Home » All Recipes » Soups & Stews » Fully-Loaded Seafood Chowder

Fully-Loaded Seafood Chowder

4.70 from 10 votes

This is the best Seafood Chowder I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve eaten more than a few gallons of it over the years. This Seafood Chowder with bacon is thick, rich, and loaded with shrimp and fish. Plus, it’s not hard to make and doesn’t require all-day cooking. Are you ready for a crazy good thick and rich chowder? Let’s get cooking!

seafood chowder in a bowl with a second bowl in the background

This post may contain affiliate link(s). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See Disclosure.

If you can’t get to the East Coast to get your fill of good chowder, make it at home! You don’t need any fancy kitchen tools, and the ingredients are easily found in your supermarket. Plus, with cooked-all-day flavor and loads of seafood, you’ll be making this delicious and easy chowder recipe all the time!

What you’ll love about Creamy Seafood Chowder


  • It’s loaded with seafood.
  • The soup is thick, creamy, and layered with flavor.
  • It’s a hearty and delicious soup!

Ingredients to Make East Coast Seafood Chowder

  • Bacon – Chopped sliced bacon is essential to this recipe. It adds such depth of flavor.
  • Butter – Salted is fine.
  • Onion – Fresh yellow or white onions.
  • Celery – Adds a lovely flavor and texture.
  • Dried thyme – Just a pinch.
  • Seafood broth – Make your own or buy it. Store-bought seafood broth is surprisingly good!
  • Clam juice – You’ll find this in the canned seafood area of your supermarket.
  • Potatoes – Use a waxy white potato like red potatoes for this soup.
  • Shrimp – I used small salad (baby) shrimp but use what you have.
  • White fish – See my comments belown for the best fish.
  • Cream – Heavy whipping cream adds so much flavor and richness.
  • Milk – Whatever you have on hand is fine. I prefer whole milk.
  • All-purpose flour – Used to thicken the soup.
  • Salt and pepper

What Kind of Fish To Use in Seafood Chowder

I have used a variety of different fish in this seafood chowder. Some of my favorites include:

  • Cod
  • Pollock
  • Haddock
  • Salmon

Whatever you choose, make sure it is a firm whitefish. Tilapia, catfish, sole, and other thin fish will break up and disperse too much in this seafood soup recipe. You want nice big chunks of fish.

Serve your seafood chowder in cute bowls and enjoy!

How To Make Seafood Chowder

  1. Add the chopped bacon to a heavy-bottomed soup pot and cook it until it’s brown and crispy. Set the bacon aside and remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
  2. Add the butter to the pot and add the onions, celery, and thyme. Cook until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the flour to the pot and mix well to break up any lumps. Add the seafood broth to the pot in a slow stream, whisking as you go to remove lumps. When the seafood broth is all in, add the clam juice and and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes to the pot along with the fish and a pinch of salt. Simmer for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  5. Add the shrimp, milk, and cream to the pot and heat it through.
  6. Serve in bowls the the reserved bacon crumbled on top.

Chef Jenn’s tips

  • Once the fish is in the soup pot, don’t let it simmer too hard or you’ll just break up the fish. Keep it in lovely big, spoon-sized chunks.
  • Use your favorite peeled and deveined shrimp in this soup. If your shrimp are larger, cut them into chunks or split them in half, lengthwise from top to bottom. The shrimp will get all curly and cute in the soup if you cut them like this.
  • No seafood broth? Use chicken broth.
  • Check the seasoning of the finished soup before adding more salt. Some store-bought broths are fairly salty and you don’t want to over-salt your soup.

What To Serve With Chunky Seafood Chowder

This soup is so rich, thick, and loaded with seafood and veggies that you don’t need much else with it! If you want something else with it, choose a light salad, a sandwich, or a simple side dish of veggies. Of course, freshly-baked bread with butter is another good side to this amazing fish soup recipe.

How to Store Seafood Chowder

You can keep leftover seafood chowder in the fridge for 2-3 days. But, you can also freeze Seafood Chowder!

Can I freeze Seafood Chowder?

Yes, you can freeze this seafood chowder recipe.

My favorite way to freeze soups and stews is using Souper Cubes! These amazing freezer-safe cubes are perfect for freezing portions of all my favorite soups, stews, and other saucy meals. I freeze them then pop them out and put the rectangular frozen blocks into a zipper-top freezer bag. It makes storing them SOOOO much easier!

Where can you find these Soup Cubes? You can order them from Souper Cubes – how cool is this?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is seafood chowder healthy?

Not so much. This recipe is loaded with butter, cream, bacon, and milk. It’s thickened with flour so it’s got more carbs in it, too. This is a rich, creamy soup that’s perfect for indulging in something special.

Is seafood chowder with bacon easy to make?

Yes! This soup isn’t hard! If you buy seafood broth ready-made, then it’s a quick and easy soup to pull together. You’ll be eating in under an hour.

Can you make seafood chowder from scratch?

Yes! This recipe is a homemade seafood chowder recipe. If you want 100% scratch-made soup, make the seafood broth yourself. Or use homemade chicken broth instead.

Like This? Also Try:

Step By Step Process

Serve your seafood chowder in cute bowls and enjoy!
Print Pin
4.70 from 10 votes

Seafood Chowder

Thick, creamy, rich, and delicious, this Seafood Chowder is as good as anything you'd get in a restaurant on the coast! Loaded with shrimp and fish, it's versatile and amazing!
Course Soups & Stews
Cuisine American
Keyword chowder, creamy soup, easy soup, seafood chowder, seafood soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 336kcal

Ingredients

  • 5 slices bacon chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups seafood broth
  • 8 ounces clam juice
  • 3 cups diced potatoes
  • 8 ounces cod or other firm white fish
  • 8 ounces baby shrimp
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Add the chopped bacon to a heavy-bottomed soup pot and cook it until it's brown and crispy, about 8 minutes. Set the bacon aside and remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
  • Add the butter to the pot and add the onions, celery, and thyme. Cook until the onions are translucent, 6-8 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat to the pot. Add the flour to the pot and mix well to break up any lumps. Add the seafood broth to the pot in a slow stream, whisking as you go to remove lumps. When the seafood broth is all in, turn the heat back to medium-high, add the clam juice and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes to the pot along with the fish and a pinch of salt. Simmer for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Add the shrimp, milk, and cream to the pot and heat it through.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Serve in bowls with the reserved bacon crumbled on top.

Notes

Chef Jenn’s tips

  • Once the fish is in the soup pot, don’t let it simmer too hard or you’ll just break up the fish. Keep it in lovely big, spoon-sized chunks.
  • Use your favorite peeled and deveined shrimp in this soup. If your shrimp are larger, cut them into chunks or split them in half, lengthwise from top to bottom. The shrimp will get all curly and cute in the soup if you cut them like this.
  • No seafood broth? Use chicken broth.
  • Check the seasoning of the finished soup before adding more salt. Some store-bought broths are fairly salty and you don’t want to over-salt your soup.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 540mg | Potassium: 699mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 817IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 1mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

WANT MORE DELICIOUS AND EASY RECIPES?

By Chef Jenn