Lightened Seafood Chowder

4.84 stars average

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This lightened seafood chowder is packed with hearty vegetables, fish, and shrimp in a light and fragrant broth made with sweet corn and a little kick of heat.

Easy Seafood Chowder Recipe

Chowder doesn’t have to be made with just clams as it does in New England, and it doesn’t have to be made with heavy cream either! My Lightened Seafood Chowder is hearty, flavorful, and gets a delicious crunch of sweetness from the corn. Similar to my popular vegan corn chowder, it starts with the basics: celery, onion, and creamy Yukon gold potatoes.

How to Make Lightened Seafood Chowder

Mincing Celery

Start your Lightened Seafood Chowder by preparing your ingredients. Chop your celery and potatoes, dice your onion, and mince your thyme.

Chopping Fish

You’ll also want to prepare your seafood, if that means deveining your shrimp or cutting your fish.

Adding potatoes to chowder

Then melt your butter in the bottom of a large pot before cooking your onion and celery with a pinch of salt and pepper until tender. Add your potatoes to the pot along with the garlic powder, thyme, and another pinch of salt and pepper. Add the cayenne here as well if you’re feeling spicy.

Adding Shrimp to Chowder

Cook for about two minutes before sprinkling with flour and stir until it dissolves. Then add in your corn, shrimp, and fish.

Pouring broth into chowder

Pour in your broth, milk, and half & half and stir to get everything evenly incorporated. Bring to a boil before reducing heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occassionally.

Garnishing lightened seafood chowder with lemon juice.

Once it reaches your desired thickness, garnish with fresh lemon juice, additional thyme, or parsley. Enjoy your Lightened Seafood Chowder!

Easy Substitutions

  • Use different seafood. Instead of shrimp, use lobster, crab, or even clams. Switch out the kinds of white fish you use: cod for tilapia, or halibut.
  • Spice things up. Add cayenne and your favorite hot sauce to kick the heat up in this chowder.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What type of fish and seafood is best for seafood chowder?

For the seafood, use whatever is fresh or easy to find near you. I always have a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer so I used that along with fresh, wild cod I found at the grocery store. Other types of white fish that would work well include halibut, tilapia, whitefish or haddock.

What can I use instead of cream in chowder?

You can use a coconut cream or almond milk if you are looking for a dairy alternative, or you can use half and half (like I do) or even plain yogurt.

How long will seafood chowder keep?

It will keep up to 3 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. It’s very freezer friendly!

Hearty Seafood Chowder

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Liz enjoying lightened seafood chowder.

A great dish to make ahead if you’re entertaining or just know you’ll have a lot going on, my Lightened Seafood Chowder is both delicious and satisfying.

Your spoon is waiting.

Light Seafood Chowder

Lightened Seafood Chowder

4.84 stars average
This lightened seafood chowder is packed with hearty vegetables, fish, and shrimp in a light and fragrant broth made with sweet corn and a little kick of heat.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 30 minutes
TOTAL: 40 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 2 stalks celery (minced)
  • 4 large Yukon gold potatoes (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (minced)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (low sodium (or veggie or seafood broth))
  • 1 cup milk (any kind)
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1 pound firm white fish (cut in chunks, such as cod or halibut)
  • 1 pound shrimp (raw, peeled and deveined)
  • 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)


  • Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large soup pot. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes before adding in the celery and cooking additional 3-4 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with a pinch fo salt and pepper.
  • Add potatoes to the pot along with garlic powder, thyme cayenne and another pinch salt and pepper. Cook for about two minutes before sprinkling with flour. Stir flour into the vegetables until it almost dissolves, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour chicken broth, milk and half and half into the pot and, using a wooden spoon, be sure to stir in any flour that may be sticking to the bottom of the pot. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a low boil, stirring frequently.
  • Add shrimp and fish to the pot along with the corn and bring mixture to a low boil. Reduce to low and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until reaches desired thickness. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly before serving.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1cupCalories: 268kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 26gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 183mgSodium: 960mgPotassium: 885mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 341IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 167mgIron: 3mg
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6 responses to “Lightened Seafood Chowder”

  1. NLD Avatar

    Delicious chowder – it’s become an annual tradition! Any suggestions on how to thicken it more towards the end?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Corn starch or flour made into a slurry can help to thicken the broth. Glad you enjoy it!

  2. Rebecca Avatar

    This was absolutely delicious. I used scallops instead of fish, but kept everything else the same.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Rebecca! Let me know what other recipes you try!

  3. Kim Yowell Avatar
    Kim Yowell

    The Light Seafood Chowder was excellent…I followed the recipe exactly and used cod. Froze the leftover!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh i’m so glad you enjoyed it!