Gluten-free copy cat Ivar's clam chowder
Gluten free, Seafood, Soups

Gluten-free copycat Ivar’s clam chowder


If you’re gluten-free, “keep clam!” You too can enjoy a cup of delicious homemade white clam chowder – just like Ivar’s famous clam chowder.

Gluten-free copy cat Ivar's clam chowder
Delicious gluten free white clam chowder

If you’ve ever been to the Seattle waterfront, you’ll know Ivar’s. This famous restaurant and fish and chips bar overlooks the Puget Sound. It not only provides gorgeous views and delicious seafood, but entertainment as you watch the french fry swiping seagulls. According to their delicious cookbook, Ivar’s sells nearly 2 million orders of cod and chips every year! That’s quite impressive! And while Ivar’s may seem a bit touristy at first glance, it is definitely worth checking out. My family and I are locals and always enjoy stopping in for some chowder or fish and chips.

Seagulls standing on a floating log.
Seagulls on the Puget Sound

I love Ivar’s for their food, family-friendly atmosphere and good humor. But since I went gluten-free just over a year ago I could no longer savor a delicious cup of their famous white clam chowder. Like most creamy thick soups, it’s traditionally thickened with flour.

Two bowls of gluten free copycat Ivar's clam chowder with biscuits on the side.

Since 1938, Ivar’s has been a Seattle fish-n-chips institution

Gluten free copy cat Ivar’s clam chowder goes great with a side of gluten free biscuits. Give these recipes a try.

Gluten free cheddar and chive biscuits

Gluten free buttermilk biscuits

Two bowls of gluten free copycat Ivar's clam chowder.
Serve with gluten free biscuits!

But “keep clam” (as Ivar would say)! I’ve created an equally delicious gluten-free chowder at home that is is inspired by their traditional white clam chowder recipe found in Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook. (This is one of my favorite cook books by the way. I highly recommend it. Get it through Amazon here (affiliate).

Gluten-free copycat Ivar’s clam chowder

Recipe by Michelle BarsnessCourse: Gluten free, Seafood, SoupsCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



If you’re gluten-free, “keep clam!” You too can enjoy a cup of delicious homemade white clam chowder – just like Ivar’s famous clam chowder.


  • 3-4 strips thick cut bacon

  • 1/2 cup onion (diced*)

  • 1/2 cup celery (diced)

  • 3/4 cup potatoes (peeled and diced)

  • 1 6 1/2 ounce can of clams (reserve the clam juice)

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter

  • water as needed (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch

  • 1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose gluten-free flour

  • 2 cups half and half cream (warmed)

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp white pepper

  • 1 tbsp Italian parsley (finely diced)

  • 1 tbsp fresh chives (finely diced)


  • In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until it begins to crisp and most of the fat has rendered (about 7-8 minutes).
  • Next, add the onion, celery and potato. Cook for about 2 minutes and add the reserved clam juice. Stir and scrape up any brown bits. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables become fork tender.
  • In a medium-saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the cornstarch and gluten-free flour whisking constantly for about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat as necessary and slowly add the warmed half and half cream. Continue to whisk and cook for an additional 3 minutes or so. The mixture will thicken and should be a smooth consistency.
  • Add the creamy sauce to the cooked vegetables and liquid. Add the clams, salt and pepper. Garnish each dish with a small amount of the fresh parsley and chives.


  • * For more flavor dimension, try a mix of leeks and onion, up to 1/2 cup combined.
  • I prefer Yukon Gold potatoes for their flavor. Recipe compliments of
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