Can You Freeze Clam Chowder?

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.

Although some types of shellfish are difficult to freeze, the good news is that you can safely store your clam chowder leftovers in the freezer to be enjoyed at any time. Let’s take a look at how you do it.

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze clam chowder. Clam chowder can be frozen for around 3 months. There are several components of clam chowder that don’t freeze overly well. With this in mind, it’s vital that you freeze clam chowder at its height of freshness.

How to Freeze Clam Chowder

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

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

  1. Cool
    The cooling process is absolutely vital if you’re going to freeze your clam chowder. As soon as it’s off the boil, empty your chowder into a new container (a large bowl will do fine) 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 your clam chowder into individual portion sizes before freezing, as this ensures 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 your chowder in Tupperware containers as opposed to 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, as well as the use-by date. This is important as you may forget exactly when you should use it by once it’s been in the freezer for a while.

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 a skin on the surface while cooling. 
  • Leave Room for Expansion – When you’re filling your containers, be sure to 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 make sure that you stir it well before reheating, so you can make sure of 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 having to throw out large quantities of this delicious soup! 

You Can Freeze Clam Chowder for up to 4 Months

How Do You Defrost Clam Chowder?

Because clam chowder contains both dairy and seafood, you need to 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, make sure you stir it consistently over medium heat, as this will help you get back the thick texture that you desire.

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

Can You Refreeze Clam Chowder?

While it may be safe to do so, it’s not advised to refreeze clam chowder after you’ve defrosted it. This is because both the texture and taste of the dish 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?

If you follow the instructions we’ve listed in this post, you should have no problem with freezing clam chowder.

That being 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 Shellfish?

Shellfish are one of the most difficult ingredients to freeze. If they’re not frozen fresh and defrosted carefully, then they can cause severe illness. We would always advise proceeding with caution when freezing any shellfish

Can You Freeze Shellfish

Is It OK to Freeze Clam Chowder?

It is perfectly OK to freeze clam chowder. You do risk changing the texture quite dramatically, so this is worth bearing in mind. It will never be as tasty or enjoyable as a freshly prepared bowl of chowder, unfortunately. 

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