Ivar’s Clam Chowder Copycat


I have made this 3 times now and it is delicious every time, even with the substitutions I have made when I was out of something. Today, I substituted 1% milk for half and half because half and half is almost $5 a pint at both grocery stores close to me and SOOOO much cheaper at Costco and frankly, I did not want to go to Costco for one thing 🙂 I don’t pay $5 for 2 gallons of milk, come on…

On to the recipe:

This makes enough for about 6 people or 8+ if you’re serving small children. I have an almost teen age boy and a 7-year-old, plus my husband and I and we still have plenty of leftovers

2 (6 1/2 ounce) cans minced clams

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup finely diced celery

2 cups finely diced potatoes, I used red’s and left the peel on.

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup flour

4 cups half-and-half (or milk, see note above), warmed

2 teaspoons salt (to taste)

1 dash pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar


In a medium saucepan, drain the juice from the clams; set the clams aside.

Combine clam juice with the onions, celery and potatoes.

Add enough water to barely cover and simmer, covered, over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, melt the butter.

Add flour and stir in to the butter.

Slowly whisk in the warm half-and-half.

Cook and whisk until smooth and thick, about 5 minutes

If you want a thinner chowder, add 1/2 to 3/4 cup water or clam juice.

Add the vegetables with their cooking liquid, clams, salt, pepper and sugar to the pan.

Stir well and adjust the seasonings if necessary.


Some history about Ivar’s, in case you are not from the Northwest and have no Idea who this Ivar fellow is.

Ivar’s is a seafood restaurant chain based in Seattle, Washington, with operations in the Puget Sound region and in Spokane, Washington.

Ivar’s was founded in 1938 by Seattle folk singer Ivar Haglund. Having built Seattle’s first aquarium on what is now Pier 54, he decided to add a companion fish and chips bar to feed his visitors. The bar was short-lived, however. On July 22, 1946, Haglund opened a new restaurant, Ivar’s Acres of Clams, at the same location. The aquarium closed ten years later, but the restaurant remains.

Ivar’s has two other full-service restaurants: Ivar’s Salmon House in Seattle’s Northlake neighborhood, and Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing in Mukilteo, Washington, next to the Washington State Ferries terminal. There is a fishbar outside of all three full-service restaurants. All its other locations are seafood bars. Ivar’s created the famous saying of “keep clam” that is posted all over each of the eateries.

Nard Jones remarked in 1972 that Haglund was “not afraid to reflect Puget Sound tradition in the decor of his restaurants, whereas others of his profession seem intent on making their patrons forget where they are.” In this respect, he singled out the Salmon House, “an almost exact replica of an old Indian longhouse.

Every Independence Day from 1964 until 2008, Ivar’s sponsored the Fourth of Jul-Ivar’s festival and fireworks show at Downtown Seattle’s Myrtle Edwards Park on Elliott Bay. Ivar’s estimated its attendance at around 300,000 people. On April 3, 2009, Ivar’s announced it was no longer sponsoring its Fourth of Jul-Ivar’s community fireworks show. Ivar’s decided to focus its efforts on feeding families in the Pacific Northwest through its partnership with Northwest Harvest.

Ivar’s also owns the Seattle-based burger restaurant chain Kidd Valley Hamburgers.

Adapted from Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Food.com


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