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Can You Freeze Clam Chowder?

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By Ross Young

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That signature, smoky taste of clam chowder is hard to beat. A piping hot bowl of clam chowder on a cold winter’s day is the ideal way to warm up and enjoy a delicious meal. But can you batch cook it and freeze it?

Can You Freeze Clam Chowder?

Yes, you can freeze clam chowder for up to 4 months. There are several components of clam chowder that don’t freeze overly well. With this in mind, you must freeze clam chowder at its height of freshness.

Does Clam Chowder Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Clam Chowder? No

How to Freeze Clam Chowder

You will find that clam chowder isn’t the most straightforward dish to freeze, as there are many rather delicate ingredients to consider, including seafood and rich cream.

You always have to be a little more careful when freezing seafood and dairy, so if you follow these instructions, you can safely freeze your clam chowder for up to four months.

  1. Cool: The cooling process is vital if you freeze clam chowder. As soon as it’s off the boil, empty your chowder into a new container and allow it to cool while sitting on the work surface. This can take 2-3 hours. 
  2. Separate Into Portion Sizes: It’s best to separate clam chowder into individual portions before freezing, ensuring you don’t have to defrost it all at once. It’s totally up to you how big or small your portion sizes are. 
  3. Place Into Suitable Containers: If you can, store chowder in Tupperware containers instead of freezer bags. This is to ensure the strong flavour of the chowder doesn’t spread through the freezer. 
  4. Label and Freeze: When your soup is ready to go into the freezer, label the lid of your Tupperware with the date of preparation and the use-by date. Pop the containers into the freezer.

3 Tips for Freezing Clam Chowder

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing clam chowder to have the best results:

Stir to Cool
To speed up the cooling process of your clam chowder, intermittently stir the mixture while it’s sitting on the work surface. This will also ensure it doesn’t form skin on the surface while cooling. 

Leave Room for Expansion
When filling your containers, leave some space at the top (approximately one inch). You need to leave the space for the soup to expand when it’s in the freezer. 

Stir Before Reheating
You will find that when it comes to defrosting your clam chowder, the soup will have separated. This is normal with dairy in the freezer, but you should ensure that you stir it well before reheating, so you can ensure the desired consistency. 

How Long Can You Freeze Clam Chowder?

You can freeze clam chowder for around three or four months. The longer you leave it in the freezer, the more the consistency will change.

While it’s perfectly fine to freeze, you will find that it’s better to prepare small batches of clam chowder where possible, as you don’t want to run the risk of throwing out large quantities of this delicious soup! 

How Long Does Clam Chowder Keep in the Fridge?


How Do You Defrost Clam Chowder?

Because clam chowder contains dairy and seafood, you must defrost it carefully. The safest way to do so is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight until it is completely thawed.

When you take it out, pour the contents into a large mixing bowl or pan, and stir well before heating, as the soup is likely to have split.

When you start re-heating it, ensure you stir it consistently over medium heat, as this will help you get back the thick texture you desire.

It’s not advisable to thaw clam chowder in the microwave.

Can You Refreeze Clam Chowder?

While it may be safe, it’s not advised to refreeze clam chowder after you’ve defrosted it. This is because the dish’s texture and taste will deteriorate after being thawed for the first time.

This is why it’s so important to store your chowder in appropriate portion sizes, so you don’t have to worry about refreezing it after it has been defrosted. 

Does Clam Chowder Freeze Well?

Following the instructions listed in this article, you should have no problem with freezing clam chowder.

That said, it’s not the easiest dish to freeze, given the high dairy content. Just be sure to stir it well after defrosting and don’t keep it for any longer than four months, and you will have a perfectly enjoyable batch of clam chowder ready to enjoy. 

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing clam chowder or chowder in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Clam Chowder with Potatoes?

Potatoes in clam chowder will break down when frozen. This can leave you with mushy, gloopy chowder. When possible, avoid freezing clam chowder that contains potatoes.

Can You Freeze Clam Chowder Made with Cream?

Although clam chowder that contains cream can be frozen, it’s worth noting that the texture will change. The cream will split when frozen, which can cause the texture to become a little grainy.

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