Creamy clam chowder with simple ingredients and very little prep. This recipe tastes so good, and the slow cooker does all the work for you, leaving plenty of time to do other things.
Why this recipe works
- If you are looking for an easy dinner idea that leaves you with plenty of time to relax this weekend, or make a busy weeknight less stressful, then this semi-homemade clam chowder might be exactly what you’re looking for!
- This recipe has all the elements of a succeessful clam chowder but with a few short cuts. It turns out ultra creamy and decadent. You won’t even know you added anything cannned!
- I find that this is the best clam chowder soup recipe out there. If I keep the flavor milder, even the pickiest member of my family enjoys this wonderful dinner dish.
What is the difference betwwen Manhattan and New England Clam Chowder.
- New England clam chowder consists of a hearty broth with potatoes, onions, celery and including clams. It’s thick and creamy. (This recipe is New England style).
- Manthattan clam chowder is tomato based with no cream.
How to make clam chowder in a slow cooker
This easy crockpot recipe is a godsend- just throw in your ingredients in the cooker and let it do all of the work for you.
- Cream of Potato Soup – you won’t even taste this after you add the other ingredients
- Milk – use whole milk for an extra cream soup
- Cream cheese – this thickens the soup, I prefer Philadelphia brand for it melts the best.
- Minced clams (canned) – add the clam juice from cans to the soup for more flavor
- White onion – finely minced for this doesn’t have a long cooking time to break down large chunks of onion.
- Bacon – sliced, cooked and drained
- Dried Leaf Thyme – optional, but in my opinion this is what makes it taste restaurant quality.
- Freshly ground black pepper
How long do I cook?
- The slow cooker should be set on low heat setting for 4-5 hours.
- I like to stir this recipe occasionally during cooking for it’s a thicker soup and can start to stick to the edges.
Can I use an instant pot instead?
Instant Pot slow cooker clam chowder is also an excellent choice if you’re in a hurry, but I find that the flavors don’t melt together the same way they do if you use the crockpot to cook your New England clam chowder.
Ways to serve
- Serve your slow cooker clam chowder in a bowl with saltine crackers or oyster crackers.
- For a restaurant style, top your chowder with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of paprika.
- Warm sourdough bread and butter is a great side for chowder.
- For an extra special touch, you can serve the soup in a bread bowl. Just carve a circle out the middle of a small round loaf of sourdough bread. Make sure not to cut too deep- you don’t want your chowder leaking out the bottom of the bowl! Place the bread bowl on a plate with the circle next to the bowl. Add your preferred toppings and serve. Who needs a seafood restaurant when your homemade clam chowder looks this good?
If you want a strong clam flavor, do add some of the juice. I would add about a half-cup. If you add too much, the clam chowder may become thin.
Since clams have a short shelf life, do not store it longer than 3 days to be on the safe side.
Cream and potaotes do no freeze well, so it’s better to refrigerate and eat within a few days.
No! The bacon can be omitted if needed for lent; this chowder still has plenty of flavor without it.
More soup recipes you’ll love:
- Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana
- Slow Cooker Split Pea Stew
- Slow Cooker Cauliflower Cheese Soup
- Slow Cooker Ham Hocks and Dumplings
- Slow Cooker Turkey and Brown Rice Soup
How do you make your slow cooker? Do you add any extra ingredients to the recipe? Share in the comments below or on our social media pages!
Easy Slow Cooker Clam Chowder
- Slow Cooker Size: 4 quart or larger
- 21 oz. Cream of Potato Soup (two-10.50 oz. cans)
- 21 oz. milk (measured in above cans) use whole milk for an extra creamy soup
- 8 oz. cream cheese cubed – Philadelphia brand melts the best.
- 13 oz. minced clams (two-6.5 oz cans) drained (see notes for adding the clam juice)
- 1/2 cup white onion finely minced
- 8 slices bacon sliced, cooked and drained
- 1/2 tsp. dried leaf thyme (not ground) or two teaspoons fresh
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- oyster crackers
- sourdough bread
- Add everything into the slow cooker.
- Stir. Don't worry about the cream cheese mixing in, it will melt as the slow cooker heats up.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours. Stir occasionally so the soup doesn't scorch. This is a thicker soup and can tend to stick to the edges.
- Serve with crackers and sourdough bread if desired.