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Dairy-Free Seafood Chowder

This decadent chowder uses coconut milk instead of cream, olive oil instead of butter, and is packed with protein and healthy fat. It’s warming, and perfect for cold weather without being heavy.

Dairy-Free Seafood Chowder recipe halifax nutritionist nova scotia

The secret ingredient is smoked mackerel, which gives this chowder a delicious smoky, salty flavour. Smoked mackerel is an oily fish absolutely loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, a “good fat” that can reduce inflammation, and boost brain and heart health.

Unless they’re vegan or vegetarian, I often encourage clients to bring more fish into their diets for the many health benefits.


  • ️2 small - med onions

  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped

  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 TBSP flour

  • 2 cans coconut milk (full fat)

  • 1/2 C water (or seafood stalk / veg broth, if you have it)

  • 2 small white potatoes, chopped (skin on)

  • ️1 small sweet potato, chopped (peeled)

  • 2-3 pieces smoked mackerel (skin & bones removed)

  • 2-3 pieces haddock

  • A handful of scallops (optional)

  • 4-6 green onions, chopped

  • 1 TBSP (or more) chilies

  • 2 tsp sea salt and ground black pepper

  • A squeeze of fresh lemon

In a med pot, sauté the onions and celery on med heat, until translucent (about 5 mins). Add some sea salt and ground black pepper.

Add the chopped garlic and sauté for 1-2 more mins. Add the flour and stir, letting it toast for another min (this will thicken the soup and make the coconut milk resemble heavy cream!).

Add the coconut milk and water or stock, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low.

Carefully separate the smoked mackerel from the skin and rub your fingers through to remove any pin bones. Get in there with your hands and separate into small pieces. Add to the broth.

Add the fish, pressing down to submerge, then put a lid on the pot and let simmer for about 20 mins, low and slow. Stir gently and occasionally, being cautious not to break up the fish too much.

Remove the lid and add the green onions and chili. Add a spritz of fresh lemon and remove from the heat. Taste and add more sea salt and pepper if needed.

Let the chowder sit, lid off, for min 10 mins, before serving. It’s even more amazing reheated!


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