Low-Fat New England Clam Chowder

I think it’s safe to say that New England Clam Chowder is my favorite soup of all time.  Actually, when I think about it, I can’t think of a single person who’s favorite soup ISN’T clam chowder (maybe broccoli cheddar would come in for a close second).  The problem is, clam chowder is usually loaded with fat and calories because it’s made with cream, bacon fat, etc.  This recipe for Low-Fat New England Clam Chowder uses no cream whatsoever, instead it’s just low-fat milk.  I also use a minimal amount of oil and flour.  And, the difference is hardly noticeable.  It’s slightly thinner than your usual chowder but the flavor is all there and still soo so satisfactory.

I’ve been making this soup for a few years now.  Every time I make it I’m still in awe of how flavorful it is!  The thyme and Old Bay seasoning combined with the brininess of the clams is heaven in a bowl.  With this recipe there’s really no reason to use a heavier version — I promise you won’t still crave the cream after tasting this.


Low-Fat New England Clam Chowder (serves 6)


  • 2 cans minced clams
  • 1 bottle clam juice
  • 4 cups 1% milk
  • 2 russet potatoes, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning, or more to taste
  • 2 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • Hot sauce


In a medium stock pot, heat the oil or butter over medium-high heat.  When hot add in the onion and celery and sauté until onion starts to soften.  Add in the garlic and thyme and continue sautéing until onions are translucent.  Then add the flour and combine completely, and sauté for another 2 minutes to cook off the flour flavor.  Add in the clam juice to deglaze the pan, and then add in the salt, pepper, and Old Bay.  Continue cooking for a few minutes.  When the clam juice is starting to simmer, add in the potatoes and milk, along with a few dashes of hot sauce.  Let the soup simmer for 20 minutes and until the potatoes and tender when cut with a fork.  Before serving, add in the cans of minced clams and the  corn.  Stir well and let cook for another 5 minutes.  Add additional salt and pepper if necessary.



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