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Manhattan Clam Chowder

| March 13, 2015 | 22 Comments
Manhattan Clam Chowder

Manhattan Clam Chowder

In an effort to be more heart healthy friendly this February, I decided to make an old favourite of mine. I remember ordering Manhattan Clam Chowder at popular steakhouse restaurants as a teenager, but this little known chowder still remains less popular than its counterpart. Keeping with similar flavours of traditional New England Clam Chowder, the Manhattan version has a tomato-based broth, excluding the use of heavy cream. My version was made entirely with no salt added products, but you don’t need to be so drastic. There are “low sodium” options on the market as well. Still just as tasty! It would be great served up with a baguette to mop up some juices. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Have you tried Manhattan Clam Chowder before? Did you even know about it?

Manhattan Clam Chowder


  • Servings: 4
  • Olive oil or cooking oil of choice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 good sized russet potato
  • 1 14 ouncecan of clams, drained (reserve juices) and rinsed well
  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes (I used no salt)
  • 2-3 cups vegetarian stock (I used no salt)
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano, thyme, or herbs de provence
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seed (optional)
  • Salt to taste (optional)


  1. Preheat a soup pot to medium high and add a swirl of olive oil. Add diced garlic, onion, and celery. Lower the heat if they threaten to burn as you just want them to soften a little.
  2. Add the pepper, Old Bay seasoning, oregano, and fennel seed. Stir to coat the veggies.
  3. Add the white wine* and simmer until half of it evaporates. Immediately add the tomatoes (with juices) and stock.
  4. Add in the clams, diced potato and carrot. Drop in a bay leaf or two.
  5. Bring to a loose boil, and then simmer with the lid on for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
  6. *If you do not want to add wine, this is the time to use the reserved clam juices. Keep in mind it might be salty, so proceed with caution.
  7. Optional:
  8. Serve with homemade croutons and sliced green onion on top.



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Category: Food, Friday Food Frenzy, Recipes, Soups, Weekly Themes

About the Author ()

Charlene is a mom of three children, two boys and a girl, and recently returned to work following her third maternity leave. When at home she keeps busy meal planning, entertaining a 2.5 year old and 14 month old, meeting up with mommy friends, aka playdates, and attending school events for her 5 year old. When she has spare time, Charlene loves to cook, spend quality time with her husband, hang out on social media platforms and read a good book. In fact, when she’s not at home, Charlene is a professional Librarian. A graduate of McGill University, she’s worked the field as a Public Librarian, Children’s Librarian, and currently as a Health Information Specialist. Author's website.

Comments (22)

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  1. Susan T. says:

    I was aware that there was a non-creamy clam chowder but I’ve never seen it in person or tried it. It looks much lighter than the kind I’m used to. I think I would like this with a little hot sauce!

  2. kathy downey says:

    Thanks for the recipe,this really looks delicious

  3. Victoria Ess says:

    This looks so delicious! I love that it isn’t cream-based!

  4. Cbrazil says:

    I can’t wait to try this in my slow cooker!

  5. Heidi c. says:

    I have never tried the Manhattan version of Clam Chowder but it sounds quite tasty!

  6. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I’ve never heard of, nor seen, Manhattan Clam Chowder on a menu before today. Naturally it seems strange to me to have a tomato base and no cream but it sure does sound healthy. 🙂

    • Charlene says:

      I really think it used to be more common on steakhouse menus (like Ponderosa or The Keg), as I remember ordering it back when I was a teenager. I recall that it was on a few menus when we visited the East Coast in 2011. It’s certainly not the most popular chowder, but’s very good.

  7. Janet C. says:

    Love all the healthy ingredients in this recipe. Adding it to my “must try” recipe list !

  8. Wanda Tracey says:

    I love the spices and herbs in this in this soup recipe.It looks so delicious and cant wait to try this one.

  9. kathy downey says:

    Manhattan Clam Chowder is much different than the Clam Chowder I grew up eating but it was tasty

  10. Treen Goodwin says:

    My hubby would so love this chowder , he loves clams thanks for sharing the recipe , a must try !

  11. Amy Lovell says:

    Thanks!!! ILl have to try this!!! Looks delicious!!

  12. Wanda Tracey says:

    This looks so delicious and
    love that it`s a broth type of soup.

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