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New England Seafood Chowder in a bowl with bacon and shrimp on top

New England Seafood Chowder

My easy New England Seafood Chowder recipe is ready in just 45 minutes using simple, fresh ingredients!
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword New England Seafood Chowder, seafood chowder, seafood chowder recipe, soup recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 496kcal


  • Stock pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cutting board


  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 3 medium white potatoes diced and peeled
  • ¼ cup all purpose plain flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup firm white fish
  • ½ pound shellfish shrimp, prawns, mussels, or clams
  • ½ cup corn
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


  • Saute bacon in a large soup pot over medium-high heat until crispy, 3-4 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pot and place on a plate.
    Drain all but 1 tablespoon bacon grease from the pot. If there is not 1 tablespoon, then don't drain the bacon fat.
    Add diced onions and celery to the bacon grease in the pot. Saute over medium heat until soft, 3-4 minutes.
    Add potatoes. Saute 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low.
    Potatoes added to stock pot
  • Add the flour and stir, cooking until the flour is completely moistened. Add the milk and increase the heat to medium. Heat the soup until it is steaming, but just before it starts to boil, stirring often.
    Potato and cream soup base cooking in stock pot
  • Keep the soup at this point until the potatoes are nearly tender, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes. (Reduce the heat if the milk starts to foam.) The soup should start to thicken to a nice consistency. Add the fish, shellfish, corn and bacon.
    Cooking seafood chowder in a soup pot
  • Continue to heat, just below boiling for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Add salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
    Seafood chowder in a pot with a wooden spoon
  • Serve with the fresh parsley, crackers or good quality bread.
    Overhead shot of a bowl of seafood chowder with a spoon


  • Use whatever seafood you'd like! I love using firm white fish like Pacific cod or tilapia. I find it holds its shape really easily and cooks well.
  • Make sure your fish is chopped up evenly. To ensure consistent cooking time, try to make sure your fish is cut into similar sizes. If a few pieces are larger or smaller, the fish won't cook at the same time.
  • There is a fine line between simmering and boiling! When adding the milk, you want to avoid boiling the milk, instead, you want to keep it at a consistent temperature to allow it to thicken.
  • Your choice of bacon will determine how much bacon fat is required to saute the onion and celery. We used smoky bacon that did not have a lot of fat on it. Therefore we kept all our bacon fat for frying and didn't need to remove any or add any additional oil.
  • Don't overcook your seafood! I found 5 to 7 minutes was an adequate cook time for my shrimp and fish. Shrimp will turn a beautiful orange color when cooked. The fish should be soft and cooked all the way through, if the pieces are consistent it should take the same amount of time as the shrimp.


Calories: 496kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 62g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 271mg | Sodium: 1040mg | Potassium: 1426mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 665IU | Vitamin C: 9.3mg | Calcium: 404mg | Iron: 2.7mg