Fresh Salmon Chowder

Buttery, melt in your mouth chunks of salmon, with deliciously salty bacon bits, this salmon chowder is a crowd-pleaser. This rich seafood stew is here to stay with no thickeners, so make extra because there will be none left.

Fresh is best 

This creamy chowder recipe calls for fresh salmon, coconut milk, fresh dill, and buttery potatoes. This recipe tastes like a labor of love and is ready in 30 minutes with fresh salmon fillets. Adapt this recipe to include other seafood such as clam or shrimp.

While there are so many dietary requirements these days, this salmon chowder recipe is easily adaptable to keto and dairy-free diets. There are no added thickeners, meaning it is also gluten-free! So whether you add heavy cream or coconut milk, the choice is yours. Comfort food doesn’t have to be unhealthy!

Healthy and creamy salmon chowder recipe

This healthy dairy-free salmon chowder recipe


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, diced
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus extra for rubbing
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth + 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 3/4 lb baby potatoes, thinly sliced, skin on (if keto, swap these for cauliflower)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, Himalayan pink salt, or kosher
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb salmon, skinless,
  • 2 cups coconut milk (or heavy cream)
  • Optional: 1/2 lb shrimp, uncooked
  • To garnish fennel fronds, lemon wedges, fresh dill, or tarragon.


Salmon prep: 

Prep the salmon by removing bones and cutting it into 2-inch pieces. Remove any brown fatty pieces and skin if there is any on. Rub the salmon with some smoked paprika and sprinkle it with salt. Set aside.

The Chowder: 

In a Dutch oven ( over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Saute the diced onion, a diced fennel bulb, and chopped celery until fragrant and soft. Add the fennel seeds, minced garlic, and saute for 2 minutes. Add the remaining smoked paprika. Pour the white wine in and cook off the alcohol for 2 minutes.

Add the broth, fish sauce, thyme, salt, and bay leaf to the dutch oven. Bring to a boil on high heat, reduce heat, and simmer. Add the sliced potatoes and stir. Cover and simmer the chowder over medium-low heat for 7 – 10 minutes. Check the potatoes at 7 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk (or the heavy cream) and simmer gently. Add the salmon and poach it in the soup. Remove from heat and cover. The Dutch Oven will retain heat and continue to cook the fish, leave covered for 2 minutes. Taste the chowder and check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed.

Flake the fish apart and serve garnished with fennel fronts, slices of lemon, dill, and tarragon, with a side of buttered crusty bread.

Adjusting the recipe

The best part of this recipe is how easy it is to adapt. This recipe is easy to make; you can adjust the recipe to be a seafood chowder. Try these additions for a delicious variation.

  • Clam chowder – Salmon goes exceptionally well with clams and prawns. To include these, add clams alongside the wine and allow them to open up, remove once open, and set aside. Add the clams back in with the salmon. Don’t add fish sauce if you are adding clams to the recipe.
  • Pre-cooked Salmon – Pre-cooking your salmon by baking it in a Dutch oven with shelled shrimp is an excellent way to add additional flavor, depth, and texture to the chowder. Remove the baked fish from the dutch oven and use the same dutch oven to prep the soup. Add the cooked fish to the soup once you have added the milk—Cook for 2 minutes and serve.
  • Vegetables – Don’t be shy with your vegetables; adding frozen corn to your chowder adds an excellent crunchy texture to the meal. Experiment with other veggies or bell pepper and find the perfect chowder recipe for you.
  •  Buttery goodness – if chowder is your cheat day meal, go ahead and grab the butter, swap out the olive oil for 3 tablespoons butter.

Hearty, buttery, comfort food at its best

Whether it is cold outside and you need a steaming bowl of creamy chowder, or you are in search of comfort in a bowl, this is the recipe for you. The fact that this recipe is quick and easy to make and has healthy options means that at any given moment, you are 30 minutes away from bliss in a bowl.