Are you wondering what cheese goes well with clam chowder?
Clam chowder is a delicious and creamy soup that is often made with potatoes, onions, bacon, and of course, clams.
While it is delicious on its own, adding cheese to clam chowder can take it to the next level.
So if you are looking for the best cheese for clam chowder, then you are in the right place.
I’ve rounded up 10 of the best cheeses to add to clam chowder.
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Whether you prefer a sharp cheddar or a more mellow cheese, there is sure to be something on this list that you’ll love.
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So go ahead and give one of these cheeses a try the next time you make clam chowder!
What Cheese Goes Well with Clam Chowder? 10 Best Cheeses
If you want to make sure your clam chowder is extra creamy and delicious, you need to choose the right cheese.
A good cheese will complement the flavors of the soup and help to thicken it up.
On the other hand, a bad cheese can easily overwhelm the soup and leave you with a bland and unappetizing dish.
Fortunately, there are a number of great cheeses that pair well with clam chowder.
Here are 10 of the best cheeses for clam chowder:
1. Cheddar Cheese
Aged cheddars become more nutty, crumbly, and sharp as they age.
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This makes them the perfect cheese for chowder because they can add a lot of flavor without being overwhelming.
The sharpness of the cheese also helps to cut through the richness of the soup.
Pro Tip: If you want a really creamy chowder, use a block of cheddar cheese and shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheese has additives that can make it less creamy.
2. Gruyere Cheese
Gruyere has a rich, creamy, salty, and nutty flavor that makes it the perfect cheese for chowder.
It melts evenly and smoothly, creating a velvety texture that takes this dish to the next level.
Plus, it’s just so dang good.
Pro Tip: If you want an extra-smooth chowder, shred your Gruyere cheese using the large holes on a box grater.
3. Parmesan Cheese
Parmesan is fruity and nutty, with a sharpness that cuts through the richness of chowder without being overwhelming.
It’s also a great cheese for grating, so you can get that perfect cheesy-to-brothy ratio in every bite.
Pro Tip: If you’re using pre-grated Parmesan, give it a quick pulse in the food processor to create finer pieces.
This will help it melt evenly and create a smoother texture in your chowder.
4. Swiss Cheese
Swiss cheese is sweet, mild, and nutty, making it the perfect cheese for chowder. It melts beautifully and adds a creamy texture to the soup without being too heavy.
Pro Tip: If you’re using pre-shredded cheese, give it a quick pulse in the food processor before adding it to your chowder.
This will help the cheese melt evenly and prevent it from clumping.
5. Gouda Cheese
Aged gouda has a rich, nutty, caramelly taste (somewhat reminiscent of butterscotch) that takes chowder to a whole new level.
It’s the perfect cheese for a wintery soup because it adds so much depth of flavor.
Pro Tip: If you’re using gouda in a chowder, be sure to use a sharp knife to shred the cheese so that it melts evenly into the soup.
6. Brie Cheese
Brie has a mild, buttery and creamy flavor that goes great in chowder.
It’s also a very versatile cheese, so it can be used in a lot of different dishes.
Brie is a good source of protein and calcium, and it’s also low in fat.
Pro Tip: When shopping for brie, look for a cheese that has a white rind and is soft to the touch.
7. Camembert Cheese
Camembert is mushroomy, eggy, garlicky, nutty, milky, and grassy (in the best way).
It’s one of my favorite cheeses to add to chowder because it really elevates the flavors and makes it feel extra luxurious.
Pro Tip: If you want an even richer chowder, swap out some of the milk for heavy cream.
8. Feta Cheese
Feta cheese is often seen in Greek salad, but it’s also an excellent cheese for clam chowder.
It’s a bit salty, so it helps to balance out the flavors in the soup.
And, feta cheese has a lower fat content than other cheeses, so it’s a healthier option.
Pro Tip: Feta cheese can be crumbly, so it’s best to add it near the end of cooking.
9. Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is very mild, so it won’t overpower the other flavors in your chowder.
It also has a very creamy texture, which makes for a delicious and comforting soup.
Pro Tip: When choosing ricotta cheese for your chowder, look for one that is labeled “whole milk.” This will give you the best flavor and texture.
10. Cream Cheese
You probably already have a go-to cheese for your chowder, but let me tell you why cream cheese should be your new BFF.
First of all, it’s SO creamy and dreamy, which we all know is essential in a good chowder.
But more importantly, it won’t break down and get stringy when heated like other cheeses (I’m looking at you, cheddar).
So go ahead and add that extra spoonful of cream cheese to your chowder… your taste buds will thank you.
Pro Tip: If you want an extra smooth chowder, swap out the milk for half & half or heavy cream.
3 Tips For Picking The Right Cheese For Your Clam Chowder
- Don’t be afraid to mix and match: A lot of people think that there are hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing cheese for their clam chowder. The truth is, there are no rules. So, feel free to mix and match until you find a combination that you like.
- Try different types of cheese: There are so many different types of cheese out there, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Some good options include cheddar, Swiss, Gruyere, and Parmesan.
- Go for quality over quantity: It’s better to use a small amount of high-quality cheese than a large amount of low-quality cheese. Not only will the flavor be better, but your clams will thank you for it.
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What Cheese Goes Well with Clam Chowder? 10 Best Cheeses
- Cheddar Cheese
- Gruyere Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Swiss Cheese
- Gouda Cheese
- Brie Cheese
- Camembert Cheese
- Feta Cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
- Cream Cheese
- Choose your favorite kind of cheese from this list to add to your clam chowder recipe.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Enjoy in no time!
Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.