If you’re wondering what to serve with your clam chowder, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I list 42 of the most popular side dishes for clam chowder.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best dishes to serve with clam chowder are garlic bread, bacon twists, fried mussels, okra hush puppies, and onion strings. Try butter lettuce salad or green bean salad with lemon for lighter options. Go for pan-roasted shishito peppers if you want an unconventional but tasty side dish.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
If your clam chowder isn’t served in a bread bowl, a side of crusty bread is a must-have.
But why not go a step further and serve everyone’s favorite – garlic bread.
It’s one of the easiest sides you can make and it’s guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.
Pro-tip: use freshly minced garlic for best results.
Why we love this recipe: you’ll probably have everything you need already.
Okra hush puppies
Hush puppies are an excellent accompaniment to seafood dishes, and they’re perfect for dipping in clam chowder.
I especially like these okra hush puppies – the okra slices add a sweet, grassy flavor to every bite.
Pro-tip: slice your okra thinly so they cook through quickly.
Why we love this recipe: they’re a fun and delicious way to serve okra.
Green bean salad with lemon and dill
Ditch the leafy greens and give this green bean salad a try!
The green beans are blanched until just crisp-tender, so they keep their crunchy texture and signature bright green color.
But the real highlight of this dish is its bright lemon and dill vinaigrette that will cut right through the rich chowder.
Why we love this recipe: it’s filled with summer flavors.
Easy onion strings
Onions usually fade in the background, but not when they’re made into these crispy strings!
This side is reminiscent of traditional onion rings, but easier to make because the strings are way less fiddly.
Use them as a topping for your clam chowder, or serve them alongside with your favorite dip.
Why we love this recipe: they only take 15 minutes to make.
Who needs breadsticks when you can have these bacon twists? They’re not exactly healthy, but they do have less carbs!
The sticks are flavored with sugar and cayenne pepper, giving your savory bacon a spicy twist.
And they couldn’t be simpler to make – just twist each bacon slice, season, and bake.
It’s that easy.
Why we love this recipe: bacon makes everything better.
Fish and chips
Stick with the seafood theme by pairing your clam chowder with a classic fish and chips combo.
I like to use cod for the fish, but pollock or tilapia will work too. And for the potatoes I always go for russets.
Pro tip: for best results, fry the chips twice.
Why we love this recipe: it’s restaurant-worthy but easy to make.
Browned butter jalapeno cornbread muffins
Not in the mood for garlic bread? These cornbread muffins are my next favorite thing to dip in soup.
They’re super moist and fluffy, which means they’re perfect for soaking up your chowder’s flavorful broth.
And they have an addictive hint of heat from the diced jalapenos.
Why we love this recipe: they’re a great addition to a regular dinner or a special holiday meal.
Butter lettuce salad
This butter lettuce salad is fast becoming one of my go-to sides for rich and creamy dishes.
Aside from the lettuce, it’s loaded with crunchy radish slices and slivers of pickled red onion for a tangy bite.
Then everything is tossed in a super refreshing mint vinaigrette.
Why we love this recipe: it has a nice cooling effect on the palate.
Pan-roasted shishito peppers
These peppers are not a traditional accompaniment to clasm chowder, but they taste fabulous together.
The charred peppers develop a lovely smoky flavor that goes so well with the creamy broth.
And heads up – they aren’t generally spicy, but every once in a while you’ll get one that’s a LOT hotter than the rest!
Why we love this recipe: it will keep everyone on their toes.
Another crunchy topping you could go for are these fried mussels.
The batter includes sumac, which is a dried berry powder with a uniquely lemony flavor.
If you’ve never tried it, you’re in for a real treat!
Psst… for best results use the freshest mussels you can find.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a celebration of seafood.
Sourdough bread bowl
Recreating the bread-bowl experience at home is a bit of effort, but it’s not impossible.
And you’ll be the talk of the family for weeks!
By the time you’ve finished the soup, the bread bowl will have soaked up loads of flavor and you can devour it. YUM.
Why we love this recipe: your house will smell amazing after baking these.
Pickled red cabbage
Pickles are a fantastic way to add a contrasting flavor to a cream-based chowder.
I especially like pickled red cabbage (or red onions) because they’ll bring a bright pop of color to the meal.
Why we love this recipe: there’s no cooking involved – just mix the pickling liquid and let your shredded cabbage soak.
Italian grilled cheese
Pair your clam chowder with this Italian grilled cheese for a classic soup and sandwich combination.
But this isn’t any old grilled cheese sandwich. It’s also got onions, tomato, and fresh basil in the mix.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a fancy version of a childhood classic.
Swap the usual bread side with some crispy fritters.
They’re sturdy enough for dipping and are easy to make.
It’s best if you can use fresh corn, but canned or frozen is okay and as long as you make sure to dry it properly.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a great way to sneak vegetables into kids.
The best side dishes to serve with clam chowder
- Garlic bread
- Okra hush puppies
- Green bean salad with lemon and dill
- Easy onion strings
- Bacon twists
- Fish and chips
- Browned butter jalapeno cornbread muffins
- Butter lettuce salad
- Pan-roasted shishito peppers
- Fried mussels
- Sourdough bread bowl
- Pickled red cabbage
- Italian grilled cheese
- Corn fritters
What To Serve With Clam Chowder
- 1 portion clam chowder
- Prepare your clam chowder according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: garlic bread, okra hush puppies, green bean salad with lemon and dill, easy onion strings, bacon twists, fish and chips, browned butter jalapeno cornbread muffins, butter lettuce salad, pan-roasted shishito peppers, fried mussels, sourdough bread bowl, pickled red cabbage, Italian grilled cheese, and corn fritters.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!