Slow Cooker Manhattan Clam Chowder


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If you’re craving to taste of clams, then you’ll love this Slow Cooker Manhattan Clam Chowder recipe. It’s easily made with canned clams, chicken broth, and a host of potatoes, veggies, and seasonings. This is a delicious soup everyone will enjoy!

There are lots of different chowders you can make. Try my Slow Cooker Corn Chowder or Turkey Chowder next time you’re looking to switch things up a bit.

crockpot full of manhattan clam chowder.

What is Manhattan Clam Chowder?

Manhattan clam chowder just so happens to have a pretty cool history. Due to the large Italian population in New York and Rhode Island during the 1800s, it was inevitable that the introduction of tomatoes and tomato-based clam chowders would become popular.

Contrary to New England clam chowder, which has a creamy, milky-white base, Manhattan chowder is tomatoey, brothy, and clear. This red chowder gets its chowder base from chicken broth, clam juice, and tomatoes (of course).

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for manhattan clam chowder on a table with text overlay.
  • Clams: You’ll need at least two 10-ounce cans of whole clams for this crock pot recipe.
  • Clam Juice: You can find bottled clam juice in your local grocery store.
  • Tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes are both added to help create the tomato chowder base and add the tomato flavor.
  • Potatoes: To help make sure the potatoes are tender by the end of cooking time, they’ll need to be diced.
  • Chicken Broth: I think this tastes best for making this type of chowder.
  • Vegetables: Corn, carrots, onion, and celery are all chopped and tossed into the crockpot.
  • Seasonings: Freshly ground black pepper, kosher salt, old bay seasoning, fresh thyme, and Tobasco sauce adds the right amount of flavor.

Step-by-Step Directions

Four images showing how to make manhattan clam chowder in a slow cooker.

Step One – In a slow cooker, combine the celery, carrots, onion, corn, potatoes, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and whole clams.

Step Two – Then add chicken stock, Tabasco sauce, old bay seasoning, salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and clam juice.

Step Three – Stir everything together with a slotted spoon to combine well.

Step Four – Cover and cook on LOW heat for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours, or until the vegetables are tender. Ladle the chowder into bowls and top with your choice of optional toppings. Enjoy!

Red clam chowder in a white slow cooker with a wooden spoon in it.

How to serve

  • In addition to serving it as-is in bowls, you can add a variety of toppings such as cooked bacon crumbled, chopped fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, an extra dash of hot sauce, and other fresh herbs.
  • This soup also pairs well with other cooked vegetables (roasted or steamed) and Italian bread, sourdough bread and butter. And, of course saltine crackers or oyster crackers.
bowl of manhattan clam chowder with mini tabasco bottles in the background.

Recipe FAQs and Variations

Can I use a different kind of potato in this recipe?

Sure. Although I’ve never tried it with any other kind, you could try diced baby red potatoes.

Can I use baby clams or fresh clams?

If you live near a fish market, you can always pick up some fresh clams or use whole baby clams (or two cans chopped clams).

Can I use frozen clams?

I suggest letting them thaw overnight to make sure they cook thoroughly.

Would I be able to turn this into an England version?

Keep in mind the biggest differences between the two soup recipes. The clam broth with the Manhattan is made with tomatoes whereas the England chowder calls for broth, flour, and whipping cream for a creamy clam chowder. In addition to these two, there’s also Rhode Island clam chowder made with salt pork and dry white wine.

How do I store leftover chowder?

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Reheat on the stove-top or in the microwave. It is not recommended to freeze the chowder as the potatoes and vegetables will become mushy when thawed.

Can I add other vegetables?

Other vegetables that can be added to the recipe are bell peppers, zucchini, or green beans.

What other stock can I use in this recipe?

Vegetable broth or fish stock can be used in place of the chicken stock. You can also add shrimp, bay scallops or white fish to this recipe.

What if I don’t have a slow cooker?

This recipe can be made on the stove-top as well, add all ingredients to a large stock pot, cover and cook on medium heat for 30-45 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

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Red clam chowder in a white slow cooker with a wooden spoon in it.

Slow Cooker Manhattan Clam Chowder

4 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6
The combination of whole clams, chicken broth, vegetables, and seasonings makes for the best-tasting Slow Cooker Manhattan Clam Chowder ever.

Ingredients 
 

  • 3 celery ribs, sliced
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 14 oz. can corn, drained
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes, (two 14 oz. cans)
  • 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 20 oz. whole clams, (two 10-oz. clams) drained
  • 8 oz. clam juice

Optional Toppings:

  • Cooked bacon, crumbled
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Oyster crackers

Instructions 

  • In a slow cooker, combine the celery, carrots, onion, corn, potatoes, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, tabasco sauce, old bay seasoning, kosher salt, black pepper, thyme leaves, whole clams with the juice and the clam juice. Stir to combine.
  • Cover and cook on LOW heat for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Ladle the chowder into bowls and top with your choice of optional toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Vegetable broth or fish stock can be used in place of the chicken stock.
  • Feel free to add shrimp, bay scallops or white fish to this recipe.
  • This recipe can be made on the stove-top as well, add all ingredients to a large stock pot, cover and cook on medium heat for 30-45 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Reheat on the stove-top or in the microwave.
  • It is not recommended to freeze the chowder as the potatoes and vegetables will become mushy when thawed.
  • Other vegetables that can be added to the recipe are: Bell peppers, zucchini or green beans.

Nutrition

Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 882mg | Potassium: 733mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 522IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

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2 Comments

  1. Stacy says:

    2 stars
    Drained the whole clams and the chowder was still way too clammy with the 8oz of juice. Had to throw it out.

  2. Stacy says:

    In the ingredients it says the whole clams should be drained but in the instructions it says to add the whole clams with the juice.