Seafood Chowder Recipe: Best Thick & Hearty (less than 15 min prep)

4.92 from 37 votes

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Thick and Hearty Seafood Chowder is full of savory flavor! Seasoned fish, tender potatoes, and a creamy broth make this the best seafood chowder ever!

Featured with this Recipe
  1. Thick and Hearty Seafood Chowder
  2. Ingredients in Seafood Chowder
  3. What Kind of Fish is Best for Chowder?
  4. Suggestions for the best Seafood Chowder Recipe
  5. Frequently Asked Questions About Seafood Chowder
  6. More Hearty Soup Recipes
  7. How to Make Seafood Chowder
  8. Thick and Hearty Seafood Chowder Recipe

Thick and Hearty Seafood Chowder

This delectable Creamy Seafood Chowder recipe 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, scallops, or just about any kind of seafood you like. It’s a flavorful meal that is packed with protein, calcium, and nutrients 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.

Ingredients in Seafood Chowder

  • Butter
  • Celery 
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Minced garlic
  • Chicken broth
  • Clam juice
  • Red potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Salt and pepper
  • Thyme
  • Bay leaves
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Shrimp
  • Cod or halibut or haddock
  • Half & half
  • All-purpose flour
  • Milk

What Kind of Fish is Best for Chowder?

  • I love a firm, white cod for this seafood chowder, but you can use chunks of halibut or haddock too. However, any kind of good, white fish will work. But, 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!

Suggestions for the best Seafood Chowder Recipe

  • Sometimes, I sauté the fish and shrimp in some butter to get a little crust around each piece, then add it to the soup. This adds another step, but the buttery crust is so delicious!
  • You can add other favorite chowder ingredients like corn and bacon to this recipe as well.
  • I add extra Tabasco sauce when I’m making this chowder just for me and my husband because we like the extra heat. But, you can vary the hot sauce as you need to for your family.
  • Dice red potatoes into bite-sized pieces for even cooking. Also, try Yukon golds or any other waxy potato that will hold its shape during cooking.
  • I’m all about watching calories, but please do not leave out the half and half in this recipe! You’ll need it to make this chowder extra creamy and rich. Moderation in all things, right?

Frequently Asked Questions About Seafood Chowder

What is the difference between Clam Chowder and Seafood Chowder?

They are very similar, but instead of clams, this recipe’s main ingredients are shrimp and white fish.

What are the different types of Chowder?

There are many types of chowder, but these are the most common:
Bermuda fish chowder
Clam chowder
Corn chowder
Fish chowder
Smoked salmon chowder
Southern Illinois chowder
Seafood chowder
Spiced haddock chowder
Potato Chowder
Bacon Chowder

What is Chowder?

Chowder is a cream based soup that usually has a seafood and vegetables.

READ NEXT: Easy Crockpot Soup Recipes: Cozy Meals for Cold Days

More Hearty Soup Recipes

Like this seafood chowder? Then you’ll love these other hearty soup and chowder recipes:

How to Make Seafood Chowder

Thick and Hearty Seafood Chowder

4.92 from 37 votes
Thick and Hearty Seafood Chowder is full of savory flavor! Seasoned fish, tender potatoes, and a creamy broth make this the best seafood chowder ever!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Seafood
Servings 8




  • In a large dutch oven or stock pot, melt butter and add celery, onions, leeks and garlic. When vegetables have softened, add chicken broth, clam juice, potatoes, carrots, black pepper, salt, thyme, bay leaves, and Tabasco sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low to simmer. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are almost fork-tender.
  • Season shrimp and cod with Old Bay seasoning. Add shrimp and cod to the stock pot and simmer another 7-8 minutes or until fish flakes easily and shrimp turns pink.
  • Add half and half. Combine flour and milk until flour is dissolved and slowly stir into the chowder until you reach your desired thickness (you may not need all of it). Stir until thickened and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves and serve!


Recipe Tips:
  • Don’t like the veggies or fish in this recipe? Swap them out for your favorites!
  • To prep ahead, wash and cut vegetables, cut and prepare fish, and remove shells and tails from shrimp.
  • To store, keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to one month.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 726kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 46gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 298mgSodium: 2246mgPotassium: 1753mgFiber: 5gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 6796IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 465mgIron: 4mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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  1. 5 stars
    Made this. Best seafood chowder we’ve ever tasted…ever. Clam juice and leeks now added to my staple grocery list.
    Left out bay leaves. Cut shrimp amount in half then substituted with scallops. Only used half amount half and half. Otherwise, exactly followed recipe.
    Makes too much for two people. Froze leftovers. Thawed and reheated, the batch tasted just as good as original servings.
    Super fantastic seafood chowder. Thank you so much. Great special occasion recipe to cook ahead and freeze.

  2. 5 stars
    First time I’ve left a review for a recipe, but this one deserves it. This chowder is so delicious! I have made it three weeks in a row now. The first time I followed the recipe exactly and it was amazing. The next two times I used tilapia instead of cod. I also browned up a strip of bacon and cooked the veggies in the pan after. At the end I added half a bag of frozen corn in with the fish. Very yummy!

  3. 4 stars
    Made it and it was excellent. I did though have to just add cream as we do not have the product called half and half in Australia.
    I used cornflour to thicken it to be almost a broth in consistency instead of normal plain flour.

  4. 4 stars
    Nice flavors, but two suggestions: use only one quart of half and half (soupy otherwise) and go easy on the old bay.

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