Every once in a while I make a dish that no matter how great it tastes, I just can't get past how it looks, and that was the case with this very easy, incredibly delicious scallop chowder. If you do make it, and want a thicker, more traditional chowder base, simply mash some of your potatoes into the mixture.

Chef John
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir until fat renders and bacon is slightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion to bacon; cook and stir until soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir celery and garlic into onion mixture, cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

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  • Pour clam juice, chicken broth, potato, cayenne pepper, and black pepper into bacon mixture; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium low, and cook until potatoes are almost tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir cream and chile pepper into potato mixture; bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are completely tender and chowder flavors combine, about 5 minutes. Season with lemon zest and salt.

  • Stir scallops into chowder and cook over medium heat until scallops are tender and white, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in tarragon.

Nutrition Facts

300 calories; 11.1 g total fat; 97 mg cholesterol; 642 mg sodium. 17.2 g carbohydrates; 32.9 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (36)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/17/2017
I loved this. I made two small changed, though I would have given it a "5" rating even without the changes. First, I omitted the bacon, as I follow a pescetarian diet. I also added mixed, sliced mushrooms (cremini, shittake, oyster, portabello) during the step where you add the celery, then cooked for 5 minutes before the next step. I love mushrooms, as they help to add earthiness when you have to omit meat from a recipe. ***Advice to those wondering about reheating: this worked AMAZING for me, as I was cooking it only for myself and knew I'd be eating it over several days: Make the chowder, but stop right before adding the scallops. Portion out the amount you aren't eating that day, Cool and refrigerate. Finish the recipe for the part you want to eat right then. When you want to eat the remainder of the chowder, heat the scallop-less chowder on the stovetop. When it starts to simmer, add your scallops, cook for 2 minutes, and done! Finish off with your lemon zest and tarragon. It actually tasted better in subsequent days, as most soups do. Read More
(20)
50 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 43
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
04/16/2017
I loved this. I made two small changed, though I would have given it a "5" rating even without the changes. First, I omitted the bacon, as I follow a pescetarian diet. I also added mixed, sliced mushrooms (cremini, shittake, oyster, portabello) during the step where you add the celery, then cooked for 5 minutes before the next step. I love mushrooms, as they help to add earthiness when you have to omit meat from a recipe. ***Advice to those wondering about reheating: this worked AMAZING for me, as I was cooking it only for myself and knew I'd be eating it over several days: Make the chowder, but stop right before adding the scallops. Portion out the amount you aren't eating that day, Cool and refrigerate. Finish the recipe for the part you want to eat right then. When you want to eat the remainder of the chowder, heat the scallop-less chowder on the stovetop. When it starts to simmer, add your scallops, cook for 2 minutes, and done! Finish off with your lemon zest and tarragon. It actually tasted better in subsequent days, as most soups do. Read More
(20)
Rating: 5 stars
09/24/2015
This was delicious! It has a pretty good "kick" with the red Fresno pepper so if a little heat is a problem use only half of the pepper. The red flecks are really pretty though so don't cut back too much. I like a little heat and my DH loves heat so we are happy. I just keep cooling milk handy...Oh--do take some of the potatoes and mash them as Chef John suggests. It makes the soup much creamier--the way we New Englanders like it. Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
02/18/2016
Followed recipe as written and shown - except there were no bay scallops at the store! So I substituted the large ones and cut them into small pieces. I think I loved this more than my husband but he really liked it too. I didn't like the taste of tarragon - it was my 1st experience with this herb and it has a licorice flavor which I wasn't fond of and don't feel it enhanced the chowder. I think I will use fresh thyme the next time - which I keep in the frig. I also used a cherry red pepper - about 3/4 of it and the heat was just fine. Thank you for a great recipe - I will make again soon - only with the cheaper bay scallops! Read More
(5)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/16/2017
Fantastic as usual Chef John. I made it with 2 cups of canned clams instead of scallops and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
09/26/2015
I made this chowder to the letter EXCEPT I doubled the bacon (cuz who doesn't want more bacon?) and since I couldn't find a Fresno pepper I used a hot chili pepper. I took Chef John's advice and mashed the potatoes once they were soft enough. I have NO IDEA why he thinks it doesn't look good?!? It looks fantastic and tastes even better! I will definitely make this again and again. My only question now is how do I reheat it without overcooking the scallops? Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
10/14/2017
I was looking for a five star clam chowder recipe so I thought I'd sub some delicious clams fresh from the sound. I made it exactly as Chef John prescribed until I got to the end and tasted it. I thought it had no counterpoint to the heat so I put in one teaspoon of sugar. It was outstanding colorful and plentiful. I served it with homemade beer bread and got rave reviews. Thanks Chef. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 4 stars
07/19/2016
Stuck to the recipe except for the chili pepper didn't have it on hand. So I just added more cayenne pepper for the heat. I love bacon and garlic so of course I had to add a little extra of each. My daughter gave it a 5 but I say a 4. Let me explain. I felt that the scollops didn't pick up the flavors enough so I had to cook much longer luckily they didn't get overcooked. At the end I had to add more seasoning than called for but in the end it did taste good! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
06/20/2016
Amazing!!! I was looking for a "brothier" clam chowder recipe to use for horseneck clams and this was beyond delicious! The tarragon was a very nice addition. Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
11/06/2016
I liked the flavor of this and it was really easy a quick to make. The soup/broth looked a little strange almost a buttery appearance of oil/water trying to separate. But the flavor made it well worth to try again. I may modify to some creamier chowder ingredients. Read More
(1)