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

4.97 from 26 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

4.97 from 26 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 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
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 beautiful three 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.

More about Erica Walker

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  1. 5 stars
    This is my go-to chowder recipe. I’ve made it several times and it is always so freaking delicious and rich and hits the spot. Especially on those cold, rainy days. I’m bad at following recipes and almost never have all the exact ingredients on hand, so I appreciate how flexible this recipe is and that it always comes out amazing. We use a mix of white fish, including little reef fish fillets, and bits of shrimp, and often substitute ‘ulu (breadfruit) for potatoes. About to make it again now and, as usual, will be making a huge batch because everyone always goes back for seconds, and sometimes thirds. : )

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely delicious. Perfect. I will look no further. Well balanced and flavorful.
    Thank you.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this with rockfish, scallops, and shrimp. It was wonderful. Will definitely make it again.

  4. 4 stars
    Made this for mothers day, and im going to make it again tomorrow. I added bacon and corn and it just made it extra delightful! Delicious recipe 😋

  5. 5 stars
    Made this recipe today with some soft-she’ll clams my boys and I harvested yesterday and 6 lobsters and halibut. Doubled the recipe and took your advice in sautéing the shrimp and fish prior to adding to the pot. Added cayenne pepper to the fish and shrimp and butter…delicious. I made my own soup stock from clams, lobster shells and legs, and substituted half for the chicken stock (also used vegetable stock instead as we had no chicken stock). Just before adding the milk/flour mixture I put in some biscuits and by the time they were ready, the chowder was ready to serve.
    My 15 and 14 year old sons loved the chowder and me? The best I ever had! Thanks for the detailed recipe and improvising suggestions!

  6. I added more celery, shrimp & scallops and less half-n-half and this recipe is awesome!!! Made it several times already. My friends it is restaurant quality. Thank u to whoever shared this recipe!!!

  7. 5 stars
    I love seafood chowder but you never know what you will get at a restaurant. This is hands down the best I have ever had!
    I doubled the seafood (cod and shrimp) and halved the half and half (we like chunky chowder 😉) and my wife , who is the biggest critic of watery chowders, took a second serving of just the broth!!
    I made the chowder as per the instructions, with my adjustments and placed in in a crockpot on warm for 2 hours.
    You have spoiled me and I will never order a restaurant chowder again. Well done on this recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    This is the third time making this and it the best chowder I add a little more shrimp and clams but other than that it’s the recipe you won’t be disappointed

  9. Would this recipe work if cut in half? I want to try it, but it would be for just my husband and me. It looks delicious!!

    1. Chowder typically doesn’t freeze well. This will be best fresh or refrigerated for up to 2-3 days. Hope this helps!

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