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Clam Chowder For One

Easy to make, creamy clam chowder recipe made with bacon, a potato, cream, and plenty of chopped clams. Wonderfully creamy and incredibly delicious. This single serving New England clam chowder is hearty, comforting and can be ready in just 30 minutes!

a yellow bowl of clam chowder on a tray next to a red napkin.

This creamy clam chowder recipe is a single serving recipe I've wanted to add to our website for quite some time. In fact, I had originally planned to include the recipe in our cookbook, but time got away from me and I didn't have the chance to properly work on scaling down my chowder recipe in time for the book deadline.

I believe our fabulous clam chowder recipe has been so worth the wait. It's got all of the ingredients traditionally found in clam chowder; salty bacon, tender chunks of potatoes, and plenty of clams. We use canned clams for convenience and I believe you'll absolutely love how this soup tastes!

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Why This Recipe Works

  • This one pot clam chowder is easy to make.
  • We use canned clams which can be easily found in most supermarkets along with the clam juice from the can for extra flavor.
  • The soup is not too thick nor too thin. It's the perfect consistency.

Ingredients

the ingredients needed in new england clam chowder on a brown table labeled.

Ingredient Notes

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • Bacon: I use one slice of bacon in this clam chowder recipe. The bacon is cooked first in a small saucepan and the bacon drippings are used to sauté the vegetables.
  • Vegetables: Use 1 celery stalk, chopped onions, and garlic.
  • Potato: 1 small russet potato, peeled and cubed is the perfect amount. You can use a different type of potato, just use about 5-ounces of cubed potatoes.
  • Seasonings: Dried thyme, kosher salt, and black pepper.
  • Chicken broth: I use low sodium chicken broth in this soup recipe. You can use seafood stock instead.
  • Half and half: Half and half is a creamer that is half whole milk and half cream. It has a 10-12% fat content. In the UK, it is sometimes called single cream. It's perfect to use in this clam chowder recipe.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is mixed with a small amount of the half & half to create a slurry which is gradually stirred into the soup. This helps to thicken the soup.
  • Clams: I use 1 (6.5-ounce) can of clams in this chowder recipe. Canned clams are a great shortcut for making an easy clam chowder. The entire contents of the can (clams and juice) are poured into the soup, so nothing goes to waste. Since the clams are already cooked, you will add them in towards the end of the cooking process. There is about 1/2-cup of clams and 1/2-cup of clam juice in a 6.5-ounce can.

How To Make This Recipe

  1. Cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  2. Sauté the onions and celery in the drippings until tender. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
  3. Stir in the potatoes, chicken broth, and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered until potatoes are tender.
  4. In a small bowl, combine flour and 1/4 cup of half & half. Slowly stir into soup. Bring soup to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Stir in clams, clam juice, and two additional tablespoons of half-and-half and heat through.
  6. Pour into a bowl and top with crumbled bacon.

This recipe will yield 2 cups of chowder.

Six photos showing the steps needed to make clam chowder.

Expert Tips

  • Clam chowder needs a flavorful start so we recommend cooking bacon and using the fat that is rendered to cook the onions, celery, and garlic. You could use pancetta or chorizo that's been crisped up instead.
  • The perfect clam chowder shouldn't be too thin or too thick. You can slightly thicken the chowder by mashing some of the cooked potatoes along the side of the pot. If you find the soup to be too thick, add a little extra half and half or broth.
an overhead picture of a bowl of clam chowder topped with cooked bacon.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients left over from this one pot clam chowder recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is New England Clam Chowder?

New England clam chowder typically contains clams, potatoes, onions, salted pork, and milk or cream. A thicker base and the addition of dairy are considered the biggest differences from other chowders.

How Do You Thicken Clam Chowder?

The clam chowder is thickened with a mixture of half and half and flour. Mixing these two ingredients together ahead of time and pouring the mixture into the soup prevents clumping. Cook the soup until it has thickened, the taste of flour will be cooked out.

What Toppings Can I Add To Clam Chowder?

Traditional clam chowder toppings include oyster crackers, chopped cooked bacon, or chopped parsley.

How Do I Store Leftovers?

Leftover clam chowder can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated up to 3 days.

If you’ve tried this clam chowder recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

If you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!

a spoonful of clam chowder filled with bacon and clams.

Clam Chowder For One

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Dish - Soup
Cuisine: American
Keywords: clam chowder, new england clam chowder, soup recipe
Servings: 1 bowl
Calories: 420kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 1 slice bacon
  • 1 celery rib , chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 small potato , peeled and cubed
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half , divided
  • 1 (6.5-ounce can) chopped clams , with the juice

Instructions

  • In a 2-quart saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to a paper towel to drain; set aside.
  • Saute celery and onion in the drippings until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  • Stir in the potatoes, broth, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 12-15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine flour and half and half until smooth. Gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in clams, clam juice from the can, and 2 tablespoons of half-and-half; heat through (do not boil). Pour into a bowl, crumble the cooked bacon and sprinkle over the top of the soup.
  • Enjoy hot.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Clam chowder needs a flavorful start so we recommend cooking bacon and using the fat that is rendered to cook the onions, celery, and garlic. You could use pancetta or chorizo that's been crisped up instead.
  • The perfect clam chowder shouldn't be too thin or too thick. You can slightly thicken the chowder by mashing some of the cooked potatoes along the side of the pot. If you find the soup to be too thick, add a little extra half and half or broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 1042mg | Potassium: 996mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 209IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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About The Author

8 thoughts on “Clam Chowder For One”

  1. I do believe that this recipe, doubled, will be just right for we 2 older people.
    We always have the ingredients on hand (I keep canned potatoes in my pantry for quickly decided meals). The simplicity of the recipe is perfect for me. :O)

  2. 5 stars
    As an older widow who lives alone, I am so happy to get some of your recipes to try. I am able to cut recipes down but this makes it so much easier for me. Thanks.

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