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This homemade Crab Chowder Recipe is creamy, rich and hearty. The perfect meal for a cool afternoon or a cold night, and great to pair with homemade biscuits for a filling and comforting meal!
Why You’ll Love this Crab Chowder Recipe
We love seafood, likely because we grew up on the ocean and enjoyed so much of it growing up.
A couple of years ago, I wrote about Graham’s crab harvest from the waters off of Prince Rupert. So here’s a great recipe for Crab Chowder. Graham’s a fisherman from way back and he loves being out on the water and has missed ocean fishing.
This recipe is so filling and satisfying and has lots of great flavors from the crab, the bacon, and all of the vegetables. It goes great with fresh biscuits or bread and is sure to warm you up right away!
How to Catch Your Own Crabs
If you have access to ocean waters, get out there and get started. Drop a crab trap in waters that are from 30 – 75 feet deep. You can easily get crab with a 12 foot aluminum boat, especially if you are in a bay or harbour where there aren’t rough seas.
Once we get the trap pulled out of the water and into the boat, it’s time to sex the crab. Females are put back in the water and any male keeper crabs have to be 6 1/2″ minimum in width.
You can tell males from females by the V shape on the underside of their body. Males have a lighthouse shape, whereas females have a wider – more of a beehive shape.
Here’s where you can get more information on identifying crab.
Since Graham was able to limit out on crab, we were able to have a delicious dinner and still have crab left over. It didn’t take him long to get the idea for making a Chowder.
He decided to spend part of the morning in the kitchen and got the rest of the crab shucked. And yes, buy crab crackers! Even if you only get to enjoy crab a few times a year, shuckers are worth it! If you get two, you can share them around the table.
Then he started improvising a recipe for a pot of Crab Chowder. Here is what he came up with (and it was really good!)
- crab – 1 is usually enough, but feel free to add more if you like!
- bacon – pairs great with the salty, creaminess of this chowder
- garlic – we used four cloves, but adjust to your liking.
- flour – ensures that your chowder gets nice and thick.
- salt and pepper – you can include other seasonings if you like, but salt and pepper are a good starting point.
- bay leaves – if you include bay leaves, be sure to remove them before serving.
How to Make Crab Chowder
- Dice 6 slices of bacon and fry lightly using either a deep fry pan or a large pot. Add 4 cloves of minced garlic.
- Chop up a small onion and a few pieces of celery to add, if you like. Add 1/4 cup butter and sautee for ten minutes. Sprinkle in some quick flour and stir until it starts to thicken.
- Add 1 1/2 quarts of milk, put on medium heat and stir frequently.
- While this is thickening, dice up 4 medium size potatoes and put them in a fry pan or saucepot. Barely cover with water and boil until the potatoes are soft. Most of the water will evaporate; then add the potatoes and the small amount of remaining water and to the bacon, garlic, flour and milk mixture.
- Add the cooked crab and some salt and pepper to taste. A couple of bay leaves are a good addition, but be sure to remember to remove them before serving. If the chowder is too thin, add a little more quick flour.
- Simmer on medium heat, until thickened. Stir occasionally.
This is a wonderfully hearty meal, especially wonderful on a cold winter day. Serve it up with some freshly made biscuits and a salad and you’ve got a healthy dinner. Enjoy!
More Soup Recipes
Our entire Country Living in a Cariboo Valley Recipe Collection can be found here, and here are some more fantastic soup recipes hand-picked for you! And here’s a recipe book if you want delicious seafood recipes. Seafood is #1 on the list of things we miss since we moved from the Coast.
- This Smoked Salmon Chowder is another fantastic seafood option.
- For something flavorful and hearty, try this Ham and Bean Slow Cooker Soup–so convenient!
- And this Lentil Soup with Ham is another delicious soup with ham and healthy lentils.
Variations and Serving Suggestions
- Serve this crab chowder with some homemade biscuits and a side salad for a full and well-balanced meal.
- For even more flavor and nutrition, add some corn to your chowder!
- Other vegetables that would go well in this chowder are red bell peppers and leeks.
- Add some Old Bay spice to bring out the delicious flavors of the crab.
- To add some flair, try serving this chowder in a bread bowl!
- Top with crumbled crackers, parsley, ground nutmeg, or whatever you have on hand that sounds good. This chowder goes well with just about everything!
Homemade Crab Chowder
If you enjoy this crab chowder recipe, please be sure to rate it 5 stars below! And print this off or save it to your recipes folder!
- 1 cooked crab, add more or less depending on what you have
- 6 slices bacon
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 onion
- 1/4 cup butter
- quick flour, for thickening
- 1 1/2 quarts milk
- 4 potatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- Shuck crab and cut into small pieces.
- Fry bacon; add garlic, celery and onion.
- Add the butter and saute for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle in some quick flour and stir while the sauce thickens.
- Add the milk and stir, allowing it to thicken. Cook on medium heat.
- Meanwhile, boil the potatoes. When soft, add them to the sauce. Add some or all of the leftover potato water as well.
- Add the cooked crab. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the bay leaves and allow to simmer.
- Once thickened, remove bay leaves and serve the chowder along with hot biscuits and/or a side salad.
First Published January 2019; Updated June 2021