Clam Chowder with Bacon and Green Chiles

Looking for a good clam chowder recipe? Last week I had company over and decided to make my typical clam chowder, but with an extra savory kick. I added bacon to my aromatic vegetables and diced green chiles to my broth base. Oh. My. Goodness. If you love clam chowder, you are going to love this!

Clam Chowder with Bacon and Green Chiles

Clam Chowder: The Players

Clam Chowder: The How-To

1. Begin by frying up your bacon in a medium cast-iron skillet. Rather than crumbling hot bacon after it’s cooked, I prefer to just cut my raw bacon with kitchen shears and allow it to fry into already-crumbled bits. To your fried bacon bits, add the onion and celery and allow to cook until the veggies turn translucent.

2. Meanwhile, bring chicken broth to boil in a 6 quart soup pot and add diced potatoes, green chiles, taco seasoning, cumin, and salt. Allow potatoes to cook in the boiling broth.

3. About 10 minutes before broth and aromatic veggies are ready, begin making your roux in a small sauce pan. Melt butter over medium heat; then add flour, stirring constantly to create a pasty roux. To the hot roux, add cold cream. (REMEMBER: HOT roux + COLD cream = NO LUMPS!) Continue stirring over medium heat until it thickens into a nice, creamy gravy.

4. Transfer bacon and aromatic veggies into your large soup pot. Add thickened gravy to the large soup pot. Stir until evenly mixed. Remove from heat. Add clams and sour cream and stir until evenly mixed.

5. Serve up your extra tasty clam chowder in bowls, topped with grated cheese and cilantro or diced green onions. ENJOY!

(photo by clemson)


  1. says

    Hi there,

    Chowder style soups are amazing. I am a vegetarian so don’t eat clam =, but I love corn chowder. I am assuming if I replace clams with corn this soup should work?

    May be something for me to experiment.Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • KristenM says

      I don’t see why it wouldn’t. You’d probably want to cook the corn with the potatoes, rather than adding it at the end.

      • Jenny in CG says

        Corn chowder made this way would be outstanding! However, I suggest you add the corn later, like the clams in the original recipe. That is what we do when we make corn chowder and it keeps the textures so you have lovely, smooth and creamy sauce, nice tender potatoes and then, luscious, toothsome, tasty corn with a little bit of crispness still intact.

  2. Christy Kepler via Facebook says

    DO you have a printable version of the recipes I want to get them printed and add them to my TO COOK LIST! Thanks

    • KristenM says

      Thanks. I was thinking about calling this “Texas Clam Chowder” since it takes the classic New England Clam Chowder in such a savory, Texas-inspired direction.

  3. says

    This. looks. amazing. I grew up on Cape Cod and every summer we are lucky enough to get fresh quahogs that my grandfather digs. I think we’ll be introducing them to green chiles this year!

    • KristenM says

      I’ve also heard them called “humanely raised” since there’s a certification for that which involves making sure the hogs get decent feed & living conditions. I prefer to call them “foraged” because that’s the most clear terminology for the most ideal scenario. (Like calling a chicken “pastured” instead of “free-range.”)

  4. says

    Wow! This was great! We just had this for supper but I did leave out the green chilis and lessened the spices a little (didn’t think the littles would eat it, otherwise). They all had seconds! And we served homemade cheddar biscuits with it…. we may all explode!

  5. says

    We had this last night for supper last, it was amazing. We are gluten free so I used cornstarch instead of flour. I think we found our new favorite clam chowder. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Liz says

      Thank you! I was just wondering myself how I could make this gluten-free. Will try it with cornstarch or even arrowroot powder. ūüėÄ

  6. Kevin Smith via Facebook says

    Ohhh sweet goodness. You owe me a new keyboard, because the DROOL just ruined mine!

  7. Cassie Barden via Facebook says

    That sounds AMAZING. My boyfriend doesn’t like most soups (he’s nuts) but he does like denser, creamier soups and bacon, so I think he’d like this! And if he doesn’t like it, more for me!

  8. says

    I really got into clam chowder over the summer in San Francisco, but before that, i’d never been brave enough to try it. I can’t wait to try this version, it includes green chiles, which I ADORE

  9. Kyler says

    How many people does it feed? We have our annual “Soup night “competition and me and My dad need to feed at least 8.

  10. Colleen says

    It’s currently 21 degrees where I live so I made this tonight to warm us up. My husband said, “Wow, this soup is really good” multiple times, My 10 year-old had two full bowls, and my baby couldn’t get enough. Delish!

  11. Erin says

    Kristen, I have a question for you about this recipe. I have made it twice, and both times I haven’t been able to get the roux to thicken. It’s probably just me, but I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I melt the butter over medium heat and then slowly add in the flour, stirring the whole time. I then keep it on medium heat and stir for anywhere from 20-30 minutes and it never thickens beyond the texture of gravy. Definitely never pasty. Any thoughts or suggestions? I’ve always just ended up cheating after 30 minutes and throwing in some arrowroot powder to thicken it up a bit.

    • says

      I’m confused? You wrote, “It never thickens beyond the texture of gravy,” but it’s supposed to be the texture of gravy. So it sounds like you’re doing it right.

  12. Marianne says

    I just put together some oyster stew with green chilis and some lox I had on hand. Amazing. The lox gives the smoky flavor that bacon adds, but also a complex fish flavor that really compliments the oysters. Wow!

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