Rhode Islanders prefer clear sea-flavored broth and why not - they’re surrounded by saltwater. The rich broth of this clear chowder is loaded with potatoes, bacon, clams AND unforgettable flavor.  

Rhode Island Clear Clam Chowder


  • 8 pounds Taylor clams
  • 7 cups water
  • 6 cups clam broth (from steaming) or 4 cups clam broth plus 2 cups bottled clam juice
  • 3 slices thick-sliced bacon, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium-size onions, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 3 ribs celery, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold or other all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Add 7 cups of water to a large stockpot fitted with a steamer basket or colander, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add half the clams to the basket and cover.
  3. Steam until the clams open, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Repeat with the second batch of clams. Reserve 6 cups of the broth. Set aside.
  5. Cool the clams.
  6. Keep them covered and refrigerated until ready to use.
  7. Put the bacon in a 5- to 7-quart pot over medium heat.
  8. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  9. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat, leaving the bacon in the pot.
  10. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  11. Add the butter, onions, celery, and bay leaves.
  12. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
  13. Add the potatoes and reserved clam broth to the pot.
  14. Continue cooking over medium heat until the chowder begins to simmer.
  15. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  16. Before serving, remove the pot from the heat.
  17. Stir in the clams and herbs, discard the bay leaves.
  18. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  19. Serve hot.