Fish and Seafood | Main Dishes | Recipes | Soups, Stews, and Chili

Creamy Seafood Chowder with Homemade Seafood Stock

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

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. Let’s not forget about clam chowder, either. Hands down, it is one of our favorite chowder recipes. Truth be told, we can’t think of a single way that we don’t enjoy eating seafood.

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.

Creamy Seafood Chowder Recipe

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!

Easy Seafood 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.

Seafood Chowder Recipe

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

How to Make Seafood Chowder

Ready to Chowder it Up?

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

We’d also love for you to share photos of it with me! Tag us on our Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram!

Other recipes you might enjoy:

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
4.65 from 28 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
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

  • 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!



Serving: 1cupCalories: 266kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 11gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 1268mgPotassium: 811mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 4355IUVitamin C: 10.6mgCalcium: 149mgIron: 1.6mg
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!

Similar Posts


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

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

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

  4. 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. ?

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  5. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please rate this recipe!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.