Even the addition of a single ingredient can completely change up recipes for seafood chowder, transforming this familiar comfort food dish into a meal that you can enjoy all winter long without falling into a recipe rut. And with a variety of wild-caught Alaskan fish and shellfish to cook with, your chowder rotation is going to be endlessly remixable.
Here are 7 of the best seafood chowder recipes, easy to make and enjoy through the chillier months of the year:
Curried Crab Corn Chowder
Sweet crab meat gets the curry treatment in this recipe for chowder from Leite’s Culinaria. Depending on your preference, you can either pick the crabmeat from their shells before adding the crab to the dish, or toss them in whole to warm through at the end. If you’re going with the latter approach, don’t bother measuring out your crab meat: Just count on using about 2-3 good sized crab legs per serving.
Coconut Salmon Chowder
This paleo chowder recipe from Jane’s Healthy Kitchen uses coconut milk as its base and has a Southeast Asian twist of flavors from fish sauce and cilantro. It’s loaded up with nutrient-rich ingredients like Japanese sweet potatoes, shiitake mushrooms, and wild-caught salmon, making this substantial soup a go-to recipe for health nuts.
Butternut Squash Cod Chowder
Is it the unexpected addition of butternut squash to a cod chowder or the unexpected addition of cod to a butternut squash soup that makes this recipe from Rachel Ray Magazine so memorable? Either way, this chowder is sweet, savory, and nutrient rich, with just enough cream to make it a tad indulgent too.
Harissa-Spiced Tunisian Fish Chowder
With the addition of harissa and cumin, this spicy tomato-based cod stew from Food & Wine channels the North African flavors of Tunisia. (Note that the recipe’s introductory notes suggest swapping out red chili flakes for harissa.) Chock full of root veggies you might expect to find in any chowder — potatoes, carrots, and parsnips — the stew also incorporates juicy chunks of zucchini which will soften and help add body to the broth. Serve with couscous to make the dish even more substantial.
Spanish Fish Chowder with Saffron and Sweet Paprika
If paella is your thing, you’ll want to make this “caldo de pescado” from Martha Stewart Living, a Spanish stew laden with potatoes, tomatoes, and any firm white fish you choose to use. Saffron and sweet paprika impart a classic Spanish flavor profile to the dish, while the addition of cumin channels a touch of North African influence on the recipe.
Cauliflower White Fish Chowder
Rather than starchy potatoes, cauliflower is what gives this white fish chowder from Bon Appetit its heft, making it a great option for folks who are cutting down on carbs. Notably, the recipe integrates green olives and tarragon into its ingredient list to bring a briny herbaceousness to the chowder.
Though the recipe calls for monkfish, aka poor man’s lobster, you can use any white fish you like in this dish; keep in mind that Alaskan varieties of wild-caught fish are all a bit firmer in texture. Actually, the closest you could get to monkfish is by using spot prawns, aka the lobster of Alaska.
Smoky Mexican Seafood Chowder
Splendid Table’s recipe for a seafood stew eats like chowder, but has the smoky richness of Mexican flavors. You’ll be able to find the two classic Mexican ingredients used in this stew — an herb called epazote and dried arbol chile — at a Latin market, or even your local grocery store. If you like, you can adapt this recipe by making it with spot prawn stock, and we highly suggest you consider adding some weathervane scallops to the mix of seafood, introducing them to the pot in the final few minutes so that they’ll just poach through before serving.