Creamy New England Clam Chowder Recipe

Good day, dear reader! It is with great pleasure that I bring to your attention a new recipe that is sure to delight your taste buds. Today, I present to you the Dairy-Free and Low-Fat New England Clam Chowder recipe. Known for its rich and creamy texture, this classic dish is comfort food at its finest.

As a culinary explorer, I am always search for ways to make traditional dishes healthier without sacrificing their true essence. While the original clam chowder recipe calls for heavy cream and butter, this version uses non-dairy milk and olive oil to create a lighter yet equally delicious alternative.

But don’t let the dairy-free and low-fat label fool you. This chowder is packed with flavor from the chopped clams, fresh vegetables, and fragrant herbs that make up its base. And with the added benefit of being gluten-free and Whole30 paleo-friendly, it’s versatile enough to accommodate various dietary needs without compromising on taste.

So let’s dive into the ingredients and steps needed to create this ultimate comfort food. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

New England Clam Chowder (Dairy-Free and Low-Fat)
New England Clam Chowder (Dairy-Free and Low-Fat)

Dear food enthusiasts,

Prepare to be amazed by my recipe for New England Clam Chowder, which is not only dairy-free but also low-fat. This dish is the perfect blend of flavors and textures that will leave your taste buds craving for more.

If you are a seafood lover, trust me; this recipe deserves a spot in your cookbook. The clams used in this chowder recipe are minced, adding a special depth of flavor that is sure to surprise you. Not to mention, the combination of potatoes, onion, and celery creates a savory base that’s irresistible.

But wait, there’s more! This chowder is not only mouthwatering in taste but also diet-friendly as it’s low in fat content. So even if you’re strictly watching your calories or following whole30 paleo or keto diets, this recipe will not disappoint.

Moreover, my recipe includes some variations and substitutions that allow for more flexibility in cooking. For instance, if you are looking for gluten-free or non-dairy options, then my recipe offers alternatives like cornstarch instead of flour and coconut milk instead of cream.

Finally, this recipe can also be made ahead with leftovers being stored and reheated conveniently. So what are you waiting for? Grab your pots and pans, and let’s create a flavor-packed yet nutritious New England Clam Chowder!

Try it now; I guarantee it will become your next favorite dish!

Ingredient List


  • Baking potatoes: 2 medium, peeled and diced
  • Carrots: 1 large, peeled and diced
  • Onion: 1 medium, chopped
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Clam broth: 3 cups
  • Minced clams: 2 cups (canned)
  • Plain soy milk: 2 cups
  • Flour or cornstarch: 2 tablespoons (use cornstarch instead of flour for gluten-free option)
  • Dried thyme leaves: 1 teaspoon
  • Bay leaf: 1 piece
  • Ground black pepper: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste
  • White pepper: to taste (optional)
  • Dried parsley flakes: 1 tablespoon

This New England clam chowder recipe packs the goodness of hearty vegetables and succulent clams. It’s a low-fat, dairy-free version of the soul-warming soup classic, New England clam chowder. This chowder is easy to substitute with gluten-free, non-dairy or vegan alternatives. For a gluten-free variant, use cornstarch instead of flour in this recipe. The recipe calls for simple ingredients that you can easily find at your local grocery store.

The Recipe How-To

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

Before we get started, let’s prepare our ingredients. Peel and chop 2 cups of baking potatoes into small bite-sized pieces. Finely dice 1 large onion, 2 stalks of celery and carrots each. Drain and reserve the juice from the canned clams. Measure 3 cups of plain soymilk and 1/2 cup of flour into separate containers.

Step 2: Cook the Vegetables

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots to the pot and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Add Potatoes and Clam Juice

Add the chopped potatoes and reserved clam juice to the pot, then pour enough water to cover the vegetables by an inch or two. Stir in 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp of dried thyme, 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper, 1 tsp of dried parsley, and 1/4 tsp of white pepper. Bring everything to a boil before reducing heat down to low-medium simmers, leaving it uncovered for 10 – 15 minutes to cook until potatoes are tender.

Step 4: Make Roux

While the vegetables are simmering, make a roux in a separate saucepan. Over medium heat, whisk together ½ cup of flour and ½ cup of non-fat milk until completely smooth. Whisk in remaining non-fat milk a little at a time until fully incorporated after every addition. Continue to cook for another minute or so until the mixture has thickened.

Step 5: Thicken The Chowder

Stir in roux into soup chowder while gradually adding one cup of soymilk at a time while whisking over low-medium heat for another five minutes or so until chowder thickens up.

Step 6: Add Clams

Lastly, stir in minced clams and chopped clams then bring to a simmer for about five minutes making sure that clam chowder is warm all throughout yet not boiling vigorously as it’s unnecessary.

Step 7: Garnish And Serve

Season with salt and pepper as desired before serving garnished with extra chopped parsley leaves. This creamy dairy-free version is still rich, creamy and packs all those classic flavors one would expect from a New England seafood chowder recipe without being too heavy on my stomach – perfect if you’re looking for low-fat recipes!

Substitutions and Variations

When it comes to cooking, I love to experiment with different substitutions and variations. This dairy-free, low-fat New England clam chowder recipe is perfect for that purpose. Here are some of my favorite substitutions and variations you can try:

1. Cornstarch instead of flour: If you want to make the recipe gluten-free, try using cornstarch instead of flour as a thickener. Add it towards the end of cooking and whisk constantly until the chowder thickens.

2. Coconut or almond milk instead of soy milk: While I use plain soymilk in this recipe, you can use coconut or almond milk for a creamier taste. Keep in mind that both tend to be sweeter than soymilk, so adjust your seasonings accordingly.

3. Chopped clams instead of minced clams: If you prefer a chunkier chowder, then use chopped clams instead of minced clams. It will give you a more pronounced seafood flavor.

4. Low-carb option: If you’re following a low-carb or keto diet, you can omit the potatoes and substitute them with cauliflower or turnips. You’ll still get a creamy and flavorful chowder, but with fewer carbs.

5. Low-sodium option: If sodium is a concern for you, use canned clams that are low in sodium and replace the clam broth with low-sodium chicken broth.

6. Vegetarian option: Of course, if you skip the clams altogether, you’ll have a delicious vegetarian chowder that’s perfect for any occasion.

7. Rice pasta instead of traditional potatoes: For those who are looking for another gluten-free option, rice pasta can be used as an alternative to baking potatoes in this recipe.

No matter what substitutions or variations you choose to make, don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the perfect combination for your taste buds. With this New England clam chowder recipe as your base, there’s no limit to what kind of delicious creations you can come up with!

Serving and Pairing

Once your dairy-free New England clam chowder is ready, it’s time for the ultimate culinary experience. This comforting dish is perfect for cold, winter days, but it can also be enjoyed all year round. The creamy and rich texture of this chowder pairs perfectly with a variety of savory options.

To truly enjoy the flavors of New England, serve your chowder with some crispy oyster crackers or saltine crackers on top. If you want to elevate the dish, garnish with chopped fresh parsley and a side of warm crusty bread. The bread can either be toasted or simply dipped into the creamy broth; Either way, it adds an extra layer of richness to the dish.

For a satisfying meal, pair your clam chowder with a fresh green salad or sautéed spinach. These veggies provide a well-balanced meal that marries nicely with the chowder’s seafood essence.

If you’re feeling adventurous, pair your clam chowder with a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio for optimal enjoyment. Otherwise, sipping on sparkling water or hot tea blends perfectly as well.

Remember that hearty soul food can stand alone as its own star attraction. But by pairing it right, you can emphasize the flavors that you have created in your dairy-free New England clam chowder recipe – proving that sometimes even simple things are made to taste extraordinary by paying attention to complementary details.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Now that you have made this delightful New England Clam Chowder, you may want to know how and for how long it can be stored. This clam chowder recipe not only tastes great straight away but also makes a wonderful make-ahead recipe as it keep well in refrigerator or freezer.

To Store: Allow the chowder to cool before transferring to an airtight container. You should store leftover chowder in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or freeze for up to 2-3 months.

To Reheat: Take out frozen chowder from the freezer and put it into the refrigerator overnight or until completely thawed. Once thawed, simply reheat in a pot on the stove over medium heat until heated through, stirring often. If needed add extra liquid (broth, milk or water) as the soup will thicken as it sits.

This recipe is perfect for meal prep and batch cooking. You can divide your soup into portion sizes and freeze them separately for individual servings when needed. It is an amazing way to save time and avoid waste.

Additionally, this chowder is low-fat, dairy-free, gluten-free and non-dairy; providing endless options for those with dietary restrictions or preferences. Whether you are following Keto, Whole30 or Paleo diet, this creamy clam chowder is perfect choice for you!

Tips for Perfect Results

Making a perfect New England Clam Chowder that is dairy-free and low-fat might seem daunting, but with the right techniques and tips, anyone can create a rich, creamy soup that will tantalize taste buds. Here are some expert tips for achieving perfect results with this recipe:

Firstly, creamy dairy-free milk should be used as it gives the chowder the perfect texture without adding unwanted fats. Whole30 Paleo compliant or light creamy coconut milk is an excellent option for those who prefer thick but non-dairy creaminess. Other options can also include almond and soy milk, so long as they don’t have any added sugar.

Second, clams should be adequately drained before being chopped up or mixed into the broth. This eliminates excess water from being added to the chowder, making it soupy instead of creamy.

Thirdly, cornstarch should be used instead of all-purpose flour as they give the same effect when it comes to thickening the chowder without converting it into gluten. The vital tip when using cornstarch instead of flour is to mix it with cold liquid before adding it to hot liquid if not the cornstarch mixture would lump up promptly.

Next, avoid overcooking potatoes as they could quickly become mushy after being boiled for an extended period. It’s best to use baking potatoes and dice them evenly for consistent cooking timing throughout each piece.

Moreover, simmering the chowder for about 10-15 minutes after adding potatoes can enhance its flavor and ensure that everything in the pot is cooked thoroughly.

Additionally, adding carrots and celery can give the soup an extra crunch while providing exciting texture and flavor to the chowder.

Finally, always season to taste throughout the cooking process rather than waiting until everything has cooked before seasoning- better to add flavor at intervals than to end up with too much salt or pepper in one spot which could ruin everything.

By following these tips and tricks when preparing this delicious New England Clam Chowder recipe, you can ensure that your dish is perfectly seasoned, thickened without lumps, adequately cooked with every ingredient giving a good bite- ultimately creating a savory low-fat version of an all-time favorite meal!


Before you start cooking, it’s important to address any questions that you may have regarding this New England Clam Chowder recipe. In this section, I will try to answer some of the most common questions that people often ask so you can make the best of your culinary journey. Whether you are wondering about substitutions or cooking methods, this FAQ section has got you covered. So without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Is New England clam chowder fattening?

According to a culinary expert, consuming clam chowder may not be the healthiest choice as it contains high levels of fat, calories, and sodium. A single cup serving of clam chowder contains 180 calories, with 20 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein.

How do you thicken clam chowder without flour?

As a culinary adventurer, one of the things I love doing is adding a starch to my soups or stews. To do this, I recommend adding about 1/2 cup of rice or pasta for every 4 cups of liquid in your pot. However, timing is everything when it comes to adding these starches. You want to give them just enough time to cook before serving, which is typically around 20 minutes for rice and 10-12 minutes for pasta. Adding them too early can lead to over-expansion and a thicker consistency that may not be what you were going for. So, be sure to time it just right for a perfectly balanced soup or stew.

How do I thicken homemade New England clam chowder?

Thickening a liquid has never been easier! With just cornstarch and cold water, you can create a magical mixture called a cornstarch “slurry”. Simply stir equal parts of cornstarch and cold water together, ensuring it is all mixed well by scraping the bottom of the dish. Once your broth or sauce is boiling or simmering, stir in the slurry and watch as it thickens instantly.

Can you use cornstarch instead of flour for clam chowder?

Are you in search of a tasty, gluten-free clam chowder recipe? Look no further! This recipe ditches the flour and bacon, but don’t worry – the flavor is not compromised. Plus, this clam chowder is the gift that keeps on giving with its delicious leftovers. Allow the flavors to mingle and intensify, and enjoy the dish for days to come.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this New England Clam Chowder recipe is perfect for everyone who loves delicious seafood and wants a healthy and low-fat alternative that also happens to be dairy-free and gluten-free. With the right ingredients and following the step-by-step instructions, you can create a rich, creamy clam chowder that is both satisfying and nourishing.

Whether you are looking for a light meal or a comforting dinner, this recipe has got you covered. By using non-dairy milk, you can enjoy all the flavors of traditional New England clam chowder without sacrificing your health or dietary preferences.

Furthermore, with its many possible variations, substitutions and serving options, this recipe is versatile enough to suit anyone’s taste. And for those who want to make it ahead of time or store leftovers, rest assured that with proper storage and reheating instructions, your chowder will still retain its deliciousness.

So why not try this amazing New England Clam Chowder recipe today? It’s not only easy to make but also packed with flavor and nutrients that will keep you coming back for more. Don’t wait any longer – grab your apron and get cooking!

New England Clam Chowder (Dairy-Free and Low-Fat)

New England Clam Chowder (Dairy-Free and Low-Fat) Recipe

I'm posting this for my mother. We recently returned from a trip to Cape Cod, where we were both very disappointed about not being able to eat the cream-filled clam chowder as a result of our IBS. This recipe is from my favorite cookbook, Eating for IBS by Heather van Vorous, and is completely dairy-free and delicious!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Calories 289.3 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, scraped and diced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups clam broth
  • 3 cups plain soymilk or 3 cups rice milk
  • 2 (6 1/2 ounce) cans chopped clams or (6 1/2 ounce) cans minced clams
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups baking potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
  • salt and pepper, for serving
  • fat-free saltine crackers, for serving


  • In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute until softened.
  • Gradually sift in the flour, stirring thoroughly and scraping bottom of pan.
  • Very gradually stir in the clam broth, scraping sides and bottom of pan to make sure flour is thoroughly incorporated without clumping.
  • Stir in rice milk until mixture is smooth.
  • Add the clams and spices, bring soup to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add diced potatoes, cover and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with crushed Saltines.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 429gCalories: 289.3kcalCarbohydrates: 43.8gProtein: 16.8gFat: 5.3gSaturated Fat: 0.7gCholesterol: 20.6mgSodium: 913.1mgFiber: 4.1gSugar: 8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chowders, Dairy Free, Free Of..., Healthy, Lactose-free, Low Cholesterol
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You