Slow Cooker Fish Chowder

Slow Cooker Fish Chowder Recipe

​The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
311 Calories
13g Fat
37g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 311
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 870mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 12g 41%
Protein 14g
Calcium 210mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This slow cooker fish chowder is made with frozen, thawed fish fillets. Make this chowder with haddock, cod, catfish, pollock, or a similar firm white fish.

Serve the chowder with oyster crackers or crusty rolls. Add a tossed salad for a satisfying family lunch or dinner.

Feel free to change it up with some corn for a fish and corn chowder, or add some celery. You could also add shrimp or another seafood near the end of the cooking time for a seafood chowder.


  • 2 pounds frozen fish fillets (catfish, haddock, etc., thawed)
  • 1/4 pound bacon (or streaky salt pork, diced)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 4 medium red-skinned potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for slow cooker fish chowder
    ​The Spruce
  2. Cut the thawed fish fillets into bite-sized pieces.

    Bite-size pieces of raw fish fillets on cutting board
    ​The Spruce
  3. Place in the slow cooker.

    Bite-sized pieces of raw fish fillets in slow cooker
    ​The Spruce
  4. Dice the bacon or salt pork into small pieces.

    Diced bacon on cutting board
    ​The Spruce
  5. In a large skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon or salt pork with the chopped onion until the meat is cooked and onion is golden.

    Bacon and onions frying in skillet
    ​The Spruce
  6. Drain and discard excess fat.

    Bacon and onions in skillet next to cup of bacon fat
    ​The Spruce
  7. Transfer the bacon and onion mixture to the slow cooker with the fish pieces.

    Fish, bacon, and onions in slow cooker
    ​The Spruce
  8. Add the cubed potatoes, water, salt, and pepper.

    Cubed potatoes and fish in slow cooker
    ​The Spruce
  9. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours, or until the potatoes are tender.

    Fish chowder ingredients in slow cooker
    ​The Spruce 
  10. Add the can of evaporated milk and cook for another 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until hot.

    add evaporated milk with fish chowder ingredients in slow cooker
    ​The Spruce
  11. Serve and enjoy!


  • Thaw frozen fish fillets in the refrigerator overnight. To thaw quickly, put fillets in a zip-close plastic food storage bag. Push as much of the air out of the bag as possible and then seal the bag. Place the bag with the fish in a large bowl. Cover the fish with cold water and keep the fish submerged with something heavy. A big jar of spaghetti sauce, salsa, or jam will work well. Change the water frequently to keep it at or a little below 40 F. The fish should be thawed in about 30 to 45 minutes. 

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of water, add clam broth, or chicken stock (preferably unsalted) to the slow cooker.
  • Add about 1/2 cup of sliced celery to the skillet with the onions.
  • Sauté about 1/2 cup of diced carrot along with the onion.
  • Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of corn kernels to the chowder.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of butter to the chowder along with the evaporated milk.
  • Add a small can of minced clams to the pot along with the fish.
  • Add 1 pound of medium peeled and deveined shrimp with the evaporated milk and continue cooking until the shrimp is opaque.