Skip to Content

Creamy Seafood Chowder

Creamy Seafood Chowder. A feast of delicious fish and seafood in a beautifully seasoned creamy broth. Makes for an elegant lunch served with fresh baguette or as in small portions as an outstanding starter course at a dinner party.

Creamy Seafood Chowder photo of a single serving in a white bowl

Creamy Seafood Chowder

Originally published April, 2017.

Many regular readers may find it a bit surprising that a creamy based Seafood Chowder recipe has not appeared previously on Rock Recipes.

To be honest, it is because I sometimes associate this recipe with bad versions of seafood chowder that more resemble wallpaper paste than anything else.

Bacon slice being cooked in frying pan. Close up.

For me, crisp cooked chopped bacon is essential for this recipe. Makes a nice garnish too.

Spouse, though she is the Soup Queen, does not like cream soups at all. So. there’s rarely an opportunity to make them around here.

I’m the opposite. When done well, cream soups and chowders can be my favourite.

This is quite a standard way to make a fish chowder but I thought I’d write the recipe anyway to give a few tips on getting it right.

My first thought is don’t make your soup too thick. This recipe starts with a roux, which is a cooked flour & butter base that will serve as the thickening agent for the soup.

I have kept the amount of flour to a minimum because I like a thinner version. But, if thick chowder is what you like, that step is where you make that happen with the addition of additional flour.

Creamy Seafood Chowder close up photo in white bowl

Chock full of seafood .

The best tip for Creamy Seafood Chowder

The real key to any successful creamy seafood chowder is not to overcook the fish. This is another reason why I don’t often order it in restaurants.

There is no telling how long it has been sitting in a warming tray, which can slowly dry out the fish.

Use fresh fish and seafood whenever possible. Although, I must confess that apart from the mussels, the seafood on this occasion were not all fresh.

Some came from leftover odds and ends and trimmings from larger fillets that were in my freezer. If you have those hanging about, this is a terrific way to use them up.

Mixed Seafood for Chowder

Mixed Seafood for Chowder

If you are not a fan of creamy seafood chowder…and even if you are…there is also a recipe here for a beautiful broth-type chowder. It has the addition of a little spicy chorizo sausage that I absolute love.

Looking for more culinary inspiration?

For more tried and true recipes, check out this collection of our 25 Most Popular Recipes since Rock Recipes began back in 2007.

Rock Recipes most popular posts of the last decade image with title text for Pinterest

Like this Creamy Seafood Chowder recipe?

You’ll find many more traditional and Newfoundland inspired recipes in our Newfoundland section and even more great dishes in our Fish & Seafood Category.

It’s easy to keep up with the latest home style cooking & baking ideas from Rock Recipes. Be sure to follow Rock Recipes Facebook Page and follow us on Instagram

Plus you’ll see daily recipe suggestions from decadent desserts to quick delicious weekday meals too. 

Creamy Seafood Chowder photo with title text for Pinterest

You can also sign up for our FREE newsletter to know immediately when we add new recipes. You’ll also get weekly suggestions for great family friendly  meals and desserts too!


Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.
Creamy Seafood Chowder photo of a single serving in a white bowl
Yield: 8 or more servings

Creamy Seafood Chowder

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Creamy Seafood Chowder. A feast of delicious fish and seafood in a beautifully seasoned creamy broth. Makes for an elegant ;much served with fresh baguette or as in small portions as an outstanding starter course at a dinner party.

Ingredients

  • 4 strips thick cut smoked bacon, chopped small
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups low salt seafood stock, (some people prefer a light chicken stock)
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried summer savoury, (thyme can be substituted)
  • zest of half a large lemon, , chopped
  • 3 lbs assorted diced fish and seafood., I've used cod, shrimp, salmon and mussels.
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Instructions

  1. Crisp cook the chopped bacon in the bottom of a large dutch oven.
  2. Remove the bacon and half the bacon fat.
  3. Over medium heat, add the butter along with the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions soften but do not brown.
  4. Add the flour and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not let the flour brown.  If it starts to brown, add the seafood stock immediately to stop the cooking action, stirring constantly.
  5. While stirring constantly, add the seafood stock.
  6. Next add the milk, salt, pepper, bay leaves, savoury and lemon zest. Taste the broth to see if it needs additional salt.
  7. Simmer the broth for 20 minutes before adding the seafood and simmering slowly for an additional 10 minutes. You really want a very gentle simmer. You are practically poaching the fish in this case. The result will be a much better presentation if the chunks of seafood remain whole.
  8. Finally add the whipping cream to finish the chowder and just bring it back to the boil before serving immediately. I like to hold back little of the crisp bacon to garnish the top.
  9. My presentation method is to use a slotted soon to remove the seafood chunks to the centres of shallow bowls, then add the broth around the rest of the bowl.

Notes

If you are using mussels in the recipe, you can keep them in the shell, especially if they are small but if you want to add them without the shell, simply steam them for only about 3 minutes until they open up. They can finish cooking in the broth when you addd them with the other seafood. This is my preferred method because I don't want to leave mussels that don't open in my chowder. You should always discard a mussel that does not open when cooked.

Some people prefer to add potatoes to seafood chowder. I sometimes do if serving it as a complete meal but mostly don't if I'm serving it as an appetizer. If using potatoes, choose yellow waxy potatoes and not starchier potatoes like russets or blue potatoes. Those will likely add additional thickening to the soup. I parboil the potatoes for 10 minutes, let them cool for a few minutes before dicing them into bite sized pieces. I add the potatoes during the last 10 minutes of the simmering of the broth.

If using fresh herbs in the broth instead of dried you can double the amount. (Except for bay leaves)

Recommended Products

Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

8 or more servings

Amount Per Serving Calories 454Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 166mgSodium 453mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 0gSugar 7gProtein 45g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

Did you like this recipe?

Do you love our "Real food recipes for real people'? Share the recipe on Facebook to let your friends know about us. They'll thank you for it.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Manhattan Seafood Chowder with Chorizo & Roasted Vegetables – Douridas Kitchen

Saturday 28th of August 2021

[…] indeed you are partial to a cream style seafood chowder instead, there is is now an indulgent recipe for Creamy Seafood Chowder posted as […]

Del Davies

Sunday 16th of May 2021

Have to Thank you again and again for yr blog. Your attitude to all things culinary is inspiring, to say the least Today's chowder is my next Barry project. I am 85 and my passion fr cooking is still growing! Greetings Frm beautiful Cape Town.

Enika

Monday 21st of September 2020

This was yummy, but I should have thickened it more. I went by the recipe and it turned out too thin. So next time? It will definitely be thicker..Thanks

Florence coutts

Wednesday 12th of August 2020

i rarely leave reviews. this recipe is delicious and simple.Having a bad health day and I could still whip it up easily. the rips about poaching all the fish and seafood together was excellent. Thanks. - Florence

Annette

Friday 24th of January 2020

Can this recipe be frozen

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!