Dairy Free Seafood Chowder

Who knew you could make a dairy free chowder AND that it could be creamy-delicious-goooood? I didn’t until pretty recently!

Dairy Free Chowder

After a week packed with minor home disasters (burning power outlets, anyone?!), Mr Meatified and I were in need of a little pick me up. This dairy free chowder is a bowl of comfort for sure! Especially when it’s packed full of seafood, both of our favorites. I used a mixture of calamari, shrimp, mussels and clams, but you can use whatever you like! This dish is a great way to use any kind of fish or seafood that you happen to have in the freezer. It’s also a great way to stretch out that bag of seafood mix you bought but don’t really know what to do with! Or does that only happen to me?

The trick to making this really thick like a genuine gluten-dairy-bombed chowder is not to rely on coconut milk alone. Instead, while the rest of the chowder was cooking, I boiled 2 cups of diced white sweet potato until tender, then pureed them in a blender with some coconut water. I added that to the chowder and it really thickened up the chowder beautifully without overwhelming the taste of the seafood and fresh thyme. Mr Meatified was in heaven – the combination of sweet potato and coconut milk satisfied his cream-loving soul! The other side effect of that combination is that this soup is extremely filling because it is so rich. Yay full tummies!

So now you know: it is possible to make a dairy free chowder without any fancy flours or starches.


Dairy Free Seafood Chowder

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Dairy free chowder exists! This soup is creamy & delicious as well as dairy free! Pack it with your favorite seafood & enjoy a bowl of comfort.

  • Author: Rachael Bryant / Meatified
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


  • 1 tbl avocado oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 4 cups diced white sweet potato, divided
  • 1 cup clam juice or seafood broth
  • 2 cans coconut milk, with the coconut water from one can reserved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbl fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 11.5 lbs mixed seafood
  • Bunch of green onions, chopped with green ends reserved for garnish


  1. In a large pan over low heat, soften the onions and carrots in the avocado oil, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add 2 cups of the diced sweet potato to the pan along with the onions and carrots. Pour in the clam juice and 1 can of the coconut milk. Remove the cream from the 2nd can of coconut milk and add to the pan. Reserve the remaining coconut water. Add the bay leaves, thyme and salt. Increase the heat to a low simmer.
  3. In a separate smaller pan filled 2/3 full of water, add the other 2 cups of potato and boil until tender.
  4. Drain the sweet potatoes and add them to a blender with the reserved coconut water. Blend until smooth.
  5. Add the pureed sweet potato to the soup pot, stirring to combine and bring the pan back to a simmer.
  6. Add the white parts of the green onions to the pan as well as the seafood. Simmer until cooked through. Remove the bay leaves.
  7. Serve garnished with the green onion tops.



  1. Amazing. I am a big fan of seafood chowder but haven’t touched the stuff since I finally accepted that I am lactose-intolerant years ago. I wonder how many other creamy soups we can make with this sweet potato/coconut base… 🙂

    1. We should totally experiment! 🙂 I was wondering if I could wrangle it so that I got a kind of white “gravy”. I definitely like the ease of this method: no fussing around with weird, temperamental Paleo starches or thickeners!

  2. I LOVE coconut milk as a dairy substitute and thickening “cream”-based soups with sweet potatoes. THIS looks incredible; love the detail of the spoon with the little calamari peeking out!

    1. Thank you so much, Jan 🙂 Photographing soups and making them look interesting is tricksy!

  3. Made this tonight for dinner…added celery to the veggies and bacon & corn to the final product. Delicious and hearty…thanks for the recipe!

    1. It’s in there! You add it at the same time as the white green onion slices, after the sweet potato puree 🙂

  4. OMG this is so crazy good. I changed the carrots to celery, and used a fresh cooked lobster for my seafood. I was lucky enough to get a female lobster so I got roe along with the tamale, which I out in the with coconut water and potatoes in the blender….I can’t even tell you how good it was. So filling!!!

  5. Do you think I could use a combo of coconut cream and almond milk? I’m out of coconut milk at the moment.

  6. This sounds soo delicious! I had all the ingredients except seafood stock and mixed seafood. Unfortunately I live in a small town and the only grocery stores we have are Smiths and Walmart, and neither of them carried the stock or seafood : / Any suggestions?

    1. I so hear you – I actually live an hour away from stores, so I’ve learned to wing it a little. I’m not familiar with Smiths, but our Walmart carries glass bottles of clam juice, up on the top shelf near the canned fish like tuna and salmon. I’d add in a bottle of clam juice and make up the rest of the liquid with chicken stock/broth. Then I’d use shrimp or a white fish like cod, or a combination of the two. You should be able to find those in the freezer section. Hope that helps! 🙂

  7. I made this tonight and it was sooo good! I replaced the mixed seafood with 1/2 pound scallops and 1/2 pound cod. And replaced the seafood stock with 1/2 cup clam juice and 1/2 cup veggy stock. And of course added bacon! Mmmm mmmm good!

  8. I’m doing whole 30 and I totally expected this to be a flop, bc usually I somehow screw things like this up, but it was SOOOO delicious! I added a celery stalk and used white sweet potato for the cubed chunks of potato and then used 1 orange sweet potato for the thickener, it was great! I used a bottle of clam juice for the seafood stock and 1 large rfozen cod fillet cut in squares, and some shrimp for the seafood part. I added the precooked/thawed shrimp in at the last minute.

    1. So glad it was a success and that you enjoyed it! It’s the perfect weather for chowder right now! 🙂

  9. I am making this dish for a third time in a last couple of month. Fist time I made it, I was amazed how god it was, so I made a second batch right after that! I never tried the traditional clam chowder in my life, I am not a fan of some traditional dishes I guess, but this soup is wonderful. I add leek to it, four stalks, thats the only modification I do. Thank you for doing all this work for us AIPers!!!!

    1. You’re so welcome! So glad you’re enjoying it – the leeks sound like a tasty addition! 🙂

  10. I’m so happy I came across this recipe. I stumbled upon it when looking for whole 30 recipes I could make for the family that was satisfying. This is now the only way I make clam chowder in our home. I love this recipe! Thank you for this gem, I’m making it again tonight and having my in laws over who also love the soup!

    1. I don’t think so! They’re not as savory as a standard potato, but this variety is much less sweet than the typical orange variety of sweet potato. I think there’s a nice balance of flavors here overall 🙂

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