One of the things I thought I’d miss most when transitioning to a low-carb diet was potatoes. Especially when they’re involved in a classic, creamy soup like chowder. In the immortal words of Samwise Gamgee “Boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew.”
A low-carb swap for potatoes
Luckily, cauliflower happens to be a fantastic swap for potatoes in nearly everything, and this cauliflower chowder is no exception. Whether you call it chowder or chowda, my Cauliflower Chowder with White Cheddar and Bacon is one of my favorite ways to make this delicious swap. The addition of sharp white cheddar adds to the creaminess while the bacon adds a nice salty kick to the top.
If your bacon is difficult to slice, pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm up first and you should get a smoother cut.
A note for special diets
This Cauliflower Chowder is grain-free, gluten-free, nightshade-free, and easily modified to fit Keto and SIBO diets.
I use a small amount of arrowroot powder in this cauliflower chowder as a thickener, but this can easily be left out if you’re strictly limiting starches for Keto or SIBO diets. 2 tbsp of Arrowroot in the recipe accounts for 7 grams of carbs per serving. Omitting this brings the carb count down to only 13 net carbs when counting macros.
We also limit lactose in our house, so while cheddar passes as a friendly low-lactose option, we opt for lactose-free whole milk instead of traditional. Coconut milk is another friendly option, though it will alter the flavor slightly as well as the nutrition count.
Cauliflower Chowder with White Cheddar and Bacon
Yield 6 portions
- 8 slices of bacon, chopped (I prefer 1/8 inch perpendicular slices
- 2 tbsp garlic oil (may sub avocado or olive oil + 4 cloves garlic, minced)
- 4 medium carrots, diced (about 2 cups)
- 4 stalks celery, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder (optional)
- 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped into small pieces (about 6-7 cups)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk (we prefer lactose-free)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (may sub 1 tbsp + 1 tsp dried)
- 1 tsp high-quality sea salt (we prefer Jacobsen's)
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 cups sharp white cheddar, grated
- In a large soup-pot, over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until crisp. Drain grease and reserve bacon to the side.
- Reduce heat to medium and add garlic oil. Add carrots, celery, and green onions and sautee until slightly softened, about 4 minutes.
- Add arrowroot powder and stir to coat the veggies.
- Add cauliflower and sautee another 3-4 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, milk, parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and stir to combine. Cover pot and allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Stir a few times in between and keep a close watch. I often find that the soup starts to boil up around the 10-minute mark, so I usually remove the lid and let it simmer open for the last 5 minutes.
- Add the cheese gradually. I stir this in ~1/4 c increments so that it combines evenly.
- Serve soup with bacon on top.
Pro tip: If your bacon is difficult to slice, pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes first. It will make a world of difference.
Courses Mains, Soups & Stews
Serving Size 1/6 of recipe
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 25 g
Saturated Fat 12 g
Cholesterol 72 mg
Sodium 1029 mg
Total Carbohydrates 25 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Sugars 8 g
Protein 20 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.