How to make a lovely quick and easy Irish fish chowder from scratch.
Creamy soup made with bacon lardons, onion, potato and fish pie mix, of smoked haddock, cod and salmon. Cooked seafood mix of prawns (shrimps), mussels and squid rings and sweetcorn are added to the stock, milk and cream sauce soup.
Resulting in the best chunky and thick stew texture to the fish broth. Serve in a bread boat or in bowls with bread to dip. Can be made ahead, reheated and is freezable.
How to make Fish Chowder?
We will guide you through each step of the way to create a delicious yet easy fish chowder with our recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Check out the slideshow video below to see how quick and simple it is to create this fish comfort dish at home.
The ingredients you will need to make fish chowder from scratch are as follows. We also give you suggestions of what to substitute with if needed?
Bacon lardons, for the best flavour use smoked. You can use smoked pancetta or chop up slices of bacon instead.
Onions, or can use shallots instead.
Garlic & Chilli, we use 1 teaspoon each of the Gia range of garlic puree and chilli puree to help bring the chowder to the table quick. Substitute with 2 garlic cloves and 1 chilli finely chopped.
White Wine, use a dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.
Flour, this helps to thicken the broth into a thicker soup.
Stock, either fish, vegetable or chicken stock can be used to add a flavour to the chowder soup base.
Milk, we use whole milk for creamiest results but you can use any!
Potato, we used rooster potatoes and left the red skin unpeeled. Giving a splash of colour to the fish chowder. Of course, you can use any starchy potatoes.
The starch helps to thicken the chowder into a thick soup. At the same time, the potato chucks help give the chowder a more stew like consistency.
Herbs, a sachet of bouquet garni has mix of thyme, bay leaf and parsley in a bag, easy to remove at the end of cooking. We also add some fresh parsley and paprika.
Fish, in this case we find it easiest to use a fish pie mix. Smoked haddock, cod and salmon already diced and ready to add. You can substitute with any fish you like, it is best to have at least one smoked fish though.
Cooked seafood mix, available to buy from most supermarkets. Ready cooked prawns (shrimps), mussels and squid rings. You can use just cooked prawns (shrimp) if preferred? If using frozen cooked seafood defrost before adding to the chowder.
If you choose to use raw seafood, make sure to add at the same time as the fish instead.
Sweetcorn, frozen or tinned can be used.
Double cream, for the best creamy fish chowder always use a heavy cream.
How to prepare a bread bowl for Chowder
As seen in pictures we used a large unsliced tiger loaf to serve the creamy fish chowder in for all to share. You can use any thick and firm crusted bread.
Cut a big rectangle in the bread loaf making sure not to cut all the way through to the bottom.
Next, cut the rectangle into smaller 2-inch sections. Push your fingers in deep to gently pull each chunk out. Serve on the side for dipping into the fish chowder.
If you want to stick with the Irish theme why not use smaller soda bread rolls and serve individually instead.
Or keep it simple and serve fish chowder in bowls and add sliced bread on the side.
Sprinkle with extra parsley to serve. The perfect comfort food, a big hit in our house, all stick a spoon in and share the delicious fish chowder straight from the bread bowl!
Fish Chowder leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2 days in a airtight container.
How to reheat chowder?
To reheat fish chowder, simply place in a pan and stir until well heated throughout.
Cream based soups don't do well in the freezer, the cream can split during defrosting.
If you really wanted to make and freeze chowder ahead, simply cook without adding the cream at the end. Freeze the fish chowder in an airtight container for up to a month. Make sure to defrost in the fridge overnight.
Then stir in the cream during reheating in a pan.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Fish Chowder Bread Boat
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 60 grams (¼ cup) smoked bacon lardons or diced smoked pancetta
- 1 tsp Garlic puree or 2 garlic clove
- 1 tsp Chilli puree or 1 red chilli minced or finely chopped
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 350 ml (1 ⅓cup) fish stock can use vegetable stock instead
- 50 ml (¼ cup) white wine
- 2 medium red potatoes (chopped) any potatoes will work
- 175 ml (¾ cup) milk we use whole milk but you can use any type of milk
- 1 bouquet garni mix of thyme, bay leaf and parsley in a bag
- ½ tsp paprika
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 300 grams fish pie mix salmon,cod,smoked haddock cubes
- 350 grams (11oz) seafood mix prawns, mussels, squid rings
- 1 tin sweetcorn drained
- 150 ml (⅔ cup) double cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tiger bread optional can use other types of breads
- Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large pan, add the bacon lardons and onion. Cook for 4 minutes until softened
- Add garlic and chilli and stir together.
- Add white wine
- Stir through plain flour
- Add fish stock whilst stirring.
- Add potatoes, then pour the milk over them. Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer.
- Add bouquet garni, paprika, parsley and salt & pepper, and leave to simmer for 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare bread by cutting out an opening in the middle. Cut the inner chunk of bread into bitesize pieces used for dipping.
- Add salmon, cod and smoked haddock. Stir and simmer for 7 minutes
- Stir in the cooked seafood mix of prawns mussels and squid rings.
- Add sweetcorn
- Finally, add the cream stir through and simmer for 5 minutes until heated through.
- Remove the Bouquet garni from the pan.Pour the fish chowder inside the tiger bread boat.
- Add a sprinkle of parsley and serve up with the remaining bread and spoons.
We hope you enjoy our Fish Chowder Bread Boat as much as we do, please send us a message below to let us know how you get on.