This easy smoked salmon corn chowder is perfect for chilly, cozy evenings! A hearty, creamy soup that’s ready in under an hour.
This simple, creamy salmon chowder recipe is the best warm-and-cozy fall dinner. You get a perfect mix of smoky and sweet from the smoked salmon and fresh summer corn.
Additions and Substitutions
This salmon and corn chowder is very forgiving and easy to customize! Some of our favorite swaps and substitutions:
- Add extra veggies to make it heartier. Stir in some fresh kale or spinach for a pop of color. Add chick peas or butter beans, chopped celery, or diced carrot to make this soup a bit heartier. You can also swap the potatoes for cauliflower florets (like we do in this seafood chowder) if you prefer!
- Mix up the protein. Use canned salmon in place of the smoked salmon if you like. This recipe is also great with leftover grilled or roasted salmon! You could also swap your favorite whitefish (we like barramundi) or nix the seafood and make this chowder with rotisserie chicken or leftover turkey. For a vegetarian option, use butter beans or chick peas instead of fish!
- Amp up the flavor. Add fresh herbs (we like parsley and dill here) or a squeeze of lemon juice to the finished soup for a bit of brightness.
Some smoked salmon chowder FAQs
Yes! This chowder freezes quite well. Let soup cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze for 2-3 months. Let soup defrost in the fridge overnight and heat it up in a small saucepan over medium-low heat when you’re ready to eat.
You can absolutely make this without dairy: just swap the heavy cream in this recipe for coconut milk! This salmon chowder is also excellent with a bit of our dairy-free magic cauliflower cream.
If your chowder hasn’t thickened enough, continue to simmer it over medium-low heat for another 15-30 minutes to evaporate some of the liquid. You can also stir in a cornstarch slurry if you’d like the soup to thicken more quickly. If the chowder is too thick, stir in another splash of broth or heavy cream to loosen it up.
Use hard smoked salmon here: the kind that is darker in color and flakes easily (not a lightly-smoked, light pink lox that requires slicing). You can also use drained canned salmon or leftover grilled or roasted salmon!
This simple, creamy salmon chowder is perfect for a cozy dinner.
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 3 ½ cups chicken, turkey, or vegetable stock
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 medium red potatoes, diced
- ½ cup half and half
- 1 cup sweet corn kernels (fresh, canned, or frozen are all fine!)
- 4 ounces smoked salmon (about ½ cup), plus extra for garnish
- 2 green onions, sliced, for garnish (optional)
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add flour. Stir to let the flour soak up any extra oil and form a roux. Cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add stock a little at a time, stirring well to work out any lumps.
- Add thyme and potatoes to the pot and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook until soup has thickened and potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.
- Gently flake the smoked salmon into your chowder. Add half and half and corn kernels; stir to combine. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, until soup has thickened slightly.
- Ladle chowder into bowls and serve immediately. Garnish with extra smoked salmon, some sliced green onions, and a few turns of fresh cracked black pepper (optional).
Substitutions. We like red potatoes for this soup, but yukon gold potatoes would work just as well. You can use russets, but they tend to fall apart when cooking – so just keep a very close eye on them. Swap the onion for a large shallot. Swap the half and half for heavy cream for a richer soup, or use coconut milk for a dairy free option. You can use milk instead of half and half if you prefer, but the soup won’t thicken quite as much (or as quickly) so you may want to add a cornstarch slurry. Use chopped or shredded chicken, leftover turkey, or butter beans instead of salmon if you prefer.
Additions. Add extra veggies to make this chowder a bit heartier! We like adding kale, spinach, chick peas, chopped celery, carrots, and cauliflower. Finish the soup with a handful of fresh chopped dill or parsley, or add a squeeze of lemon juice or lemon zest to brighten up the flavor. Top this soup with a bit of crispy bacon if you like.
What kind of salmon should I use? Use hard smoked salmon here (the kind that is dark in color and flakes easily, not the thin, light lox slices). You can also use drained canned salmon or leftover roasted/grilled fresh salmon in place of smoked if you like.
To freeze this chowder, let it cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the freezer for 2-3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and rewarm in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
If your chowder is too thick, add a splash of stock or half and half to even it out. Too thin? Continue to simmer for 15-30 minutes over medium-low heat, or stir in a bit of cornstarch slurry to help it thicken more quickly.
Keywords: fall, seafood, chowder
The photos for this recipe were taken by Casey at The Mindful Hapa!