Slow Cooker Clam Chowder tastes amazing! The flavor is rich, and has just the right amount of clam flavor. With potatoes, bacon, and other yummy ingredients, this crock pot clam chowder recipe is very popular!
Slow Cooker Clam Chowder
Being from the Pacific Northwest, I have had my share of clam chowder over the years! Naturally this is a recipe I have made countless times for my family. We all love clam chowder a lot!
Making clam chowder in the slow cooker is pretty easy. Just a little pre-cooking of the bacon, onions and celery. The rest is dump and start.
I wish I could say that there is some secret ingredient that makes this crock pot clam chowder taste so good. The amazing flavor comes from the ratios of the ingredients, and from sautéing the veggies.
Which potatoes are best to use?
I like to use russets for this clam chowder recipe because they have lots of starch. But use whatever you have on hand!
Can I use fresh clams?
- Yes! How amazing! I suggest either very small clams, or chop them.
- Make sure you get the sand out first! Put them in a pot of fresh cold water with some flour or cornmeal in it. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes. They’ll spit out the sand.
- You’ll want about 16 oz of clams (shelled).
- Add some bottled clam juice since there will not be any clam nectar
Can this recipe be doubled?
Yes it can! Just make sure your slow cooker is large enough. I think a 6 qt or larger will work fine.
Can you freeze Slow Cooker Clam Chowder?
Yes you can. I suggest freezing in small batches of about 2 cups or so. Let thaw in the fridge. Stir well when you warm it up on med-low heat, stirring often so it doesn’t curdle or scorch.
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Slow Cooker Clam Chowder tastes amazing! The flavor is rich, and has just the right amount of clam flavor. With potatoes, bacon, and other yummy ingredients.
- 6 slices Thick Cut Smoky Bacon, chopped
- 3 Tbsp Butter, unsalted
- 1 med Onion, diced
- 1 rib Celery, diced
- 1 1/2 lbs Potatoes, peeled & cubed
- 3 (6.5 oz) cans Clams, with juice
- 1/4 tsp Thyme Leaves, dried (not ground)
- 2 lg cloves Garlic, pressed
- 1 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt (or 3/4 tsp table salt)
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth (or water, or clam juice)
- 1 1/2 cups Half and Half
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Corn or Potato Starch
- 2 Tbsp Chives, Half and Half
- 2 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
- Oyster Crackers
Cook bacon and set on a paper towel to drain. Set aside.
In the same pan, remove all but 2 tsp of the bacon fat. Add the butter to the pan, along with the onion and celery. Cook over med heat, stirring occasionally, until softened.
Meanwhile, add the potatoes, clams and their juice, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, and broth to a slow cooker that is 4 qt size or larger.
Add the cooked onion/celery mixture to the crock.
Add 3/4 of the cooked bacon, reserving the other 1/4 for garnish.
Cook on Low for 3 hours, or until the potatoes are tender.
Whisk together the corn starch and half and half. Add to the slow cooker and stir. Turn heat to High and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through cook time.
Serve garnished with reserved bacon and chives, oyster crackers, or parsley.
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