New England clam chowder belongs in a soup category of its own. So creamy and comforting, there is nothing like good clam chowder.
However, after taking a closer look, you’ll often find high-carb veggies and all-purpose flour lurking in every spoonful. These two ingredients turn what could be a keto-friendly staple into a carb-laden soup.
It’s time to flip the script on clam chowder by making it both healthy and satisfying with one simple keto recipe.
Is Clam Chowder Keto? Carbs in New England Clam Chowder
Whether it is Manhattan or New England clam chowder, they are rarely made in a keto-friendly way. Both versions rely on high-carb veggies, especially New England clam chowder.
After adding potatoes, carrots, and all-purpose flour, the net carb content reaches over 18 grams in each serving. Some recipes even come with over 30 grams per cup!
Fortunately for us keto dieters, it is easier to take out the carbs than it is to add them in. In fact, all it takes is a few simple changes to make clam chowder keto.
How to Make Delicious, Healthy, and Keto-friendly Clam Chowder
The secret to cutting the carbs from your chowder without losing flavor is to keep it simple.
Rather than relying on watery ingredients and using flour to thicken it, use thick and flavorful keto ingredients and let the broth and clam juice thin it.
With this clam chowder recipe, for example, you’ll use cream cheese and heavy cream as your soup base. Along with that, you’ll be incorporating exclusively low-carb ingredients, which will add all the flavors and textures we love without the unnecessary carbs.
Cooking Tips For The Best Keto Clam Chowder
By following this keto recipe step by step, you’ll be able to make a super satisfying clam chowder. There are, however, a few extra steps you can use to elevate your experience even more:
- Start by carmelizing the onions in bacon fat. Before adding the onions to your slow cooker, carmelize them in the leftover bacon fat. This will add an extra kick of umami and bacon flavor to your keto clam chowder.
- Save some crisp bacon for garnishing. To add another level of texture, sprinkle some crisp bacon on top of your chowder serving.
- Don’t forget the salt! If the flavors are falling flat for you, you may need to add a pinch of salt to bring them out.
- Add a touch of hot sauce. This keto clam chowder pairs wonderfully with spice. Try serving with your favorite hot sauce to add an extra punch of flavor.
- Replace the potatoes with a low-carb vegetable. If you crave the mouthfeel of a starchy potato in your chowder, try using a keto-friendly vegetable The two best potato substitutes for keto are daikon radish and cauliflower. Simply cut your veggies into spoonable pieces and add them to the slow cooker with the other vegetables. (Just remember to add the extra macronutrients from those veggies with the nutrition info for the clam chowder recipe.)
- Serve with keto crackers. If you love having chowder with a side of something crunchy and bready, try making our Pesto Keto Crackers. They are the perfect low-carb replacement for oyster crackers.
Common FAQs for Keto Chowder: Stovetop and Clam-free Options
This clam chowder recipe is surprisingly versatile as well. It can easily be converted in a way that fits your flavor and cooking preferences.
Do I Need a Slow Cooker? How to Make a Quick Stovetop Chowder
If you want to shorten the cooking time, simply cook it in a large pot on your stovetop.
First, cook the veggies through (in the chicken stock). Then, add the clams, clam juice, bacon, cream cheese, and heavy cream.
Your chowder will be done once it has reached your desired temperature, and all the ingredients are well incorporated.
Are There Any Clam-free Keto Chowder Options?
If you are not a fan of clams, replace the clams and clam juice with your preferred seafood, meat, or low-carb vegetables.
For some culinary inspiration, give this low carb chowder recipe a try: Low Carb Broccoli, Cheddar & Bacon Chowder.
Yields 8 servings of Keto Clam Chowder
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 small leek, sliced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 ten-ounce cans whole baby clams, drained
- 2 cups clam juice
- 8 ounce thick-cut bacon, chopped and cooked
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1. Prep all ingredients. Put the slow cooker on low setting.
2. Add chicken broth, onion, leek, celery, garlic, butter, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 1 hour.
3. Once vegetables have softened, add clams, clam juice, cooked bacon, cream cheese, and heavy cream.
4. Stir together until cream cheese is softened and well incorporated. Add thyme and stir again. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low.
5. Optionally: Turn slow cooker to high and leave the lid off for 30 minutes if you want to reduce the chowder to make it thicker.
6. Serve hot and enjoy!
Makes a total of 8 servings of Keto Clam Chowder. Each serving comes out to be 471 calories, 39.8g fat, 8.1g net carbs, and 21.6g protein.
|1/4 cup chicken broth||3.7||0.1||0.3||0||0.3||0.4|
|1 medium onion, chopped||41||0.2||9.5||1.3||8.2||1.3|
|1 small leek, sliced||38||0.3||9.4||1.2||8.2||1|
|2 ribs celery, diced||14||0.1||3||1.2||1.8||0.6|
|4 cloves garlic, minced||18||0.1||4||0.3||3.7||0.8|
|2 tablespoons butter||204||23||0||0||0||0.2|
|2 teaspoon sea salt||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|1 teaspoon black pepper||5||0.1||1.3||0.5||0.8||0.2|
|3 ten-ounce cans whole baby clams||375||7.5||15||0||15||67.5|
|8 ounce thick-cut bacon||1061||80||3.9||0||3.9||77|
|8 ounces cream cheese||794||78||13||0||13||14|
|1 1/2 cups heavy cream||1214||129||9.8||0||9.8||10|
|1 teaspoon dried thyme||3.3||0.1||0.8||0.4||0.4||0.1|
|Per Serving (/8)||471.4||39.8||8.8||0.6||8.1||21.6|