I personally feel that a well executed seafood chowder is one of the worlds great dishes. Abundant with fresh seafood, seasoned perfectly with smoked haddock, dill, and bay leaves this recipe, has served me well. It made an appearance on Masterchef Canada All Stars and it was met with resounding positive reviews from the judges. Beyond that, and arguably more importantly, I make this frequently for friends and family at home and they love it! I think you will too. Be sure to be as generous as possible with the seafood!

How to nail this Seafood Chowder?

For me the secret ingredient for this chowder is the flavour of smoke. This comes from the smokey bacon and the smoked haddock. These flavours add depth and makes me feel like the chowder was cooked over a camp fire by the beach.

As far as seafood goes, use whatever fresh seafood you can get your hands on. I often times will make this recipe using just haddock and smoked haddock and I love it just as much as when it is slammed with all sorts of seafood. Be as generous as possible as I really think a bountiful chowder is a great way to show your guests you love them!

Also I highly recommend serving this chowder with a freshly made tea biscuit!

East Coast Seafood Chowder

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Prep Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people
Course Main Course


  • 4 slices smoked bacon cut into small slices
  • 1 cup Leek, diced
  • 2 potatos, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup nova scotia white wine
  • 1 filet smoked haddock, diced
  • 1.5 litres whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 cup fresh lobster
  • 3 filets fresh haddock
  • 1 lb scallops
  • 2 lb mussels in shell
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 tbs fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest


  • Place a large pot over medium heat. Add in a tbs of oil and then drop in the diced bacon. Saute until bacon browns.
  • Next up, add the diced potatoes, diced leeks, diced onion, and bay leaves to the pot. Let that sizzle away and enjoy the smells coming out of the pot!! Stir frequently. You don't want any of the vegetables taking on any colour.
  • After about 4 minutes of sautéing the vegetables, pour in the nova scotia white wine. You should get a really nice sizzle here. You want to wine to hiss and bubble as we are burning off the alcohol and deglazing the pan. Stir constantly, and again, enjoy to smell.
  • Now it's time to pour in the milk and cream. You want the mixture to come up to a light simmer but keep an eye on the pot as you don't want the milk to come to a boil or it will split. Nice and gentle cooking here. Keep stirring every now and again. The goal here is to keep the temperature up for long enough to cook the potatoes. Once the potatoes are soft you are all good!
  • Now that the potatoes are cooked let's start adding in the seafood. Add in the diced smoked haddock, full fresh haddock filets, lobster, scallops, mussels, and any additional seafood you would like to include. Adding all of this cold seafood will drop the temperature of the milk so give it time to come back up to temperature. Once a light simmer has been reached, allow the seafood to poach until you can easily flake apart the fresh haddock. Once that happens you know you are in the clear.
  • Last step is seasoning. Be sure to taste the broth and adjust as needed. I like to add 2-3 solid pinches of salt and a lot of fresh cracked pepper. Right before serving I also add in the fresh dill and some lemon zest to brighten everything up.
  • Enjoy!
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Keyword chowder, east coast chowder, seafood chowder
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