You can make lots of variations using this same basic recipe – all you really need to call it “chowder” are the dairy and potatoes. If you like spice, try adding a jalapeno, if you don’t like crab, or have an allergy, use haddock instead. How about scallops and shrimp, without the corn? Or just corn – but add some other veggies for more color and flavor? Experimenting is (at least!) half the fun, once you conquer a recipe. (You can also make it dairy free!)


5 T Butter

1 Medium Onion, diced

2 Stalks Celery, diced

1 clove Garlic, minced

? C Flour

½ C Dry White Wine

3 C Water or Stock (I used 3C water with 1½ teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Lobster Base)

2 Medium Potatoes, cut in ½” – 1” cubes

1 C Frozen Corn (you can use canned, or even creamed corn for lots of flavor)

8 oz Crab Meat, fresh, frozen or canned (if you use frozen, defrost it first!)

1 C Cream or Half & Half (add more if your chowder is too thick) 

1 tsp Salt (if you use a salted base, as I did, cut back a little on the salt)

¼ tsp Nutmeg

¼ tsp Pepper

2 T Fresh Parsley, chopped

Crumbled bacon for garnish

**If you are dairy free, make this the same way, except for the butter and half & half. Use avocado oil in place of the butter, and add a little more water to thin it out if necessary instead of using cream.

  1. Melt butter in a 4 quart (or larger) saucepan, and add in onion, celery and garlic. Sautee gently until onions are translucent.
  2. Add flour and stir in, cooking for about 2-3 minutes. (Do not let it turn brown!)
  3. Pour in wine and stir, then add water/stock one cup at a time. Adding the liquid slowly and whisking in between will keep it from clumping.
  4. Add potatoes and frozen corn. (If you are using canned corn, add it in the next step.) Bring your chowder base to a boil, and turn down to simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Turn the heat to low, and add crabmeat, cream and seasonings. Stir in and let cook for about another 3-5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in fresh parsley, Serve hot and garnish with some bacon crumbles (optional). 

Pairs well with No Knead Bread!