Seafood Recipe: Shrimp and Sweet Potato Chowder

This luscious shrimp chowder recipe is brimming with hearty flavors. But unlike most seafood chowders, you won’t find cream or butter in the recipe.

Every spoonful of this Shrimp and Sweet Potato Chowder gets you one slurp closer to eating (and enjoying) the recommended two seafood meals each week. But even better is the simplicity of this chowder and its stellar nutritional profile.

Have you ever made fish chowder from scratch? Most recipes call for lots of cream, butter and bacon, which translates into lots of saturated fat, sodium and calories. This lightened-up, more nutrient-rich chowder gets thickened with a roux of olive oil, flour, and reduced-fat milk. I use frozen farm-raised shrimp for convenience (plus, who doesn’t love shrimp?), diced sweet potatoes for fiber and vitamin A, and instead of drowning the dish in bacon, I turn to smoked paprika for that familiar smoky flavor.

A shower of fresh herbs on top adds a final pop of flavor to this shrimp chowder recipe.

As a mom of two grown boys and a passionate advocate of family mealtime, this shrimp chowder recipe has it all: It calls for everyday ingredients that you can easily find at your local supermarket, and it’s nutritious. Each serving has over 50% of the vitamin A needed each day and an impressive 26 grams of protein. And the small, farm-raised shrimp are downright cute, making this colorful chowder hard for kids to resist.shrimp chowder in bowl

Shrimp and Sweet Potato Chowder
Makes 4 to 6 Servings

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup chopped shallot
3 small garlic cloves, minced
¾ pound sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice (2 heaping cups)*
2 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch dice
4 tablespoons chopped chives
2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 cups all-natural vegetable broth
1½ cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 pound frozen small farm-raised shrimp, thawed and drained

  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or medium-size pot over low heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring often, until golden and fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Raise the heat to medium. Add the sweet potato, celery, chives, thyme, and paprika and continue to cook, stirring often for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour until it coats the vegetables, and cook for 1 more minute.
  3. Whisk the milk and broth slowly into the vegetable mixture. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a low boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer and stir gently until the mixture thickens and the sweet potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the corn and shrimp and continue to simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with kosher salt, pepper, and additional paprika to taste. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and chives as desired.

* Think tiny when dicing your sweet potato. It will cook faster and kids prefer mini, bite-size pieces

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 to 1½ cups): 355 calories, 12g total fat (3g saturated), 465mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 26g protein, 52% vitamin A, 18% vitamin C, 23% calcium, 20% iron

Do you have a favorite seafood chowder recipe? Tell me about it.


By Liz Weiss, MS, RDN, Host of the Liz’s Healthy Table podcast and blog

More about Liz: Liz Weiss, MS, RDN, is a mom of two with a specialty in family nutrition. She’s the voice behind the family food podcast Liz’s Healthy Table, and the blog and website by the same name. Liz has written several cookbooks including No Whine with Dinner: 150 Healthy Kid-Tested Recipes From the Meal Makeover MomsThe Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeovers: Improving the Way Your Family Eats, One Meal at a Time!, and the playful new coloring book series Color, Cook, Eat!. Liz hosts the Meal Makeovers video series for CNN Accent Health, which runs in doctor’s offices nationwide.