This is the best dairy free clam chowder recipe. It's so rich and creamy and loaded with potatoes, clams and bacon to give it the most amazing flavour. The perfect comfort food, this New England style clam chowder uses coconut milk to keep it dairy free. Hearty enough for a meal, this recipe is also Whole30 and paleo.
Why you will love this recipe:
- This paleo clam chowder recipe is so rich and creamy and tastes just like a traditional New England or Boston clam chowder.
- It's made with coconut milk to keep it dairy free and it's loaded with potatoes, clams and bacon to give it the best hearty flavour.
- The perfect comfort food, this clam chowder is made from scratch and also makes great leftovers.
- It's ready in under 30 minutes.
- Besides being dairy free and healthy this clam chowder is gluten free, paleo and Whole30 compliant.
Key ingredients and substitutions:
- Vegetable stock - vegetable stock adds a delicious flavour to this clam chowder recipe. You could easily swap this for chicken stock or beef stock too.
- Coconut milk - coconut milk is used instead of cream or milk to keep this clam chowder dairy free. I recommend using full fat coconut milk for the most rich and creamy clam chowder. You could swap this for almond milk or cashew milk too.
- Potatoes - potatoes help make this clam chowder so rich and creamy. I recommend using russet potatoes for this recipe.
- Spices: sea salt, ground black pepper, dried thyme, dried sage - these simple spices add a delicious herb flavour to this chowder.
- Canned clams - canned clams make this chowder so easy to make. You can find canned clams in most grocery stores.
- Bacon - cooked bacon adds delicious flavour and protein to this clam chowder.
- Almond flour - almond flour is used to help thicken this clam chowder recipe while keeping it dairy free and gluten free.
How to make this recipe:
First, heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the bacon to the pot and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and save for later.
Now, use the bacon fat in the pot and add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the pot and cook until the onion is translucent (a few minutes).
Next, add the almond flour and spices to the pot and stir well to combine.
Then add the chopped potatoes, coconut milk, and vegetable stock to the pot and turn down the heat to low. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Lastly, add the clams, along with juice from the cans to the pot and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. When the chowder is done, chop the cooked bacon and top the soup with it. Then serve and enjoy!
Tips and variations:
- Feel free to add more bacon if you prefer.
- Feel free to substitute the vegetable stock with either chicken stock, beef stock or bone broth.
- Be sure to use full fat coconut milk and not light coconut milk for this recipe.
- If you can't have coconut milk I would use cashew milk or almond milk instead.
- Top this clam chowder with crackers or more bacon to make it even better!
How to store:
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This clam chowder also freezes really well.
Frequently asked questions:
The two most common types of clam chowder are New England and Manhattan clam chowder. New England clam chowder (also known as Boston Clam Chowder) is creamy and uses milk or cream. It’s thick and made with clams, potatoes, onions, and sometimes salted pork or bacon. Manhattan clam chowder on the other hand is thinner and made with tomatoes and tomato paste instead of cream or milk and contains different vegetables such as carrots, onion, celery, and potatoes.
Russet potatoes are best as they will create a nice and thick chowder.
Full bodied white wines such as pinot gris, chardonnay and certain types of sauvignon blanc.
This clam chowder is hearty enough to eat as a main dish, but if you serve it as a side dish it goes really well with a salad, cooked vegetables, crackers or toast.
This depends on which definition or version of the paleo diet that you follow. When the paleo diet was first created white potatoes were not allowed, but since the Whole30 diet started allowing white potatoes many paleo authors have also started to allow potatoes as well. My number one rule is to do what works best for you and listen to your body. If you don’t tolerate white potatoes, please don’t eat them.
This clam chowder recipe is not a vegan recipe as it contains clams and bacon, which are not permitted on a vegan diet. If you want to make it vegan you would need to find a vegan clam substitute and a vegan bacon substitute.
Other recipes you will love:
- Dairy Free Cream of Potato Soup
- Dairy Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Dairy Free Scalloped Potatoes
- Dairy Free Shepherd's Pie
- Dairy Free Rice Pudding
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Dairy Free Clam Chowder
- Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and save for later.
- Using the bacon fat, add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the pot and cook until the onion is translucent (a few minutes).
- Add the almond flour and spices to the pot and stir well to combine.
- Add the chopped potatoes, coconut milk and vegetable stock to the pot and turn down the heat to low. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
- Add the clams, along with juice from the cans to the pot and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. When it's done, chop the cooked bacon and top the soup with it.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Store this soup in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 5 days.
- Feel free to add more or less bacon.
- If you can't have coconut milk use cashew milk instead.