Want the best seafood chowder recipe? This is hands down my favorite! It’s super creamy, hearty, and delicious. I make this every single year for Christmas dinner!
Happy, Yummy Holidays
Ahh the holidays. Family, friends, food, and fun! All the best F words! :)
Every year, my husband and I host Christmas dinner at our house.
My parents come over, my brother and his family come over, my cousin comes over, and we usually have at least one or two friends and their kids or parents join us for dinner.
No matter how many people show up, it’s a feast.
How and where do you spend your Christmas or other winter holiday?
While we always make a different main course each year, there are a few favorites that return each Christmas, including the best seafood chowder recipe ever.
This delicious seafood chowder sits simmering on our stove while we prepare the side dishes and desserts. It’s packed with yummy veggies, is easy to substitute with dairy-free alternatives for the cream. And, of course, there’s the crispy salty mouthwatering bacon.
To me, this seafood chowder tradition represents family… and that, in addition to it tasting mighty darn amazing, is what makes it the best!
I think you will love this recipe!
Seafood Chowder Video
I was so honored to share my recipe with Kroger recently, as part of their holiday recipes video series featuring nine bloggers from different parts of the country.
Here’s the video sharing what the holidays mean to me and a little more about what makes this seafood chowder recipe so special.
You can also view the other Kroger holiday recipe videos on the Fred Meyer website.
Here’s a shot of the chowder without the seafood. I make a non-seafood bacon and corn chowder version specifically for my brother each Christmas, who can’t have shellfish.
Best Seafood Chowder Recipe
- 8 strips of bacon chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 cup carrots finely chopped
- 3/4 cup celery finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme OR 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 7 cups yellow corn
- 2 cups bottled clam juice
- 2 cups 1% milk
- 2.5 cups heavy cream
- 1 14.5 oz chicken stock
- 3 medium baking potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1/2 pound of ready-to-eat crab meat
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced basil optional
- Cook the bacon in a large (6 or 8 quart) pot over medium heat. Stir bacon occasionally and cook until crisp. Transfer to paper towels. Reserve about 3 tablespoons of the bacon for garnish, leaving the remainder in the pot.
- Add butter, garlic, onions, carrots, celery, thyme, and bay leaf, to the pot. Cover and cook for about 6-8 minutes, until the onions are soft and lightly golden. Be sure to stir occasionally.
- Add the corn, clam juice, milk, heavy cream, chicken stock and potatoes to the pot. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
- While ingredients are simmering, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add crab meat. Sauté for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
- Check the large pot of ingredients simmering and when potatoes are tender, discard the bay leaf.
- Transfer about 4 cups of the soup to a blender and puree.
- Pour the puree back into the chowder and stir to blend and thicken.
- Garnish each serving with bacon, a generous spoonful of crab meat, and chopped basil (optional).
Substitute 2 cups of 1% milk with 2 cups of almond milk.
Substitute heavy cream with 2 cups full-fat coconut milk or, for a creamier chowder, 1 cup coconut milk plus 1 cup coconut cream.
Where do your holiday food traditions stem from? Do you have recipes that have been passed down through generations and/or a recipe that has become *yours* that everyone knows and expects at the holidays?
Thanks so much to Kroger for sharing my recipe and holiday story. I was compensated for the video and recipe development, but as always, all opinions and recipes are my own.