This Cajun Clam Chowder is rich and creamy, with just the right amount of Creole spices, clams, salty bacon and andouille sausage, potatoes and veggies! This chowder is the perfect mix of New England Clam Chowder and Gumbo making for the perfect comfort food that will keep you and your belly happy all Winter long! If you love this chowder, check out this Brazilian Seafood Stew, Seafood Gumbo and Shrimp and Corn Chowder.
Soup season is upon us! That’s right, the air has cooled and the sweatpants have made their debut. To celebrate these relaxed, cozy months, I’m dusting off my stock pot and stirring up a few of my favorite soup recipes, like this Cajun Clam Chowder.
Over the years, one of my favorite places to visit has been Boston, MA. Well, actually, the East Coast in general! There’s nothing like that crisp New England air and fresh seafood to clear the mind and fill the belly.
Clam Chowder is a Boston classic! Rich, creamy and chock-full of hearty potatoes and salty clams, this decadent chowder is unbelievably good. And y’all, if possible, go for the bread bowl because you deserve it.
But, since I can’t make my pilgrimage out East this year, I’m bringing the chowder to ME. To spice things up, I decided to remix the OG clam chowder by adding a cajun spin! Andouille sausage, Creole Seasoning and the Southern holy trinity (bell pepper, onion and celery), all come together to create something new and exciting, yet still familiar.
Loosen the strings on your sweats and follow me into the kitchen, it’s time to get cookin’!
HOW TO MAKE A CAJUN CLAM CHOWDER
This crave-worthy creamy clam chowder is bursting with succulent clams, tender potatoes and salty bacon! And, with the addition of a little Southern kick, we’re taking this classic chowder to a whole new level of YUM!
Wanna know how it’s done? Well, here’s what you’re gonna need:
- Whole Milk offers all the creamy, sweet flavor and smooth texture this chowder loves and needs.
- Unsalted Butter layers in richness and helps to create a buttery, flavorful base.
- All Purpose Flour creates necessary structure. As it cooks, the flour will thicken the chowder.
- Southern Holy Trinity is a combination of bell pepper, onion and celery; each one adds body through their earthy yet light flavorings.
- Bacon is food for the GODS! Just a few slices of fatty goodness adds smoky-sweet-meaty flavor to our chowder.
- Andouille Sausage is coarse, smokey and sharp. Just like the bacon, sausage creates depth but the slices are also a delight to bite into. The occasional burst of meaty flavor is delightful.
- Garlic adds aroma and a pungent flavor that cuts through the fat in this recipe.
- Seafood Stock is made up of a few basic aromatics, white wine and seafood shells. Whether homemade or store-bought, this stock boosts the flavor of our clams and makes for a richer base.
- Canned Clams in Juice are used in the place of the fresh variety here. Fresh clams can be hard to come by in Dallas but, surprisingly, the canned variety is just as good and so easy to use on the fly. Be sure to get every last drop of juice in there!
- Idaho Potatoes make for a creamy, hearty bite. Who doesn’t love potatoes in their chowder?
- Hot Sauce pads our chowder with a little extra kick! Use more or less based on your heat preference. I chose to use a Louisiana-based hot sauce for my chowder but any will work.
- Creole Seasoning can be doctored up in your own home or be store-bought. Either way, this Cajun classic is essential for infusing classic southern flavors into this recipe.
- Cayenne Pepper adds a bit more kick! If you prefer, this can be omitted.
- Salt and Pepper should be added along the way. Be sure to taste and adjust the whole way through.
LEFTOVER STORAGE AND REHEATING
Properly stored, cooked clam chowder will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. To further extend the shelf life of cooked clam chowder, freeze it; freeze in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. It will maintain its best quality for 4 to 6 months, but will remain safe even after that.
To reheat, submerge the container in a basin of hot water for 10-15 minutes. Pour the thawed chowder into a saucepan, then simmer over medium heat. Be sure to stir often to prevent curdling! If necessary, add more milk or broth to loosen the consistency of the chowder.
Do not use the microwave to reheat clam chowder. If your chowder develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be thrown out.
How To Make A Bread Bowl for Clam Chowder
With a round piece of bread, you will want to create a lid by cutting off the top.
Next you simply hallow out the inside of the bread basically removing most of the soft bread inside.
Then to ensure that your bowl stays hearty and stable, you can toast your bread in the oven for about 10 minutes after brushing with a little olive oil. Bake at about 400-425 degrees. Then it should be ready to fill out!
GRANDBABY CAKES’ BEST CHOWDERS AND CHILIS
With the cold months upon us, I’m all about a steaming bowl of something soupy and delicious to warm me from the inside out. Enjoy a cozy night in by curling up a serving or two of my BEST Winter stews!
Check ‘em out:
- CARROT GINGER SOUP
- CHICKEN CHILI WITH BLACK EYED PEAS
- SLOW COOKER WHITE CHICKEN CHILI
- EASY JAMBALAYA
Cajun Clam Chowder
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 2 bacon strips chopped
- 1 andouille sausage link thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups seafood stock
- 18 oz canned clams in juice
- 1 cup Whole milk
- 1 lb Idaho potatoes cut into half inch small cubes
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 3/4 tsp creole seasoning
- pinch of cayenne pepper optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, green pepper, celery, chopped bacon and sausage and saute until vegetables are softened and meats are browned, stirring often.
- Next add garlic and cook for 30 seconds stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the flour and distribute evenly.
- Next add the seafood stock and the juice from the 3 cans of chopped clams (just the juice, reserve the clams in the cans for now), Add milk, potatoes, hot sauce, creole seasoning, cayenne pepper, and remaining butter and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat until boiling then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10-15 minutes with cover on, stirring occasionally, and another 10 minutes (continuing to stir) or until potatoes are nice and tender.
- Finally add reserved clams to the pot and season to taste with salt and pepper, cook until clams are just firm, about 2-3 minutes then turn off heat. When serving, garnish with chopped parsley, chopped bacon bits and serve with oyster crackers. For extra flair, serve in bread bowls.
This recipe is from a while ago, so I don’t expect an official answer from Grandbaby Cakes, but perhaps someone else can answer this. I’m providing end-of-life care for my father, and he loves his food. He adores Manhattan Clam Chowder but hates the creamy New England one. Has anyone tried this without the milk? The recipe says it’s needed, but maybe someone has skipped that ingredient. If I put it in, I’m afraid my father will reject it and say it’s like the New England one. That would be expensive for me, and I’d be stuck with all the rest of the soup. If anyone else has left out the milk and still liked the soup, please let me know. I’m sure it wouldn’t be AS GOOD, but is it pretty good?
Traditional clam chowder with milk is not thick nor is it supposed to be:)
I just finished making this and it is VERY good. And not thick
Perry H says
I can’t seem to get mine thick like a traditional chowder – is that expected?
Its delicious either way. I add an extra can of clams to mine, not enough for our taste!
Brilliant. Yummy food
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This was great, very different form traditional. I used pancetta instead of bacon because I had some to use. Otherwise followed recipe except added a bayleaf. Sautéed the pancetta and sausage first before adding trinity to make sure it was cooked crispy.