A keto clam chowder replaces the high carb potatoes with a low carb alternative. It’s a creamy New England style chowder that’s sure to please any seafood lover.
The white New England clam chowder with the milk base is a favorite of mine. It’s usually made with a mixture of cream and milk as well as a bunch of diced potatoes. In this keto clam chowder, I use diluted cream instead of regular milk and daikon radish in place of the potatoes.
When it comes to my favorite soups, chowder in high on the list. I’ve even made a dairy free salmon chowder. However, traditional chowders tend to have a lot of starch.
How Many Carbs in Clam Chowder
According to the USDA, one cup of Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder has 22.6 grams of carbohydrates with 3 grams of fiber. That’s about 11 times more than my homemade low carb chowder containing daikon radish instead of potatoes.
One cup of daikon has about 4.3 grams effective carbs compared to one cup of potatoes which has about 31 grams. The taste and consistency of this type of radish is very similar to potatoes.
What Are Other Potato Alternatives for Low Carb Clam Chowder?
If you can’t find the daikon radish, you can use regular red radishes. Turnips are another great alternative for potatoes.
I used regular radishes in my Zuppa Toscana soup and turnips in my turkey stew. You’d never know there wasn’t potatoes in either of those.
The daikon radish in this chowder is very convincing too. I served it at a potluck and no one even questioned the ingredients.
How to Make Keto Clam Chowder
In order for daikon radish to feel like a potato in the clam chowder recipe, you’ll want to steam it until it’s very soft. It takes about 40 minutes to cook over boiling water on the stove top. But you can do it in a quarter of the time under high pressure in an Instant Pot.
While the radish is cooking, cook the chopped bacon until crisp in a large pot or Dutch oven. Then transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess grease. However, if you’re on a keto diet and need the extra fat, don’t bother absorbing the grease out.
Add celery and seasonings into the bacon fat. Cook the celery until it softens before adding in the cream, low carb milk, and clam juice. If the soup is too thin, feel free to add a low carb thickener like cream cheese, guar gum, or xanthan gum.
Once a boil is reached, add canned clams along with the prepared radish and bacon. For added color, you’ll also want to toss in some fresh parsley. When the temperature gets to a simmer, the keto chowder is ready to serve.
Notes on the Recipe
Overall, I enjoyed this New England clam chowder as much as high carb ones I've had in the past. It’s now one of my favorite low carb keto soups.
I used small whole baby clams for the recipe. But you can use larger sized ones and just chop them up. Others may want to change the seasonings a bit. If you don’t like it too spicy, you can leave out the cayenne or use only a pinch.
Other seafood low carb recipes
If you love seafood, you’ll want to try some of these other recipes.
- Lobster Bisque is a delicious creamy soup for lobster lovers!
- White Clam Sauce with Zoodles is another fantastic clam recipe.
- Seafood Pizza combines different fish and shellfish for the topping.
- Baked Sea Scallops are a crowd pleasing appetizer.
- Oven Fried Fish Fillets is perfect for Lenten Friday dinners.
What's your favorite keto friendly seafood recipe?
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New England Clam Chowder
- 3 cups daikon radish cut in small cubes
- 8 pieces no sugar bacon
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 16 ounces bottled clam juice
- 1 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
- 20 ounces canned whole baby clams
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- Steam the daikon for about 40 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
- Chop bacon into small pieces and cook until crisp. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease. Drain bacon pieces and set aside on paper towels.
- Fry celery in bacon grease until it starts to become soft. Add the garlic and spices. Stir and cook for about a minute. Stir in the liquid ingredients. Sprinkle in the guar gum. Cook until the mixture begins to simmer.
- Add clams, daikon, bacon, and parsley. Heat again until just at a simmer.
Low Carb Sweeteners | Keto Sweetener Conversion Chart
Array ( [serving_size] => 1 [calories] => 158 [carbohydrates] => 2 [protein] => 7 [fat] => 10 [saturated_fat] => 8 [monounsaturated_fat] => 3 [cholesterol] => 63 [sodium] => 414 [potassium] => 42 [fiber] => 1 [vitamin_a] => 600 [vitamin_c] => 1.7 [calcium] => 140 [iron] => 1.3 [serving_unit] => cup )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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Amazing. Kudos from my non keto family. Subbed red radishes, no problem. Thanks!
A great recipe here, Lisa! My kids and I made this clam chowder recently and it was delicious! My family has seen some wonderful results with this Keto Diet.
Question on adding the Guar/Xanthum gum...
Does one work or taste better or are they lost in the mix?
I am concerned adding a teaspoon may just turn into a lump!
Is it necessary to add it to water first like cornstarch or better to just broadcast sprinkle it all over so it can't clump?
No need to add to water first and neither has any taste. I find they work about the same and you only need a small amount.
Would you have any idea how to do this recipe in the Instant Pot? It sounds delicious!
You need to be careful with heavy cream under pressure as it can curdle. I'd do it on the slow cooker setting of the Instant Pot.
Can this be frozen?
I've never frozen it before but have had success freezing other soups.
I had success with freezing my left over clam chowder. It was still delicious when I thawed and reheated it.
Could you use jicama instead of the radishes?
You can use jicama but I find they don't soften as much.
Yum, this looks so delicious!
Did you use the liquid from the clams as well as the bottle?
Yes. Adding the liquid adds extra clam flavor! ?
I don't understand the "2 oz. bottles clam juice". It seems it's asking for 2 bottles of clam juice, but what size bottles? 8 oz?
Yes. It is the standard 8 oz size bottle. Thanks for catching that.
I've never tried daikon in place of potato...I usually stick to cauli or jicama, but I've long wanted to make a low carb chowder and neither of those flavors seemed to fit. I'm going to give this a try!
Oh Lisa, you have saved me! We do clam chowder (or around these parts, chowdah) for Christmas Eve dinner, and I was wondering how to make it less carby. Brilliant!
I love daikon and use it in all kinds of soups! And that So Delicious coconut milk is amazing. It works beautifully in every recipe that calls for milk.