This gluten-free smoked oyster chowder is quick, easy to make, and full of rich flavors. The unexpected smokiness from the smoked oysters adds so much flavor to this creamy chowder. No flour or Roux is needed!

A bowl of oyster chowder next to a yellow napkin.

My son has been asking me to make a gluten free chowder since we went gluten free six years ago. I made a few attempts at a gluten free roux, but none worked the way I had hoped.

Creating a chowder without a roux might be easier. Potatoes would add a lot of substance and thickness to this soup…but I wasn’t sure if these potatoes could thicken this soup enough that I could skip the roux. The star of this recipe is the canned smoked oysters. The smoked oysters added a smokey richness to this gluten free chowder recipe that is hard to duplicate. It cooks up quickly and is hearty enough to be a main meal.

This chowder recipe is based on my Gluten Free New England Clam Chowder. I love the milky creaminess of these types of chowders. New England chowders have a heavy cream base. You can also find chowders based on Manhattan Chowders. This type of chowder has a tomato base.

Allergen Information:

This chowder is gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, and nut-free. I do not have a dairy-free version at this time.

Oyster chowder ingredients photos.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Oysters – I used smoked canned oysters because they add a delicious smokey flavor to this chowder.
  • Cod – This is optional. You can use any mild fish.
  • Leeks or Onions – Leeks are mild, so substitute onion if you prefer a stronger onion flavor.
  • Potatoes – Any variety is fine to use. I prefer using russet potatoes.
  • Garlic – Freshly minced or jarred is fine.
  • Miso Paste – Always check to ensure your miso is gluten free.
  • Milk – Use whole milk for the best results.

I have a lot of delicious gluten free soup recipes on my blog, like this Shredded Chicken Taco Soup and my kids’ favorite, Lentil Bacon Soup. This soup is the perfect comfort food for anyone who loves chowder! If you love soup, here are some more delicious gluten free soup recipes you will want to make!

Tasty flavor variations:

You know how much we love soups and stews that you can adjust! This oyster chowder is no different and can be customized to your liking. Here are some ideas:

  • Red Potatoes – No biggie if you don’t have brown potatoes on hand! You can replace them with red potatoes; every bite will be just as scrumptious!
  • Mushrooms – If you are a fan of mushrooms, you should add a few! They give an earthy flavor to the dish that can’t be beaten.
  • Onions – Can’t live without onions? Add some to this chowder and gobble up a bowl of hot soup.
  • Bacon – Seriously, everything is better when you add some salty bacon!
  • Spinach – Spinach is a perfect ingredient to add in so you can have some extra nutrients. Bonus points if your kids and spouse don’t notice!

You can also use my roux-free recipe to create a seafood chowder. Just use your favorite seafood!

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Step-By-Step Directions:

Leeks sautíng in a pot.

Step 1: Add oil to a soup pot and sauté your sliced leeks (or onions) on medium heat for 4 minutes. Add the diced potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.

Step 2: Add the raw whole cod filets and water to the pot. Cover and bring the soup to a boil.

Step 3: Next, add in the remaining ingredients. Cover and reduce the heat to simmer for 30 minutes.

Stirring the chowder in a pot.

Step 4: Cover and turn the heat to low, stirring frequently so the chowder doesn’t burn. Enjoy this chowder hot.

Interesting Facts About Smoked Oysters:

You might be a little scared of eating smoked oysters if you aren’t accustomed to eating smoked oysters. Don’t worry; they are delicious and packed with healthy nutrients you will want. Here are some interesting facts you might like to know:

  • You can eat oysters right out of the can! You don’t have to heat them or anything. Serve them with gluten-free crackers, and your taste buds will thank you!
  • A can of smoked oysters has a shelf life of 3-5 years! If you want to stockpile healthy food, this is one to add to your list. And if you are in California, smoked oysters are a great idea for those earthquake supply kits!
  • Oysters are shellfish with vitamin C, zinc, protein, iron, and selenium. (Selenium is excellent for keeping your brain happy!)
  • Smoked oysters are keto-friendly, gluten free, and paleo! So you can enjoy this guilt-free pleasure whenever you like!

Recipe FAQ:

How do you store leftover soup?

Store any leftover oyster soup in an airtight glass container. The oyster chowder will last around 2 days in the fridge. If you notice an abnormally fishy odor or it becomes slimy, it is time to throw it out.

To reheat the oyster soup, occasionally warm it up on the stove in a pot. Heat it on low heat so it doesn’t burn. It should be warm in 10-15 minutes.

Can you freeze this chowder?

Technically, yes, you can freeze oyster chowder. I don’t recommend it because the texture of the potatoes will not be very good once you reheat the chowder. You can always try it and see if you like it, but I typically don’t care for reheated potatoes after they have been frozen.

The side view of a big white bowl of chowder.

More Gluten Free Soup Recipes:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. This helps others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

a bowl of oyster chowder next to a yellow napkin

Cod and Smoked Oyster Chowder

Sandi Gaertner
Easy creamy roux free seafood chowder recipe.
5 from 11 votes
an egg free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Gluten Free Soup Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people
Calories 91 kcal


  • 1 pound fresh cod
  • 1 can smoked oysters in olive oil
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups regular milk
  • 2 potatoes peeled and chopped
  • avocado or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage thinly sliced
  • 2 large leeks or onion sliced and washed
  • ½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon yellow miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt more if you like
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • In a large pot, brown leeks in oil for 4 minutes.
  • Add cod and water.
  • Cover and bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes until cod is cooked.
  • Add potatoes, oysters, paprika, sage, miso, salt, pepper, and milk.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Stir occasionally to prevent sticking to bottom of the pot.
  • Serve hot.


  1. If you do not have smoked oysters, feel free to substitute clams or other seafood.
  2. I do not recommend making this dairy-free.
  3. This chowder will keep up to 4 days in an airtight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
  • Red Potatoes – If you don’t have brown potatoes on hand, no biggie! You can replace them with red potatoes, and every bite will be just as scrumptious!
  • Mushrooms—If you are a fan of mushrooms, you should add a few! They give the dish an earthy flavor that can’t be beaten.
  • Onions – Can’t live without onions? Add some in this chowder and gobble up a bowl of hot soup.
  • Bacon – Seriously, everything is better when you add some salty bacon!
  • Spinach – Spinach is a perfect ingredient to add in so you can have some extra nutrients. Bonus points if your kids and spouse don’t notice!


Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.


Serving: 1bowlCalories: 91kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 4gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 296mgPotassium: 306mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 476IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 104mgIron: 1mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hi Sandi, very delightful recipe this one! We love it!
    Though that you claim this recipe is soy free, but I am afraid it cannot be called that way. Miso paste is made of fermented soybean, so there is no way this is soy free.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never had chowder before, but I really liked this! I used two tins of oysters and drained off most of the oil before adding them. My husband liked it too, though he said it’s not as thick as a traditional chowder. I also only added 2 cups of milk (ran out!).

  3. 5 stars
    We love soup and one of my favorites is a good chowder. I would take that before anything else. Your chowder looks fantastic — I’d love to dive right into it.

      1. This recipe is bangin. I steamed the cod though and poored the required amount of water straight from the steamer. The bacon played in well as did some rehydrated mushrooms. Also added a little bit of peas. Will make again. Bravo milady.

      2. Next time I make this cause I have a bunch of miso now. I might add some rye chips on top. I honestly didn’t even know there was a miso that was made with barley until I read this recipe. I’m very happy to have discovered yellow miso through you 🙂 Thank you again for sharing

  4. I looooove chowders, including any and all types of seafood chowders. This sounds amazing with the oysters! Glad your experiment worked so well! Yum!

  5. I don’t know how I missed this one; it literally caused my stomach to growl and it’s not even noon here yet. I love seafood chowders and yours looks sublime. I’m also interested in knowing if you would be interested in a temporary son exchange; I so wish we could get our kids to eat this! Great job, once again.

    1. My son would love to come 🙂 He is easy…my daughter is the difficult picky eater. Not sure if it ever gets better, she has been like that her whole life.

  6. Oysters are delicious, but I find them hard to incorporate into meals, since they have such a pungent taste. This cod and smoked oyster chowder recipe you shared may be a great way to begin eating clams more. Cod has a light taste, so combined with the oyster, it will be delicious. Thank you for sharing a great and inspiring recipe with those of us who live off of others food recipes for yummy meals.

    1. Thank you Audrey. I think the oysters combined with the miso paste really work well together in this chowder. I appreciate your stopping by 🙂

  7. Doesn’t make you feel so happy and proud when a recipe you’ve been trying to create eventually is a success? It does to me! This is a great chowder and I am sure my family would love it too!

  8. Sage and paprika, how divine! What wonderful flavor additions to this soup, which looks so hearty and creamy and wonderful.