Rhode Island-Style Clear Clam Chowder

By Yankee Magazine

Apr 19 2021


Rhode Island-Style Clear Clam Chowder

Photo Credit : Studio Dylan

In the season five Weekends with Yankee episode “Only In New England,” Amy learns about the shipbuilding legacy of Essex, Massachusetts, and makes a stop at Woodman’s of Essex, birthplace of the fried clam. Back in the kitchen, Amy showcases fresh seafood by making Rhode Island–Style Clear Clam Chowder using a favorite recipe from Matunuck Oyster Bar in South Kingstown. To make it recipe accessible for weeknight cooking, we substituted frozen clam meat and bottled clam juice for the broth, then enriched the soup with bacon, onions, celery, and fresh herbs.

Watch Amy Traverso make Rhode Island-Style Clear Clam Chowder:


8 servings


2 pounds local frozen clam meat, thawed and chopped
6 cups bottled clam juice
3 slices thick-sliced bacon, cut into ¼-inch cubes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium-size onions, cut into ¼-inch cubes
3 ribs celery, cut into ¼-inch cubes
2 bay leaves
2 pounds Yukon Gold or other all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Put the bacon in a 5- to 7-quart pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat, leaving the bacon in the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the butter, onions, celery, and bay leaves, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the potatoes and clam juice to the pot. Continue cooking over medium heat until the chowder begins to simmer. If it begins to boil, reduce the heat slightly. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Just before serving, remove the pot from the heat, stir in the clams meat, discard the bay leaves, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with herbs. Serve hot.