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Smoked Salmon Chowder

This smoked salmon chowder is a classic seafood chowder but with a thinner more delicate broth, made without a roux. Packed with potato, celery, carrots, and lots of delicious lemon pepper smoked salmon!

Smoked Salmon Chowder

Smoked Salmon Chowder

Chowder is one of the best kinds of soup in the world, in my book. I LOVE it. Rich, creamy broth loaded with potatoes, carrots, celery, and SEAFOOD. Give me all the seafood please cause I am obsessed.

Traditionally, at least here in the Pacific Northwest, clam chowder rules the culinary roost. You see clam chowder here on almost any menu in some iteration, but never the Manhatten kind cause NO.

Not that there is anything wrong with Manhatten, or their favorite namesake of a chowder. I’m sure they are both wonderful. But I haven’t ever seen them on a menu around these parts. 

How to make hot smoked salmon chowder

The key to any great chowder is always going to be the base. I started this easy salmon chowder off by frying up some thick cut bacon and then reserving the bacon grease.

What better way to pack all of that amazingly rich bacon flavor into a whole dish than my starting it off with a generous mix of carrots, celery, and onion, and sauteing those until they are soft in the bacon drippings.

Smoked Salmon Chowder

If you prefer a thick chowder, add some butter during this step and take the veggies out to make a roux once they are softened.

Next, you’re going to add in your chicken stock and the rest of the vegetables. Bring the soup up to a simmer, and cover and let simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. 

During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the herbs and the flaked smoked salmon.

Smoked Salmon Chowder

Can I substitute milk for cream?

Maybe? But I wouldn’t. Heavy cream has a higher fat content and is less likely to break when being combined with hot foods than milk is. If you do use a substitute for cream, use half-n-half or whole milk, and don’t bring the soup to a boil once the dairy is added.

What can I serve with Smoked Salmon Chowder?

Smoked Salmon Chowder is rich and creamy, so you don’t want to serve this with anything too heavy. Some garlic breadsticks and a fresh green salad with my Greek dressing would be perfect.

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What kind of smoked salmon should I use?

For this recipe, I used a bright lemon pepper smoked salmon. If you don’t have access to a smoker yet, you can use store-bought smoked salmon as well. I’d stick with a general flavor rather than anything too crazy, but that’s totally up to you as well. 

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Smoked Salmon Chowder

Smoked Salmon Chowder

Smoked Salmon Chowder

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Delicious and hearty smoked salmon chowder is full of carrots, potato, celery, thyme, and of course all of the lemon pepper smoked salmon you can possibly take.


  • 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon
  • 3 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, cut into halves or quarters
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound smoked salmon
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper


  1. Cook the bacon until it is crispy, and remove to a paper towel for the grease to drain. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease and place into a Dutch oven.
  2. Turn the stove up to medium, and saute the carrots, celery, and onion for about 5 minutes in the reserved bacon grease.
  3. Add in the chicken stock and potatoes, and cook on a low simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add in the thyme, cream, smoked salmon, and white pepper. Serve immediately with the crumbled bacon on top.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 449 Total Fat: 26g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 14g Cholesterol: 70mg Sodium: 2000mg Carbohydrates: 25g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 7g Protein: 28g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!
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