Can You Freeze Clam Chowder? Most people enjoy a good bowl of clam chowder. Clam chowder is a New England specialty that has long been a favorite of seafood lovers across the United States. Unlike other seafood dishes, clam chowder is often served during colder weather. But there are times when you may have leftover clam chowder that you want to freeze for later.
You can freeze clam chowder. Just make sure to leave it out for no more than two hours before popping it in the freezer. Try freezing individual portions so that you can defrost just enough for two people at a time.
However, it is not advisable to freeze the soup. If you want to save it, pack it in a shallow container and freeze it for no more than three months. To thaw, place in the fridge and heat thoroughly.
What Is Clam Chowder?
Clam chowder is a thick chowder soup made with clams and broth. Clam chowder is a part of New England cuisine and is typically served with clams diced potatoes in a white, cream, or tomato base. Another variety known as Rhode Island clam chowder has a clear broth base.
There are many varieties, but they all fall into four basic categories:
- New England clam chowder
- Clear broth
- Manhattan clam chowder
- Rhode Island clam chowder (clear broth)
- Minorcan clam chowder (or “St. Augustine Stew”)
Although, the history of clam chowder is rich and varied, with more than one origin story and many geographic variations. The classic New England clam chowder (white or red) is the most popular regional clam chowder variation.
The New England clam chowder is a milk-based version found mostly along the US Eastern Coast and Canada. Manhattan clam chowder is a tomato-based version popular mostly in the Midwestern region of the United States. Clam chowder is considered an American dish, although it has its origins in Europe.
New England clam chowder was inspired by the French dish “chaudrée.” Chaudrée is a fish soup that uses cream, often made with salt pork, brought to America by early French settlers. Clams were substituted for the fish as they were easier to harvest in the American colonies.
What Is Chowder Made Of?
Chowder is a soup or stew often prepared with milk or cream and thickened with broken crackers, crushed ship biscuits, or a roux. Variations of chowder are seafood or vegetable. Crackers such as oyster crackers or saltines may come with chowders as a side item, and cracker pieces may be placed on the dish.
Chowders were originally made with milk or cream, but that has been replaced by milk and the modern addition of starchy vegetables like potatoes.
Regional variations exist, and some versions of the dish may include fish or shellfish. New England clam chowder is made with chopped clams and diced potatoes, in a mixed cream and milk base, often with a little butter. Manhattan style uses tomatoes to create a tomato-based broth. Clam, potato, and bacon are common ingredients.
Common types include clam chowder and corn chowder, but many ingredients can be used.
Can I Freeze Clam Chowder?
You can freeze clam chowder just like other kinds of soup, but only if it has cream or milk in it. However, when you thaw and reheat the frozen soup, it might appear lumpy and curdled. Frozen clam chowder will be safe to eat for 3-6 months.
To keep your soup tasting as fresh and tender as when you first made it, you should freeze it in several small containers rather than a big one. Then, divide your Chowder into meal-sized portions, each with 6-9 ounces of content.
If you plan to store clam chowder in your freezer for a long time, add some half-and-half to the recipe to prevent the fat from separating from the cream.
How Long Does Clam Chowder Last in the Freezer
Clam chowder is a hearty soup, often filled with bacon. When stored properly in the freezer, clam chowder lasts up to 3 months. To ensure your Chowder stays at its best for as long as possible, be sure you store it correctly before placing it in the freezer and consuming it within three months of storing.
According to the America Department of Agriculture, cooked clam chowder, whether canned or homemade, is safe to eat for 3-5 days when stored properly in the refrigerator. However, to maximize the shelf life of cooked clam chowder, do not store it for longer than recommended; freeze leftovers within 3 to 4 days.
How Long Does Clam Chowder Last in the Fridge
The shelf life of clam chowder depends on various factors, such as the sell-by date, preparation method, and how the clam chowder is stored. Clam chowder will generally last one to two days after being prepared if refrigerated properly and three months if frozen.
Clam chowder can be eaten several days after being made if properly stored. Refrigerate clam chowder soon after cooking and eat within five days. Rewarm to 165 degrees F before serving, and do not use leftovers that have been sitting at room temperature for more than 45 minutes to two hours. If you want to keep clam Chowder longer than five days, freeze in small portions (2 cups) in rigid containers or freezer bags with the air pushed out so it can last up to three months.
Generally, clam chowder only lasts two to three days in the fridge before you should throw it out. However, you can make this creamy soup last longer by freezing it. Just remember to freeze it within two hours of cooking, and then defrost it slowly in the fridge when you’re ready to eat.
Can you freeze clam chowder with potatoes?
Clam chowder with potatoes can be frozen, but it needs to be done right, or you’ll end up ruining the taste and texture of your food.
You can freeze clam chowder that includes potatoes, but you may find that the consistency of the soup changes when it is defrosted. Potatoes tend to break down and can become mushy if overly thawed. Thawing overnight in the refrigerator is recommended.
Also, you’ll need to bring the soup to room temperature before putting it in the freezer. This process will reduce the chance of them becoming mushy after freezing.
However, the milk solids, cream, and thickening agents may become separated and affect the soup’s texture when reheating after freezing. The flavor will also naturally be affected.
Can You Freeze Clam Chowder Made with Cream?
No, you cant freeze clam chowder made with milk. When the Chowder is frozen, the dairy in the cream separates and rises to the top. As a result, the Chowder will be lumpy and taste like old milk upon thawing and reheating.
Some clam chowders are made with cream, and it is best to avoid freezing chowders that contain dairy. However, if the clam chowder doesn’t contain dairy, it can be frozen.
Also, Bacteria that cause food poisoning thrive in dairy foods and may ruin the quality of the Chowder if you freeze cream-based Chowder. When you thaw the frozen soup, it may taste fine initially, but its texture and flavor will likely suffer.
Cream causes a change to the texture of the Chowder when it thaws. The same applies to ingredients with high water content, such as potatoes.
Can You Freeze New England Clam Chowder?
You can freeze new England clam chowder. Just make sure to check the temp after reheating. Make sure it gets back up to 165 degrees F. But prevent it from sitting out too long before freezing, or it won’t taste as good when you defrost and reheat it.
But also know that the food will remain safe to eat for two to three months if you freeze it within one or two days of cooking or immediately if it has not been cooked.
For best results, cool the Chowder to room temperature in the can or in a bowl before storing it. Then, move it to an airtight container and place it in the freezer. You should use the Chowder within 2 or 3 days of thawing it.
However, the broth’s texture is the main thing to look out for. Dairy-based chowders shouldn’t be frozen because they can curdle and have a grainy, unappetizing texture upon thawing when dairy products freeze.
Likewise, if your Chowder has corn or potatoes, their texture may also suffer after being frozen. So if you’re freezing a chowder, pick one with a clear stock and no vegetables.
How to Thaw Frozen Clam Chowder
Thawing frozen clam chowder takes about 3 to 6 hours under refrigeration. To thaw frozen clam chowder in the refrigerator, take it out and defrost it inside of its packaging in the refrigerator a day before you plan to serve it. Serve overnight, or at least 3-5 hours later.
To use frozen clam chowder, cube it and thaw it in the refrigerator. Let it cool before you serve it. Then, use cold water to thaw it faster: Place frozen clam chowder cubes in cold water, changing out the water every 30 minutes if possible. When cubes are soft and puffy, wrap them up and freeze them again for later use.
Note: You should never thaw frozen clam chowder at room temperature because this increases the risk of bacterial growth. One of the best ways you can thaw frozen clam chowder is in the refrigerator 24 hours before you plan to serve it.
Knowing how long it takes to thaw the soup safely and how long it will take once it is thawed is important. The time depends on whether the Chowder is in a can or pouch and how big the can or pouch is.
How Long Does Seafood Chowder Last in the Fridge
When you prepare seafood chowder, it needs to be stored in the fridge within two hours of cooking. Let chowder cool for 30 minutes before placing in a covered container or sealed bag and putting it in the fridge. Seafood chowder lasts up to three days in the fridge when properly refrigerated.
Though it’s best to eat your soup within four days of making, seafood chowder can last up to three days past that in the fridge if stored in an airtight container. Fish also can be frozen as long as it’s not dressed with sauce and stored in a freezer-friendly bag or container.
However, we don’t always recommend it because freezing fish compromises its texture and freshness.
Can You Freeze Clam Chowder Soup?
You can freeze clam chowder soup. Put the clam chowder soup in an airtight container. Place the container in the refrigerator to cool. The soup will freeze well when it’s cold.
But it’s best to make the Chowder in small batches so it does not become stale. Also, make sure to cool it before freezing it in an airtight container for up to two months.
As with other dairy products, when frozen, clam chowder loses some flavor and texture but remains edible for several months if it is frozen properly.
Can Fish Chowder Be Frozen?
Before serving, you can freeze fish chowder, but you need to reheat and cover over low heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F when inserted in the center of the Chowder. Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Since most canned soups are already cooked, freezing doesn’t change the taste. If you use an excess of water during the cooking process, freezing won’t affect the taste too much either. Don’t worry about your fish chowder getting freezer burned as long as it’s stored properly.
Can You Freeze Manhattan Clam Chowder?
While some types of Chowder will freeze better than others – Manhattan Clam Chowder can be frozen. Chowders containing much flour as a thickener will generally break down when frozen and thawed again. The relative percentage of flour becomes increasingly important the longer you plan to store your soup before eating it.
You can freeze Manhattan clam chowder for about 4 to 6 months, refrigerate it for 2 to 3 days, or keep it out on the counter in a sealed container for 24 hours. This dish is a soup with a tomato base, typically made with clams, potatoes, carrots, and onions. Since it is a soup, you can even eat it cold if you want to.
Soup is certainly something you can and should store in the freezer. It’s fairly easy to place soup in a large baking dish and place it in the freezer until it freezes solid, then break it up into portions for storing in smaller, quality freezer bags or containers.
However, Manhattan clam chowder is a variant of clam chowder that uses tomatoes and tomato juice rather than milk or cream. Therefore, if you have added fresh clams last, you should not freeze them.
Can You Freeze Ivar’s Clam Chowder?
You can freeze Ivar’s frozen products! Just look for the best by date on your package and use it within 6 months of freezing. After thawing, stir or shake the product well to ensure all contents are evenly distributed throughout.
The flavor may decline once the product has been opened and best consumed within 24 hours after thawing—the best way to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Be sure to shake well because the Chowder will separate while frozen.
However, make sure the container for freezing is airtight, and then make sure there’s enough room left at the top of the container for expansion when it freezes completely.
Can you freeze clam chowder? You can freeze your clam chowder before or after adding the cream. If you’re freezing it with cream, remember to stir your meal before microwaving it. If you’re not adding cream, don’t worry about stirring your meal once it’s frozen.