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Home » Cuisines » American » Easy Salmon Stew Recipe

Easy Salmon Stew Recipe

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This easy salmon stew is packed with incredible ingredients that range in flavor and texture! Together, they create a rich, broth-y, savory salmon stew that is brimming with hearty deliciousness.

Our salmon stew recipe calls for traditional vegetables you’d find in soups, seafood stew, and scallop chowder, but we’ve taken the flavor up a notch and added leek, fennel, smoky bacon, dill and seafood seasonings.

Overhead view of a dish of salmon stew.

This salmon stew is rich and hearty with a texture similar to our corn and shrimp chowder and classic New England clam chowder.

It’s ready in just 45 minutes, which makes it an excellent choice for Sunday suppers or even meal prep if you’re looking for simple, flavor-packed dishes you can enjoy during the week.

If you like this recipe, check out our crab stuffed salmon.

Why This Recipe Works

With diced bacon, potatoes, heavy cream and Old Bay seafood seasoning, this is an old-fashioned, Southern salmon stew that’s cozy and comforting.

Meaty salmon chunks shine as the main ingredient, but the stew gets its distinct flavor from the combination of vegetables and savory aromatics that infuse the broth.

If you’ve never made salmon stew before, think of it as a fish chowder of sorts. And enjoy this whole new way to get your fill of fresh salmon!

Salmon stew is:

  • hearty, cozy and comforting
  • a family friendly dish that everyone will love
  • perfect for lunch, dinner or meal prep
  • full of flavor thanks to simple ingredients that shine.

The Ingredient List

To make this easy, creamy salmon stew, you will need:

  • Bacon. Select thick-cut bacon and dice it for the stew.
  • Vegetables. Thinly sliced leek (make sure to use only the white and light green part), fennel bulb (reserve the fronds), celery ribs, carrots, garlic cloves, and small potatoes.
  • Spices and seasonings. You’ll need dried dill, smoked paprika, Old Bay Seafood Seasoning, and ground black pepper.
  • Liquids. Dry white wine, chicken broth, freshly-squeezed lemon juice and heavy whipping cream.
  • Salmon. Use fresh salmon (without skin), cut into 3-inch pieces. Wild salmon is preferred but not necessary. We don’t recommend using canned salmon as it simply won’t give you the same results.
  • Garnishes. Optional garnishes include fresh fennel fronds and lemon wedges.
Ingredients needed for Salmon Stew: lemon, cream salmon, celery, carrots, leek, fennel, chicken broth, potatoes, white wine, garlic, bacon, old bay seasoning, paprika, dried dill, black pepper.

How to Make Salmon Stew

The ingredient list might seem lengthy, but the process is really quite simple! You will need a large pot (soup pot or Dutch oven) for the soup.

Here’s a look at the steps, but make sure to check out the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page for all of the details and ingredient amounts.

  1. Set the large soup pot over medium heat and cook the bacon until crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  2. Cook the leek, fennel, chopped celery and carrots for about 5 minutes in the bacon grease, then add the garlic. Stir in the spices and seasonings.
  3. Pour in the wine and cook over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the broth, lemon juice and cooked bacon.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and add the potatoes. Simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cream and simmer on low heat (don’t let it boil).
  5. Add the salmon and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and cover for 5 minutes. The salmon will poach in the hot broth.
  6. Break up the cooked salmon into bite-sized pieces.
A dish of salmon stew.

Recipe Tips for Success

  • Storing: Store any leftover salmon stew in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. To freeze, transfer soup to freezer bags and keep in the freezer for up to two months.
  • Flavors: The flavors will be even more intense the next day.
  • Substitutions: We used Yukon gold potatoes but red potatoes also work well. Vegetable stock or broth can also be used instead of chicken broth. You can also substitute the white wine for an equal amount of chicken broth.
  • Toppings: Feel free to garnish this soup with other toppings of choice, including red pepper flakes (for heat), grated cheddar cheese, or other herbs like fresh thyme, fresh dill, or chives.
  • Oil tip: If your bacon is very lean, you may need to add a little vegetable oil or olive oil to equal 3 tablespoons when cooking the vegetables.
  • Cooking the potatoes: Only simmer the potatoes until they’re slightly firm. They will continue to cook along with the rest of the salmon stew.
  • Salmon temperature: Salmon is at its best when slightly undercooked (medium).

A close view of Salmon Stew.

What to Serve with Salmon Stew

A sweet cornbread or a crusty bread for dipping is always an excellent choice, and of course, a fresh salad can also round out a complete meal.

Here are a few ideas:

Ideas for Dessert

⭐️ Helpful Tools

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Smoked Salmon Spread is creamy, flavorful and the perfect party snack! Hot smoked salmon gives it a smoky flavor and briny capers add the perfect amount of zest.

Manhattan Clam Chowder is rich and savory, with a broth-y tomato base, chewy clams, tender vegetables and flavorful seasonings. This chowder recipe is made with chopped canned clams for ease, but you can also swap in fresh clams if you have them.

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A dish of salmon stew.

Salmon Stew

Yield: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

A savory Salmon stew that combines all the traditional vegetables plus the flavor-enhancing taste of leek, fennel, smoky bacon, dill and seafood seasonings.  

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced, white part and light green only
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, diced, reserve fronds for garnish
  • 2 celery ribs (8-inch long), sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seafood Seasoning
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 pound small potatoes sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 pound fresh skinless salmon, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • Fresh fennel fronds for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a 6-qt. Dutch oven or soup pot set over medium, cook the diced bacon until crispy.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate until needed.  In the remaining bacon drippings, add the sliced leek, fennel, celery and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes; then add the garlic and cook 30 seconds until fragrant.  Stir in the dried dill, paprika and Old Bay seasoning. 
  2. Pour in the wine and cook over medium-high heat until the alcohol burns off, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the chicken broth, lemon juice and the reserved bacon bits; bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and add the potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.  Do not cook to the soft stage.
  4. Stir in the cream and simmer on low heat until hot and almost to a boil.  Do not allow to boil as the cream may curdle.  Taste the broth, add a few grindings of black pepper and additional seasoning if necessary.
  5. Add the salmon and gently stir, simmer for 2 minutes; then remove from the heat and let sit with the pot covered for 5 minutes. The salmon will continue to cook, poaching in the hot broth.
  6. Remove the lid and break up the salmon into bite-size pieces.  The salmon should be cooked to medium and slightly underdone.
  7. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish each serving with a sprig of the fennel fronds and a lemon wedge.

Notes

  • If your bacon is very lean you may need add a little vegetable oil to equal 3 tablespoons when sautéing the vegetables.
  • The white wine can be substituted with an equal amount of chicken broth.
  • The potatoes should be slightly firm but will continue to cook as you proceed with the recipe. 
  • Salmon is at its best when slightly undercooked (medium).
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 573Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 742mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 32g

Nutrition information is a guideline only. It is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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