Healthy mussel chowder is a creamy delicious seafood chowder made without butter or cream. This thick and chunky seafood soup is one amazing budget quick healthy meal.
Folks, this healthy mussel chowder may be made without butter or cream but in no way does that mean there's any loss in flavour or texture.
It's still as deliciously creamy as the original classic recipe but its made with milk instead.
I was recently challenged by Rick Stein to make this.
No, seriously folks, He really did challenge me, stay with me here and let me explain.....
In his new series “The Road To Mexico" whilst making a Clam Chowder, he said "if you haven’t got clams then use mussels instead!"
So there you have it, the challenge was thrown down to me. Make a mussel chowder.
Plus, I don't know about you but its much easier for me to get mussels in a supermarket as opposed to clams!
Now obviously I’ve not used his Clam Chowder recipe directly as that would be plagiarism.
Indeed his recipe, being a version of the classic original contains butter and cream. So as you can see in my recipe below I’ve not used those ingredients.
Instead with my mussel chowder I concentrated on getting the maximum amount of flavour out of the bare minimum of ingredients and just milk. So that this recipe stays as close as possible to the original New England clam chowder.
Mussels are said to be at their best between October to March so if you can get fresh mussels and in particular between those times of the year then that's a bonus.
If you can't get fresh mussels but can get pre-cooked ones, those kind already taken out of the shell, I've adapted my recipe to include those being used instead. They're often cheaper too, hence the budget recipe reference.
So, this easy healthy mussel chowder recipe is perfect to make all year round!
How To Make This Creamless Healthy Mussel Chowder
As I mentioned above you can either use fresh mussels or pre-cooked mussels for this mussel chowder.
If you can get fresh mussels it's so worth that little extra bit of effort in having to steam them and then removing them from their shells. That also adds a bit more originality and authenticity to the recipe!
Some chowder recipes also use bacon to add an extra bit of sweetness and flavour but here its the onion, celery and leek that provide that and then the use of the bay leaf provides an excellent slightly delicate floral flavour too.
The corn flour and cold water are mixed together to form a paste and when added thicken the chowder and give it body. This means there is no need to add cream.
Make sure to mix the corn flour and water together in a little bowl first before adding to prevent the chowder from clumping.
If you loved this (which I'm pretty sure you will 🙂 ) make sure you try out the Moules Marinieres recipe next. Again I've "lightened" that classic original up there by not using any cream either!
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- Healthy grilled salmon with wilted spinach. Looking for an easy meal with salmon? Try this recipe! It tastes amazing and includes a simple lower fat sauce.
Healthy Mussel Chowder Recipe
This mussel chowder recipe is not only healthy but it's decadent and filling.
It could be an ideal starter for a dinner party to impress your guests!
I’d love to hear what you think of my recipe in the comments below and please do rate my recipe 5* if you like it! 🙂
Healthy Mussel Chowder Recipe
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- 1 kg fresh mussels or 175g pre-cooked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 sticks celery chopped
- 1 leek thinly sliced
- 500 ml skimmed milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 450 g potatoes peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoon corn flour
- 4 tablespoon cold water
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
- Prepare the mussels by washing them in cold water and removing any beards. Discard any that are damaged. Omit this step and step 2 if you are using pre-cooked mussels.
- Bring 250ml water to the boil in a large pan. Add the mussels, place a lid on and allow the mussels to steam away in the saucepan for about 8 – 9 minutes or until all the shells have opened. Remove the mussels from their shells, set aside and discard any mussels that have not opened.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion, celery and leek. Sauté until softened.
- Add the milk, bay leaf and potatoes then bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until the potato has softened.
- Mix the corn flour and cold water together to form a paste then stir into the milk and keep stirring until it thickens.
- Add the mussels to the mixture, season with salt and pepper and a little nutmeg.
- Divide the chowder between two bowls and serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley.
David @ Spiced
What a fun recipe, Neil! I've had steamed mussels, but I don't think I've ever cooked with them like this. And now I'm dying to try it out! Our local grocery store often has a sale on mussels, so this is a win-win! And great tip about the corn flour to keep this one thick without using cream. We're still trying to watch our diet around here, so this sounds like a flavorful yet healthy option! Plus, Laura loves mussels. Maybe I'll surprise her with a batch of this soup for Valentine's Day in a couple of weeks! 🙂
What a lovely idea to surprise Laura with a bowl of this for Valentines Day in a couple of weeks. 🙂
Lynne has already requested pancakes so I'm on a mission to deliver a top notch recipe for that day.
I'm glad that you can get mussels on sale locally for yourself. They're one of my favourite seafoods. If they're on the menu in a restaurant we happen to be eating out in, I tend to gravitate towards them! Hope you have a great weekend!
This Chowder looks and sounds delicious, Neil. When it comes to soup, I don't mind cutting down on/eliminating butter and cream (=more room for a dessert). I've never made chowder, but now living in the seafood/fish province, I should certainly try making it 😉
Ha ha, I like your thinking there Ben. Less calories / fat during main starter / main courses of a meal then you can afford to indulge a little more by having a dessert. I guess that's you kind of 80/20'd your meal course. Love it!! 😀
If you can get fresh mussels with you now living in the seafood/fish province, I would definitely try this if you can. 🙂
This chowder looks so creamy and delicious. I could never guess it is cream/fat free! Wonderful recipe.
Thanks Neha. Yes it's amazing what you can do with a bit of creativity and recipe substitution to change the calories of recipes which I love doing! Hope you're having an amazing weekend.