This thick and ultra creamy paleo and Whole30 clam chowder recipe is made with blended cauliflower to boost nutrients, but you can’t taste it! It’s chock full of clams, potatoes, and veggies, and you’ll never know that it’s dairy free and gluten free.
This gluten free dairy free New England clam chowder recipe was created because I missed this delicious and creamy soup so much. I haven’t been able to enjoy it for years after discovering my food intolerances. Not only that, both my dad and my husband are huge fans of New England clam chowder, so I’ve been wanting to recreate it at home so we can enjoy it anytime we want.
Paleo & Whole30 Clam Chowder Recipe
I have tried several paleo clam chowder recipes in the past, and they’ve all used coconut milk as the main soup base which I didn’t love. The coconut flavor was a bit too overpowering and it was hard to get a true, authentic clam chowder taste.
To make a gluten free dairy free clam chowder recipe that still tastes like what you would order at a seafood restaurant, I found that blending cooked cauliflower makes a perfectly creamy base. It doesn’t add any kind of cauliflower flavor AND it really acts as a hidden veggie to make this recipe healthier and more nutrient-dense.
Main Ingredients in Whole30 Clam Chowder Recipe
- Cauliflower: Since this is a cauliflower clam chowder, this is an important ingredient! I promise, you won’t taste the cauliflower at all once it’s cooked through and blended into cream.
- Broth: I like to use bone broth for an extra nutrient boost in all my soup recipes, but you can also use chicken broth or vegetable broth.
- Bacon: I think bacon is such a crucial ingredient when it comes to clam chowder! It adds such a delicious and addicting smoky flavor. I add bacon bits at the end just before serving, so you can enjoy the crunchy, salty bites with every spoonful. To keep it Whole30-compliant, make sure your bacon is sugar-free and-nitrate free.
- Clams: Of course, you can’t make this paleo clam chowder without clams. I like to use canned clams, and make sure to use all the juice in the can to create the best flavors in this dish.
- Potatoes: Another important ingredient when it comes to making this Whole30 clam chowder recipe! I can’t imagine enjoying clam chowder without the soft, pillowy bites of potatoes. If you are strict paleo or AIP, you can substitute with white-fleshed sweet potatoes.
- Coconut milk: Just a little bit of coconut milk makes this cauliflower clam chowder ultra creamy without adding any kind of coconut-y taste. I wouldn’t use anything else besides the full-fat version that comes in a can, or this brand.
How to Make Gluten Free Dairy Free Clam Chowder
While there are a few components to this dairy free New England clam chowder recipe, it’s quite easy to make and uses simple and easy-to-find ingredients.
- Make the cauliflower cream base. Boil together cauliflower florets, broth, and salt until the cauliflower is fork tender. Use a high-powered blender to blend everything together until smooth and creamy.
- Make the bacon bits by frying the bacon slices until crisp. Crumble and set aside until the end. You’ll use the rendered bacon grease to cook the chowder.
- Pan fry the vegetables in the bacon grease until soft. Then, add blended cauliflower and the potatoes and boil until the potatoes are tender.
- Add in coconut milk and clams and cook just until heated through. I like to add any additional salt and pepper at the end so you can adjust the amount to your taste.
- Finally, serve topped with bacon bits and parsley flakes.
It’s such a tasty and comforting meal and my husband couldn’t get enough. And he’s had many restaurant quality versions before, so this meant a lot to me. Hope you end up trying out this Whole30 and paleo clam chowder, because it’s really is so delicious and flavorful!
Other recipes you might love…
- Swedish Meatball Soup (Paleo, Whole30)
- Instant Pot Cabbage Soup with Ground Beef (Paleo, Whole30)
- Paleo White Chicken Chili (Whole30, Keto)
- Paleo Crab Dip (Whole30, Keto)
- Instant Pot Paleo Cauliflower Mushroom Risotto (Whole30, Vegan, AIP)
Whole30 Clam Chowder (Paleo & AIP Option)
- 4 cups cauliflower florets
- 3 cups bone broth or chicken or vegetable broth, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4 slices bacon sugar free & nitrate free
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 2 cups diced potatoes or white-fleshed sweet potatoes, for AIP and strict paleo
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 3 6.5 oz cans chopped clams undrained
- Salt and pepper to taste (omit pepper for AIP)
- Optional: chopped parsley for garnish
- In a large saucepan, combine cauliflower florets, broth, and sea salt, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes until the cauliflower is fork tender.
- Use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat a Dutch oven or a large pot over medium heat and fry the bacon slices until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan and crumble, leaving the bacon grease in the pot.
- Add onion, celery, garlic, and thyme to the bacon grease, and sauté until tender, about 7 minutes.
- Add potatoes and blended cauliflower, let everything come to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
- Stir in coconut milk and clams (with the juice) and cook for 3-4 minutes until the clams are heated through. Add more broth if you like your chowder thinner in consistency.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve hot, sprinkled with bacon bits and parsley flakes.