Creamy Smoked Salmon Chowder with Bacon & Corn (video)

two bowls filled with creamy chowder on a marble table

One of my personal favorites for soup season! Rich, smoky and creamy smoked salmon chowder with bacon bits, corn and parmesan cheese. Topped with parmesan cheese, fresh dill, fresh parsley, and a squeeze of lemon juice. This incredible creamy soup is bound to become a family favorite! The aroma alone is simply mouthwatering!

Serve it with toasted baguette on the side, or with oyster crackers and extra parmesan on top. Extra cheese is always a good idea!

Watch My Salmon Chowder Video Tutorial

Watch my YouTube smoked salmon chowder video tutorial for step-by-step instructions and see how I make this creamy seafood soup at home! Want to stay up to date on the latest posts? Make sure to subscribe to my website email list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications.

Ingredients for Salmon Chowder

You’ll love this simple and easy salmon soup recipe! Here are some tips for the main ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. Find the full list of ingredients in the printable recipe card below.

  • Bacon: use a smoked bacon, which will add lots of great flavor. Both pork or turkey bacon will work well.
  • Whole Milk & Cream: make sure to add the dairy at the very end! For a lower fat version, try using reduced fat milk and half-and-half in place of the cream.
  • Mini Gnocchi: instead of adding potatoes, I love using mini gnocchi! The texture is amazing! You can also use regular potatoes; more on that later.
  • Smoked Salmon: check out my next paragraph for salmon details.
  • Fresh Dill & Parsley: fresh herbs are a must for this recipe! They add tons of great flavor.
  • Parmesan Cheese: use freshly grated cheese and have some extra on hand for sprinkling over each bowl.
  • Corn: both canned and fresh will work well for this recipe. If you’re using fresh corn, fry it along with the onions and carrots.
  • Lemon: slice 1 lemon into wedges, then squeeze fresh juice over each bowl.

Supplies & Tools for the Recipe

Need some supplies or tools to make this smoked salmon chowder at home? Shop my Amazon Affiliate links for the products I use at home! Using these links won’t cost you extra and I’ll earn a small commission.

  • Cast-Iron Pot: this gorgeous blue pot is great for cooking soups!
  • Epicurean Cutting Boards: these boards won’t dull your knives and they’re dishwasher safe. I have them in many different sizes.
  • Mini Gnocchi: I love this Italian brand! The gnocchi are so soft, and the texture is great, almost like freshly made gnocchi.
  • Glass Mixing Bowls: these nesting bowls are great for recipe prep and will keep you organized!
a close up image of salmon chowder in a bowl, with fresh herbs and corn

What Type of Salmon to Use

There are many different types of smoked salmon available at supermarkets. For my smoked salmon chowder, I like to use hot smoked salmon. This type of salmon comes as a salmon fillet, as a large piece. It will not be thinly sliced like cold smoked salmon, also know as lox.

I like to use Costco’s Cambridge House Honey Roasted Salmon. The flavor and texture is perfect for the recipe!

Preparing the Soup Base

Making this creamy seafood chowder is quick and easy! Here’s how to start the recipe.

  1. Preheat a large soup pot over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, add in the diced bacon and fry for 6 to 8 minutes, until the bacon bits are golden and crispy. Remove the bits with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Into the bacon fat, add the onion, carrots, and celery. If there is too little bacon fat, add in a few tablespoons of butter or oil. Fry the mirepoix mixture for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onion is tender and translucent.
  3. If you are using fresh corn, add it to the mirepoix at this point in the recipe.
  4. Next, add in the garlic and all the spices and herbs: thyme, rosemary, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Also add in the ketchup/tomato paste. Stir and cook for about 1 minute, until the garlic is aromatic.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the mirepoix mixture and stir it in until it’s completely incorporated. Cook for 1 minute.
a large bowl of food (salmon chowder), on a table with green tea towel

How to Make Smoked Salmon Chowder

Once you have the soup base done, it’s time to finish off the recipe!

  1. Add in 1 cup of chicken broth and deglaze the pan, then add the remaining broth. Return the bacon bits back into the pot and cover with a lid. Allow the soup to come up to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. While the soup is cooking, prepare the smoked salmon. Peel and discard the skin, then use a sharp knife and cube and pull apart the salmon into chunks. It will flake naturally, too.
  3. Next, add in the mini gnocchi and cook according to package instructions. Some varieties may require more or less time, but approximately 5 minutes is a good cooking time.
  4. Lastly, add in the canned corn, the smoked salmon, and pour in the milk and cream. Sprinkle in the grated parmesan, fresh dill and parsley.
  5. Bring the chowder to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Do not boil the soup after adding the dairy! It can boil over easily! Once it starts to simmer, remove the soup from the heat, cover and let it stand for 30 minutes, allowing the smoked salmon flavors to really season the soup.

Using Potatoes vs. Gnocchi

This easy smoked salmon chowder is great with gnocchi, or with regular potatoes. If you want to use potatoes, replace the gnocchi with 3 medium to large potatoes. Peel and cube the potatoes into small pieces (about 1/3 to ½-inch cubes).

Add the potatoes to the soup, along with the chicken broth and bacon. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this smoky salmon chowder with more grated parmesan cheese over the top and sprinkle with dill and parsley. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top for a bit of freshness. It will really make the soup pop!

Top with oyster crackers or serve with toasted bread or baguette. Reheat any leftovers on the stove top.

two bowls filled with smoked salmon chowder, on a table with dill

More Recipes!

Enjoyed this delicious, creamy soup recipe? Make sure to check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!

  • Smoky Chicken Gnocchi Soup – my take on this classic recipe! The most delicious chicken soup with bacon, gnocchi, cheese and more!
  • Creamy Roasted Pepper Bisque – so delicious with a grilled cheese sandwich! Creamy and smoky roasted pepper bisque with parmesan and bacon!
  • Creamy Crab Bisque – an older recipe but one of my favorites! This crab bisque is so incredibly delicious, creamy and smoky!
  • Creamy Corn & Potato Chowder – another easy and creamy chowder recipe! This one is made with bacon, corn, and potatoes.

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a close up image of salmon chowder in a bowl, with fresh herbs and corn
5 from 1 vote

Creamy Smoked Salmon Chowder with Bacon (video)

10 mins prep + 45 mins cook
14 cups
The best smoked salmon chowder recipe! Creamy seafood chowder made with bacon, corn, smoked salmon, cream, dill and parmesan cheese!

Ingredients 

  • 8 slices smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 large celery sticks, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp ketchup, or tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound mini potato gnocchi, or 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 pound hot smoked salmon
  • 1 1/2 cups corn, canned, or fresh
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream, or half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, for serving

Instructions

Preparing the Soup Base:

  • Preheat a large soup pot over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, add in the diced bacon and fry for 6 to 8 minutes, until the bacon bits are golden and crispy. Remove the bits with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Into the bacon fat, add the onion, carrots and celery. If there is too little fat, add in a few tablespoons of butter. Fry the mirepoix mixture for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onion is tender and translucent.
  • If you are using fresh corn, add it to the mirepoix at this point in the recipe.
  • Next, add in the garlic and all the spices and herbs: thyme, rosemary, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Also add in the ketchup/tomato paste. Stir and cook for about 1 minute, until the garlic is aromatic.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the mirepoix mixture and stir it in until it’s completely incorporated. Cook for 1 minute.

Making Salmon Chowder:

  • Add in 1 cup of chicken broth and deglaze the pan, then add the remaining broth. Return the bacon bits back into the pot and cover with a lid. Allow the soup to come up to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • While the soup is cooking, prepare the smoked salmon. Peel and discard the skin, then use a sharp knife and cube and pull apart the salmon into chunks. It will flake naturally, too.
  • Next, add in the mini gnocchi and cook according to package instructions. Some varieties may require more or less time, but approximately 5 minutes is a good cooking time.
  • Lastly, add in the canned corn, the smoked salmon, and pour in the milk and cream. Sprinkle in the grated parmesan, fresh dill and parsley.
  • Bring the chowder to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Do not boil the soup after adding the dairy! It can boil over easily! Once it starts to simmer, remove the soup from the heat, cover and let it stand for 30 minutes, allowing the smoked salmon flavors to really season the soup.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve this smoky salmon chowder with more grated parmesan cheese over the top and sprinkle with dill and parsley. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top for a bit of freshness.
  • Top with oyster crackers or serve with toasted bread or baguette. Reheat any leftovers on the stove top.

Using Potatoes for the Recipe:

  • If you want to use potatoes, replace the gnocchi with 3 large potatoes. Peel and cube the potatoes into small pieces (about 1/3 to ½-inch cubes).
  • Add the potatoes to the soup, along with the chicken broth and bacon. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 1313mg | Potassium: 314mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2902IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 2mg