A delicious recipe for the most creamy Dairy Free Clam Chowder you have ever tasted! It is packed with great flavor while still being dairy-free and Whole30 compliant. The perfect bowl of cozy comfort food!
The Best Dairy Free Clam Chowder
This is going to be your next favorite soup recipe! Being allergic to dairy, I think I did a darn good job of re-creating it in a way that was dairy-free (and Whole30). And I am so excited to share it with you guys!! To make this a more simple weeknight dinner option, we opted for canned clams instead of fresh. If you have time for fresh clams, definitely do it!
Looking for even more easy soup recipes? Check out our complete list of our 31+ Best Soup Recipes!
What You Will Need
- bacon – everything is always better with bacon and if you want to keep this recipe Whole30 compliant you will want to check the label.
- olive oil – swirl a little bit in the pan to sauté the vegetables.
- sweet yellow onion & garlic – aromatics that bring a ton of great flavor to any homemade soup recipe!
- carrots, celery, & potatoes – a classic combination of fresh veggies.
- fresh rosemary & fresh thyme – these fresh herbs will really amp up your flavor!
- chicken broth – option to grab a store-bought option from the grocery store or make homemade chicken broth.
- coconut milk – the perfect dairy-free milk substitute that still keeps this recipe super creamy.
- clam juice & undrained canned clams – using canned clams is a faster way to make this soup, but fresh would be great too!
- bay leaf, kosher salt, & ground black pepper – simple seasonings that are a must and can be adjusted to your preferences.
How To Make Dairy Free Clam Chowder
First, you can begin making this classic soup recipe by cooking up the strips of bacon in your large stockpot. Once they are cooked, remove them from the pot and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
While the bacon is cooking you can prep and gather the rest of the soup ingredients from the recipe card below.
Leave the bacon grease in the pot. Bring it to a medium high heat and add the onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Mix around and sauté for about 3 minutes.
Now pour in the chicken broth and coconut milk into the dutch oven and mix thoroughly with a large wooden spoon.
Next, add in the chunks of potatoes to your soup.
Mix and continue cooking until the potatoes are firm, but soft or fork tender.
Then use a slotted spoon to remove about 2 cups of cooked potatoes and place them in a blender along with the clam juice. Blend on high until smooth and add it back to the pot.
Finally, mix in the pieces of bacon, canned clams with clam juice, bay leaf, and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes.
Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking and enjoy!
How Should I Serve Dairy Free Clam Chowder
We love to serve our favorite clam chowder recipe with oyster crackers (or the classic saltine crackers) and some more bacon pieces on top! And if we happen to have some crusty bread or grilled bread, even better!
- Whole30 – to keep this recipe Whole30 compliant you just need to check your labels for the bacon and canned clams.
- almond milk – we love using unsweetened almond milk but any plant-based milk would work. And if you aren’t dairy-free you can use regular milk or half and half.
- storage – any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for about 3-5 days.
- freezing – generally these creamy soups don’t thaw and reheat very well so we do not recommend freezing this soup.
Made this recipe and loved it?! We would love it if you would take a minute and leave a star rating and review – it is also helpful if you made any substitutions or changes to the recipe to share that as well. THANK YOU!
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Dairy Free Clam Chowder
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 10 servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
Dairy-Free Clam Chowder (Whole30) – A delicious and creamy winter soup that is Whole30 and Dairy-Free!
- 6 slices bacon, cut into small, bite-sized chunks
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, minced
- 2 large carrots, peel and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 2 teaspoons rosemary
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup chicken broth (or seafood stock)
- 2 cups full fat coconut milk
- 4 cups russet potato, cubed
- 3–5oz clam juice
- (3) 6.5oz undrained canned clams, whole (although if you can only find chopped, that will work too)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- In Dutch Oven, add bacon and cook over medium heat until fat reduces. Remove bacon, leaving grease – set bacon aside.
- Add olive oil, onion, carrots, garlic, celery, rosemary and thyme to the pan. Cook on medium heat, stirring fairly consistently until for approximately 3 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, coconut milk and potatoes. Let simmer until potatoes are soft, but firm.
- Use a slotted spoon to scoop out approx. 2 cups of potatoes. Add to a high speed blender along with the clam juice. Blend until consistency is smooth. Return blended potatoes back to pot; stir to combine.
- Add clams with juice, bay leaf and the bacon that was removed from the pan earlier (save some for garnish if you want) along with the salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a low simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Continue to simmer until potatoes are done to your liking.
- Serve with some extra crispy bacon on the top and enjoy!
- Storage: place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3-5 days.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 271
- Sugar: 4.2 g
- Sodium: 329.1 mg
- Fat: 19.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 21.5 g
- Protein: 5.6 g
- Cholesterol: 11.6 mg
Keywords: dairy free clam chowder, whole30 clam chowder
Allan Kearney says
This recipe looks great except for one thing. It’s not clam chowder. It’s bacon and clam chowder. Bacon is a strong flavor and overpowers the flavor of clams. I’m sure it’s delicious, but please call it what it is. Real clam chowder has no bacon.
I appreciate the feedback, Allan! Feel free to omit the bacon if you prefer!
I just made it and haven’t served it to the fam yet, but mine came out brown. How did yours come out white like real clam chowder? My kids are very visual, I hope the color isn’t a deal breaker (lol)
Hi Courtney! That is super weird since the base of the soup is chicken broth and coconut milk and then the blended potatoes (which blended russet potatoes come out white as well). Did you you a different kind of potato by chance?
Just tried this recipe for a soup potluck party and it was a hit! Also, a native New Englander and I certainly approve and love that it is dairy free! So yummy!
So glad to hear that, Samantha! High-praise from a New Englander!!
This was absolutely delicious. I used two cans of coconut milk and 1 cup homemade chicken stock. The flavors are incredible. Creamy without being too rich. I am excited for leftovers!
I made this tonight for dinner. I followed the recipe with the exception of using tapioca flour for thickening because I had that on hand. I upped the amount by a half tablespoon and that worked out well. I was skeptical about the coconut milk but I stuck to my Whole 30 plan. Once I added the clams and clam juice the chowder was perfect, with just a slight hint of coconut milk. My husband enjoyed two bowls of this deliciousness. This will definitely be my go to clam chowder recipe!
I am so happy you enjoyed this, Lisa!! And thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review and feedback – I really appreciate it!
Made this yesterday and my adult son who loves clam chowder loved it! My Aunt always made her famous clam chowder for Christmas. She always gave me a special batch. She also put bacon in it!
I added some frozen crab that had and did not put as much of the clam juice in so it would be a little thicker! Absolutely wonderful. In fact very little is left!
That is so awesome to hear!!! I am so glad to hear he liked it! :). Love the addition of crab!
How many servings does this make?
Depends how big your bowl is 😊 but I would say approximately 6 or so!
I absolutely love this recipe- things I added were shrimp and crab to make it a bit more like a seafood stew. I also subbed 1 cup or so of chicken stock for the coconut milk. This will feed me for at least 5 meals!! 🖤🦀🍤🐚
Yay!! That makes me so happy to hear and I LOVE that you made it your own!!!!
Hi! I love clam chowder and I’m so glad that you took the time to create a Whole30 compliant version. We’ll be trying it this weekend and will come back to let you know how it turns out! Where do you find sugar-free bacon in MN? I’ve checked all Mpls and St. Paul co-ops and Whole Foods and haven’t been able to find any… Our favorite brand, Pastures A Plenty has honey it it 🙁 Thanks!
Yay!! I really hope you like it!! For bacon I have actually had really good luck at Target – they seem to stock the Pedersen brand, which is compliant! I would check there!