Easy Seafood Corn Chowder with shrimp, sole, fresh corn, and a splash of cream. A lightened up chowder recipe that is so refreshing and delicious!

Smokey corn chowder with shrimp and avocado on top.

I made this recipe for Seafood Corn Chowder for the first time back in 2012 and have positively adored it ever since!

Inspired by Bev Weidner’s Smoky Corn Chowder with Shrimp, I used her recipe as a base template and went off script in a few areas.

I swapped out the bacon for sole (only because I had been eating bacon nearly every day for breakfast at that point), removed the red pepper, and increased the amount of broth.

The end result was an incredibly satisfying meal that I found to be so cozy and comforting after a day of mountain biking. Tender shrimp, sweet corn kernels, hearty sole, and creamy chowder just really hits the spot no matter the time of year.

White bowl full of shrimp chowder.

One of the best parts about this simple recipe is it tastes nice and creamy but it isn’t overly rich. 

For those of you who are like me, and you don’t love super thick chowder recipes, you’ll love the lighter consistency.

This quick and easy recipe is designed to feed just two individuals so if you’re looking to serve more people, feel free to make a double batch or a triple batch.

My favorite part is that the whole meal only takes about 45 minutes from start to finish. You can easily decrease this time by using canned corn and pre-cooked shrimp.

Bowl of seafood corn chowder with a teal napkin with avocado and fresh herbs on top of the chowder.

If you enjoy corn chowder recipes, be sure to also check out my Dairy-Free Corn Chowder

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for seafood corn chowder.

Ingredients for Seafood Corn Chowder:

Avocado Oil: Used to sauté the veggies and sear the fish, we need a cooking oil. Olive oil works here too as long as you don’t heat it too high.

Fresh Shrimp: Pick up ½ pound of raw shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined in order to save time. 

If you can’t find peeled shrimp, you can still use shrimp with the peel on and simply take the time to remove the outer shells. 

As an alternative, use pre-steamed shrimp instead of raw. If you go this route, you won’t need to pre-cook the shrimp before adding it to the corn soup.

Sole Filets: An incredible source of protein, sole is a lean fish that is a great high-protein choice. You can replace it with any kind of white fish you enjoy, like tilapia or cod.

If you’re a salmon lover, feel free to use salmon instead. 

Yellow Onion and Garlic: A big flavor booster to any soup, onion and garlic are a must here.

Fresh Corn (or canned corn): Pick up fresh ears of corn or canned corn to make this easy corn chowder recipe. I like using fresh corn because I love the sweet flavor and texture, but follow your heart here.

You need about 2 cups of corn, which is about one and a half 15-ounce cans worth. For simplicity, use two cans. Go with regular corn instead of cream-style corn.

Chicken Broth: Used for the majority of the liquid, we need chicken broth or chicken stock. Pick your favorite kind!

If you happen to have shrimp stock or know how to make it using the shells, feel free to do so.

Half & Half: A splash of half & half or heavy cream adds richness and creamy texture to the soup. I don’t recommend replacing it with a low-fat alternative like skim milk for the best results.

Smoked Paprika: A little smoked paprika adds a delightful smoky flavor to the soup. If you prefer sweet paprika, feel free to make the switch. If you have old bay seasoning, feel free to swap it for the paprika.

Sea Salt and Black Pepper: Season the chowder with salt and pepper to your personal taste.

For Serving:

  • Avocado and fresh cilantro (or fresh thyme or fresh parsley).
  • You can also serve shrimp corn chowder with sour cream, cheese, or chopped green onions on top.
  • If you’re looking for a hearty meal, mix some cooked rice in with the soup for some added texture and carbohydrates.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • For dairy-free seafood corn chowder, use full-fat canned coconut milk instead of dairy.
  • Swap out the shrimp and sole for any of your favorite fish or seafood. Clams, halibut, salmon, muscles, and cod are all great options.
  • If you enjoy sausage, chop up some kielbasa or chorizo and add it in for an incredible flavor.
  • Mix in more veggies, like red bell pepper, celery, carrots, and/or baby spinach to get a bigger vegetable infusion.
  • Love bacon? Chop up a few slices of thick-cut bacon and cook them up with the onion to create an incredible flavor for the shrimp chowder.
  • Add one bay leaf to two bay leaves to this creamy soup recipe if you enjoy them.
  • If you’re into potatoes, chop up 1 to 2 cups worth of red potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, or russet potatoes and add them in before you simmer the soup to allow them to cook.
  • For thicker chowder, make a cornstarch slurry or add all purpose flour to thicken the chowder.

Now that we’ve covered the wholesome ingredients for this healthy chowder recipe, let’s make it!

How to Make Seafood Corn Chowder:

Heat one tablespoon of avocado oil over medium-high heat in a large pot such as a large Dutch oven. I recommend using a thick-bottomed pot if possible.

Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. 

Stir in the garlic and sauté another 2-3 minutes. If the onion begins turning brown at any point, decrease it to medium heat.

Sautéing onion and garlic in a large pot.

While onion and garlic are sautéing, shuck the corn and carefully remove the kernels with a sharp knife. 

Add the corn kernels to the pot and sauté for another 5 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle in the paprika and stir.  

Corn and onion cooking in a pot with paprika being added in.

Pour in the chicken stock and half and half. Cover and bring the pot to a boil (increase heat if necessary). Once the mixture has come to a full boil, reduce the heat.

Using a large measuring cup, scoop about half of the soup mixture out of the pot and pour it into a blender or food processor. Note: you can use an immersion blender here if you have one. 

Blender with soup inside to be blended.

Emulsify until smooth. Pour the blended soup back into the pot. Cover the pot and allow the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes at a rolling boil.

Pouring blended soup mixture into the pot with the rest of the soup.

While soup is simmering, prepare your fish.

Sprinkle the sole filets and shrimp with salt and pepper.

Sole filet on a cutting board, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and paprika.
Raw shrimp on a cutting board sprinkled with salt and pepper.

In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil over medium high heat. 

Place sole filets in the skillet and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Place on a cutting board and set aside.

White fish cooking in a skillet in oil.

Using the same skillet, cook the shrimp about 30 seconds to a minute on each side, until cooked through. 

Shrimp sautéing in a skillet

Note: Fish is considered fully cooked once it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the shrimp on the plate with the sole and set aside until chowder is finished simmering.

Chop the sole filets into 1.5” pieces and add them to the chowder.

Sole filet freshly cooked on a cutting board, being shredded with a fork.

Similarly, add the cooked shrimp to the chowder. Stir and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes.

Corn chowder in a pot with sole and shrimp.

Taste the seafood chowder recipe for flavor and add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a drizzle of lemon juice or lime juice.

Serve seafood corn chowder with fresh chopped basil, avocado, and a big hunk of crusty bread with butter or garlic bread.

You can add more toppings like sour cream and chopped green onions if you’d like.

Store leftover seafood corn chowder in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I find chowder with fish is best within the first 24 hours of preparing it.

Bowl of seafood corn chowder with a teal napkin. Ready to serve.

And that’s it! The next time you’re craving hearty seafood chowder, whip up this lighter gem!

Ideal for a cold night, this comforting dish has so much flavor, you’ll relish every bite and the ease with which it is prepared.

If you enjoy hearty soup recipes like this, also try these reader favorites.

More Healthy Soups:

The perfect dinner for two, coming right up!

Smokey corn chowder with shrimp and avocado on top.

Seafood Corn Chowder

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A light, delicious, filling meal for two! This quick and easy shrimp chowder recipe hits the spot when you're in the mood for hearty comfort food.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 2 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil divided
  • ½ yellow onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 ears of corn kernels removed (or 2 cups of corn kernels)
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half or cream*
  • ½ pound raw shrimp shells removed and deveined
  • ½ pound sole filet or other white fish, such as tilapia
  • sea salt and black pepper

Instructions

  • Heat one tablespoon of avocado oil over medium-high heat in a large pot such as a large Dutch oven. I recommend using a thick-bottomed pot if at all possible.
  • Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and sauté another 2-3 minutes. If the onion begins turning brown at any point, decrease it to medium heat.
  • While onion and garlic are sautéing, shuck the corn and carefully remove the kernels with a sharp knife.
  • Add the corn kernels to the pot and sauté for another 5 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle in the paprika and stir.
  • Pour in the chicken stock and half and half. Cover and bring the pot to a boil (increase heat if necessary). Once the mixture has come to a full boil, reduce the heat.
  • Using a large measuring cup, scoop about half of the soup mixture out of the pot and pour it into a blender or food processor. Note: you can use an immersion blender here if you have one.
  • Emulsify until smooth. Pour the blended soup back into the pot. Cover the pot and allow the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • While soup is simmering, prepare your fish. Sprinkle the sole filets and shrimp with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of avocado oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet.
  • Place sole filets in the skillet and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Place on a plate and set aside. Using the same skillet, cook the shrimp about 30 seconds to a minute on each side, until cooked through. Note: Fish is considered fully cooked once it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the shrimp on the plate with the sole and set aside until chowder is finished simmering. Chop the sole filets into 1.5” pieces and add them to the chowder. Similarly, add the cooked shrimp to the chowder. Stir and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Taste the seafood chowder recipe for flavor and add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a drizzle of lemon juice or lime juice.
  • Serve seafood corn chowder with fresh chopped basil, avocado, and a big hunk of crusty bread with butter or garlic bread. You can add more toppings like sour cream and chopped green onions if you’d like.

Video

Notes

*Use ½ cup of full-fat canned coconut milk for dairy-free.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 2) · Calories: 545kcal · Carbohydrates: 43g · Protein: 43g · Fat: 24g · Saturated Fat: 6g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g · Monounsaturated Fat: 13g · Cholesterol: 179mg · Sodium: 1346mg · Fiber: 4g · Sugar: 15g
Author: Julia Mueller
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: corn chowder, gluten free dinner recipes, healthy dinner recipes, seafood corn chowder
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Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. “allow the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes at a rolling boil.” How can a simmer be a rolling boil? Better directions needed.

    1. Hi Joyce! Thanks for pointing this out 🙂 I clarified in the instructions that the soup should be cooked at a simmer. Happy cooking!