Clam Chowder (GF, Paleo, AIP)


I love clam chowder but have always had a lactose intolerance to dairy. So, I avoided dairy products for a while. Though, not anymore! I still want to enjoy my favorite meals despite having food sensitivities… so, here is a paleo clam chowder recipe that you can enjoy without the upset stomach!


  • 4 strips thick cut sugar free bacon, chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups (218g) raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained

  • 2 cups (470mL) calm juice, divided

  • 1 1/2 lb (680g) potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/4″ pieces (for AIP option, use parsnips)

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced

  • 2 stalks celery, diced

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or avocado oil

  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed

  • 4 6.5-oz cans sea clams

  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tsp sea salt (reduce if sensitive to sodium)

  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

  • 1/16 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 cup chives


  1. Cook bacon. In a heavy-bottomed pot, cook bacon over medium heat until well browned (about 5-10 minutes). Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat.

  2. Make cashew cream. While bacon is cooking, rinse the cashews with fresh water, drain off the water, then blend them on high with 1 cup (235mL) of the clam broth in a high-powered blender or food processor for about 1-2 minutes. Set aside. 

  3. Sauté potatoes and veggies. With heat over medium-low, add potatoes, onions, and celery to the bacon fat and sauté for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Reduce cook time here for low carb substitutions.

  4. Sauté garlic. Add butter, allow to melt, then add garlic. Stir and sauté for another 2 minutes.

  5. Add remaining ingredients. Add cashew cream, remaining clam broth, clams and their juices, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir well and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. 

  6. Allow to rest. After it comes to a simmer, stir it well, making sure to scrape the bottom, and then turn off the heat and place the lid on the pot. Allow to rest for 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld. However, if you are in a rush, feel free to serve it right away as it is fully cooked at this point. If the chowder looks too thick for your taste, just add more clam broth, some chicken broth, or even dilute with a bit of water. Please note that if you dilute with water you will likely need a bit more seasoning at the end.

  7. Season to taste and garnish. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then garnish with bacon and chopped up chives.