Tired of dinner decisions? Enjoy a 14 day trial to our meal plan service, voted #1 by Lifehacker, and reduce your mental load today.

Fish Chowder
with butter lettuce salad

Active: 30 min Total: 30 min
This is a classic version of fish chowder that uses aromatics, spices, and savory bacon to build layers of flavors.
Smarts: This recipe could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.


Fish Chowder:
  • Bacon - 4 strips , chopped
  • Leeks - 2 , thinly sliced
  • Chives - 1 Tbsp , chopped
  • Potatoes, Yukon gold or baby yellow potatoes - 8 oz , cubed
  • Fish, any white variety - 1 lb , chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Bay leaf - 1
  • Paprika, smoked - 1 tsp
  • Old bay seasoning (opt) - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • White wine - 1/2 cup (sub stock)
  • Stock, any type - 4 cups
  • Heavy cream - 1/2 cup
  • Oyster crackers (opt) - for serving
Butter Lettuce Salad:
  • Vinegar, apple cider - 1 Tbsp
  • Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
  • Honey - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil, olive - 2 1/2 Tbsp
  • Cucumbers - 6 oz , cubed
  • Lettuce, butter - 8 oz , leaves chopped or torn


  1. Bacon / Leeks - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make vinaigrette - Whisk together vinegar, mustard, and honey. Add olive oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Chives / Potatoes / Cucumbers / Lettuce - Prep as directed.
  4. Fish - Chop into bite-sized pieces. Pat dry and season with some salt and pepper.

Unlock this meal along with hundreds of smart meal plans and never stress about "What's for dinner?" again

Try for free
Learn More


  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and fry, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Drain all but 1 Tbsp / 15 mL of bacon grease out of the pan. Return pan to medium heat.
  3. To heated pan add leeks and bay leaves. Saute until leeks are very tender, ~5 minutes.
  4. Add paprika, Old Bay (if using), and salt. Cook for 1 minute more.
  5. Pour wine over leeks and bring to a simmer. Simmer ~3 minutes to reduce slightly.
  6. Add stock and potatoes and return to a simmer. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (Note: Adjust heat as needed to keep the liquid simmering gently but not bubbling over.)
  7. When potatoes are tender, remove and discard bay leaves.
  8. If you’d like a thicker soup, use an immersion blender to blend a small portion of the soup and potatoes. (The blended potatoes will serve as a natural thickener.)
  9. Add fish and simmer until fish is cooked through, ~5 minutes more.
  10. Remove soup from heat and stir in cream. Taste and season with some salt and pepper.
  11. When soup is ready to serve, toss cucumbers and lettuce in vinaigrette. Finish salad with some black pepper.
  12. Serve soup with chives, bacon, and crackers (if using). Enjoy salad on the side.



0 reviews