RED LOBSTER’S | New England Clam Chowder

by RRR
A steaming bowl of Red Lobster's New England Clam Chowder, garnished with fresh parsley and a side of oyster crackers, ready to warm your soul.

Savor the Flavor: One of America’s Best Loved Cold Weather Comfort Foods

When it comes to iconic American comfort food, few dishes can match the hearty appeal of New England Clam Chowder. With its creamy base, succulent clams, and chunks of potatoes, this classic dish is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of New England.

Chowder is often, mistakenly, referred to as a “soup”.  However, chowders have a thicker and creamier base, usually made with milk, cream, or a combination of both. The thickening agents, such as flour, potatoes, or crushed crackers, give chowder it’s hearty and chunky texture.  Soups, on the other hand, have a thinner and more liquid broth base. They can be clear or slightly thickened, but the overall consistency is lighter compared to chowders.   Now that you know, I recommend NEVER making this dreaded mistake when chatting it up with a New Englander.  They tend to be “salty” on their best days and this lapse in vocabulary is sure to be a trigger.

New England Clam Chowder traces its roots back to the early days of American history. It is believed to have been inspired by the fish stews and soups brought over by European settlers. The dish gained popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries, especially among coastal communities where clams were abundant. Over the years, it has become a staple in seafood restaurants across the United States, celebrated for its comforting warmth and delightful flavors.

A few musings on Red Lobster

The popularity of the restaurant chain is immense.  Even Beyoncé references the restaurant chain with some randy lyrics in her song “Formation”.

The restaurant chain has not only endured the test of time, it has gained popularity.  A near impossible feat in this industry. One reason, is that Red Lobster brought fresh seafood to land-locked states and made shrimp a snack-worthy dish.  Until then, the small crustacean was otherwise considered fancy.  And those biscuits!  The cheesy, garlicky goodness known as the Cheddar Bay biscuit.  Personally, I have never been to Cheddar Bay, but I’ve heard it’s lovely in the Spring.

The first location opened right up the street from me in Lakeland, Florida by Bill Darden in 1968.  And business boomed in the 1970’s & 80’s.   For over 50 years, Red Lobster has continued to deliver consistently delicious food and has managed to remain current with a new generation of super-fan diners.

And their New England Clam Chowder recipe is surprisingly simple, quick, and inexpensive to prepare at home.  Did I mention that it is PERFECT for Soup Season?  A favorite season around this house.

If you feel like doing an entire Red Lobster experience on your kitchen table tonight, serve the Clam Chowder with Red Lobster’s Shrimp Scampi and Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms. 

Ahoy, Mateys

A steaming bowl of Red Lobster's New England Clam Chowder, garnished with fresh parsley and a side of oyster crackers, ready to warm your soul.

Red Lobster's New England Clam Chowder

Serves: 6-8 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 447 calories 29 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 3 cans Geisha brand chopped clams
  • 3 medium-sized redskin potatoes, peeled and diced ¼”
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock (pref. homemade)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped finely
  • ½ tsp. thyme, dried
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 2 large pinches of salt
  • 4-5 cranks of cracked black pepper


In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter until it sizzles.  Once it does, dust in the flour and stir quickly to form a roux.  Whisk in the chicken stock, briskly.  Continue to whisk until the roux thickens the stock and all clumps are dissolved.

Add the juice (liquor) from the canned clams and add the potatoes.  Add the thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer.  Once simmering, cover and continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, add the clams and heavy cream and simmer on a low heat for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very softened.  1 minute before serving, sprinkle in the chopped parsley and stir.  Serve with club or oyster crackers.


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