Whenever I see Clam Chowder on a menu, I want to order it... but I don't. I'm always disappointed in the flavor or the clams are too chewy.
Unless, of course, I am in Cape Cod. There are some great New England Clam Chowders to be eaten in Cape Cod!
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I ordered Clam Chowder years ago and thought they messed up my order when a bowl of red soup was delivered to the table. It was then that I learned about the second kind of clam chowder called Manhattan Clam Chowder. It's not my cup of soup, so to speak, but people love it. Unless, of course, you are a New Englander.
How many types of Clam Chowder are there?
Based on my research, there are 5 types of Clam Chowder, but the best one, hands down, is #5! I would debate whether Rhode Island and #2 style clam chowders are chowders at all, but that's a topic for another day!
- Rhode Island Clam Chowder: This chowder is made with a clear broth, bacon, potatoes, onions, and, of course, clams. It resembles Chicken Soup, but with clams. I have never had this type, but it sounds similar to New England Clam Chowder without the cream. Doesn't that make it a clam soup?
- Manhattan Clam Chowder: There is some debate as to where this originated; New York or Rhode Island. I'm leaning towards Rhode Island, because this type of clam chowder is very similar to a Rhode Island Clam Chowder with tomatoes. It's a thin broth with clams and veggies. Kind of like a vegetable soup with clams.
- Long Island Clam Chowder: This was a new one to me. This chowder is a blend of Manhattan and New England Clam Chowders and reminds of the Maryland half and half where vegetable crab is mixed with cream of crab. People love it, but I have never tried either versions of this mixed up soup/chowder.
- New England Clam Chowder: This is a thick & creamy Chowder usually made with bacon, potatoes, and of course clams. To me, this is the only true Clam Chowder. Apparently, I'm not the only one. In 1939 an Assemblyman from Maine tried to pass legislature to make it illegal to add tomatoes to clam chowder! Can you imagine? How funny!
- Tennessee Clam Chowder: This is a New England Clam Chowder developed and published by a
famousfood blogger in Tennessee. Due the inability to get fresh clams or any fresh seafood (sans catfish), this chowder relies on canned clams and a clam base from Minor's, which makes it very easy to make no matter where you live. To keep things really interesting and colorful, this recipe also calls for carrots. I hope a bill is never introduced to ban carrots from clam chowder because it's delicious!
I hope you all are laughing right about now! I'm not so vain as to think I have the 5th type of Clam Chowder, but I did switch up the recipe to make it quicker without losing the flavor AND don't forget those carrots! Doesn't that qualify this version of New England Clam Chowder for a spot on this list? NO? Okay, there are 4 main types of Clam Chowder and we are going to make the best version of the best type (New England Clam Chowder) right in the Ninja Foodi!
Don't Forget the Bread Bowl!
A wonderful way to present and serve this delicious New England Clam Chowder would be in a bread bowl! You can make a bread bowl in the Ninja Foodi by following my recipe for Homemade Bread.
After the bread has cooled. Cut the top off and remove the bread from the center. Be sure to leave at least an inch or two of bread so the chowder doesn't leak out. Ladle the soup into the bread bowl just before serving.
Use the bread you removed for dipping in the chowder.
Can you freeze New England Clam Chowder?
Yes, you can! My mom has been freezing clam chowder forever and it always tastes just as good as the day she made it.
Make sure your clam chowder has cooled completely before freezing to avoid ice crystals from forming which can cause freezer burn.
Sometimes when you freeze cream based soups they separate. The best way I found to reheat this New England Clam Chowder is by using the magical Ninja Foodi on steam and here is how you do it!
How to Reheat New England Clam Chowder from Frozen
Place the frozen clam chowder in an 8" cake pan or other heat resistant container and cover with foil. I like to use the Fat Daddio 8" cake pan. I usually freeze my chowder in a freezer baggy and just cut away the baggy with clean kitchen scissors.
Put the cake pan on the rack and add 2 cups of water to the inner pot. Put the pressure lid on and turn the Ninja Foodi on steam (make sure the valve is to vent) and set the time for 20 minutes. This will thaw and warm your soup. Give it a stir and Enjoy!
How to Make New England Clam Chowder in the Ninja Food or Pressure Cooker
The first thing I always recommend is to prep your ingredients. This will allow you to work quickly when making the Clam Chowder. The first step is to make the roux.
Make the Roux. Turn the Ninja Foodi or Pressure Cooker on high sauté and put 6 Tbsp of butter into the inner pot. Allow to melt. Add ½ tsp sea salt & ½ tsp pepper.
Add 6 Tbsp of flour and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes to burn off the flour taste. If the roux is too thin and has a lot of shine from the butter, add in 1-2 Tbsp of flour and incorporate. The roux should have the consistency of a thick paste.
The roux will be a very light tan color when it is done. Turn the Foodi off and remove the roux. We will add this in after the pressure cooking is complete.
Then slice the carrots into thin slices about ¼- ½". Dice the potatoes about ¾" to an 1" dice. Dice the celery and the onion into ½" dice. Drain the clams and reserve the juice. Put the clams into the fridge until you are ready to add them.
Add 2 Tbsp of butter to the inner pot and sauté onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes for about 1 -2 minutes.
Add clam juice, water, liquid from drained clams, fresh thyme, bay leaf, ½ tsp salt, 1 ½ Tbsp clam base and the roasted garlic. If your garlic is still warm, you can press the bottom together and the individual cloves will pop out. If it has cooled, you will need to remove each clove and put into the chowder. Stir to combine.
Place the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure to high for 2 minutes. When done cooking, immediate release the pressure. Open the lid and remove the bay leaf.
Turn the Ninja Foodi on high sauté and add in the roux and the baby clams. Stir for about 2-3 minutes. The soup will thicken as the roux is incorporated.
When the clam chowder has thickened, add in 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and turn the Ninja Foodi off. Stir to combine. Serve & Enjoy!
New England Clam Chowder
- ½ cup butter divided (I use salted butter)
- 6 Tbsp flour plus a little more if needed
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 celery stalks about ⅔ cup
- 2 carrots about ¾ cups sliced
- ½ onion about 1 cup diced
- 16 oz clam juice
- 16 oz water
- 1 ½ Tbsp clam base Minors
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 30 oz baby clams in juice
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 bulb roasted garlic
- 2 lbs potatoes any kind
- ½ tsp olive oil
- 1 bulb garlic
- Cut the top off of a bulb of garlic. Drizzle it with olive oil and wrap in foil. Place the bulb in the Ninja Foodi steam/fry basket and bake/roast on 325° F for 35 minutes.
- Slice the carrots into thin slices. Dice the potatoes about ¾" to an 1" dice. Dice the celery and the onion into ½ " dice. Drain the clams and reserve the juice. Put the clams into the fridge until you are ready to add them.
- Turn the Ninja Foodi or Pressure Cooker on high saute and put 6 Tbsp of butter into the inner pot. Allow to melt. Add ½ tsp sea salt & ½ tsp pepper. Add 6 Tbsp of flour and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes to burn off the flour taste. The roux will be a very light tan color when it is done. Turn the Foodi off and remove the roux. We will add this in after the pressure cooking is complete.
- Add 2 Tbsp of butter to the inner pot and saute onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes for about 1 -2 minutes.
- Add clam juice, water, liquid from drained clams, fresh thyme, bay leaf, ½ tsp salt, 1 ½ Tbsp clam base. Add cloves from roasted garlic. Stir to combine.
- Place the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure to high for 2 minutes. When done cooking, immediate release the pressure. Open the lid and remove the bay leaf.
- Turn the Ninja Foodi on high saute and add in the roux and the baby clams. The soup will thicken as the roux is incorporated. Add in 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and turn the Ninja Foodi off. Stir to combine. Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.
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