Hello, Spiriteds! Your eyes do not deceive you. On today’s episode of the blog, we are featuring Dairy-Free Shrimp Chowder. And I don’t know about you, but I had to sit down for that. It is seriously a chowder without dairy. And it is amazing.
Shrimp, spices, cashew milk, and cauliflower team up for one delicious pot of soul-warming soup. It’s paleo, which also means this chowder is gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, and, and the title indicates, dairy-free. Full of robust flavor, Dairy-Free Shrimp Chowder makes for excellent seconds. Bringing lunch to work never tasted so good!
File this recipe under breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also snacks. Especially leftovers.
Dairy-Free Shrimp Chowder means we say good-bye to dry dairy-free recipes. We re-welcome (Is that a word? I don’t think so, but let’s say it is.) creamy comfort foods like soup and…chowder. This is happening, Spiriteds, so, saddle up!!!
I don’t even know how I fell into this recipe. Usually I want to make something for my family, and then I have to research how to paleo-ize it. I think that’s what I wanted to do here – have a comforting, creamy, filling soup. A soup that would look winter straight in the face and say, “Bring it.”
This chowder BRINGS IT.
Dairy-Free Shrimp Chowder has become that recipe we eat for ALL THE MEALS, and I may dream about it while I’m asleep as well as when I’m awake. Perhaps it’s the creamy consistency or the balance of vegetables. Possibly the rich flavors brought together by the olive oil. Better yet, the shrimp sautéed in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Followed by a dash of garlic salt and a pinch of onion salt. The cauliflower added in place of white potatoes (once this baby is ready to be served, you won’t be able to taste the difference – I actually completely forgot I wasn’t eating potatoes).
Or maybe it has something to do with the next-level leftovers this chowder produces, the large yield perfect for take-your-lunch-to-work five days a week. You won’t mind not eating out with your friends because your face will be in this. Regardless, this is what K-Hubs and I are dining on morning, noon, and night. We can’t stop. Won’t stop. As long as there is winter, there is this chowder. But we know the truth. This soup will be appearing in the other three seasons. We can’t be helped. This chowder is that good.
There is something about this thick vegetable and seafood dish that harkens back to days of old and Mom’s one or two recipes requiring a milk and flour roux. Did you ever eat a recipe with that combination? Ours came in the form of chip beef on toast and tuna noodle casserole with olive pimento cheese. I lived for those nights. They were staples of my youth, right next to Hi-C, Mac ‘n Cheese, Hot Pockets, and Michelina’s microwave dinners. Alfredo, anyone?
So, how do you get this onto your stove, into your belly, and finally in your fridge for leftovers? When I first made this, I got a little nervous about two things. One, would the flavors POP? I mean, really POP? Or would they be meh? The result? So not meh. This chowder is ON LOCK.
Two, would it be hard to make? Sometimes those roux recipes give me a swift kick to keep my game face on. How many times do I have to remind myself not to walk away from the roux because, essentially, I just burned it? Or because no matter what this fork and I do, we can’t seem to unlump the bubbling, burning concoction?
Not even a speck on the radar with this recipe. The chowder will not fall apart while you tend to other ingredients. It won’t burn. However, rest assured, it will thicken. It won’t be bland, BUT, it will be life-changing. I say, cook it all in the same large saucepan or stockpot. That’s how chill Dairy-Free Shrimp Chowder is. In fact, it’s so chill, if you want to use a different milk alternative, you totally can. Cashew works well in our house, but you do you. And, it’s up to you whether you sauté the shrimp in a separate skillet or throw them in with the soup at the last minute.
I confess to sautéing my shrimp in a separate skillet and then adding them just before serving. But that’s just me. I don’t think you HAVE to do that if you are short on time, skillets, or interest. If you do choose to sauté the shrimp while the chowder simmers, keep the olive oil and seasonings and drizzle them over your shrimp chowder. You will be exactly zero levels of sad about this. Rich and creamy, bordering on the ridiculous.
Dairy-Free Shrimp Chowder will not let you go away hungry. So grab a spoon and dig in.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 1 cup carrots, sliced (I use baby carrots)
- ½ cup red onion, diced
- 4 cloves pressed garlic
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups bone broth (see image above for recipe)
- 2 cups cashew milk (see notes below for recipe I used)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt, optional
- ½ teaspoon onion salt, optional
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (if sautéing in a separate skillet, add another ¼ cup olive oil and pinches of sea salt and pepper, as desired)
- In a large saucepan or stockpot, combine the olive oil, celery, carrots, red onion, pressed garlic, sea salt, and black pepper, and sauté for about 7-10 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
- In the same saucepan or stockpot, add bone broth, cashew milk, almond flour, bay leaves, garlic salt, and onion salt, and simmer covered on a low to medium heat for about 20 minutes.
- Add chopped cauliflower and shrimp (if not sautéing separately in a skillet) and continue cooking for another 30 minutes or until cauliflower reaches desired consistency.
- If sautéing shrimp in a separate skillet, with about 15 minutes to go, sauté shrimp in ¼ cup olive oil, sea salt, and pepper, as desired, and add to chowder a few minutes before serving (or use as a topping).
- Season with sea salt, pepper, garlic salt, or onion salt as desired.