Vegan “Clam” Chowder

May I interrupt my recipe introduction for this glorious Vegan “Clam” Chowder today and just have a heart-to-heart with you, friend? Before I do, don’t forget that this the First Annual Fork & Beans Gluten-Free Vegan “Seafood” Bake. We already made Scallops” from King Oyster Mushroom stems. Next on the menu:

Okay, back to the heart-to-heart. Have you ever had that existential moment where you have actually separated yourself from your self and can listen in on what you are saying to the people you come into contact with? Come on, I’m not trying to sound hokey right now, I promise. I am talking about awareness and those moments in life where you are actually hearing how others are perceiving you…

Vegan "Clam" Chowder - Fork & Beans

Recently I was hit hard with exactly that. You see, I have this incredible ability to beat myself up and shall we say fill my head with negative thoughts about myself? That sounds so self-deprecating…oh yes, probably because IT IS. I really felt blessed this week however to have several moments where as I was speaking to someone else (in my most uniquely self-abusive way) and was able to actually HEAR what I was saying. It stopped me in my tracks.

I had no idea of the yucky things I was thinking and saying until…boom, existential moment happened. It immediately made me so sad to hear that I was my own worst enemy. When did that happen? When did I become so against who I am? And then I looked around at my life and saw that I was attracting negative things based off of my negative thinking towards myself. I was stewing over negative emotions, negative memories and negative thoughts that kept me in this place of feeling “stuck.”

 Vegan "Clam" Chowder - Fork & Beans

So lately I have been trying real hard to be more aware of those thoughts and to convert them into something a little less, well, mean. Dare I say supportive and more positive thoughts?

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan "Clam" Chowder
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Serves approx. 4
For the Mushroom "Clams":
  • ½ c. roughly chopped shiitake mushrooms (or whatever mushrooms you have on hand)
  • ¼ c. white wine
  • ½ tsp. celery seed (not fresh celery)
  • 1 tsp. vegan butter
For the Soup Base:
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 2 celery stalks, rinsed, finely chopped
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, chopped
  • ⅓ c. frozen corn
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 3 Tbsp. gluten-free flour
  • 1 medium potato, cut into 1" cubes
  • 3 c. vegetable broth
  • ½ c. nondairy milk
  • ¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped
For the "Cream" base:
  • 1 c. cauliflower, slightly steamed
  • ¾ c. nondairy milk
  • 1 Tbsp. vegan butter
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cracked pepper
For the mushrooms:
  1. In a large saucepan (this is what you are using to make the soup so make sure it is big enough) sauté the mushrooms with the vegan butter over medium high heat.
  2. Add the white wine and stir until it is completely absorbed.
  3. Stir in the celery seed. Remove from heat and place the mushrooms on a separate plate.
For the "Cream" Sauce:
  1. Blend everything together in a high-speed blender. If it is too thick to blend add a tablespoon of nondairy milk at a time until desired consistency. Adjust seasonings according to preference.
For the Soup Base:
  1. Over medium-high heat, sauté the onions, celery, carrots, corn, and thyme together until the onions are translucent.
  2. Throw in the gluten-free flour and mix until well-combined.
  3. Add the broth and nondairy milk. Bring to a boil, stirring often.
  4. Add the potatoes and cream base. Allow to fully heat through (approx. 10-15 minutes).
  5. Add the mushrooms and chopped parsley last and heat another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Season according to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley.


Vegan "Clam" Chowder - Fork & Beans

Setting my intentions for the day really helps me to focus on the good things. To be grateful and appreciative for what I have and not worry about the things that I don’t have.  

Curious, how do YOU get yourself out of a funk?

Today, I set my intention to speak kindly to and about myself. Today, I will not compare myself to anyone else. Today, I will be happy with what I have, especially with a bowl of vegan “clam” chowder on my side…



OptinMonster allows you to explode your email list by using our incredible exit intent technology.


  1. OMG. Just made this. Doubled the mushrooms as other suggested. It’s spectacular!!! I’m just blown away by it. i put Nori Krinkles on top. Note to self: A little of those go a long way. Thanks for this awesome recipe

  2. I’ve had this recipe saved on pinterest for a while now and I clicked on it because I want to make it for dinner tonight. Well, I must say I was not expecting a soup recipe to make me cry. I am definitely in a similar place to where you were when you wrote this post and it touched me. Thank you for sharing.

    • Okay you’re going to make ME cry now. Sending you all the love and goodness I can possibly muster up to meet you where you are at, Jamie. Thank god for soups that make us cry :) xoxoxo!

  3. I asked about what kind of milk – I ended up using plain organic soy which I never have had before (other than caribou coffee) – it was sooooo good.

    I used button mushrooms that we had… Didn’t have corn or wine so used broth and didn’t miss the corn at all.

    I ended up adding more salt but the broth I had was low sodium. I also added some cayenne pepper so my son would like it. I wasn’t crazy about the thyme:-/ wish I had used 1/4 teaspoon or not at all (sorry!) but it was still really really good – I might double the cauliflower next time and not use any flour. This recipe is definitely flexible . I’m glad it doesn’t taste fishy – that’s why I never cared for clam chowder before going vegan.

    Thanks so much!!! :-)

  4. What would be the best plant milk for this? I don’t want coconut – or anything super sweet/nutty. Will probably use plain unsweetened almond but any suggestions would be great. I don’t care for soy but if you can’t taste it in this I don’t mind it. Making this tonight:-)

  5. Made this yesterday and ate the entire batch myself. Totally yummy!! Made a second batch and froze it in portions to take to work. I will try it with portobellos next time — I wasn’t crazy about the taste of shiitake. And as others suggested, I would double, even triple, the amount of mushrooms. Next time I may try marinating the mushrooms first in a little watered down tamari with a bit of liquid smoke or seaweed. I did try adding a little crumbled toasted nori, but it was the wrong flavor — others suggested dulse and that is probably the solution. One other thing: That cream base would make an outstanding cream of cauliflower soup. Just double the amount of cauliflower and voila! Really well done, Cara, can’t wait to try your other recipes.

  6. Hello Cara, attempting this soup right now. Am stuck….kindly help. I am assuming 2 celery stalks means 2 ribs. If I google weight of 2 celery stalks it says 2 pounds. If that’s so, please do add this note to the recipe. Thank you.

  7. Pierre Chiasson says:

    I just made this vegan chowder tonight and it was a hit! We all loved it, this recipe is a keeper! Thanks for posting it. There some leftover and I can’t wait until tomorrow to eat some more!

  8. This was excellent! I didn’t have wine or corn and it still turned out super delicious. To make the mushrooms more “fishy” I sprinkled some “dulse” (sea vegetables- looks like dried seaweed flakes) and it really did the trick! I will definitely be making this recipe again in the future. The cream base is unbelievably good.

    A++ recipe :)

  9. This recipe looks great and I going to try to make it this week. I do have a question though: How well do the mushrooms sub for clams? Texture might work well, but wouldn’t the taste be more like cream of mushroom soup?

    Either way… any cream soup sounds good!


  10. I was a little confused on the ingredients for this. Some of them didn’t go with what I thought Clam Chowder is. So I switched out the olive oil for bacon grease, mushrooms for clams, almond “milk” for heavy cream, vegetable broth for clam juice and the by product of petroleum for butter. It turned out really delicious. I garnished it with crumbled bacon, grated sharp cheddar and parsley. Thanks for the recipe, it was great. :)

    • haha- The point of this recipe was to be a vegan/plant-based version of clam chowder (aka no animal products which includes seafood) for those of us who no longer consume animal products but really miss the taste of clam chowder!

  11. Shared! And I’m making this on Saturday!

  12. Thank you so much for the recipe! I made this tonight. My husband who is from the gulf coast and not a vegan (omnivore) loved this chowder. He had been waxing and waning about wanting a chowder for awhile now. I added about 2 sheets of chiffonaded nori to give it more of a clam flavor throughout the cooking process. That being to the mushrooms, to the cauliflower which I gently boiled in little water since I could not find my steamer and especially after the ingredients were mixed together. That amount gave it a barely perceptible “taste of the sea”. The only thing I would change is parboiling the potato chunks a little until they are slightly tender perhaps in vegetable broth. I ended up cooking it longer than suggested because potatoes were too al dente. I also would suggest 2 packages of mushrooms. I doubled the recipe but even if I had not I think from the texture perspective another package would have been very useful. I was being cheap they cost $4.99 a package where I live. If anyone preferred the New England style chowder add a small bay leaf.Anyway

    • Thank you SO MUCH for coming back and leaving a comment/review, Jada! I’m so happy to hear that you liked this :) ox

  13. Cara, To cheer yourself up, try arranging your face in a smile and keeping it looking as tho you are smiling. Just a little one at first–no need to sprain your jaw. Other people may worry about you and wonder, “What does she have to smile about that I don’t know?” Don’t tell anyone that you are not smiling ‘about’ anything. Pretty soon your smile muscles will do a smile all by themselves even if you lapse out.Incidentally, you forgot to put the little grains of sand in the recipe. All the chowder I have eaten has had tiny pieces of sand in it.Not that I will miss grinding my teeth against them in your chowder.It may even be better your way. Malcolm.

  14. Maribel says:

    I finally made this today. I substituted vegetable broth for the wine cause I had everything to make this, but the wine. It’s amaaaaazing!! I used more mushrooms. My husband had three servings and asked, “Did I just have a vegan dinner?” lol We loved it!!! Thank you so much, Cara, for this recipe. :) <3

  15. Tiffany says:

    Thanks for this fantastic recipe! I have been so sad since going vegan recently that I didn’t have a hearty soup yet to make. I used Better Than Bouillan vegetarian “chicken” broth instead of vegetable, and accidently forgot the celery. It still came out great. Personally, I will continue to omit the celery simply because the celery seed gives it enough celery flavor to me, but that’s because I like celery in small doses. Next time I make this I’m going to double the batch to have extra! I also think the “cream” base would work well in other vegan soups. Yum!

    • Ooooh I love Better Than Bouillan–the flavor is so rich and awesome. I’m so glad that you liked this soup! People keep saying that they wish they made double the recipe for leftovers–ha :) Love it. And about the cream base–I think you are onto something there! xo

  16. Cara, this looks awesome– thank you for sharing this and for being who you are. As for the “getting yourself out of a funk” — I started keeping a gratitude journal during the darkest time of my life, and it really helped me keep things in perspective. I would write at least 10 things a day that I’m grateful for. In addition, I participate in a “gratitude circle” on FB (contact me if you would like to be invited into it). We each try to post one thing a day that we’re grateful for, and it serves as a nice form of connection with other women too.

    • I just love this, Diane! I would LOVE to connect on that gratitude circle too–thank you so much for the invite! What you are describing is exactly what I have been trying to do in these past 2 weeks…and I must say that it is actually working and changing my thoughts. Who knew 😉 Much love to you, xo!

  17. This looks so delicious! I can’t wait to make it!

  18. Maribel says:

    Hi. Thank you for this recipe. I can’t wait to try it. I’ve never cooked with wine. Is it a specific type of white wine that is needed? :)

    • Usually a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc but really choose a wine that you enjoy drinking, especially since you will have leftovers 😉 Also if you are vegan, make sure it’s a vegan wine too. Enjoy!

  19. Carole Edminson says:

    I watched a show recently that changed my thinking. Here is the website and if you scroll down a bit you can watch for a few bucks. Best thing I have ever watched

    Your soup looks Fabulous.

    • Carole, you are my kind of gal! Thank you for this comment and suggestion–I have been practicing positive affirmations daily this week and it has changed a lot for my brain. Sending you the best and most positive vibes. xo!

  20. I always wanted to try clam chowder at restaurants but since I don’t like clams, I would always feel disheartened at the thought of not knowing how it tastes! Now this mushroom version of yours is just perfect!! Will try it soon.

  21. Personally I like to watch silly kitten and puppy videos on Youtube when I’m feeeling down. Sometimes for HOURS!!! Or a funny show that makes me laugh like Big Bang Theory. Sometimes we all just need a break. If we are awesome people then our standards become pretty high. So if you are having a off day, consider it an “awesome weekend,” put up the closed sign and take a break. Do something that makes you feel good, like a craft you had on your to-do list for a long time, or vacuum, or whatever! We all have these moments.

    On the recipes? I have been blown away by the creativity of the last two series, Cinco de Mayo and the Seafood bake. I admit, as a meateater, I scoffed at vegan tacos and vegan “seafood”. But I was so intrigued I had to read the recipes. And I’m like wow, shredded hearts of palm tacos look really amazing, and so do the vegan mushroom scallops!

    Like Barney Stinson (from How I Met Your Mother) says “When I feel sad, I just stop feeling sad, and feel awesome instead.”
    I kind of want that in a frame somewhere.
    Maybe you just need a Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita? :)

    • First of all, I laughed so hard at the thought of someone watching kitchen videos on YouTube. You are my newest favorite person in the world, Megan. Thank you for SUCH an incredibly kind, reflective, and helpful response. I LOVE the Barney Stinson reply. I’m going to adhere to that from now on. Please come back more so I can be amused and touched by your comments! xo, Cara

  22. Oops, sorry! I didn’t realize someone else had asked this same question – I’ll try this with broth. Thanks!

  23. Cara, you are the BOMB and don’t let anyone make you feel as though you aren’t. I can always count on you for a laugh and a great vegan recipe! For this clam chowder, I’m a newbie at cooking with wine…..what could I substitute instead of white wine? More broth? Thx :)

    • I AM the bomb. There. That’s my new affirmation :) Love it Jules, you are so sweet for saying this! xo

  24. Janet Paula says:

    Would it change the flavor of this chowder terribly if I used a light broth made from brown rice miso instead of vegetable broth? Also, if I can’t find celery seeds (in the country where I live) can you suggest an alternative.

    • Is it bad if I said that I have never tried brown rice miso so I don’t know the answer? haha. I think you should try it and then let us all know if it works out! About the celery seed sub, if you have celery salt that could work. Just kind in mind that you might have a saltier product, especially if you are using miso. Or try chopping up double the amount of celery. This is really a hard spice to sub. Either way, it will still taste great! Good luck, xo

  25. I can totally relate to this. How we perceive ourselves has a lot to do with how others perceive us, which is why it’s so important (and so hard) to keep thinking positive. Anyway, thanks! Your clam chowder looks delicious!

    • It is hard work, isn’t it? But it’s proving to be worth the work because this week has been a complete 180 degree turn with no difference going on except the mindfulness of my thoughts. Thank you so much for you comment, Tess! xo

  26. i commented before reading the post. i can totally relate to your moment described above. i try so hard to keep my negative feelings about myself on the down low, but sometimes i express them without even realizing it. i am working to be kinder to myself, but it’s hard. good luck to you, lady <3

    • Girl, I’m so grateful for you! Thank you for your reflective comment back–I appreciate you taking the time to read my lil’ ol’ thoughts time and time again. Much love to you!!! xo

  27. this sounds fabulous and i love that it’s not full of fat!

  28. Looks delicious! Clam chowder is one of my hubbys fav soups. Can’t wait to try this out. Heading to the grocery store for ingredients. In your picture on this post with the pasta- what is the food that looks like a scallop?

  29. Hope you have a moment soon when you find yourself saying something to someone and you think to yourself, “I’m alright, aren’t I?”

  30. I’ve been working on the same thing. I usually don’t feel that I truly believe what I say about myself. It’s more of a way to demonstrate humility and sometimes make friends feel better and to relate, you know? But, yes, people life can beat us up enough. We should love ourselves! :) Also, this soup looks so scrumptious and hearty!

  31. This soup is so good! Thanks for posting it :) I didn’t feel the need to alter anything too much, but I did use oyster mushrooms. I felt like it gave it an authentic clam feel. And I did add some granulated garlic because I was missing that flavor. Other than that, it is absolutely perfect and amazing. I love the creativity with the cauliflower as a vehicle for the “cream-base”. Thanks again!

  32. Hi Cara,

    Just wanted to say, I feel you, I’ve been there! And it really is all about positive thinking and believing in yourself- your thoughts, become your words, which become your actions. The law of attraction. Be your own biggest fan and don’t limit your dreams- you therefore won’t limit what you can achieve and become in life.

    Love your blog, love all of the healthy makeovers. You’re fabulous, don’t forget it.


    • You are so right! It is the law of attraction and this week I have really been trying to change that. Thank you for the incredibly kind words and thoughtful suggestions! It means so much to me…xo

  33. I absolutley understand what you’re talking about here,Cara. For quite some time now I try to get my “mean” thoughts under controll, because the only one that I’m hurting with them is me. And I’m not mean at all when interacting with people, it’s just my thoughts and sometimes I don’t even know where they’re coming from.

    We absolutly have to be in charge of our thoughts, or at least listen to them at some point in the day, to make sure they don’t make us feel bad.

    • Thank you Elisa, for such a thoughtful response! I so appreciate hearing from you and love your reflective thoughts. Here’s to us celebrating ourselves and taking charge of our thoughts! xo

  34. Melinda says:

    what did you use to saute the onions and other veg?

  35. I can totally relate, Cara. I don’t kno we become our own worst enemies but it’s got to stop! It’s a good reminder. When i hear someone else share this (especially someone i think is so awesome ) because it makea me realize. My own negetive self talk is probably just coming from me. And as always this soup looks amazing!

    • Thank you for your openness Sarah. It’s always awesome to know that we are not alone in our thoughts… xo

  36. Give yourself the same grace you give others including forgiveness.

    • You are so right. Why is that so hard? Definitely something I am trying to be more aware of, thank you Topaz!

  37. This cowder sounds delicious – I shall be bookmarking this for future reference. Thank you for the recipe.

  38. Staceye says:

    How can I make this in the crock pot?

  39. Thank you making right now :)

  40. I am sooo making this but what can I sub for the wine ?

    • Just use vegetable broth, Tina. Hope you like it! xo

      • Making this right now thank you looks so yummy

        • Ok verdict is in :) this is an amazing recipe and it is going in to my recipe box for good !! husband and son could not get enough will double up the batch next time lol :)
          Tip — added a little kelp powder and granules to give it a little extra seafood flavour worked very well . Paired with some Mac salad and a raw vegan “tuna” wrap was perfect for spring eve dinner

          • Ahhhhhh, I love it! So glad that you and the family loved this, Tina. And thank you for the feedback :) xo

  41. Great post :)


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