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Nana’s Cajun Crab Chowder

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A deliciously creamy chowder loaded with crab, corn and just enough kick to make it interesting. It is simple to make and tastes amazing. It brings a little bit of luxury to your table without a ton of effort.

Bowl of cajun crab chowder topped with cajun seasoning and oyster crackers.

If you are looking for a fun twist on a creamy seafood chowder, you are in the right place. This recipe brings a bit of Cajun spice with plenty of sweet crab meat to balance it out.

The best part is it comes together relatively quickly, but it is definitely worthy of being served to company. It makes a great starter course or serve it as a main dish on a chilly day.

It was love at first bite for me and I am sure you are going to love it as well. So make a pot today to see for yourself.

How we came to love this recipe

It is a tradition in Nana’s family to not have meat on Christmas Eve.  I love seafood, so this is a tradition that I bought into very easily.  

She normally makes a really yummy salmon with lemon, dill and capers. My favorite part of the meal, however, is the soup course (followed closely by the kolacky of course).

Sauteed corn and onions in pot ready to be made into chowder.

She makes this Cajun crab chowder that is TO. DIE. FOR.  I mean really, it is good!  

It is definitely not a traditional Polish recipe, but it plays into the meat free tradition.  There are a lot of other fun traditions that I will try to remember to tell you about as the holidays get closer.

Corn and onions tossed in Cajun seasoning, hot sauce and flour ready to be made into soup.

If I had any sort of patience, I would make you wait until Christmas for this recipe too.  But lucky for you, I don’t!  It seems like lent would be just as good of time as any to share it with you.

I have made it a couple of times myself now.  My brother and I had been talking about having a seafood feast for months.  We finally decided to do it for New Years Eve.

I begged Nana for the recipe.  The crab chowder went really well with the crab stuffed shrimp and fried oysters!

Bowl of crab chower with corn, onions, crab meat and cajun seasoning.

Making the chowder

Luckily this recipe is super simple to put together. Just sauté the onions, corn and garlic until the onions are translucent.

Add some flour to make a quick roux. This isn’t the kind of roux that you want to get color on, you just want it to help make a thick soup with a luxurious mouthfeel.

So just cook it long enough to get the raw flour flavor out, just a minute or two will do. The flavor comes from the crab meat, Cajun seasoning and hot sauce so you don’t worry about serving a dull soup.

Bowl of cajun crab chowder with corn and onions topped with extra crab meat.

Milk and heavy cream help to make sure this soup is filling. Plus they help to make sure the spices bring good flavor without being too hot.

The flavor of the soup will speak for itself, so it doesn’t need much for garnish. But feel free to add oyster crackers, a little additional lump crab, a sprinkling of Cajun seasoning or even some chives to help pretty up the bowl a bit.

More great creamy soup recipes

New England clam chowder is easy to make and is ready to eat in about a half an hour. It’s creamy, comforting and oh so good! 

Pot of creamy spicy crab soup next to a bowl of chowder ready to eat.

If you like a good seafood chowder, my brother’s fish and shrimp chowder is sure to become a new favorite. It is creamy, warming and comforting like this one but without the spicy kick.

Corn chowder with bacon is loaded of sweet corn, plenty of bacon, white wine and a handful of spices!

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

Bowl of cajun crab chowder topped with cajun seasoning and oyster crackers.

Cajun Crab Chowder

Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Carlee
A deliciously creamy chowder loaded with crab, corn and just enough kick to make it interesting. It is simple to make and tastes amazing. It brings a little bit of luxury to your table without a ton of effort.
4.85 from 13 ratings
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 44 minutes


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • cups frozen corn
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 Tablespoon garlic diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons hot sauce
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 lb. crab meat
  • cups whole milk
  • cups heavy cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In large soup pot, heat olive oil. Saute corn, onion and garlic until softened
    1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1½ cups frozen corn, 1 medium onion, 2 Tablespoon garlic
  • Add Cajun seasoning and hot sauce. Sauté for a couple of minutes
    1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning, 2 Tablespoons hot sauce
  • Add flour and stir to make a roux. Don’t brown the roux, just cook the flour down for a minute or two.
    ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • Slowly add the milk, stirring to incorporate the roux. Add crab meat, cream and bay leaves
    1 lb. crab meat, 2½ cups whole milk, 2½ cups heavy cream, 2 bay leaves
  • Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly. Be sure not to boil
  • Remove bay leaves and adjust salt and pepper to taste


Feel free to use canned crab meat in this recipe, it works great. Otherwise you can find picked crab meat in pouches or tubs at most grocery stores. 



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 282kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 11gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 486mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating

Morsels of Life | CJ Huang

Friday 6th of March 2015

This chowder sounds super yummy, but that's how recipes from Nana are, right? :)


Friday 6th of March 2015

It is hard to go wrong with a Nana recipe!

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa

Monday 2nd of March 2015

This is something I definitely want to try! I love these kinds of recipes, especially when they are from someone's Nana!! Pinned!


Monday 2nd of March 2015

You have to love a Nana, right?!