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A simple recipe for Salmon Chowder using fresh salmon that can be made in about 30 minutes on the stovetop. Looking for more? Check out our 25+ BEST Salmon Recipes and 50+ Easy Dinner Ideas! ✨
As spring rounds the corner, baby potatoes will soon be abundant. This recipe for Salmon Chowder bridges the gap between seasons, using the last of winter’s fennel bulbs paired with new, thin-skinned potatoes. This is not a traditional New England Chowder, but tasty all the same. I’ve left the flour out, so it’s a bit lighter, thinner, and brothier, which feels a little more “springy” to me.
What I love about this recipe, besides how homey and comforting it is, is how easily adaptable it is- it can be made keto, or kept dairy-free, using coconut milk, depending on your needs. Use whole milk, half & half or heavy cream- you decide. If you want even more decadence, you may enjoy this Lobster Bisque Recipe.
Salmon Chowder |Video
How to make Salmon Chowder
This Salmon Chowder starts with onion, garlic, fennel, and fresh salmon. You can also use leftover cooked salmon, or even hot smoked salmon.
New spring potatoes are sliced thinly- which will help the overall dish to cook more quickly.
Saute the onion, garlic and fennel, add the seasonings and create a flavorful base for the potatoes to cook in.
Cut the salmon into pieces.
Once the potatoes are tender, you’ll add milk, cream or coconut milk to the pot.
And then you will poach the salmon, right in the creamy broth.
This will only take a couple of minutes before turning the heat off.
Flake apart the fish with a fork and adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve immediately.
Garnish the Salmon chowder with a few fennel fronds- or fresh dill is nice too.
A fast and easy Salmon Chowder recipe that can be made in 35 minutes. Cozy, homey and delicious!
More fish recipes to try:
- 25+ BEST Salmon Recipes!
- Blackened Salmon Sandwich
- Grilled Salmon Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Lobster Bisque
- 20 Healthy Fish and Seafood Recipes
- Portuguese Fish Stew (Caldeirada)
- Brazilian Fish Stew (Moqueca!)
- Thai Fish Curry
- Summer Corn Chowder with Basil and White Fish
- Peruvian Seafood Stew with Cilantro Broth
- 25 BEST Salmon Recipes!
Have a great week.
Simple Salmon Chowder
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: fish, stew, soup
- Method: stove-top
- Cuisine: Northwest
A simple Salmon Chowder recipe using fresh salmon and fennel bulb, that can be made in about 30 minutes on the stovetop. Low carb, Keto and dairy-free adaptable!
- 2–3 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
- 1 onion, diced (or sub 2 leeks, sliced or 2 fat shallots)
- 1 small fennel bulb, 1 1/2 cups diced
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 2–4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme (dry, or 2 teaspoons fresh)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/3 cup vermouth, cooking sherry or white wine (or leave it out, see notes)
- 3 cups fish or chicken stock- if using chicken broth see notes, on how to enhance
- 3/4 lb baby potatoes, thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb salmon, skinless. (or ok to sub other fish like cod or shrimp), cut into 1 -2 inch pieces ( the more uniform, the better)
- 2 cups whole milk (or half & half or a combo, or dairy-free milk like coconut milk, or 1/2- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Garnish: fennel fronds, lemon wedges, fresh dill or tarragon.
Heat oil over medium heat, and saute onion, fennel and celery until fragrant, 5-6 minutes. Add garlic, fennel seeds, thyme and saute two more minutes, stirring. Add the smoked paprika.
Add vermouth, and cook it off, about 1-2 minutes. Add stock, salt, thyme and bay, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Add potatoes and stir. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer over med-low heat until tender, about 8-10 minutes (check at 7 mins, be careful to not overcook). While this is cooking prep the salmon.
Cut salmon into 2-inch pieces, removing any of the brown fat ( see notes) and bones. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Once the potatoes are just fork-tender, add the milk and bring to a low simmer (do not boil) and add the salmon, gently poaching it in the soup for just about 2 minutes. Turn heat off. Fish will continue to cook. If you continue to simmer the soup any longer it may cause a slight curdling. ( Don’t worry, it’s still edible, but not as pretty.) Flake the fish apart, into bite-sized pieces, with a fork.
Taste, adjust seasonings to your liking and serve immediately.
Garnish with fennel fronds, lemon wedges, fresh dill or tarragon.
Soup will keep 3 days in the fridge.
If using chicken stock, add 1 teaspoon fish sauce for depth. You can also sub some clam juice for the stock.
If skipping the vermouth or sherry cooking wine, which FYI does give this a lovely elevated nuanced flavor, add a couple of drops of AC vinegar at the end along with a pinch of sugar. Advanced cooks- you could experiment with Pernod (subbing it for the vermouth, starting with 2-3 tablespoons, making sure to cook this off) which will give it a beautiful anise flavor.
If you notice grey/brown fat located between the skin and salmon flesh, feel free to remove it -which ultimately will look better in the stew. If using wild salmon, it is ok to eat (healthy, actually) just not quite as “pretty”.
Keto option, sub potatoes with cauliflower. Use 1 cup of heavy whipping cream.
Dairy-Free option: add 1 cup of coconut milk, more to taste.
Want More Smokiness? Try subbing part of the fresh salmon with hot smoked salmon (dont use lox) or feel free to add crumbled, browned bacon (3 slices should do it!)
- Serving Size: 1 ½ cup - using whole milk & olive oil
- Calories: 285
- Sugar: 8.1 g
- Sodium: 700 mg
- Fat: 12.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 20.7 g
- Fiber: 3.5 g
- Protein: 24.1 g
- Cholesterol: 47.9 mg
Keywords: Salmon chowder, salmon soup, salmon chowder recipe, best salmon chowder recipe
I absolutely love this recipe! Last time I made it, I ended up adding juice from one lemon directly to the pot and it really enhanced the flavor! Thanks for all of your wonderful, fresh, and healthy recipes!
Perfect Allison! Love it!
Delicious! I used cashew cream, parsnips instead of fennel as I didn’t have any (but I still used fennel seed), and the ACV. This is my new go-to salmon chowder!
Nice Nicola, love the adaptations!
Just made this today for the first time! It’s soooo tasty!!! Thank you!!
so happy you liked this Ivan!
Excellent use of salmon stock. AC vinegar used and leeks used. No problem with celery. Made 2x quantity.
Great to hear!
Excellent use of salmon stock. AC vinegar used
Awesome Alistair. Thanks so much.
This was 5 out of 10. Too much liquid. Celery undercooked. Not great
Oh dear. Sorry David, I’ll have to remake this one. 🙂
I’ve made this soup close to 10 times over the past year (as well as many other delicious recipes from this blog!). If that isn’t a testament to how good it is, I don’t know what is! I usually make it as written with salmon, chicken broth and coconut milk, but sometimes add chopped fresh spinach, corn, red peppers, and other veggies also with great results. I also love that it uses fresh fennel as I never know what else to do with fennel. Thanks, Sylvia, and keep the awesome recipes coming!!
Thanks so much Julia! So glad you like this one.
You can use fennel in place of celery. I use it in alot of my soups specially Italian soups.
Great recipe! Totally love it and will be making again. Thanks so much.
Can I add a white fish as well? How will that taste?
Should be just fine!
Like this recipie
Great to hear Vernon!
We recently moved to Alaska and I’ve been searching the internet for salmon recipes. As always, this blog has the most consistently delicious recipes! This salmon chowder is great. I love that it is not heavy but also completely satisfying! The fennel adds a wonderful depth of flavor.
Thanks so much Halli- glad you enjoyed it!
THIS IS THE BEST CHOWDER IVE EVER EATEN . Never would I have thought to add fennel seeds to a seafood chowder , it really lifts the flavours and adds an extra zing of warmth . Thanks from Tasmania for yet another brilliant recipe on rotation in our kitchen .
WOW. Huge compliment- thanks so much Elke!
This looks very tasty. I enjoy chowders, even in the heat of summer, so I will likely give this one a try soon. Thank you!
Let us know what you think Lisa!
I really want to try this one out – it sounds yummy!
Love any recipe that starts with the word simple! Can’t wait to try this one. Thanks!
haha! thanks so much!
Wow! This chowder is amazing. Very easy, healthy and delicious! So much flavor. Loved the shallots, fennel and dill.
Thank you for sharing with us. Love your blog.
Glad you enjoyed this!