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How many carbs are in chicken chowder?

Chicken chowder is a hearty and delicious soup that is perfect for chilly weather. It typically contains chicken, potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and a creamy broth. However, when following a low-carb or keto diet, the carb content of traditional chowder recipes can be problematic. Understanding how many carbs are in chicken chowder allows you to enjoy this comforting soup while still meeting your dietary goals.

Carb Counts in Common Chicken Chowder Ingredients

The carb content of chicken chowder depends largely on the specific ingredients used. Here is an overview of the carb counts found in typical chicken chowder recipe components:

  • Chicken – Chicken breast or thigh meat contains 0g net carbs per serving.
  • Onions – 1/2 cup chopped raw onion contains around 5g net carbs.
  • Celery – 1/2 cup chopped raw celery has 1-2g net carbs.
  • Carrots – 1/2 cup chopped raw carrots contains around 4g net carbs.
  • Potatoes – 1/2 cup diced potato contains approximately 15g net carbs.
  • Flour – All-purpose flour has about 20g net carbs per 1/4 cup.
  • Milk – 1 cup whole milk has 12g total carbs and 8g net carbs.
  • Cream – 1/4 cup heavy cream has just trace carbs.
  • Broth – Chicken, beef or vegetable broth contains minimal carbs.

As you can see, ingredients like chicken, celery, broths and cream add little in the way of carbs. Higher carb ingredients like potatoes and flour can significantly increase the carb content. Selecting lower carb vegetables like cauliflower instead of potatoes is one strategy to reduce carbs.

Carb Count of Traditional Chicken Chowder Recipes

Looking at some typical chicken chowder recipes provides a sense of the carb counts found in traditional preparation methods. Here are the approximate net carb counts for one serving of three standard chicken chowder recipes:

New England Chicken Chowder

  • 3 oz chicken – 0g net carbs
  • 1/2 cup onion – 5g net carbs
  • 1/2 cup celery – 1g net carbs
  • 1/2 cup carrots – 4g net carbs
  • 1/2 cup diced potato – 15g net carbs
  • 1/4 cup flour – 20g net carbs
  • 1 cup milk – 8g net carbs
  • 1/4 cup cream – trace

Total net carbs per serving: About 53g

Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder

  • 3 oz chicken – 0g net carbs
  • 1/2 cup onion – 5g net carbs
  • 1/2 cup celery – 1g net carbs
  • 1/2 cup carrots – 4g net carbs
  • 1/2 cup corn – 15g net carbs
  • 1 cup milk – 8g net carbs
  • 1/4 cup cream – trace

Total net carbs per serving: About 33g

Crockpot Chicken Chowder

  • 3 oz chicken – 0g net carbs
  • 1/2 cup onion – 5g net carbs
  • 1/2 cup celery – 1g net carbs
  • 1/2 cup carrots – 4g net carbs
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower – 2g net carbs
  • 1 cup milk – 8g net carbs
  • 1/4 cup cream – trace

Total net carbs per serving: About 20g

As you can see, the recipes range from 20g to over 50g net carbs per serving. Factors like use of potato versus cauliflower and a roux made with flour significantly impact the carb totals.

Ways to Make Lower Carb Chicken Chowder

If you want to enjoy chicken chowder while reducing the carb count, here are some helpful strategies:

  • Use cauliflower instead of potatoes – Subbing cauliflower florets for potatoes can remove 15g+ carbs per serving.
  • Skip the roux – Making a roux with flour adds around 20g net carbs per serving.
  • Use almond or coconut flour – Using a very small amount of these lower carb flours helps thicken without lots of carbs.
  • Increase celery and reduce carrots – Celery contains fewer carbs than carrots.
  • Use milk alternatives – Unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk are lower carb options.
  • Limit starchy additions – Avoid ingredients like corn, peas, or beans which boost carbs.
  • Boost fat and protein – Adding extra chicken, bacon crumbles, or cream helps keep you full.

Implementing two or three of these substitutions can drastically cut the carb count of chowder to under 15g net carbs per serving.

Low Carb Chicken Chowder Recipe and Nutrition Info

To provide an example, here is a recipe for an easy low carb chicken chowder along with detailed nutrition information:

Low Carb Chicken Chowder


  • 3 cups chopped cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb chicken breast or thighs
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In large pot, sauté onion, celery, and garlic in butter until soft.
  2. Add chicken broth and cauliflower. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until cauliflower is fork tender.
  3. Meanwhile, cook chicken until done then shred or dice into bite sized pieces.
  4. Once cauliflower is tender, use an immersion blender to lightly puree the soup.
  5. Add shredded chicken, cream, almond milk, thyme and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Simmer for 5 minutes more until heated through.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!

This soup comes out thick, creamy and comforting, while keeping net carbs low. Here is the nutrition information per serving:

Nutrition Facts Per Serving
Calories 295
Fat 12g
Protein 32g
Net Carbs 9g
Fiber 3g

With under 10g net carbs per serving, this chicken chowder fits into a low carb eating plan. It makes a filling, comforting meal for chilly days.

Tips for Serving Low Carb Chicken Chowder

To round out your low carb chicken chowder meal, here are some tasty serving suggestions:

  • Top with bacon crumbles – Crispy chopped bacon is a perfect keto-friendly topping.
  • Add shredded cheese – A handful of cheddar, parmesan or swiss adds flavor.
  • Drizzle with olive oil – A swirl of extra virgin olive oil adds healthy fats.
  • Serve with low carb bread – Keto-friendly bread or rolls work nicely.
  • Pair with a salad – A side salad with vinaigrette dressing is very low carb.
  • Accompany with roasted chicken – Make it a hearty meal with roasted or grilled chicken.

With options like these, it’s easy to create a complete low carb meal featuring chicken chowder as the star of the show.

Common Questions about Carbs in Chicken Chowder

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the carb content of chicken chowder:

Does chicken chowder have a lot of carbs?

Traditional chicken chowder recipes made with flour, potatoes, and milk contain around 30-50g net carbs per serving. However, modified low carb versions can have under 15g net carbs by using ingredients like cauliflower, almond milk, and avoiding thickeners.

Is potato chicken chowder low carb?

No, chicken chowder made with potatoes is not low carb. One medium potato contains about 30g net carbs. Replacing potatoes with low carb vegetables like cauliflower significantly reduces the carb count.

What can I substitute for potatoes in chowder?

Great alternatives to potatoes include cauliflower florets, turnips, rutabagas, radishes, zucchini, and low carb vegetables like kohlrabi and jicama. These provide fewer digestible carbs than starchy potatoes.

Is corn chowder low carb?

No, corn chowder is quite high in net carbs, with one ear of corn containing about 15-20g carbs. Substituting cauliflower for corn is an easy way to reduce the carb count of chowder recipes significantly.

Can I make chicken chowder with almond milk?

Yes, almond milk can readily be used in place of dairy milk to reduce carbs in chowder. The nutty flavor pairs nicely with chicken. Just be sure to use unsweetened almond milk to avoid added sugars.

The Takeaway on Chicken Chowder Carbs

Traditional chicken chowder can contain up to 50g net carbs per serving, primarily from ingredients like flour, potatoes, and regular milk. However, with simple substitutions like cauliflower, almond milk and avoiding thickeners, the carb count can be reduced to under 15g. This makes it possible to work this hearty soup into a low carb or keto eating plan. With a few adjustments, you can still enjoy the comforting flavor of chicken chowder while meeting your health goals.