John Torode’s clam chowder recipe

(30 ratings)

This delicious creamy clam chowder, made by MasterChef judge John Torode, is the perfect treat for dinner and only takes under 1hr to make

Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time1 hours

This delicious creamy clam chowder, made by MasterChef judge John Torode, is the perfect treat for dinner. Made with smoked fish, leek and celery in a thick broth, this dish can be served with crusty rolls for dipping. Clams can be found in most big supermarkets in the fresh fish aisle or you can buy some in your local fish mongers. This recipe serves 8 people and can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. We recommend that you serve it fresh


  • 2tbsp butter
  • 2 onions, finely chopped and separated equally into 2 bowls
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1kg clams
  • 200ml white wine
  • 6-8 potatoes, cubed
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 celery, finely diced
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 500ml milk
  • 300ml cream
  • 2 smoked fish fillets, such as smoked mackerel or smoked haddock
  • 2 white fish fillets, such as cod or mackerel
  • 200g green beans, finely chopped
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 can sweetcorn
  • 8 crusty white bread roll




  1. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and the onion, season well then cook for 5-6 minutes or until the onions start to soften. Add the torn bay leaves, clams in their shells and the white wine.
  2. Cook the clams for 3-4 minutes then remove the clams from the pan and reserve in another bowl. Add the potatoes, put the lid on the pan and continue to cook until the potatoes have softened but still hold their shape.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, pick the clam meat out of their shells and mix into a bowl with the parsley.
  4. Take a large pot and saute the remaining onion with the celery and leek in the remaining butter over a medium heat, season with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes until soft. Add 800ml of the milk and place the smoked fish skin side up into the milk then bring to the boil.
  5. Once the fish has cooked, removed from the pan and leave to cool slightly before flaking the flesh away from the skin.
  6. Add the green beans, creamed corn and sweetcorn to the milk then add the potatoes, smoked fish and uncooked cod. Bring it back to the boil then add the clam and parsley mixture.
Top Tip for making John Torode’s clam chowder

Serve in bowls with crusty bread or hollow out the rolls and spoon the chowder into the centre to serve.

John Torode is one of the UK’s most well known celebrity chefs, having been a judge on television cooking shows, Masterchef, Celebrity Masterchef and Junior Masterchef for oven ten years. Originally from Australia, John began his cooking career at 16 years old after leaving school to attend catering college. In 1991 he moved to London where he soon began working at famous restaurant, Le Pont de la Tour and Quaglino’s as a sous chef. It was while working at the latter restaurant that John Torode first met Masterchef co-host Gregg Wallace. Alongside his presenting work, John owns the Smiths (opens in new tab) franchise, which is located in the iconic Smithfields market in London. The Grade II listed building is set over four floors and promises to give diner a different culinary and drinking experience on each level. He’s also no stranger to philanthropy work, combining his experience the food industry with a passion for helping those in need. Torode was one of the people behind the “Come…Eat Together!” project, as featured on BBC News. The campaign encourages the elderly to get together in the community and enjoy home cooked food together, facilitating better social connections and exploring new ways for the elderly to their food shopping. John himself is a chef is best known for simple, family recipes. He once said, “My world as I know it started with my Nanna’s roasting tin, a chicken and a wooden spoon. The food she cooked was always simple but delicious. Her cauliflower cheese was awesome, her caramel slice was wonderful and I am still searching for a recipe to make her apple tea cake.” While we might not have the recipe for John's Nanna's teacake, we do have plenty of his recipes designed for indulgent homecooking. Like this one for a hearty chicken casserole (opens in new tab), and baked apples and custard (opens in new tab) for dessert. In 2019, John Torode married long-term girlfriend, fellow chef Lisa Faulker. .