Seattle Smoked Salmon Chowder

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This creamy Smoked Salmon Chowder is truly comfort food in a bowl! Made with hot-smoked salmon (full of heart-healthy fats) and a ton of nutrient-packed veggies (onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn and cauliflower), it’s a good-for-you soup the whole family will love. Stove top and Instant Pot directions provided.

This creamy Smoked Salmon Chowder is truly comfort food in a bowl! Made with hot-smoked salmon (full of heart-healthy fats) and a ton of nutrient-packed veggies (onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn and cauliflower), it’s a good-for-you soup the whole family will love. Stove top and Instant Pot directions provided.
Smoked Salmon Chowder

It’s soup season, if you’re looking for a new easy soup recipe to add to your dinner rotation, I think you will love this smoked salmon chowder! You can also browse all my soup recipes from the archives. A few favorites are the Potato Leek Soup, Cheeseburger Soup and of course, Classic Chicken Noodle Soup!

This creamy Smoked Salmon Chowder is truly comfort food in a bowl! Made with hot-smoked salmon (full of heart-healthy fats) and a ton of nutrient-packed veggies (onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn and cauliflower), it’s a good-for-you soup the whole family will love. Stove top and Instant Pot directions provided.

Hello, it’s Heather, I’m excited to share another chowder recipe with you today (check out my Cheddar Corn Chowder right here), and I’m also excited to invite you to my free 31-day Master the Weight Loss Mindset Challenge.

Click RIGHT HERE to transform your mindset about dieting and achieve weight loss freedom from the inside out. When you sign up for the Mindset Challenge, you’ll also receive a FREE meal prep guide with an entire month of meal plans (with Skinnytaste recipes, of course!).

My sisters live in Seattle so naturally salmon is a regular on the menu, and this Smoked Salmon Chowder is one of our favorites. And after lightening up this Cheddar Corn Chowder with blended cauliflower instead of cream (with seriously amazing result!), I knew I had to try the same technique with this chowder. And WOW, this much lighter and healthier version is just as good as the original!

For best results, be sure to use hot-smoked salmon as it has a very different texture from cold-smoked salmon. Hot-smoked salmon, a specialty of the Pacific Northwest, is smoked at 120°F to 180°F for 6 to 12 hours, cooking the salmon through and giving it a flaky and delicious texture.

I always serve this creamy and comforting chowder with a big green salad and some crusty bread. Enjoy!

This creamy Smoked Salmon Chowder is truly comfort food in a bowl! Made with hot-smoked salmon (full of heart-healthy fats) and a ton of nutrient-packed veggies (onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn and cauliflower), it’s a good-for-you soup the whole family will love. Stove top and Instant Pot directions provided.This creamy Smoked Salmon Chowder is truly comfort food in a bowl! Made with hot-smoked salmon (full of heart-healthy fats) and a ton of nutrient-packed veggies (onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn and cauliflower), it’s a good-for-you soup the whole family will love. Stove top and Instant Pot directions provided.This creamy Smoked Salmon Chowder is truly comfort food in a bowl! Made with hot-smoked salmon (full of heart-healthy fats) and a ton of nutrient-packed veggies (onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn and cauliflower), it’s a good-for-you soup the whole family will love. Stove top and Instant Pot directions provided.

This creamy Smoked Salmon Chowder is truly comfort food in a bowl! Made with hot-smoked salmon (full of heart-healthy fats) and a ton of nutrient-packed veggies (onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn and cauliflower), it’s a good-for-you soup the whole family will love. Stove top and Instant Pot directions provided.This creamy Smoked Salmon Chowder is truly comfort food in a bowl! Made with hot-smoked salmon (full of heart-healthy fats) and a ton of nutrient-packed veggies (onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn and cauliflower), it’s a good-for-you soup the whole family will love. Stove top and Instant Pot directions provided.

This creamy Smoked Salmon Chowder is truly comfort food in a bowl! Made with hot-smoked salmon (full of heart-healthy fats) and a ton of nutrient-packed veggies (onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn and cauliflower), it’s a good-for-you soup the whole family will love. Stove top and Instant Pot directions provided.
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4.85 from 38 votes
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Seattle Smoked Salmon Chowder

8
9
7
SP
377 Cals 31 Protein 36 Carbs 11.5 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Yield: 6 servings
COURSE: Dinner, Soup
CUISINE: American
This creamy Smoked Salmon Chowder is truly comfort food in a bowl! Made with hot-smoked salmon (full of heart-healthy fats) and a ton of nutrient-packed veggies (onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn and cauliflower), it’s a good-for-you soup the whole family will love. Stove top and Instant Pot directions provided.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, ½-inch dice
  • 3 large celery stalks, ½-inch dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 12-ounce wedge cauliflower (1/4 of a large head), stem attached
  • 3 small red potatoes, peeled and diced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces skinless hot-smoked salmon
  • Chopped chives, for garnish

Instructions

  • STOVE TOP DIRECTIONS
  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt and sauté until vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle flour evenly over vegetables and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute.
  • Add wine and deglaze the pot (scraping brown bits off the bottom).
  • Add the thyme, broth, cauliflower and potatoes, bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the lid from pot and transfer the cauliflower and 1 cup of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer puree back to the pot.
  • Add the milk, corn, and smoked salmon and heat through for about 5 minutes.
  • Season with remaining salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.
  • Ladle 2 cups of soup into each bowl and top with chives
  • INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS 
  • Press sauté on the Instant Pot.
  • When hot, add the butter.  Once melted, add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt and sauté until vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle flour evenly over vegetables and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute.
  • Press cancel. Add the wine and deglaze the pot (scraping brown bits off the bottom).
  • Add the thyme, broth, cauliflower and potatoes, seal and switch pot to Manual.
  • Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Quick release, then open when the pressure subsides.
  • Transfer the cauliflower and 1 cup of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer puree back to the pot.
  • Add the milk, corn, and smoked salmon and heat through for about 5 minutes.
  • Season with remaining salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.
  • Ladle 2 cups of soup into each bowl and top with chives.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups, Calories: 377kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 11.5g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 77mg, Sodium: 783mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 9g
Blue Smart Points: 8
Green Smart Points: 9
Purple Smart Points: 7
Points +: 9
Keywords: healthy smoked salmon chowder recipe, Smoked Salmon Chowder, smoked salmon chowder healthy, smoked salmon chowder recipe, smoked salmon soup recipes

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110 comments

  1. OMG…this was BEYOND delicious! I made it in the InstantPot, and the only modification I made was using Oat Milk. Being in Southern California, it wasn’t hard to find hot smoked salmon – I got the seasoned variety from Trader Joes. I now have extras in the freezer.

  2. My cauliflower hating husband loved this chowder!!  Did I tell him?  Nope. 😉

  3. OMG! I made this last night in the instapot. I followed the recipe exactly. I live in Washington state and we get salmon and smoke our own. So Creamy, hearty and full of flavor.
    My family went crazy for this- thank goodness I made a triple recipe. they asked if we could have it again tonight as leftovers.

  4. I’m confused. The recipe says 1/4 head of cauliflower, add it to the soup with the potatoes. But then later says add it to the bkender with 1 cup soup. Which is it?

    Thank you.

    • Both. Add the cauliflower in one piece with the potatoes, cover and simmer. After 20 minutes, carefully lift the whole piece of cooked cauliflower into the blender with some of the soup.

  5. Delicious! I bought the wrong type of smoked salmon. I bought nova smoked salmon, not dried, but it was still great. I just chopped it up in small pieces and sprinkled it in. 

  6. This is the best chowder I’ve ever had. I made it exactly as directed and it turned out delicious. Shared the recipe with family and everyone loves it! We’ve been making your recipes for years and never been disappointed. Thank you!

  7. I made this in an instant pot and it was FANTASTIC!  Does anyone know if I double the recipe in an instant pot does the cooking time change?

  8. Wow! This was delicious and easy. I actually had some leftover cedar planked salmon we had cooked and used that. For anyone who is wondering, I also used 1% milk because it’s what I had and it turned out great, not watery at all. We will definitely make this one again. Thank you for such great recipes.

  9. This is absolutely DELICIOUS! Very hearty with a nice flavor. We enjoy the smoky taste, so I added 2 drops of liquid smoke at the end of cooking. I also found it to be a little thin for my preference, so I mixed 1-1/2 Tbsp. of corn starch with a little chicken stock and added that at the end, allowing it to thicken the soup in the pot . It was perfect. My husband loved it too – so this will be a regular in our rotation. I put all the ingredients into the WW recipe creator, and I came up with fewer points per serving on Purple – so that’s a win for me too. Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes!

  10. Where are the instructions for cooking the salmon???

  11. Gina or Heather,
    How much should the 3 small red potatoes weigh, approximately? Curious because this would affect the calories significantly.
    Thanks!

  12. Made it as directed. It was pretty tasty but I think that there are a few misses that can be improved on:

    – Not enough seafood taste for a chowder. I’d swap out the chicken broth with seafood broth. I used a full 8oz of smoked salmon. Clam broth maybe?
    – There wasn’t enough broth to cook the cauliflower..
    – Cooking potatoes that small with a big chunk of cauliflower leads to potato pieces that are cooked to the point of being mushy. Maybe start with steamed cauliflower, add that and 1 C broth to a blender and then add to the soup would fix that?

    The texture with the pureed cauliflower was great!

  13. Made this recipe to serve as dinner for the week and it was delicious! I ended up blending the majority of the soup instead of just the cauliflower and I loved how thick it made the soup. I also added frozen peas to mine because they are my favorite. Tastes like a combination of clam chowder and corn chowder.

  14. Finally found hot smoked salmon after hunting high and low for a long time, but I think any smoked salmon would do. I skipped the flour to thicken and added about 1/2 cup of corn to the broth and cauliflower and purred all of that together. I use cashew or almond milk too and no problem. ( but we are used to that) Would like to know how much 3 small potatoes would weight, I did about a serving 100 calorie worth. I added 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard at the end too, as I have done that before with another similar recipe. My husband said that you can’t get something this good at a restaurant. I added some steamed chopped up asparagus to the bowls, And Skinny Taste bagel went very nicely with this too. I got about 9 cups. Another winner, don’t know how you do it!

  15. Made on the stove top – followed recipe exactly – this is amazing! The kids also loved it.  Only “problem” is that there isn’t much left for me to eat for lunch this week. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  16. I’ve made this twice now, and love it! I made a few changes, because I prefer soup that is mostly smooth. I used an immersion blender instead just blending a cup of the liquid and the cauliflower before adding the salmon, corn and milk. I also had to add more broth because of this and use 5 cups instead of 3. I doubled the salmon based on another review because I love smoked salmon.

  17. Has anyone made this with 1 or 2% milk and/or light butter? Just wondering if the consistency will remain the same.

  18. I have made this twice on the stove top and we love it – a wonderful recipe.. It’s amazing how well the cauliflower thickens the chowder without changing the taste. Gina, could the base be made ahead and refrigerated (including the blended cauliflower), and then gently reheated with the milk, corn and smoked salmon when ready to serve?

  19. I made this today and I was expecting better from all the 5 star reviews. I followed the recipe exactly and while I am not sure yet what is missing from this recipe, for sure the amount of smoked salmon is too little. I am going to let this sit overnight and hopefully the flavors will increase and then I am going to buy more smoked salmon and at least double the amount.  Right now the recipe is really a vegetable chowder with smoked salmon garnish.  I want more salmon flavor.

  20. I am going to make this recipe. My salmon shows 4 ounces is 21 grams of protein, so 8 ounces would only be 42 grams of protein. For 6 servings that would only be 7 grams of protein per serving.

  21. Loved the flavor.of this but mine came out quite a bit thinner than chowder…next time I will use more cauliflower to thicken it up…great recipe!

  22. Another winner! Made this two night ago and had it for dinner and then lunch. Will definitely make it again!

    • I made this tonight with cold smoked salmon (couldn’t find the hot at my local store 😞) and it turned out amazingly!  Definitely a keeper!  Thank you ☺️ 

  23. I’m seeing more and more recipes feature a Pressure cooler and or air fryer. I’m looking to purchase your cookbooks (one and done and air fryer)  but was wondering if you recommend a particular pressure cooker and air fryer? I checked amazon and frankly I’m beyond confused. Can you offer any recommendations? Thanks!

  24. Great recipe! Instead of fresh cauliflower florets, I used the trader joes “cauliflower mashed potatoes” (no potatoes in it, just cauliflower, as I already had it in the freezer and it saved a step as it was already pureed. Delicious!

  25. Wonderful looking recipe. Going on a rv weekend with 12 of my fellow firefighters. Will I need to make two batches up to feed them (based on 2 cups per person) based on this recipe. Still new to pressure cooking.
    Thanks.

  26. This was absolutely amazing! Comfort food for sure. Followed the recipe exactly and would not change a thing! LOVE THIS! Thank you for sharing so many wonderful recipes!!

  27. All I can say is WOW! This was excellent! I love dill in chowder, so I just added some dried dill but other than that, nothing to change. Used Costco smoked salmon for this. My husband can’t wait to have it tomorrow for lunch. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes. I just turned 60 and the weight just keeps wanting to creep up. I have cooked light and exercised for years but at my age, it takes more effort . I decided to drop a few pounds after returning from Nashville where I picked up even more pounds and your site makes it so easy along with the meal plans each week. I have dropped 8 pounds now and only have 5 more to go to get to the weight I was 6 years ago.

  28. AMAZING! It was so creamy, delicious and filling. I made it in my instant pot and it was super easy.
    Loved it!

  29. This is soooo good! Made a double batch for a Lenten Soup Supper using my son’s Alaskan caught and smoked salmon, and we felt guilty! It tastes so decadent and creamy!

  30. This was really good – thank you. I made the Instant Pot version although for the last couple of weeks I haven’t been able to find cauliflower for less than $6.99 (and I refused to pay that) … so I just used a package of riced cauliflower I already had. So I didn’t puree anything – but the recipe was wonderful. When cauliflower prices are reasonable again I’ll try the recipe as written, but this way worked wonderfully too!

  31.     Instead of the hot pot can you use a slow cooker?

  32. I use your recipes often and love them.  I’m a little confused by this one.  Do I need to roast the salmon before using it in the soup or is that photo of the salmon on the sheet pan for extra garnish?

    Thank you.

    • Hello – the salmon I used for the recipe was hot-smoked salmon, so it came in the package as pictured. If you can’t find hot-smoked salmon you can also use cold-smoked salmon.

      • I wondered about this also. I do look at the photos as I make a recipe for input. The salmon is on a roast pan with parchment paper , lemon and scallions, Also directions sound as if you put cauliflower into soup in one wedge. That would make it easier to remove to puree. However photo cauliflower looks to be in florets.

      • Yes, into a wedge is easier to puree after.

  33. Can chicken broth be substituted for the wine? Also I live in rural Missouri so prepackaged smoked salmon from Walmart is all that is available. Will that work ok?

  34. This was delicious and perfect for a cold winter (that will never end!) night! Two interesting notes- first, I added the ingredients to the recipe builder in WW and only came up with 5 pts per serving (yay!). Second, I mistakenly only bought one 4 oz package of salmon. For dinner I warmed it a tad in the microwave to take off the chill, put it in the bottom of the soup bowls and served it that way. That left me with meatless chowder leftovers for lunch today. I added shredded cooked chicken breast, a bit more salt, and some tarragon and voila! Chicken Tarragon Chowder. It’s delicious too! Great versatile recipe! 

  35. Thanks for this recipe! I cut the milk to 1 cup because I wanted to keep the thickness of the chowder and used smoked trout because I already had some in the fridge. We really enjoyed it and look forward to the leftovers tonight!

  36. Question for Heather. I made this and it was fabulous!! I plan to make it for the holiday. One of my guests has to follow a gluten free diet. Can I substitute rice flour for the regular flour in the step where it is called for or would I be better off to make a rice flour roux separately and add it to thicken? I have seen videos on how to make roux with rice flour but wonder if I could just use it instead of regular flour in the recipe as written. Thanks

    • HI Anna – I am not 100% sure as I have never made it without regular flour, but I would try swapping the regular flour for rice flour and see how it goes. I have a feeling it will still taste great!

    • HI Anna – I am not 100% sure as I have never made it without regular flour, but I would try swapping the regular flour for rice flour and see how it goes. I have a feeling it will still taste great!

    • HI Anna – I am not 100% sure as I have never made it without regular flour, but I would try swapping the regular flour for rice flour and see how it goes. I have a feeling it will still taste great!

  37. Yum!!! I’m dairy free due to my breastfed infant’s milk protein allergy and was wondering if I could make this with olive oil or vegan butter instead of butter and almond milk instead of whole milk? I’m not sure of the consistency of mixing almond milk into soups? Thanks!

    • Hi Jessica – I would try it with olive oil and almond milk – I have used almond milk in other soup recipes and the olive oil to butter swap should work too! .

  38. Hi! Would it be okay to add red snapper to this instead of tuna? If so, how would you recommend cooking it?

  39. Made this tonight in my Instant Pot. It was fabulous! Thank you!

  40. I made the Instantpot version of this last night as written, except I used ff half and half. Although it was tasty, it was too thin for a chowder and a lot of work It would be better with more salmon. At 7 points, I don’t think I’d make this again.

    • If you substitute an ingredient, you didn’t follow the recipe and cannot then rate it. If you remove the fat, you’d naturally have a thinner soup. The fat’s needed for chowder.

  41. Excellent! Needs no tweeks! I used package smoked salmon. . Not the kind I buy for salads or top ut on bagels.

  42. Made this last night and it was a hit!! I loved thickening the soup using the cauliflower puree. I made some homemade bread and what a great meal! Delicious! Thank you.

  43. This was beyond GREAT!!! Easy to make, creamy, hearty, wonderful goodness. Something different, not same old run of the mill soup. I plan on making this as the soup course for my Easter dinner. Loved every savory last drop. Cauliflower to make a creamy soup, who would have thought!!

  44. Hi I have a beautiful cut of Pacific Northwest salmon vacuum packed
    Could I just bake it to warm it up?

  45. Made this tonight and it was super delicious!!  The whole family loved it!  I puréed all the vegetables (everything except the corn and salmon) by mistake and it still was amazing!!

  46. Made this tonight and it was a hit!!! We loved thickening with puréed cauliflower. I made some homemade bread and it was a perfect meal. 

  47. LOVED the soup. We are on a low salt diet so I just used 1/4 tsp LITE salt and added a 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper. Two tsp salt would have tasted over the top salty for us.

  48. I forgot to add milk! It was very good!

  49. Can I use 1% or 2% milk instead of whole milk?

  50. Do you think this would freeze well or no? I think it looks amazing but I’m the only salmon eater in the house.

  51. Would sherry wine work with the smoked salmon?

  52. This one knocked it out of the ballpark! My hubby loved it! Since I live in MO and couldn’t find the right salmon, I subbed in regular salmon I broiled and some smoke flavoring. Delish!

  53. Would a bag of frozen cauliflower work?

    • It’s easier to use a large piece of cauliflower because then you take the whole thing out to puree, but you could try the bagged frozen cauliflower.

  54. Making this for dinner tonight! I did want to say though — I added the ingredients to the nutrition calculator I use (https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076), and it was significantly less than what you had down! 282 per serving… any insight as to why? Either way, smells good!

  55. Hello — do you puree the salmon after adding it to the soup? Or does it break up into chunks on its own? Wasn’t sure from the photos. Thanks!

  56. Would veggie broth sub be tasty still or would it alter the flavor too much?

  57. The pictures look like the salmon is “doctored” up prior to adding it to the soup. Was it bought that way or did you add your special touch to it first? I’ve only seen plain smoked salmon.

    • Hot smoked salmon looks different from cold-smoked. The salmon was bought this way 🙂

      Hot-smoked salmon, a specialty of the Pacific Northwest, is smoked at 120°F to 180°F for 6 to 12 hours, cooking the salmon through and giving it a flaky and delicious texture. It is a different texture from cold smoked salmon. I live in DC and found hot smoked salmon at the Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Safeway near my house.

      I would look in the fish department of your local store. It’s not hard to find
      … but you can also use cold-smoked if you can’t find it.

  58. This is definitely on my list for next week. It sounds amazing,.

  59. I live in Northern Maine, very rural, far from stores you mentioned. All I can get is nova Scotia or Scottish smoked salmon, can I use that?

  60. I am assuming Hot Smoked Salmon is hard to find in Texas? Never heard of it.

    • I actually just found some at Sprouts! I’m in the Dallas area.

    • I would check your local grocery store – it’s actually not too hard to find. Or you can use regular cold-smoked salmon. That works too!

      • Very good recipe. I like that you don’t need a whole lot of smoked salmon, as it is quite expensive. The corn and potatoes really make the chowder.

    • I looked at Central market and only found the cold smoked version. It worked well though. I just cut it into thin ribbons.

  61. Would this freeze well?

    • I think so – you could make the soup without the salmon and freeze, and then add the salmon when you warm it up.

  62. Would a non-dairy milk (like almond milk) work?

  63. Do you roughly chop the salmon before adding it to the soup? Or does it break up on its own when the slices go into the chowder?

  64. This was delicious! Living in land-locked U.S. I made me reminisce of the meals I’ve had in New England. This will go into rotation for sure!

  65. The InstantPot directions don’t mention the flour. Is that intentional?
    It was good but needed more salt. Will make again.

    • Hi Stacey! Thanks for catching that – we will update the recipe. The flour is used in the Instant Pot version. Just add it in Step 3 like the regular version.

  66. Where do you get smoked salmon? Do you make it yourself?

    • I live in DC and found hot smoked salmon at the Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Safeway near my house.

      I would look in the fish department of your local store. It’s not hard to find!

  67. This sounds amazing!! Dumb question- what does “hot smoked salmon” mean exactly and where do you get it? Is it just raw smoked salmon heated up or something else specific?

    • Hot-smoked salmon, a specialty of the Pacific Northwest, is smoked at 120°F to 180°F for 6 to 12 hours, cooking the salmon through and giving it a flaky and delicious texture. It is a different texture from cold smoked salmon. I live in DC and found hot smoked salmon at the Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Safeway near my house.

      I would look in the fish department of your local store. It’s not hard to find! 🙂

  68. Where do you buy hot smoked salmon???

    • Hello! I live in DC and found hot smoked salmon at the Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Safeway near my house.

      I would look in the fish department of your local store.