Dairy-Free Clam Chowder

Creamy soups are my vice and I especially love to indulge in them when I want something comforting. Clam chowder was always one of my favorites growing up, but seeing as it is full of butter, cream, potatoes, and flour, I have missed it terribly over the past few years. If you’re in the same boat, get ready to be reunited with your favorite because this Dairy-Free Clam Chowder recipe will pass for the original.

I created this soup waaaayyy back in 2011 while I was working on recipes for my first book Against all Grain. It has remained a favorite, and I still make it the exact same way even after all these years. In place of the heavy cream, I use cashew cream to thicken this dairy-free clam chowder and give it a creamy taste. I also use celery root  (or celeriac) in place of the standard white potatoes to keep this soup SCD and GAPS friendly. Feel free to sub in white potatoes or even white sweet potatoes if you'd like though!

dairy-free clam chowder served in a light blue dinnerware set on a wooden table


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Dairy-Free Clam Chowder



Cuisine: American

Category: Soups, Stews & Chili

PREP TIME: 30 mins

COOK TIME: 30 mins TOTAL TIME: 60 mins


  •  2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 4 hours
  •  4 slices bacon, chopped 
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion 
  • ½ cup chopped celery 
  • 1 cup peeled cubed celery root, or celeriac 
  • 4 cups water 
  • 16 ounces bottled clam juice 
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt 
  • 3 6.5-ounce cans minced clams, drained and rinsed


  1. Place the bacon in a Dutch oven or deep stockpot and cook over medium-high heat until most of the fat has rendered, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the onions, celery, and celery root and sauté for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked but still firm.
  3. Add the water, clam juice, thyme, bay leaf, and salt. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove 2 cups of soup from the pot and place in a blender.
  5. Drain and rinse the cashews, then add them to the blender and blend for 30 seconds, until smooth.
  6. Return the cream mixture to the pot and stir to incorporate.
  7. Stir in the clams and simmer for 5 minutes, until the clams are warm. Remove from the heat and allow the soup to thicken for 10 minutes before serving.

Keywords: gluten free, healthy diet, paleo diet, clean eating, soup, against all grain, seafood, lunch, clam chowder, egg free, grain free