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This rich and hearty Easy Clam Chowder with Smoked Oysters is made with potatoes and canned clams, and is the perfect way to warm up on a cold winter night.
When I was growing up, there was one soup that I looked forward to more than any other.
It was a soup that seemed elusive, because it was only available at seafood restaurants or at the beach. It’s creamy, it’s steamy– it’s clam chowder.
More recently, I’ve decided that I NEED more clam chowder in my life. Since I normally can’t find fresh clams, and frozen clams are even harder to find– I made a clam chowder for the landlocked!
If you’re landlocked, without access to fresh clams– this easy clam chowder is for you!
If you AREN’T landlocked, and have easy access to fresh clams– but find yourself on a budget, or snowed in, or simply don’t want to leave your house– this chowder is for you too!
It’s made with ingredients you probably already have on hand (or can easily get), and is EASY to prepare. Before you know it, you’ll be chowing down on a hot and steamy bowl of seafood yumminess.
First of all, to make clam chowder from canned clams– you need to have…. canned clams! You figured that out already didn’t you?
There should be several types of canned clams at your local grocery store. Since most canned clams tend to be inexpensive, go ahead and try a few different brands and see which is your favorite!
Most clam chowders include bacon– here I’ve skipped the bacon, and added smoked oysters instead. You can find smoked oysters right next to the canned clams.
I like to use seafood stock for this soup, but if you don’t have any, grab some vegetable broth and a bottle of clam juice. You’ll also need some potatoes, an onion, some herbs, a little white wine, and some celery.
Want more canned fish tips? Check out this Ultimate Guide to Canned Fish.
Making Easy Clam Chowder
This soup starts out like potato soup– you sauté onions with herbs and bay leaves, add wine, add broth, add the potatoes, and let it cook.
Just like when I make potato soup, I like to thicken it by scooping out about half of the chunky potatoes with a little bit of broth, and blending it in an immersion blender cup or stand blender.
Next, I add celery and milk or cream.
Avoid adding the celery before using the blender. It turns the soup green, and that’s not necessarily a good look.
The finishing touches to this easy clam chowder are the clams and the smoked oysters.
Toss them in right at the end, stir it all up, and scoop your steaming hot seafood soup into bowls. Top it off with some more herbs (if you want to), and smile, because now you have clam chowder even though you’re landlocked!
Want more SOUP recipe ideas? Try these:
Want more CANNED FISH recipe ideas? Try these:
Easy Clam Chowder with Smoked Oysters
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 2-3 sprigs rosemary
- 2 sprigs thyme (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups seafood stock OR 3 cups vegetable broth and 1 cup clam juice
- 3 large baking potatoes, peeled (optional) and diced
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup milk
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 2 cans clams, chopped (about 6oz)
- 1 tin smoked oysters, drained from oil (about 3oz)
- fresh basil, as optional garnish
- Heat butter in pan on medium, then add onion, salt rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves. Sauté until onions have softened, and add wine. Allow wine to cook about 3 minutes on medium.
- Add seafood stock (or vegetable broth and clam juice) and diced potatoes. Bring soup to a boil, and then allow to simmer about 10 minutes.
- While soup is simmering, sauté celery in a small pan and set aside.
- Roughly chop oysters, and set aside.
- After potatoes have softened, ladle about half the potatoes into a blender or immersion blender cup. Pour pureé back into the soup pot, and add milk, cream, celery, clams, and oysters.
- Simmer 5 more minutes.Taste and add extra salt if desired. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 2 days.
Is this what you made the other day for lunch? It looks so goooood!
Yessss! I’m craving again!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food
I’ve never had clam chowder before so clearly I’ve been missing out!! Looks super creamy….all I’d need is some crusty bread and I’d be one happy lady 🙂
What!! You need to try it! It’s basically like a seafood potato soup 🙂
Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
You know I never used to think I liked any type of “seafood” soup….but once I tried it….I LOVE IT. Sounds delicious and perfect comfort food for the cold winter months.
Skipping the bacon is a great idea, I am not so find of bacon in clam chowder! Your clam chowder looks amazing, I wish I could have some right away!
Thanks Helene! I’m not either!
Do the smoked oysters give it the orangey color? I expected this to be a New York style clam chowder based on the color, but there are no tomatoes in the broth!
It’s because I used my homemade seafood stock that has tomato paste in it! ☺️ So if you make it exactly like I did, it will have a red hue.. but if you use vegetable broth and clam juice it’ll be whiter!
Ive been on a clam chowder kick recently too. Its comfort food at its finest! I love your variation and just so happen to have some clams in the pantry so Im making it today! Thanks!
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
Clam chowder is absolutely one of my favorite soups. The taste is sublime and I love the creaminess of the soup. It certainly is easy to make. I like your variation.
This sounds amazing and makes me so excited to scout for some canned clams! I know I can find them at the US base about an hour from us, if not locally here in Brussels, so now I’m kicking myself for not having looked at this recipe before we went this weekend! Oh well – I’ll have this pinned to remind me the next time I can pick some up, I can’t wait to try it!
I hope you can find some!!! I like to stock up on canned clams 🙂
A clam chowder were you can actually taste the seafood. This was awesome!
Looking forward to trying to make this for Thanksgiving. Something to make our humble little 3-person dinner a bit more special, I hope…
Aw, I hope all three of you enjoy it. We’re looking forward to being able to be with our families again in the future too, hopefully soon
Can I freeze the leftover?
I haven’t tried freezing it! I personally probably wouldn’t because I usually avoid freezing things with this much dairy. (Dairy sometimes thaws strangely)
Kelli in Idaho
I made this during 2021. In the interest of avoiding stores I used what was in my pantry and refrigerator. I had chicken broth powder, onions, celery, potatoes and half n half, lactose free. I shredded the onion and celery and celery leaves and used the oil from the smoked clams along with butter to soften the onion and celery. With chicken broth powder and water I cooked the potatoes. I followed as many of your steps and processes as possible. I substituted 2 tins of smoked clams for all the seafood and added it at the end. This was delicious and delightful. I am so glad I had tins of smoked clams that I wanted to use up. Great recipe even with variations.
Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and I’m all for using whatever you’ve got on hand to make it work. Especially right now!
This was our first time making clam chowder, and it turned out really well! We left out the oysters, since we didn’t have any, but everything else was easy to obtain, and it didn’t take very long to put together. It was really tasty, and it will even last us for two meals–yay for leftovers!!
Absolutely Delicious! I used a combination of red potatoes and russet, as the russet tend to stay a little firmer…. Will probably add more potatoes next time, as it didn’t thicken up too well! Loved the oysters in it! I had made my own fish stock as well! Great recipe!
Glad you loved it so much! Thanks for letting us know!
-Alisha at Champagne Tastes