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Simple Clam Chowder

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 35 minutes

This recipe for simple clam chowder is great alternative to the higher fat versions that you may find in restaurants. By swapping out whole milk and heavy cream for fat free evaporated milk, you are able to enjoy a warm winter comfort without any of the guilt. This recipe also does not contain any added sodium, but definitely does not skimp on flavor! The inclusion of onion, celery, garlic, and thyme provide a plethora of flavor, while helping you maintain a lower daily intake of sodium. So settle down by the fire during these cold months and enjoy this clam chowder recipe provided by clinical dietitian Rachel Griffin, RD.


- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1 1/4 cups chopped celery
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, undrained
- 5 cups diced peeled baking potato (about 1 pound)
- 4 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 (12-ounce) cans fat-free evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in the bottom of a dutch oven or large soup pot. Add onion, celery, thyme, and garlic to the oiled pan; cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

2. Drain clams, reserving liquid. Set clams aside in a bowl to be added to the soup later. Add clam liquid, potatoes, clam juice, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Discard bay leaf.

3. Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 12 minutes over medium heat or until thick, stirring constantly (milk/flour mixture burns and sticks to the pan very easily). Add clams; cook 2 more minutes. Serve warm in soup mugs and enjoy! This soup can be paired with whole grain bread and a tossed salad or fresh fruit for a hearty and healthful meal.

Makes roughly 12, 1 cup servings.

Nutrition Information (Per serving)

Calories: 257
Fat (g): 2.9
Saturated Fat (g): 0.6
Cholesterol (mg): 67
Carbohydrates (g): 27.9
Fiber (g): 2.9
Protein (g): 28.5
Sodium (mg): 475

-Submitted by Rachel Griffin, RD, Clinical Dietitian. Adapted from Cooking Light magazine, January 2008.