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New England Clam Chowder

If you’ve eschewed dairy and wheat for a healthier and happier tomorrow, you may miss comfort foods classics like New England clam chowder.

New England Clam Chowder - Real Plans

The magic is in cashews. If you’ve eschewed dairy and wheat for a healthier and happier tomorrow, you may miss comfort foods classics like New England clam chowder. Milk, cream, and flour — even if organic — aren’t paleo. And a dairy alternative like coconut milk might taste more like the tropics than a cold New England shoreline.

But cashews. Blended up, cashews taste creamy and rich. They give your chowder the kind of body that mimics a flour roux and a double cream finish.

If you meal plan, arrange to make the broth for New England clam chowder with a leftover slow cooker roast chicken.

New England Clam Chowder

  • 5.0 stars
  • 30m
  • 45m


  • 2 1/2 c raw cashews
  • 16 oz frozen clam meat
  • 5 slices bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 4 carrots
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 c chicken stock, or fish stock
  • 5 c filtered water
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • fish sauce, to taste


  1. Soak cashews in a bowl of filtered water for a few hours before you plan to use them.
  2. If you’re using frozen clams, skip to step 7.
  3. Rinse and scrub clams.
  4. Add clams to a large stock pot or wok. Cover with filtered water. Bring to a boil. Steam until clams just barely open, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Using tongs or slotted spoon, transfer clams to large bowl until they are cool enough to handle.
  6. Remove clams from shells by opening clams with a paring knife while holding over a bowl to catch juices. Sever the muscle from under the clam and remove it from the shell. Add the clams to the bowl with the clam juice. Discard the shells.
  7. Coarsely chop clams.
  8. Cook 5 slices of bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes on each side over medium heat. Chop into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.
  9. Finely chop the onion, carrots, and celery ribs.
  10. Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onions, celery, and half the salt. Sauté for 7 minutes, stirring often. Then add carrots and thyme, and sauté for 5 more minutes.
  11. When the veggies are tender, add in the clams and a few tablespoons of their juice. Stir clams around with the veggies. Then add in the rest of the salt, garlic powder, and stock. Boil, then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes.
  12. While the soup is simmering, drain the cashews, rinse well, and add them to a blender or food processor with filtered water. Blend on high for 30 seconds.
  13. Add the blended cashews to the pot with the soup. Stir and allow everything to come to a light simmer (not a boil) again. Cook for 5 minutes.
  14. Turn the soup down to very low and cover to allow soup to thicken for 30 minutes.
  15. Add pepper and fish sauce to taste, garnish with crumbled bacon, and serve hot.


  • 4
  • 903
  • 40g
  • 43g
  • 5g
  • 60g
  • 13g
  • 59mg
  • 10g
  • 2462mg

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