Our hearty Keto Cheesy Chicken Chowder is the perfect entrée to warm up the entire family on cold winter days. It’s loaded with tender chicken and healthy, mild-tasting vegetables that your kids will love (or not notice). Enjoy this rich, cheesy, and delicious chowder for only 3 net carbs per serving!
Our chowder recipe is inspired by a family favorite shared with us years ago by our sister-in-law, Janet. A loving mother of three, she was diagnosed with lymphoma and passed a few years later. Always impressed with her toughness and positive attitude, we miss her every day. Our family has made Janet’s chowder recipe for years, without knowing where it originated. A quick check on the internet reveals the basic ingredients and directions are similar to many chicken chowder recipes, and most contain carb-laden potatoes and carrots.
We like to use rotisserie chicken whenever we can. Such a time-saver, and for this recipe we cut the chicken into small cubes. We replace the diced potatoes with cauliflower that we’ve cut into small florets, and the diced carrots with diced turnips. Loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, turnips have a mild, sweet and nutty flavor when cooked, reminding us of a cross between a potato and a carrot. To peel a turnip, cut off both ends to creat a flat surface, then use a potato peeler to remove the skin. Cauliflower florets are a fabulous low-carb substitute for potatoes, and in this chowder, their flavor profile is very mild.
Using a large stock pot, we begin with a quick sauté of butter, celery, onions, and garlic. Next we add chicken stock or broth, (if you’re watching sodium intake, use low sodium stock or broth which reduces sodium by 2/3rds), then the cauliflower florets, diced turnips, freshly ground black pepper, salt (we think seasoned salt is a good option), a teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional, of course, and the amount depends on your heat tolerance), and a little heavy cream. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
In order to thicken the chowder without adding the carbs of white flour, we use 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum. Use a small mixing bowl with about 1/2 cup of hot water and slowly sprinkle in the xanthan gum, whisking constantly until you have a smooth mixture. Stir it into the chowder, cover the pot, and simmer for an additional 12-15 minutes, then add the chicken pieces and return the chowder to a simmer.
Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded cheddar. We use sharp or extra-sharp varieties, but you’re the boss. Mild cheddar is delicious in this chowder, too. Garnish with a little chopped red pepper and chives, with a pinch of extra cheese on top.
Keto Cheesy Chicken Chowder
Loaded with tender chicken, healthy vegetables, and cheese, our hearty keto/low carb chowder serves up a delicious lunch or dinner for only 3 net carbs per serving!
- 2 cups chicken (cooked, cubed)
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 cup celery (diced)
- ½ cup onions (diced )
- 2 cloves garlic (minced )
- 4 cups chicken stock (or broth)
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 cup turnips (diced)
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp seasoned salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Cube cooked chicken and set aside. (Rotisserie chicken is a huge time-saver.)
In a 6 quart or larger stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add celery and onions. Sauté 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute.
Add chicken stock/broth, cauliflower florets, turnips, salt, pepper, optional red pepper flakes, and heavy cream. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer.
In a small mixing bowl, slowly sprinkle xanthan gum into ½ cup of hot water, whisking constantly until smooth. Whisk into chowder.
Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cubed chicken and return to simmer.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
Garnish with red pepper, chives, and shredded cheese, if desired.
9.5 cups total yield in recipe.
This recipe was easy to make and it is absolutely delicious. My family is asking for the recipe now. Thank you Joanie for another fantastic meal.
Thank you, Tonya, for taking the time to let us know you loved the Cheesy Chicken Chowder. We had leftovers yesterday, and it tasted better than ever. Even my 97 year old dad gave it a thumbs up!
So delicious and comforting!
Thank you, Virginie! Happy to hear you enjoyed our Cheesy Chicken Chowder!
So delicious. I eat it for lunch or dinner or both.
Thanks, Cindy! So happy you’re enjoying our Cheesy Chicken Chowder.
Joanie, Is there a substitute for thickening to use for the Xanthum Gum? Unfortunately, I have experienced GI issues using it.
Great question, Elise. You can use 2 tsp psyllium husk powder, or 1 tsp chia seed or ground flax seeds that have been stirred into 2 tsp of hot water. All act as thickening agents. Or you can use almond flour as a thickener. I’d start with about 1 tbsp and whisk into a cup of the soup and return to the pot. If you’d like the chowder thicker, you can continue adding until you’ve reached your desired thickness.
Joanie, the almond flour worked perfectly in the chowder as a thickening agent instead of the xanthum gum (which I tossed!), so thank you!
Great to hear this! Xanthan gum is a bit tricky to use at times, so I’m happy you have another alternative!
This was delicious! My kids ate it without question! 🙂 THANK YOU!
Hi, Lauren, and thank you for letting us know you all enjoyed our Keto Cheesy Chicken Chowder! And even better, it passed the kid test!
This looks really good! I tend to not like using xantham gum if I can avoid it though, on account of it might as well be called xantham slime =( Does this produce any of that kind of mouth-feel?
Hi, Drew. We do not detect any xanthan gum textural issues at all. We use a very small about of this ingredient. You can also use almond flour to thicken soups. Sprinkle and whisk in while simmering until you reach your desired thickness.
Yum, fast and easy. I used a jalapeño, as I had one. I’ve been doing keto/low carb for about a year, for type 1 Diabetes. What a change it has made in my A1c. No noticeable problems with the Fan than gum.
Hi, Barbara! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed our Keto Cheesy Chicken Chowder. And I’m so happy to hear keto/low carb has improved your A1c. I’ve heard many folks tell me the same.
What is a serving size. The total yield is the only info I can see
Hello, Joan! One serving size is 9.6 oz, which is about 1 and 1/5th of a cup. Hope that helps.