Traditional recipes

Seafood Chowder

Seafood Chowder

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What sets this New England–style chowder apart from all the rest? It’s deeply flavored yet light and decidedly not gloppy. This recipe is from Larsen’s Fish Market, a tiny little seafood shack in the tiny little fishing village of Menemsha, Martha’s Vineyard.


  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more
  • 1 Tbsp. dry sherry or mirin
  • 2½ cups clam juice, divided
  • 2 cups fish or seafood stock or broth
  • 1 lb. potatoes (any kind), peeled,cut into ½" pieces
  • 1¼ lb. mixed white fish (such as swordfish and/or sea bass) and shellfish (such as peeled, deveined shrimp), cut into ½" pieces
  • 8 oz. cooked lobster meat, cut into cubes (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

Recipe Preparation

  • Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Cook onion and celery, stirring often, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix in Old Bay and 1 tsp. pepper; cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add sherry; cook, stirring occasionally, until alcohol has cooked off, about 1 minute. Add ½ cup clam juice; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very soft, about 5 minutes. Add stock and remaining 2 cups clam juice and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and simmer, uncovered, adjusting heat as needed, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add fish and shellfish and cook, stirring gently, just until mixture returns to a simmer, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lobster meat if using.

  • While the potatoes are simmering, melt remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until light blond in color, about 1 minute. Whisk in half-and-half and 1 cup chowder broth (skimmed off the top) and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Cook, still whisking, until thickened and creamy.

  • Stir half-and-half mixture into chowder ; return to medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring gently. Remove from heat; season with salt and more pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve with oyster crackers.

Recipe by Betsy and Kristine Larsen, Larsen’s Fish Market, Martha’s VineyardReviews SectionI used herbs de provence instead of old bay since I was out of old bay and for the fish/shellfish combo I did 1/2 lb monkfish, cut into cubes, 1 lb. shrimp, 4 medium scallops, and 8 oz. lobster meat. Delicious and I’ll make again. Can’t wait to bring my seafood guy a cup of this! He helped me pick the whitefish for this recipe.nianicoleLas Vegas, NV06/23/20Thank you Molly! I will be missing Larsen's this year also. How lovely to have a little MV this summer! How about that bluefish pate next ??!! -KimcalikimkCottekill, NY05/26/20This is incredibly delicious (with a bit of a kick!) and comes together quickly. I used striped bass and clams and it was amazing. I used a heaping tablespoon of Old Bay and I’m glad I did. Don’t let the picture fool you - the broth is a bit darker in color, not white (there’s more broth than cream and that’s a good thing!). Endlessly adaptable - I’ll try adding shrimp next time. And there will definitely be a next time!!This was so, so delicious!! I used sea bass, shrimp, and lobster meat. Super light but had so much flavor. Though yes, it definitely doesn't make 8 quarts...was enough for 4 servings in my house!8 cups. Simple typo, guys. Simmer down - pun intended :) Looks delish! It will still be cool enough in L.A to make it this weekend - yay!!MinniesmomLos Angeles05/25/208 Quarts? That must be a typo!! I will make it this weekend and check it out!!Carroll CharbonnierSanta Rosa05/16/20I have not made it yet but wondering, why does it say it makes 8 quarts? That would be 32 cups. Not enough ingredients for that.AnonymousVirginia05/03/20I just made this wonderful chowder. Followed the recipe exactly as written, but used fresh fish I had just purchased; cod loin and shrimp. This is an extremely easy, satisfying meal. Perfect for staying in during nasty weather and during the pandemic. Only one problem...wish I could share with friends! But my husband and son loved it.AnonymousNew York04/27/20You’re absolutely right. It is the anti-scene and has always been so. That’s the beauty of it. I worked at Larsen’s in 1978 when both Betsy and I were in our early 20’s. It was a no-muss-no-fuss operation; fresh, clean, delicious, and every inch the Vineyard. I’m so glad to see a Larsen’s recipe in public print. Kudos to them for their years of hard work.Sounds great, but 8 quarts? What am I missing here?

This delectable Seafood Chowder is hands down my favorite chowder recipe, and that includes seafood chowders I have had in some top seaside restaurants! The creamy broth is seasoned perfectly with garlic, onions, hot sauce, thyme and so many more flavors. Toss in tender red potatoes, savory hunks of cod, crab meat, lobster, just about any kind of seafood you like for a fancy, flavorful meal that will wow any seafood lover. This recipe is pretty similar to our Clam Chowder recipe, except it is easier and a little more versatile. Serve with a side of biscuits, hot and cheesy garlic bread or this easy corn bread for a perfect seafood meal.

  • I love a firm, white cod for this seafood chowder, but you can use chunks of halibut or haddock too. Any kind of good white fish will work. If you’re unsure of what to use, you can ask for suggestions at your local meat counter.
  • Shrimp is also so delicious in this gorgeous soup. Look for shrimp that is raw but peeled and de-veined. Again, you can find it at the meat counter, or you can find bags of frozen shrimp in the grocery store.
  • This recipe is technically considered a fish chowder but you can add crab meat, too. That would be delicious!

Best Seafood Chowder Recipe

Perfect for any soup night, this recipe is particularly “special” on the weekend. Like a Friday night … :) It’s a soulful meal, and everyone just seems to love a good bowl of “chowdah.”

Made with your favorite seafood, we added bay shrimp, crab meat and clams!

It’s creamy, and delicious served with a hot crunchy bread.

Friends, I love my home in the fall months. It’s crispy cold in the mornings, and warm and breezy in the afternoon. It reminds me of how much I love soup this time of year.

I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin, and crisp sunburnt leaves.

– Ann Drake

Masstown Market’s Seafood Chowder

Looking for a chowder chock-full of local seafood? Grab your spoon and try this recipe from Masstown Market. Perfect to take the chill off during crisp winter days!


3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 cups potato, peeled and diced
1/2 lb haddock filet, cubed
1/2 lb cod filet, cubed
1/2 lb scallops, chopped
1/4 lb lobster meat, cooked and shredded
1/4 lb shrimp, cooked and chopped
4 cups water for poaching/stock
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, unbleached
2 cups cream
1 bay leaf
1 quartered onion,for poaching liquid
1 pinch nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Over medium-high heat, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed, large pot. Add the onions and cook until transparent, about 3 minutes. Add the celery and cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the potatoes and just cover with water, bringing to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender but not soft. Remove from heat.
  2. In a second pot, heat the 4 cups (1 L) of water with a bay leaf and a quartered onion until just before boiling. Maintain temperature below boiling and add the haddock, cod and scallops. Poach until just opaque and tender. Remove fish and reserve the poaching liquid for your stock, discarding the bay leaf and quartered onion.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Then add the flour, mixing to a smooth paste. Cook for approximately 1 minute. Gradually whisk the poaching liquid into the saucepan until your have a smooth and free-flowing mixture. Cook until it begins to thicken.
  4. Return the potato and vegetable pot to medium-high heat. Slowly stir in the butter/flour/poaching liquid mixture. Add the fish, scallops, lobster and shrimp. Continue stirring until chowder thickens. Add the cream and stir until heated through, but do not boil. Season with a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Ladle into bowls and top with freshly chopped herbs. Serve with warm biscuits and creamery butter.

Recipe provided by: Masstown Market
This recipe was originally published in January 2015.

What Type of Seafood in Seafood Chowder

The type of seafood in seafood chowder is really up to the chef. I like to grab a bag of mixed frozen seafood from our market that usually contains shrimp, mussels, calamari, and scallops.

Other times though, I&rsquoll just get a bag of shrimp and a bag of small scallops. I think the small scallops are my absolute favorite in this chowder recipe. If you don&rsquot like or have an allergy to shellfish, you could also use fish like tilapia, white fish, or even salmon.

Digging into a bowl of fish chowder or soup is a terrific way to warm up on a cold day, but it's somewhat unexpected amid the sea (pun intended) of beefy stews and chilis typically associated with the winter months. Luckily for the uninitiated, there are so many delicious recipes that'll help you get to know this category of warming dishes. Lest you think the options for seafood-based chowders and soups are exclusively of the Manhattan or New England variety, it's important to know that there's actually an incredible array of recipes worth trying, from those classic American clam chowders (plus a Rhode Island take) to international offerings from the Caribbean, France, India, Italy, Scotland, and elsewhere. We've collected our most comforting seafood recipes here, including brothy soups, chunky chowders, and cozy stews.

Some of the most popular and well-loved white fish are here: cod, halibut, red snapper, sea bass, and more, and you'll find that they're largely interchangeable based on what you prefer and what's available at your market. And salmon fans will love a Scottish-style mixed chowder that includes smoked salmon (though you can also swap in other smoked fish such as trout or haddock). Whichever fish you use, you'll likely be eating soon fish cooks quickly so many of these recipes are ready in under an hour, some much less than that. Shellfish lovers will find plenty of options here, too, including a seafood gumbo packed with shrimp and some fantastic clam chowders including the New England and Manhattan versions that are pictured here.

All of these recipes get incredible flavor from add-ons, whether bacon (its smoky richness is key in many chowders), ginger, coconut milk, or wine and herbs. Whichever you choose, you're in for a treat. All you need to accompany these wonderful stews are some garlic bread, toasts, or a handful of oyster crackers (a cozy fisherman sweater wouldn't hurt, either).

What to serve with seafood chowder

When I serve this chowder recipe, I like to keep the sides simple because seafood chowder is pretty much a complete meal &mdash it has plenty of protein (shrimp & cod), loads of veggies, and carbs.

Our favorite way to eat seafood chowder is with some good crusty sourdough bread for dunking into the soup, or with a few crackers crushed on top. You could also pair it with a fresh green salad on the side. For the salad, simply toss mixed greens with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Feel free to add toppings to your salad such as red onion, cherry tomatoes, and/or croutons.

You can add bacon on top of the chowder, if you want to add a little something extra. It&rsquos going to be fantastic however you enjoy it!

  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 pounds red skin potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups corn, fresh or frozen kernels
  • 2 cups clam juice (may substitute shrimp stock or fish stock)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound bay scallops, or diced sea scallops
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, medium-to-large, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or half-and-half)
  • Garnishes: fresh parsley (chives or dill), chopped

In a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onion in the butter.

Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer.

Add the salt, pepper, and flour and continue to cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the diced potato, corn, clam juice, milk, and thyme. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture just begins to boil.

Lower the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Remove about 2 cups of the potato mixture with a slotted spoon. Puree in a blender or in a bowl with an immersion blender.

Return the mixture to the soup and add the scallops and shrimp to the pan and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes longer, or just until the seafood is cooked.

Add the cream and heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve the seafood chowder in bowls with a garnish of parsley, chives, or fresh dill sprigs.

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

A Canadian Love Affair: Seafood Chowder Recipe

This post is part of the Canadian Food Experience Project, a project begun June 2013. As we (participants) share our collective stories through our regional food experiences and food memories, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity. This month’s topic is “A Canadian Love Affair”, which can apply to absolutely anything we love relating to Canadian food, from a certain chef to a beautiful ingredient to an inspiring cookbook to a memorable meal. What first comes to mind for you?

When I mentioned the topic to my Mom, she had an immediate response: Seafood Chowder. After a visit to the East Coast of Canada several years ago, she has been altering, tweaking, and perfecting a seafood chowder recipe worthy of any 5-star seaside restaurant. Knowing I could never top that Canadian love affair, I asked her to guest post and she was kind enough to agree! Thanks, Mom, for writing about your love affair for my blog :)

Back in 1983, when our oldest daughter was only 3 months old, my husband and I drove, with our baby, across the country, from Burlington, Ontario, all the way to Houston, British Columbia. My husband was going to be ordained as a minister in his first congregation. There was some sadness with parting from family in Ontario, but also excitement at moving to beautiful British Columbia.

Over the years my husband changed congregations a few times, but we stayed on the westward side, with our longest time in one place, 14 years, in the Fraser Valley. We had always said we would like to see other parts of Canada, including the Maritime provinces. We loved the West Coast with its mountains and the Pacific Ocean, but we had heard that the East Coast was also very beautiful. We thought, someday, when we are back in Ontario, or living somewhere closer to the East, we will go there for holidays. But the years passed and it seemed we had become, quite happily and permanently, westerners. So, in 2005, we decided to make a trip with our 2 youngest daughters. We would fly to Halifax, tour the Maritimes, then stop in Ontario on the way back home to visit family. After all, it didn’t seem like we would be living anywhere in the East anytime soon, if ever.

It was this trip that inspired my search for a recipe for perfect seafood chowder.

I always knew I liked chowder, but until I travelled the East Coast, I didn’t realize how much. My husband and daughters thought I was a little obsessed and maybe even a tad odd when I would order seafood chowder for every lunch and supper. It was a bit different but so delicious everywhere I had it, and I just couldn’t get enough of it. So while I wouldn’t claim to have found a recipe that matches all the scrumptious bowls of chowder I had in the Maritimes, this recipe comes mighty close and does the job of satisfying my chowder cravings until I can get back to Peggy’s Cove, Cape Breton Island, P.E.I and all those other beautiful places we visited in 2005.

By the way, as for being permanent westerners, the very next year, 2006, my husband, two youngest daughters and I moved back to Ontario, leaving behind beautiful British Columbia. Are we permanent Ontario dwellers now? Who knows? But we have never been back to the East Coast, so it is a good thing we went when we did or you might never have gotten this recipe.

Every time I make this soup it is a little bit different because I tend to add what seafood I have on hand or is on sale that week. If you live somewhere where fresh fish is readily available, that will give the best flavour. Otherwise, frozen and thawed seafood still make a delicious soup. I always put in whitefish of some kind, then add what else I can find and can afford. Scallops are my favourite, crab is good, and even salmon adds a nice flavour. You might just want this for every lunch and dinner too.

Watch the video: Chowder. Dangerous Recipe. Cartoon Network (May 2022).