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.
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.
Here’s the seafood chowder recipe.
Creamy Seafood Chowder
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
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small carrots, diced small
- 1 large onion (white or yellow), diced small
- 1 large celery stalk, diced medium
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 32 ounces (1 quart) seafood stock ( homemade recipe here )
- 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 (1/2 pound) cooked seafood of your choice** (I used medium shrimp, chopped lobster tail, and crab meat)
- 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!
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Enjoy your chowder!