Perfect Pairings: What to Eat with Clam Chowder

What to eat with clam chowder: Perfect Pairings

Clam chowder is a delicious dish enjoyed by many. This creamy and flavorful soup has regional variations, but no matter how you like your clam chowder, it is best served with complementary accompaniments. While clam chowder can be satisfying on its own, pairing it with the right accompaniments can enhance the overall dining experience. In this article, we will explore some excellent side dishes that perfectly complement the rich flavors of clam chowder.

1. Simple Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is a classic side dish that pairs exceptionally well with clam chowder. Its sweet and succulent kernels provide a delightful contrast to the creamy texture of the soup. Grilled or boiled, corn on the cob adds a fresh and vibrant element to your meal. You can enhance the flavor by brushing it with butter and sprinkling it with a touch of garlic or basil.

2. Caesar Salad

A crisp and refreshing Caesar salad is an excellent choice to accompany clam chowder. The creamy and rich flavors of the chowder are beautifully balanced by the crisp romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese and croutons in the salad. The combination of textures and flavors creates a harmonious blend that enhances each component.

3. Rolls or Bread

Bread is a classic choice for any soup, and clam chowder is no exception. Whether you choose rolls, baguettes, biscuits or cornbread, bread adds a comforting element to the meal. The soft, pillowy texture of bread complements the creamy consistency of the chowder. Consider choosing bread options with a little texture that can absorb the flavors of the soup without becoming too soggy.

4. Oyster Crackers

Oyster crackers are a traditional choice for serving with clam chowder. These small and crunchy crackers provide a delightful contrast to the thick and creamy soup. You can either buy store-bought oyster crackers or make them from scratch. Either way, the combination of clam chowder and oyster crackers is a classic and satisfying pairing.

5. Seafood

While clam chowder already contains seafood, pairing it with additional light seafood options can elevate the dining experience. Consider serving mussels, shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, bacon-wrapped shrimp or scallops, lobster rolls, fish tacos, salmon cakes or a lobster boil with your clam chowder. These seafood dishes complement the flavors of the chowder without overpowering it, resulting in a delicious seafood feast.

6. Spinach Salad with Fruit

For a refreshing and flavorful side dish, a spinach salad with fruit is an excellent choice. The combination of crisp spinach leaves and sweet berries creates a balance of flavors that pairs well with the savory and salty notes of clam chowder. Top the salad with a light balsamic vinaigrette to keep it fresh and vibrant.

7. Cornbread

Cornbread is a perfect accompaniment to clam chowder because of its slightly sweet flavor and dense texture. Whether you choose a skillet recipe or a baking recipe, cornbread is an excellent choice for soaking up the flavors of the soup. The combination of hearty cornbread and creamy chowder creates a comforting and satisfying meal.

8. Thin French Fries

Thin French fries may not be the most traditional pairing for clam chowder, but they provide a delightful contrast in texture. The crunchy and salty fries complement the creamy and rich broth, creating a unique and satisfying combination. Instead of using a dipping sauce, dip the fries directly into the chowder for an extra burst of flavor.

9. Roasted Veggies

Roasted vegetables add a delicious depth of flavor to any meal, and they are no exception when served with clam chowder. Carrots, corn, potatoes, peppers, and squash are all excellent options for roasting and pairing with the soup. Roasting the vegetables in butter and your favorite seasoning enhances their natural sweetness and adds a delightful caramelized note to the dish.
In conclusion, clam chowder is a versatile and delicious dish that can be enhanced with the right side dishes. Whether you prefer classic options like corn on the cob, Caesar salad, rolls or bread, and oyster crackers, or more creative choices like seafood, spinach salad with fruit, cornbread, thin French fries, or roasted vegetables, there are numerous possibilities to explore. Each pairing offers a unique combination of flavors, textures and contrasts that enhance the dining experience. So the next time you enjoy a bowl of clam chowder, consider adding one of these perfect pairings to create a memorable and satisfying meal.


Can clam chowder be enjoyed on its own without garnish?

While clam chowder can be enjoyed on its own, it is traditionally served with garnishes to enhance the dining experience.

What are some classic side dishes that go well with clam chowder?

Classic side dishes that go well with clam chowder include corn on the cob, Caesar salad, rolls or bread, and oyster crackers.

Are there any seafood dishes that go well with clam chowder?

Yes, you can pair clam chowder with light seafood options such as mussels, shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, bacon-wrapped shrimp or scallops, lobster rolls, fish tacos, salmon cakes or a lobster boil.

Can I have clam chowder with a salad?

Absolutely! A crisp and refreshing salad, such as a spinach salad with fruit, complements the savoury and salty flavours of clam chowder.

What are some non-traditional side dishes that go well with clam chowder?

Non-traditional sides that work well with clam chowder include thin fries and roasted vegetables, which add different textures and flavours to the meal.