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This creamy salmon chowder recipe is incredibly flavorful and easy to make with everyday ingredients! It’s loaded with crispy bacon, fresh dill, corn, and potatoes.
Why you’ll love it
My favorite thing about this chowder with salmon is the delicate and super flavorful broth. It’s a delicious summer soup (think fresh corn and dill from the garden), but you could certainly make it year-round. It’s pure comfort on a rainy day!
This simple salmon chowder recipe has all the tasty, easy-to-find ingredients you crave in a good seafood chowder: savory, smoky bacon, chunks of flaky salmon, fresh dill, and plenty of bright corn for a burst of natural sweetness in every bite.
What you’ll need
- Bacon – it makes everything better!
- Salmon – we’re using a pound of fresh salmon, but you can definitely go a bit over a pound of salmon. Up to 1.5 pounds is totally fine.
- Onion, carrots, celery, garlic – the base of any good soup. I like sweet onions.
- Flour – to thicken it up
- Chicken broth and clam juice – this combo gives the chowder better and richer flavor than just using chicken broth alone. If you have access to a good fish stock, then by all means use it!
- Heavy cream – to make it silky and luscious
- Potatoes – we’re using Russets
- Corn – use either fresh or frozen
- Dill – this herb goes so well with salmon
- I like to prep while I go along to save time, but you can prep everything ahead of time if that’s more your style!
How to make salmon chowder
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Chop the bacon, and cook it in a soup pot. Meanwhile, prep the veggies. Transfer the bacon to a plate, and don’t discard the fat. Sear the salmon for 2 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.
Spoon out some of the fat, and sauté the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir in the garlic, followed by the flour, and stir for about a minute. Pour in the broth and clam juice, and scrape up any browned bits from the pot. Add the cream, corn, potatoes, and most of the bacon.
Cook until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Break up the salmon using a fork, and discard the skin. Remove the chowder from the heat, and add in the salmon and dill. Season with salt & pepper, and top with the remaining bacon.
Substitutions and variations
- I don’t recommend subbing the heavy cream for half-and-half or milk because it could curdle since we do boil it. It’s happened to other readers.
- It’s fantastic as-is, but if you want a lemony note, feel free to add in a splash of lemon juice or some lemon zest.
- I recommend using fresh dill, but if you want to use dried, I’d start with 1 teaspoon and work your way up from there to taste.
Leftovers and storage
- Store this chowder in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- You can freeze it, but there’s a chance that it might change texture a little bit due to the dairy, and the fish could dry out a little. It should still taste good. Thaw in the fridge overnight, and then reheat it slowly over a low heat.
If you made this salmon chowder recipe, please leave a star rating and review below! You can also tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you made any of my recipes.
- 4 strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 1 pound fresh salmon
- 1/2 medium onion chopped small
- 2 medium carrots peeled & chopped small
- 2 sticks celery chopped small
- 1 large clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 cup clam juice see note
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 2 large Russet potatoes peeled & diced
- 3/4 cup corn (frozen or fresh)
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Prep your bacon (I use kitchen shears to make it easy) and add it to a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook until crispy (about 10 minutes).
- Meanwhile, prep your onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes.
- Once the bacon is crispy, take it out of the pot and transfer it to a paper towel lined plate. Leave the bacon fat in the pot.
- Add the salmon to the pot and cook for 2 minutes/side and then it transfer to a plate (salmon probably won't be fully cooked and that's fine. This step is just to add some extra flavor and to avoid having to cut up raw salmon since that's more tedious). The salmon skin may stick to the pot a bit, but that's ok, just use your spoon to get most of it off.
- Leave about 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pot, and then add the onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring nearly constantly.
- Add in the chicken broth and clam juice. Give it a good stir to ensure the flour has dissolved and the flavorful brown bits are scraped up from the bottom of the pot.
- Add in the cream, potatoes, corn, and most of the bacon (I reserve the rest for garnishing the bowls later on). Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to a rapid simmer so it's gently boiling.
- Cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender (about 15-20 minutes). Stir occasionally.
- Use a fork to break the salmon into smaller pieces. The skin should slide off easily (don't add the skin to the soup unless you want to). Take the soup off the heat. Add the salmon and dill to the soup. It should only take a few minutes for the salmon to finish cooking through.
- Season the soup with salt & pepper as needed. Garnish with the rest of the bacon.
- Serves 4-6 depending on portion size.
- I don’t recommend subbing the cream for milk or half-and-half as the boiling may curdle the soup.
- The clam juice can easily be found in most grocery stores (I found it the same place as canned fish like tuna etc.). If you can’t easily find a good fish stock, clam juice is a great way to use chicken broth and have this soup still have that well-rounded seafood chowder taste.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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This recipe was originally published on July 13, 2020. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!