This rich and creamy keto seafood chowder recipe is a healthy comfort food meal. Make it with clams or with white fish. Either way, it’s an easy low carb dinner recipe that takes less than 40 minutes, start to finish.
I first wrote this keto seafood chowder recipe back in the early days of All Day I Dream About Food, all the way back in 2012. It’s rich and hearty, and can be made as clam chowder or fish chowder. It’s a staple in our house during the cold and rainy weather.
I lived in Boston for over 11 years and I like to think that makes me something of an expert on clam chowder. But maybe that just really makes me an expert on how to pronounce clam chowder with a Boston accent.
Repeat after me: Chowdah. Chowdaaaah. You mustn’t say “Chowderrr”, that’s too boring and it won’t taste as good. I don’t care where you are from…California, Canada, even France. Really play it up, roll it out over your tongue, enjoy it. It will make the clam chowder experience that much more delicious.
Giving clam chowder a keto makeover
I do love me some good chowdah. Hearty, full of cream, lightly flavored with fish or clams, it fills you up with goodness and warms you to your toes. But conventional seafood chowder is often so thick, your spoon can stand straight up in it. I’ve had the chowder from Union Oyster House and it’s more like eating porridge
All of that glorious thickness comes from copious amounts of potatoes and flour, and you can believe it packs a hefty carb punch. So how exactly does one go about reducing the carbs to make a keto friendly chowder?
Replacing the potatoes is easy and you’ve got some choices here. My favorite substitute for keto soups and stews is turnip, as I think it ends up most like potatoes in taste and texture. Daikon radish is also a great alternative. Simply cube these vegetables the same way you would a potato and add it in. Do keep in mind that because they aren’t as starchy, they cook through a little faster so you want only want to add them in for that last 15 to 20 minus of cooking.
To thicken the broth and make it thicker and richer, you can whisk in some glucomannan or xanthan gum toward the end of cooking.
Clams or fish, it’s up to you!
I deliberately called this seafood chowder so that you can decide for yourself whether you want fish chowder or clam chowder. The cooking method and time of addition are the same, either way.
For fish, I recommend a firm white fish like cod or halibut, cut into 1 inch pieces. For clams, you want to add 2 small (6 oz or so) cans of drained clams.
One thing to note is that clams do actually contain carbs. Strange but true! Most molluscs have some carbs in them, even though they seem like they should just be protein and fat. So using clams will add a few carbs to each serving.
How to make keto seafood chowder
This is an easy recipe that takes minimal prep time and cooks up in less than 30 minutes. Here are my best tips for getting it right.
Cook the bacon
Really make sure to get it nice and crisp, so that it doesn’t go soggy when you add it to the chowder. I like to chop my bacon before cooking so that it crisps and browns more evenly.
Add the onion and turnips
Remove the bacon to a plate but leave all the remaining grease in there, as it’s perfect for cooking the onion and turnips. Cook just until the onions are tender.
Add the chicken broth and simmer
Simmer the broth until the turnip is fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Then add some dried thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper.
The fish cooks quickly!
In a seafood chowder such as this, the fish or clams get added only at the very end of cooking, as they cook very quickly. They only need about 4 minutes to cook through.
Add cream and butter
These ingredients go in at the very end as they don’t really need to cook. And cream can curdle if it’s added to a chowder too early.
Thicken the broth
You can eat the chowder just as it is but if you prefer a thicker broth, I recommend glucomannan powder. It’s made from konjac root and thickens really nicely with only ½ to ¾ teaspoon. I also use it in my keto gravy recipe.
Can you make keto chowder ahead?
As with all fish based soups and stews, keto seafood chowder is best when it’s freshly made. However, if you have leftovers, you can heat them gently the next day and they are just as good. Store it in a covered container in the fridge.
I wouldn’t keep it around longer than two or three days and it’s not a recipe that freezes well.
This really is a wonderful chowder and you wouldn’t be able to tell the turnips from potatoes for a second unless I told you that’s what they were.
And I’ve made this recipe with both fish and clams – it’s delicious both ways. With the chilly weather upon us, it’s so comforting to whip up a pot of this delicious low carb chowder. You won’t miss the potatoes or the flour for a second.
More delicious keto fish recipes
- Crispy Air Fryer Fish Sticks
- Fish Saltimbocca with Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Pecan Crusted Salmon
- Easy Keto Tuna Patties
- Keto Lemon Garlic Tilapia
- Oven Baked Coconut Macadamia Fish
Hearty Keto Seafood Chowder
- 4 slices bacon chopped
- ¼ medium onion chopped
- 2 medium turnips cut into ½ inch cubes
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 lb white fish, cut into 1 inch pieces (or 2 cans clams)
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ¾ teaspoon glucomannan optional
- In large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper-towel lined plate.
- Add the onion and turnips to the bacon grease and cook until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer until the turnip is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with thyme, salt and pepper.
- Add the fish and continue to simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and the butter. For a thicker broth, whisk in the glucomannan at the end of cooking.
- Sprinkle each serving with the cooked bacon.
Kim Callen says
So, I wasn’t able to find daikon radishes here in rural NH, so I used regular red radishes. They added an extra hint of pepper and we’re amazing! I also added cod, scallops, canned crab, canned clams, and canned tiny shrimp. My husband loves this and says we need to make this again!
I make this Chowder often, and we just love it. Thanks!
Is there an actual calorie count for this dish. Made it and loved it but calorie count seems to be off. Could someone please reply if they have an accurate calorie count for this chowder.
It’s just an older recipe that doesn’t actually have the full nutritional info. But you can always calculate it yourself.
This was so delicious!! Thank you!!!
I’m guessing the calorie count is incorrect? 18.8 calories per serving?
But thanks for the recipe
Yes, this is an old recipe and I didn’t do the full nutritionals for it so sometimes my new recipe card fills it in. Ignore it!
This is so so good!!!! Thankyou!
I couldn’t find daikon near here so I substituted Brussels sprouts. It was yummy. I look forward to trying the chowder and other “potato”recipes with daikon. Thank you.
Sue Matheson says
Thanks for the great idea, Carolyn. I have never tried daikon radish before, but I loved it. I also added some celery and other herbs to the soup to make it “my own”-l will be making this again for sure! It’s nice to have another low-carb potato substitute instead of always cauliflower!
Hey! I love your blog 🙂 I was just wondering if you new the actual serving size of each serving? Thanks Megan
Probably about 1 cup.
Making this as we speak. My husband is game for anything I make LC, and he loves any kind of Chowdaaah….
Just made a version of this tonight, and it was great!
I made it a little different out of dose ration and lack of ingredients. I just got my teeth whitened, so I am only supposed to eat white colored foods… My original plan was a curried cauliflower purée soup, however, curry spices were out. I looked at your recipe and used it as inspiration! I boiled chopped cauliflower, white onion, and chicken stock, while I sautéed onion and daikon. I blended the boiled veggies and then added them to the sauté along with some salt and coconut milk. I simmered until the daikon was soft, and we served it with grilled cod over it. Thanks for the frame work! I can’t wait to try the original recipe!
Has anyone ever tried making “potato soup”? It’s my kids favorite winter soup. I’ve read that celery root, daikon radish, or jicama are all good subs for the potato. But none are mentioned in “potato soup”. This chowdahhh is closest I’ve found. I’ve been low carb for about 6mo, lost 33lbs!! But I’m missing some of my fav recipes… Thanks for any input & feel free to email me email@example.com Psssst, I bought jicama…mite give it a brave try.
Jerry Todd Ward says
I know this is an old post but….. To get the Jicama cut it into 1″ squares and cook in a pressure for about an hour. The texture will be great!
what do you do with the drained bacon?
Sprinkle it back on top of the chowdah!
Haven’t made this chowdah – yet. When I FIND more daikon radishes, I will. I found them at Wegmans and bought 2 after the produce clerk didn’t know what I was talking about. I showed him what they looked like and where they were. Well, Sunday I decided to try it. Very hesitantly, I tasted it raw. Just the tiniest bit of a hint of radish. Then I cut ‘french fry’ sticks, and also used a mandolin to slice potato chip thin slices. In a little bit of oil, I ‘browned’ the fries (they don’t get golden like potato’s). When finished with those, I fried the chips. I swear, by all the french fries I’ve eaten in my entire life, with my eyes closed (and even with them open, I couldn’t tell it was not a french fry! The only thing is that it was a ‘wilted’ but very tasty fry 🙂 The chips got really crunchy, but to get crunchy, they had to get really, really toasted. But they tasted like potato chips!
So, I can’t wait to make my chowdah!!!!!!!!!!!! Woo! Thanks for the daikon find. I just wish I could find it when I need it instead of by chance. 🙁
If you can’t find daikon, rutabaga is a good sub too. It has a bit more carbs, though. About 12 g net carbs per 1 cup cubed rutabaga.
We are dairy free in our house too. Can we use almond or coconut milk?
How much is a serving? A cup?
yes, about a cup.
Katie E says
I made this last week and my family couldn’t get enough of it…until it ran out..then there were sad faces. I would have never thought to put Daikon radish in as a substitute for potatoes! I love your blog and all your recipes. It makes being low carb/gluten free so much easier! Thank you!
Yum! This was good soup (having just finished my last bowl).
I used a bag of frozen seafood medley instead of fish.
Using daikon rather than potatoes was an inspired choice. I wouldn’t have known the difference had someone else made the soup.
For people who are having trouble finding daikon, my grocery store labelled it as ‘lo bok’.
Catherine H. says
Made this, minus the bacon, and with clams instead of fish. Yum! Great meatless Friday night dinner, and it goes beautifully with the bread.
Made this today….for a base recipe….but then decided to spin it around a bit different. Added 2 cups fish/seafood stock to the recipe (on top of the chicken stock) ..and used clams, scallops, shrimp, haddock to total 1 1/2 pounds fish. Added onion powder , garlic powder, old bay & Cajun seasoning. Added celery and fresh minced garlic…. Was THE BEST Cajun seafood chowder ever!
Wow, sounds fantastic!