Our 24 Best Chowder Recipes

Corn, Crab and Shrimp Chowder

From the tomato-based Manhattan Clam Chowder to creamy Corn, Crab, and Shrimp Chowder, this array of both rich and hearty chowder recipes will keep you satisfied and comforted during the darker, chillier months. Whether you like your chowders packed with fresh seafood as in our Southwest Seafood Chowder, or loaded with sweet corn like the Raw Sweet Corn and Cashew Chowder, we have a recipe for you.

01 of 24

PEI-Style Smoky Clam Chowder

PEI Style Smoky Clam Chowder Recipe
Graydon Herriott

Finnan haddie, or cold-smoked cured haddock, gives this brothy chowder a deep, clean, smoky foundation that highlights sweet clams without overwhelming them. Using a mixture of lightly mashed potatoes and half-and-half to thicken and enrich the soup gives it a silky, but not heavy, texture.

02 of 24

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder
Greg DuPree

In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best. Chef and author Maricel Presilla's fantastic coastal Ecuadoran shrimp chowder is made with grated plantain, which gives the soup a wonderfully light and creamy body. Serve it with Presilla's Tangy Corn Salsa for extra crunch and dimension of flavor.

03 of 24

Smoked Fish Chowder

Iceland Fish Chowder

Any local smoked fish, from haddock to trout, works well in this creamy chowder studded with corn kernels and tender chunks of potato. The recipe is also terrific made with fresh cod or sole and a little bacon for smokiness.

04 of 24

Corn Chowder with Bacon and Sea Scallops

Corn Chowder with Bacon and Sea Scallops

Look for sugar-cured bacon, which is smoky and sweet but mild enough not to overpower the other flavors here. The scallops are cooked in the reserved bacon fat for an extra layer of deliciousness, and Tabasco gives the soup just a tinge of heat. Pair this dish with a medium-bodied Chardonnay.

05 of 24

Curry-Coconut Clam Chowder, Papi-Style

Curry-Coconut Clam Chowder, Papi-Style
© Chris Court

One of Roi Choi's first chef jobs was at a Los Angeles country club where he made New England clam chowder every Friday. This lighter version includes green curry paste, coconut milk, and plenty of lime juice.

06 of 24

Smoked Whitefish Chowder

Smoked-Whitefish Chowder

To make this lightly smoky chowder, 2000 F&W Best New Chef Andrew Carmellini cleverly cooks potato chunks in milk and cream, which both enriches the potatoes and thickens the broth. He also adds corn and a mix of herbs to brighten the flavor.

07 of 24

Whitefish, Leek, and Celery Chowder with White Beans

Whitefish, Leek and Celery Chowder with White Beans
© Marcus Nilsson

F&W Culinary Director at Large Justin Chapple puts his own spin on chowder here, using beans instead of potatoes, and smoky whitefish in place of bacon. It's hearty and delicious but lighter and fresher than most chowders. The soup is garnished with celery leaves, chives, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, then served with crusty bread.

08 of 24

Raw Sweet Corn and Cashew Chowder

Raw Sweet Corn and Cashew Chowder
© Frances Janisch

Whole food chef and wellness expert Ani Phyo likes to add a handful of spinach or soft lettuce to this unique plant-based chowder. "Then it becomes part-soup, part-salad," she says. Be sure to use fresh corn here.

09 of 24

Corn and Cod Chowder

Corn-and-Cod Chowder

With its all-American ingredients, this New England-style chowder is a comfort-food classic. The soup needs only bread, or traditional oyster crackers, as an accompaniment. If you prefer, sub out the cod for another firm, mild fish such as pollack, orange roughy, or ocean perch.

10 of 24

Southwest Seafood Chowder

Southwest Seafood Chowder
© David Malosh

As a native New Englander, chef Steve Sicinski loves clam chowder but prefers making a leaner version with Southwestern flavors. Here, he includes clams, halibut, and shrimp in his tomatoey ancho chile-based broth.

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Shrimp and Smoked Oyster Chowder

Shrimp-and-Smoked-Oyster Chowder
© John Kernick

There are several tricks to this terrific chowder from chef Linton Hopkins. He adds potato chunks to the broth for thickness, then pours in a little low-fat buttermilk for creamy tanginess. And instead of fatty bacon, he uses smoked oysters to give the chowder a slightly woodsy flavor.

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Smoked Trout Chowder

Smoked-Trout Chowder

Smoked fish — already cooked and intensely flavorful — is an ideal addition to dishes when time is of the essence. We've used trout here, but another flaky fish, such as haddock or whitefish, would work just as well.

13 of 24

Creamy Shrimp, Corn, and Tomato Chowder

Creamy Shrimp Corn and Tomato Chowder
Fredrika Stjärne

Television chef Carla Hall has a surprise ingredient in this recipe: a can of creamed corn. She uses it to add sweet corn flavor to her lightened take on chowder and to thicken the broth in place of too much cream or flour. The optional tablespoon of anise-flavored liqueur provides even more depth of flavor.

14 of 24

Smoky Ham and Corn Chowder

Smoky Ham-and-Corn Chowder
© Yunhee Kim

This simple but luxurious ham and corn chowder is given a boost of flavor by simmering the scraps — ham rind and corn cobs — in water to make a quick, tasty stock.

15 of 24

Seafood and Seaweed Chowder

Seafood and Seaweed Chowder Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

A combination of dry hard cider and dried seaweed brings a sweet, mild salinity to the stock, making it ideal for precooking the mussels and clams before using it as the base of the chowder.

16 of 24

Cupe (Peruvian Shrimp and Corn Chowder)

Peruvian Shrimp-and-Corn Chowder

In Peru, small streams wend their way from the mountains to the coast, and the delicious shrimp that fill them are cooked with local corn, squash, and potatoes to make this South American chowder called cupe. Don't peel the shrimp before cooking them in the first step: The shells will flavor the cooking oil, which in turn will flavor the soup.

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Tomato Clam Chowder

Tomato Clam Chowder

This simple, lean tomato clam chowder is made from a combination of juicy grilled tomatoes, clams, potatoes, and herbs. Have your ladle at the ready for inevitable bowl refills.

18 of 24

Smoky Oyster Chowder with Bacon, Rosemary, and Fennel

Smoky Oyster Chowder with Bacon, Rosemary and Fennel

This velvety chowder from chef Dylan Fultineer is thickened with a classic flour-and-butter roux. He packs it with plump oysters and tender fingerling potatoes, and adds a kick of heat from dried red chiles. For extra flavor, he uses bacon from Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Hams in Tennessee, which is famous for its intense smokiness.

19 of 24

Quinoa Chowder with Feta and Scallions

Quinoa Chowder with Feta and Scallions
© Scott Hocker

Feta and scallion garnishes give this quinoa chowder a surprisingly rich finish. It can easily be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for up to three days.

20 of 24

Fall River Clam Chowder

Fall River Clam Chowder
© David Malosh

Emeril Lagasse's chowder recipe from the 2007 Food & Wine Classic combines all the traditional elements: clams, bacon, potatoes, and corn. Half-and-half lends the soup some creaminess, and its flavor is built with a mirepoix, bay leaf, cayenne, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and Old Bay Seasoning.

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Corn, Crab, and Shrimp Chowder

Corn, Crab and Shrimp Chowder

Chef Andrew Zimmern adds depth to his rich seafood chowder by making an easy stock with corn cobs and shrimp shells. Plenty of cream and butter make this chowder irresistibly decadent.

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Manhattan Clam Chowder

Manhattan Clam Chowder
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

This recipe for Manhattan Clam Chowder — known for being tomato-forward with a broth base — has layers of flavor, from the clam broth spiked with white wine to the tender vegetables that are cooked in bacon fat. Half of the clams are roughly chopped, while the other half are left whole in their shells for contrast.

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Chicken and Garlic Chowder

Chicken-and-Garlic Chowder
© Tina Rupp

The beauty of this recipe is that it takes advantage of an array of terrific prefab ingredients, from prepeeled garlic and precut butternut squash to rotisserie chicken and frozen sofrito (the Spanish green pepper and onion seasoning paste). Poaching the prepeeled garlic cloves in milk helps bring out an extraordinary depth of flavor.

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Corn and Shrimp Chowder with Mashed Potatoes

Corn and Shrimp Chowder with Mashed Potatoes
© Lucy Schaeffer

Simmering dill seeds with corn and shrimp makes a delectable soup. Instead of the traditional cubes of potato throughout the chowder, we've put a mound of creamy mashed potatoes in the center of the bowl. This comforting dish is a meal in itself.

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