Meatless Monday Challenge

One-Pot Creamy Halibut Chowder

on March 7, 2024
last updated May 8, 2024
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This simple halibut chowder has a creamy broth with hearty potatoes and chunks of flaked halibut. Only one pot required.
Creamy halibut chowder served with crackers and garnished with scallions.

Looking for a delicious way to prepare your halibut? This Creamy Halibut Chowder is simple, delicious, warming, and requires only one pot to make.

Using simple ingredients and cooking techniques, this delicious halibut recipe will teach you how to get the best texture on your fish, how to prep your veggies for chowder, and how to accomplish a full pescatarian meal in just one pot.

Small bowl of creamy halibut chowder garnished with scallions.

As a busy mom and environmental scientist, one pot meals are my absolute favorite! Less clean-up means we save both time and water. Win, win!

Green tip: Speaking of cleanup, if you have a dishwasher-use it! Comparing dishwashing to handwashing, using an efficient dishwasher uses 1/6th the amount of water to get your dishes clean!

Halibut Chowder Ingredients


Here’s everything you need:

  • Halibut. You can use fresh or frozen. I used frozen halibut fillets. Just make sure to defrost them first by placing them in the refrigerator the night before or sealing them in a bag and submerging the bag in cold water for about 45 minutes.
  • Salt & black pepper.
  • Onions.
  • Unsalted butter. You can use salted if that’s what you have on hand. Just make sure to adjust the amount of salt you add accordingly.
  • Yukon gold potatoes. Any potato variety will work, but while testing this recipe I found that Yukon gold potatoes cook the quickest and have the buttery-est taste. If you’re using a different variety of potato just be aware that the cooking time may change.
  • Celery.
  • Garlic.
  • Nutmeg.
  • Vegetable broth. You can buy it or make your own from veggie scraps!
  • Heavy cream. Or half and half for a lightened-up version.
  • Scallions for garnish (optional).
All ingredients needed for halibut chowder including nutmeg, butter, salt, scallions, yukon gold potatoes, vegetable broth, yellow onion, cream, garlic, halibut, pepper, and celery.

Sustainable Halibut

I love halibut because it is so deliciously tender and flaky. It has a mild taste that takes on flavor very well. Plus, there are ways to source halibut sustainably!

U.S. wild-caught Pacific halibut is a sustainable seafood choice as it is local and native to the Pacific Ocean and responsibly harvested under strict regulation.

Green tip: Look for Marine Stewardship Council and Friend of the Sea labels on your fish to ensure they were harvested sustainably.

How to Make Halibut Chowder


How to Prep and Sear Halibut for Chowder

We want to sear the halibut, so it has a nice texture, but we don’t want to overcook it. The solution to this in a one pot meal? Sear the halibut in butter first and then remove it and set it aside to add back in later.

This also ensures that all the flavor left in the pan will be included in your chowder!

But first, we need to prep our halibut.

I purchased my halibut in 5-ounces skinless portions, so I’m using three of the largest pieces to give me roughly a pound. Pat the halibut dry with a paper towel first (consider these bamboo paper towels for a more sustainable option).

Then, season it on both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper.

It’s best to peel your onions, cut them around the core, and dice them now, too.

Adding salt and pepper to halibut that has been pat-dried with a paper towel.
Pat the halibut dry with a paper towel and season it with salt and pepper.
Peeled, cored, and diced onions on a cutting board.
Peel, core, and diced your onions.

Sear the Halibut and Sauté the Onion

Get a large pot or Dutch oven hot over medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, tilt the pot to ensure the butter is in an even layer on the bottom of the pan.

Carefully lower the seasoned halibut into the butter. Sear it for about 2-3 minutes before flipping. Note, when the halibut is ready it will readily release from the bottom of the pot and can easily be flipped.

If the halibut is stuck, don’t force it. Give it another minute or two before attempting to flip again.

Allow the halibut to sear on the second side for another 2-3 minutes until the halibut is cooked through (ideally 130-135°F). Remove the halibut and set it aside to cool.

Then, add the prepped onions and stir to coat in the melted butter. Still over medium heat, sauté for about 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Halibut seasoned with salt and pepper searing in melted butter.
Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat, then sear the halibut for about 3 minutes on both sides.
Peeled, cored, and diced onion cooking in butter.
Remove the halibut and set aside. Then, sauté the onion in the remaining butter until translucent.

Cook the Veggies in the Broth and Seasoning

Peel and mince the garlic, peel the potatoes and chop them into bite-sized chunks, and clean and dice your celery stalks.

Then, still over medium heat, add the vegetable broth, remaining salt and pepper, and nutmeg to the pot with the cooked onions.

Then add the prepped veggies. Simmer uncovered for 30-35 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender. Stir occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot and burns.

Peeled and minced garlic, peeled and chopped potatoes, and diced celery on a cutting board.
Mince the garlic, peel and chop the potatoes, and clean and dice your celery.
Adding vegetable broth to halibut chowder to cook down all of the vegetables.
Add the vegetable broth, nutmeg, remaining salt and pepper, and prepped veggies to the pot with the onions and cook until potatoes are fork-tender.

Flake Your Seared Halibut to Add Back to the Soup

Now that your seared halibut has had time to cool, use clean hands to flake the fish. Alternatively, you can use forks to flake the fish.

Either way, you want to be left with bite-sized flakes of the cooked halibut to add back to the pot.

Once your potatoes are fork-tender, remove the pot from heat. Add the flaked halibut and cream and stir to combine.

Cutting board with seared halibut that has been separated into flakes by breaking apart with clean hands.
Once your halibut is cool, use hands or two forks to flake the fish.

How to Serve Fish Chowder

Your fish chowder is hearty enough to be a meal on its own with the filling potatoes and chunks of flaked halibut. I like to serve it up with some fresh scallions for color and crunch. I’ll usually add some crackers or bread to accompany it.

If you’re serving the chowder as a starter, here are some of my favorite mains to go with it:

If you’re serving the halibut chowder as your main dish, here are some sides that pair nicely:

Grabbing a spoonful of one pot halibut chowder.

How to Properly Store and Reheat Leftover Chowder with Halibut

Leftover fish chowder can be stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months, but please note that freezing and reheating the chowder may change the texture of your potatoes.

It’s best to reheat the chowder on the stove, stirring frequently. Reheat it thoroughly over medium-high heat. You can also reheat it in the microwave in 1-2 minute increments, stirring in between.

Green tip: Of the billions of tons of food wasted annually, 50% of food waste happens at home. Reduce your contribution to food waste by properly storing and consuming leftovers.

Want to sharpen your kitchen skills?

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Why This is the Best Halibut Chowder Recipe


  • It’s hearty. Between the big flakes of tender halibut and bite-sized chunks of potatoes, this soup will fill you up.
  • It requires just one pot. Less clean up. Enough said.
  • It’s simple. This chowder recipe uses simple ingredients that bring a lot of flavor for deliciousness in every bite.

If you’re loving this Halibut Chowder and want more fish recipes, check out these Teriyaki Salmon Noodles and Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa.

Creamy halibut chowder served with crackers and garnished with scallions.

One-Pot Creamy Halibut Chowder

5 from 3 votes
Marley Goldin
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This simple halibut chowder has a creamy broth with hearty potatoes and chunks of flaked halibut. Only one pot required.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 pound halibut
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes
  • 6 stalks celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • scallions for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Pat dry your halibut and season both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper.
    Halibut that's been pat dry with a paper towel and seasoned on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Peel and cut your onions around the core and dice.
    Two yellow onions cut around the core, peeled, and diced.
  • In a large pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat, melt the butter and carefully lower in the seasoned halibut. Sear for 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove the fish and set it aside. (see notes!)
    Seasoned halibut searing in melted butter.
  • Still over medium heat, add the diced onions to the butter and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent (5-7 minutes).
    Diced onion cooking in butter until translucent.
  • Meanwhile, peel and cut your potatoes into small, bite-sized pieces. Dice the celery and peel and mince the garlic.
    Minced garlic, peeled and diced potatoes, and diced celery on a cutting board.
  • Add the prepped potatoes, celery, and garlic to the onions. Pour the veggie broth, the rest of the salt and pepper, and the nutmeg into the pot as well.
    Onions, garlic, potatoes, and celery simmering in vegetable broth. with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 25-30 minutes uncovered until the potatoes are fork-tender. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot and burns.
  • Use your hands or two forks to flake the seared halibut. Once the potatoes are fork-tender and the soup has thickened, remove the soup from the heat.
    Flaked seared halibut on a cutting board.
  • Add the flaked halibut and heavy cream and stir to combine.
  • Serve hot with scallions (optional) and a crack of fresh black pepper. I like to serve it with some crackers, croutons, or bread, too!

Pro Tips

  • While searing your halibut, you’ll know it ready to flip when it easily lifts from the pan. If you try to flip it and it’s stuck, give it a little more time. Once the halibut has a good sear on it, it will release. 
Course Appetizers, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword Chowder, Fish Dinner, Halibut, Pescatarian
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