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Is Clam Chowder Keto Friendly?

One of the biggest issues of following a low carb or keto diet is getting a balanced meal in the essence of time. If you are in a hurry, it is hard to actually get all your nutrients and micronutrients from a single meal.

Typically, people opt for quick alternatives like bulletproof coffee or peanut butter toast to at least get your fast in. You can always prepare a nice full spectrum leam where you cook some grass-fed meat, have avocados, etc. However, that takes time. So, what should you do?

Is Clam Chowder Keto Friendly

The answer is keto soups. A rich filling of keto soup loaded with nutritional goodness is the perfect quick meal. Today, we will talk about one such keto soup, i.e., Clam Chowder.

Before we proceed, let’s discuss the elephant in the room: is clam chowder keto? Well, no. The traditional clam chowder is not keto, but it can be if prepared with keto-friendly ingredients.

Let’s talk about how clam chowder can be keto friendly.

What is Clam Chowder?

Clam chowder is a traditional creamy soup containing clams. It has a comforting briny flavor and is available in different varieties. Whether you like thick creamy soups, clear broths, or bold red gravies, there is a clam chowder out there for you.

The clam chowder was introduced initially by British, French, or Nova Scotian settlers in the New England region. By 1700, clam chowder had become a common everyday dish. It continued to gain popularity over the years.

Clam Chowder Keto

We are unsure how the soup made its way to the US, but it can be dated back to the late 1800s. The oldest restaurant in Boston, Union Oyster House, has been serving clam chowder since 1826.

Today, different regions have their own take on the popular soup. They have tweaked the original recipe to come up with their own versions. So, you will find different clam chowder soups from New York to New England. While each region has its own chowder recipe, most of them share common ingredients like salt pork, milk or tomatoes, onions, clams, and other seafood.

Is Clam Chowder Keto Friendly?

Is clam chowder keto? There is no yes or no answer to this question.

Keto Clam Chowder

Technically, any food can be keto-friendly depending upon the ingredients and how you prepare it. So, to determine whether clam chowder soup is keto, we first need to look at its components.

Let’s look at the two most popular varieties of clam chowder:

  1. Manhattan Clam Chowder

Manhattan-style clam chowder is known for its red color. The soup is made of tomato paste and has a thin consistency. It boasts different vegetables, including potatoes, carrots, celery, garlic, and onion.

  1. New England Clam Chowder

New England-style clam chowder is a thick creamy white colored soup. It has a milk/cream base with clams, salt pork, potatoes, and onions.

Since you can only eat high-fat and low-carb foods on the keto diet, the New England clam chowder can be considered keto friendly. Why? Because it has a fatty cream base. However, high-carb potatoes in clam chowder can be a problem.

To make clam chowder keto friendly remove the high carb ingredients and add more fatty ingredients like butter, cheese, and ghee.

How Many Calories In A Serving Of Clam Chowder?

To be able to incorporate clam chowder into your diet, you need to know about its nutritional value and total calories. So, let’s talk numbers!

New England clam chowder is rich in essential nutrients and minerals. 1 cup serving of New England Clam Chowder prepared with milk contains the following:

Total calories: 154 calories

  • Calories from Carbohydrates: 18.8 g
  • Calories from Protein: 8.16 g o
  • Calories from Fat: 5.09 g
  • Calories from Fibre: 0.8 g

The calorie composition is 49% carbs, 30% fat, and 21% protein.

Based on the numbers, New England-style clam chowder is a high carb, moderate fat, and low protein meal – everything a keto meal should not be. The fat content should be increased with moderate protein and low carbohydrate to make clam chowder keto-friendly.

Now, we will share the perfect recipe for yummy keto-friendly clam chowder. So, let’s dig right in!

Keto Friendly Clam Chowder Recipe

It is time for the easiest, yummiest, and healthiest keto clam chowder recipe by Mellissa Sevigny of IBIH. It contains a creamy, buttery, cheesy broth with hearty celery and salty clamps. It is the perfect keto-friendly meal to enjoy, especially if you live near water.

We have replaced the carb-loaded potatoes with celery. You can also use any other low-carbon alternative like radish or cauliflower. Instead of flour roux, we used mascarpone cheese to thicken the soup, making it gluten-free and keto friendly.

Keto Friendly Clam Chowder

If you are not a fan of clams, you can replace them with any cold-water seafood such as lobster, mussels, and haddock. You can also use shrimp and fish as protein.

Here is the recipe for keto clam chowder soup:


  • Chopped bacon (4 slices)
  • Chopped onions (2 small onions)
  • Garlic (2 cloves, minced)
  • Kosher salt or sea salt (1 teaspoon)
  • Black pepper (1 teaspoon, ground)
  • Celery root (Peeled and chopped)
  • Clam juice (8 ounces)
  • Raw clams (16 ounces, chopped)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Mascarpone cheese (8 ounces)
  • Butter (2 tablespoons)
  • Parsley (Finely chopped)


Follow these instructions to prepare keto-friendly clam chowder:

Step 1: Cook Bacon

Cook the bacon over medium heat until it is lightly browned on each side. Do not make it crispy. Chop the bacon when it has cooled down.

Step 2: Sauté Vegetables

Add butter to the pot and sauté garlic, onion, and celery root. Add salt and pepper and keep cooking for 2-3 minutes or until the onions turn translucent.

Step 3: Make Broth

To prepare the broth, add water and clam juice to the pot and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes on low heat. Wait for the celery to get tender.

Step 4: Add Cheese and Clamp

Add mascarpone cheese and chopped clams to the broth. Keep stirring till the cheese has melted. Keep simmering low heat till the soup turns creamy white, and the clams are cooked.

Step 5: Garnish

Taste the soup and add salt/pepper according to taste. Finally, garnish with parsley and serve.

Now, your keto-friendly clam chowder is ready to be served!

Nutrition Value of Keto Clam Chowder

1 1/3 cups of keto clam chowder include the following calories:

Calories: 332

  • Fat: 24g
  • Protein: 13g
  • Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Fiber: 2g

Note: You can bring down the net carbs to 4g by replacing celery with radishes or cauliflower flowers.

Wrapping Up

Following a ketogenic diet is not easy. You have to track your macros and ensure you do not exceed the carb limit. Exceeding your daily carbohydrate threshold can kick you out of ketosis and put a haul on your fat loss.

While you can prepare many keto-friendly meals, one of the easiest and tastiest ones is keto clam chowder. This is a rich and healthy recipe loaded with good fats and protein. If you are a clams and seafood lover or like chowder in general, this recipe is a must-try.

Good luck and happy keto-ing!

Please click on one of the links below to learn more about keto friendly foods:

Are Lima Beans Keto Friendly?

Are Whisps Keto Friendly?

Is Nacho Cheese Keto Friendly?

Is Lobster Bisque Keto Friendly?


Founder of The Art Of Keto.

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