A steaming hot bowl of chowder chases away a cold winter’s day! This Healthy Corn and Shrimp Chowder comes together quickly, and is chock full of delicious and healthy ingredients… It’s gluten-free, and can be made dairy-free as well!
Much of the U.S. is caught in winter’s icy grip. Even south Texas has spent much of early winter in the thirties and forties (not the “norm” by about 30 degrees!). Nothing warms the body and soul like a hot, hearty bowl of soup!
such as it is for Healthy Corn and Shrimp Chowder goes back about 38 years. I no longer have the hand-written recipe from my sweet mother-in-law, and I’ve certainly taken a lot of liberty with it over the years, but my current version always brings me back to my days as a young bride and making this favorite family recipe.
As I mentioned, I take a lot of liberty with the original corn and shrimp chowder recipe. I don’t always make it dairy-free, but I wanted to see if I could get close to the original with dairy-free milk rather than the original (canned milk) or my preferred half and half. I used So Delicious Dairy Free Creamer “Original.” Nut milk would probably work well, but I find the creamer adds the additional body to the chowder that more closely matches half and half.
The other important component of this soup is the broth/stock. I regularly make homemade shrimp stock (a byproduct of life on the Gulf), but I also use Kitchen Basics Seafood Stock. There are other good brands of fish/seafood stock out there, but I don’t think chicken stock will make a decent substitute. Substitute it at your own risk… 😀
Obviously this Healthy Corn and Shrimp Chowder has shrimp. Living on the Gulf, we have access to all the sizes and types of shrimp. I prefer the Gulf peeled and deveined 31 to 35 count, and I just toss them in whole. The original recipe called for canned salad shrimp. They’re absolutely fine! You can use larger ones and chop them up a bit, but why would you use the expensive larger shrimp just to cut them up? Haha.
The “secret” ingredient in the flavorful soup is a can of creamed corn. Okay. I know. I rarely specify canned anything. However, it is essential to the flavor of this wonderful shrimp chowder (and an ingredient in the original). Of course there are veggies… as many as I can reasonably pack in there – multi-colored new potatoes, shredded carrots (also original), and chopped red bell pepper. My rendition of the recipe evolved to include de-glazing the pan with dry sherry; it adds so much flavor!
Lest I forget, the pot of soup starts out with bacon. Because. Bacon. If you must, leave out the bacon, and substitute a generous drizzle of olive oil; be aware that it will taste different!
Without further ado… Let’s get cooking. 🙂
Healthy Corn and Shrimp Chowder
A steaming hot bowl of chowder chases away a cold winter's day! This Healthy Corn and Shrimp Chowder comes together quickly, and is chock full of delicious and healthy ingredients... It's gluten-free, and can be made dairy-free as well!
- 4 thick slices lean bacon cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper optional
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves fresh if possible
- 2 1/2 cups seafood or shrimp stock (see notes)
- 2 cups potatoes (I use multi-color new) 1/2-3/4" dice
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 1/2 cups milk or half and half (see notes)
- 1 can creamed corn
- 1 pound small shrimp peeled and deveined (see notes)
- sea salt/fresh ground pepper
- flat leaf parsley
To a heavy dutch oven or sauce pan over medium-high heat, add the bacon pieces. Cook until crispy, stirring frequently. Remove pieces with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels. Reserve for garnish. Remove all but 1-2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
Add the onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Saute until onion is translucent and garlic is golden but not browned. De-glaze with dry sherry.
Add thyme and bay, stock, potatoes and shredded carrots. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook 5 minutes on a simmer.
Add the bell pepper, and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Add the milk or half and half, creamed corn, and shrimp. Cook another 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, ladle into bowls, and garnish with the reserved crispy bacon, and chopped parsley
Seafood stock is widely available. Chicken stock is not a good substitute. A simple shrimp stock can be made with shrimp shells. Whenever I peel shrimp, I pop the shells in a zip bag until I have enough to make stock. If I don't have any in my freezer, I use Kitchen Basics Seafood Stock.
As I mention in the post, this recipe can be made with milk, nut milk, half and half, etc. There are many dairy-free options. My personal preference is So Delicious Original Coconut Creamer as it adds body similar to half and half. Keep in mind the macros will vary based on your milk choice, thickness of bacon, etc.
If you wish to skip the bacon, add a generous drizzle of olive oil, and skip to the second step (sauteing the aromatics).
Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal.com): 471 calories; 36 g protein; 49 g carbohydrates; 9 g fat.