Slow Cooker Clam Chowder [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

Slow Cooker Clam Chowder is easily made in the crock pot, yielding a creamy and comforting soup. The clam flavor is front and center here, and the addition of bacon in the mix makes this soup so much better!

It’s officially winter season, and with it come to the desire for a nice, cozy and warm soup. And this clam chowder soup will do just that. It is a perfect way to indulge yourself during the cold months.

We love making delicious soups in the slow cooker like the Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup, Slow Cooker White Turkey Chili and this Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup.

Slow Cooker Clam Chowder

Best Slow Cooker Clam Chowder

Slow Cooker Clam Chowder is always on high demand in our kitchen when colder weather hits. We love this soup, it has a rich and pronounced flavor, yet it’s hearty and easy to make. Also, the soup is very budget friendly, as we used canned minced clams, and honestly, it tastes better this way. You could use fresh clams, but bear in mind, you will need some extra time to prepare and clean the clams.

In our version, we also used potatoes, cream, milk, and a little bacon to enhance the flavors. In addition, we mixed some cornstarch with a cup of milk to thicken up the soup. The creamy texture is amazing, and if you want to make it even better, top the soup with some oyster crackers or croutons. Grab a bowl and indulge yourself with the most delicious and creamy soup during these chilly months!

How do you make a Slow Cooker Clam Chowder?

  1. In a large skillet, sauté the bacon until golden brown. Set aside on paper towels.
  2. Next, put the minced clams in the crock pot with bacon.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients, except milk and cornstarch.
  4. Cover and cook on High for about 3 hours, until the potatoes are tender.
  5. In the last hour of cooking, mix 1 cup milk with cornstarch, and add it to the crockpot.
  6. Top the soup with some croutons or crackers, extra bacon and enjoy warm.

Slow Cooker Clam Chowder

What is the difference between New England and Manhattan clam chowder?

The main difference between the two is the broth. The traditional New England (also known as Boston) clam chowder has a thicker cream broth. Also, the New England clam chowder is white. It has a milk or cream base and is made with clams, potatoes, onion, and pork or bacon. On the other hand, Manhattan clam chowder has a red color, and is more like a tomato vegetable soup, with clams added for flavor.

What are good toppings for Slow Cooker Clam Chowder?

The soup is delicious as is, but some topping suggestion that goes well are:

  • Bacon crumbs or chopped bacon
  • Chopped green onion or parsley
  • Chopped chives
  • Oyster crackers
  • Croutons
  • Corn chips

Slow Cooker Clam Chowder


You can freeze the soup if you want. I recommend using quart bags for this soup. Use a cup to transfer the soup from the pot into the bag. Squeeze out excess air and seal the bags. The bags can nicely be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you decide to serve it, thaw, add it back to the slow cooker, or to a large pot on the stove pot, and mix in some milk to get it to the desired consistency.

Slow Cooker Clam Chowder Recipe Tips:

  • I used chicken broth for the liquid and the clam juice from the cans, however, you could use bottled clam juice or even water.
  • If you use salted or low sodium chicken broth in the soup, you might need to reduce the salt in the soup.
  • You can cook the bacon prior to starting the soup, either by frying it or roasting it in the oven, whatever method you prefer.
  • Similarly, you can use pre-cooked bacon to save time and cut down on the effort.
  • If you don’t eat bacon, you can skip it.

Tools Used To Make This Slow Cooker Clam Chowder:

  • Slow Cooker – I love this slow cooker, while it’s more expensive, you can brown the food directly into it, so that saves you time.

Slow Cooker Clam Chowder Recipe Video:

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5 from 1 reviews
Slow Cooker Clam Chowder
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 4 hours Total time: 4 hrs 15 mins


  • 4 cans 65. oz each  minced clams 
  • 1/2 lb  bacon  (sliced and cooked)
  • 1  medium onion  (diced)
  • 4 medium-large  potatoes  (pared and cubed)
  • 2 cups  celery  (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon  salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon  black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon  ground thyme 
  • 2 cups  chicken broth  (low sodium)
  • 1 cup  heavy cream 
  • 1/2 cup  sour cream 
  • 1 cup  milk  (more if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons  cornstarch 


  1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until golden brown. Set aside on paper towels to drain, then chop.

  2. Next, add the minced clams with juice to the crock pot. Add the cooked bacon.

  3. Add all remaining ingredients, except sour cream, milk and cornstarch.

  4. Cover and cook on High for about 3-4 hours, until potatoes are very tender.

  5. In the last hour of cooking, mix 1 cup milk with the cornstarch, until the cornstarch has fully dissolved, and add it to the crock pot. Add the sour cream. Stir to combine, use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the soup, leaving some chunks. Cook for another hour on high.

  6. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. If needed, add more milk if you would like to make the sou thinner.

  7. Top the soup with some croutons or crackers, and enjoy warm. Garnish with bacon and green onions.

Calories: 194 Carbohydrates: 5 Protein: 5 Fat: 16 Saturated Fat: 8 Cholesterol: 42 Sodium: 871 Potassium: 256 Fiber: 0 Sugar: 1 Vitamin A: 435 Vitamin C: 3.1 Calcium: 104 Iron: 0.2
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Slow Cooker Clam Chowder
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Alli Smith

Clam Chowder is such a favorite of mine. I need to grab the ingredients so I can make it this weekend. We may get snow in my southern town so this is the perfect time for Clam Chowder. Yum!


I hope you like it!


GiGi Eats

THIS IS A GENIUS RECIPE for a slow cooker!!! I bet it tastes AMAZING :)


It tastes really good!


Terri Steffes

This looks like the perfect comfort food. My grandmother used to make a clam chowder once a year at Christmas. I had totally forgot about it.


OMG You should make this for Christmas :)



Anytime I get to use my slow cooker it is a plus for me this clam chowder looks really delicious 


thank you :)



That looks amazing! I love clam chowder anyway you can give it to me. It is probably one of my favorite kinds of soups. It is hearty and it sticks to your bones in it taste so good.


Its one of my favorites too!



My husband loves clam chowder and I will have to make this for him. Love that it can be done in the slow cooker.


Its so easy, you should try it!


Amber Myers

I always love when I can use the slow cooker. This sounds perfect to have when it's cold outside. I'm sure everyone would love it.


Slow cooker recipes are such a time saver!



I love a good clam chowder recipe. This looks absolutely delicious for this cold weather.


Its so creamy and comforting!



Mmmm this sounds tasty. I've never tried making my own clam chowder before.


It is so easy, you will love it.


Tabitha Blue

Ohhh, we love soup in the winter! And cooking anything in the crockpot is the best! It makes it so easy.


You can't beat the convenience!


Vyjay Rao

We do use the slow cooker at home and have quite a few recipes. Though being vegetarians our recipes are limited to rice and veggies. But the art of slow cooking definitely lends a different taste to all types of ingredients.


The slow cooker is great even for vegetarian recipes!



This is slow cooker season and a hearty chowder is the perfect meal on a cold wintry day like today 


yes, so hearty and comforting!


Chubskulit Rose

I love any kind of chowder. Having a slow cooker is awesome. I would like to try your recipe.



I have been using my crock pot SO MUCH lately!! I need to try this chowder recipe soon, it sounds amazing!!



I didn't realize there was a difference between chowders! Thank you for sharing that. I will have to try this recipe sometime. Love that it's a slow cooker recipe.



I’ve never tried clams before but my husband loves them so I’d love to surprise him and make this. It looks so creamy and delicious!



My husband loves clam chowder. This recipe looks easy enough and quite filling.


Nancy at Whispered Inspirations

OMG, this looks incredible. I love how creamy it is and anything with bacon is a win in my books. Looks so yummy. I am saving!


Thank you!


Shannan P

I love crockpot soups this time of year! I will have to add this into the rotation. Never tried making clam chowder before.



In my crock pot now. Smells so good!





I made this today. Best chowder ever! I’ve added chopped sea fruit and kept the clams intact, and added hem after mashing the potatoes.


I am so happy that you loved it!


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