Slow Cooker New England Clam Chowder

Serving 6 people

600 min


  • bacon 5-6 slices of bacon
  • bacon grease 1/2 tbsp bacon grease
  • celery 1/2 C celery
  • clam juice *1: 8oz bottle clam juice (see notes)
  • clams *4: 6oz cans clams (see notes)
  • flour 1/4 C flour
  • garlic 1 tsp garlic
  • half and half 3 1/4 C half and half
  • olive oil 1 tbsp olive oil
  • onion 1 C onion
  • pepper 1/2 - 1 tsp pepper
  • potatoes 4 1/2 C potatoes
  • red pepper flakes 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • salt 1 tsp salt
  • thyme 1/4 tsp thyme
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How to make it

  1. Prepare veggies: peel and chop potatoes into small bite site pieces
  2. add to crock. Chop onion, slice celery down the center lengthwise and then chop into small pieces, and finally mince 1 teaspoon worth of garlic. Take 5-6 slices of bacon, if you are using fatty bacon slice off the ends if they are extremely fatty and discard.
  3. Cut up bacon slices into small pieces by either slicing lengthwise in half or into thirds and then into small pieces.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. Carefully add garlic, onion and celery. Sprinkle with thyme and red pepper flakes (if using). Cook, stirring frequently until heated through and very tender. The onions will be translucent and shiny.
  5. Transfer veggies to crock.
  6. Drain clams (2 if using canned juice, 4 if using bottled juice).
  7. Add clams and clam juice. Stir contents well.
  8. Add flour, salt and pepper. Give another quick stir. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours or high for 5 hours. When 30 minutes remain, stir in half & half.While that begins to warm and cook, heat up the large skillet again.
  9. Add in bacon pieces. Do not leave bacon unattended for any reason! Bacon can go from undercooked, to cooked to overcooked in a hurry. Depending on your bacon and the sizes of your pieces the timing will vary. At first cook with the bacon spread throughout the pan. When it begins to cook and produce more liquid grease, pull bacon pieces together in a small bunch. This will allow the grease to heat and cook the bacon better
  10. or at least that's how I feel. Toss and stir until it almost looks done then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  11. Remove 1/2 tbsp bacon grease. Reserve a small portion of cooked bacon pieces (1 1/2 slices worth) for topping chowder later. Toss remaining larger portion of bacon pieces into crock and 1/2 tbsp bacon grease. Stir well. Replace lid and let cook.Divide among bowls serving warm and sprinkling with bacon.