This Creamy Shrimp Chowder is one of the easiest seafood chowders to make. Shrimp, potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and fresh herbs are cooked in a creamy and cheesy broth.
On busy nights, this is one of the soups that I can quickly prepare and have a delicious and hearty dinner for my family in no time. One of my friends shared this recipe with me about a year before I got married, and she said that this was her secret to having a meal ready just 30 minutes after walking in the house.
It’s so satisfying, with the creamy and cheesy broth, the starchy potatoes and juicy shrimp. The onions, celery and carrots give it a nice flavor and the fresh herbs are the best finishing touch.
How to Make the Creamy Shrimp Chowder
I love how quickly this soup is made. While the water or broth is coming to a boil, prep all the vegetables.
Add the cheese to the water first. Use a whisk to mix in the cheese until it’s evenly incorporated. The spreadable cheese will melt and will become create a creamy consistency to the broth.
Add the potatoes, onion, carrots and celery to the broth. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Cook the soup at a simmer, until the potatoes are cooked through, 10-15 minutes.
Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the soup and cook until the shrimp is cooked through and pink, 3-5 minutes.
Garnish with fresh herbs and serve.
What Kind of Cheese Should Be Used?
You can use 2 packages of spreadable cheese. I also like using one package of brie cheese. I think it pairs really well with the rest of the ingredients. The spreadable cheese melts right into the broth, creating a creamy texture and the brie softens but it doesn’t melt completely, so there are delicious tiny morsels of brie cheese interspersed in the soup. It is such a treat!
Peel the cheese and use a whisk to melt the spreadable cheese into the water. Cut the casing around the brie cheese and chop the cheese into small cubes. Use the back of a wooden spoon to press the brie cheese against the sides of the pot to help the cheese to break apart into smaller pieces and to be more incorporated into the soup.
What Kind of Shrimp Should You Use and How To Prepare It:
Raw shrimp is always best. Peel and devein the shrimp before adding it to the soup. This is really easy to do. Many times, shrimp is already sold deveined, but if it’s not, all you have to do is make a shallow cut along the middle of the back of the shrimp to expose the black “vein”, and lift it out. A paring knife of kitchen scissors work well for this.
Frozen shrimp is the best option, unless you’re buying fresh raw shrimp at a market where they sell it right after catching it. Frozen shrimp is usually frozen immediately when it’s caught, so it is really fresh. Plus, it’s really convenient to have frozen shrimp on hand for a really easy and quick dinner. Frozen shrimp thaws really fast.
For this soup, any size shrimp will work. You can use the tiny shrimp or even jumbo shrimp.
What Can Be Used Instead of Shrimp
Instead of shrimp, you can use salmon, chicken or even meatballs. I really like making really tiny chicken meatballs for this soup. They go really well with this recipe. Add them at the end of cooking, just as you would the shrimp and cook until cooked through. I use the recipe for the meatballs from the Russian Meatball Soup.
This Creamy Shrimp Chowder is one of the easiest seafood chowders to make. The creamy and cheesy broth has potatoes, aromatic vegetables and fresh herbs.
6 – 8 cups chicken broth or water
2 packages (6-8 oz each) spreadable cheese wedges, Laughing Cow or President’s cheese (can also use 1 package brie cheese instead)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
bay leaf, Old Bay seasoning, salt pepper
fresh herbs, minced (parsley, chives, dill, etc)
Peel the spreadable cheese wedges. Cut the rind off the brie cheese, if using and chop into small cubes.
Bring water, chicken broth or a mixture of both to a boil in a medium pot.
Add the cheese wedges and mix with a wooden spoon or with a whisk until all the cheese is dissolved. The brie cheese won’t melt completely but will soften.
While the water is coming to a boil, prep the rest of the ingredients. Add potatoes, carrots, onions, bay leaf, Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper to the soup. Cook, simmering on medium low heat for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Add the shrimp to the soup. Cook for 2-4 minutes, just until shrimp is pink. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp. As soon as it turns pink take off the heat.