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Crab Chowder

Loaded with corn, garlic, and bacon, this easy crab chowder is a comforting weeknight recipe you won’t want to miss out on. Ultra creamy and ready in less than 30 minutes, it’ll become your new favorite soup.

Two bowls of crab chowder with cilantro on top.

The Best Crab Chowder Recipe

If you love chowders and seafood, this creamy crab chowder recipe with sweet corn is for you! It’s packed with smokey bacon, leeks, tender gnocchis, and spicy jalapeño. However, it’s the 25-minute cooking time that gives this soup a well-deserved gold star.

With a bit of coconut milk and cream to turn the pot into a velvety dream, you can’t forget a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning. It’s my secret ingredient for taking this nourishing chowder to the next level. Paired with lots of garlic and celery for texture, the soft buttery crab really gets a chance to shine in every bite.

Freshly made or frozen for later, nothing beats this homemade chowder— especially if you serve it a day after you cook it to let the flavors come together. Garnished with cilantro or chives, you’re never ordering it from a restaurant again.

Why You’ll Love This Crab and Corn Chowder

You won’t be getting requests for any other chowder once everyone’s had a chance to dig in.

  • Better than at restaurants. You get to season it to taste and add more of your favorite ingredients like corn and crab if you feel like it. Not to mention, you get to have second and third helpings!
  • Healthy. Thickened with arrowroot flour and made with only fresh ingredients, this recipe is the healthiest chowder you’ve ever had (and the yummiest too.)
  • Comforting. It’s warm, filling, and packed with smokey, creamy, and sweet flavors that’ll hit the spot every time.
  • Beginner-friendly. You don’t need a Michelin star to nail this recipe. Throw everything into the pot as instructed, stir, and you’re done! It only takes 25 minutes.

What You’ll Need

Old Bay seasoning is the secret ingredient for making anything taste like the coast. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

  • Uncured bacon – Feel free to use your favorite.
  • Coconut oil – Olive, vegetable, corn, and canola oil work too.
  • Leek
  • Celery
  • Jalapeno – Serrano peppers are a great swap.
  • Garlic – Don’t use garlic powder for this.
  • Arrowroot flour – Feel free to use cornstarch or rice flour instead.
  • Old Bay seasoning – Don’t skip it!
  • Low sodium chicken broth – You can use regular chicken broth.
  • Coconut cream – Make sure it’s unsweetened.
  • Unsweetened coconut milk – Unsweetened almond milk is okay too.
  • Gluten-free gnocchi – Feel free to use regular gnocchi.
  • Canned lump crabmeat
  • Frozen corn – Fresh corn works too.
  • Black pepper
  • Cilantro – This is used as a garnish.

What Crab Meat is Best for Homemade Crab Chowder?

Lump crab meat has the best, most buttery flavor, making it perfect for crab chowder. It also comes in larger pieces than, for example, backfin crab meat, so you’ll get a chunkier soup too. Although they come in smaller pieces and provide a more subtle flavor, backfin and special crab meat work for this recipe as well.

Two bowls of crab chowder with corn, jalapeño, leeks, and gnocchis.

How to Make Crab Chowder

Making crab and corn chowder is easy. You just need to toss everything into the pot at certain times and mix well. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.

  • Cook the veggies. Add the coconut oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, jalapeno, and garlic. Stir and sautée everything for 3-4 minutes or until the leeks have softened.
  • Add the flour. Whisk in the arrowroot flour and Old Bay seasoning. Stir until the veggies are completely coated.
  • Add the liquids. Pour in the broth, coconut cream, and coconut milk. Mix well and bring the mixture to a gentle boil.
  • Incorporate the gnocchi. Toss the gnocchi into the pot and cook them according to package instructions or until they float to the top.
  • Add the crab. Reduce the heat to medium and add the crab and corn to the pot. Simmer the mixture for 3-4 minutes or until warm. Season with black pepper.
  • Serve it. Top it with cilantro, serve, and sprinkle with bacon. Enjoy!

What If My Chowder Is Too Thin or Too Thick?

If it’s too thin, let it reduce for another 5-10 minutes until it reaches your desired consistency. If that doesn’t work then dissolve 1/2 tablespoon of arrowroot flour in 4 tablespoons of coconut milk to make a slurry. Pour it into the pot, stir well, and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. That should gradually help it thicken. If it’s too thick, add in 1/4 cup of coconut milk at a time until it’s the right consistency for your liking.

Close-up of creamy crab chowder in a bowl.

Tips for Success

Even if you’ve never made crab corn chowder before, these tips will help you nail the recipe with a couple of swaps to make it even easier.

  • Use bacon fat. Reserve the bacon fat and use it to cook everything in instead of coconut oil for more flavor.
  • Use dairy. If you don’t have any dietary restrictions, use milk instead of coconut milk and heavy cream in place of coconut cream.
  • Make it heartier. Adding 1-2 cups of diced potatoes will make your chowder way more filling.
  • Swap the garnish. Parsley, chives, or dill are great swaps in case you’re not a fan of cilantro.
  • Wait a day. This soup tastes better a day after it’s made. If you’re patient enough, let it cool and refrigerate it overnight before enjoying it so that the flavors have a chance to come together.
  • Blend it. Especially if you want the little ones to enjoy it without fishing out the veggies, blend the soup and serve a smooth chowder.
  • Watch the heat. Chowder isn’t a soup you should keep on the stove endlessly. Watch the times and never let the soup boil for too long. It should be more of a gentle simmer, otherwise the mixture will separate.
Overhead photos of corn chowder in two bowls.

What to Serve with Crab Corn Chowder

This crab chowder is great with seafood mains and veggie sides. Serve it with my Salmon Cakes or Rosemary Steamed Salmon for a main dish. My Spicy Salmon Burgers are another great option. For veggies sides, try my Grilled Corn or Grilled Vegetable Plate.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

Once fully cooled, refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Keep it away from direct sunlight, heat, and humidity when on the counter for reheating and serving. To reheat it, pop it into the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until warm. You can also heat it in a pot over medium-low heat for 7-8 minutes.

Can I Freeze This?

Absolutely! Pour the cooled chowder into freezer-friendly bags or containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Transfer it to the fridge a day before serving. Reheat it as usual and enjoy.

More Hearty Soup Recipes

Two bowls of crab chowder with cilantro on top.

Crab Chowder

5 from 1 vote
Crab Chowder is loaded with crab, corn, and gluten-free gnocchi. Creamy chowder that makes a hearty meal, perfect for chilly fall and winter nights. Gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and ready in 25 minutes.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 3 strips uncured bacon cooked an diced
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 large leek trimmed and diced {about 1 1/2 cup}
  • 2 celery stalks diced {about 1 cup}
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 large garlic clove minced {about 1 tablespoon}
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot flour
  • 1 tablespoon old bay seasoning
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1-8 oz. package gluten free gnocchi.
  • 12 oz. canned lump crabmeat
  • 1 cup frozen organic corn set out to thaw
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cilantro torn for topping individual soup


  • In a dutch oven or large pot add coconut oil and melt over medium heat. Add leeks, celery, jalapeno and garlic. Cook stirring until vegetable soften, about 3 minutes
  • Slowly whisk in arrowroot until it coats all vegetables. Stir in Old bay seasoning coating vegetables. Pour in chicken broth, coconut cream and coconut milk. Raise heat and bring to a gently boil.
  • Add gnocchi and cook till they float to the top and float, this should take about 3 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add crab and corn. Simmer for 3 minuts or until the corn and crab are warmed through. Season with black pepper and cilantro.
  • Spoon into individual bowls and top with diced cooked bacon


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29 comments on “Crab Chowder”

  1. Absolutely delicious! A little too sweet for me, I think it was the coconut cream, next time I can cut that in half & maybe that will cut down the sugar. Husband said it was chef quality yum!

  2. Oh. My. Word. I just made this soup this weekend and it is DIVINE. I added broccoli and used potatoes instead of gnocchi, and we can’t stop eating this! Froze the leftovers and can’t wait to dig into them again next week. Thank you for posting this!!

  3. This crab chowder looks perfect! It’s perfect for the cold winter nights we are having right now. Pass me a bowl please 🙂

  4. This soup looks so hearty and could go for a big bowl right now! Looks very comforting and can’t go wrong with anything that has crab!

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