Creamy Seafood Chowder with Homemade Seafood Stock


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!

Creamy Seafood Chowder - This creamy seafood chowder recipe begins with an easy-to-make homemade seafood stock, to which potatoes, shrimp, crab, and lobster meat are added. | Recipe on


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.

Creamy Seafood Chowder - This creamy seafood chowder recipe begins with an easy-to-make homemade seafood stock, to which potatoes, shrimp, crab, and lobster meat are added. | Recipe on

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.

titled image (and shown): Creamy Seafood Chowder with Homemade Seafood Stock

How to Make Creamy Seafood Chowder

If you make the seafood chowder recipe, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below!

I’d also love for you to share photos of it with me! Post it to my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram!

Enjoy your chowder!

I recommend baking some easy cheesy herb biscuits and a healthy salad to serve with the soup.

5 from 1 vote
Creamy Seafood Chowder - This creamy seafood chowder recipe begins with an easy-to-make homemade seafood stock, to which potatoes, shrimp, crab, and lobster meat are added. | Recipe on
Creamy Seafood Chowder
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Flavorful and easy to make, this seafood chowder has a base of homemeade seafood stock. It is packed with potatoes, shrimp, crab meat, and chopped lobster meat

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make stock, mixed seafood recipes, seafood chowder, seafood soup recipes
Servings: 4
Calories: 266 kcal
  • 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
  1. Warm oil in a stockpot over medium heat.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. 

  4. 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  5. Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Seafood Chowder
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 266 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 1268mg 53%
Potassium 811mg 23%
Total Carbohydrates 28g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 3g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 87.1%
Vitamin C 12.8%
Calcium 14.9%
Iron 8.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

titled photo collage (and shown): Creamy 20-Minute Seafood Chowder




32 Replies to "Creamy Seafood Chowder with Homemade Seafood Stock"

  • sam steven September 11, 2018 (5:02 am)

    Amazing recipe! Thank you for sharing 😀

    • Becca September 12, 2018 (7:18 am)

      Thanks so much, Sam! The seafood chowder recipe is one of our favorites. We hope you enjoy it, too!

  • Joshua Reynolds September 3, 2018 (1:01 pm)

    The recipe is gone! Can you fix?

    • Becca September 3, 2018 (3:18 pm)

      I sincerely apologize for that, Joshua. I’m in the middle of changing to a new recipe template and obviously, it needs a few tweaks. 😉 The recipe has been added to the post. I hope you enjoy the seafood chowder!

  • Renee Goerger August 9, 2018 (2:06 pm)

    The color of your creamy seafood chowder is beautiful. You can tell how flavorful it is by looking at that delicious bowl of love!

  • Joanie August 9, 2018 (12:52 pm)

    The flavors in this chowder are absolutely incredible and I loved that you included a recipe for homemade seafood stock – so handy!

  • Haisan April 24, 2018 (1:29 am)

    Thank you for sharing. I look forward to your next recipe

  • Sarabeth February 19, 2018 (2:18 pm)

    This was awesome! I was doing a late Valentine’s dinner and decided to do this to go along with my main entree. I used vegetable stock and shrimp and scallops. So,so good! My boyfriend loved it.

    • Becca February 19, 2018 (2:28 pm)

      I am SO happy to hear that you both enjoyed the chowder, Sarabeth! Thank you for coming back to let me know. 🙂

  • Katie February 3, 2018 (3:43 pm)

    Would chicken stock work in this recipe?

    • Becca February 5, 2018 (8:02 am)

      Katie, you can use chicken stock in place of the seafood stock, but if you don’t want to use seafood stock, I would recommend using a vegetable stock rather than chicken. I think the seafood flavor might taste a little “off” with the addition of chicken.

  • Tim September 30, 2017 (4:09 pm)

    I want to use raw seafood…how should I incorporate that?

    • Becca September 30, 2017 (8:53 pm)

      Tim, if you want to use raw seafood in this chowder, the best way to do so is to prepare the chowder completely and then add the raw seafood during the last 6 to 8 minutes of cooking time. Most shellfish cooks very quickly and if you leave it to cook in the chowder for more than several minutes, it’s likely to over cook and become rubbery.

  • Allison August 24, 2017 (1:25 pm)

    If I wanted to do this in a crock pot how long do you think I would have to do it for?

    • Becca August 24, 2017 (1:43 pm)

      Allison, if you make the seafood stock ahead of time and all of your seafood is cooked, I would think the soup would need about 2-3 hours on low in a slow cooker. If you use cooked seafood, don’t add it until the last 15 minutes of cooking time or it may get too rubbery. If you’re using uncooked seafood, I would say it could be added during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.

  • Heather June 23, 2017 (7:51 am)

    Great flavors and easy to follow directions. This will definitely make the menu rotation at our house. Thanks!

    • Becca June 23, 2017 (8:17 am)

      Thank you, Heather! I hope you love the seafood chowder as much as my family does. 🙂

  • Carol May 23, 2017 (10:39 pm)

    I’m thinking of making this for A Memorial Day outside gathering. Two things…What is the double asterisk referring to in both places where cooked seafood is mentioned? I don’t see what it ties back to. The link to adjust the number of servings doesn’t seem to be working. I need to make triple the amount. I could just triple the ingredients, but sometimes doing that doesn’t work because of the different spices. Thanks! Looks like a fabulous recipe. ?

    • Becca May 24, 2017 (9:00 am)

      Hi Carol!
      I apologize for the confusion with my asterisks. Initially, I was going to add a note to the “notes” section saying that you can use fresh or thawed from frozen cooked seafood. Basically, anything goes as far as what type of seafood you use.
      As for the recipe conversion tool, when you click on the link, a new window should ppp up, asking you how many servings you want to make. If you have a popup blocker installed, they may be why you didn’t see it. I just tried the link on mobile and on a desktop computer and it worked fine for me. Please let me know if you’re still having issues.

  • Agness of Run Agness Run February 13, 2017 (3:17 pm)

    This is definitely yummy, Becca! Love this recipe and can’t wait to prepare it.

    • Becca February 27, 2017 (7:50 am)

      Thank you so much, Agness. I hope you enjoy the seafood chowder!

  • Elsie January 10, 2017 (12:56 am)

    such a wonderful recipe..Iove it!

    • Becca January 10, 2017 (6:35 am)

      Thank you so much, Elsie! I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the seafood chowder recipe.

  • Kendra January 8, 2017 (3:52 pm)

    I can’t get mine the same color. Otherwise it turned out great! Any pointers???

    • Becca January 9, 2017 (9:26 am)

      Hi Kendra!
      I’m glad you enjoyed the seafood chowder. The color of my stock may have been different than yours because I used a mixture of cooked seafood shells, including part of a lobster tail, which probably has a lot more color to it than shrimp shells do. I don’t typically use that… I just happened to make my stock with some leftover shells from a dinner out at a restaurant. If you want to add a bit more color to your stock, you might want to try adding a bit of Old Bay seasoning. It has paprika in it, which should give you a nice reddish hue.

  • BJ January 2, 2017 (9:37 am)

    Recipe calls for 16 oz (1 qt) of seafood stock. A quart is 32 oz — which should I use???

    • Becca January 2, 2017 (9:45 am)

      BJ, thank you so much for bringing my error to my attention. The recipe requires 32 ounces of stock. When I made it for my family, I halved the recipe (since it’s just the two of us), and obviously, I forgot to update my notes! The recipe has been updated to reflect the correct amount.

  • cakespy January 1, 2017 (9:54 am)

    I love seafood soups. This looks perfect to bolster you for cold weather – it looks cozy and warming. And with homemade seafood stock to boot! You rule.

    • Becca January 2, 2017 (9:46 am)

      You rock my world, Jessie! Thanks for the lovely comment. 🙂

  • Lane & Holly @ With Two Spoons December 28, 2016 (11:18 am)

    Pinned! This looks amazing!

    • Becca January 2, 2017 (9:46 am)

      Thank you for sharing, and I hope you’ll try the seafood chowder recipe sometime! 🙂

  • Megan @ MegUnprocessed December 28, 2016 (12:35 am)

    Such a creamy flavorful recipe!

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