Salmon Chowder

Salmon Chowder is a great recipe for leftover salmon. Sometimes when I’m making salmon for dinner, I make extra just so I can make this chowder the next night. Writing out the recipe, the ingredient list looks long which may make the recipe seem intimidating, but it always feels very simple and easy when I’m making it. I just throw some veggies in the food processor and then cook them up while I’m chopping up the leftover salmon and some potatoes and just keep adding things to the pot until everything is done and then the whole family digs in.

Fresh parsley and dill are almost irreplacable in this recipe. The aroma and flavor that they add, especially as a garnish on each bowl is unbeatable to me. It really is worth the extra expense and effort, in my opinion.

Fresh chopped dill.

However, I know it can be difficult to track down fresh dill sometimes, so I added directions in the notes about how to substitute dry herbs in place of fresh. If you need to do that, I recommend against trying to do an herb garnish as dry herbs generally are not appetizing unless they have a chance to rehydrate and cook and their flavor is really different than fresh. One thing I will mention, is that I have used the “freeze-dried” variety of dried dill and I find it works really well in this dish, so if you can’t get fresh I’d recommend it as a best possible replacement.

Salmon Chowder

Recipe by Add Recipes
3.8 from 49 votes


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 lb Salmon, cooked, divided

  • 1/2 lb Red potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 3 cups Chicken stock

  • 1 cup Milk, whole

  • 1/2 cup Heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup Dry white wine

  • 1 Shallot

  • 1/2 Carrot

  • 1 Celery stalk

  • 1 clove Garlic

  • 1 Lemon, cut in wedges for garnish

  • 1/4 cup Parsley, fresh, minced, divided

  • 1/4 cup Dill, fresh, minced, divided

  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable or canola oil

  • 1 Bay leaf

  • 2 teaspoons Salt

  • Black pepper, fresh ground to taste


  • Roughly chop celery stalk and 1/2 carrot into 4-5 pieces. Peel and quarter shallot and garlic clove.
  • Place celery, carrot, shallot, and garlic clove in food processor. Pulse until all vegetables are finely minced, scraping down sides occasionally if needed for even chopping.
  • Heat oil in large pot or stockpot over medium-low to medium heat. Once heated, add vegetables from food processor. Vegetables should sweat and not color more than light golden brown; if they are darkening too much, lower heat. Cook about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While vegetables cook, roughly chop cooked salmon to bite sized pieces, removing any remaining bones. Reserve about 1/4 cup of cooked salmon and chop very fine.
  • Once vegetables have cooked to just golden brown, add the 1/4 finely chopped salmon to the vegetables in the pot. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Raise heat to medium or medium-high and deglaze pan with dry white wine, stirring to bring up and cooked bits at the bottom of the pan. Add 3 tablespoons parsley, 3 tablespoons dill, bay leaf, salt, and black pepper to taste. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add chicken stock, milk, and heavy cream to pot. Stir and bring up to low boil — raise heat if necessary.
  • Add potatoes. Reduce heat until chowder stays at low bubbling simmer. Simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add salmon to pot and cook 4-6 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked and salmon is heated through. Remove bay leaf and discard.
  • Taste chowder for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve with garnish of remaining 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon dill, and lemon wedges for guests to squeeze fresh lemon to their taste.


  • Fish or vegetable stock may be used as substitute for chicken stock.
  • Skim, 1%, or 2%, or evaporated milk may be used as substitute for whole milk.
  • Half and half should not be used as substitute for heavy cream as chowder may break. Suggest adding extra 1/2 cup of milk as substitute for heavy cream if necessary.
  • Dry dill or parsley may be used as substitute for fresh. Suggest using 1 1/2 tablespoon of each dry and omitting herbs as garnish.
  • White, yellow, leeks, green onions, or red onions may be used as substitute for shallot. Taste will alter.
  • Garlic may be omitted.
  • Yukon gold or white potatoes may be used as substitute for red. Watch that they don’t overcook as they may crumble more easily. Russet potatoes are not recommended.
  • 2 Teaspoons white wine vinegar may be used as substitute for dry white wine.
  • Canned salmon may be used in place of cooked fresh salmon.
Fresh salmon fillets.

Fresh salmon is a staple around my house, but I realize not everyone cooks it as often as I do. If you are more comfortable with a canned salmon for your chowder, I think that is a workable substitute. Obviously the taste will be somewhat different, and I suspect the pieces would be much smaller than bite size, but in theory it should work just fine. I would recommend finding a good quality canned salmon. For fresh salmon, I always buy Pacific. I tend to buy king (often called Chinook where I’m from) or coho. Sockeye is also a good choice. If you’re in doubt as to what to buy, ask the fishmonger behind the counter at your favorite grocery store and they can help you choose. Frozen fillets are also a great option.

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