Want the best seafood bacon corn chowder recipe? This seafood chowder recipe is rich and creamy, with crunchy bacon and sweet corn. It is hands down my favorite!
Going to college in Boston, I fell in love with New England clam chowder. Every bowl was so rich, creamy, and satisfying. Unlike Manhattan clam chowder, which has a tomato base, New England chowder has a rich cream base.
Over the years, I've recipe tested many different versions of chowders. My family loves our Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder version, which is fast and easy to make at home.
But this seafood bacon chowder recipe is still my favorite to this day! Even after having to go dairy-free, I've learned to adapt it while retaining the luscious creamy smooth chowder and hearty, satisfying nature of chowder. (See recipe card notes for how to make this recipe dairy free).
❤️ Why you will love this seafood chowder recipe
This delicious seafood chowder is everything you want in a New England-style chowder.
- It's packed with yummy, healthy veggies.
- You can make this as creamy as you like by pureeing it in a blender.
- If you're dairy-free like me, you can easily substitute dairy-free alternatives for the cream.
- Use your favorite seafood. You don't have to use clams! I use crab meat, which we love and are fortunate to have in abundance here in the Pacific Northwest.
- This seafood corn chowder is hearty and satisfying, topped with crispy, salty, mouthwatering bacon.
🎥 Seafood bacon corn chowder video
I was so honored to share my recipe with Kroger as part of their holiday recipes video series. This series featured nine bloggers from different parts of the country, including yours truly representing the Pacific Northwest!
Here's the video sharing what the holidays mean to me. I also share a little more about what makes this particular chowder recipe so special.
👩🏻🍳 Cooking tips
- If you're using frozen corn kernels, thaw them to room temperature beforehand.
- Cut the potatoes as uniformly as possible, in cubes of similar size, to ensure they cook evenly.
- If you don't have clam juice, you can use more chicken broth instead.
- I use ready-to-eat crab meat from my grocery store deli for this recipe. However, I have also used fresh lobster, shrimp, and salmon in lieu of crab and it is just as delicious!
- If you want the chowder to be creamier, increase the amount of soup you puree in the blender by anywhere from half a cup to a full cup more. It's really up to you how creamy or chunky you want this chowder to be!
Unfortunately, cream-based chowders do not freeze well. You can keep this chowder in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. However, I do not recommend freezing this soup.
Allow the soup to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Serving this chowder as a main course with any of these side dishes:
- Homemade French Bread
- Instant Pot Green Beans
- Air Fryer Garlic Bread
- Garlic Parmesan Knots
- Asian Carrot Cucumber Salad
Or serve this seafood chowder as a starter course to compliment any of these main dishes:
Wine pairings for chowder
A rich, creamy chowder or creamy soup needs a crisp white wine to balance out the richness. Pair this seafood chowder with a Sauvignon Blanc for an elevated dining experience.
Seafood Bacon Corn Chowder
- 1 large pot
- 8 strips of bacon chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minces
- 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
- 1 cup finely chopped carrots
- ¾ cup chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme OR ½ tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 7 cups yellow corn kernels
- 2 cups bottled clam juice
- 2 cups milk
- 2½ cups heavy cream
- 1 can (14.5 ounce can) chicken stock
- 3 medium baking potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
- ½ pound crab meat
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced basil optional
- Cook the bacon in a large (6 or 8 quart) pot over medium heat. Stir bacon occasionally and cook until crisp. Transfer to paper towels. Reserve about 3 tablespoons of the bacon for garnish, leaving the remainder in the pot.
- Add butter, garlic, onions, carrots, celery, thyme, and bay leaf, to the pot. Cover and cook for about 6-8 minutes, until the onions are soft and lightly golden. Be sure to stir occasionally.
- Add the corn, clam juice, milk, heavy cream, chicken stock and potatoes to the pot. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
- While ingredients are simmering, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add crab meat. Sauté for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
- Check the large pot of ingredients simmering and when potatoes are tender, discard the bay leaf.
- Transfer about 4 cups of the soup to a blender and puree.
- Pour the puree back into the chowder and stir to blend and thicken.
- Garnish each serving with bacon, a generous spoonful of crab meat, and chopped basil (optional).
- Substitute 2 cups of 1% milk with 2 cups of almond milk.
- Substitute heavy cream with 2 cups full-fat coconut milk or, for a creamier chowder, 1 cup coconut milk plus 1 cup coconut cream.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.