Oven-baked chowder is a mild yet flavorful fish chowder recipe. Made using whatever white fish you like (I used wild, Pacific Cod this time), the finished chowder is fresh and rich and absolutely delicious! You can customize the vegetables to your liking, but the combination used here is classic.
Let me give you a quick run down. Start with fresh carrots, parsnips, celery and onion, then add chicken stock or broth. Add a tablespoon of butter and bake everything, covered, for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, some red bell pepper is added and the seasoned fish is nestled in. Then everything goes back in for another 30 minutes…
…until the fish is cooked through, perfectly tender and flaky. All the flavors from the vegetables and stock help to enhance the fish’s mild flavor.
At the end, finish the broth with just a half cup of whole cream, or use coconut milk if you prefer. The addition of just a tablespoon of butter, which is a tiny amount spread out over four servings, along with the cream creates a beautiful base for the seasoned fish and tender-perfect veggies. Sprinkle parsley or fresh dill over the top before serving. You could also add a bit of heat with sliced jalapenos or red pepper flakes.
This is so tasty and the oven-bake ensures nothing gets overcooked and you don’t have to stand over the stove to stir or watch that it doesn’t cook too fast. This frees up your time to do other things while the chowder is doing its thing.
Even though this isn’t a 30-minute meal, it doesn’t get easier than this for satisfying, simmered flavor. I was pleasantly surprised at the complexity, because the recipe is nearly effortless. Comfort food for cold weather, but light enough for any day of the year.
- ¾ to 1 pound mild white fish, like Cod, about one inch thick, cut into four large pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon Paprika
- 2 parsnips (or other root vegetable), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 carrots, thinly sliced
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced (use celery hearts if you can and add leaves)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
- 2½ cups chicken or vegetable stock or broth (low sodium)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut in small chunks
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced or finely chopped (add more or less to taste)
- ½ cup whole cream or coconut milk
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- Optional - sliced jalapeno for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Season the fish with ½ teaspoon salt and paprika. Put it back in the refrigerator until needed.
- In an 8×11 or similar sized baking dish, toss parsnips, carrots, celery and onion with olive oil and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Spread out evenly in the baking dish.
- Pour the chicken or vegetable broth over vegetables
- Evenly sprinkle the butter on top. Add the bay leaf.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake 30 minutes.
- Add the fish and the red pepper and bake again, covered, for another 30 minutes until the fish is just cooked through and easily flakes apart with a fork.
- Gently heat the whole cream or coconut milk and stir into the chowder.
- Sprinkle with parsley just before serving. If using the jalapeno garnish, place slices on top.
- The chowder can be made a day ahead.