Recipe: Clam Chowder With Coconut Milk

Tasty treat made with canned or fresh steamed clams

Fresh steamed clams make this creamy chowder extra good; however, canned clams work well too. When steaming, you can save time by preparing them up to one day in advance – just be sure to remove the meat from the shells and refrigerate. For a dairy-free version, use olive oil or coconut oil instead of grass-fed butter.

Advertising Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy


Ingredients for the steamed clams:

2 ½ cups filtered water
Juice of 2 lemons
2 bay leaves
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 pounds fresh small clams (Manila or Littleneck)

Ingredients for the chowder:

Advertising Policy

2 leeks
4 ribs celery
4 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons coconut flour
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 cups clam broth (reserved from steaming process)
2 cans (13.5 ounce) full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon freshly chopped tarragon or parsley leaves


  1. Place the water, lemon juice, bay leaves, garlic, thyme and salt in a large (5- to 6-quart) heavy pot with a tight fitting lid. With the lid on the pot, bring the ingredients to a boil over high heat. When steam is coming out from under the lid, dump all of the clams into the pot and replace the lid. Turn the heat down to medium and allow the clams to steam until they have opened, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and drain the clams through a colander into a large bowl. Discard any unopened clams, as well as the thyme, bay leaves and garlic. Be sure to save the clam broth to use in the chowder! Remove the clam meat from the shells and set the meat aside. Discard the shells.
  2. To make the chowder, first prepare the leeks. Chop off the dark green leaves and the root end of the leeks. Slice in half lengthwise and run under cold water to dislodge any sand or dirt. Pat dry. Lay the leeks flat on a cutting board and chop crosswise into thin slices. You should have about 2 cups.
  3. Trim the celery ribs, slice them lengthwise into thinner lengths, then chop crosswise. You should have about 2 cups.
  4. Melt the butter in a large (5-quart) heavy pot over medium to medium-low heat. Add the leeks and celery and cook slowly until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Sprinkle in the coconut flour and stir, mixing the vegetables and the flour until the mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pepper and thyme leaves. Add the clam broth and stir, cooking with the vegetables until the soup is thick and saucy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the coconut milk and clams and heat the chowder through. Stir in the fresh herbs at the end.
  5. Ladle into 4 soup bowls and serve hot. Serve with a tossed green salad with avocado, tomato and cucumber with your favorite healthy, full-fat, homemade dressing. Cool and refrigerate leftovers in a glass container with a tight fitting lid for up to 2 days.

Nutrition information

Each serving (about 1 1/2 cups chowder) contains:

Calories 580
Fat 42g
Saturated fat 35g
Cholesterol 75mg
Fiber 4g
Protein 25g
Carbohydrate 18g
Sodium 580mg

Advertising Policy
Advertising Policy