7 Best Canned Clam Chowder That Will Convince You That It’s Not Canned

Best Canned Clam Chowder

There’s nothing like a warm clam chowder on a cold day to satiate yourself. In fact, you don’t even need a cold day just to enjoy one. Clam chowders are a favorite at any time of the year. It’s like a sister to chicken noodle soup where it makes you feel like you’re good and well after having a bowl of it.

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However, cooking up a clam chowder from scratch is time-consuming. At the very least, making one takes 45 to 50 minutes. You wouldn’t want to wait that long if you’re craving for one.

It’s a good thing clam chowder comes in canned packages. But if you’re worried about getting that canned taste, this guide will help you choose the right one for your taste buds. We review the best canned clam chowder that will have you convinced you’re eating a home-cooked meal.

Progresso Light, New England Clam Chowder Soup, Low Fat, Gluten Free, 18.5 oz

One thing people worry about eating canned clam chowder is that it wouldn’t taste nearly as authentic as the real deal. But with Progresso’s New England Clam Chowder, you wouldn’t even notice the difference.

The consistency may not be as thick as your regular clam chowder, but the taste is close to it. Progresso claims they have no artificial flavors and colors, and true enough when you read the back of the label, most of the ingredients are what clam chowder is made of.

This canned clam chowder is also ready-to-serve. All you have to do is heat it in a pan or pour the contents into a bowl and microwave it for 2 to 4 minutes.

It’s also under the Light brand of Progresso meaning this clam chowder is low-fat and gluten-free. These factors are considered healthy points knowing how clam chowder can pack on a few calories.

So if you’re health-conscious but would still like to indulge in a quick clam chowder meal, Progresso’s Light New England Chowder may be the thing to satisfy you.

PROS

  • It is low in fat
  • It is gluten-free
  • It has a pull-tab on top.

CONS

  • It is not as thick as you would expect it to be.
Campbell's Homestyle New England Clam Chowder, 18.8 oz. (Pack of 12)

Are you looking for a rich clam chowder made with high-quality ingredients? Then Campbell’s Homestyle New England Clam Chowder should suit your taste. This chowder has vegetables and succulent clams that will have anyone convinced it’s made from scratch.

This canned clam chowder has no preservatives added which ease the minds of those who want to live a healthier lifestyle. It’s also ready-to-serve, so there’s no need to add any water. If you don’t mind eating clam chowder cold, you can eat this one straight from the can.

The only downside to this canned clam chowder is the sodium content is a bit high at 890 mg per serving. That’s a lot if you think about it. But all in all, it’s an affordable choice to a quick clam chowder meal if you’re looking for one.

PROS

  • It has a pull-tab on top
  • There are no preservatives added.

CONS

  • This has high sodium content
  • There are reports of gritty sand-like taste possibly due to the clams.
Chincoteague Seafood New England Clam Chowder, 15-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)

We understand that this guide helps you make quick clam chowder meals but with Chincoteague’s, we have to admit that using this one means there’s going to be a little bit of cooking involved. But that’s only because this is a condensed type of canned clam chowder which means you either have to add milk or cream to thicken it up.

But cooking with Chincoteague Seafood New England Clam Chowder is not at all difficult. In addition, you can even tweak just how creamy you want your clam chowder to be. This canned clam chowder has a generous portion of clams that’s not heavily seasoned so you can have this if you’re looking for a light tasting chowder.

Chincoteague offers you an ideal clam chowder base if you want to add more ingredients. But it’s also fine just as it is. With a little bit of cooking, you’re sure to have a home-cooked bowl of tasty clam chowder.

PROS

  • It has no MSG and no preservatives
  • It has no artificial food coloring.

CONS

  • It has no pull tab on top.
Clam Chowder - Sea Fare Pacific, 4 pack, gluten free, ready to eat, convenient microwavable/boilable pouch, east coast wild caught sustainable Clams, New England style excellent on-the-go meal.

Sea Fare Pacific takes pride at how their products are wildly caught and sustainable which is probably why their clam chowder tastes authentic. They also don’t package their clam chowder as canned but in packets, so you don’t need a can opener.

Sea Fare Pacific’s clam chowder is also filling as it packs in a lot of clams and red potatoes. The sodium content may be high but its health benefit is that it’s gluten-free and filled with omega-3.

The packet is microwavable which is something you can’t do to cans. Just tear along the line indicated, microwave it, and serve.

PROS

  • No need for a can opener as this is a packet that you can tear
  • It is gluten-free
  • It is filled with omega-3.

CONS

  • It’s quite expensive
  • The size is smaller than the usual canned clam chowders.
Campbell's Condensed Manhattan Clam Chowder, 10.75 Ounce (Pack of 12)

If you’re in for some Manhattan-style clam chowder, Campbell’s condensed Manhattan version has always been a popular choice. The ingredients include clam broth, farm-grown tomatoes, celery, clams, and carrots. It has no artificial flavors and it’s low in cholesterol and fat.

The instruction says to pour contents into a bowl or pan, just add 1 can of water per canned clam chowder, heat it via microwave or stovetop, and then you’re good to go. It’s a simple tomato-based clam chowder that doesn’t need many steps for you to dig in and enjoy.

PROS

  • It has a pull-tab on top
  • It is low in fat and cholesterol
  • It does not contain artificial flavors.

CONS

  • It does not contain a lot of chunks of clams or vegetables
  • It has high sodium content.
Tony’s Clam Chowder, 3X World Champion, 15oz ounce (Pack of 6)

You don’t need to go all the way to Cedar Key, Florida for Tony’s Clam Chowder. Just order a can of his New England style clam chowder to enjoy it. It’s loaded with flavor that even a lot of people would agree that it tastes different than most canned clam chowder.

This type of canned clam chowder is condensed so it’s up to you how much cream or milk you’d like to put to get the right consistency. Some even claim to add butter which makes it more delicious.

Try Tony’s canned clam chowder and taste for yourself why this was awarded as a 3X World Champion Clam Chowder at the Great Chowder Cook-off.

PROS

  • It is rich in flavor
  • It has a bit of spiciness to it that a lot of people claim to love.

CONS

  • It has no pull tab on top
  • It has high sodium content.
Progresso Soup, Traditional, Manhattan Clam Chowder Soup, Gluten Free, 19 oz Can

We’ve mentioned Progresso’s New England style clam chowder above but we also can’t help but include their Manhattan-style clam chowder as well. The chowder is rich with flavor and you’re assured you’re not getting any of those artificial ingredients as displayed on their label. There are only 100 calories per serving and the chowder is gluten-free.

The can has a pull-tab which makes it easier to bring to camping trips or where you’re traveling. It’s ready to serve so you can just eat it anytime anywhere although if you feel like heating it, you can pour the contents inside a microwavable bowl and heat it up for 2 to 4 minutes.

In conclusion, Progresso’s Manhattan-style clam chowder is simple and classic but made to satisfy hungry tummies.

PROS

  • It has a pull-tab on top
  • It is gluten-free
  • It only contains 100 calories per serving.

CONS

  • There are reports of this canned clam chowder having a thin consistency but if that isn’t a problem for you then this should be alright.

What Is A Clam Chowder?

Clam chowder is a type of soup made with clams, celery, potatoes, and your choice of cream or milk. Sometimes, bacon is added as well as a pat of butter.

The broth is rich in flavor, with the clam juice being the more dominant taste. Whether you use fresh clams or canned ones, it still goes well in the chowder. It’s best enjoyed with rolls, crackers, or just a simple crusty loaf of bread. Clam chowder is a crowd-pleaser in most parties as it makes one feel at home.

Canned Clam Chowder Buying Guide

Canned Clam Chowder Buying Guide

Before you decide in buying canned clam chowder, always remember that there are a lot of factors to consider.

Clam Chowder Style

There are different types of clam chowder. The two most popular ones sold as canned are the Manhattan-style ones and the New England-style ones.

The Manhattan-style clam chowder’s base is tomato. This is tangier as compared to the New England-style where they use milk or cream as the base. The colors are different as well. The Manhattan-style is brown or red while the New England-style is white. Basically, the Manhattan-style seems more like tomato stew than chowder.

Before buying your canned clam chowder, make sure to read the label and check which style suits your taste.


Pull-tab

A pull-tab on a can is a helpful way to open it without using a can opener. It’s more suitable for when you want to pack food with you on a trip.

Check whether the can has a pull-tab on top. Some cans don’t have one and will require you to use a can opener.


Sodium Content

Canned goods have lots of sodium content in them due to the ability of sodium to preserve the food stored inside it. However, in canned clam chowder, this probably also means it was seasoned heavily.

To stay on the safe side, check the labels of your ideal products. If it says “low sodium” then it’s a better choice than most regular items.


Health Benefits

Aside from the low sodium label, check and see if the brand your canned clam chowder is carrying is advocating for a healthier lifestyle. Words such as “gluten-free”, “low-calorie”, and “no artificial flavors” are a big help.


Condensed or Ready-To-Serve

Not all canned clam chowders are ready-to-eat upon purchase. Some canned clam chowders that have the word “condensed” on the label means there’s room for you cook it to your liking such as adding milk, cream, butter, and even water to your chowder to liven it up some more.

Canned clam chowders will indicate whether they’re condensed or ready-to-serve. If you just want a simple canned clam chowder then a ready-to-serve one is for you. This only needs you to heat it in the microwave and then it’s ready for consumption.


Clams

The most important factor to look out for when buying your canned clam chowder is to make sure the main ingredient is there which are clams. Clams and its juices are what make the chowder flavorful. So read the ingredients contained whether or not they’ve used clams.

Are you ready to buy your first canned clam chowder? This best canned clam chowder guide will have everything you need to know which the right ones are that won’t taste canned or artificial.

What’s your pick out of the 7 mentioned above? We’d love to know.