This Cajun Seafood Chowder is rich and creamy, with just the right amount of Cajun spiced seafood including shrimp and tuna, along with sweet corn and earthy potatoes. It’s perfect comfort food that will make you happy all winter long.
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Want to read about how I first got started with Island Trollers? Take a look here at my Tuna Chowder post and recipe.
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In my opinion, Island Trollers is the best canned tuna there is. It’s fresh. It’s delicious.
Once you open the can, the tuna itself looks like they took a large piece of fresh tuna and put it in the can.
Well, it turns out that the tuna looks so amazing because it’s “raw packed and cooked only once. This is sushi grade albacore in a can, the finest you will find anywhere in the world!”
Don’t drain that tuna
If you’re making this recipe with Island Trollers Albacore Tuna (which I HIGHLY recommend), don’t drain off those tasty juices from the can. Those are the juices from the fish itself, not just plain ol’ water or oil. Those juices are loaded with Omega 3s. So, it might feel a little weird not to drain the tuna, but don’t do it.
Once you open the can, and break the chucks of tuna apart, the juices are absorbed back into the tuna.
And, with this chowder recipe it’s easy to just pour in all the tuna and any juices left in the can.
Check out some of my favorite Island Trollers Recipes
What size shrimp should I buy?
For this recipe I wanted small to medium shrimp so they fit nicely on your spoon, but are still big enough to be hearty. I went with 51/60 count per pound.
That simply means that there are about 51-60 shrimp per pound. Which makes it easy to count out a pound of shrimp if you don’t have a scale.
How to prepare shrimp
Simply defrost frozen, peeled, and deveined shrimp and remove the shell from the tail.
Defrost the shrimp
To defrost the shrimp, simply place them in a medium bowl and cover with cool tap water.
Change the water out for fresh tap water a couple of times, and in about 5-10 minutes they’ll be defrosted. At this point, the tail shell is easily removable.
Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel.
Then, onto the searing. And shrimp take just about no time at all to cook through. In a couple minutes, you have perfectly seared shrimp.
My chowder recipe calls for Cajun Seasoning. You can use a homemade blend or a store-bought one for this.
I have a great Cajun Seasoning Spice Mix in this recipe for Cajun Shrimp with Rice. Give that one a try, you’ll love it!
Or, go with convenience, and get a pre-made one from the store.
Do read the ingredients on those store-bought spice mixes though. Some can be mostly salt. And really, there’s no sense in paying so much for just salt. I like a spice mix that is more about spices and herbs than salt.
I recommend chopping the potatoes into small pieces so they easily fit onto the spoon with some other goodies.
You don’t just want just a spoonful of potatoes, you want a spoonful of Cajun Seafood Chowder!
So, I chopped mine into about ½-inch dice. And, make sure to chop them fairly uniform in size and shape so they cook at about the same rate.
Can I use another milk?
I call for heavy cream in this soup. It will help thicken the chowder as well as give it a rich creamy flavor.
Of course you can use another milk, you just won’t get the same creamy texture and mouthfeel. Whole milk or half & half would be a nice compromise here – a little fewer calories while still being rich.
If you want to use skim milk you’ll miss out on a lot of richness. In this case, I’d probably smash up some of the cooked potato and stir it into the soup to add some body back into it.
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Cajun Seafood Chowder Recipe
Cajun Seafood Chowder
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pound shrimp defrosted, shells and tails removed
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes chopped
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 2 sliced green onions plus more for garnish if desired
- 3 cups frozen corn defrosted
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 can Island Trollers Albacore tuna 7.5 ounces
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
- Season shrimp all over with Cajun seasoning.
- Once the pan is hot, sear the shrimp 1 to 2 minutes each side, until just pink. Shrimp may need to be cooked in two batches so that they don’t crowd the pan. Remove the shrimp from the skillet to a clean plate, and set aside.
- Melt butter in the same pot, scraping up any browned bits with a spoon. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and flour, and cook 30 seconds more. Add chopped potatoes, broth, thyme sprigs, and green onions, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in corn and cream, and simmer 5 minutes more. Turn off heat and stir in cooked shrimp, tuna, and paprika. Taste for salt & pepper. Remove thyme sprigs.
- Garnish each serving with green onions.