EVERYTHING CHOWDER (Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Peanut & Tree Nut-Free; Top-8-Free)

EVERYTHING CHOWDER (Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Peanut & Tree Nut-Free; Top-8-Free)

by Megan, Owner of

It has been in the single digits here in Utah and saying I hate the cold is a complete understatement.

The one way I try to stay warm is with lots of hot cocoa, staying inside whenever absolutely possible and hearty soups.

This soup is great when you have leftover ham. If you don’t, I like to go to the deli in my grocer and have them cut me a thick slice that I can then cube. Just a quick tip about that—my grocer has separate slicers for meats and cheeses, so I don’t have to worry about dairy cross-contact. Be sure to ask if yours does the same. I also always make sure that the worker changes their gloves, in case they were just handling cheese.

I call this soup “Everything Chowder” because it truly is E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. It has so many delicious ingredients.

It’s a fully textured, and fully flavored soup thanks to the onions being softened in bacon grease. Yes, I said it. Bacon grease. It’s indulgent, rich and oh-so-filling. So, save this for days when you feel like cheating on your New Year’s diet. BUT—if you’re by chance doing a Whole30 diet, this will work for that.

With ham and bacon, as well as potatoes, cauliflower and some corn for a touch of sweetness this will help anyone stay warm and satisfied all winter long.

Stay warm my friends—and most importantly stay full and happy this winter with this favorite soup of mine.

EVERYTHING CHOWDER (gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut & tree nut free; top-8-free)

  • One 1" thick slice of ham, diced
  • 1 package of bacon, cooked and drained, bacon grease reserved
  • ¼ cup bacon grease
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • ½ tsp parsley
  • 1 head of cauliflower, diced finely
  • 3½ cups plain rice milk, or more, as needed*
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Green onions for garnish


  • Cook bacon in the oven at 425 until crispy on a baking sheet (about ten minutes). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  • Take ¼ cup of the bacon grease and put it in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in corn and thyme, parsley and salt until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Gradually whisk in milk and stir in potatoes.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes.*
  • Stir in ham, and adjust salt and pepper, to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with more bacon and green onions, if desired.

*Notes: If you’d like to make this Whole30 approved, use coconut milk instead of rice so it’s grain-free.

About the Author:
Megan is the owner of Once her child was diagnosed with 30+ food allergies and eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), she had to decide to only eat rice the rest of her life, or find a way to still make it awesome. She hopes her site can be a safe haven for those with food restrictions. Her motto is: Give up ingredients, but don’t give up awesomeness.