Summer Seafood Chowder

Another recipe for a quick supper, shrimp and scallops in a milky broth, with barely cooked tomato, corn and my favorite vegetable this summer, okra.
Don't like okra? No problem, green beans are great too!

Summer Seafood Chowder

Come August, my northern soul longs for cooler climes. This year, a week in British Columbia was penciled in, then erased. Then a heat wave descended upon Missouri, temps climbed into the high 90s for weeks on end. My garden wilted, I wilted.

So I was okra-green with envy when friends headed to northern Michigan earlier this month, packing up cooking gear and garden vegetables for ten days at a family cabin Anne (readers know Anne as the Pastry Whisperer of Flaky Tender Pie Crust fame, St. Louisans know her from Kitchen Conservatory, St. Louis' great kitchen store and cooking school) has been visiting since she was a girl.

Some times Anne blogs about the relaxed cooking that happens in a summer cabin on a northern lake. This year, her fish and sausage chowder appeared in my mailbox just as plans to attend a hog roast were cancelled (too hot) and my supper ideas were nixed (too fussy). A quick stop at the fish store and an hour later, supper was on the table and if I closed my eyes, I could imagine the sun setting across a lake not a pool, a cool wind rustling in the pines not the stillness of a sticky Missouri evening, a light sunburn on my cheeks instead of the chill of air conditioning on my shoulders.

I had been transported to a cooler place. All was well, all is well.

ALANNA's TIPS A winter chowder is thick and hearty, bracing us for snow and ice. A summer chowder is light, all about the seafood and garden-fresh vegetables. What is Old Bay seasoning? It's a traditional spice blend that's especially good with seafood but, even for someone like me who keeps only one or two blends on hand, it's a good one. Look for Old Bay in the spice aisle or on Amazon or try mixing your own (this looks like a promising recipe). Not into okra? Too bad but okay. ☺ Just substitute a half pound of green beans, trimmed and snapped into bite-size pieces and put them in before the seafood and other vegetables since they'll take longer to cook.


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease or another fat
  • 1 onion, chopped in large pieces
  • 1 green pepper, chopped in large pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (see TIPS)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound fresh scallops
  • 1/2 pound fresh shrimp, shells and tails removed, deveined
  • 4 ears fresh corn, kernels sliced off the cob and the cobs ‘milked’
  • 1/2 pound fresh okra, trimmed and sliced into small rounds (see TIPS)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • Slivers of butter, optional

MILK BASE In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the bacon grease til shimmery on medium high. Add the onion, green pepper and garlic as they’re prepped, stirring to coat with fat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden and the pepper cooked but still crisp. Add the milk, sugar, Old Bay and salt and pepper and bring just to a boil, but don’t allow to boil.

SEAFOOD & VEGETABLES Have the scallops, shrimp and vegetables ready before adding any of these. If the scallops are large, add them to the hot milk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, otherwise add the scallops, shrimp, corn, okra and tomatoes all at once and let cook until until cooked through, about 2 – 3 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasoning. If 1% milk is too ‘skinny’ for your taste, or for a touch of added richness, on the table add a sliver of butter to each bowl. Serve and savor!

(How many calories in Seafood Chowder? How many Weight Watchers points in Seafood Chowder?) Per Cup: 306 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 138mg Cholesterol; 297mg Sodium; 35g Carb; 6g Fiber; 14g Sugar; 30g Protein; Weight Watchers 6 points

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite late-summer recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. "Like" Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

Do You Carry On a Love Affair with Okra?

Funny story: At the farmers market one day, a little girl begged – I mean BEGGED – her mom to buy okra. "Please-please-please-PLEASE, Mom, let's buy okra!" she pleaded. Her mom must have read surprise on my face because she rolled her eyes, then explained, "Fried okra". And it turns out, fried okra is a great way to kick off a love affair with okra. But don't stop there! Right now, the farmers market is overflowing with okra from the size of a thumb to the length of a hand. They are tender and lovely and when fresh, not the least bit gummy!


~ Sautéed Okra & Garlic ~
~ Potato Okra Curry ~
~ Warm Tomato, Corn & Okra Salad ~
~ more okra recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog

More Easy Summer Recipes with Shrimp

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Sengalese Soup (Shrimp Soup with Corn & Honey) Shrimp with Tomatoes, Spinach & Feta Cold Shrimp with Creamy Dill Sauce & Capers

Recent Favorites from A Veggie Venture

If you like Kitchen Parade's recipes, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, visit A Veggie Venture, my food blog, home to the Alphabet of Vegetables where there's a vegetable in every recipe and vegetables in every course.

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© Copyright 2010 Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This just sounds fabulous! I love seafood and have never met a chowder I didn't like!

  2. Yum - I've never done a summer chowder, other than corn chowder. I think the scallops would be fabulous in this. Your recipes are terrific.

  3. Thank you for the recipe! I made this tonight and it turned out wonderful- I served it to my parents along with some crusty bread and fresh melon. It exceed my expectations.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna