Lightened Irish Seafood Chowder

This easy chowder recipe can be made with very little fuss. To make the meal fully authentic pair it with Traditional Irish Brown Bread or give your meal an Irish-American twist with homemade croutons made from a day-old loaf of chewy sourdough.

Recipe Highlights:

  1. A healthy, easy, seafood chowder featuring cod, potato, leeks, and bacon!
  2. A good source of protein, low carb, and gluten-free.
  3. 6 Weight Watchers Points Plus per serving.


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A day on Ireland’s majestic coasts would not be complete without a bit of seafood. Even in the summer, the wind whips along the rocks and you will likely be in the mood for something to warm you from the inside out – although the whiskey will help. Chances are very good you will be able to find a restaurant serving traditional seafood chowder. When in Ireland you must order your seafood chowder with slices of brown bread and butter.

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Of course, you don’t have to buy a plane ticket to enjoy great seafood chowder. While the soup simmers take a moment to close your eyes and imagine waves crashing, shore birds calling, smell the salt air, feel its sting on your face, and conjure an image of cliffs, craggy and menacing against the constant attack of the sea. Then turn and gaze upon the soft green rolling landscape, quiet and protected unaware of the violence below.

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Fish Recipes: Lightened Irish Seafood Chowder
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicious way to enjoy the irresistible mix of tender cod, smoky bacon, and pillowy potato in a traditional fish chowder without the heavy calories. Adapted from Traditional Irish Seafood Chowder
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Irish
Serves: 10 servings
  • 4 oz smoked bacon
  • 2 medium leeks, white and pale green, sliced in ¼ inch crescents
  • 2 large celery stalks, halved and diced
  • 1 lb Russet potatoes, peeled & diced
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 - 8oz bottles of clam juice
  • 1½ cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 12 oz low fat evaporated milk
  • 2 pounds cod fish, cut into 11/2 inch chunks
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • Optional: a few sprigs of thyme or lemon thyme, leaves only
  1. Cook the bacon in large dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat until it has turned brown and crispy. Once the bacon has browned remove it to a paper towel lined plate. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat.
  2. Add leeks and celery to pot and cook them until they begin to soften (about 5 minutes), stir frequently.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the potatoes and clam juice, add thyme now if including. Simmer the vegetables until the potatoes can be easily pierced by a fork, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, crumble or dice the bacon strips into small bits. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of the bits for garnish.
  4. When the potatoes are tender - reduce the heat to medium low and add all of the milk, then return bacon (minus 1 tablespoon) to the pot and add the fish.
  5. Simmer the chowder on low to medium low heat, make sure it does not begin to boil. The chowder is ready when fish has cooked through, about 15 minutes. The fish should be flaky but firm.
  6. Toss in a handful or two of finely chopped parsley and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Keep the chowder on low heat until ready to serve. Garnish with additional parsley and reserved bacon.
To keep this chowder simple, and light, no extra thickeners have been added to the recipe. You can increase the volume by doubling the amount of potato in the recipe. Remember, changes may effect the nutritional information.

To make crispy croutons: Set your oven rack to the second vertical slot below the top (not the very top). Cube up some day old bread (from a whole loaf not pre-sliced). For this recipe I used a thick crusty sourdough. Make the cubes roughly 1½-2 inches each. Mist the cubes with a bit of olive oil and arrange them on rimmed baking pan. Place the pan in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes but keep a close eye (and nose) on your bread. When it is dark golden brown on top flip the cubes and toast for an additional 2-5 minutes until the second side is dark golden brown.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 250 Fat: 7 g Carbohydrates: 14.5 g Sugar: 6 g Sodium: 610 mg Fiber: 1.6 g Protein: 29 g Weight Watchers Points Plus: 9



  1. Thanks for taking me back to Ireland the day I did all those things you described was wonderful. I just wish it had ended with that chowder!

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