12 Classic New England Recipes - New England Today joi

12 Classic New England Recipes

From baked beans to blueberry pie, these classic New England recipes haven't only sustained the region for centuries, they've defined it.

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New England cuisine is as varied as the geography from which it stems. It’s steeped in tradition, too, and, in kitchens across New England, the region’s most well-loved recipes have been passed down from one generation to the next. Below, we share a few of our own favorite classic New England recipes.

For a more exhaustive list of classic New England cuisine, from the humble Fluffernutter to B&M Brown Bread in a Can, check out 75 Classic New England Foods.

Steamed Clams | Classic New England Recipes

Steamed Clams | Classic New England Recipes

Aimee Seavey

12 Classic New England Recipes

Baked Beans

Can you envision a potluck or a ham supper without those beloved baked beans? This recipe is an old-fashioned New England favorite, containing salt pork and molasses.

SEE MORE: Best Vegetarian Baked Beans Recipe

Classic Boston Cream Pie

Few sweet New England recipes are as beloved as Boston Cream Pie. This classic Boston cream pie recipe relies on the familiar combination of golden cake, sweet pastry cream, and smooth chocolate glaze.

SEE MORE: How to Make Boston Cream Pie | Step-by-Step

Classic New England Clam Chowder | Classic New England Recipes

Classic New England Clam Chowder | Classic New England Recipes

Kristin Teig

Classic New England Clam Chowder

This recipe from the Chatham Pier Fish Market includes all the traditional ingredients for true New England clam chowder — fresh shellfish, salt pork (or bacon), potatoes, and cream. It’s rich, thick, and delicious.

SEE MORE: How to Make New England Clam Chowder | Step-by-Step

Garbage Can Clambake

You don’t have to live on the coast to enjoy a good old-fashioned New England clambake — all you really need is a (clean) non-galvanized garbage can and a whole lot of seafood! This recipe involves everything from corn on the cob to lobster and is perfect for a summertime get-together.

Granny’s Homemade Brown Bread | Classic New England Recipes

Granny’s Homemade Brown Bread | Classic New England Recipes

Heath Robbins

Granny’s Homemade Brown Bread

No list of New England recipes would be complete without Boston Brown Bread! The traditional accompaniment to baked beans, Brown Bread is a true New England favorite, but the best homemade brown bread recipes involve steaming the loaf. This recipe calls for a metal coffee can or cylindrical baking mold to create that classic brown bread shape.

How to Cook Lobster

Bertha Nunan, who owned and operated Maine’s famous Nunan’s Lobster Hut for decades, shares her secrets for cooking the perfect lobster every time.

SEE MORE: Cooking Lobster at Home | Our Best 5 Tips

The Apple Lover's Cookbook

The Apple Lover's Cookbook is a celebration of apples in all their wonderful diversity, from Yankee Senior Food Editor Amy Traverso! Find scrumptious recipes, apple picking tips, and more for an appley-delicious fall!


Jasper White’s Home-Style Lobster Stew

Chef Jasper White of Boston’s Summer Shack shares his method for making delicious, home-style lobster stew. For a simpler take on this classic, here’s another favorite lobster stew recipe.


Jonnycakes just might be the most Rhode Island of our many classic New England recipes. To welcome spring, residents of Rhode Island have traditionally taken part in a May feast, but no spring feast is complete without the cornmeal pancakes known as “jonnycakes (or johnnycakes),” served thick or thin depending on what part of the Ocean State you’re in. They might be old-fashioned, but these simple jonnycakes are a classic New England recipe you’ll want to pass on to your children.

lobster pie | Classic New England Recipes

Lobster Pie | Classic New England Recipes

Heath Robbins

Lobster Pie

This dish is inspired by the original Lobster Pie recipe from The Publick House in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, which ran in the October 1949 issue of Yankee Magazine. Unapologetically rich and unforgettably delicious, it’s a celebration food that every New Englander should make at least once.

Maine Wild Blueberry Pie

This traditional Maine Wild Blueberry Pie recipe brings out the sweet and refreshing taste of blueberries and isn’t overpowered by the taste of lemon or the texture that can come from using too many thickeners. Serve with a tall glass of milk or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the best results.

Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

New England Boiled Dinner | Classic New England Recipes

Amy Traverso

New England Boiled Dinner

The Irish queen of New England recipes. You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy this staple. An easy meal that doesn’t sacrifice heartiness, New England Boiled Dinner is a blend of flavorful vegetables and salty corned beef that will be sure to gather a crowd around your table.

Steamed Clams

The New England seashore is known for its fresh seafood, and shellfish is an enticing treat for locals and vacationers alike. One of the region’s best dishes is steamed clams, and when prepared with this butter and broth combination, it’s all the more desirable.

SEE MORE: Guide to New England Steamed Clams

What are your favorite classic New England recipes? What would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

This post was first published in 2006 and has been updated.

75 Classic New England Foods

  • William

    I never liked clam chowder. Fried clams are ok. However, I do like thick hearty chowders. When I was a kid living on DOW AFB, Bangor Maine. The school I went on base made a thick Corn Chowder, full of corn, carrots, potatoes, peas, and crisp bacon mixed with cheddar cheese. I have no idea what their recipe was but if any one has one adaptable for a smallish crockpot, I would certainly appreciate hearing from you. Thanks Very Kindly. William York.

    • Apm49@aol.com

      Hello William. My school district did something similar, where I grew up in Western MA. It was a thick, corn chowder…potatoes, corn, celery, onions, carrots, (no peas), milk. I’m assuming it was chopped bacon sauteed with onions, celery, salt and pepper, then made into a roux with the addition of flour and milk, stirred until smooth. Then more milk, or half and half or cream, then a stick of butter. Then add the chopped potatoes, carrots and corn. Cheese added at the end, with crisply cooked and crumbled bacon. That’s how I have made it….no official recipe, just relying on memory. You could add your peas.

  • Sorry my brain got ahead of my fingers. The post should read ” never confuse New England clam chowder with Rhode Island clam chowder.”

  • Well, Chuck, Rhode Island is indeed part of New England but never confuse New England clam chowder. As a matter of fact, Rhode has two iconic clam chowders. First is the classic clear broth clam chowder made with the liquid that the clams were steamed in. Second is the red, NOT Manhattan, chowder made famous by the shore dinner hall at Rocky Point Park on Warwick Neck in Warwick, RI. Both are tasty and unique to Little Rhody.

  • Rhode Island is also New England, so its already included , Bon Appetit!!!

  • I see recipes for New England and Manhattan Clam Chowders. What happened to Rhode Island? Can someone submit a Rhode Island Clam Chowder Recipe

  • These are all the flavors of New England… I’ve moved around the country a bit and cooking up some New England recipes is the highlight of any meal!!!


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