The Creamiest Clam Chowder!

Thick, and creamy clam chowder using no thickeners and no dairy!

No milk, no cream, no thickeners!

You won’t believe how thick and creamy this clam chowder is. This recipe uses no flour or cornstarch to thicken. It is dairy free too! Simply put, the starch from mashing half of the potatoes in the soup gives this soup a thick and creamy consistency! This recipe uses almond milk, it works perfectly in this soup, feel free to use whatever plant milk you have (if you choose, you can use dairy milk as well). I have had people ask if they could use something other than milk all together, I have found that half water, half chicken stock works well, or you could use half water, half bottled clam juice.


Bacon gives this clam chowder just a hint of savory flavor, and the salt in the bacon adds even more flavor to this soup. I cook the bacon in the pot first, this allows all of that bacon flavor to transfer right into the soup! Next in is the chopped onion, which gets sautéed for a few minutes to soften and absorb all of the bacon flavor. The bacon is removed, and the rest of the soup is constructed… The bacon I use in this clam chowder is free of nitrites and nitrates. This is important because research has linked these to cancer. The package will say nitrate/nitrite free, and will say uncured.

Tell me more about the clams!

This recipe uses 12 fresh little neck clams. Little neck clams are small, about the size of an egg yolk. The clams are steamed first, and then used to top off the finished soup. If you can’t find fresh clams, you can always leave them out, but I find they are SO tasty and tender and look great as a garnish on top of your chowder! For the clams used in the soup, I use canned clams. I always look for wild, USA clams. Check the back of the can, look for nasty additives and chemicals that are not good for you! I find the canned clams with no extra additives are found at Whole Foods Market.

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 30 mins
Servings: 3
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


This is the BEST creamy clam chowder. Potatoes are simmered in almond milk, and an emersion blender is used to blend half of the potatoes to make a whipped, creamy base for this clam chowder. Topped with steamed clams and crispy bacon.

You Need


  1. Cook Little Neck Clams
    • Clean and scrub little neck clams. 
    • In a pot with a steamer basket, put 1/4 cup of water with strained clam juice from the canned clams. 
    • You want to strain the clam juice to get any dirt and debris out.
    • Bring to a simmer.
    • Add clams to steamer basket, cover.
    • Simmer covered for 2-3 minutes or until clams open. 
    • When clams have opened they are done! Too much heat will make the clams rubbery.
    Clams that do not open after cooking were dead when you bought them and you do not want to eat them, you could get sick. Some clams might take longer than 3 minutes, so if you have some that haven't opened, give them a few more minutes. But if they still haven't opened after about 5 minutes, toss them.

Make Soup

    • Cook bacon in soup pot.
    • When bacon is crispy, remove and add onion.
    • Cook for 3 minutes, or until slightly soft and beginning to brown.
    • Add potatoes, cook for 2 minutes. Season with pepper. 
    • Add milk and reserved clam steaming liquid from above. Bring to a boil.
    • Cover, reduce to a simmer.
    • Cook until potatoes are just fork tender. 
    • Mash about half of the potatoes in the soup. Or use an immersion blender. You can skip this step if you want a thinner soup.
    • Add clams, stir to combine.
    • Remove from heat. The canned clams are already cooked, and heating them too much will result in rubbery clams!


Remember! Clams need to breathe! Yes that's right. So when you bring them home from the grocery store or fish market don't seal the bag up air tight, give them some air!

Keywords: clams, clam chowder, creamy soup, potatoes, comfort food, bacon, seafood, New England Clam Chowder
Creamy Leek Potato Salad


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