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Oyster Chowder Recipe


If you like clam chowder, try this version using oysters. It is rich with cream, wine, and vegetables. Feel free to substitute other seafood for the oysters such as clams, crab, lobster, or shrimp. Fast and easy to make.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 4 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely diced
  • 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 36 small shucked fresh oysters with their liquor (24 fluid ounces or 2 cups liquor - see Note)
  • 2 Tablespoons fine-chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fine-chopped chives


Saute bacon 2 to 3 minutes in a heavy stockpot over medium heat. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Add onions, celery, carrots, and bell peppers to the bacon grease. Lower heat and saute until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 additional minute, stirring often.

Add cream, white wine, salt, and pepper. Increase heat to medium and cook until small bubbles begin to rise around the edges. Reduce heat to low and add oysters with their liquor and the cooked bacon. Gently simmer 1 to 2 minutes until oysters are slightly firm. Do not boil or overcook. Stir in chives and serve hot with oyster crackers or warm crusty bread.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Note: If you do not end up with enough oyster liquor, add enough bottled clam juice to make up the difference.
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