Pacific Northwest Clam Chowder

Cindy DeVore


Although creamy clam chowder is usually associated with the New England region of our country, my ancestors might differ on the subject! As settlers in the northwest "Territory of Washington," they cooked with an abundance of salmon, oysters, crabs and clams from the cold waters of the Pacific.

Having grown up in Oregon, I have fond memories of visiting a tiny restaurant in Seaside called, "Mo's" where they served the best clam chowder on earth! This recipe is my attempt to re-live the memories of Mo's awesome clam chowder!


★★★★★ 1 vote

25 Min
35 Min


  • 1 Tbsp
    olive oil
  • 1 small
    shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c
    dry white wine
  • 1/4 c
    all-purpose flour
  • 2 c
    organic half & half (may substitute 1 cup milk to reduce fat)
  • 1 c
    organic chicken broth or stock
  • 1 c
    clam juice drained and reserved from cans. if using fresh clams, purchase snow's all-natural clam juice (8 oz.)
  • 3 can(s)
    fancy whole baby clams (10 oz.) - if you can buy 30 oz. of fresh clams, even better!
  • 1 lb
    organic small red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    old bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp
    kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp
    black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp
    parsley, chopped (optional garnish)
  • 1
    loaf crusty sourdough bread, warmed

How to Make Pacific Northwest Clam Chowder


  1. Wrap a loaf of sourdough bread in foil and place it in the oven. Warm at 200 degrees while you prepare and cook your chowder.
  2. Chop up your small red-skinned potatoes. (Tip: the first part of cooking this chowder happens fast, and it's easy to scald, so it's important to have all ingredients measured and ready to add to the saucepan as you're cooking.)
  3. Chop up your shallot. Open and drain cans of clams, reserving 1 cup of clam juice to set aside.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat oil and add chopped shallot. Cook shallot on low to medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine, continue stirring, and cook 1 minute. Slowly whisk in flour, a little at a time, stirring constantly, and cook about 30 seconds.
  5. Gradually stir in half & half and chicken broth. As mixture begins to simmer, add the reserved clam juice (8 oz).
  6. Add potatoes. Cover and simmer on very low heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Check simmer and stir occasionally to prevent scalding. (Check potatoes by piercing with a fork to ensure they are done.)
  7. When potatoes are tender, add clams, Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper. Again bring to a light simmer, and turn off heat.
  8. Remove bread from oven and slice to serve with chowder.
  9. Ladle clam chowder into bowls, and top with chopped parsley if desired. Serve with slices of warm crusty bread and butter.

Printable Recipe Card

About Pacific Northwest Clam Chowder

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