This salmon chowder recipe is incredibly flavorful and easy to make! It's loaded with smoky bacon, fresh dill, corn, carrots, and potatoes.
This soup is neither thick nor thin... it's somewhere in the middle. My chowder recipes (Ham & Corn Chowder, Creamy Corn Chowder, and Chicken & Corn Chowder) are a bit thicker, but I like the more delicate broth in this one.
This recipe is mom-approved (my mom loved it). 😉 It's even better the next day when the flavors get a chance to meld some more.
This is a delicious summer soup (think fresh corn and dill from the garden), but you could certainly make it year-round. This is perfectly comforting for a rainy day.
Recipe notes & tips:
- If you have access to a good fish stock, then by all means use it! I use clam juice + chicken broth (both readily available at most grocery stores) to give this chowder better/richer flavor than just using chicken broth.
- I love the soup as-is, but if you want a lemony note, feel free to add in a splash of lemon juice or some lemon zest.
- 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.
- You can definitely go a bit over a pound of salmon. Up to 1.5 pounds, I'd say.
- 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 (you can always add more).
- As far as what kind of salmon to buy, just buy what looks best to you. I sometimes buy wild, and sometimes I buy farmed. Some people have very strong opinions on this, but in general if you don't eat a LOT of salmon, eating farmed occasionally is fine.
- I don't recommend subbing the heavy cream for half-and-half or milk because it could curdle since we do boil it (a reader tried that in another one of my chowder recipes and it happened).
More salmon recipes to try:
Will you give this salmon chowder recipe a try? Questions? Let me know in the comments below.
- 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.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information
Have you tried it with coconut milk or cream instead of the dairy cream?
Hi! I haven't, but you may want to look thru the comments to see if anyone else tried. I know readers sometimes use Silk's dairy-free whipping cream in various recipes with success. Coconut milk will change the flavor. Let me know!
Can i use smoked salmon, if so when would i add it?
Hmmm... do you mean like the thinly sliced stuff or a thicker piece? Since it's already cooked, I'd add it in towards the end just so it warms through.
This recipe is great! I’m always looking for new ways to eat seafood during lent. I substituted the salmon with canned tuna & used broccoli instead of celery. Will definitely make this again! Thank you.
You're very welcome! 🙂
Amazing recipe! We are blessed with an abundance of salmon, always looking for new and delicious ways to cook it. This is now a favourite!
That's awesome!! Glad you enjoyed this one!
Absolutely delicious. I’ve made it several times and the recipe never fails. Definitely high end restaurant quality.
That's so nice to hear, Cathy! 🙂
I’ve made this chowder several times now and this recipe came out perfect every time. It is rich and creamy. The flavors of the ingredients blend into a decadent five star entree. Any fine restaurant would be proud to serve it on their menu. I love it!!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
That's so kind of you to say, Cathy!! Thrilled to hear that it's a favorite of yours! 🙂
Loved the recipe but I did thicken it up to my liking but so yummy and easy to prepare
Olga S says
I made this yesterday and it was such a big hit! Everyone asked for seconds. I followed the recipe to the t, but added a little bit of Creole seasoning because it's my favorite with seafood soups:) I served it with parmesan cheese on top and it was perfect!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
We love Creole seasoning over here too! So glad you liked the chowder, Olga. 🙂
I made this tonight to procrastinate instead of studying - it's so delicious!
I wish I'd had fresh salmon, as the smoked salmon I used didn't have quite the same effect, but this chowder is lovely nonetheless.
I doubled it for leftovers, but it's so filling it'll last me ages!
Thanks for a great recipe x
You're very welcome, Bec!! Glad you enjoyed it, and let me know if you try it with the fresh salmon.
Even the salmon skeptics thought it was great! Thanks!
Made this today for the first time and it was truly delicious. I didn't have the clam ingredient and I don't think it mattered much. This chowder tastes amazing!! Thank you for this recipe.
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
You're welcome, Melanie! We're so glad you liked it 🙂
YUM! Super easy. I didn't have salmon and used cod instead and was absolutely delish and light. Definitely a keeper
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
That's so good to hear, Cathy!!
Very good soup! My husband and kids loved it! I made two changes that turned out great. First, I added yellow bell peppers to the vegetables and second, I didn’t have heavy whipping cream and had to use half and half. I just waited until the potatoes were done and added it, gave it a good stir and added the salmon. I then turned my Dutch oven to low and covered for about 5-10 minutes. This gave me a nice creamy soup without curdling.
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
So glad it worked out and that your family enjoyed it, Stacey!
Can I replace the clam juice with maybe bone broth my husband can't have clams but loves salmon
I think that should be fine.
A most delish chowder. I used spring salmon and cold smoked spring salmon - (not lox) about half and half. Wow, the smoked salmon gave this chowder great depth!
Excellent!! That sounds amazing! So glad you liked the recipe.
Salmon is are new favorite dish . My husband is allergic to a lot of stuff so you can't have the deal only seasoning so far we can use is oregano how would that taste? Or should I just use salt and pepper ? I also can't us lemons and I use this potato starch which I love by the way it's better then flour or corn starch.
I think oregano would be ok, but I'd go fairly easy on it and plenty of salt & pepper.
Super, stuck to the recipe for the most part. Canned corn ok, dried dill good. Very easy to make. Thanks it’s our go to salmon soup. Used this year’s pink salmon. Made salmon fish stock during salmon season and used it instead of the chicken and clam juice. Next to a warm biscuit. Mmm Mmm
I'm so glad it's a hit!! 🙂
can this be frozen
I think that should be fine, Susan.
Loved this soup making a 2nd pot 2 days later!
If you wanted to freeze would you leave out the cream or add ?
Thanks so much
I'm so glad you like it!! 🙂 I would probably leave the cream out if you wanted to freeze the whole batch.
Best salmon chowder ever!! Made it multiple times, always a big hit 💕
Aww thank you!! I'm so glad to hear that, Marg!
Jason Webster says
Your recipe lacked a roux. The amount of bacon called for doesn't emit enough fat to make the flour combine to form one. Id suggest making one and adding it before the creme. Also triple the fresh dill. Dried and fresh herbs aren't the same flavor level. And I'd also suggest seasoning your fish before frying it. Other than these minor issues it was a decent chowder
Sorry to hear you didn't like it! Others didn't seem to experience the same issues you did.
Bill Mott says
Still another "make again" from Salt and Lavender. And another reason to keep heavy cream in our fridge. Delicious!
Fantastic!! Thanks, Bill!
This was great! I used frozen salmon filets and used half chicken stock and half fish broth made from better than bouillon fish stock concentrate. Great recipe that's easy to customize. Thank you!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! You're very welcome.
This is an amazing chowder. The flavor was excellent. The directions were easy. My husband loved it as well. I think this would be good with other fish such as haddock or cod. Thanks for sharing.
I'm so happy to hear you liked it, Pam!! 🙂
I made this and it was a hit! This was a GREAT chowder recipe! Everyone loved it! Thank you for sharing!
That's so good to hear!! Thanks for reviewing my recipe, Maggie. 🙂
Can you use almond or coconut milk to replace heat cream?
I wouldn't recommend almond milk... it's very watery and won't really add much. Coconut milk might work, but it'll change the flavor a bit. Hard to say without testing! Let me know if you try.
Cheryl Bellamy says
I can’t wait to try this recipe!
Hope you enjoy it, Cheryl! 🙂
Patty Calvano says
This chowder is absolutely perfect!
Thank you so much!!
This recipe is wonderful. I did not have clam juice but it was still delish.
Fabulous!! Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I gotta say, I'm not a chowder person. This was really, really good. Easy to eyeball measure too.
That's great to hear, Kelly! 🙂
Ann Bort says
This soup is wonderful. The recipe is easy to follow and the ingredients available.
I'm so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for commenting, Ann! 🙂
This is probably the best recipe I have ever made -- and I try a ton of new recipes! The only change I made was to use Italian parsley instead of dill (not a fan of dill). It's been hot and smoky here in Central CA, and it tasted wonderful. Can't wait to make it again this fall/winter. Thanks for sharing.
Yay! That makes me so happy. Thanks for letting me know! I hope some rain comes your way.
Elaine Chestnutt says
I'm definitely going to make this, I've been looking for a good chowder recipe and this looks like it - simple enough but not scrimping on flavour .
Let me know if you do try, Elaine! 🙂