Seafood chowder comes in many varieties, but nearly all of them include shrimp and potatoes. This creamy seafood chowder recipe starts with an easy-to-make homemade seafood stock, to which potatoes, shrimp, crab, and lobster meat are added. Not including the 45 minutes needed to make the stock, this delicious soup comes together in just 20 minutes!
I love fresh seafood, especially shellfish like shrimp and crab. For the most part, I make appetizers like shrimp shooters and clams casino dip with shellfish but it also makes a delicious summer salad. Let’s not forget about clam chowder, either. Hands down, it is one of my favorite chowder recipes. Truth be told, I can’t think of a single way that I don’t enjoy eating seafood.
For those reasons alone, I sometimes feel that I live in the worst possible region geographically. Wisconsin is a beautiful state with plenty of freshwater fish, but it isn’t the best place to find a bounty of fresh shellfish. So when I want to make a delicious chowder using shellfish, dinner leftovers from Red Lobster come in handy. With a to-go box full of lobster, crab, and shrimp shells, making homemade stock for this soup is a piece of cake!
Another to-go box with uneaten seafood and I’m ready to create a flavor-filled pot of chowder with homemade seafood stock! The stock takes about 45 minutes to make; after that, the seafood chowder takes just 20 minutes to make.
How to Make Homemade Seafood Stock
Homemade seafood stock is incredibly easy to make. If you are rushed for time, or making soup stock isn’t your thing, just purchase it already prepared. Look for it in the aisle where the chicken, beef, and vegetable stock is sold. When I have better lighting, I plan to create a video tutorial on how to make the stock. Until then, follow Ina Garten’s recipe. The process is very similar to how I make mine.
How to Make Creamy Seafood Chowder
If you make the seafood chowder recipe, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below!
Enjoy your chowder!
Creamy Seafood Chowder
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small carrots, diced small
- 1 large large onion, diced small (white or yellow)
- 1 stalk celery, diced medium
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 32 ounces seafood stock, (1 quart) - homemade stock recipe below)
- 1 large russet potato, diced medium
- 3/4 teaspoon salt , (more or less to your taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper , (optional)
- 1/2 cup half and half, or whole milk
- 8 ounces cooked mixed seafood of your choice, (I used medium shrimp, chopped lobster tail, and crab meat)
For Homemade Seafood Stock
- 2 tbsp avocado oil, or olive oil
- shells from 1 pound of fresh seafood, (I used lobster, shrimp, and crab shells)
- 2 large onions, chopped (peeled or unpeeled, your choice)
- 2 large carrots, unpeeled and chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine, or water or vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme, with the stems
To Make the Seafood Stock
- Warm oil in a stockpot over medium heat.
- Add the seafood shells, onions, carrots, and celery and saute for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.
- Add 1 1/2 quarts of water, wine, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Strain stock through a sieve, pressing the solids.You should have approximately 1 quart of stock. You can make up the difference with water or wine if you need to.
To Make the Chowder
- Add olive oil to a 3 quart or larger soup pot over medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, stir in carrot, onion, and celery, and saute until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute, stirring constantly so that garlic doesn't burn.
- Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir to combine. They will appear pasty. Turn heat up to medium high and slowly whisk in seafood stock, about 1/4 cup at a time, until all stock has been incorporated.
- Turn heat to high and bring to a light boil. Add potatoes and all seasonings and reduce heat slightly. Cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork tender.
- In the final 3 minutes of cooking time, stir in cooked seafood and half and half or milk. Taste and add additional seasonings as desired.
- Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy!