Salmon Chowder

Rich, smoky, and comforting, this salmon chowder recipe with bacon, leeks, celery, potatoes, stock, and cream is the west coast's answer to New England clam chowder.

Salmon Chowder recipe

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

My mother and father live down the street from me, just a few houses away. This is wonderfully convenient for yours truly, who often finds herself heading over to their house to raid their fridge. No, I'm not a teenager, but yes, I still do raid their fridge. (You would too, my parents have great leftovers!)

Thankfully for mom and dad, the arrangement goes both ways. They stopped by the other day when we had just finished up cooking this salmon chowder, and happily packed half of it to take home with them. The verdict the next day? Raves.

It's rich, smoky, and comforting. It's our left coast answer to New England's clam chowder. Enjoy!

More Rich and Creamy Chowder Recipes

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Salmon Chowder

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 70 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings


  • 4 ounces bacon, chopped

  • 2 cups cleaned, sliced leeks (see How to Clean Leeks)

  • 1 cup sliced celery

  • 3 cups cubed Yukon Gold potatoes, 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 medium potatoes, 1 1/2 pounds)

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 2 1/4 cups water

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 sprig thyme

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds trimmed, skinned, salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1/2 cup corn (optional, use when in season or frozen)

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (use rice flour if cooking gluten free)

  • Pinch ground black pepper

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) heavy cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

  • Chopped fresh chives, for garnish


  1. Cook the bacon:

    Place bacon in a thick-bottomed 5 to 6 quart pot. Heat on medium to medium high heat.

    Cook until lightly browned and the fat mostly rendered out of the bacon, about 5 to 6 minutes.

    Remove all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat. (Do not put bacon fat in your sink drain, it will clog the pipes.)

  2. Add the celery and leeks to the bacon:

    Add the celery and leeks to the bacon and cook on medium heat until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes.

    sautéing celery and leaks with bacon

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    celery, leeks and bacon cooking in a pot

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

  3. Add the potatoes, stock, water, salt, and herbs and simmer:

    Add the diced potatoes, chicken stock, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, bay leaves, and thyme to the pot.

    Increase heat to bring to a simmer. Then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through.

    cooking potatoes for chowder
    Elise Bauer
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the salmon:

    Place salmon in a bowl, sprinkle with flour and black pepper. Toss to coat. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a non-stick skillet on medium high heat.

    fresh salmon in a bowl for chowder

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    browning salmon for chowder

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    Working in batches if necessary, lightly brown the salmon on one side, then turn over to brown on the other side. (The salmon doesn't have to be cooked through, just lightly browned.)

  5. Assemble the chowder and add corn, cream, and lemon zest:

    When the potatoes are cooked through, use a slotted spoon to transfer the salmon to the pot with the potatoes, bacon, leeks, and stock.

    Stir in corn if using. Cook gently for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Stir in the cream and lemon zest. Add salt to taste.

    fresh salmon chowder with bacon

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    Garnish with chives to serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
531 Calories
32g Fat
27g Carbs
33g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 531
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 119mg 40%
Sodium 719mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 15mg 73%
Calcium 74mg 6%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 1094mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.