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! 

The best Salmon Chowder recipe using fresh salmon, that can be made in about 30 minutes on the stovetop. Fennel bulb gives this a lovely flavor, while a little smoked paprika adds a subtle smokiness without the addtion of bacon. Low carb, Keto and dairy-free adaptable!

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

The best Salmon Chowder recipe using fresh salmon, that can be made in about 30 minutes on the stovetop. Fennel bulb gives this a lovely flavor, while a little smoked paprika adds a subtle smokiness without the addtion of bacon. Low carb, Keto and dairy-free adaptable!

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.

The best Salmon Chowder recipe using fresh salmon, that can be made in about 30 minutes on the stovetop. Fennel bulb gives this a lovely flavor, while a little smoked paprika adds a subtle smokiness without the addtion of bacon. Low carb, Keto and dairy-free adaptable!

New spring potatoes are sliced thinly- which will help the overall dish to cook more quickly.

The best Salmon Chowder recipe using fresh salmon, that can be made in about 30 minutes on the stovetop. Fennel bulb gives this a lovely flavor, while a little smoked paprika adds a subtle smokiness without the addtion of bacon. Low carb, Keto and dairy-free adaptable!

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.

The best Salmon Chowder recipe using fresh salmon, that can be made in about 30 minutes on the stovetop. Fennel bulb gives this a lovely flavor, while a little smoked paprika adds a subtle smokiness without the addtion of bacon. Low carb, Keto and dairy-free adaptable!

Once the potatoes are tender, you’ll add milk, cream or coconut milk to the pot.

The best Salmon Chowder recipe using fresh salmon, that can be made in about 30 minutes on the stovetop. Fennel bulb gives this a lovely flavor, while a little smoked paprika adds a subtle smokiness without the addtion of bacon. Low carb, Keto and dairy-free adaptable!

And then you will poach the salmon, right in the creamy broth.

The best Salmon Chowder recipe using fresh salmon, that can be made in about 30 minutes on the stovetop. Fennel bulb gives this a lovely flavor, while a little smoked paprika adds a subtle smokiness without the addtion of bacon. Low carb, Keto and dairy-free adaptable!

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.

The best Salmon Chowder recipe using fresh salmon, that can be made in about 30 minutes on the stovetop. Fennel bulb gives this a lovely flavor, while a little smoked paprika adds a subtle smokiness without the addtion of bacon. Low carb, Keto and dairy-free adaptable!

Garnish the Salmon chowder with a few fennel fronds- or fresh dill is nice too.

The best 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! #salmonchowder #chowder

A fast and easy Salmon Chowder recipe that can be made in 35 minutes. Cozy, homey and delicious!

More Favorite Salmon and fish recipes!

Have a great week.

xoxo

 

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The best 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! #salmonchowder #chowder

Simple Salmon Chowder

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 61 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: fish, stew, soup
  • Method: stove-top
  • Cuisine: Northwest

Description

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!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 23 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
  • 24 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.

Instructions

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, 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.


Notes

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!)

Nutrition

  • 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

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Comments

  1. This is one of my favorite fish foward soup recipes! It has a more subdued flavor profile but still provides a very light and comforting meal.






  2. Delicious recipe! I have made it several times now. I add slices of cooked andouille sausage and corn kernels (canned or frozen) at the end, which boosts the flavors. This is a keeper!

  3. I just made this and left out all the dairy (no coconut milk replaced with extra chicken broth) it was absolutely delicious. Made sure to add a little lemon juice. It tasted so fresh! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  4. Just made it with coconut milk. Added a bit of corn and spinach. Sooo flavourful!!! Amazing!!! Thank you again 💝






  5. I purchased wild salmon (accidently with skin on) for this recipe and used that. I peeled the skin off of the pieces before eating it (not that hard to do) but my family ate it skin and all and loved it. I used 1c heavy cream and mini Yukon potatoes. At this point, I have tried many of Sylvia’s recipes. I and my family have loved them all. My 13-year old daughter even enjoys helping me cook now, which is a huge bonus! Sometimes it is hard to get everyone to sit down for dinner together but if I say, “We are trying a new recipe from Sylvia!” everyone comes running! Thank you, Sylvia, for changing our home in more ways than just what is on the menu plan.






  6. This chowder is perfect. I was doubtful that it would turn out well with the frozen salmon I needed to cook, but this recipe is layered with flavors and so easy and delicious.This is why I love this blog. You can count on every recipe to be special! (I used lite coconut milk, by the way.)






  7. I was surprised by how good this was! Used a mandolin fir the potatoes. Used around a cup of shallots. Did not use smoked paprika and wish I had. I did use fennel tops for garnish would try dill next time. The flavors were subtle and great. My wife add corn to make it a chowder.






  8. This is a fabulous easy recipe I added a bag of baby spinach at the end and I had a complete one pot meal that tasted great






  9. Perfect! I used fresh tarragon instead of fennel because that’s what I had. I also added shrimp because I didn’t have enough Salmon. So good!!! Great spring flavor with the fresh herbs, but also comfort food with the cream and broth.






  10. I love this recipe and have turned many friends on to it!
    One comment: you instruct to add the thyme in two different places in the directions. You may want to update that.
    Thanks for a fabulous recipe!






  11. Delicious soup and very quick to make. During this pandemic era grocery shopping, I was find the fresh fennel bulb, so I just added a little more celery. I used coconut milk. The whole family loved it.






  12. Very tasty. Added king prawns and that’s another beauty of the dish, it’s versatility in terms of ingredients.






  13. Look at that COLOR! Looks incredible, and your photos are gorgeous. I’ve got an order of frozen salmon coming in later this week (ordered through here, if anyone is in the same boat: https://qualityseafooddelivery.com/salmon/), so this will definitely be on the menu sometime this weekend!

  14. I’m not a fan of fennel. No matter how many times and ways I’ve tried it. Is there any other ingredient that could be subbed in for this or would I eliminate it all together? Parsnips and carrot, maybe fresh dill?

  15. Made for supper to use up ‘soon to be out of date’ salmon and had a wilting fennel in fridge. One taste and my 15 year old son said ‘beautiful!’ And indeed it was. The aniseed taste complimented the salmon perfectly and everything just tasted yummy! Served with asparagus (as that needed using up too).Thanks Sylvia for adding a bright light in these unknown times. Will make for special dinners in the future x






  16. Another hit! I’m using my extra time at home during self quarantine to work my way through your catalog. Lol. The flavors in this =perfect! I used smoked salmon instead of fresh and it married perfectly with the smoked paprika and fennel.






  17. Love this and all your recipes – it was so yummy. I also used a potato medley, got hung up on the water thing and had jumped on here to let you know, looks like others already caught and commented.

    The word immediately is spelled incorrectly up in the picture section too!

    Thanks so much for all you do to keep us going with consistently wonderful new recipes that are adaptable, easy and always so delicious.






  18. I was so excited to try this tonight but my store was out of salmon!! Can I sub shrimp? I have some frozen. Or do you think it would taste ok without the salmon?

  19. I made it just now. I don’t like anise flavors but I decided that it looks too beautiful not to try and maybe I Need to develop my palate further. It turned out beautifully. The only thing I regret is using coconut milk instead of regular or even almond. It overpowers the gentle flavors and I personally wouldn’t recommend it. i bet it would’ve tasted 10 times better if I hadn’t used it. Great chowder. Light, aromatic, flavorful, just in time for spring. I also used half frozen shrimp which I defrosted since salmon is sold out at TJs and canned sockeye salmon which I didn’t cook but just flaked into the soup. Thank you, Sylvia! One can dine at home alone in style.






  20. Just made this for dinner, and it was EXCELLENT. My husband and I loved the flavorful mix of the fennel and salmon! I added some lemon juice and pepper for extra seasoning at the end since I love lemon with salmon, and that turned out well for us.

    I used a potato medley, and the spots of purple potatoes with the pink salmon, along with the garnish of green fennel fronds, made it a perfect color palette for Easter and spring!






  21. I am making this as I write- so excited. There is a mention of water in the instructions, yet I do not see an amount in the ingredient list- should water be added? I also was not sure if I should remove the skin, so I left it on. . .

    1. Oh my goodness, remove the skin or you will have scales in your soup! Sorry, I should have specified. Updated the recipe.

  22. Sylvia, this recipe is amazing! So flavorful, irresistible, a real masterpiece to impress your guests or yourself 😉 And so easy to make! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Love your work!






  23. Is there a way to do half cauliflower and half mini potatoes sliced? Would it be the same cook time?

    Thanks!

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