Vegan Clam Chowder (New England Style)

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Rich, creamy, and bursting with savory flavor, this luscious New England style vegan clam chowder will warm your heart. This delicious and easy soup is like a hug in a bowl!

White wooden surface set with Dutch oven, bunch of thyme, and bowl of Vegan Clam Chowder.

I’ve never had legit clam chowder, and frankly, after slinging many bowls of the stuff while waiting tables in college, I don’t have the best feelings about this particular soup.

So it took me a while to warm up to the idea of veganizing it.

I’m glad I finally caved and created a vegan clam chowder recipe, because I actually love this version. It’s a creamy, New England style chowder (but I also have a recipe for Manhattan Style Vegan Chowder), and it has everything that’s good about clam chowder, and none of the bad.

Having never eaten clam chowder I had to consult with my husband. Would shiitake mushrooms be a good substitute for clams? They’re savory, hearty, kind of chewy — he said go for it, so I did!

To achieve the oceany flavor of clam chowder I used a bit of miso paste, Old Bay seasoning and dulse flakes. Our soup base is composed of a mix of coconut milk and vegetable broth. It’s super rich and creamy. This soup was absolutely delicious, and my husband confirmed that it’s way better than any non-vegan clam chowder!

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Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Vegan butter. Look for this near the regular butter at your supermarket. Earth Balance, Miyoko’s and Melt are some popular brands to try.
  • Shiitake mushrooms. Another variety of mushroom could be substituted if you’d like.
  • Onion.
  • Celery.
  • Garlic.
  • Flour. The recipe calls for all-purpose wheat flour, which will act as a thickener in our soup. I’ve heard from readers that gluten-free flour blends work just as well. Blending some of the soup in order to thicken it would be another option if you need to keep it gluten-free.
  • White wine. This adds a lot of flavor to the soup, but you could leave it out if you prefer to cook without alcohol. If you do use it, be sure to check with Barnivore to ensure the brand you’re using is vegan.
  • Vegetable broth. Preferably use a low sodium variety. Miso paste (listed below) is super salty, so we want to avoid oversalting the soup
  • Light coconut milk. This doesn’t make the soup taste like coconut, but you can substitute another unflavored non-dairy milk if it’s a flavor you really hate.
  • Golden potatoes. Russets or red potatoes could be substituted if needed.
  • Dulse flakes. Optional ingredient! Dulse is a type of dried red algae that’s great for adding umami, and in particular for replicating the flavors of seafood. I used it in my vegan tuna salad a while back and have been playing around with it ever since. Dulse flakes are available at most health food stores. However, if you can’t find it at the store, that’s okay! The soup will still be delicious without it.
  • Dried thyme.
  • Old bay seasoning.
  • Bay leaves.
  • Miso paste. The recipe calls for white miso paste, but red or brown will also work (giving the soup a slightly different flavor). Look for miso in the international foods section of your supermarket.
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Accompaniments. This soup is great on it’s own, or with crackers, fresh parsley, hot sauce, and coconut bacon!

How It’s Made

  • Heat some of your vegan butter in a large pot and add sliced shiitake mushooms. Sauté them for a few minutes on each side, until they brown a bit, then remove them from the pot.
Shiitake mushrooms cooking in a pot.
  • Now melt the rest of your vegan butter in that same pot, then add diced onion and celery. Sweat the vegetables for a few minutes to soften them up.
  • Add the garlic to the pot and sprinkle in the flour. Cook the mixture and stir it up really well so that the flour forms a nice even coating on the veggies.
  • Slowly pour in the wine. Stir everything well! The wine will form a thick paste with the flour and start bubbling up. Let it cook until it reduces a bit.
Hand pouring wine into a pot of celery, onions, and flour.
  • Stir in the broth, making sure you’ve incorporated it well with the flour mixture, then add all of the remaining ingredients, including the cooked shiitake mushrooms.
  • Bring the soup up to a simmer and let it cook until the base has thickened a bit and the potatoes are tender. You can add a bit of water while the soup simmers if the liquid reduces too much.

Tip: Some people like to hold off on adding the miso paste until the soup has finished cooking and is off the heat. This will preserve the probiotic content of the miso. Feel free to do this if you prefer.

Pot of Vegan Clam Chowder simmering on the stove.
  • Take the soup off of heat when it’s done, then remove the bay leaves and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: If you want your soup extra creamy you can blend up a small amount. Just use an immersion blender or ladle a cup or two into a regular blender, blend, and then return it to the pot.

Ladle your soup into a bowl and grab a spoon! I like to top mine with fresh parsley and oyster crackers.

Bowl of Vegan Clam Chowder with a blue pot in the background.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover vegan clam chowder will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days. It may thicken during storage. If this happens you can thin it with some water or broth when reheating. I don’t recommend freezing this soup.

More Creamy Vegan Soups

Like this recipe? If so, please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you try it! Also be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for more recipes like this one!

Bowl of Vegan Clam Chowder with spoon on the side.

Vegan Clam Chowder (New England Style)

Rich, creamy, and bursting with savory flavor, this luscious New England style vegan clam chowder will warm your heart. This delicious and easy soup is like a hug in a bowl!


  • 3
    vegan butter,
  • 6
    shiitake mushroom caps,
  • 1
    medium onion,
  • 2
    medium celery stalks,
  • 4
    garlic cloves,
  • ¼
    all-purpose flour
  • ¾
    dry white wine
  • 4
    low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1
    (14 ounce or 400 ml) can
    light coconut milk
  • 1 ½
    golden potatoes,
    scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1
    dulse flakes
  • 1
    dried thyme leaves
  • ½
    Old Bay seasoning
  • 2
    bay leaves
  • 2
    white miso paste
  • Salt and pepper,
    to taste

For Serving (Optional)

  • Oyster crackers or saltines
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Hot sauce
  • Coconut bacon


  1. Set a large pot over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of vegan butter.

  2. When the butter has melted, add the shiitake mushrooms in a relatively even layer. Toss a few times to coat the mushrooms, then let them cook for about 4 minutes, until browned on the bottoms.

  3. Flip the mushrooms and let them cook for about 4 minutes more, to brown on the opposite sides.

  4. Remove the mushrooms from the pot and transfer them to a plate.

  5. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pot, then add the celery and onion.

  6. Cook the celery and onion for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.

  7. Add the garlic and flour to the pot and stir to coat the veggies with flour. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

  8. Stir in the wine and bring it to a simmer. Allow it to cook until it reduces by about half, about 3 minutes.

  9. Add the broth and stir until fully incorporated, then stir in the coconut milk, potatoes, dulse, thyme, old bay, bay leaves, and miso paste (Note 1). Stir well to ensure the miso fully dissolves. Return the mushrooms to the pot. Raise the heat, bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.

  10. Allow the mixture to simmer until the potatoes have softened, about 12 to 15 minutes. You can thin the soup with some hot water if it thickens too much while cooking.

  11. Remove the pot from heat. Remove the bay leaves from the soup and season it with salt and pepper to taste. (Note 2)

  12. Ladle into bowls and top with accompaniments of choice.

Recipe Notes

  1. If preferred, the miso paste can be added after the soup is fully cooked and has been removed from heat. This will preserve the probiotic content.
  2. A portion of the soup can be blended at this point if you’d like it to be extra creamy.
  3. Nutrition information does not include accompaniments.

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Clam Chowder (New England Style)

Amount Per Serving (1.5 cups)

Calories 255
Calories from Fat 82

% Daily Value*

Fat 9.1g14%

Saturated Fat 4.1g21%

Sodium 527mg22%

Potassium 659mg19%

Carbohydrates 35.2g12%

Fiber 4.5g18%

Sugar 6.7g7%

Protein 4g8%

Calcium 34mg3%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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