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Imagine curling up with a bowl of creamy, hearty clam chowder that’s all yours to enjoy. No leftovers, no waste—just pure comfort in a bowl. This single serving clam chowder recipe is incredibly easy to make and takes just 30 minutes. Filled with tender potatoes, salty bacon, and brimming with clams, this New England classic is about to become your go-to comfort food.

Craving more single serving soup recipes? You’ll love these options: a rich and comforting Lasagna Soup, a hearty Tortellini Soup filled with flavorful cheese-stuffed pasta, a creamy and cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Soup, and a smooth, velvety Creamy Tomato Soup. Each recipe is perfect for a satisfying meal just for you!

Why You’ll Love This Clam Chowder Recipe

This creamy clam chowder is a recipe I’ve been eager to share for a long time. Initially, it was slated to be in our cookbook, but due to time constraints, it missed the cut. Trust me, it’s been worth the wait!

This version has all the traditional clam chowder hallmarks you crave: salty bacon, tender chunks of potatoes, and an ample serving of clams. And for those who are always on the go, we opted for canned clams to keep things simple and speedy. Here are a few more reasons why this clam chowder will become your new favorite:

  • Convenience: Using canned clams makes this recipe quick and easy to prepare.
  • Flavor Depth: The combination of bacon and clam juice infuses the chowder with an incredibly savory flavor.
  • Perfect Portions: This recipe is scaled down to serve one, making it ideal for a satisfying solo meal without the waste.
  • Texture: The tender potatoes and creamy base make for a wonderfully comforting bowl.
  • Time-Efficient: Ready in just 30 minutes, this chowder is perfect for when you want comfort food in a hurry.


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

This section provides a quick rundown of the ingredients used in this small batch clam chowder recipe. For complete measurements and step-by-step instructions, please scroll to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

  • Bacon: One slice of bacon provides a rich, smoky flavor to this clam chowder. The bacon is crisped in a saucepan, and its drippings are used to sauté the vegetables, offering an extra layer of taste. If you’ve got a slice or two of extra bacon, consider using it in German Potato Salad, Mini Corn Casserole, or Coq au Vin.
  • Vegetables: This recipe calls for a single stalk of celery, chopped onions, and garlic. These classic veggies add a flavorful base to your chowder. We use this combination of vegetables in many of our single serving and small batch recipes like Split Pea Soup, Chicken Stew, and Seafood Gumbo.
  • Potato: A small, peeled and cubed russet potato is all you need here. If you prefer, you can substitute with approximately 5 ounces of another potato variety like Yukon Gold. Extra potatoes can be used in Potato Gnocchi and Zuppa Toscana.
  • Seasonings: Dried thyme, kosher salt, and black pepper offer the perfect seasoning balance. They bring out the natural flavors of the soup ingredients without overpowering them.
  • Chicken Broth: Low-sodium chicken broth is my go-to for this recipe. However, seafood stock is an excellent alternative.
  • Half and Half: This dairy delight, a mix of whole milk and cream, adds luxurious creaminess to the chowder. Known as ‘single cream’ in the UK, it typically contains 10-12% fat content. Use leftover half and half in a single serving Coconut Cream Pie!
  • Flour: A small portion of all-purpose flour is whisked with half and half to create a quick slurry. When stirred into the soup, this slurry acts as a thickening agent.
  • Clams: A 6.5-ounce can of clams is the perfect shortcut for a speedy chowder. Both the clams and their juice are used, ensuring zero waste and maximum flavor. Since canned clams are pre-cooked, they’re added towards the end to prevent overcooking. Each can generally contains about 1/2 cup of clams and 1/2 cup of clam juice.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this easy clam chowder recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

RELATED: How To Freeze Bacon

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How To Make Clam Chowder

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make a single serving of clam chowder. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Crisp the Bacon: Place a slice of bacon in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until it reaches a crispy texture. Once done, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess grease.
  2. Sauté Vegetables: In the same saucepan, use the leftover bacon drippings to sauté the chopped onions and celery until they become soft and tender. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute to release its aroma.
  3. Add Potatoes and Liquids: Incorporate the cubed potatoes, chicken broth, and your chosen seasonings into the saucepan. Turn up the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and let it simmer uncovered until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  4. Thicken the Soup: In a separate small bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup of half and half to create a smooth slurry. Gradually add this slurry to the simmering soup, stirring continuously. Raise the heat to bring the soup back to a boil and keep stirring until it thickens. This should take around 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add the Clams: Mix in the canned clams and their accompanying juice along with two additional tablespoons of half and half. Stir until all elements are well-combined and heated through.
  6. Serve with Bacon: Ladle the finished clam chowder into a bowl and garnish with the crumbled, crispy bacon that you set aside earlier.

This simple yet delicious clam chowder recipe yields approximately 2 cups of soup, making it the perfect single serving dish to savor and enjoy!

Six photos showing the steps needed to make clam chowder.

Expert Tips

  • Start with Bacon Fat: The base of your clam chowder will have deeper flavors if you begin by cooking bacon and utilizing the rendered fat to sauté your veggies. For a unique twist, consider using crisped-up pancetta or chorizo as a substitute.
  • Texture is Key: Achieving the right consistency is crucial. If you want a thicker soup, mash some of the cooked potatoes against the side of the pot. For a thinner consistency, feel free to add a splash more of half and half or your choice of broth.
  • Vegetarian Adaptation: To make a vegetarian version of this clam chowder, simply omit the bacon and opt for vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.

These tips are designed to guide you through creating a clam chowder that’s both flavorful and perfectly textured. Make the recipe your own by playing with the texture and ingredients!

What To Serve With Clam Chowder

Elevate your meal with some well-thought-out sides and accompaniments. Each suggestion here pairs beautifully with the creamy, hearty texture and rich flavors of clam chowder, turning a simple meal into something truly extraordinary.

  • French Bread: A slice of warm, crusty bread can act as the perfect sponge for that creamy chowder base.
  • Chopped Salad: A light salad featuring mixed greens and a vinaigrette dressing can provide a refreshing contrast to the heaviness of the chowder.
  • Oyster Crackers: A classic choice that adds crunch.
  • White Wine: A glass of a crisp white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc can cut through the creaminess of the chowder and can be a delightful addition to your meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sets New England Clam Chowder apart?

New England clam chowder is distinguished by its creamy base, usually made from milk or cream, and includes clams, potatoes, onions, and salted pork. This sets it apart from other chowders, which may not contain dairy and could have a thinner base.

How can I achieve the perfect chowder consistency?

To thicken your clam chowder, combine half and half with flour to create a slurry. Introduce this mixture to the soup while cooking to avoid any flour clumps. Continue to cook until the soup reaches your desired thickness and the raw flour taste is gone.

What are the best toppings for clam chowder?

You can garnish your clam chowder with traditional toppings such as oyster crackers, crumbled cooked bacon, or finely chopped parsley to add extra texture and flavor.

What’s the best way to store leftover clam chowder?

Any leftover clam chowder can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Make sure it’s fully cooled before refrigerating to maintain the best quality.

an overhead picture of a bowl of clam chowder topped with cooked bacon.

More Single Serving Soup Recipes You’ll Love

If you’ve fallen head over heels for our single serving clam chowder, then you’re in luck. We’ve curated a list of some of our other scrumptious single serving soup recipes to satisfy your cravings. There’s something here for every palate and occasion.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

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 it!

Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Clam Chowder For One

5 from 10 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
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!


  • 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 coarsely 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
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  • 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.


  • Start with Bacon Fat: The base of your clam chowder will have deeper flavors if you begin by cooking bacon and utilizing the rendered fat to sauté your veggies. For a unique twist, consider using crisped-up pancetta or chorizo as a substitute.
  • Texture is Key: Achieving the right consistency is crucial. If you want a thicker soup, mash some of the cooked potatoes against the side of the pot. For a thinner consistency, feel free to add a splash more of half and half or your choice of broth.
  • Vegetarian Adaptation: To make a vegetarian version of this clam chowder, simply omit the bacon and opt for vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.


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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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

5 from 10 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Lisa says:

    Yep! This was good too 👍🏼

    Thanks Joanie 😁

  2. Jamie Warn says:

    I am so happy to have this recipe I cook for myself and myself only so I love finding small batch recipes

  3. Jackie Cade says:

    I’m so thankful to have found your website Everything turns out so well and the seasonings are just perfect This is very good clam chowder and so simple to make I left out the bacon this time I’m making the small batch of biscuits to go with the chowder and add a pinch of old bay seasoning to the dough and brush them with a little melted butter with a dash of garlic powder I feel like I’m eating out at a fine restaurant every night This is much easier than freezer meals for me and tastes so much better Much appreciation for talent. Jackie

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Thank you so much, Jackie! I’m thrilled to hear you’re enjoying the recipes, especially the clam chowder. Your twist on the biscuits sounds absolutely delicious. It’s wonderful that these dishes bring a touch of restaurant-quality dining to your home.

  4. Basia P says:

    Love,love,love this recipe. Can’t wait to make this again. Your recipes never fail.

  5. Rebecca says:

    Can I use shrimp instead of clams?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:


  6. Laurie says:

    Delish!! thanks

  7. RossC says:

    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)

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Yes, the recipe doubles beautifully. Enjoy!

  8. Lorraine McDonald says:

    I live alone and the recipes are just right for me

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I’m so glad you are finding the recipes helpful.

  9. Monika says:

    can i use heavy cream instead of half and half? thats what i have on hand right now.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Yes, you can but the soup will be a bit thicker. You might want to thin it out with a little chicken broth to get the consistency you like.

    2. Evelyn says:

      Made it, doubled it for 2 of us..delicious and easy..will definately make again❤

  10. Pat says:

    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.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Thank you, Pat. I’m so happy you are finding the recipes helpful.