Get Cozy with a Bowl of Creamy Keto Cauliflower Chowder!
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Creamy cauliflower chowder on a cool weather day? It’s the best!
Curl up with a bowl of creamy comfort food goodness, with bacon topping to boot!
There’s nothing better than a warm bowl of soup when you’re craving comfort food. This keto creamy cauliflower chowder is one of my family’s favorite meals — in fact, they’d be happy eating it three times a week! It’s also pretty darned easy to make and reheats like a champ if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers.
Butter and bacon fat is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Fresh veggies start off with a bang as they sizzle in the luscious combination of my two favorite fats. The caramelizing of onion and leek fills the air with a rich, wonderful scent. I swear to you, as soon as I begin sautéing the veggies, at least one family member immediately appears, asking, “What’s that good thing I smell?” The next thing I know, they’ve sauntered over to help themselves to my already-claimed crumbled bacon!
Not a cauliflower lover? No problem!
What’s particularly fabulous about this soup is that even if you’re not a cauliflower fanatic, you’re going to love how reminiscent they are of potatoes in this particular recipe. And because you get the marvelous mockery of a potato with a low carbohydrate count, this – combined with the rest of the ingredients – makes for a recipe that doesn’t even feel like it’s a knockoff. In fact, I serve this to anyone (keto or not), and they love it.
Hip tips for making Creamy Cauliflower Chowder:
- If you have a non-meat-eater on your hands, you’re in luck, because you can easily convert this to a vegetarian dish by substituting butter for bacon fat, using veggie broth, and skipping the bacon topping. Easy-peasy!
- If you don’t have access to xanthan gum, no worries! It’s added as a thickening agent at the end, however, this recipe tastes fantastic without it. It just resembles a creamy soup rather than a thick chowder. Additionally, if using xanthan gum, note that it thickens a bit as it cools which is why it’s best to let it sit for a few minutes off the heat before serving.
- For whisking, I bought these fabulous silicone whisks from Amazon that don’t scratch my non-stick pans! I love them!
Creamy Cauliflower Chowder
yield: 6 SERVINGS
prep time: 15 MINUTES
cook time: 25 MINUTES
total time: 40 MINUTES
Keto comfort food at its best! You're going to love how reminiscent this is of traditional potato chowder.
- 6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat (reserved from cooking process)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large head cauliflower, broken into small florets (no larger than 1 inch)
- 1/2 cup yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup leeks, white & light green parts, finely chopped and divided (can substitute green onions)
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme, finely minced
- 1/8 teaspoon cracked pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups (1 quart) chicken broth
- 1/2 cup (4 oz.) block cream cheese, softened at room temp
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional for thickening)
Prep your veggies so they're all set to go when the cooking begins. Be sure that your cauliflower pieces are about 1 inch or smaller.
Add bacon fat and butter to a medium/large pot over medium heat. As the butter begins to bubble, add bell pepper, 1/2 cup leeks (save the rest for topping), onion, celery, garlic, and thyme. DO NOT add the cauliflower until step 3. Increase to medium/high heat and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions are beginning to brown and caramelize.
Add in the cauliflower pieces, chicken broth, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low allowing to simmer for 10 minutes. The cauliflower should become nice and soft.
Remove lid and add softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (save the rest for topping), and heavy whipping cream. Stirring or whisking frequently, cook for another 3-5 minutes, allowing cheeses to melt and fully incorporate into the broth.
Your mixture will now look like a creamy soup. If you prefer a thick chowder texture (as I do), add 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum by lightly sprinkling the powder over the broth. Using a whisk, mix the powder into the broth stirring constantly for another couple of minutes as the xanthan gum works its magic.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Top each individual bowl with remaining cheese, leeks, and crumbled bacon. Enjoy!
Yield: 6 servings, Serving Size: Approx. 1 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: 361 Calories | 28.6g Fat | 13.1g Total Carbs | 4.2g Fiber | 5.9g Sugar | 0.2g Sugar Alcohol | 15.2g Protein | 8.6g Net Carbs
Check out these 5-star reviews to see why other team members love this chowder, too!
“I am a big fan of potato soup, so I didn’t have high expectations that this would taste “potatoey”, but it totally did and it was delicious! I didn’t have any xanthan gum on hand, but next time I will for sure try that for thickening it a bit. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers today!” -Michelle
“This Cauliflower chowder is YUM! It’s easy to make and the flavor is on point! I actually blended the chowder up with my immersion blender to blend the pieces of cauliflower for my kids as I personally felt they would be more likely to eat it if it was less chunky, and it was really good that way too as it made it thicker. My husband, on the other hand liked it better with the chunks of cauliflower… and EXTRA bacon! This chowder has been added to my regular recipe rotation.” -Erica
Sounds wonderful at this snowy time of the year. I’m heading to the store tomorrow and will make sure to grab cauliflower!
Awesome, Susan! Enjoy!!
I added three cups of shredded chicken and a bit more black pepper. It is delish. Great comfort food on cold wintry nights!
Add clams for am awesome clam chowder.
Yummy soup! I didn’t have cream cheese so I blended 1/2 of the soup to thicken and I loved it.
Yay! Great idea, Karen! SO glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting us know how it turned out!
If using cauliflower rice, how much would you use in this? Thanks.
Hi Monka. My best guess would be 4-5 cups riced cauliflower. 😄
Have you attempted to freeze it? If so, how does it thaw and reheat?
Hi Meaghan! We haven’t tried freezing and reheating, but typically creamy soups lose their original texture and smoothness after being reheated from frozen. However, please let us know if you try this out yourself and how it turns out!
I have and its not as good as when you originally make it
Love, love, love this recipe! I have put it in the freezer in Mason jars and it thaws fine. I thawed in the fridge and warmed in the microwave. Did not lose its texture and was still delicious as ever.
Yay! I’m so glad that it thawed and warmed up so well for you! 😋 Thanks a ton for letting us know how yummy it still was! 🙌
Made it tonight and my carb loving family is loving it. Thank you! Fianlly, a meal we can all enjoy.
Woohoo! SO glad to hear it was a hit! You’re very welcome!
Such wonderful help for a new keto person… Thank you!
You’re welcome, Janet! 🥰 Glad to hear the posts have been helpful!
Can you make this in the crockpot
Yes! That would work too!
We are dairy free so I substituted cream and cream cheese with coconut cream and added a little apple cider vinegar. I also added some chicken sausage for additional protein.
Thanks for telling us how you made your substitutions, Lucia!
I made this this week and it was a hit. I used what we had available which was red onions, poblano peppers, no xanthan gum and butter.So good. I will make this again for sure.
Yay! SO glad to hear how well it turned out, Yvette! Thanks for letting us know you enjoyed it!
I have made this easily over 10x always a hit.. weather I’m on keto or not.. love it
Awww, so glad you love it!
I made this wonderful chowder two nights ago , the family and I loved it. As the weather gets cooler I will be making it often .
Awesome! SO happy to hear everyone liked it! Thanks for the feedback, Cindy!
Great recipe! I blended 1/2 of the recipe too and it was creamy and thick. Definitely going to try this with clams. It was a hit with the family
YUM! SO glad your family liked it! Thanks for taking the time to comment!
My husband doesn’t like chicken. What can I use for substitute for chick broth?
Hi Lyn! You could use vegetable broth instead. Hope that helps!
i did this last night, it was great! Loved it! Love it!
Woohoo! Thanks for letting us know how much you enjoyed it! 😊
Can you substitute frozen cauliflower? If so, how many ounces would you suggest and would the cooking time change?
I would say yes to frozen definitely! One head of cauliflower is about two pounds of riced cauliflower- so go with around that much of frozen.
Why not use corn starch for thickening?
If you are eating a keto diet, corn starch is avoided. You want to limit starches as they contain more carbohydrates than fiber.
Thanks for asking the corn starch ? and the answer as I had the same ?
This is really good! Is it supposed to be lumpy? I thought it would be smoother and it may be that I didn’t cook the cauliflower long enough. My family really liked it lumps and all but my youngest said it was too lumpy and proceeded to eat two bowls 🙂
Hi Judy! So glad the whole family liked this chowder. It all depends on how long you cook the cauliflower. There will still be some small pieces of veggies. If you want a smoother consistency you could always allow it to cool and then blend it. Hope this helps.
Made this with a easy frozen seafood mix and also roasted the cauliflower and added roasted broccoli. Um YUM! So good. Had to add a lot more xanthum gum to get it thickened enough but I also scaled the recipe to 1.5. I could have added more cheese but felt the seafood didn’t need it. Thank you for such a flexible recipe!
Hi Jessica! What a great idea. It must have been like a seafood chowder yum. Thank you for the tips!
My hubby and I are 3 weeks into our Keto diet and this is exactly what we needed! SO GOOD! It doesn’t even taste like cauliflower, it takes like potato cheese soup!!!! Thanks for the recipe!
What an exciting journey together! We sure are glad you loved the “potato” taste in this cauliflower soup, Michelle!
Made this tonight and it was wonderful! I didn’t have leeks so used all green onion and it was perfect! I did add some extra cheese and extra salt to bring out the cheese flavor! Next time I will add diced ham in lieu of the bacon to save an extra step!
Thank you for this!
You are so welcome, Kiri! I love the idea of adding ham, too!
Could this be made in an Instant Pot? Ideas on cook time?
Hi there! We haven’t made this soup in an Instant Pot. Let us know how it turns out for you if you decide to give it a try!
The sodium content isn’t listed. What is the sodium amount for a serving? I know I can eliminate the salt and bacon but am wondering what the content is if made according to the recipe.
Hi Sandee! The sodium content for this recipe is 604 mg. If you wanted to tweak the recipe, you can find your nutritional values from the MyFitnessPal app when you enter your ingredients – https://hip2keto.com/tips/smartphone-apps-starting-keto/
I made this soup tonight it was a big hit!!!! Im on the keto diet so it worked good for me! Next time I think I will try broccoli instead of cauliflower,, I say “YES’ to this delish soup!!!!!!! don’t be afraid to try it!!!!!
Hi Karen! What a great idea! You will have to let us know how the broccoli worked out. So glad you loved it. Thank you for sharing your feedback with us.
This is the most delicious soup, my whole family loves it !!
Hi Cindy! This is so wonderful to hear. Thanks for letting us know❤
I’ve been excited to try this recipe as a great keto option but I’m wondering if it really has 348g of fat in 1/4 cup. Am I reading something wrong? Thanks for the help!
Whoops! Sorry for the confusion, Sandy! Thanks so much for asking. That is 34g of fat. This has been updated!
Is the serving size a 1/4 cup or 1 and 1/4 cup?
Hi there! The serving size is 1 and 1/4 cup. Hope this helps!
My mom makes an amazing potato leek soup that has mushrooms and Italian sausage in it… I have been trying to figure out a way to get that taste, without the potato’s – This was the perfect recipe to spur me on… I followed the recipe except I fried up 2nd batch of bacon and then sautéed my sliced baby bella mushrooms in that bacon fat; adding that to the pot once the other veggies were ready. I also subbed smoked gruyere cheese to bring out the earthiness of the mushrooms. I was going to add Italian sausage but it was so good just the way it was I didn’t bother!
How cool! Glad this could help you achieve a similar version of your mom’s soup! Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us!
Just made this tonight.. Absolutely OUTSTANDING !!! Thanks for the tip about using xanthum to thicken it up. I probably used 1.5 teaspoons to really firm it up. Going thru the comments, I’ll be adding a seafood medley to it !!! I’ve never worked with leeks before and I love the taste.. AWESOME !!
Hi Gee Cee! This is so wonderful! Thank you for the awesome feedback. So happy you enjoyed it❤
What about sodium, how much is in the soup?
Hi Jill! The sodium content for this recipe is 604 mg. Hope this helps❤
This chowder sounds delicious, I was looking for something keto. I’m going to make this tonight and add meatballs. what do you think?
YUM! Let us know how it turns out!
I just made this for my family. It is outstanding! I’m glad I had the xanthan gum on hand, because it made the soup deliciously creamy.
Hi Michelle! Thank you for sharing your feedback. I’m so glad your family enjoyed it❤
Could you sub cornstarch for the xanthan gum?
No, as cornstarch is not Keto. You could try leaving it out OR the best substitutes, to keep things low carb, are psyllium fiber, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, or gelatin. Hope that helps!
Really Good!! I added some carrot too then I pureed all the veggies.. added the cauliflower…i used Frank’s hot sauce instead of cayenne and a bit of Worcester…
Sounds yummy, Denise! Thanks for letting us know how yours turned out!
Can you use guar gum instead of xanthum gum??
Hi Angie! We haven’t used that before, but I did find some information on that over here. Hoping that might be helpful!
Could I do step one then throw it all in a crockpot to have it ready when I get home?
Hi Kirsten! Yes you absolutely could I would cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.
We love soup and that one looks delicious!
Hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a try!
Best Cauliflower creamed soup recipe ever! It got even better after a few hours. Thanks for sharing it with us.
I agree! This is a go-to recipe in our house. If you ever want to change it up, you can add Italian sausage to it. We do that a lot!
I just made this soup and it tastes just like potato leek soup. The flavors and consistency are spot on! I did use my immersion blender before I added the cheeses and I didn’t even have to use the xanthum gum because it thickened the soup enough. Keep up the great work – I make and enjoy many of your recipes.
Aww, Thanks, Linda! Happy you’ve been loving the recipes and that this one turned out so yummy! Thanks so much for your kind review! 🥰
I made this for dinner and everyone loved it! I added shredded cooked chicken for some protein and it was an amazing soup/chowder! Thanks!
You are so welcome! What a great addition to the chowder.
I do not like leeks. What can I use instead? Thank you.
I make this all the time and just leave the leeks out. If you want, you can use green onions.
Made this tonight for dinner it was awesome. Since it’s just my husband and I I’m going to blend it and this way I can freeze it easier. I’m thinking the veggies would reheat easier. It’s really so good. 5 * ++ for sure
Thank you so much for letting us know what you thought of this!
💯 Rarely have I ever thought a recipe was a perfect 10 the first time I made it but this is definitely a 10! I never realized how carb-heavy leeks are, though, so from now on I’ll just leave them out. I’ll be making this (sans leeks) often! Yum! 😋👍🏼
I always leave the leeks out and it’s one of my favorite recipes! I’m so glad you enjoyed it the first try! Thanks, Nanette!