There is a “hole in the wall” fish restaurant near us and they have some of the best chowder we have ever had. Its creamy, and dreamy and I think about it often. I don’t know about you, but for some reason clam chowder has always been one of those soups that seemed like too much work. But I really really have been wanting it lately, so I made it and it was stupid easy. If you are new to cooking, soups are always a great way to start. You basically throw things into a pot and let it cook up. It doesn’t get much easier than that!



This is not your normal creamy white chowder that you are used to seeing inside of a big, huge bread bowl. (I know, sad day) But, its flavors are out of this world and you probably will never go back to regular clam chowder again.
I thickened it with a cauliflower “cream,” which at first I was really nervous to do, but it turned out perfectly!


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 2 cans chopped clams, 1 can drained, the other not.
  • 1 8oz bottle clam juice
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 large red potatoes, diced
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken works too)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tbl garlic powder
  • 1 tbl ghee or oil for pot
  • Parsley for garnish
  • OPTIONAL: bacon crumbles, hot sauce
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 c ghee
  • 1 red potato


  1. Heat ghee up in a large pot.
  2. Once hot, add diced potatoes, celery, leek, and onion. Stir around for a couple min.
  3. Add clam juice and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are done about 20 min
  4. While soup is cooking, steam cauliflower and potato (I cut the potato into large chunks)
  5. Once soft, pour almost all the water out of the pot you used to steam. Throw cauliflower and potato into pot.
  6. Add ghee and take an immersion blender and blend until creamy. (You don't want any chunks.)
  7. After potatoes in soup are done, pour your clams in.
  8. While stirring, pour cauliflower cream into soup.
  9. Garnish with parsley and add some of your favorite hot sauce too
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**taste and then add salt. Clam juice is salty, so you may not need to add that.

My children ate 2nds and would have eaten more if I had made enough.  Also, you cannot taste any cauliflower in this at all.(Mom, I’m talking to you 😉 )

Whole30: yes
Paleo: yes-ish (potatoes are fine line when doing a strict paleo diet)


  1. Janelle says:

    I’m confused – do I sautéed the potatoes with the onion and leek, or steam them with the cauliflower? Do the onions and leek also get puréed? When do I add the garlic powder & other spices? This sounds great, but I need a little clarity in the directions thanks.

    • Pretend it's a Donut says:

      It’s two separate parts….the soup and the cauliflower cream. You are going to dice potatoes and put them in with the onions and leeks and celery. Sauté those up. Then add broth and clam juice. Also the spices can go in then. In a separate pot you are going to steam another potato with the cauliflower. Then you are going to blend those together. Then pour that puree into the soup pot. The onions and leeks don’t get pureed. Just the cauliflower “cream”
      Let me know if you need a little more help with it.

  2. Rosie says:

    This sounds great. Question, what if I don’t have an immersion blender? Will a hand mixer work or can I just throw it into a blender?

  3. Sadie says:

    I can’t wait to try this! One question though. I have never used a leek in anything before. For this recipe, should I use the whole leek or just the bottom part?

    • Pretend it's a Donut says:

      Hi Sadie! Use the white and the lighter green part of the leek. Probably 1/2 way up the leek. I hope you enjoy it. This is one of our favorites!!

  4. michelle f2 says:

    Dang gurl, this was good! I threw in a couple sprigs of rosemary while it cooked…yum!
    Thanks for another great recipe!
    Keep ’em coming!

  5. michelle f2 says:

    Dang girl, this was GOOD! I threw in a couple of sprigs of rosemary while it cooked…YUM! Loved how easy it was, too!
    Thanks for another great (W30) recipe…keep ’em coming!

    • Pretend it's a Donut says:

      Love the addition of the rosemary! I’ll have to do that next time! Thank you for trying and enjoying my recipes!

  6. Merry says:

    If this helps your mom any, my husband hates cauliflower and for the last few years I’ve been sneaking in cauliflower “mashed potatoes” instead of the real thing and he is none the wiser!!

  7. Cathy Davidson says:

    Don’t care for clams, but I will use the cauliflower cream for our favorite potato soup while on Whole 30! Thanks!!

  8. Kelsey says:

    Does this freeze well? I know potatoes usually don’t freeze so well…but it’s so good I want to have it available all the time!

    • Pretend it's a Donut says:

      Hi Kelsey,
      I’ve frozen it with no problems. Another girl, freezes it all the time and hasn’t complained about it haha

  9. Bonnie Nelms says:

    this is very confusing to me. ingredients are not in order and the process is not in order. it looks like step 7 should come after step 3? step 5 says to throw cauliflower and potato into pot but says nothing about blending it? adding ghee and immersion blend sound like its for the entire ingredients? you give all the steps then at end you say to pour cauliflower cream into soup. I’m getting a headache trying to figure it out. looks delicious but I’m reluctant to try it without more clarity.

    • Pretend it's a Donut says:

      Hi. sorry for the confusion. Process is in order. While you are cooking the soup (step 2 and 3) you are going to make the “cauliflower cream” in a seperate pot. Steam the cauliflower and potato until soft. Remove most of the water from steaming it. Add in your ghee to the cauliflower and potato and use your immersion blender for that! Then pour that cauliflower cream into the soup that has been simmering away. I will update recipe to say that I used a steamer basket (thats why it says put cauliflower and potato into pot) Definitely a bit unclear, but not as big of a headache as it looks. I hope this helps and I hope you enjoy it!! It’s really very easy.

  10. Lindsay says:

    I love clam chowder but have never made my own. I can’t do potatoes though, so any suggestions for a sub in the cauliflower cream base? Does the cream need the starch from the potato?

  11. Erin says:

    What are your favorite canned clam and canned clam juice brands? I’d love to try this recipe, it looks amazing and I’m loving the cauliflower cream but I’ve never bought canned clams. I’d hate to choose a bad one and ruin the whole batch.

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