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Quick and easy Fish and Scallop Chowder made with cod, bay scallops, gold potatoes and cream...

A bowl of Fish and Scallop Chowder on a doily next to a slice of french bread on a small plate

This little recipe for Fish and Scallop Chowder came to be because of my mother-in-law.  When she visited a few weeks ago, she mentioned that she would love a bowl of chowder and asked me if I’d stop by the store to pick up a can.  I’ve really got nothing against canned soups.  They come in handy when you need to cook something quick. But really, the amount of sodium in those itty bitty cans of condensed soup is mind boggling. Way-too-much!

I thought it would be a fun experiment to make a thick and creamy fish chowder of my own, made with fresh ingredients where I control the sodium.

Why This Recipe Works

  • This chowder is easy to make and very versatile.
  • This soup is not too thick nor too thin. It’s the perfect consistency.
  • It cooks relatively quickly on the stove, fills my kitchen with a magical aroma and tastes a heck of a lot better than any canned soup!

Ingredient Notes

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions. 

  • Olive oil: I use extra virgin olive oil in this fish chowder recipe as well as in every other recipe on ZagLeft that calls for olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed form of olive oil. It is an unrefined oil and the highest-quality olive oil you can buy. Because of the way extra virgin olive oil is made, it retains more true olive taste. It also contains more of the vitamins and minerals found in olives. It’s my favorite type of olive oil to use but you may use a lighter olive oil instead.
  • Butter: Use salted butter.
  • Vegetables: Celery, chopped onions, potatoes, and garlic.
  • White wine: I prefer using a dry white wine in this recipe. Use a wine you enjoy drinking.
  • Clam juice or fish stock: I use clam juice or fish stock. You can use chicken broth instead if you’d like.
  • Seasonings: Bay leaves, dried thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  • Scallops: I used bay scallops.
  • Fish: I use cod, but any firm white fish will do.
  • Heavy cream: Cream makes this soup extra indulgent. You can substitute with half and half or whole milk but the soup will not be as rice and creamy with those substitutions.

How To Make This Recipe

  1. Cook onions, celery and garlic in a large pot until softened.
  2. Add wine and raise heat.
  3. Add potatoes, clam juice or stock, and seasonings.
  4. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat to medium and cook, covered, until potatoes are almost done.
  5. In a separate pot, warm the heavy cream. Do not let it boil, just heat.
  6. Add the fish and the scallops to the pot of potatoes. Pour in the heated cream.
  7. Cook on low until the fish is cooked through.

A closeup of a bowl of Fish and Scallop Chowder with a slice of french bread on a small plate in the background

Expert Tips

  • The perfect chowder shouldn’t be too thin or too thick. You can slightly thicken the chowder by mashing some of the cooked potatoes along the side of the pot. If you find the soup to be too thick, add a little extra half and half or broth.
  • Serve with a crusty piece of French Bread and you’ve got a fantastic meal!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Toppings Can I Add To Clam Chowder?

Traditional fish and scallop chowder toppings include oyster crackers, chopped cooked bacon, or chopped parsley.

How Do I Store Leftovers?

Leftover fish and scallop chowder can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated up to 3 days.

Thank you for reading!  

Fish and Scallop Chowder

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Quick and easy fish & scallop chowder made with cod, bay scallops, gold potatoes and cream.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion , chopped
  • 2 celery stalks , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 inch large Gold potatoes , peeled and cut into 1- cubes
  • 2 cups clam juice or fish stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound cod fillets cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 12 ounces bay scallops
  • 2 cups heavy cream


  • Heat oil and butter in the bottom of a large pot on medium heat. Add the onions, celery and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the wine and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, uncovered until the wine reduces by half.
  • Add the potatoes, clam juice or stock, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. (The potatoes should barely be covered by the liquid. If not, add a little water.)
  • Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium and cook, covered, until the potatoes are almost done, about 10 minutes.
  • In a separate pot, warm the heavy cream. Do not let it boil, just heat.
  • Add the fish and the scallops to the pot of potatoes. Pour in the heated cream. Cook on low heat, uncovered, until the fish is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
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Hi, I’m Joanie and welcome to ZagLeft where we share favorite recipes as well as exciting travel experiences that we’ve enjoyed while always trying to take the road less traveled.

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