Fast or Slow New England Style Clam Chowder


When it only takes 5 minutes to cook in the pressure cooker, you'll never want to buy the canned stuff again. If you've got time to spare, make this delicious clam chowder in your slow cooker.

New England Style Clam Chowder in bowls
Photo: Andy Lyons
Prep Time:
15 mins
Slow Cook Time:
5 hrs 30 mins
Pressure Cook Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 50 mins
9 cups


  • ½ pound bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (about 3 cups)

  • 3 10 ounce cans whole baby clams with juice

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 bay leaves

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 cup half-and-half

  • 1 cup milk

  • 3 tablespoon all purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted

  • Oyster crackers (optional)

  • Fresh thyme (optional)


Fast 5 minute cook time

  1. In a 6-qt. electric pressure cooker use the saute setting to cook bacon until crisp. For a stove-top cooker, cook directly in the pot. Drain off fat. Stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Lock lid in place. Set an electric cooker on high pressure to cook 5 minutes. For a stove-top cooker, bring up to pressure over medium-high heat; reduce heat to maintain steady (but not excessive) pressure. Cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Release remaining pressure. Open lid carefully. In a small bowl whisk together the half-and-half, milk, flour, and butter. Gently stir half and half mixture into the pressure cooker. For both models, bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the reserved clams. Simmer 1 minute more. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Top servings with reserved bacon, crackers, and thyme if desired.

Slow 5 1/2 hour low or 3 hour high cook time

  1. In a large skillet cook bacon until crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain. Reserve half the bacon. In a 4- to 5-qt. slow cooker add remaining bacon, potatoes, juice from the clams (reserve clams), onion, garlic, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low 5 to 6 hours or high 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Refrigerate bacon and clams until ready to use. In a small bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, milk, flour, and butter. Allow to stand at room temperature 30 minutes. If using low heat, turn to high. Gently stir milk mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes more or until thickened and bubbly. Gently stir in reserved clams. Turn cooker off. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves. Top servings with reserved bacon, crackers, and thyme if desired.


Two pints shucked fresh clams with their liquid can be substituted for the canned clams.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

312 Calories
15g Fat
23g Carbs
25g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 312
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 116mg 39%
Sodium 898mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 12.9mg 65%
Calcium 233mg 18%
Iron 32.1mg 178%
Potassium 436mg 9%
Folate, total 21.6mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.4mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.3mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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