The best creamy Salmon Chowder with corn, potatoes, and cauliflower. The ultimate cozy, lightened up soup perfect for a cool-weather lunch. Super easy and packed with veggies, plus it's dairy-free!
ChowDUH. This creamy salmon corn chowder is the bee's knees. It's bright and satisfying and flavorful and hearty and good for ya all rolled into one. I'd hug it if the pot wasn't so darn hot!
Like my Corn Chowder with Quinoa, Cream of Broccoli Soup and Cream of Mushroom Soup, I'm always up for the challenge to create healthy soups that anyone and everyone can enjoy. This dairy-free dreamboat of a salmon soup recipe is just that!
I love dairy. I also like to play around in the kitchen and this soup is insanely creamy thanks not to milk or heavy cream or cheese, but to the humble cashew. Gesundheit! (Definitely googled how to spell that.)
How to make salmon chowder
After some chopping prep work, this soup comes together pretty quickly.
- First, put the cashews in a small bowl and cover with water to soften up.
- Next, sauté the onion, celery, carrot and cauliflower in a splash of olive oil until softened.
- Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add potatoes, corn, broth, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are softened.
- Meanwhile, drain cashews and blend with 1 cup water, until smooth. Stir into soup.
- Stir in salmon. Cook 5-10 minutes if using raw salmon. Add lemon juice to brighten plus dill, salt and pepper to taste. Devour!
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Cashews: Raw cashews turned into cashew cream add the best thick and creamy texture. You can use roasted but I recommend raw for the best mild flavor.
- Mirepoix: Onion, celery, and carrot are the beginning of any good soup!
- Garlic: We're using lots of garlic for flavor.
- Cauliflower: I love the texture that cauliflower add. You can substitute a chopped bell pepper or more potatoes if you aren't a fan.
- Potatoes: Potatoes add great texture and staying power. Any kind of potato works.
- Corn: A must for chowder! I use frozen corn. You could also use canned.
- Salmon: Salmon adds delicious flavor and protein for a well-rounded meal.
- Vegetable broth: Another layer of umami flavor. Use store bought or make your own! Chicken broth would also work.
- Lemon: I love the zippy brightness lemon adds. It's a must here for flavor.
- Dill: Fresh or dried, it's an amazing fresh flavor pairing with salmon and lemon. You can omit it if you don't love dill. Parsley would be delish, too.
Best salmon to use
I've made this soup countless times with both canned and fresh salmon. Just like my Salmon Burgers and Sheet Pan Salmon, I love to use fresh. But canned is so easy and accessible! The only not so fun part is removing the bones and skin...
I always recommend wild-caught salmon or sustainably-farmed salmon for its health benefits and environmental impact. I avoid Atlantic salmon, which is almost always farmed. For a more affordable option, go for canned wild salmon!
Can this be made in the Instant Pot?
Yes! Simply follow the notes in the recipe card for a more hands off cooking method. A little sauté, nine minutes of pressure cooking, and done!
Can I use something besides cashews?
I would guess that canned full fat coconut milk would be the best nut-free substitute since it has so much fat. I personally don't enjoy coconut milk in soups unless they're sweeter or Thai-inspired.
You wouldn't want any non-dairy milks from the carton since they're so thin.
Can I use a different fish?
You can use cod, but know that it has a much more mild flavor.
This soup will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
How to freeze
To freeze, pour soup in a large freezer baggie and lay flat. It will last three months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat on the stove once you're ready to eat!
More healthy soup recipes
- Immune Boosting Soup
- Yummiest Vegetable Soup
- Vegan Lasagna Soup
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup
- Vegan Tortilla Soup
The best creamy Salmon Chowder with corn, potatoes, and cauliflower. The ultimate cozy, lightened up soup perfect for a cold-weather lunch. Super easy and packed with veggies, plus it's dairy-free!
- ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked
- 2 tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 2 cups cauliflower florets, chopped into bite-size pieces (can sub 1 red bell pepper)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium Russet or gold potatoes, peeled and chopped (2 cups)
- 1 ½ cups corn
- 4 cups broth (vegetable, seafood, etc)
- 1 lb skinless wild salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces (or 1-15oz can salmon, drained, bones and skin removed)
- 1 tsp dried dill (I used this, or 2-4 tbsp chopped fresh dill)
- 1 tsp fine sea salt (more to taste) + freshly ground black pepper
- ½ lemon, juiced
- Place cashews in a small bowl and cover with water. Set aside to soak.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and cauliflower plus a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add potatoes, corn, and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
- Meanwhile, drain and rinse cashews. Blend with 1 cup water in a high-speed blender or Nutribullet until completely smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Stir salmon into soup. If using fresh salmon, cook for just a few minutes, or until opaque and cooked through. You don't want to over-cook it! Remove pot from heat.
- Stir in cashew cream along with dill, salt, and pepper to taste. Add lemon juice to bring it all together and enjoy!
Instant Pot directions: Follow step 1. Press "Sauté" and add olive oil. Once hot, add onion, celery, carrot and cauliflower plus a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add potatoes, corn, and broth. Cook on high pressure for 9 minutes then quick release any remaining pressure. Carefully remove lid proceed with steps 4-6.
Keywords: salmon chowder