This easy keto clam chowder is loaded with tender clams, smoky bacon, and hearty celery root to stand in for the classic potatoes – all swimming together in a creamy, buttery broth. We are talking next level #soupgoals here. For reals. ??
We just got back from spending a couple of weeks in Connecticut, and while I love living on a tropical island in Honduras, Summer in New England is tough to beat. One of the things we love about New England in summertime is the abundance of fresh cold water seafood. Lobster, fish, mussels, and of course, clams.
Clam chowder is one of Mr. Hungry’s favorite soups, so I knew we couldn’t leave CT without having some. I realized on this trip, that while I’ve been making clam chowder at home for years, I’ve never made a keto clam chowder to post here on the website.
Oh the humanity! ?
Coming up with a delicious keto clam chowder based on my original recipe required only two tweaks. Replacing the typical carb heavy potatoes with celery root (aka. celeriac,) and thickening it without a flour-based roux.
The celery root was an obvious choice for this keto clam chowder since so many classic clam chowder recipes contain celery along with the potatoes. Adding celery root killed two birds with one stone, and provided just the slightest hint of celery flavor to my soup.
Next, let’s talk about the clams you want to use. If the only thing you can get is canned clams from the tuna fish aisle, be aware that the flavor of your chowder is going to be affected. It will still be clam chowder, but frankly not as good.
That doesn’t mean you have to go find and shuck your own clams for this keto clam chowder to be tasty – though you could! Fortunately, most grocery stores with a seafood section will carry containers of raw, shucked (removed from the shell) clams. Often they will be in the frozen section, which is where I found the ones I used. I took a photo of the container so you have an idea what to look for, though your store may carry a different brand.
(By the way this post isn’t sponsored by the company below – they don’t know I exist and I wasn’t paid or given product – this is just what I found, bought and used in this low carb clam chowder recipe, so I thought it might be helpful to have a visual.)
Any liquids from your clams, whether you shuck them fresh yourself or purchase them already shucked and chopped, should be saved so that you can add it to the pot to flavor your broth. (See instructions in the recipe card below.) You’re also going to have to purchase bottled clam juice for this recipe – and THAT you CAN get in the tuna fish aisle.
Finally, to thicken this low carb clam chowder, I used mascarpone cheese. Think of it as solid heavy cream – it melted into the broth and gave it the most silky, creamy texture! Still, this isn’t a super thick broth, so if you want it more stew-like you can further thicken this chowder with about 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum or arrowroot powder.
Keto Clam Chowder Substitutions
If you can’t get mascarpone cheese, you can substitute heavy cream, which will make for a thinner broth, but still delicious. I don’t recommend cream cheese but if you do try it and it works well please let us know in the comments!
If you aren’t a fan of clams, you can substitute lobster, shrimp, or even fish in this creamy keto chowder. I recommend keeping the clam juice in for that taste of the sea, but if you have an allergy or simply hate it, you can use a vegetable or chicken broth instead – but it will alter the flavor of this keto chowder slightly.
Can’t get enough seafood recipes for summertime? Check out this collection of the 110 Best Keto Seafood Recipes and find something for every occasion!