Creamy Paleo Clam Chowder

clam chowder-01 I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a creamy bowl of Clam Chowder! I’ve been making this chowder for several years and I am really excited to share this recipe with you! Not only is this excellent made with dairy milk, but if you prefer to avoid dairy – I promise it’s equally excellent with coconut milk instead! (I have a casein allergy and tested the coconut milk version on a group of 4 hungry hunters – they LOVED it! Couldn’t even tell it was dairy free!) How do you like your soup?? I like LOTS of stuff in my soup, almost stew — So although I started out this recipe using just one can of each minced and chopped clams – I now use 2 of each – I LOVE a clam chowder thats FULL OF CLAMS, don’t you!?!? Oh – and in this pretty picture (below) I did add some steamed clams to make it pretty, but you don’t have to.. if you WANT to just steam them until they pop open then add them to your chowder as garnish!! … know what’s funny??? this pic is on a ratty old bench on my back porch and I LOVE the texture! IMG_3266 If you’re currently doing a 21DSD, leave out the potatoes and use arrowroot powder – it will still be super yummy!

Grain & Dairy Free, Paleo Clam Chowder

Creamy Paleo Clam Chowder

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  • Simmer potatoes in the chicken broth, with a large pinch of salt for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender but not yet completely cooked (don't want them to fall apart!)
  • Drain potatoes - reserving the cooking liquid from the potatoes!!! (you'll add it back into the soup later).. set the cooking liquid and potatoes aside.
  • In a large pot, cook bacon pieces until crisp
  • Add celery, onion, and carrots. Sweat the veggies until soft.. about 5 minutes
  • Sprinkle in corn starch, stir and cook for 2 minutes
  • Add the reserved potato cooking liquid/chicken broth, clam juice, bay leaf, thyme and white pepper. Simmer soup for 5 minutes or until thick.
  • Add reserved potatoes, clams and coconut milk/cream and milk.
  • Season with a few drops of tobacco, sea salt and additional white pepper as desired. Return soup to a simmer (do not boil) for about 3 minutes
  • Remove bay leaf/thyme sprigs and serve!
  • Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @hayley_inthekitchen or tag #hayley_inthekitchen!

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  1. Why use bacon? Now you have bacon Chowder!
    Why destroy/mask the wonderful taste of clams?
    At the local PNW Indian Casino, their clam chowder has Smoked Salmon…ugh! That would make it smoked salmon Chowder!
    Delicious, old-fashioned Clam and potatoes w/a bit of celery and onion can stand on its own, any day!!

    1. All the clam chowders I’ve had have included salt pork or bacon, IMHO it compliments the clam flavor – but you are welcome to create you own recipe to fit your unique preferences.

  2. I recently tried some “real” clam chowder and I’m hooked. I can’t wait to make this!
    Thank Hayley

  3. I’m planning on trying this recipe for myself and my husband for dinner, but I’m wondering about how many servings it makes. I’m worried about having too much leftover that it won’t keep well, so I’m wondering if I should cut the recipe in half. Thanks 🙂

    1. It makes about 4 – 2 cup servings 🙂 There’s just 2 of us and it only lasts 2 meals – mostly dinner one day and lunch the next 🙂

      1. Ok perfect, as long as it reheats ok, I’ll just make a full batch. I get weirded out with seafood leftovers haha, but will make sure to eat it within the next day. Thanks 🙂

  4. I was really excited to find this link on Google and then I read the recipe.

    Corn and potatoes aren’t paleo. Butter is. So if anything, this is the most anti-paleo chowder.

    1. Chris, “Paleo” isn’t a set of strict rules, it’s a template for people to use in their own quest for a lifestyle of healthy eating. I do want to correct you, there is NO CORN in this recipe, nor do I advocate corn as a part of your regular healthy diet. However, Potatoes are an occasional part of our paleo/primal diet in our home, along with other homegrown veggies like baby-green lima beans, peas and green beans that are also a gray area for many people. I also clearly state that the potatoes can be omitted and arrowroot is a suitable swap for potato starch.

      The “paleo” movement isn’t about elitism or food fascism, it’s about striving for health. Take a few minutes and familiarize yourself with the work of Chris Kresser and Rob Wolfe… they are some of the biggest and most educated voices in the paleo movement and they don’t take offense to potatoes like you do 🙂 Resistant Starches (i.e. potatoes and rice) are even considered very healthy for those who can tolerate them.


      Instead of trying to demonize others, perhaps you’d be better off finding common ground with people who are examples in the ‘paleo’ community. However if you want to go head-to-head paleo with me, I’m more than willing to compare notes….. We hunt for wild meat which we process at home, have an amazing organic garden which we preserve what we can for winter, eat only seasonal & local fruits, are 100% free range, organic, soy-free chicken self sustaining – all of the chicken & eggs we eat is raised on our own land and processed here also. We forage for wild edible plants and mushrooms, 90% of our produce comes from our own organic garden or from local farmers, preserving what we can for winter so that we don’t rely on a commercial farming system. 95% of the beef/pork/lamb/goat meats are raised on organic pasture, by farmers we personally know and love. And we enjoy Raw Dairy from local, organic A2 pasture raised cows. We eat 75% of our diet in local fats: butter, tallow, lard & schmaltz. We shun coconut oil since it’s not ancestrally correct for us. This isn’t a fad or a diet, this is our gods-honest-truthful lifestyle.

      There are a few foods that we have to purchase like olive oil, nuts, olive, avocados, grain-free flours, chocolate, etc.. but those are treated as luxuries and treats.

      For us, Paleo doesn’t come from Whole Foods or Trader Joes. It’s about eating locally raised, real food, from farmers you actually know, if you aren’t willing to do it yourself. We exclude grains/legumes and toxic fats and refined sugars. We listen to our bodies to determine what works for us TODAY.

      I wish you all the best in YOUR Paleo Journey.

    1. Yes – arrowroot and potato starch is used in 1:1 ratio. I do like potato starch as a thickener much more than arrowroot.

  5. It should be noted that this recipe is for those 18 and over, as revealed in step 8 : “Season with a few drops of tobacco…” Teehee. 😉

    No, seriously, I plan to try this tonight. I’m a little curious about the “Paleo” in the title. I thought potatoes and potato starch were generally avoided by those following a Paleo diet…. (I’m not saying I’d never eat them, but I’ve just never seen a “Paleo” recipe that calls for these ingredients.) Looking forward to trying this chowder, although I’ll have to do turnips in place of potatoes, just beacuse that’s what I have on hand.

    1. Rachel – roots and tubers have been a part of man’s regular diet for millions of years, the idea of a one-size-fits-all paleo template no longer exists 🙂 We each need to do what is best for our unique bodies – Potatoes are considered a safe starch and we enjoy them as an occasional treat since generally we feel best eating lower carb…

  6. Looks awesome and I want to try but can you please clarify 1/3 corn starch (tsp. Tblsp. Cup doesn’t say and on the clams do you put in both chopped and pieces or one or the other. Sorry been cooking for yrs but need to verify. Thanks, Btw love your sight I look forward to it everyday.


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