No baby yet. Thanks for all your well-wishes, but this little tike is content right now to stay squished up next to my bladder and cause me great discomfort. In order to pass the time to his birth (is that a contraction I feel???) here is a fabulous recipe for a quick and easy clam chowder that I tried last week. Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, this was very easy to put together and was surprisingly delicious. Not thick enough in my book for bread bowls, it was perfect with served with a crusty roll and my husband, who is a self-proclaimed clam chowder afficionado, declared it a “make-again.” That’s pretty high praise. I actually loved the fact that it seemed a bit lighter in texture and consistency (not heavy and glue-y) than other clam chowders I’ve made. The bacon adds great smokiness and flavor and is perfect paired with the silkiness of the cream. My only advice is don’t oversalt the soup – the bacon and clams add just the right amount of salt without being too overpowering!

What To ServeCornbread Muffins or Cornbread and Fluffy Honey Butter
Broiled or griddled cheese quesadillas (for a fancier quesadilla these Crispy Cheese Wraps)
Fresh, seasonal fruit

Quick and Delicious Clam Chowder

Yield: Serves 6 (about 2 quarts)

Quick and Delicious Clam Chowder


  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion , diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
  • 4 (6.5-ounce) cans minced clams, drain and reserve clam juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed and diced medium
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Fry bacon in medium saucepan (I used a medium enameled dutch oven) over medium-low heat until fat renders and bacon crisps, 5 to 7 minutes. Add onion to bacon; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour; stir until lightly colored, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in bottled clam juice, reserved clam juice from clams, and water. Add potatoes, bay leaves, and thyme; simmer until potatoes are tender, about 6 minutes (don’t overcook the potatoes or they will become mushy after adding the cream and bringing to a simmer!). Add clams, cream, parsley, and salt and ground pepper to taste (be careful not to oversalt!); bring to simmer.
  2. Remove from heat and serve.

Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

17 Responses to Quick and Delicious Clam Chowder

  1. Shelley says:

    Yum yum yum! Made this for supper tonight and it’s spool delicious! I know this is a 2 yr old post but I could not help but comment on the yumminess!

  2. Jamy says:

    Sorry no baby yet! I was actually just thinking of you, as my friend just had her baby over-due. Here’s hoping baby comes soon and everything goes well! (BTW, I hope your hubby cooks for you for a while after you have the baby!) Oh, and soup looks yummy. 😉

  3. Nate says:

    Hey Mel. I was extremely skeptical about the clam chowder. I’m not a big soup fan, but Kylie has wanted to make it since you posted, and I finally acquiesced. Honestly, it was delicious. I really, really liked it. I liked it even though she substituted turkey bacon and light cream. I liked it even though we used shady looking off-brand clams that were a little sandy. Although I pouted when Kylie told me what was for dinner, I even admitted-and I’m not prone to admit anything-to her that I thought it was wonderful.

  4. Joie de vivre says:

    Happy birth! Congratulations!

  5. camille says:

    I can’t believe you are still cooking!!! 🙂 You are amazing. Good luck and keep us posted!

  6. Katie says:

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE a good clam chowder and this looks great!

  7. Emily says:

    This looks so good! I am loving the addition of bacon!

  8. Deborah says:

    This sounds delicious – perfect for cold Utah winter nights!

  9. Queen B. says:

    First of all, congratulations ! I just wanted to let you know I blogged about you ! I made your clam chowder recipe last night, and it was divine ! Thank you so much for posting this recipe !!

  10. Casey says:

    That chowder looks great.

  11. Kara@ Creations by Kara says:

    So sorry he’s taking his own sweet time. My first baby was two weeks late and it was torture! Crossing my fingers that he comes soon. Thanks for posting a yummy recipe in the meantime!

  12. Melanie says:

    Queen B. – I just commented on your blog. So many of your recipes look great! Anyway, your enthusiasm is always so fun – thanks for commenting and letting me know this was a hit!

  13. Melanie says:

    Nate – you make me laugh, like always. Glad Kylie forced you to eat this and that you liked it. Stop pouting when she makes you dinner!

  14. Marisa says:

    I love clam chowder and have yet to find my own recipe that I love–so I’ll for sure try this. Good luck on having your darling little nubbin! I’m sure you’re a pro by now :-). Thanks for still sharing in the midst of that end of pregnancy state (I know…it can get a little old…all those trips to the bathroom and no more sleep). Good luck!

  15. grace says:

    i, for one, hate waiting. for anything. that being said, i hereby pass all my patience (what little there is) over to you while you wait. 🙂

  16. Nicole says:

    All your new recipes look so yummy! And you are like supermom because most women would be laying on the couch all day right now, not fixing yummy dishes! Go girl! 🙂

  17. Liz says:

    This is the first time I have actually been sad to see a new recipe. I hope these last few days go quickly for you. The soup looks great and I can always use a new soup recipe this season! Good Luck!

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