Salmon chowder is classic comfort food. In it, tender salmon, potatoes and the usual carrots, celery, onion and garlic are in creamy, old bay seasoned chowder. Sweet corn, fresh dill and crispy bacon round out this soup deliciously.

Homemade Salmon Chowder.

Salmon in chowder = my new favorite thing.

Late September, Pat went salmon fishing. This was his third year going with two long time friends (hi Craig and Mike!). They fish the Manistee river all day and stay at a casino at night. What a trip, right? The first year, Pat didn’t catch a single salmon. The second year, he had a few bites. This year, Pat caught enough to bring me home POUNDS of salmon. I’m really regretting not weighing it all.

Up until three years ago, I don’t think I was aware salmon were in Michigan. Since then I’ve learned, that Chinook salmon (or “king”) are Pacific salmon. They were planted in the Great Lakes years ago and in mid/late August, they will swim up a few Michigan rivers to spawn. And then sadly, die afterwards.

bowls of salmon chowder with glasses of rosè and oyster crackers.

So, now with my newly acquired salmon stash, I knew exactly what I was going to make. First up, chowder.

In this velvety soup, you enjoy  tender lumps of salmon, potatoes, corn and vegetables. And of course, bacon.

Salmon Chowder ingredients

To Make This Salmon Chowder You Will Need: 

  • olive oil spray
  • center cut bacon
  • onion
  • celery
  • carrot
  • garlic
  • kosher salt
  • flour
  • unsalted chicken stock
  • clam juice
  • russet potatoes
  • bay leaf
  • old bay seasoning
  • half & half (or substitute with 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup whole milk)
  • sweet corn
  • wild caught salmon
  • fresh dill
  • freshly ground black pepper 

crispy bacon in dutch oven

Lightly spray a dutch oven with olive oil. Add 4 strips of center cut bacon (that has been diced) and heat over medium to medium-low, stirring until crispy. Once crisp, use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate, leaving the bacon in the pot.

prepped veggies

Meanwhile, prep the onions, celery, carrot, garlic and potatoes. Chop , sliced 2 short stalks celery and 2 medium carrots -carrots I cut into half moons. Mince 2 cloves garlic and peel and dice 2 medium russet potatoes in to 1-1/2 to 2 inch pieces.

veggies and garlic into bacon grease

To the bacon fat, add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic with a pinch of kosher salt.

sauteed vegetables

Stir and sautè until tender, about  8 to 10 minutes.

cubed salmon

In the meantime, prep the salmon by removing the skin (if any) and cutting it into 1 to 1-1/2 inch chunks.

Why is some salmon white fleshed vs Red?

The type of chinook salmon is considered to be white fleshed, as suppose to red, which we typically think of when we think of king salmon. However, it’s the same type of fish. I’ve read it just depends on how they metabolize the naturally pigmented food that they consume.

flour sprinkled over sauteed veggies

Once the vegetables are tender, sprinkle in 2 tablespoons flour.

pouring broth into pot.

Stir and cook 2 minutes before pouring in 3 cups unsalted chicken stock.

pouring clam juice into soup.

And also, 1 cup (or 1 8 ounce bottle) clam juice.

This adds a depth of flavor and I add to any seafood chowder.

add potatoes, bay leaf and old bay seasoning to soup.

Next, add in the potatoes, 1 bay leaf and 1-1/2 teaspoons old bay seasoning. Stir, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, reduce and simmer for 15 minutes. 

once potatoes are tender, puree 2 ladles of the soup.

Transfer 2 ladles of the soup into a blender.

purred soup in blender

And puree until velvety smooth.

add to the puree back into the soup pot.

Transfer that back into the soup pot.

add corn and half & half to pot.

Add in the 1 cup half & half (or sub with a 1/2 cup of both heavy cream and milk) and 1 cup sweet corn (fresh or frozen).

stir soup to combine.

Stir to combine.

add salmon cover and simmer.

Drop in the salmon, cover the pot and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until the salmon is fully cooked and flakes easily.

season with dill, salt and pepper.

Stir in 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. For me it was around 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons.

Stir in bacon and heat through.

Stir in the crispy bacon and it’s ready to serve!

White bowl with salmon chowder and glass of rosé.

I save a few crispy bacon pieces for topping our bowls, and also garnish with fresh dill and lots of ground black pepper. 

Creamy, luscious without being overly seafood-y. It’s the perfect soup to warm up on a cold day.

Salmon chowder with crackers.

Enjoy! And if you give this Salmon Chowder recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Gold spoon in white bowl with salmon chowder.

Salmon Chowder
Yield: 6

Salmon Chowder

Salmon chowder is classic comfort food. In it, tender salmon, potatoes and the usual carrots, celery, onion and garlic are in creamy, old bay seasoned chowder. Sweet corn, fresh dill and crispy bacon round out this soup deliciously.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • olive oil spray
  • 4 strips center cut bacon
  • 2 short stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced into half moons
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups unsalted chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (8 ounce) bottle or 1 cup clam juice
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons old bay seasoning
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 3/4 cup sweet corn
  • 1-1/2 pounds wild caught salmon, diced into 1-1/2 to 2-inch pieces
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh dill, for serving

Instructions

  1. Spray the bottom of your dutch oven with olive oil and add the chopped bacon. Heat over medium and cook until crispy. Once crispy, use a slotted spoon to remove and transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined paper plate.
  2. To the bacon fat, add the diced onion, carrot, celery and garlic with a pinch of kosher salt. Stir and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in the flour, stir and cook 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Next pour in the broth and clam juice. Add in the potatoes, bay leaf and old bay seasoning. Stir, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer the potatoes for 15 minutes.
  5. Then add 2 ladles of the soup (avoiding the bay leaf!) and add to a blender. Puree until smooth and add it back to the soup along with the corn, half & half and salmon. Cover and cook 15 mintues or until the fish easily flakes.
  6. Add teh bacon and 1 tablespoon chopped dill and season the soup with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. For me I used 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt.
  7. Serve with oyster crackers or torn bread.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 544Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 726mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 44g

All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on SimplyScratch.com should only be used as a general guideline.