Keto Clam Chowder is a delicious chowder recipe with a low carb and keto diet-friendly twist. This clam chowder is based on the New England clam chowder variety, with the same rich flavors of a traditional clam chowder that is often made with those high carb potatoes, a few other vegetables all simmered in a creamy soup base.
This chowder dish is what is often made in California restaurants, which is sometimes served in a bread bowl. So delicious. However, by replacing most of the potatoes for cauliflower florets and ditching the bread I’ve created a low carb chowder recipe to accommodate for a low-carb lifestyle.
If you are looking for a hearty and comforting keto-friendly dish, this recipe is for you. Note that I use one potato just for old-times sake, but I find that my family prefers the cauliflower substitution more, so go ahead and modify to see what your family prefers.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
Keto Clam Chowder is a mouthwatering chowder that will leave you and your family satisfied and asking for more. It is packed full of flavor and has a creamy, rich consistency that will make you feel like you’re cheating when in fact, you’re not. The entire family is going to love this creamy keto soup recipe.
- Clam chowder is absolutely fantastic. It’s full of clam flavor and creamy texture, with perfectly tender potatoes for a classic experience.
- This recipe replaces most of the potatoes with cauliflower, making this dish suitable for low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet.
- The best part about this soup is that it only takes 30 minutes to prepare.
- Stockpot or Dutch oven
- Knife and cutting board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Large spoon
- Soup bowls
- whole baby clams or chopped clams – save the juice
- 4-5 slices bacon, diced
- onion, chopped
- celery, diced
- carrots, diced (optional)
- bay leaves, whole
- cauliflower florets
- potato, peeled and diced (optional)
- all-purpose flour (optional)
- clam juice
- half & half
- salt and ground pepper to taste
- fresh parsley leaves, chopped
HOW TO MAKE LOW CARB KETO CLAM CHOWDER RECIPE
STEP 1: COOK THE BACON
In a large stockpot cook bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Transfer bacon to a dish lined with paper towels and set aside. Reserve some for garnish.
STEP 2: SAUTE THE ONIONS, CELERY, AND CARROTS
Add onion, celery, and carrots to the pot with the bacon grease. Cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent and the vegetables begin to soften.
STEP 3: ADD THE CAULIFLOWER AND POTATO
Add the cauliflower florets and potato (if using) to the pot with the thyme and sprinkle flour if using over the mix. Continue to cook and stir for 2-3 minutes.
STEP 4: MIX IN THE CLAM JUICE AND HALF AND HALF
Stir in clam juice, bay leaves, half and half, and prepared bacon. Simmer until cauliflower is tender 5-10 minutes, and the soup begins to thicken, then add the clams with the juice. Stir until warmed.
STEP 5: SEASON TO TASTE
Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Top each bowl with reserved bacon and chopped parsley.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH KETO CLAM CHOWDER
If you are wondering what to serve with this keto clam chowder then I have some delicious options that your entire family will enjoy.
This soup is amazing by itself but you could also serve it with a side salad or some freshly baked low carb rolls. If you have keto crackers on hand, they would also pair well this is homemade keto chowder.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
- Other ingredients you can use in place of cauliflower – daikon radish, turnips, celery root.
- Heavy whipping cream can be used in place of the half and half.
- For additional flavor, you can completely caramelize the onions in bacon fat, so that they develop a sweeter flavor.
- If you like the flavor of smoked foods use smoky bacon in place of regular bacon for a nice layer of flavor.
- Use pork salt in place of bacon if available.
- If your grocery store does’t carry whole baby clams, all chopped canned clams are fine.
- Are you a fan of spice? Add in a dash of hot sauce for an extra kick.
- Want to lower the carbs? Leave out the potato and carrots to slightly lower the cars. In addition, you can replace the flour. Diet Doctor suggests some other thickeners you can use like guar gum or glucomannan.
HOW TO REHEAT & STORE
BEST WAY TO STORE: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
HOW TO REHEAT: Reheat over medium heat, stirring frequently until it is hot and bubbly. Alternatively, you can reheat in the microwave on 50% power, stopping every 30 seconds to stir.
LOW CARB KETO CLAM CHOWDER FAQS
Flour adds 6 carbs per tablespoon. If you have wiggle room in your macronutrients then use the flour. The texture is never the same without it. However, often I will add cream cheese or heavy whipping cream in place of half and half as a thickener.
If you want to make this recipe dairy-free you can use either coconut cream or coconut milk in place of the half and half.
No, I don’t recommend freezing this soup because of the dairy, it may separate when thawed.
In place of clam juice you can use vegetable broth or chicken broth. In addition, to get that seafood flavor a tablespoon of fish sauce will add a similar flavor as clam juice.
No. It’s not necessary to drain canned clams to clam chowder. It’s personal preference to drain the clams.
MORE KETO RECIPES YOU MAY ENJOY:
This keto clam chowder recipe is perfect for warming up on cold days or the perfect recipe to bring to parties. I always get asked for the recipe and I bet you will too!
- 5 slices bacon, diced and divided
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 medium potato (peeled and diced) - optional
- 1 medium head cauliflower (5 cups) florets
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 bay leaves, whole
- 1 8 ounce bottle clam juice
- 4 (6.5 ounce) can chopped clams
- 1 (10 ounce) can baby clams
- 1 quart half and half
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley leaves for garnish
- In a large stock pan or Dutch oven cooked bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove cooked bacon from the pan and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Reserve some to top on the chowder before serving.
- Lower heat to medium and add diced onion, celery, and carrots to pot and saute until onion is translucent and vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the cauliflower florets and diced potato (is using). Fold into the vegetables. Sprinkle flour (if using) over the vegetables with the thyme. Stir for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the clam juice, half and half, bay leaves and cooked bacon to the pot. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until cauliflower is tender, 5-10 minutes.
- Fold in clams. Stir to warm, season with salt and black pepper.
- Serve cooked chowder topped with reserved bacon and chopped parsley.
Reserve some cooked bacon to add to the top of each serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 605mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 13g
Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.
This recipe was first published May, 2014 and has since been updated with additional photos and step by step details, March 2022.
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