Smoky Walleye Chowder

Makes 4-6 servings


  • 4 slices bacon diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 2 medium leaks white and light-green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups fish, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 pound walleye fillets cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt to taste


Create culinary delights with Lake Erie Walleye

Just a touch of “smoke” sets this hearty chowder apart from all others. Thick, choice walleye fillets are preferred but in the off-season, haddock and cod substitute nicely.

Brown the bacon in a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the pot. Add the butter and let melt. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until leeks are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika and cook one additional minute. Pour in the white wine and simmer until almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in stock, one cup of water, potatoes, thyme and salt, to taste. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

Add milk and cooked bacon to pot and bring to a simmer. Add walleye and cook until just opaque, 2 to 4 minutes. Use a fork to break the fish into smaller pieces. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Remove thyme. Serve immediately.