15-Minute Manhattan Clam Chowder

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


This clam chowder is tomato-based, not creamy. And it has a bit of kick from some hot sauce. If you’re used to a creamy clam chowder, this is a bright change. Unlike a lot of soup recipes, the potatoes are added early in the cooking process here. This is because they take awhile to get tender and so you want to give them that time.

Yield: 12 cups.

Listen to learn how to make this recipe, along with some great tips from Christine:

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  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 6 strips cooked bacon*
  • 2 medium baking potatoes
  • 4 (8 oz.) bottles of clam juice
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. hot sauce (such as tabasco)
  • 4 (6.5 oz.) cans chopped clams with juice


  1. Put the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan or Dutch Oven over medium heat. Chop the bacon and add it to the saucepan.
  2. Finely dice the potatoes (1/4-inch cubes is great). Add the potatoes to the pot. Stir and cover.
  3. Pour the clam juice into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in the microwave on high for 5 minutes.
  4. While the broth heats, finely chop the celery. Add it to the potatoes along with the salt. Stir and cover. Peel and chop the onion. Add it to the pot with the potatoes. Stir and cover. Mince the garlic. Add the garlic along with the tomato paste and thyme. Cook and stir for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the hot clam juice to the pot along with the diced tomatoes and the tabasco. Increase heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  6. Open the cans of clams and put the clams along with the juice from the cans into the soup. Stir. Cook until the clams are very well heated through, 3-4 minutes. Taste and add more salt and/or tabasco if desired.


*If you’d prefer to cook the bacon yourself instead of buying the pre-cooked bacon, you can cook it in the microwave, like this. Or, cook it in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Chop it up. Add that bacon when you add the canned clams. If you cook it in the skillet, also make sure that you use the bacon fat that you get from the bacon. Use 2 tablespoons of it in Step#1 above instead of the olive oil and butter. That will add extra bacon flavor to your soup.