The Best Canned Clam Chowder Recipes Your Taste Buds Will Love

If you don’t like clam chowder, then let me tell you that you are among the very, very few who don’t. Because the best canned clam chowder is the most delicious soup there is in the world.

It’s a super-filling and hearty meal for those who don’t have time to prepare this authentic Maine recipe. When it comes to the canned options, only the best ones offer that perfect restaurant-style flavor and texture.

And if you wish to also prioritize health, then make sure the canned version contains controlled sodium and sugar content. Much like the ones I’ve reviewed for you and your taste buds below

Progresso Traditional, New England Clam Chowder Soup

Progresso Traditional New England Clam Chowder Soup

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Progresso rich and hearty clam chowder is the first pick on the list. And the most popular to tell you for a fact. It’s got big, delicious chunks of chicken, pasta, and vegetables.

More importantly, it’s gluten-free, which is great if you want to improve cholesterol levels, promote digestive health, and increase energy. The satisfying meal tastes like you’ve prepared it on your own in your kitchen.

The potato bits are of the perfect size and the clam bits are abundant. The overall flavor of this New England clam chowder recipe is mellow yet very tasty.

Key Features

  • Perfectly-sized chunks of chicken, pasta, and vegetables
  • Gluten-free, thus a healthy choice
  • Low sodium content and very creamy

Snow’s by Bumble Bee New England Clam Chowder

Snow’s by Bumble Bee New England Clam Chowder

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Snow’s clam chowder is yet another very delicious ready-to-serve recipe. It’s got incredibly enjoyable clams with spices and potatoes. No doubt, the creamy texture is the tastiest and most authentic quality here.

This canned soup comes from a brand that offers a whole range of pouched and canned tuna, sardines, salmon, and other specialty seafood. They have garnered attention to a great degree because of their focus on nutritional value, quality, and even affordability.

Key Features

  • Less starchy potato taste, more clam taste
  • Fewer small-sized potatoes, more clams
  • Very creamy, rich, and thick

Chincoteague Seafood Manhattan Clam Chowder

Chincoteague Seafood Manhattan Clam Chowder

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What’s in this Manhattan canned clam chowder recipe? Well, there’s fresh and tender sea clams and sea clam juice along with carrots, onions, tomatoes, celery, sweet peppers, and spices. And what’s not there? No preservatives, MSG, and artificial flavors or colors.

Every spoonful of this clam chowder is packed with taste; the taste of all different flavors. But it’s the clam flavor that’s the most powerful of all. If you ask me, both the quality and taste of this condensed meal are more than just average.

Key Features

  • Chock-full of fresh and tender sea clams
  • High clam content with lots of clam flavor
  • Zero preservatives and artificial flavors

Bar Habor Manhattan Clam Chowder

Bar Habor Manhattan Clam Chowder

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In the mood for some restaurant-style Manhattan clam chowder? Then turn to Bar Harbor. It’s the most delicious comfort food for those who just can’t get enough of seafood. The fact that only small batches are produced means the brand cares about quality.

Speaking of quality, only natural and pure ingredients are used. The meal, as a result, is quite delicious. It feels like you’re having a homemade version of clam chowder. The gluey texture often a part of canned recipes is something you don’t have to make-do with here AT ALL.

Key Features

  • Made with all-natural, pure ingredients
  • Crisp, fresh authentic Maine seafood
  • No MSG, artificial flavors, and preservatives

Bar Habor Soup Chwdr Clam New Eng

Bar Habor Soup Chwdr Clam New Eng

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Now, this is the New England recipe by the same brand as above. This means Bar Habor gives both Manhattan and New England clam chowder lovers a good time. The latter, much like the former, is packed with all-natural clams. It’s also just as filling and hearty in my opinion.

Hand-crafted, small batches and no amount of MSG, preservatives, and artificial flavors are things you want to hear, right? The chowder, no doubt, is thick and loaded with a lot of potatoes. It’s not watered down like many canned options out there that’s for sure.

Key Features

  • Hearty, filling all-natural clams
  • Concentrated, so you can add butter and milk
  • Very flavorful and thick

Tony’s Clam Chowder

Tony’s Clam Chowder

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It’s time to savor the delicious New England flavors that are responsible for making this Tony’s clam chowder recipe such a hit among seafood lovers. But please note that the recipe also contains high sodium content, MSG, and gluten.

Nevertheless, it’s creamy, smooth, and full of tasty clams. The soup is great-tasting with a texture you and your taste buds are bound to appreciate. The burst of spices is also something that stands out to make this the best and boldest canned chowder recipe on the planet.

Key Features

  • Rich, thick, and creamy
  • Contains plenty of tender clams
  • Well-seasoned with a peppery kick

Boudin Sourdough San Francisco Clam Chowder Soup

Boudin Sourdough San Francisco Clam Chowder Soup

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The classic bread bowls full of Fisherman’s Wharf clam chowder are very popular. So here are the best canned clams from Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco. The recipe contains low sodium, carbs, and fats to make the meal healthier.

All you have to do is heat and devour. The clam chowder soup tastes even better with sourdough bread just so you know. Either way, it’s abundantly flavorful. And that’s what matters the most.

Key Features

  • Tastes like Fisherman’s Wharf clam chowder
  • Even though canned, it’s very flavorful
  • No MSG and low sodium

Campbell's Chunky New England Clam Chowder

Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder Soup

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The New England recipe by Campbell’s Chunky is crafted with delicious, big chunks of clams and hearty potatoes in a rich, filling chowder. You get a whole package with 8 microwavable, easy-to-open bowls.

Expect to find no artificial flavors here. Just a heavy seafood taste and lots of meat and vegetables.

Key Features

  • Microwave-friendly, easy-to-open bowls
  • Big pieces of juicy clams in rich, filling chowder
  • No artificial flavors

Clam Chowder - What Is It?

Clam Chowder Soup

Clam chowder is a stew or soup with seafood and broth. The ingredients include milk, tomatoes, celery, onions, pork, and other vegetables.

It’s only common sense to assume that not every clam chowder tastes the same. But the basic rule that it’s full of clams, onions, potatoes, and pork remains the same.

Based on where you live, the variety of broth may differ. There’s the creamy milk broth, spices-infused tomato broth, and just clear clam juice as well.

The texture and flavor of this hearty, filling soup vary. Even so, the basic ingredients do not change.

In terms of origin, the recipe comes from the eastern part of the United States. And the famous New England clam chowder was brought into the picture by French, Scotian, and British settlers.

Clam Chowder - Why Not Prepare It At Home?

You know what’s easy to make in your kitchen? Stuff like basic noodle soups, stock, and chili. Chowders, on the other hand, are complicated to prepare. And that’s because you have to make it a point to avoid curdling the soup and overcooking the milk.

On top of that, finding top-quality seafood is not an easy or even possible undertaking in some locations. So as far as clam chowder goes, the canned version is the best.

Canned Clam Chowder - Who Should Buy It?

Clam chowder is a very delicious, hearty, and super-filling soup. It contains chunks of juicy clams that seafood lovers absolutely enjoy. But making it from scratch is a pain in the neck. The preparation part itself is very complicated and time-consuming.

Also, it’s no easy job preventing the overcooking of milk and curdling of soup. On top of that, even finding good quality clams is a hassle. Enter canned clam chowder. It’s for those who appreciate seafood but not enough to go through the trouble of preparing the dish at home.

Busy individuals don’t have the time to cook meals like clam chowder. No wonder there are so many canned options available these days. Just make sure you’re choosing one that’s packed with freshly sourced, sustainable ingredients.

As long as the brand is a trusted one, you don’t have to worry about the taste and nutritional value. In fact, the canned clam chowder soups I’ve reviewed are perfect for people who prefer restaurant-style flavor and texture.

The Different Varieties of Clam Chowder

There are clam chowder recipes coming from the west and east coast. But let me discuss the 3 most popular or common ones for you below

New England Clam Chowder

It’s thick and made using salted pork, potatoes, milk or cream, and onions. The base of the soup consists of heavy cream or whole milk. This explains why the New England recipes are thick, heavily textured, and white in color.

Except for potatoes, the soup has no other vegetables. Instead, oyster crackers are used for thickening the consistency.

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Obviously, this one’s the red-colored recipe. Meaning it has tons of tomatoes along with tomato puree as well. In comparison, it’s not as thick as New England clam chowder. Also, fewer potatoes are used for enhancing the texture.

In fact, the Manhattan recipe is the only one that includes so many vegetables. Such as carrots, onions, celery, and garlic. It’s the most popular variety of clam chowder in New York.

Rhode Island Clam Chowder

This one uses large size clams and only tomato puree, that means no red tomatoes. But the color, in this case too, is red.

Other Varieties

  • New Jersey Clam Chowder - Made using tomatoes, asparagus, light cream, and bacon.
  • Minorcan Clam Chowder - Just like the Manhattan version but with datil pepper flavoring for adding a spicy, tart, and sweet character.

How to Choose the Best Clam Chowder Canned Recipes

Necessary factors have to be kept in mind if you wish to prioritize healthy, quality, and taste

Sodium Content

What sodium does is conceal the aftertaste of a few ingredients used in canned clam chowder. But it goes without saying that too much sodium is damaging and unhealthy. Even more so if you have diabetes or heart disease.

That said, you should always choose foods that have minimal sodium content.

Vegetables to Protein Ratio

Protein-rich soups are a healthier choice, be it clam chowder soup or chicken noodle soup. You have to make sure the levels of protein and vegetables are equal.

In terms of canned clam chowder, many brands add more potatoes than clams. So you should instead pick a recipe that is packed with more clams than potatoes.

Ready-to-Serve or Condensed

Comparatively speaking, condensed soaps are healthier but the ready-to-serve version is more convenient.

However, here’s something you might want to know. The clam chowder aftertaste in the latter feels like the inside material of the can. Unfortunately, that’s just the inevitable result of how the recipe is made and processed.

New England vs. Manhattan

I have already explained the two varieties here. And since they are the most famous, let me tell you which is better. More often than not, when people are talking about clam chowder, they’re referring to New England clam chowder.

This version is quite basic with a cream or milk base. It’s got onions, potatoes, and salty pork. Then comes the tomato-packed Manhattan recipe, which is thinner in consistency. Therefore, not as delicious as the New England meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What Does Clam Chowder Taste Like?

The most suitable words for describing the taste are creamy, chewy, and sometimes even peppery. But it largely depends on how the recipe is prepared, what kind of variety you’re consuming, and how your taste buds react to different flavors.

But, on the whole, the taste is creamy and chewy with no other flavor overpowering the clams.

Q. How To Tell If Canned Clam Chowder Is Bad?

All you have to do to determine that is smell the food. With canned clam chowder, an odd odor, appearance, and flavor are red flags. Sometimes even mold takes control, so it’s best to discard the can and its contents.

Q. How Long Does An Unopened Can of Clam Chowder Last?

It depends on how you’re storing the cans. For maximizing the time, make it a point to store in a dry and cool area. And when they’re properly stored this way, they can last for 3 to 5 years.

Q. Can You Use Canned Clam Chowder After Its Expiration Date?

As long as the cans are properly stored in a cool, dry environment, yes you can consume the contents after the expiration date.

The expiration date, more often than not, doesn’t mean the food item is not safe to eat post that date. It just implies that the ingredients are at their best, healthiest quality till that date. Post-expiration, they may not be the freshest but they’re still edible.

Q. How to Thicken Canned Clam Chowder?

Back in the days, it was thickened with the help of pounded ship’s biscuit. And today the same result is achieved by using milk and cream. But flour is the most common thickener. Even cornstarch is a great quick thickener option, plus it’s gluten-free.

Those that freeze leftovers often make use of arrowroot thickener. And if you want faster thickening, then potato starch works better than cornstarch. Also, the latter makes your soup all cloudy, but the former doesn’t.

Q. How to Reheat Refrigerated Clam Chowder?

On the Stovetop

  • Place the refrigerated chowder in your saucepan.
  • On medium heat, simmer the leftover while also stirring it.
  • If needed, add the thickener before simmering.

In the Microwave

  • Place the soup in a microwave-friendly container. Cover it with a paper towel, and not the lid.
  • Heat the container for around 3 minutes on high heat.
  • After that, stir the whole dish and then reheat again.
  • And finally, garnish the clam chowder recipe with parsley.

Q. Is It Safe to Eat Clam Chowder Soup Out of the Can?

It is perfectly safe to consume soup out of the can. This way you get a more concentrated consistency, like a stew.

But the only drawback here is that many manufacturers use cans that are lined with the chemical endocrine-disruptor BPA.

Final Words

A hot, steaming bowl of clam chowder does sound like a delicious idea, doesn’t it? The soup, even the canned version, is rich, thick, filling, and healthy. But that’s only if you’re choosing a recipe that contains low sodium, low carbs, low fats, fresh ingredients, and no gluten.

You can expect canned clam chowder to taste just as flavorsome as one that’s prepared fresh at home. It’s just that the latter demands a tedious preparation. And more often than not, you end up overcooking the milk and/or curdling the soap.

If that’s the case, then you’re in luck. Because there are so many brands out there that are currently selling the best quality and most delicious canned clam chowder. And the most enticing part here is that there are all kinds of varieties and flavors now.

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