Seafood chowder is a delicious mainstay of every coastal place in North America. Rich in veggies and seafood, it is absolutely worth making this at home, even if you can’t get some fresh seafood where you live.
The reason that this chowder is a creamy tomato-colored broth is that you make your own Seafood Stock for this recipe! Real seafood stock is rarely clear unless it’s in a mass-produced carton. So when you’re in a restaurant and you get this rich-colored soup, you know it’s the real made-from-scratch deal!
Table of Contents
A seafood chowder might seem like it is made of a lot of ingredients, but it is really incredibly simple to make at home and just requires the addition of a few different kinds of seafood to create flavor and textural contrast.
Slightly chewy, meaty shrimp, big pieces of white fish, and oodles of clams, crab, and scallops make this chowder feel not only filling but rich and delicious as well.
I also have a great Manhattan Clam Chowder recipe and a New England Clam Chowder recipe if you want to try those!
Seafood Chowder Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts, as there are a few fiddly ingredients here.
• Russet potatoes
• White onion
• Diced carrots
• Diced celery
• Seafood stock
• Large shrimp, deveined and tails removed
• Haddock or other white fish
• Can of chopped clams
• Can of crabmeat
Cream & Toppings
• Heavy cream
• Salt & pepper
• Chopped fresh dill
• Chopped fresh chives
• Oyster crackers
How To Make Seafood Chowder
• Melt the butter in the bottom of a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat
• Add in the potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and corn
• Fry the veggies in the butter until the onions are tender
• Sprinkle in the flour and cook until it has dissolved and browned slightly in the butter
• Pour the seafood stock into the pan, deglazing by scraping the browned bits off of the bottom
• Bring to a boil and reduce the heat, simmering until the veggies are tender about 15 minutes
• Add in the seafood and heavy cream and cook on a low simmer for 10 minutes
• Adjust seasonings, remove from the heat and garnish with dill, parsley, and oyster crackers
How To Prepare Your Seafood
A big problem for many people when making anything with seafood is trying to prepare all of it. Unlike most meat, seafood tends to require a bit of prep to first prepare it for cooking.
To Prepare the Shrimp:
It is easy enough to get some already deveined shrimp from the supermarket. If you do get fresh, unprepared shrimp, however, it is easy enough to do it yourself.
Simply run a knife underneath the thin black line underneath the shrimp and lift it off of the flesh to devein them. From there, you just need to cut off the shrimp’s tail and any extra shell remaining.
To Prepare the Fish:
The fish itself is very easy to prepare, as it only needs scaling and removing the guts, but you’d be hard-pressed to get fish that hasn’t already been prepared for you. Do make sure it’s boneless!
To Prepare the Scallops:
Scallops are a little bit trickier, as it is pretty rare that you can get fresh scallops that aren’t prepared already. Simply rinse them once out of the package.
However, as long as you are confident with a knife, it isn’t too bad – you just need to remove any extra roe inside the shell and then sever the thin muscle that connects the scallop to its shell.
Can You Use Canned Or Fresh Versions Of All Of The Seafood In This Recipe?
This recipe calls for some fresh seafood, but also a few cans of clams and crabmeat. The reason for this mix of both fresh and canned ingredients is because fresh clams and crabmeat are typically very seasonal.
If you are lucky enough to get a hold of some fresh clams and crabs, then you can absolutely use them instead. However, the cans do have a few benefits; the cans come with some heavily flavored clam and crab juice.
If you used fresh meat, you might find that your chowder liquid is just a little bit less flavorful, so it might be worth it to add in some extra shrimp or seafood stock to help balance that lack of umami.
Looking for more delicious Seafood recipes? Try these out:
• Butter Poached Lemon Garlic Tilapia Recipe
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- Prep Time
- 30 minutes
- Cook Time
- 35 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup small diced Russet potatoes
- 1 cup diced white onion
- 1 cup small diced carrots
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1/4 cup flour
- 5 cups seafood stock
- 1 pound large shrimp deveined tails removed
- 1 cup haddock or other white fish sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup scallops
- one 6.5 ounce can chopped clams drained
- one 6 ounce can crabmeat drained and flaked
Cream and Toppings
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- oyster crackers
- Melt the butter in the bottom of a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium high heat. Add in the potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and corn. Fry the vegetables in the butter until the onions are tender.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and mix in until dissolved into the butter.
- Slowly pour some of the seafood stock into the bottom of the pan, deglazing the browned bits off the bottom of the pan by scraping them off with a wooden spoon and mixing into the stock. Once cleaned, pour the remaining stock into the pan.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Add in the seafood and the heavy cream. Bring the chowder back to a low simmer and cook the seafood for 7-10 minutes. Adjust seasonings to your liking. Remove from the heat.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh dill and parsley and oyster crackers.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!
Love this photo step by step layout
Can’t wait to follow this recipe
Nancy Evenson says
Hi! Where can I find Oyster crackers? Recipe sounds yummy
Larry P Fetchko says
Can you provide a recipe for seafood stock?
Karlynn Johnston says
Yes, the link is in the recipe card if you click it and in the first sentence at the top of the page!