Experimenting with Gluten-Free Clam Chowder

May 10, 2018
When my good friend asked if I could make a gluten-free (GF) version of Clam Chowder to accommodate his girlfriend’s diet, I was initially dismissive since the classic recipe’s use of a flour-based thickener seemed important to the flavor. But after thinking a few minutes about it, I realized that the chance to develop a tasty GF version was a worthy effort.

I greatly underestimated how profound my experiment would be. By replacing the classic roux thickener (butter and flour cooked together) with cooked and pureed rice, the chowder still had the desired rich and creamy texture but with a brighter, cleaner flavor redolent of clam and vegetable notes.

It didn’t take more than everyone enjoying a bowl to unanimously decide that this new version would replace our current house clam chowder. We don’t tell people it’s gluten free (I don’t want any preconceived notions about the taste,) and we’ve receive nothing but great feedback about how fresh and delicious it tastes!

Join us for a bowl of our new chowder soon. 


Gluten Free New England Style Clam Chowder

1 stick butter
2 medium onions
4 branches celery
1 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium fennel, diced
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cups short grain rice
3 cups water
1 quart clam juice
2 cups chopped or baby clams
2 cups heavy cream
1# haddock or white fish, cut into medium size pieces
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup chopped parsley

  1. In a large pot on medium heat cook the onion, celery, carrots and fennel with the butter until tender.
  2. In another pot simmer the rice and water for 1 hour. Let cool then puree with the cream and set aside.
  3. Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until tender then set aside.
  4. Place the cooked vegetables into a large pot with the potatoes, clams, clam juice, rice and cream mixture and bring to a simmer then stir in the haddock, and simmer for 10 minutes so the fish cooks thoroughly.
  1. Finish with a large handful of chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste.