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Clam Chowder, with fresh clams recipe, as seen on Taste of Printable recipe.

Clam Chowder with fresh clams.

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 - 10 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish, Seafood
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe to make this delicious Clam Chowder. We’re using fresh clams, and we’ll show you how to clean them, and how to prepare them, then turn it into a really hearty clam chowder you can enjoy anytime of the year. Using fresh clams will be easier than you might think.



  • 4 dozen littleneck clams, or 1 quart of shucked cooked clams with broth.
  • ¼ lb. cubed salt pork
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups Evaporated Milk
  • 6 Tablespoons, unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Texas Pete Hot Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste. (Taste the chowder for natural saltiness before adding additional salt.)
  • Oyster crackers, to thicken.


To Purge and Clean Fresh Clams:

  1. Place clams in a clean sink, discarding any that are cracked, chipped, or broken.
  2. Also, discard any clams that don’t close when their shell is lightly tapped.
  3. Add enough cold water to completely cover all the clams.
  4. Add 1/3 cup of salt.
  5. Let clams sit in water for 30minutes to purge out any sand.
  6. Drain the sink, rinsing away any sand or debris.
  7. Repeat the process at least once more, maybe twice, until the water is free of any sand.
  8. Use a stiff brush to scrub each clam under cold running water.
  9. Keep clams in the refrigerator, until ready to proceed with recipe.

To Make The Chowder:

  1. Place cleaned clams in a large pot.
  2. Add two cups of water.
  3. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Let boil until clam shells open. About 10 minutes.
  4. Place a colander over a large bowl.
  5. Remove open clams, one at a time, place in colander to drain.
  6. Reserve drained liquid, and any liquid remaining in the pot. Allow to cool.
  7. Shuck clams and set meat aside.
  8. Carefully pour off cooled broth from cooking pot, reserving the liquid.
  9. Drain pot carefully so as not to disturb any settlement in the bottom of the pot.
  10. Place a large saucepan over medium heat on your stovetop.
  11. Dice the salt pork into small cubes.
  12. Add the diced salt pork. Cook pork until slightly brown, but do not let burn.
  13. Pour off about half the fat if you have an abundance.
  14. Dice the onion.
  15. Add onion to the saucepan, stir and cook until tender.
  16. Dice the potatoes into ¼ inch cubes.
  17. Add diced potatoes to the saucepan.
  18. Carefully pour off the broth, letting any settlement remain in the bowl.
  19. Add clam broth to the saucepan.
  20. Potatoes should be covered with liquid. Add water as needed to cover.
  21. Let potatoes simmer until tender. About 10-15 minutes.
  22. Add whole milk.
  23. Add evaporated milk, stir well. Bring to a light simmer, stirring often for about 5 minutes.
  24. Taste the chowder. Add salt if needed, and black pepper to taste.
  25. Add Texas Pete Hot Sauce.
  26. Add butter.
  27. Add clams, stir well.
  28. Continue to stir and simmer, until butter is melted and clams are heated through. Do Not Boil.
  29. Add finely crushed oyster crackers as needed to thicken the chowder.
  30. Serve warm and Enjoy!


Prep Time is based on using fresh clams.

Some folks add about 1/3 cup of corn meal to the salt and water they are using to purge the clams. If the clams open and take in the corn meal, they spit it back out, sending sand out at the same time.

Keywords: Clam Chowder with Fresh Clams Recipe, made from scratch, fresh clams, southern recipes, potatoes