Clam chowder is one of those dishes that is virtually impossible to make healthier. However, you can make a few quick subs without compromising flavor. Our favorite swap? Using coconut milk instead of cream. The taste isn’t reminiscent of coconuts because the other ingredients and the cooking process cut the taste, but the coconut milk adds just the right texture so you can enjoy a milk-less version of the beloved soup. This recipe also combines the creaminess of classic New England clam chowder with the tomato-based flavor of Manhattan clam chowder — so you don’t have to choose a favorite! This recipe and photo were created by contributor Aylin Erman of Glow Kitchen.


  • 2 cups water (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 can (10 ounces) whole baby clams, juice reserved
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1large stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 4small red potatos, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Add clams and let cook for at least 30 minutes, or until clams are soft enough to eat.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat butter and sauté celery and onion. When veggies begin to soften, add tomato paste and mix. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add clam juice and coconut milk and bring soup to a boil.
  4. Add clams (and their cooking water), potato, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook until potato is soft (about 15 minutes) and soup has reached desired thickness.