Manhattan Clam Chowder

Many fans of clam chowder have a rather strong opinion on which variety of chowder is better, New England or Manhattan. We think it’s like comparing apples and oranges though – one is creamy and rich, the other tangy and hearty. Both are delicious, so if you’re a clam lover, it just depends on what you’re in the mood for.

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Our Manhattan Clam Chowder is a tomato based chowder made with fresh littleneck clams, bacon, onion, carrots, celery and red and green bell pepper.


  • 6 dozen littleneck clams
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 lb bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 can (28-ounce) diced tomatoes,undrained
  • 4 red bliss potatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Oyster crackers


  1. Rinse the clams under cool water to remove any sand or dirt and place them in the bottom of a large pot with a lid.
  2. Add the water, clam juice, wine and bay leaves, cover tightly and bring to a simmer.
  3. Cook until all of the clams have opened, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer the clams and all of their liquid to a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Add the bacon to the pan and cook over medium heat until it renders its fat and begins to crisp. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the celery and continue cooking the mixture until the onions begin to caramelize, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes, potatoes and red and green bell pepper. Season with a few grinds of black pepper and hot sauce to taste (we used about 1 teaspoon). Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  7. Strain the broth from the clams through a fine strainer or piece of cheesecloth to remove any sand (and the bay leaves), then stir the broth into the soup.
  8. Cover and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  9. While the soup simmers, remove the clams from their shells, set aside and discard the shells.
  10. Add the clams to the soup and cook for 1 minute to heat through. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with parsley and a handful of oyster crackers.