The Tides at Bodega Bay, in Sonoma County, California has the best clam chowder in the world. Just ask Trip Advisor. When I can't get up to Bodega Bay for chowder, I make it at home. While it's not "The Tides" clam chowder my Bar Harbor Clam Chowder Copycat is still a great bowl of chowder. I have learned over the years to always buy Bar Harbor brand clam products because they are the best. I like Bar Harbor canned chowder ok, but prefer to make it myself, so I made a copycat recipe.
Disclaimer: I have not been compensated by Bar Harbor for this endorsement. I just love their products and think you will too.
I just love clam chowders. My Summer Clam Chowder recipe has a lighter broth and fresh corn, and my Fresh Clam Chowder recipe is made with fresh clams. If you like clam chowder, you'll love these other variations!
- Clams and clam juice - I really encourage you to try Bar Harbor brand, but if you can't find it I would recommend Snow's next.
- Chowder crackers - also called oyster crackers are most often eaten with chowder. The grocery store was out so I used mini saltines this time. Hubby liked them better but I prefer the chowder crackers.
- Bacon - is really optional. Some people don't care for it in their clam chowder. If you omit the bacon, add an extra tablespoon of butter.
See the recipe card for specific quantities.
Drain the canned clams and set them aside, saving the juice.
Add the liquid drained from the clams and the clam juice to a saucepan.
Heat to a boil and add the chopped onion and diced potatoes.
Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are fork-tender but intact.
Cook the diced bacon in a small skillet. Remove the bacon keeping the grease.
Add the butter to the bacon grease and heat until the butter melts.
Add the flour whisking constantly. Cook for one minute. Do not brown the roux.
Add the half and half to the cooked potatoes and remove from the heat.
Add the roux to the soup and cook until thick.
Add the chopped clams and bacon. Cook until the clams are heated through.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot with chopped chives and chowder crackers on top.
Equipment for Bar Harbor Clam Chowder Copycat
Bar Harbor Clam Chowder Copycat
- Large pot
For the chowder:
- 13 ounces chopped clams (not minced) plus juice 2 cans
- 8 ounces clam juice I bottle
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 large Yukon gold potatoes peeled and diced
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 slices bacon chopped fine
- 2 TBS butter
- 1 rounded TBS flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Chopped chives
- 3 tbs Chowder crackers
- Drain the canned clams and set aside, saving the juice.
- Add the liquid drained from the clams and the bottled clam juice to a medium saucepan.
- Heat to a boil and add the chopped onion and diced potatoes.
- Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are for tender and the liquid has reduced. Skim off and discard any foam the develops on top.
- Cook the diced bacon in a small skillet until crispy. Remove the bacon and keep the bacon grease.
- Add the butter to the bacon grease and heat until the butter melts.
- Add the flour a bit at a time whisking constantly. Cook for one minute but do not allow the roux to brown. You want a light roux for this soup.
- Add the half and half to the soup pot and heat to a simmer.
- Add the roux to the soup and cook until thick.
- Add the chopped clams and bacon. Cook until the clams are heated through.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot with chopped chives and chowder crackers on top.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.
We take every effort to ensure that the estimated meal cost per serving is accurate. We use a meal cost analysis application that estimates the cost of a recipe based on groceries purchased at a Walmart store in my geographical area, northern California.
Just made this tonight and it was oh so good! The only problem with ours was the canned clams we used were a little chewy but the recipe is delicious! Thanks for sharing.
I am glad you liked it. I have found Bar Harbor's brand canned clams to be the least chewy. I have been meaning to try it again with fresh clams, not that we have such a thing on the West coast. I will get my clams from the same place I get mussels. That may work. Thanks for commenting!
Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says
This is one bowl full of comfort! Yum!
Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says
What a comforting bowl of soup! Clam chowder is my absolute favorite!