Creamy 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.
Creamy seafood chowder is a perfectly savory dish that comes together so quickly. Not including the 45 minutes needed to make the stock which can be made ahead of time, this delicious soup comes together in just 20 minutes!
Creamy Seafood Chowder 101
We love fresh seafood, especially shellfish like shrimp and crab. For the most part, we make appetizers like shrimp shooters and clams casino dip with shellfish but it also makes a delicious summer salad.
Seafood does come with unique considerations on the food safety front.
How long is seafood chowder good for? In the refrigerator in an airtight container, your chowder will be good for 3-4 days.
Can I freeze seafood chowder? Yes, you can! Portion your chowder and place in heavy-duty freezer bags. Until it initially freezes, be sure to keep your bags of chowder in a plastic container so they stay upright/don’t tip and test the strength of the Ziploc seal.
What makes a soup a chowder?
It’s not hard to tell the difference between a soup and a chowder.
Chowder is thick, rich and chunky. Most chowders are made with some part of a white sauce base. For this creamy seafood chowder it means little nuggets of delicious seafood, naturally. For vegetable chowders, there are corn chowder and potato chowder.
In fact, the name Chowder originates from the French word for a cauldron that fishermen made their seafood stew. Aka, Chowder!
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 already prepared. Seafood stock is generally found in the aisle where the chicken, beef and vegetable stock are sold.
Borrowing from our Seafood Stock recipe we have harnessed the easy, perfectly balanced flavor of a homemade stock to make this soup spectacular.
Spoiler alert, one of the key ingredients is seafood. If you’re making a trip to Red Lobster and have a take-away bag, you might be in the perfect position to brew some up.
What Goes With Seafood Chowder?
The powerful flavor of this creamy seafood chowder is one that takes a little consideration for complimentary sides.
But the no-brainer option for us is absolutely garlic bread, the perfect pair for a little spicy and the dreamy creaminess of this chowder.
If you want to go with a little extra veggies, honey roasted carrots are delightful!
And don’t forget if you’re feeling feisty, a nice white wine pairs well. 😉
Ready to Chowder it Up?
If you make the seafood chowder recipe, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below!
Other recipes you might enjoy:
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
- ¾ teaspoon salt (more or less to your taste)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- ½ 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
- ½ cup white wine or water or vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup tomato paste
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 ½ 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!