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Irish Seafood Chowder

Irish Seafood Chowder ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #Irish #Seafood #Soup #Stew #Recipe

On my quest to find more Irish dishes besides the corned beef and cabbage gig, I pondered what else would the Irish make? Well, there is a LOT of ocean around Ireland, so they must have seafood, yes? I googled Irish Seafood and a small school of Irish Seafood Chowder recipes surfaced. That made me smile. I love a good seafood chowder.

I studied several of them, gleaned the main ingredients, and began making my version of an Irish chowder. They say you can use any kind of seafood–I chose shrimp, salmon and crab. I saw some included mussels, but that is not something we have available to us in this land-locked place I call home. I had to resort to frozen or canned seafood, but if you have fresh available to you, oh yes, use fresh seafood.

This chowder is hearty and rich, thick and creamy. The crab meat melts into the broth and thickens it. I added tarragon and thyme for a bit more flavor. Not sure if the Irish would do that, but I’ve seen tarragon in other recipes, so I figure it might sneak into the seafood chowder.

Irish Seafood Chowder

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: About 2 1/2 quarts of chowder

Irish Seafood Chowder


  • 2 slices lean nitrate-free bacon
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 leek, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 2 cups fish broth or clam juice or 2 cups water + 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 oz. Greek cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 cups low fat milk
  • 1/2 lb. salmon, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 lb. shrimp, tails removed
  • 1 6-oz. can crabmeat, drained
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme


  1. In a nonstick soup pot, cook the bacon over medium heat, then remove it from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the olive oil, leek, celery, carrots and garlic to the pan and saute until the celery is tender. While the veggies are cooking, chop the bacon.
  3. Add the potatoes, broth and bay leaf to the pot and cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Take about 2 cups of the hot soup and put it in a blender with the Greek cream cheese, cornstarch and 1 cup of milk. Blend until smooth and pour the milk mixture back into the pot. Add the rest of the milk to the pot as well.
  4. Stir in the salmon, shrimp, crabmeat, chopped bacon and seasonings, reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 5 minutes longer until the shrimp is pink and the salmon is done. Do NOT allow the chowder to boil! Add salt & freshly ground pepper to taste and a pinch of cayenne or chipotle powder if you desire a little tingle on your tongue. Stir in a bit more milk if you feel the chowder is too thick. Keep the on the stove on low heat until serving time.


RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/

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Irish Seafood Chowder ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #Irish #Seafood #Soup #Stew #Recipe

This recipe was shared at Gluten Free FridayFull Plate ThursdayLet’s Get Real FridayWeekend RetreatSunday Fitness and Food Linkup and Pretty Pintastic Pinterest Party.


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20 Responses

  1. This loos Fabulous! I have been researching & cooking a few different Irish dishes this week, as well, so this really caught my attention! Seafood instead of Beef…and I love a good chowder! Stumbled & Pinned! Would love for you to share at the Sunday Fitness & Food Link-up at: http://www.marathonsandmotivation.com

    March 10, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    • Ann

      Thank you so much, Angela! I need to check out your Irish dishes … and thanks for the invite! I’ll be over. 🙂

      March 11, 2016 at 7:36 am

  2. In this house full of seafood lovers, this chowder is a must-try! Pinning!

    March 11, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    • Ann

      Hurrah! Thank you so much, Julia 🙂

      March 13, 2016 at 7:42 pm

  3. Kim

    Recipe as posted above at this writing doesn’t address if using bacon drippings AND olive oil…where other 2 cups of the 3 cups of milk are added…where chopped bacon comes back into play. Some cooks can guess…others need specifics. Thanks!!

    March 15, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    • Ann

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for your comment!

      I used very lean bacon so there weren’t many bacon drippings left in the pan, so yes, I did use both olive oil and bacon drippings. If your bacon is higher in fat, drain off some of the bacon fat before adding olive oil — or leave out the olive oil.

      Add the chopped bacon in with the shrimp. I updated the recipe to make this more clear. Please let me know if anything else needs clarifying! I very much appreciate your help in refining this recipe.

      Take care,


      March 15, 2016 at 10:23 pm

      • Kim

        And the other 2 cups of milk….? Thx for clarifying the other 2 items…

        March 15, 2016 at 11:27 pm

  4. Your Irish Seafood Chowder will sure be a hit with our Irish family!Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again soon!
    Miz Helen

    March 16, 2016 at 10:34 am

  5. Can’t wait to try this Ann, I adore fish soups and this one looks positively divine ♥ Dor

    March 18, 2016 at 8:15 am

    • Ann

      Thank you, Dor! I think you’re going to love it.

      March 18, 2016 at 5:13 pm

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  7. Alice

    I returned from a trip to Ireland craving seafood chowder and soda bread. I made this exactly per your directions, my friends said it was the best seafood chowder they’d ever eaten. It was just as delicious as the chowder I had in Ireland. Thanks for sharing!

    November 28, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    • Ann

      Alice you totally made my day … this kind of comment makes it all worth it. Thank you so much. I am so glad my chowder was just the thing for you. <3

      November 30, 2016 at 10:50 pm

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  9. Mark

    Do you cook salmon and shrimp before adding this to the stew? Recipe looks amazing!

    March 11, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    • Ann

      Hi Mark,

      I believe I used pre-cooked frozen shrimp, but no, I didn’t cook the salmon before adding it to the pot. It cooks really quickly in the hot soup. It’s a fabulous recipe … I hope you try it!



      March 11, 2017 at 3:31 pm

  10. Nicki

    Looks delicious, can you make it ahead of time and put it in a crock pot for party?

    March 14, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    • Ann

      Hi Nicki,

      If you’re going to make it ahead, I would make it up to the point where you add the seafood (so stop right before step 4). Add the seafood after you warm up the soup for the party and make sure to keep your crockpot on “warm” only so you don’t overcook the seafood.

      Good luck with your party!



      March 14, 2017 at 7:42 pm

  11. Carol

    Wish I knew when to add the other two cups of milk !!??!!

    March 17, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    • Ann

      Hi Carol,

      Thank you so much for pointing that out! Just add the rest of the milk in step 3. I’ve updated the directions to make that clear.

      Good luck with the soup,


      March 18, 2017 at 11:55 am