Freeze & Thaw New England Clam Chowder (An Easy Guide)

New England Clam Chowder is a well-loved chowder in the northeast. It’s rich, hearty, and easy to make. Yet, many people wonder if they can freeze clam chowder to enjoy later?

You can freeze New England Clam Chowder. However, you should remember that New England Clam chowder includes ingredients like potatoes, cream, and celery that don’t freeze very well. It’s a good idea to remove these ingredients before freezing your New England Clam Chowder for the best results. 

New England Clam Chowder is a fulfilling and tasty dish that stands apart from other chowders. Keep reading for some tips on how to freeze this beloved dish.

What Happens When You Freeze New England Clam Chowder?

The New England Clam Chowder will last longer if you freeze it. Freezing helps preserve the dish, so you can always eat it at a later time. However, you need to pay attention to the ingredients in the chowder before you freeze it for the best taste and freshness. 

As previously stated, New England Clam Chowder is made using either milk or cream. If you have a cream-based chowder, it won’t keep as well in the freezer because the cream will separate away from the chowder’s broth when you thaw and reheat it. 

Although it’s safe to eat, the ingredients’ separation will impact the texture and flavor of the soup. If you choose to freeze a cream-based clam chowder, be sure to stir it vigorously while reheating it.

The cream or milk used will easily reconstitute when mixed after freezing and thawing. Some of the other ingredients, however, will not be particularly tasty after being frozen. In particular, these include potatoes and celery.

Potatoes are an ingredient to watch out for when freezing New England Clam Chowder. Although they’re often a staple in New England Clam Chowder, potatoes don’t freeze well, and they’ll likely be soggy, watery, and even have a grainy texture once you unthaw the soup.

If you need to freeze your New England Clam Chowder, make sure you remove the potatoes before you freeze it and add fresh ones once you thaw it out. Or you can make the chowder without potatoes or use a potato substitute. Eating frozen New England Clam Chowder with potatoes won’t make you sick, but it’ll alter your soup and result in an unpleasant texture once thawed.

You should also remove the celery and other herbs such as cilantro or thyme before freezing the chowder as well. The herbs can leave a bitter taste in your soup if frozen for an extended period. It’s best to add those ingredients to your chowder after that.

If you’re making New England Clam Chowder in bulk to freeze, it will be best if you prepare the chowder minus the ingredients that don’t freeze well. That way you can pull the clam chowder from the freezer, let it thaw, stir it well and then add the fresh ingredients while cooking.

How To Freeze New England Clam Chowder

Here are the steps on how to freeze New England clam chowder:

  1. Let the chowder completely cool before putting it into the freezer. If placed in the freezer when hot or when steam is still rising from the chowder, it’ll cause condensation as the dish freezes.
  2. Put your New England Clam Chowder in the freezer as soon as it cools. Doing so will help reduce the risk of bacteria developing since it won’t be sitting out at room temperature. Freeze your chowder within two hours of cooking it for the best results.
  3. Store the chowder in a sturdy air-tight container or bag. The best way to store New England Clam Chowder in the freezer is to put it in a freezer-safe bag and remove any air. Make sure to leave some extra space in the container for your chowder to expand.
  4. Label the bags or containers with a permanent marker. You can label your containers with the date you froze them or their expiration date. Choose a system that works best for you.

How Long Can You Freeze New England Clam Chowder?

You can freeze New England Clam Chowder between four and six months, provided that you store the chowder properly. Make sure you check it before defrosting. If it has a foul odor, color change, or a strange taste, it has likely gone bad, possibly from mold or excess freezer burn.

Don’t hesitate to throw away a spoiled New England Clam Chowder.

How long can you freeze New England clam chowder?

How To Thaw and Eat New England Clam Chowder

Here’s how to thaw and eat New England Clam Chowder:

  1. Defrost your chowder by placing it in your refrigerator. You can let it sit for several hours or overnight until it’s entirely thawed.
  2. Reheat your chowder. You may skip defrosting your chowder and reheat it directly from its frozen state if you like. To do this, put the frozen chowder in a pot and stir it constantly while heating on low to medium until it begins to liquify. After that, increase the heat and continue to stir.
  3. Pour the soup into a cooking pot and heat it on medium heat after you’ve defrosted the chowder. Cover, and bring to a boil. Stir frequently.
  4. Add the ingredients you removed or omitted. Add vegetables, celery, potatoes, herbs, bacon, and any other ingredients you skipped before freezing the soup. You’ll likely need to boil the potatoes and season the vegetables before adding them to your clam chowder. Continue to stir the soup as you add the ingredients.
  5. Eat your New England Clam Chowder within three to four days of thawing. Enjoy!

What Is New England Clam Chowder?

New England Clam Chowder is also known as “Boston-style” chowder, and like most other chowders, it’s a cream or milk-based soup or stew. The milk or cream base makes it much thicker than other soups. Its main ingredients are clams, butter, milk, potatoes, vegetables, and different pork types.

Many people top the chowder with oyster crackers or other cracker varieties to add crunch and texture to the dish. Crushed crackers, the addition of potatoes, even pork products, such as bacon, to the clam chowder gives it the thickness that New England Clam Chowder is known for.

What is New England clam chowder?

How Do You Eat New England Clam Chowder?

New England Clam Chowder is a popular dish enjoyed mainly during winter.

You can eat New England Clam Chowder by itself because it’s so thick and hearty. Alternatively, you can serve the New England Clam Chowder with side dishes such as bread, fries, or crackers. 

Dip Bread Into the Chowder or Eat It as a Side 

Bread is a popular addition to any soup, especially New England Clam Chowder. Dinner rolls, sourdough bread, and hot buttery rolls generally go well with the chowder.

You can dip the bread into the chowder, eat it separately as a side, or serve the chowder inside the bread as a bowl. With so many bread options, the combinations are almost limitless with what you can make.

Seafood Goes Well With New England Clam Chowder

The New England Clam Chowder can act as a main or side dish when paired with seafood. Since New England Clam Chowder contains clam, it pairs well with other seafood varieties. Salmon, mussels, and calamari are excellent options to pair with the soup.

Watch how to make this New England Clam Chowder. It makes for an easy freezer meal.

Final Thoughts

Freezing New England Clam Chowder allows you to store the soup for a long time. However, not many of the ingredients in the chowder freeze well. It’s best to remove those sensitive ingredients before you freeze the soup.

You can reheat and enjoy your soup up to six months later if you do so.