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Low-Carb Clam Chowder

User Rating 4 Star Rating (6 Reviews)


Updated May 17, 2014

Bowl of New England Clam Chowder
Alexandra Grablewski/Digital Vision/Getty Images
When I was growing up in New England, chowders were thin soups made without thickeners, not the sometimes-gloppy affairs you see now. However, I will admit that even I like the broth to have a little bit of "substance". Before I went low-carb, I would use about 2 Tablespoons of flour in a recipe like this (not the half-cup you often see). Now I use low-carb thickeners such as guar gum, xanthan gum, or others. More information about low-carb thickeners However, 2 tablespoons of flour would only add 14 grams of carb to the whole recipe, so depending on your own carb tolerance, that might be fine.


  • 3 pieces thick-sliced bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 2 medium celery stalks, chopped small
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (1 teaspoon if you like your soup a little spicy)
  • OR ½ teaspoon celery salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Flour or low-carb thickener - see introductory note
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup unsweetened soymilk (if you don't eat soy, can use milk, half and half, or even water)
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 3 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 2 6½ oz cans of chopped clams or 1 10 oz can whole baby clams
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


1. Chop bacon into small cubes and cook until crisp. I cook it right in the soup pot. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and pour off all but a tablespoon of the rendered fat.

2. Fry the onion and celery until starting to soften. Add the garlic and spices except the thyme. Stir and cook for about a minute. If you have decided to use flour to thicken, add it now, and stir for another 1 to 2 minutes. Count one extra gram of carbohydrate per serving for every tablespoon of flour you use.

3. Add the liquids and stir. Add the low-carb thickener at this point. I like to add it slowly by shaking it through a strainer and whisking it in so it doesn't clump. Stop a little before it's the way you like it because it will keep thickening as the mixture continues to heat. Turn the heat off when the mixture begins to simmer.

4. Steam, boil, or microwave the cauliflower just until fork-tender. Drain.

5. Add clams, thyme, cauliflower, bacon, and parsley. Heat again until just at a simmer.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional Information: Each serving has 6 grams effective carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber not including low-carb thickener, 12 grams protein, and 226 calories. For using half and half instead of soy milk, add 30 calories and one gram of carbohydrate. For using milk, see Carb Counts in Milk and Milk Substitutes.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Low-carblicious!, Guest Ladybugg1385

I have always been a purist when it comes to cooking. Always from scratch, and follow the recipe. So I had my doubts about this Clam Chowder recipe. After a few weeks of procrastination I finally made the chowder. Surprise!! It is exceedingly delicious considering it is low-carb. My doubts centered around the cauliflower. The only thing I did differently from the original recipe is leave out the heavy cream, only because I didn't have any on hand. I did opt for the half & half. Considering that 3/4 of a cup of heavy cream has 616 calories, I am very happy to have omitted it thus reducing the calories in one serving to apprx. 123 calories. I also used 2 Tb. of regular flour.

1 out of 1 people found this helpful.

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