calcium, fiber and folate!

You can store this soup in a resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months (be sure to label and date your leftovers!). Check out these tips for safely cooling and freezing soup.

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Pot (with lid)
  • Spoon
  • Can opener
Back to Search