This easy-to-make Seafood Chowder with Smoked Salmon features tender pieces of white fish, bay scallops, clams, and rich smoked salmon in every bite! It's a hearty meal that the whole family will enjoy for an everyday weeknight dinner, or for special occasions, and holiday dinner alternatives!
Amazing Seafood Chowder with Smoked Salmon
Creamy, hearty, and oh, so comforting, my seafood chowder with smoked salmon is decadent and delicious. Chock-full of seafood in every spoonful, this chowder eats like a meal in itself.
Fresh and flavorful, my family can’t get enough of the tender nuggets of the “fruits of the sea,” and the smoked salmon adds a quality that can’t be beaten. My family and I enjoy big bowls for weeknight dinners, weekend brunches, and I even serve this chowder on holidays and special occasions.
If you are a seafood fan, this seafood chowder with smoked salmon is sure to excite your tastebuds! It coats your tongue with so much complexity and creativity and fills your belly after one bowl.
Seafood Chowder Ingredients
Notice the many seasonings, varieties of seafood, and my personal recommendations for the best chowder you can make. Feel free to experiment with some of your favorites or add in your own touches to make the chowder your own.
I stick to this tried-and-true recipe since it is always so amazing and comes out perfect every time!
- Olive Oil – Adds a touch of flavor and fat, bringing the chowder together just right.
- Onion – Flavor galore and lots of aromatics to fill the kitchen with homecooked goodness!
- Old Bay Seasoning – Perfect for seafood dishes, stews, soups, and chowders like this. It’s a classic!
- Thyme – Fragrant and flavorful, fresh or dried thyme brings an incredible essence to the chowder.
- Dill Weed – Fresh and light to balance out the richness of this chowder. Plus, dill weed is one of those herbs that just belongs with seafood!
- Celery – Texture, and color for your bowl.
- Carrot – A touch of crunch that also adds a hint of sweetness to highlight all of the savory flavors!
- Butter – Because…butter! It simply makes everything better and adds a sheen to your chowder for an amazingly smooth seafood soup.
- All-Purpose Flour – Thickens up the chowder for the ultimate consistency.
- Russet Potatoes – What’s a chowder without potatoes?
- Fish Broth - My top choice is always a homemade fish broth. Your next best choices are store-bought fish or seafood stock, or clam juice. However, even vegetable or chicken broth will result in an incredibly tasty chowder.
- White Wine - White wine can be omitted. For best flavor, I suggest a dry white wine and prefer Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc followed by Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc. Save a swig for the chef!
- White Fish*** - Your white fish of choice should be a firm, fleshy white fish variety. My top picks are cod, halibut, red snapper, walleye, haddock, salmon, or monkfish followed by tilapia, ling, and pollock. Mix and match to make it extra special!
***Avoid lean white fish like tuna, kingfish, and swordfish as they tend to turn out a bit dry in this chowder. Also, avoid soft white fish varieties like flounder, sole, and whiting that will disintegrate in your fish soups. You want those tender chunks everyone craves!
- Bay Scallops – So succulent…the gems of the sea! Small bites of these amazingly tender and sweet scallops are a true treat!
- Clams – In the shell always looks impressive, but canned clams make this chowder fast and easy!
- Smoked Salmon – Luxurious and light at the same time. Get some extra for bagels and cream cheese for the next morning! Or use up the leftover open package of smoked salmon with this hearty recipe!
- Heavy Cream – It’s what makes this chowder the comfort food it is. Using half & Half or milk can be done, you may need to offset with a slurry of flour and cold water to match the thickened consistency.
How to Make Seafood Chowder from Scratch
With a total prep time of just 35 minutes, you won’t have to wait long to dig in and delight!
- In a large stockpot or pan, bring the olive oil to medium-high heat. Add in the diced onion, old bay seasoning, thyme, and dill. Sauté until the onion is tender, translucent, and fragrant.
- Stir in the diced carrots and celery and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Add the butter and stir into the sauteed vegetables until melted. Incorporate the flour and mix together with the buttered vegetables.
- Add the potatoes, broth, and white wine and stir while breaking up any bits on the bottom of your pan. Continue stirring until the broth is well combined. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the seafood and heavy cream, stir, and continue to simmer for 8-10 minutes. Once the fish flakes apart effortlessly and the potatoes are fork-tender, remove from heat and get ready to eat.
Serve your seafood chowder with smoked salmon steaming hot with chopped fresh parsley or dill as a garnish, and some flaked smoked salmon (reserved) if desired. I like to serve mine with soup crackers or a hunk of crusty bread! Enjoy!
Storing Leftover Seafood Chowder with Smoked Salmon
Place your leftovers into an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 - 3 days. To reheat a portion on the stovetop, simply place the chowder in a saucepan and heat over low heat. Stir frequently while heating.
To reheat in a microwave oven, place your portion into a bowl and cover it with a paper towel. Heat for one minute, stir, then heat in 30-second increments until the chowder is warmed to your liking.
You can freeze it as well. The only thing is that to freeze your chowder best, you would reserve the heavy cream for reheating.
Portion cooled seafood chowder into freezer storage containers or freezer bags before freezing. Leave 1 inch of space at the top of the storage container full of chowder to allow for expansion during freezing.
Seafood Chowder with Smoked Salmon
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion (yellow or white onion, diced)
- 1 tsp old bay seasoning
- ¼ tsp thyme
- ¼ tsp dill weed
- 1 rib celery (washed and chopped)
- 1 small carrot (washed and chopped)
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 lb russet potatoes (peeled, diced)
- 5 cups fish broth (seafood broth, clam juice, or chicken broth)
- ½ cup white wine (optional - a dry white wine is recommended)
- 8 oz white fish (a firm white fish, cut into pieces - see notes below)
- 8 oz bay scallops (thawed and dried)
- 6.5 oz clams (6.5 ounce can of chopped or minced clams, drained)
- 4 oz smoked salmon (reserve some for garnish if desired)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- In a large stockpot or pan, bring the olive oil to medium-high heat. Add diced onion, old bay seasoning, thyme, and dill. Saute until the onion is tender, translucent, and fragrant.
- Add the carrots and celery and continue to saute for 2 minutes. Next,a dd the butter and stir into the sauteed vegetables until melted. Add the flour and mix with the buttered vegetables.
- Add the potatoes, broth, white wine and stir while breaking up any bits on the bottom of your pan. Continue stirring until the broth is well combined. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the seafood and heavy cream, stir and continue to simmer for 8-10 minutes. Once the fish flakes apart and the potatoes are fork tender, remove from heat.
- Serve the chowder with chopped fresh parsley or dill, and some flaked smoked salmon (reserved) if desired.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!