With four varieties of seafood, fennel, plenty of dill and a rich base, this creamy seafood chowder will surely be a favourite! For one seriously delicious meal, serve with a big hunk of bread for dunking!
Today I’m sharing one of hubby and my absolutely favourite meals – creamy seafood chowder.
This is not something we enjoy on the regular, but rather for special occasions, especially during the holidays.
For what seems like forever ago, hubby and I make homemade seafood chowder on Tibb’s eve (December 23rd).
It’s pretty much our official kick off to the holidays and we always love the process of spending time together in the kitchen whilst listening to Christmas music and have a glass of vino. And, of course, we get to enjoy the fruits of our labour by having a bowl of delicious chowder afterwards.
This seafood chowder recipe is absolutely chock full of seafood and a little bowl goes a long way.
It has a rich, creamy base and plenty of dill (to add freshness). Plus, seafood and dill are kinda awesome together.
Ingredients for Creamy Seafood Chowder
- Lots and lots of seafood, including cod, salmon, shrimp and scallops
- Olive oil
- Veggies, like celery, carrot, potatoes and fennel
- Aromatics, like leek, garlic and dill
- Salt and plenty of pepper
- Seafood broth and heavy cream
Can I Use Fresh or Frozen Seafood?
Whatever you prefer!
I actually used all frozen here and simply thawed before using.
A Few Notes On Seafood
This pretty much goes without saying, but use fresh seafood, whether that’s fresh (not frozen) or freshly thawed frozen seafood. Don’t use something that’s been sitting around in your fridge for a few days.
Opt for salmon fillets, not salmon steaks. If the salmon has skin on, you can ask your fishmonger to remove or you can easily remove yourself by carefully running a knife underneath and removing.
Tip: Even if you do purchase boneless salmon fillets, there sometimes are bones in there that may have been missed. These bones are skinny, white and kinda hard. Slowly run your fingers across the top of the salmon (and along the sides) and feel for bones. If there are any there, they can be easily removed with some tweezers or plucking out with your fingers.
Ensure the shrimp are peeled/tails removed and deveined if not already done so. The Kitchn has a great guide for how to peel and devein shrimp
Ensure that the side muscle of each scallop is removed before using.
Tip: If you run your finger along the side of the scallop, you can feel the side muscle. Pull it back and tear off/discard before using scallops. Those are tough and not pleasant to eat.
Can I Use Different Seafood?
This is kinda like a ‘gourmet’ seafood chowder, if you will, because of all the seafood in here.
If you want to use just a couple of varieties, go for it!
And, if you want to sub out something, that’s ok too.
Another white fish, like haddock, halibut or tilapia would work instead of cod.
How to Thicken Chowder
This seafood chowder is creamy, but if you want things thick you could add a flour roux or cornstarch slurry.
To make a flour roux, melt about 3 tablespoons of butter in a pan on the stove-top and whisk in an equal amount of flour, stirring for a couple of minutes. Then, stir into the chowder.
To make a cornstarch slurry, mix about 1.5 tablespoons of cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water and stir into the chowder. Cook for a couple of minutes.
The amount you use will vary, depending on how thick you want things.
Can I Freeze?
I wouldn’t recommend freezing chowder. Make and enjoy (that shouldn’t be a problem though…it’s really good 😉 )
How to Reheat
I would recommend reheating just what you are going to enjoy at the moment.
Pour into a pot and heat on medium until heated through.
Be careful not to boil or you may split the base. Gently heat.
How Long Does It Last
Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge and enjoy within 3 days.
Tips & Variations for Making the Best Seafood Chowder
Be careful not to boil the fish chowder when cooking. You don’t want to run the risk of splitting your base.
Don’t toss the fennel fronds! They make for a lovely garnish on top.
Leek was used as the onion component. If you don’t have on hand or don’t want to use, yellow or white onion (or even some shallots) will totally do!
I enjoy a lot of dill and black pepper in this chowder. It just cuts through the richness of the creamy base. If you want to use less, though, go for it. Use what makes your belly happy!
More Easy Seafood Recipes You May Enjoy
- Easy Fish Stew – Cod and shrimp in a slightly spicy tomato based broth make for one belly warming meal.
- Fish Curry with Coconut Milk – A lush curry and coconut based sauce with plenty of veggies and cod…so good with naan.
- Crispy Fish Burger – This panko coated fish burger is topped with a homemade tartar sauce and simple slaw. Delish on its own or with fries.
- Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin – A Newfoundland classic! Cod is topped with a creamy white sauce, bread crumbs and cheese and baked until golden brown and bubbly. Total comfort food right there!
You probably already know I’m gonna say this, but enjoying this chowder with a big hunk of bread is probably the best thing ever!
Hope you love this one as much as we do! Our family thinks it’s the best seafood chowder recipe, but they may be a little biased 😉
Until next time, take care and chit chat again soon,
Make this fish chowder recipe? That’s awesome! Love it if you left a comment below. Many thanks!
Creamy Seafood Chowder (with dill and bacon)
- 1/2 pound bacon -cut into lardons or diced (about 6 slices)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small leek , sliced, rinsed and drained ((white and light green part only) or diced yellow or white onion, about 2-3 cups)
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 celery , thinly sliced, about 1/4 inch thick (about 1.25 cups)
- 2 carrots , peeled and thinly sliced, about 1/4 inch thick (about 1.25 cup)
- 1 fennel bulb , core removed and thinly sliced (about 1.5 cups)
- 1 pound baby potatoes , cut into bite-sized pieces (depending on size, cut each potato in half or thirds).
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1.5 to 2 teaspoons black pepper , divided
- 3.5 cups seafood broth
- 1/4 cup fresh dill , chopped (4 tablespoons)
- 2 cups heavy cream (also known as 'whipping cream' (35% milk fat))
- 1 pound cod fillets , cut into bite-sized pieces (skinless/boneless)
- 1/2 pound salmon fillets , cut into bite-sized pieces (skinless/boneless)
- 1/2 pound shrimp , shells removed/cleaned (I used 36-45 count)
- 1/2 pound scallops , side muscle removed and horizontally sliced (I used 20-40 count)
- In a large pot on medium heat, cook bacon until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain grease. Remove bacon and drain on paper towel. Wipe out pan of excess grease.
- Add olive oil to pot and cook leek and garlic, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add celery, carrot, fennel, potatoes, cooked bacon, 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and seafood broth. Stir to combine. Bring to simmer and reduce heat to a medium simmer. Cover (with lid just slightly ajar) and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until veggies are tender.
- Pour in cream and 2 tablespoons dill. Stir. Add cod and salmon. Bring to a LOW SIMMER (don't boil). Cook 5 minutes.
- Add shrimp and scallops and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until everything is cooked through.
- Stir in 2 more tablespoons dill and another 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of black pepper (or to taste). Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if desired.
- Portion, garnish and enjoy!
- Use fresh seafood, whether that’s fresh (not frozen) or freshly thawed frozen seafood.
- Ensure that the side muscle of each scallop is removed before using (as discussed above), the shrimp are peeled and deveined and the cod and salmon are free from skin and bones.
- Be careful not to boil the fish chowder when cooking. You don’t want to run the risk of splitting your base.
- Don’t toss the fennel fronds! They make for a lovely garnish on top.
- Leek was used as the onion component. If you don’t have on hand or don’t want to use, yellow or white onion (or even some shallots) will totally do!
- I enjoy a lot of dill and black pepper in this chowder. It just cuts through the richness of the creamy base. If you want to use less, though, go for it. Use what makes your belly happy!
- More recipe tips in body of post above.