Aunt Pat's Clam Chowder

Alicia .


This is my Aunt Pat's recipe for a tomato-based clam chowder. It is THE BEST!

They live on the eastern shore of Maryland and collect & shuck their own clams and grow their own herbs, so this recipe is at its absolute best as written, but dried herbs and pre-shucked clams can be used as well.

Whenever her and my uncle come to visit family they make it for us. When my grandmother was very ill this is the only thing she wanted to eat.

I finally remembered to ask my mom to get the recipe while they were visiting her this time! Yay!


★★★★★ 2 votes

30 Min
2 Hr


  • 1 c
    diced celery
  • 1 c
    diced onion
  • 4 medium
  • 4 c
    diced tomatoes (or 1 quart canned)
  • 18-24
    whole fresh clams (between 1 pint and 1 quart after shucking)
  • 1/2 c
    chopped cabbage (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp
    chopped fresh parsley
  • 1-2 Tbsp
    chopped fresh lemon thyme (thyme is acceptable if you don't have any)
  • 5-6 slice
    bacon, cooked with a few tablespoons of grease reserved to the side

How to Make Aunt Pat's Clam Chowder


  1. Thoroughly cook the bacon and set aside. Leave several Tbsp of bacon grease in the pan and saute the celery and onions in it.

    Dice potatoes and put in a pot. Pour diced tomatoes and their juices over and and just enough water to cover.
  2. Coarsely chop or pulse in a food processor the clams a few at a time.

    **Reserve any liquid from the clams and set aside**
  3. Add the sauteed celery and onions to the pot, then add the clams and cabbage.
  4. Finely dice the fresh parsley and remove the thyme from the stems. Add to the pot.

    Simmer on very low heat until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Right before serving crumble the bacon over the top.
  6. DO NOT ADD SALT to this recipe. Taste as you cook, if you feel it needs salt, add a little bit of the reserved clam juice instead and a little black pepper to taste. The clam juice can easily over-salt a dish so only add small amounts at a time.

Printable Recipe Card

About Aunt Pat's Clam Chowder

Course/Dish: Chowders Fish Soups

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