Chowder can feel like an indulgence–it’s creamy and super-filling–but the dish can be surprisingly healthy, if you make it right. Our version is a fish chowder made with halibut for a lean protein boost. Still, it wouldn’t be chowder without some comforting creaminess and smoky bacon. We’ve got that covered: In this dish you’ll find a milk base, salty bacon, and plenty of healthy veggies, like carrots, potatoes, and onions.This chowder makes for a cozy meal on a chilly day, and one you can feel good about. The halibut is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which protect your heart and fight inflammation. The dish also boasts vitamin B and folic acid and gets another healthy boost from it’s herb component, thyme, which may help fight off coughs and sore throats.RELATED: 12 Healthy Soup RecipesAdditionally, the potatoes add fiber to your diet to help fill you up. Another benefit of soup? You have to slow down to eat it when it’s hot, so it may help you be more mindful about how much you’re eating. Plus, it’s warmth creates a sense of calm. Making chowder can be fun, too–a perfect activity for a day inside when the weather is bad, with a delicious reward at the end. Your kitchen will smell great, and you’ll have plenty to share or keep as leftovers.Making your own soup also means you don’t have to rely on the processed, canned stuff, which is often laden with salt. You’ll know exactly what's in the version you create. It’s even tastier if you enjoy it curled up on the couch with a good book, some oyster crackers, and hot tea.

Kathleen Kanen


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

10 servings (serving size: 1 cup chowder and about 1 teaspoon bacon)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring 4 1/2 cups water and bay leaves to a simmer in a large skillet. Add fish; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove fish from pan with a slotted spoon. Cut fish into large pieces. Reserve 2 1/2 cups cooking liquid and bay leaves.

  • Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan; crumble bacon, and set aside. Add potato, onion, and carrot to pan; cook over medium heat 10 minutes. Add reserved cooking liquid, bay leaves, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Add milk and butter; simmer 25 minutes until potatoes are tender (do not boil). Stir in fish, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Discard bay leaves. Sprinkle with bacon.

Nutrition Facts

242 calories; calories from fat 32%; fat 8.6g; saturated fat 3.5g; mono fat 3.1g; poly fat 1.1g; protein 21.8g; carbohydrates 18.4g; fiber 1.5g; cholesterol 42mg; iron 1.1mg; sodium 531mg; calcium 166mg.