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Seafood Chowder!

Seafood chowder is a rich, creamy, soup that's so easy to make from scratch! This version is loaded with seafood, with bacon and fresh dill added for extra flavor.


  • paper towel

  • slotted spoon optional

  • tongs

  • 6 quart (6L) pot cast iron or other heavy bottomed pot

  • measuring cups and spoons or digital kitchen scale

  • liquid measuring cup

  • Wooden spoon


  • 12 large scallops fresh or thawed frozen, see notes

  • 6 strips bacon or 3 thick cut strips, cut into bits

  • 4 cups water

  • 2 large potatoes washed, unpeeled, chopped into ½ inch (1-½ cm) pieces

  • 2 large carrots washed, unpeeled, sliced into ¼-inch (6-mm) coins

  • 1 teaspoon salt divided

  • 3 cups 35% whipping cream

  • 1 cup haddock fresh or thawed frozen, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 cup lobster cooked, chopped

  • 18 large shrimp fresh or thawed frozen, tails removed, deveined, chopped or whole

  • 2 tablespoons chives fresh, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons dill fresh, finely chopped

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper ground


  • Sandwich the scallops gently between sheets of paper towel to dry the tops and bottoms. The drier the surface of the scallops, the better they will sear. Set aside.

  • Cook the bacon in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until it's almost crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

  • Keep the bacon grease hot over medium-high heat. Use tongs to gently place the scallops in the pot. Cook until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the scallops from the pot and set aside.

  • Add the water, potatoes, carrots, and half of the salt to the pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any stuck on bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.

  • Pour the cream into the pot. Bring the chowder back to a simmer and continue to cook for 10 minutes.

  • Add the haddock, lobster, and shrimp to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes.

  • Add the cooked bacon bits, chives, dill, pepper, and remaining salt to the pot. Stir well and adjust the seasoning to suit your taste. Ladle the chowder into bowls making sure each serving gets a fair share of seafood! Top each serving with pan-seared scallops, and a sprinkle of fresh dill. Serve hot with fresh rolls or biscuits.


  • Look for seafood when it's on sale and freeze for later.

  • Cook as many scallops as you want to serve per bowl.

  • I prefer the look and taste of pan-seared scallops but you can add them directly to the pot when you add the other seafood if you want.

  • After you add the fish to the chowder, stir it gently, especially if using haddock as it tends to fall apart easily.

  • Seafood chowder tastes better the second day. Resting the soup overnight allows all of the flavors to fully infuse. I'd even argue the chowder tastes best the third day!

  • Lobster stock is a simple way to take your seafood chowder to the next level! I use it in place of water.

How To Make Lobster Stock

  1. Remove all meat from a cooked lobster.

  2. Place the empty shells and body on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the shells for 20 minutes at 450ºF (230ºC).

  3. Place the roasted shells in a pot, cover them with water, and gently boil for one hour. Top with more water if needed.

  4. Strain out the shells, and reserve the liquid to use as your chowder base instead of water. Proceed with the recipe as written.

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