Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Gluten Free Clam Chowder

I'm going to do my best to keep up with "What can I eat that's gluten free?" as well as the "Holiday Food Fest" started by Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. I'm a bit of a procrastinator/slacker/husband/father, so we'll see if I can make it all work. For a soup theme this week, I chose gluten free clam chowder. My wife grew up about an hour away from the ocean. Prior to being gluten free she would indulge in the rich, hearty clam chowders offered at every restaurant up and down the Oregon Coast. Clam chowder was a meal that was particularly hard for my wife to give up. Being the great, no wait, amazing, yes amazing, man that I am, I found a great clam chowder recipe years ago that was easily modified to be gluten free.

New England Oregon Clam Chowder:
1/2 pound bacon (chopped)
1 medium onion (chopped)
4 celery ribs (chopped)
2 Tbs GF flour mix
4 large or 5 medium potatoes (diced)
2 Tbs butter
8 ounces clam juice (1 bottle)
2-3 6 ounces cans of chopped clams
3 cups milk (I use 1%)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp thyme
2-4 Tbs GF flour mix or cornstarch to thicken as needed
Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1-1/2 tsps of each)
In a large stock pot cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside. Drain all but 1 Tbs of bacon drippings out of the pot.
Add chopped celery and onion to the pot and cook over medium heat until tender. Next, add butter and 2 Tbs GF flour mix to the pot.
Add potatoes, salt and pepper, 1 bottle (8 ounces) of clam juice, and the liquid from the canned clams. Cook the potatoes at a low simmer over medium heat until tender. Try not to over cook them or they will become mashed potatoes. Do not add the clams yet or they will become a little rubbery through the cooking process. Here is a picture of the bottle of clam juice in case you have never seen it. You could use water if you don't have clam juice. I think clam juice is just one of those things you have to close your eyes, add it to the pot and not think about it too much. Kind of like anchovy paste. By the way, how do you juice a clam? Isn't clam juice just another name for ocean water?
Moving on, add the milk, cream, clams, bacon, and thyme. Continue cooking over medium heat. Don't allow the chowder to come to a boil at this point. Adjust seasoning as needed and use GF flour or cornstarch mixed into a slurry with a little water to thicken the clam chowder to your liking. Serve with a nice toasted slice of gluten free french bread. Enjoy!!!


  1. I love Oregon clam chowder! I've never made it myself. Thanks for the recipe. Your gluten-free French bread looks amazing, too!

  2. Looks like a hearty and delicious New England meal!

  3. That sounds delicious. Your wife is very lucky. Procrastinator or not, you are a very good cook. Thanks for linking up.

  4. I love clam chowder and luckily there are many fabulous gluten free versions out there. Yours look very tasty.

    I'm currently on the road snd am going to try to keep up with both those events too. Well see how that goes. Good luck to you!

  5. I love clam chowder! Never made it though. Sounds wonderful.

  6. Just finished making htis and it tastes AMAZING! love the bacon...

  7. how many servings does this recipe make? I plan to make it for a Xmas Eve party for 18 people.

  8. It's been a while since I've made this. I believe the recipe probably serves 6-8 people depending on portion size. If you are serving this as a side dish or with other food, I think you would be fine just doubling the recipe. If this is the main course, you might want to do a little more. Plus if you make too much,you can send some home with guests or enjoy the leftovers yourself. I hope this helps.

  9. Very good recipe and thank you for converting it into a Gluten-Free chowder. I am surprising my husband with this tonight. We were at the beach recently and I had clam chowder and they told us that it was made with wheat. My husband looked longingly at my little cup of chowder while he ate a shrimp salad. I can't wait to spring this on him tonight. Thank you so much. I have tasted it and it is delicious!

  10. We live north of Seattle and my daughter loves clam chowder but cannot handle gluten. This recipe is a mainstay in our house. Thanks it is delicious!

  11. The clam chowder was outstanding! My wife loved it and that was all that mattered to me. Thanks for a terrific recipe!

  12. The better way to eat clam chowder is with grilled cheese sandwiches. Mmm, mmm, mmm.