Creamy Gluten-Free Earls Clam Chowder Recipe

As someone who loves exploring new recipes and flavors, I’m excited to share with you a recipe for Earls Clam Chowder that’s not only delicious but also gluten-free. Whether you’re a seafood lover or just craving a hearty bowl of soup, this chowder is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Earls Kitchen and Bar is a restaurant that takes pride in quality ingredients and innovative dishes, so it’s no surprise that their clam chowder has become legendary. But what if I told you that this recipe can be made right in your own kitchen, using simple ingredients that can be found at any grocery store?

The best part? This Clam Chowder is gluten-free, meaning you can indulge in the rich creaminess without any worry.

Join me on a culinary journey as we recreate Earls Famous Clam Chowder in the comfort of our own homes. Trust me, once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to order the traditional New England style clam chowder again. Let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Earls Clam Chowder (Gluten Free)
Earls Clam Chowder (Gluten Free)

Listen up, my culinary explorers! Let me introduce you to Earls Clam Chowder, the best clam chowder recipe that you will ever taste. And guess what? This chowder is gluten-free too, making it a perfect treat for those with gluten allergies or intolerances.

Take my word for it; you will fall in love with this creamy and delicious soup, filled with tender clams, diced potatoes, crunchy bacon bits, chopped celery, and carrots. A combination of herbs and spices like bay leaf, thyme, and black pepper adds a burst of flavors to this already-scrumptious dish. The base of the soup is made with a mix of half-and-half cream and cornstarch, which gives it a smooth and velvety texture.

What makes Earls Clam Chowder even more special is how easy it is to make! You can whip up this meal in no time with simple techniques that anyone can follow. You can enjoy it as an appetizer or as a full meal on its own, especially on cold winter days.

If you’re still not convinced about trying out Earls Clam Chowder yet, let me tell you about the restaurant behind the recipe. Earls Kitchen Bar takes pride in providing its customers with fresh and high-quality ingredients in all their dishes. They are known for their impeccable service and attention to detail when it comes to food preparation. This chowder recipe comes straight from their kitchen, so you know it’s got to be amazing.

So what are you waiting for? Get your clam chowder fix on with this recipe from Earls Kitchen Bar. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you for it!

Ingredient List

 Creamy, gluten-free Clam Chowder with a crusty French baguette.
Creamy, gluten-free Clam Chowder with a crusty French baguette.

Before diving into the recipe how-to, it’s important to take a look at the ingredients you’ll need to make Earls Clam Chowder. As the name implies, those ingredients will include clams — in this case, canned — as well as potatoes, half-and-half cream (or a dairy-free alternative), cornstarch, margarine or butter, bay leaf, thyme, black pepper, tomatoes, carrots, celery and bacon.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need at a glance:

  • 1 can of clams
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 4 cups of Half & Half cream or Dairy-Free Alternative
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of margarine or butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A pinch of thyme
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (14 ounces)
  • 2 medium-sized carrots (chopped)
  • 2 stalks of celery (chopped)
  • 6 slices of bacon

Most chowders use flour as a thickener but this recipe uses cornstarch to keep it gluten-free. But please note that clam chowder usually contains gluten so if you have Celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance, make sure to check for ‘gluten aware’ menu sources or ask the kitchen staff at Earls Kitchen Bar about any dish ingredients that may contain gluten especially the soup base or clam juice.

The Recipe How-To

 Cozy up with a bowl of Earls Clam Chowder on a chilly night.
Cozy up with a bowl of Earls Clam Chowder on a chilly night.

Now, let’s dive into the recipe how-to. Get ready to impress your taste buds with the creamy and delicious clam chowder.

Prep Time

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Ready in: 45 minutes


  • 1/2 cup margarine (gluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 6 cups half-and-half cream
  • 10 small potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cans (6 oz each) clams
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled


  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the margarine over medium-low heat.
  2. Add onions, carrots and celery. Sauté for approximately three minutes or until vegetables have softened.
  3. Add cornstarch to the vegetable mix; stir well to combine.
  4. Gradually add half-and-half cream while stirring constantly.
  5. Add potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper; bring it to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to low; let it simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  7. Add clams and bacon (reserve some bacon for garnish if desired); cook until thoroughly heated through (about five minutes).
  8. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Serving Suggestions

This gluten-free clam chowder is perfect comfort food for any chilly day or night! Serve it with some toasted bread cheese or oyster crackers on top of your soup.

Recipe Notes

  • If you used a soup base instead of clam juice, you may need to reduce salt as the soup base contains more than enough salt.
  • For an extra New England-style chowder flavor, you may add two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce just until blended in step four.

Make sure your friends and family try out this earls kitchen bar famous clam chowder recipe!

Substitutions and Variations

 One spoonful of this delicious chowder will take your taste buds on a seaside adventure.
One spoonful of this delicious chowder will take your taste buds on a seaside adventure.

When it comes to making Earls Clam Chowder, there are a variety of substitutions and variations you can make to cater to your personal preferences or dietary restrictions.

For those who are lactose intolerant or prefer a dairy-free option, you can use an alternative to half-and-half cream such as almond milk or cashew cream. For a healthier option, you can replace the margarine with olive oil or coconut oil.

If you are looking to add more depth to the flavor of your chowder, you can include additional herbs or spices such as fennel or paprika along with the thyme and black pepper in the original recipe. Adding different vegetables such as leeks or sweet potatoes can also enhance the flavor and texture of the dish.

For meat lovers, adding extra bacon to the recipe can add more smoky and savory notes to the chowder. It’s also possible to use other types of seafood instead of clams, such as shrimp or crab. To make a fish chowder, substitute clam juice with fish broth soup base.

In summary, there are numerous ways you can tailor the Earls Clam Chowder recipe according to your preference. Whether it’s adding more spices, using different vegetables, replacing certain ingredients or adding extra meat, don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you.

Serving and Pairing

 Don't skip on the freshly chopped parsley for an extra burst of flavor!
Don’t skip on the freshly chopped parsley for an extra burst of flavor!

When it comes to serving Earls Clam Chowder, you’ll definitely want to make sure it’s in a big, hearty bowl that’s filled to the brim with this delicious, gluten-free soup. I recommend pairing it with some fresh bread or cheese for dipping – there’s nothing quite like a hunk of warm bread or melted cheese to soak up all those delicious flavors.

For a more substantial meal, try serving this clam chowder alongside a light garden salad or Caesar salad. The crisp and refreshing taste of the salad will provide a nice contrast to the rich and savory flavor of the chowder.

If you’re hosting a party or just looking to impress some guests, this dish is always a crowd-pleaser. Consider adding some roasted vegetables or grilled seafood as a side dish. Serving this clam chowder with a glass of white wine or beer can also be an excellent way to enhance its flavor.

No matter how you serve it, Earls Clam Chowder is guaranteed to warm your belly and satisfy your hunger. This recipe is perfect for lunch, dinner, and even as an indulgent snack.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect balance of tender clams, smoky bacon, and creamy potatoes in every bite.
The perfect balance of tender clams, smoky bacon, and creamy potatoes in every bite.

If you’re looking for the perfect meal to make ahead and store for later, Earls Clam Chowder is just what you need. You can whip this delicious gluten-free chowder up a day or so in advance, and let it sit in your fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Simply store the clam chowder in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. When it’s time to reheat, do so in a covered pot over low heat, stirring occasionally until it’s heated through. For best results, avoid letting the soup come to a boil as this could change the consistency and affect its flavor.

If reheating smaller portions of leftover chowder, use a microwave-safe dish with a lid or plastic wrap to prevent splatters. Reheat the clam chowder in 30-second intervals, stirring after each cycle until it’s heated throughout.

Keep in mind that due to its dairy content, clam chowder might thicken up over time. If this happens with your stored chowder when reheating or serving, simply add some additional cream or milk until it’s reached your desired consistency.

Earls Clam Chowder is also freezer-friendly! Store it in an airtight container and freeze for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating over low heat as mentioned above.

With these tips, you can prepare and enjoy Earls Clam Chowder anytime you want, whether you prepare it fresh or store it for later.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Indulge in a hearty bowl of Earls Clam Chow
Indulge in a hearty bowl of Earls Clam Chow

When it comes to making the perfect clam chowder, there are a few tips and tricks that can make all the difference. Here are some recommendations to ensure your Earls Clam Chowder turns out perfectly every time:

Firstly, avoid overcooking the clams. Overcooked clams tend to become tough and chewy which can ruin the overall texture of your chowder. It’s best to cook the clams just until they open and remove them from the broth immediately.

Secondly, try using fresh thyme and bay leaves instead of dried herbs. Fresh herbs will lend more flavor and aroma to your chowder and make it taste much more rustic and authentic.

Thirdly, use a high-quality half-and-half cream for richer texture and flavor. Inferior quality cream can curdle or leave a grainy texture in your soup.

Fourthly, if you’d like a thicker consistency to your chowder, mix cornstarch with cold water before adding it into the pot. This will prevent any lumps from forming in your chowder.

Fifthly, always use gluten-free margarine as substitute for butter. Using butter could add gluten which may render the dish unsafe for those on a gluten-free diet.

Lastly, when adding potatoes to your chowder, remember to cut them into small pieces for fast cooking rather than big chunks that take longer to cook.

By following these simple tips and tricks you can ensure that your Earls Clam Chowder turns out perfectly every time with rich, hearty flavors that will keep you craving for more!


As with any recipe, there may be questions that arise during the cooking process. To help address any concerns or uncertainties, here are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Earls Clam Chowder recipe. By reviewing these questions and answers beforehand, you can avoid mistakes and ensure a successful outcome.

Is there gluten in clam chowder?

Many traditional clam chowder recipes require flour as a thickening agent, making the dish unsuitable for those who follow a gluten-free diet. Additionally, most commercial brands of gluten-free clam chowder still contain gluten.

Is Costco clam chowder gluten-free?

The presence of 2 gluten-containing ingredients and 3 potentially gluten-containing ingredients make this product unsuitable for those who follow a gluten-free diet.

Can I use cornstarch instead of flour in clam chowder?

When it comes to making clam chowder, adding a thickening agent can help give the soup a heartier and more satisfying texture. Flour or cornstarch are two commonly used thickeners. In the recipe I’m sharing, the amount of flour included should be sufficient to thicken the chowder. However, if you prefer an even thicker consistency, you can add a small amount of cornstarch. To do this, mix a teaspoon or two of cornstarch with some of the chowder in a separate bowl until it forms a paste. Then, simply stir the paste into your pot of soup to achieve the desired thickness.

Is Progresso New England clam chowder gluten-free?

Indulge in the irresistible taste of creamy Progresso Traditional New England Clam Chowder, featuring tender potato chunks and succulent clams. This gluten-free soup is free from artificial flavors or added MSG, making it the perfect, heartwarming meal.

Bottom Line

If you’re on the hunt for a delicious, gluten-free chowder recipe, look no further than Earls Clam Chowder. This recipe is packed with plump and tasty clams (both fresh and canned), tender potatoes, smoky bacon, and plenty of herbs and spices to round out the flavor. And because it’s thickened with cornstarch rather than flour, it’s entirely gluten-free.

But what truly sets this recipe apart is its versatility. You can easily tailor it to your preferences with a few simple substitutions or additions. Whether you want to add more veggies, swap out the bacon for pancetta, or experiment with different spices, this recipe is incredibly forgiving and amenable to modifications.

While you can certainly enjoy Earls Clam Chowder by itself as a hearty and satisfying main course (especially when paired with crusty bread and cheese), it also makes an ideal starter for a bigger meal. Serve it up alongside a fresh salad or grilled seafood for a meal that’s both comforting and sophisticated.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try today. You won’t be disappointed!

Earls Clam Chowder (Gluten Free)

Earls Clam Chowder (Gluten Free) Recipe

An excellent thick creamy clam chowder. This recipe is my gluten free version of the recipe used at Earl's restaurant.
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Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Calories 1545.2 kcal


  • 1 lb bacon, diced (GF)
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons margarine
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 4 cups half-and-half cream
  • 5 large potatoes, peeled, diced and cooked
  • 3 (14 ounce) cans clams, drained (reserve juice)


  • In a large frying pan over medium high heat, cook the bacon. When the bacon is almost crispy, add the onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes and spices.
  • Lower the heat and cover, sweating until the carrots are soft.
  • In a large saucepan, melt the margarine over medium heat.
  • Add the starch and whisk.
  • Add the vegetable stock, then the half and half, then the clam juice. Add bacon/vegetable mix.
  • Heat to almost boiling, then cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the clams and the cooked potatoes. Simmer just until heated thoroughly.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 838gCalories: 1545.2kcalCarbohydrates: 113.8gProtein: 68.6gFat: 91gSaturated Fat: 36.3gCholesterol: 266.9mgSodium: 1381.7mgFiber: 12.6gSugar: 8.4g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chowders, Free Of..., Winter
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