A recipe for classic creamy seafood chowder that adds an interesting south-of-the-border taste with green chilies, paprika, and a splash of lemon juice. Served with bread or tortillas and a salad it makes for a quick family weeknight meal.
One of my favorite types of soup is a creamy New England style chowder, typically a clam chowder, but any kind of creamy chowder with seafood works for me.
Served with a salad and flaky whole wheat biscuits, it makes a wonderful comfort-food meal on cool weather nights. Chowders are also simple and quick to make, too, so they’re easy to add to our weeknight menus.
A number of years ago when I read about a recipe for a seafood chowder with the addition of green chilies, I was intrigued – would it make it spicy or give it a Mexican flavor? In order to find out, I created a recipe using one of my favorite chowder recipes and adding the chilies, paprika, and lemon juice I had seen in the other recipe.
We loved it! It turned out really tasty, with the chilies adding just a hint of spiciness, but without any harsh flavors. In fact, the chilies and paprika really seemed to enhance the traditional chowder ingredients and was a nice change of pace.
Seafood Chowder with Green Chilies
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this seafood chowder:
- white fish fillets
- canned clams
- whole milk/cream
- green chilies (mild anaheim or ancho, add a jalapeño for more spice)
- salt & pepper
- parsley (optional)
How do you make seafood meals work on a tight food budget?
I LOVE seafood and am always trying to find ways to get it into our menus without going over budget. I’ve found the best ways are to:
- Buy seafood on sale.
- Use recipes that make a little seafood go a long way.
Soup is an obviously good way to make seafood stretch, but also think kabobs (because you can add lots of vegetables on the skewers), frittatas, and seafood pasta dishes like this shrimp and green bean pasta.
In planning the menu, I try to plan a less inexpensive meal (typically meatless like this soup with grilled cheese, or something like these easy lettuce wraps) one of the other days the week to balance out the more expensive seafood day.
Making any chowder is really pretty simple, and this recipe is no exception.
You cook the vegetables in a bit of butter and add spices and flour for thickening, cook that around a bit, and cover with water or broth before bringing to a boil in order to fully cook the potatoes.
After the potatoes are tender, you add the milk or cream and seafood, then heat just a few minutes more until the falling-apart potatoes have helped thicken the soup.
Seafood is always added in the last few minutes in order to not become overcooked.
This chowder recipe is finished with the juice of one lemon, which gives it a bright and tangy flavor. Add a little chopped parsley for color and serve with your choice of bread and a salad.
Easy and delicious – and done in about 30 minutes, making this a perfect weeknight meal.
Other Easy Soup Recipes to Try:
Seafood Chowder with Green Chilies
- 4 large potatoes peeled and diced*
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups water
- 2 6- ounce cans minced clams drained reserving juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mild green chilies or frozen peppers, or 1 4-ounce canned**
- 2 cups whole milk or use half cream for a richer chowder
- 1 pound white fish cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 pound medium-size shrimp peeled and cleaned
- juice of one small lemon
- parsley for serving
- Melt butter over medium heat and add the potatoes, onions, and chilies. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until onion is softened.
- Add paprika and flour, stirring well, and cook for 1 more minute. Add the water and the juice from the canned clams to the pot along with the salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Stir in half-and-half, milk, white fish, and shrimp. Cook over medium heat until the fish is cooked through, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Finish the chowder by stirring in the juice of the lemon and adjust salt to taste. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
This recipe has been updated – it was originally published in April of 2009.
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