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Irish Seafood Chowder

Irish Seafood Chowder

West of Ireland Seafood Chowder

We live on the West coast of Ireland, and around here Irish seafood chowder is a very common meal to be found in the local pubs and restaurants. This is my own simple Irish seafood chowder recipe based on some ingredients I can easily purchase at my local Irish Aldi or Tesco stores.


chowder ingredients

Seafood Chowder Ingredients


What is in Irish Seafood Chowder?

For this Irish chowder recipe, I used two fresh ‘seafood pie mixes’ from Tesco’s which consisted of 320 grams each of mixed fresh fish containing 50% white fish, 25% salmon and 25% smoked white fish.

Aldi’s also sell a seafood mix, which is a slightly smaller package (250g), but also perfectly suitable, which contains a mix of fish like Haddock, Cod, Pollack and Hake with some salmon, also with some smoked fish in it. The smoked fish imparts a lovely smokey flavour to the chowder.

I have used both ingredient mixes in the past to make this dish. Just adjust the milk quantities pro-rata to suit the fish amounts, depending how chunky you like your fish stew.

fish soup chowder mix

Delicious fresh seafood mix


Variations to Irish Chowder Soup

Fresh fish is obviously better if you can get it – just make sure you use a nice mixture of fish that complement each other. Mackerel, being a very oily and strong tasting fish, would not really fit very well in this dish, for example.

I also used some frozen King prawns and some Irish crab meat, to fill the dish out, but really you can use pretty much what you want, as long as the tastes go together.  Atlantic prawns, mussels or clams would all complement this meal nicely.


seafood chowder irish


Seafood chowder in Ireland can consist of many varieties of seafood, but commonly you will find that restaurants will use the fresh fish and shellfish that they can get locally. Hence salmon, haddock, hake, cod and pollock will often be found in an Irish chowder.

But really you can use whatever you can get your hands on locally. If using fresh fish, just try and make sure all the fish has been properly de-boned. There is nothing worse than a fishbone stuck in the back of your throat!


fish chowder

Irish Seafood Chowder with buttered sourdough


My point is that a Galway seafood chowder recipe may be very different to a Dingle seafood chowder recipe or even a Donegal seafood chowder recipe. The recipe will follow the fish, but they all taste great and are all super creamy. 


seafood soup

Irish Seafood Chowder with buttered Irish Wheaten Bread


Just make sure the fish is the kind with nice meaty type flesh, like haddock or salmon that does not need lots of cooking until it falls apart. Some of the farm-fished white fish out there today are also less suited to be used in a chowder I think, because of this.


recipe seafood chowder

Irish Seafood Chowder

Irish Soda Bread

In the West of Ireland, chowder is nearly always served with soda or wheaten bread to mop up the juices. Ideally, a good Irish salted butter like Kerrygold would be used to butter the bread. We are so very lucky to have such superb quality dairy products in Ireland. 


irish fish stew


This is a really tasty recipe, and if you have any leftovers you can keep it in the fridge for a day and reheat it. It tastes even better a day later.

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe and try and make it at home.

If you do try it, please let me know how you get on in the comments section below, and how you improved it. What seafood did you use?

How to make Irish Seafood Chowder

irish seafood chowder recipe

Irish Seafood Chowder

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This delicious and filling Irish seafood chowder is a common meal in the pubs and restaurants of Ireland. Serve up with some buttered Irish Wheaten or sourdough bread - unbeatable!


  • 640g mixed fish (white and pink fish, smoked and non smoked. I used a mix of haddock, cod and salmon)
  • 130g King prawns (frozen)
  • 70g cooked Irish crab meat (optional)
  • 500ml Milk
  • 100ml double cream
  • 400ml vegetable or fish stock
  • 2 potatoes, peeled
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon (or smoked pancetta)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  1. Cut the bacon (or pancetta) into small pieces and fry in a skillet until browned. Remove from pan and store on a plate.
  2. Defrost the prawns and dry them (I do this in a bowl with warm water and sieve the water away, patting them with some kitchen paper).
  3. Chop the potatoes into small 10mm cubes and finely dice the onion, garlic and celery. Place them together in a saucepan and fry them in some butter on medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  4. Then cover the potatoes and onion in the vegetable (or fish) stock and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked.
  5. At the same time, put the fish in a pan and add the milk. Bring to a simmer and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes until the fish is cooked. Then sieve the milk into a jar and put the fish aside.
  6. Add the sieved milk to the potatoes, onions and celery and bring to a simmer. Then add the cream and stir well.
  7. Mix 1 tbsp of butter with 1 tbsp of flour and add to the simmering mixture. Stir until it starts to thicken.
  8. Then add the fish, prawns and crab meat to the soup. Taste the sauce, and season with pepper to taste. Allow time to heat up the seafood, before serving.
  9. Finally, add half the bacon to the soup and some of the chopped parsley and stir well.


Serve up with some chopped parsley and the rest of the crispy bacon garnish, together with some traditional buttered Irish Wheaten bread.

The quantities above are enough for 6 generous helpings.

Feel free to add mussels, clams or other suitable seafood if you wish.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 440Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 163mgSodium: 687mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 46g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

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Ann Brady

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

I had chowder at almost every stop along the west coast of Ireland. And, yes, each was slightly different. All were delicious. I couldn’t wait to add this to my Christmas Eve feast. I used shrimp and crab - utilizing the shells to make stock, and cod. This is delicious! Thank you for sharing. Oh! And I served it with a brown bread recipe from one of my favorite pubs along the way.


Thursday 8th of September 2022

Shrimp, cod and crab - yummy! Funnily enough, I had a not-so-good one last week on the West coast, but mostly they are good! Glad it worked out.

Hairy Dave

Saturday 2nd of July 2022

Hi Gav, Hello from Australia! I'm planning on cooking your chowder tomorrow for friends. I'm not sure I understand what happens with the bacon. I see that half the bacon is added at the end. What happens with the other half. And do I cook the potato/onions celery in the remaining bacon fat at step three or with the fish at step 5 or not at all. Really looking forward to tasting this.


Saturday 2nd of July 2022

Hi Dave, congrats with the Wallabies win just now! Half the bacon goes in at the end and the other half I used for garnish on top. The recipe has the potatoes, onion, garlic and celery fried in butter (not bacon fat) in step 3. And then cooked in the stock in step 4. Good luck, hope it turns out well!

Typhaine Saunders

Friday 3rd of September 2021

My first seafood chowder and very pleased with it. Irish food at its best. I mainly followed the recipe but added a carrot to it. Used fresh local fish from Donegal. Very tasty. Thank you for sharing.


Friday 3rd of September 2021

Glad you liked it. Fresh Donegal fish - couldn't be better! Thanks for your kind comments.

Eoin O' Dunlaing

Sunday 14th of February 2021

Lovely recipe, Followed it mostly-didn't use cod -Forgot to get crab-also swapped out onion for Leeks-Italian Mire poix! and added carrots to the recipe -Credit to my mother! also added mussels which I think is more 'West Cork' Chowder- in addition to the prawns and also added the prawn stock made from heads and shells-pan fried first then simmered in small amount of the fresh fish stock -see below! - also used white instead of black pepper. but- and I think it's worth doing-I obtained a 1Kg fish mix from fishmongers to make a fresh fish stock and it really came out tasting beautifully. Entertained several different people to great reactions. Only suggestion received was it might benefit from white wine or possibly Sherry-I think cognac (Hennessy is Irish ;-)) but to my mind it would no longer be an irish recipe but somewhat french. I'd post pictures if I could! Kind Thanks!


Monday 15th of February 2021

Eoin, glad it worked out. I bet it tasted even better with a real fish stock - I used a vegetable stock when I made this one. Let me know if the cognac solution works out! Maybe you could post your pics on Pinterest? Gav

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