Why you’ll love this clam chowder recipe
- This clam chowder contains no dairy but it’s still super creamy and satisfying.
- While fresh clams would be nice, it’s hard to find them around here, so we use canned. Plus, they’re shelf stable so it’s no big deal to keep a few cans in the pantry to use in a pinch.
- Homemade soup is seriously the best. You won’t find the flavor of this soup in a can, and you can control all of the ingredients (including sodium content).
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
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Ingredients & substitutions
- Dairy free milk – You want to use unsweetened dairy free milk for this recipe. We used almond milk this time, but you can also use soy or oat. Just make sure it’s plain and unsweetened. You can also use dairy if that works for you.
- Dairy free creamer – We used Nutpods because we had it on hand, but if you don’t have that, you can also use plain canned coconut milk. Again, you’ll want it to be unsweetened.
How to make clam chowder without dairy
Crisp up the bacon. Slice the bacon into thin strips and cook it in your pot until it’s nice and crispy. You want to render all that fat to use for cooking the veggies.
When it’s cooked, remove it from the pot using a slotted spoon or spider. Set it aside on a plate lined with paper towel to keep it crispy.
Sauté the veggies. Add the onion, celery, garlic and potatoes to the pot and let them cook. Make sure to stir them occasionally to prevent them from burning.
Simmer the soup. When the onions are translucent, stir in the beer, clam juice and dairy free milk. Then, add the seasonings and clams with their juices.
Cover the pot and bring it to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender. This should take about 10 – 15 minutes.
Thicken the chowder. When the potatoes are soft, whisk the flour and creamer together until smooth, and slowly whisk it into the soup.
Make sure you stir it in immediately to prevent any lumps from forming. Then, let the soup to simmer for about 10 more minutes to allow the base to thicken.
When the soup has finished cooking, stir in about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. This enhances the flavor of the soup and brings out the flavor of the clams.
*Dairy free recipe tip
Even though there are plenty of ways to make a dairy free soup creamy, I still like to add a thickener. This allows you to use less heavy ingredients, while still getting the texture you want.
Everything you need to know about clam chowder
Clam chowder comes in many different variations. The most well known has to be New England clam chowder, a creamy milk based soup featuring clams, potatoes and bacon. The next most famous, Manhattan clam chowder, is made with the addition of a tomato base. The one you want to know, my dairy free friends, is Rhode Island clam chowder. Rhode Island clam chowder, is a milk free version of New England clam chowder.
You don’t want to rinse the canned clams, this will only splash clam juice around your kitchen. Canned clams are packed in their own juices, giving them maximum flavor so there is no need to rinse.
Yes, clams are cooked during the canning process.
More seafood recipes you should try
- Clams and linguine
- Blackened tuna steaks
- Moroccan sweet and spicy shrimp
- Baked mahi-mahi with parsley sauce
More dairy free soups you will lovePrint
- 4 ounces bacon slices
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 – 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
- 2 cups unsweetened dairy free milk
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch of dried thyme (or 1 sprig fresh thyme)
- 3 6.5-ounce cans chopped clams
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dairy free creamer, such as nutpods
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (2 tablespoons flour)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Black pepper, to taste
- Slice bacon into thin strips. Heat a large Dutch oven to medium-high and add bacon. Cook the fat as rendered and the bacon pieces are golden and crispy. Remove bacon from the pan and set aside leaving the fat in the pan.
- Add the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes to the pan and sauté until the onion is translucent. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
- Deglaze the pan with white wine. Then, stir in the milk and clam juice.
- Add salt, bay leaf and thyme.
- Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes have softened.
- Add the clams and return the bacon to the pot.
- Whisk the dairy free creamer with the flour until smooth. Stir into the soup.
- Continue simmering the soup for about 10 minutes or until the soup has thickened.
- Before serving, stir in lemon juice and adjust seasoning with salt & pepper.
- Category: Soups
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 216
- Sugar: 1.6 g
- Sodium: 776.4 mg
- Fat: 4.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 24.4 g
- Fiber: 1.8 g
- Protein: 15.5 g
- Cholesterol: 26.7 mg
Keywords: dairy free clam chowder, clam chowder recipe, clam chowder without milk, easy clam chowder recipe, creamy clam chowder recipe, rhode island clam chowder
Published: August 29, 2022. Updated: September 13, 2022.
This post contains affiliate links. I may earn commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. I will never recommend a product I don’t use or trust.