Whole Clam Chowder with Bacon

Whole Clam Chowder with Bacon

With whole clams, chunky potatoes, and thick-cut bacon, this classic New England-style chowder is comfort in a bowl. We use whole fresh clams for best results, but packaged works if you're short on time. Finish with Worcestershire sauce for tang and depth of flavor.

All of Anyday’s recipes are tested (and retested!) in many different microwaves and home kitchens to make sure they work — and work well.


Select your microwave wattage in the dropdown. The cook times in this recipe will automatically change accordingly.

To find your microwave’s wattage, look at the front panel, the side of the door, in the back, in the user manual, or Google the model number. If both an input and output wattage are listed, use the output.

Wattage translates to how powerful the microwave is. The higher the wattage, the faster your food will cook. The lower the wattage, the longer the cook time.

When in doubt, start with less time — you can always add more.


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Product Size

  • Small Dish
  • Medium Shallow
  • Large Shallow
  • Medium Deep
  • Large Deep

Prep Time

10 mins

Cook Time

9-12 mins

Free Time

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  • 12 shell-on manila or littleneck clams, washed and soaked in cold water for 30 mins to get rid of sand
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • ¼ cup (20g) thinly sliced leeks
  • ½ cup (80g) Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • ¾ cup (170ml) clam cooking liquid or chicken stock
  • 1 cup (225ml) heavy cream
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Chopped parsley and fresh lemon juice for garnish


  1. Place the clean clams in the Anyday dish. Cover with the lid (knob lifted).
  2. Steam the clams in the microwave for 3 minutes, or until the clams open. If needed, stir and then cook for a bit longer. Allow the clams to rest for 1 minute before opening the dish.
  3. Transfer the clams to a separate bowl, reserving the clam liquid in another bowl. If there’s not enough liquid to fill the indicated amount, add some chicken stock to make up the difference. Set aside.
  4. Add the bacon, leeks, and potatoes into the Anyday dish. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost tender when pierced with a fork and the bacon has partially rendered. 
  5. Add the thyme, clam cooking liquid, heavy cream, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine. When adding the clam liquid, make sure no sand makes it into the soup.
  6. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time, or until the soup has thickened and the potatoes are fully cooked.
  7. Toss in the steamed clams and Worcestershire sauce and mix well. Sprinkle lemon juice and parsley over the soup and enjoy.

Serving suggestions & tips

  • You can substitute shell-on clams for packaged shell-off clams. Make sure to skip the first step since you will not need to steam the clams. If using shell-off clams, make sure to purchase clam juice to make up for the lack of cooking liquid.
  • For a lighter chowder, substitute half-and-half for heavy cream.
  • Add some hot sauce for a spicy twist.
  • You can substitute leeks with yellow onions if you prefer.
  • Microwave ovens vary, even with the same wattages. Adjust cooking times as needed.