Easy Fish Chowder
Alice Henneman, MS, RD, UNL Extension in Lancaster County
MyPyramid.gov recommends including fish in our meals more often. If your experience with preparing fish is limited to fixing fish sticks, here's a hearty fish chowder recipe that is easy to throw together. It also adds to your vegetable servings plus provides a generous amount from the milk group.
Easy Fish Chowder
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon trans-fat free margarine
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2" cubes
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into slightly smaller pieces than potato cubes
- 1 pound boneless, mild-flavored fish fillets, such as tilapia or haddock, cut into 1-inch pieces. (Thaw fish overnight in the refrigerator, in its original package and on a plate on the bottom shelf.)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried leafy thyme, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups milk, low fat or fat-free
- Salt, to taste
- Add chicken broth, margarine, onion, potatoes, carrots, fish, thyme and pepper to a large saucepan. Cover and bring broth to a boil over medium heat.
- Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender and the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Add the milk. Cook chowder over medium heat, uncovered and stirring occasionally. Heat until the chowder begins to bubble and is heated through.
- If desired -- add salt, to taste.
- By having the onion, carrots, potatoes and fish the different sizes listed in the recipe, it's possible to add them at the same and let them cook together. In the meantime, you're free to set the table, make other parts of the meal or sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea!
- Lifing the lid to peek into a pan releases heat, making the food take longer to cook. Using a see-through lid will help you monitor your chowder is simmering away successfully. If you've ever wished your pans had see-through lids, consider buying a "universal pan lid" with a see-through section to use with all your pans. For more information about universal lids, visit the Time-Saving Tools pages.
- Crushing the thyme just before using it will release added flavor. An inexpensive mortar and pestle works well for this. Or, crush the thyme between your fingers or in the palm of your hand. Likewise, using freshly ground black pepper will add the most flavor to your recipe.
- Transfer any leftover chowder to shallow containers, making sure chowder is no more than TWO inches deep. Refrigerate promptly. You can place loosely covered foods in the refrigerator while still warm; cover when food is completely cooled. When serving soup a second time, reheat it until it's steaming hot throughout, at least 165 F. For best safety and quality, eat within a day or two.