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Portuguese-Style Clam Chowder in a large bowl

Portuguese-Style Clam Chowder

Course: Chowder
Cuisine: Portuguese / Seafood
Keyword: Clams
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 326kcal
This Portuguese-Style Clam Chowder is just brimming with flavor. So hearty and will warm you to the bone. If you are serving to a group, make the broth ahead and then add the clams and finish just before serving. Amazing flavor!
Print Recipe


  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided 3 for sauteing and 2 for finishing
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano or 1 1/2 tsp dried
  • 2 14.5 oz cans fire-roasted tomatoes, plus 2 cans' worth of water
  • 1 lb cooked (or smoked) linguca sausage, or chorizo sliced into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 buls fresh fennel core removed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick dice
  • 48 cockles or littleneck clams scrubbed thoroughly to remove any grit
  • 3 tbsp Madeira either Rainwater or Verdelho style
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar


  • Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring for 5 minutes.
  • Add the paprika, thyme, and oregano and cook until toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute.
  • Add the canned tomatoes, water, sausage, and fennel and bring to a simmer and cook until fennel is tender, about 15 minutes. (if making ahead of time, remove from the heat and refrigerate until ready to finish. Reheat gently before proceeding).
  • Add the clams and increase the heat to high.
  • Simmer vigorously until the clams open, 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Discard any clams that don't open.
  • Stir in the Madeira and vinegar.
  • Divide among 4 bowls and drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top. Serve at once!


Calories: 326kcal