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Mom’s Quahog Chowder Recipe

Jennie Sparrow | 3/1/2018 (updated 4/23/2019)

As a native Cape Codder, I was raised on the fresh, bountiful, incredibly delicious seafood of the Cape. I sucked down raw oysters as a toddler without batting an eye and bathed in the juices of lobsters as I cracked them open at our backyard clambakes! One of my all-time favorite seafood dishes is my mother’s homemade New England Clam Chowder and its simple, creamy, salt-of-the-sea yumminess. She likes to use quahogs, hard-shelled clams. These clams are also used to make “stuffed quahogs,” another Cape Cod delicacy (which my mom has also perfected . . . but that’s a post for another time!). Grab your bowls and soup spoons, it’s CHOWDAH time!

Mom’s Quahog Chowder (serves about 8)

8 large quahogs (with their juices)

1 medium onion, diced

2-3 medium potatoes, diced

¼ c. butter

¼ c. flour

pinch of dried thyme

pint of half-and-half or light cream

2 ½ cups of water

salt & pepper to taste


1. Shuck and chop the quahogs, reserving all juices.

2. Melt the butter in a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until they are translucent.

3. Add the flour to make a roux. Stir constantly so not to brown.

4. Add water, clam juices, and potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are tender.

5. Add chopped quahogs, thyme, and half-and-half or cream. Turn heat to medium low, so as to barely simmer. Stir for about 5-10 minutes.

6. Remove from heat and serve with oyster crackers.

*HINT: Chowder is best if served the next day (re-heat gently!).

—Thank you for letting me share, Mumma Extraordinaire—Jennie Finn!