Comforting and delicious, this healthier version of clam chowder has no cream. To make it low carb, don’t add potatoes or you can add chopped turnips.

Easy Manhattan Clam Chowder in a pot

Easy Manhattan clam chowder recipe 

You might be familiar with the classic creamy style of clam chowder, but did you even know there is such a thing as Manhattan clam chowder? We’re always indulging with warm bowls of the classic New England style clam chowder that’s cream based and oh so good. Our recipe for New England clam chowder has always been popular. It’s creamy, satisfying and perfect in a sour dough bread bowl. But when we tried Manhattan clam chowder a few years ago we were surprised and hooked on this different style of clam soup. It’s definitely not creamy and folks will often ask why there’s all the tomatoes and vegetable in it. 

Easy Manhattan Clam Chowder in a pot

Video: Recipe for Manhattan clam chowder 

What is Manhattan clam chowder? 

This Manhattan version isn’t necessarily a chowder that we often associate chowders as being cream based soups. The Manhattan clam style is tomato based, which has basically all the same elements as the creamy style but without cream. Manhattan clam chowder is more of a soup and think of it as a clam tomato soup. It’s lighter, brother and equally delicious. Here’s the controversial history behind this tomato based soup that’s a fun read. What are your opinions on this tomato style of “clam chowder”? We have a family who went to college in Boston and are obsessed with the creamy New England Style. When we brought this tomato based style of soup in conversation, they were quite leary about calling it a “chowder”. It was quite a lively discussion! lol.

Creamy vs Tomato based? 

If you’re already a fan of the classic creamy chowder give the tomato based version a try. But if your averse to anything tomato then just stick to the traditional cream version. If you’re open to trying a “clam soup with tomato” than this is definitely something new you should explore. Who knows, it could be a new favorite for ya! 

Process of making this recipe: It really is quite simple and everything happens in one pot. You can add extra bacon if you like but we found that too much makes the soup too greasy. We like the clean flavors of the tomato broth, veggies and clams to shine.

Best clam soup recipe |

Best clam soup recipe |

Best Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe |

Best Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe |

Easy Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe |

Manhattan Clam Chowder

We prefer to use whole clams that we find in our market in the 10 oz cans. But many markets only carry the 6.5 oz minced clams, so the feel free to substitute a couple of the 6.5 oz. minced clams in the recipe. Or if you want to minimize the clam factor, just use one 6.5 oz can.
5 from 2 votes


  • 4 slices (4 slices) bacon , cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 (1) medium onion , minced
  • 3 cloves (3 cloves) garlic , minced
  • 2 stalks (2 stalks) celery , diced
  • 1 large (1 large) carrot , diced
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) dried oregano leaves or thyme
  • 2 medium (2 medium) potatoes , peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry white wine
  • 8 ounces (227 g) bottled clam juice
  • 10 oz (284 g) canned whole clams , drained but save the juices
  • 14.5 ounces (411 g) diced tomatoes (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Kosher salt , or to taste
  • Minced parsley for garnish (optional)


  • Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, cook the bacon until the fat releases and the bacon becomes crisp. Stir in the onions, garlic, celery and carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion becomes soft and garlic becomes fragrant, but not burnt.
  • Stir in the Old Bay Seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, potatoes, water, white wine, bottle of clam juice, juice from the can of clams (but not the clams yet), diced tomatoes, salt and pepper.
  • Bring the chowder to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to low. Simmer chowder on low heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Now add the clams to the chowder. Carefully mash a few of the potatoes in the pot to create a slightly thicker, chowder consistency to the soup.
  • Simmer for about 10 more minutes. If needed, skim off any excess oil on top of soup that was released from the bacon.
  • Serve with your favorite bread or for gluten free, serve with gluten free crackers/bread.


Nutrition Information per Serving

Calories: 174kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 720mg, Potassium: 621mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 2231IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 72mg, Iron: 4mg

Here’s our Recipe for Cream Based Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder Recipe |