Scallop Corn Chowder from Recipe Renovator

Rich, hearty scallop corn chowder… and low in sodium? How is this possible? I thought scallops were off-limits on my very low-sodium diet, but then I started reading about them. So long as they have not been brined (which is very common to both preserve and plump up seafood), and I limit my portions, I can still enjoy my most favorite seafood. This comes in at 155 mg / serving.

The trick here is to use large sea scallops and cut them in half, so there is more scallop per serving. I developed layers of flavor using shallots, dill, green onions, and other spices. While this takes a bit longer than your average soup, we both loved it. Use fresh corn when it is in season to sweeten it even more, but organic frozen corn is just fine too. Be sure to choose organic corn, or you will be adding GMOs to your bowl.

More about the renovation, which started as a recipe from Real Simple magazine that I clipped years ago. I reduced the number of scallops and cut them in half, and reserved and used all the juice they gave off when thawing and resting, to capture the seafood flavor. Green onions stand in for regular onions (which can be a migraine trigger). I dusted the scallops with smoked paprika and black pepper, giving them plenty of flavor when seared in the unsalted butter. Liquid smoke adds more flavor, and helps stand in for the missing bacon. I use Chef Gordon Ramsay’s trick for cooking scallops:
Lay them the pan clockwise, starting at 12 o’clock. Set the timer for one minute as you start putting them in. When the timer goes off, start flipping them in the same order, again setting the timer for another minute. You’ll get a great sear and won’t overcook your scallops.

Suitable for:
pescatarian, gluten-free, reduced-sugar, migraine, low-sodium, paleo diets (if you eat dairy, corn, and potatoes in your version of paleo)

Not for:
GFCF, vegan diets

You might also like:
Sweet corn chowder with spicy seared sea scallops from One for the Table (reduced fat, not low-sodium, not migraine-friendly)

Scallop Corn Chowder from Recipe Renovator

Scallop Corn Chowder from Recipe Renovator

Scallop corn chowder

Enjoy this rich, hearty scallop corn chowder brimming with potatoes, peppers, and spices.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (organic)
  • 1/2 pound scallops jumbo sea (8)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp butter (unsalted) organic or Kerrygold
  • 8 onions (green) thinly sliced, scallions, spring onions
  • 1 shallots large, diced
  • 1 potatoes russet or Yukon gold, or 2 small red potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 carrots large, or 2 small, scrubbed
  • 2 cups chicken stock (low-sodium)
  • 1/2 tsp dill weed (dried)
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 bell peppers red or orange, about 1 cup
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley (fresh) chopped


  • If using frozen scallops, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator in a covered bowl or the package. Reserve any liquid they give off.
  • Prep all the vegetables and put into separate bowls. Thinly slice the green onions (white and green parts), and dice everything else. This will make your cooking go faster and can be done the night before if needed, except for the parsley. Put potatoes in water to cover until you need them.
  • Blend half the corn with the heavy cream until smooth. Do not overblend. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  • Pat each scallop dry, then cut in half crosswise. If they have partially split in half, cut them that direction instead
  • Dust each scallop with paprika and black pepper.
  • Cook until golden brown, 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add the onion to the drippings in the skillet and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Use scallop liquid to deglaze the pan if needed, otherwise add it to the chicken broth.
  • Add drained potatoes and carrots to the skillet; sauté 5 minutes.
  • Add broth, scallop juice, dill, and liquid smoke; bring to a boil. Cover partially and reduce heat to just under boiling. Cook 10 minutes.
  • Add in the juice from the scallop plate, the remaining corn, and the peppers. Simmer on low for another 10-15 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
  • Add the scallops and cream-corn mixture and simmer gently to heat through. Sprinkle with the parsley.


Per serving:
  • 289 calories
  • 12 g fat
  • 7 g saturated fat
  • 3 g monounsaturated fat
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 55 g cholesterol
  • 155 mg sodium
  • 1018 mg potassium
  • 31 g carbohydrate
  • 5 g fiber
  • 5 g sugars
  • 17 g protein
  • 8 Weight Watchers Points Plus
This technically cannot be labeled low-sodium, as it's just a hare over 140 mg / serving. But at 155 mg / serving, and serving as a full meal, it works for my eating plan.
Adapted from Real Simple magazine.