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30-minute Bayou Crab Chowder

The Cajun spice of this chowder is wonderfully balanced by potatoes, corn and the half and half that makes it so creamy.

bayou crab chowder

As a New Englander, I’m no stranger to a bowl of chowder on a cold winter day. As a side or as a main course, chowder is one of the essential menu items at nearly any restaurant in the region. Most often, this comes as corn chowder or clam chowder, although there are certainly other variations.

But as this Bayou Crab chowder proves, this style of soup is hardly exclusive to the northeastern seaboard of the United States. Cajun-style cooking offers a wealth of ideas and recipes in all kinds of dishes, so why would a chowder recipe be any different? Crab has a wonderful delicate and slightly sweet taste that lends itself so well to a chowder.

Here’s the thing with this crab chowder recipe; you can get as homemade as you want with it, just like many Cajun recipes. In the case of a crab chowder, you could, if you so decided, go so far as to cook fresh crabs and pull the meat. Let’s be realistic, though. We don’t all have that kind of time, nor do we all live close enough to the coast to make that a particularly great option.

Fortunately, there are plenty of canned options for crab meat that are every bit as lovely as fresh crab and without all the work! Just be sure to get actual crab meat when you buy it, rather than the imitation crab meat or a mix. You really want that crab flavor for this recipe.

Let’s talk about shortcuts, too. The ideal balance is to get plenty of wholesome flavor and enjoyment as possible while saving ourselves time. This particular crab chowder recipe comes together quickly, thanks to shortcuts like frozen potatoes and corn. Add some crisp bacon as a garnish and serve with oyster crackers for a true taste sensation.

bayou crab chowder

30-minute Bayou Crab Chowder

The Cajun spice of this chowder is wonderfully balanced by potatoes, corn and the half and half that makes it so creamy.

  • Author: Addie Gundry
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


  • 6 bacon slices
  • 12 ounces refrigerated diced potatoes
  • 7 ounces turkey kielbasa, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, plus more for garnish
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans crabmeat


1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate and set aside.
2. Add the potatoes, kielbasa, corn, broth, garlic, Cajun seasoning, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the potatoes are heated through, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the half-and-half and all but 1/2 cup of the crabmeat. Remove the thyme stems and remove the pot from the heat.
4. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the remaining crabmeat and a sprinkle of Cajun seasoning.


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