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New England Fish Chowder

This recipe was handed down by my mother, although I have changed it a bit. This really reflects our region, since New England is famous for its fish.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 25 min.
  • Makes
    about 4-1/2 quarts


  • 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 2 pounds haddock, cut into large chunks
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • Additional salt and pepper, optional


  • In a Dutch oven, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Cook onions until tender but not browned. Add the potatoes, salt, pepper and water. Top with fish. Simmer, covered, until potatoes are fork-tender, 20-25 minutes.
  • In a large saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until bubbles form around side of saucepan. Stir in evaporated milk and remaining butter; add to fish and potato mixture. If desired, season with additional salt and pepper. Heat through.

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  • Diane F
    Dec 15, 2020

    Simple to make and full of flavor! I used tautog/blackfish, from my husband’s recent fishing trip, and added the bay leaf and dried thyme. Delicious and will be made again! Thanks!

  • Robert
    Oct 29, 2020

    Really great recipe! However I chose to delete the salt, I never peel potatoes (even with mashed), and added corn, celery, carrots, and parsnip. I also chose to include bay seasoning per prior comment. Don't ask about quantities of each (probably 3 times the pepper), because I never measure. I also cut back on the water. Also, I used skim milk.

  • thewindowsinger
    May 2, 2015

    This is so delicious! Great recipe, just wish there was a little less liquid in the chowder.

  • rebelwithoutaclue
    Sep 20, 2014

    If you use seafood broth instead of water and kick it up with some Old Bay Seasoning, you now have maxed out this recipe!

  • leogking
    Mar 2, 2014

    this is as i remember new england chowders, as i was growing up in the coastal new england it was a welcome feeling to smell the aroma of fish chowder on top of the stove and the smell of homemade common crackers in the oven.

  • Bleugerman
    Feb 15, 2014

    It's cold outside and this is wonderful on a day like this. I did add 1 can clams with liquid and a little Old Bay seasoning. Delicious

  • hlillis
    Feb 12, 2012

    My family, 6yr old & 2yr old included, loved this. Used fish stock in place of water & used a mix of fat free half & half, whole & skim milk for the 3 cups milk. It was great.

  • knunes
    Oct 25, 2010

    Just like my grandmother used to make

  • grammymiss
    Oct 14, 2010

    The chowder was ok, a little milky, next time I would put only two cups of milk and one or one and a half cans of evaporated milk.This perticular chowder is very good for people who are watching there sodium.I would make it again with the changes.

  • Cincity57
    Aug 14, 2010

    Really good :)