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Healthy Clam Chowder Recipe

A Lighter Take on New England Clam Chowder

There's no better antidote to crappy Winter weather than clam chowder. If you're partial to the New England kind — the traditional version that calls for copious amounts of salt pork and more heavy cream than you want to know about — then you'll love this creative take on the classic.

This rendition, which comes from chef Sam Talbot's book, The Sweet Life, calls for a few unusual additions: celery seeds, rice flour, and almond milk. You may be skeptical at the moment, but I promise you won't be once you try it: it's zippy, creamy, and briny all at once. Once the chowder comes together, it's finished with a generous dusting of fresh dill weed.

Clam Chowder

From The Sweet Life by Sam Talbot

Clam Chowder


  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped into small pieces
    1 pound red or white russet potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
    1 large Vidalia or yellow onion, diced
    2 celery ribs, diced
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
    1 tablespoon celery seeds
    1/4 cup rice flour
    2 8-ounce cans minced clams
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    2 cups bottled clam juice
    2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    1 cup almond milk
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 tablespoon hot sauce
    2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
    1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
    Pepper, freshly ground


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, and cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, onion, celery, garlic, Old Bay seasoning, and celery seeds. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion and celery are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the rice flour over the vegetables, and stir for 1 minute to make a roux. Add the canned minced clams and wine, stirring well to combine. Pour in the clam juice, broth, milk, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Bring the soup to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 45 minutes.
  3. Add the whole clams and the dill, cover the pot, and cook until the clams open, 8 to 10 minutes. Discard any unopened shells. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutritional information per serving: 236 calories, 15 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), 32 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams fiber, 1,169 milligrams sodium

Reprinted from: The Sweet Life © 2011 by Sam Talbot. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc. Available wherever books are sold.

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