oyster chowder

Oyster Chowder

A milk-based chowder that comes together in 30 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chowder, cooked shellfish, oysters, soup
Servings: 4
Calories: 292
Cost: $20


  • ¼ pound bacon cut into ¼-inch strips
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1 cup celery hearts chopped
  • 3 white potatoes peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes, about 4 cups
  • 15 oysters large, and their liquor
  • salt
  • cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley chopped


  • Spread bacon in a soup pan and place over medium heat.
  • Cook until browned and its fat has rendered. Drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat and put pan back on the heat.
  • Scrape the onion and celery into the pan and saute until softened.
  • Drop in the potatoes. Add enough water to cover, about 3 cups. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 15 minutes.
  • Take the pan off the heat and, using a masher, lightly crush the potatoes to thicken the chowder.
  • Add the oysters and oyster liquor and season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper. Simmer until the oysters curl, about 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the milk (use 2/3 cup if you prefer it less rich), bring to a boil, then shut off the heat.
  • Crumble in the bacon and stir in the parsley.


This oyster chowder was one of Amanda Hesser’s grandmother’s standbys, a recipe untouched over generations and passed along to The New York Times in 2005. If you have oysters, the rest is fairly straight-forward: bacon adds smokiness, while milk and potatoes lend creaminess. And, as if that weren’t appealing enough,the whole thing is ready in 30 minutes or less.
Photo Credit: Chris Callis for The New York Times
Food Stylist: Brian Preston-Campbell


Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 547mg | Potassium: 884mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2mg
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