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Hey there, fellow foodies! Today, I’m excited to share with you my recipe for Cheater’s Clam Chowder. Now, I know what you’re thinking — “cheater’s” chowder? But let me tell you, this recipe is a total game-changer.

I first encountered this recipe when I was in a hurry to whip up something delicious for a family gathering. I had all the ingredients for a classic clam chowder, except for the time to make it from scratch. So, I decided to take a shortcut and make a “cheater” version using pre-made ingredients. And boy, was I pleasantly surprised by the results!

This recipe is perfect for those times when you’re in a hurry but still want to impress your guests with a hearty, comforting bowl of clam chowder. It’s quick, easy, and delicious – a win-win for everyone! So, without further ado, let’s dive into the recipe and see how you can create your own creamy cheater’s clam chowder in no time.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cheater's Clam Chowder
Cheater’s Clam Chowder

Are you looking for a hearty and delicious soup that’s easy to make? Look no further than my Cheater’s Clam Chowder Recipe. This recipe is perfect for those who are short on time but still want to enjoy a flavorful and satisfying meal.

One of the best things about this recipe is how versatile it is. You can easily swap out ingredients or add your own twist to make it your own. For example, if you’re not a fan of clams, you can substitute them for fresh shrimp or even chicken. Don’t have low-fat cheddar cheese on hand? Use regular cheddar or even a different type of cheese altogether.

But don’t let the name fool you, this Cheater’s Clam Chowder is anything but lacking in flavor. With ingredients like garlic powder, dried basil, and dried dill, you’ll get a burst of savory and aromatic flavors in every bite. And the addition of potatoes, celery, and onion gives the soup a satisfying texture and depth.

Plus, this recipe is a healthier take on traditional clam chowder. By using low-fat cheese, 2% low-fat milk, and margarine instead of butter, you can enjoy all the deliciousness of clam chowder without the guilt. And with only 10.75 ounces of condensed cream potato soup and 3 cans of minced clams, you’ll be able to enjoy a filling bowl of soup without overindulging.

Trust me, once you try this Cheater’s Clam Chowder Recipe, you’ll be hooked. It’s the perfect meal for a cold winter day, a quick weeknight dinner, or even a Thanksgiving casserole. So head to your local Sobeys and grab the ingredients to make this delicious soup today!

Ingredient List

 Dive into this creamy and flavorful Cheater's Clam Chowder!
Dive into this creamy and flavorful Cheater’s Clam Chowder!

Before diving into the recipe, it’s important to gather all the necessary ingredients. Here is what you need to make this Cheater’s Clam Chowder Recipe:

Main Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 3 cans of minced clams (6.5 oz per can)
  • 2 cans of condensed New England clam chowder (10.75 oz per can)
  • 1 can of condensed cream of celery soup (10.75 oz per can)
  • 1 can of condensed cream of potato soup (10.75 oz per can)
  • 2 cups of 2% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup of margarine
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp of dried basil
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into small pieces
  • 1 cup of low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Optional Add-Ins:

  • 1/2 cup of celery, chopped finely
  • 3 slices of bacon, chopped into small pieces


  • If you want to make a Manhattan Clam Chowder, replace the New England clam chowder with 2 cans of Manhattan clam chowder (10.75 oz per can).
  • You can also use fresh clams or clam juice instead of canned clams for a more authentic flavor.
  • If you want to make the soup even creamier, you can replace the 2 cups of milk with 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of cream.
  • For a vegetarian version, you can use 100% vegetable broth and omit the clams.

Make sure to have all ingredients on hand before starting to cook, as this will ensure a smooth preparation process.

The Recipe How-To

 A bowl of warm and comforting Cheater's Clam Chowder is all you need on a chilly day!
A bowl of warm and comforting Cheater’s Clam Chowder is all you need on a chilly day!

Now that we have all the ingredients ready, it’s time to start cooking this cheater’s clam chowder recipe. This recipe is incredibly easy to make and requires only a few steps.

Step 1: Saute the Vegetables

In a large pot, melt margarine over medium heat. Add chopped onions and celery and saute until they are soft and fragrant. This will take around 5-7 minutes.

Step 2: Add the Clams and Potatoes

Add minced clams (don’t forget to reserve the clam juice) and diced potatoes to the pot. Stir everything together and let it cook for a few minutes until the potatoes start to soften.

Step 3: Add the Soup and Milk

Add condensed New England clam chowder and 2% low-fat milk to the pot. Stir everything together until the soup is fully incorporated with the vegetables and potatoes.

Step 4: Add the Seasonings

Add garlic powder, dried basil, and dried dill to the pot. Stir everything together and let it cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fully cooked and the soup has thickened.

Step 5: Add the Cheese

Finally, add low-fat cheddar cheese to the pot and stir everything together until the cheese has melted and is fully incorporated with the soup.

And that’s it! Your cheater’s clam chowder is now ready to be served.

Note: If you prefer a thinner soup, you can add some reserved clam juice or more milk to the pot.

Substitutions and Variations

 Ready in just 30 minutes, this Cheater's Clam Chowder is the perfect weeknight dinner!
Ready in just 30 minutes, this Cheater’s Clam Chowder is the perfect weeknight dinner!

The beauty of this cheater’s clam chowder recipe lies in its versatility. There are many different ingredients and variations you can use to customize the soup to your liking. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

– Potatoes: The recipe calls for potatoes, but you can also try other root vegetables like turnips or parsnips. For a lower-carb option, try substituting cauliflower for the potatoes.

– Cheese: Low-fat cheddar cheese is used in this recipe, but you can swap it out for any cheese you prefer. Try using a sharp white cheddar or a smoked gouda for a different flavor profile.

– Milk and Margarine: 2% low-fat milk and margarine are used to keep this recipe on the healthier side, but you can use whole milk and butter if you prefer a richer soup.

– Vegetables: Celery and onion are the classic vegetables used in clam chowder, but you can also add in other veggies like carrots, bell peppers, or corn.

– Clams: The recipe calls for canned minced clams, but you can also use fresh clams if you have access to them. Just be sure to add in clam juice or fish stock to get that classic clam chowder flavor.

– Chowder Variation: If you’re feeling adventurous, try making a Manhattan clam chowder instead of the creamy New England version. This tomato-based soup uses a different set of seasonings, like dried basil and dried dill, and is just as delicious.

– Thanksgiving Casserole: If you have leftover cheater’s clam chowder, try turning it into a Thanksgiving casserole. Mix it with cooked rice or stuffing, and bake it in the oven until bubbly and golden brown.

– Store-bought Soup: If you’re short on time or ingredients, you can use store-bought soup as a base for this recipe. Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup or Campbell’s corn chowder would both be great options to try.

No matter how you choose to customize this recipe, the end result is sure to be a bowl of warmth and comfort that will satisfy any seafood lover’s cravings.

Serving and Pairing

 Serve this Cheater's Clam Chowder with some crusty bread and enjoy a hearty meal!
Serve this Cheater’s Clam Chowder with some crusty bread and enjoy a hearty meal!

This Cheater’s Clam Chowder recipe is a crowd-pleaser and perfect for a cozy night in with family and friends. Serve it hot, garnished with chopped parsley or chives, and with a side of crusty bread or oyster crackers for dipping. The creamy and savory soup is hearty enough to be served as a main course, but can also be a wonderful starter or appetizer at a dinner party.

When it comes to pairing, white wine or a light beer will complement this dish nicely. A crisp and refreshing Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc will provide a perfect balance to the richness of the soup. If you prefer beer, try a light lager or pilsner, which will not overpower the flavors of the chowder.

For a more casual meal, this chowder can also be paired with a simple green salad or grilled cheese sandwich. The creamy and cheesy flavor of the sandwich will pair well with the soup. Alternatively, you can serve it with some steamed vegetables or roasted potatoes to add more texture and substance to the meal.

Overall, this Cheater’s Clam Chowder recipe is a versatile dish that can be paired with many different sides and beverages. Experiment with your favorite flavors and find the perfect combination that suits your taste buds.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This Cheater's Clam Chowder is a great way to impress your guests without spending hours in the kitchen!
This Cheater’s Clam Chowder is a great way to impress your guests without spending hours in the kitchen!

One of the great things about this Cheater’s Clam Chowder Recipe is that it can easily be made ahead of time and reheated whenever you’re ready to serve it. This makes it perfect for meal-prepping or for busy weeknight dinners.

To make ahead of time, simply cook the chowder as directed and let it cool down to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat the chowder on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.

If you have leftover chowder that you’d like to store for longer, you can freeze it for up to three months. To freeze, let the chowder cool down to room temperature and transfer it to a freezer-safe container. When you’re ready to eat, thaw the chowder in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat.

When reheating the chowder, be sure to add a splash of milk or cream to help loosen it up and bring it back to its original consistency. You can also add some fresh herbs or a sprinkle of cheddar cheese to brighten up the flavors.

Overall, this Cheater’s Clam Chowder Recipe is a versatile and convenient dish that you can easily make ahead of time and reheat whenever you’re in the mood for some delicious and comforting chowder.

Tips for Perfect Results

 This Cheater's Clam Chowder is so delicious that no one will ever suspect it's a
This Cheater’s Clam Chowder is so delicious that no one will ever suspect it’s a

The Cheater’s Clam Chowder Recipe is a perfect dish for a cozy dinner or a family gathering. To ensure that your chowder is absolutely delicious, here are some tips to get the perfect results.

Firstly, when using condensed soup in the recipe, make sure to dilute it with 2% low-fat milk, as this will give a creamier texture to the chowder. Using 1% or skim milk will result in a thinner consistency, which is not ideal for clam chowder.

Secondly, to enhance the flavor of the chowder, add some dried basil, dried dill, and garlic powder. These herbs will give a subtle yet delicious aroma to the dish.

Thirdly, when adding potatoes, make sure to cut them into small cubes or bite-sized pieces. This will ensure that they cook evenly and are tender when served.

Fourthly, when cooking the vegetables, start with sautéing the celery and onions in margarine until they are soft and translucent. This will enhance their flavor and add a depth of taste to the chowder.

Fifthly, when adding the clams, make sure to drain the juice carefully and keep it aside. The juice can be added later to the chowder to enhance the taste of the dish.

Sixthly, for a healthier option, use low-fat cheddar cheese instead of regular cheese. This will reduce the calories and fat content of the dish without compromising on taste.

Seventhly, if you want to add some crunch to the dish, try adding some bacon chopped finely on top. This will give a smoky and crispy texture to the creamy cheater clam chowder.

Lastly, if you encounter a couple of cheaters in your Thanksgiving casserole, don’t worry! You can always use Panera broccoli cheddar soup or creamy potato soup as a substitute for the condensed clam chowder soup.

By following these tips, you will get the perfect results with every batch of cheater’s clam chowder you make. Enjoy!

Bottom Line


Now that you’ve got my Cheater’s Clam Chowder recipe, it’s time to put on your apron and get cooking! This recipe is perfect for a cozy night in or for entertaining guests. With minimal effort and ingredients, you can have a delicious and hearty bowl of soup in no time.

Don’t worry about being a cheater – sometimes, we all need a shortcut to make our lives a little easier. And with this recipe, you can still enjoy all the flavors and comfort of traditional clam chowder without spending hours in the kitchen.

So, grab a can of condensed clam chowder, some minced clams, and some other basic ingredients, and let’s get started on making the creamiest, most flavorful Cheater’s Clam Chowder you’ve ever tasted. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!

And if you’re feeling adventurous, don’t be afraid to try out some of the substitutions and variations I’ve listed in this article. You never know – you might just discover a new favorite recipe.

In the end, the most important thing is to have fun in the kitchen and enjoy the delicious results. So, go ahead and give this recipe a try – I promise, you won’t regret it. Happy cooking!

Cheater’s Clam Chowder Recipe

Want the taste of Cape Cod made easy? Try this easy version of New England Clam Chowder.

  • 1 (10 ounce) can condensed new england clam chowder (or 15 oz.)
  • 1 (10 ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
  • 1 (10 ounce) can condensed cream of potato soup
  • 1 (6 ounce) can minced clams
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 3 cups fat-free half-and-half
  • 1 cup 2% low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 4 cooked diced potatoes (peeled)
  • 3 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  1. In large pan cook onion& celery in margerine.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except cheese.
  3. Heat thoroughly, stirring often.
  4. Add cheese& stir until melted.
  5. Note: Will thicken once refrigerated.
  6. Add more milk when reheating.
Main Course
< 60 Mins, Chowders, Healthy, Low Cholesterol

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