Manhattan Style Clam Chowder in a tomato-based sauce with bacon, potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and canned or fresh clams.    white bowl of Manhatten Clam Chowder

Friends, so many of you have raved over my Best Clam Chowder recipe, so we’ve decided to serve up a few varieties on RE. Today we’re sharing a delicious Manhattan Style Clam Chowder! You either love clam chowder or you don’t. We do!

spoonful of Manhatten Clam Chowder

Manhattan Style Clam Chowder

This chowder is a nice change from the creamy New England version, my Best Clam Chowder. Rather than a cream base, it’s lighter and a bit healthier, with stock and tomatoes. It’s really nothing like the traditional New England favorite, except it has potatoes, tomatoes, and clams.

oyster crackers on Manhatten Clam Chowder

What is Manhattan Chowder made of?

Manhattan Clam Chowder is clams simmered with bacon, vegetables and potatoes, in a savory tomato broth.

white bowl of Manhatten Clam Chowder with oyster crackers

Clam Chowder soup ingredients:

  • Cooked and crumbled bacon
  • Olive oil
  • Spanish onion + celery + carrots + garlic
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Tomato paste
  • Fresh thyme + parsley + bay leaf
  • Red potatoes
  • Clam juice
  • Can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • Minced clams
  • Kosher salt or freshly ground black pepper

We use canned clams, but we recommend fresh for this recipe, if you can get your hands on some.

Manhatten Clam Chowder in a pot

What’s the difference between New England and Manhattan Clam Chowder?

Manhattan Clam Chowder is usually in red color, coming from the whole, peeled tomatoes. It’s also more brothy, and clear, whereas New England Clam Chowder is creamy, thick, and white. Both types share a briny, clammy slightly-sweet flavor.

close up Manhatten Clam Chowder

What Goes With Clam Chowder?

I typically serve this chowder with a tossed salad and hot bread or rolls. It is easy to make and tastes wonderful on a cold winter evening.

  • Serve Manhattan Clam Chowder in a bread bowl
  • Rolls or thick-sliced crunchy bread
  • Oyster crackers
  • Side salad
  • Corn on the cob
  • French fries
  • Corn bread
  • Crispy bacon on top
  • Creme fraiche or sour cream on top
  • Cornmeal pancakes

bowl of Manhatten Clam Chowder with oyster crackers

Friends, we also want to say much, much love to everyone near and far, with the repercussions of this past winter storm that most of us experienced this past week.

We hope you are staying warm and cozy inside with your loved ones!

Serve a bowl of “chowdah” this week with a Virgin Manhattan or Best Manhattan Cocktail Recipe!

oyster crackers on Manhatten Clam Chowder
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Get the Recipe:

Manhatten Clam Chowder

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 6
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  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 large red potatoes, diced
  • 5 cups clam juice, five 8-ounce bottles clam juice
  • 1 28- ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped (do not drain)
  • 4 6.5 ounce cans minced clams, do not drain
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley for garnish


  • Chowder in a bread bowl
  • Rolls or thick sliced of crunchy bread
  • Oyster crackers
  • Side salad
  • Corn on the cob
  • French fries
  • Corn bread
  • Crispy bacon on top
  • Creme fraiche or sour cream on top
  • Cornmeal pancakes


  • Cook the bacon and set aside. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and crushed red pepper and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for another minute.
  • Make a bundle of the fresh thyme, parsley sprigs, and bay leaf together and tie with a piece of kitchen twine; add to the pan with the potatoes.
  • Add in the cooked, crumbled bacon. Pour in the clam juice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and clams. Cover and bring to a simmer and season with pepper to taste. Remove the herb bundle and serve immediately with your favorite toppings or sides.
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!

clam chowder (manhattan) in a bowl