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Irish Seafood Chowder

Irish Seafood Chowder

West of Ireland Seafood Chowder

We live on the West coast of Ireland. 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. They consisted of 320 grams each of mixed fresh fish containing 50% white fish, 25% salmon and 25% smoked white fish.

Aldi’s also sells a seafood mix, which is a slightly smaller package (250g). But this is also perfectly suitable and 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 ould 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 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. 

If you ever travel the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland you will definitely find chowder and brown Irish bread in the pubs you stop at along the way. If you like fish and seafood, you will love this recipe.

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. It is a perfect family treat for St. Patrick’s Day!

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

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irish seafood chowder recipe

Irish Seafood Chowder

Yield: 6
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.

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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.

Did you make this recipe?

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Saturday 16th of March 2024

Thank you. This was easy straightforward and DELICIOUS.


Wednesday 20th of March 2024

Thanks for your comments. So glad you enjoyed it!


Saturday 7th of October 2023

Hello from Bavaria.

My wife and I spent our vacation in Ireland this year and got to know the friendly people and the good food.

Now it was time to bring back holiday memories. The recipe is super tasty and easy to cook.



Saturday 7th of October 2023

Glad you enjoyed it! Try the Lamb stew as well!

Liam Cavanaugh

Sunday 19th of March 2023

Hello from the US! I wanted to give my friends some real Irish food for St. Patrick's Day, and this turned out exactly like the fish chowders I enjoy so much whenever I visit the West Coast of Ireland. I made it with cod, tilapia, live clams, salmon, shrimp, and crab, and added an extra potato as well. I used about 100 mL more milk than called for and it turned out creamy and delicious! A great easy chowder recipe that I will definitely be doing again.


Sunday 19th of March 2023

Hey Liam, sounds great! Glad you enjoyed it!. Of course, everyone should try this meal. Hope you enjoyed St. Patrick's day crowned by the Irish Grand Slam yesterday ☘️☘️☘️☘️ 😊


Friday 27th of January 2023

The best chowder I have ever tasted and so easy to make.


Friday 27th of January 2023

Brian, thanks for your lovely comment. Glad you enjoyed it!!

Michael Scampini

Wednesday 11th of January 2023

Ok, so I modified this recipe for my crockpot and fish availability. I used frozen salmon and cod, imitation crabmeat because my grocery had no crab meat because was late and shell on shrimp because it's Chicago. Everything was cooked on low for 7 hoursin my crockpot. For the bacon, I decided to experiment. I doubled the amount and split it into thirds. For the first third of bacon, I added it right at the beginning. I pan cooked the rest of the bacon and added the second 1/3 about 2 hours before it was done. I used the last 1/3 as a topper. It worked in that the original bacon added at the beginning was chewy but I feel added good flavor. The second 1/3 stayed hard but had good flavor and the toping bacon added the extra flavor. I also added a heaping Tablespoon of dried Thyme and it was awesome. I used whole milk and whipping cream so it was heavy and added one tablespoon of cornstarch to make a bit thicker. I added 1 cup of fresh parsley in the last hour and had it ready as a topper. Otherwise followed the recipe closely.

It turned out fantastic. I served it with french bread and it was loved. I could have added frozen scallops or squid and it would have added a texture to it. This is now my go to Irish Seafood Chowder for experimenting as it's very neutral and simple, but complex enough to inspire creativity and economy.


Friday 13th of January 2023

Glad it worked out OK Michael. I have taken to frying the bacon in my air fryer now as it is easier and gives you nice crispy bacon you can cut to suit. It is a great recipe for St. Patrick's day!

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