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Easy Creamy Seafood and Shrimp Chili

This Easy Creamy Seafood and Shrimp Chili is a quick, healthy recipe made with lobster, crab, and a creamy, white broth. The secret ingredient lies in the homemade chili seasoning and spice. 

creamy seafood chili with shrimp and lobster in a white bowl

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FOR THE FULL LIST OF INGREDIENTS AND COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTIONS, PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST. BEFORE YOU SCROLL, THERE’S IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG POST.

Chili recipes are my favorite! I can eat it year round because it tastes better the next day and is perfect for meal prep. You can freeze your leftovers, too!

canned Great Northern beans, canned black beans, Rotel, and chopped onions in separate containers
chicken broth, frozen corn, chili spices, and garlic in separate bowls

What Type of Shrimp to Use

Shrimp can be found at the grocery store in a few different ways. There is raw, pre-cooked, raw and frozen, deveined, tails on, tails off, etc.

I never use pre-cooked shrimp. There is an obvious difference in taste due to the lack of quality. The shrimp is cooked and then frozen and you have to cook it/warm it up again. This usually overcooks the shrimp. Raw shrimp only takes minutes to make, just buy it raw.

Always look for deveined, that’s my preference. The black vein that runs along the back of the shrimp is the digestive intestinal tract. Is this shrimp poop? Yes.

You can buy it with the vein and remove it using a sharp paring knife to make a slit along the back and lift out the vein with the tip of the knife.

raw seafood shrimp, lobster, and crab in a glass bowl

What Type of Crab to Use

I use lump crab meat. You can find it in the refrigerated meat section of the grocery store. There’s also imitation crab meat, sometimes called krab meat. You can use that if you wish, it’s also sometimes easier to find.

Imitation crab is processed fish meat. It is seafood and comes from surimi that has been deboned and minced into paste. It does not contain crab. Crab extract is sometimes added for flavor.

Use whichever you wish. You can read more about What Imitation Crab Is here.

jumbo lump crab in a can for crab rangoon dip

What Type of Lobster to Use

I use the lobster claw meat from Butcher Box. It’s already free from the shell and ready to use. You can also purchase lobster tails or a full lobster and use the meat from it.

How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp

Place the frozen shrimp in a large bowl of cold water. The shrimp will thaw within minutes and will be ready to peel.

Seafood Substitution Ideas

You can use any seafood you like for this recipe. You can use the shrimp, lobster, and lump crab I have noted, or any of these.

  • Scallops
  • Mussels
  • Crawfish
  • Clams

What Type of Beans to Use

I like to use a combination of Great Northern Beans and black beans. You can use whatever you like. Here are more options.

  • Navy Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Red Beans
  • Chili Beans

How to Make Seafood Chili

  1. Place a Dutch oven or stock pot on medium high heat. When hot, add olive oil and chopped onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Add in garlic and stir.
  2. Add in broth, beans, diced chilis and tomatoes, homemade chili seasoning, and Better than Bouillon. Stir.
  3. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer.
  4. Season the seafood with the seafood seasoning.
  5. Open the pot and add shredded cheese, cream cheese, and the seafood.
  6. Adjust the heat to medium. Stir and cook for 5-6 minutes until the cheese has melted and the seafood is cooked through.
collage photo showing how saute onions and garlic and seafood chili in a Dutch oven
seafood chili in a Dutch oven

How to Thicken the Chili

I use cream cheese in this dish and that gets it nice and thick. If the texture isn’t thick enough for you, you can reduce the amount of broth used in the recipe. If you like your chili really thick, or if it’s the first time you are making this dish, start with 1 cup of broth. Add more as necessary.

creamy seafood shrimp chili in a Dutch oven

How to Make it Dairy Free

The cream cheese and Colby-Jack are what gives this chili a creamy and delicious texture. You can omit those ingredients to make this dairy free and a little more like a standard chili, but with seafood.

You can also add in coconut milk if you wish. I have not tested this, so you will have to experiment with how much is necessary.

creamy seafood chili with shrimp and lobster in a white bowl

How to Make it Spicy

I always add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to my chili to give it a nice kick. If you like really spicy, add more!

How to Keep the Seafood From Getting Rubbery

If you overcook the seafood it will have a dry and rubbery texture, which isn’t good especially if you want to reheat the dish and eat it for leftovers. If you’re afraid of overcooking the seafood, you can saute it in a pan and then add it to the chili once it has finished cooking with the cream cheese and shredded cheese.

creamy seafood chili with shrimp and lobster in a white bowl

What to Pair with the Dish

Keto Low Carb Cornbread
Air Fryer Cornbread
Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
Southern Classic Homemade Cornbread
Southern Cornbread Dressing

Topping Ideas

  • Shredded Cheese
  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Jalapenos
  • Cooked and Crumbled Bacon
  • Sliced Avocado
creamy seafood chili with shrimp and lobster in a white bowl

How Long Will it Last in the Fridge

The chili will last in the fridge (tightly covered) for 3-4 days.

Freezer Tips

I love to freeze it using these freezer soup molds from Amazon. It will freeze for up to several months. I like to defrost it overnight in the fridge and then reheat.

creamy seafood chili with shrimp and lobster in a white bowl

More Chili Recipes

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
Keto Low Carb Chili
Instant Pot Beef Chili
Pumpkin Chicken Chili
Sweet Potato Chili

Leftover Turkey Chili

More Seafood Recipes

Cajun Shrimp Pasta
Buffalo Shrimp
Seafood Lasagna
Seafood Crab Salad
Pan-Seared Salmon
Shrimp Egg Rolls
Air Fryer Shrimp

creamy seafood chili with shrimp and lobster in a white bowl
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5 from 4 votes

Easy Creamy Seafood and Shrimp Chili

This Easy Creamy Seafood and Shrimp Chili is a quick, healthy recipe made with lobster, crab, and a creamy, white broth. The secret ingredient lies in the homemade chili seasoning and spice. 
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword seafood chili, shrimp chili
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Calories 491kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves Minced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups low-sodium broth Vegetable or chicken broth will work great. See notes for really thick chili.
  • 1 15.5 oz canned Great Northern beans or navy beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15.5 oz canned black beans drained and rinsed
  • 15.5 oz canned diced tomatoes and chilis drained
  • 1/2 cup whole kernel corn I used frozen
  • 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken Flavor Optional for flavor. You can also use the lobster flavor.
  • 1 cup shredded Colby and Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 5 oz jumbo lump crab
  • 5 oz lobster meat
  • 1 pound shrimp Peeled and deveined
  • Seafood Seasoning to taste See notes for how to make your own.

Homemade Chili Seasoning

Instructions

  • Place a Dutch oven or stock pot on medium high heat. When hot, add the olive oil and chopped onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent and fragrant. Add in the garlic and stir.
  • Add in the broth, beans, diced chilis and tomatoes, homemade chili seasoning, and Better than Bouillon. Stir.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Season the seafood with the seafood seasoning.
  • Open the pot and add the shredded cheese, cream cheese, and the seafood.
  • Adjust the heat to medium. Stir and cook for 5-6 minutes until the cheese has melted and the seafood is cooked through. The chili will thicken as it cools.

Video

Notes

  • You can use any seafood you like. Feel free to omit and/or substitute the recipe.
  • You can make your own seafood seasoning using 1/4 teaspoon of: onion powder, garlic powder, crushed bay leaves, dried parsley, and dried chives. You can also simply use your preferred seasoning.
  • If you like your chili really thick, or if it’s the first time you are making this dish, start with 1 cup of broth. Add more as necessary.
  • You can use a chili seasoning packet if you don’t want to make your own seasoning.
  • If you overcook the seafood it will have a dry and rubbery texture, which isn’t good especially if you want to reheat the dish and eat it for leftovers. If you’re afraid of overcooking the seafood, you can saute it in a pan and then add it to the chili once it has finished cooking with the cream cheese and shredded cheese.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 17g
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Recipe Rating




Rebecca Purnell

Thursday 21st of January 2021

As a seafood lover I was so excited about this recipe so I jumped right to making it! It was a huge hit in my house! 10/10 will definitely be making this again!

staysnatched

Thursday 21st of January 2021

Wonderful! I'm so glad you enjoyed the chili!

Gwyn Lynch

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

Just made this delicious recipe for dinner tonight! I had all the ingredients on hand- this was easy to prepare. My husband (who does not like beans) enjoyed it as well! I used lump crab and shrimp seasoned with Old Bay. I definitely recommend this recipe!!

staysnatched

Thursday 21st of January 2021

I love those additions! So glad you enjoyed it.

Cara

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

As soon as I saw this on Instagram, I knew I needed to make it! My grocery store didn't have any lump crab, so I used shrimp, lobster meat, and scallops. The only other change I made to the written recipe was to use creole/cajun seasoning to season the seafood, as that's what I had on hand, and I think the flavours went really well together. The cheeses create a creamy, rich broth, and the beans and seafood made for a super filling meal. I halved the recipe and still ended up with three generous servings. My only regret is not making cornbread to go with it :)

staysnatched

Thursday 21st of January 2021

I love that combination of flavors and scallops!

Keri

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

I saw this come across my IG feed and knew I had to make it. I already had all of the ingredients in my kitchen, because Brandi looks out for our pockets and uses pantry staples and ingredients you don’t have to google to figure out what they are.

THIS WAS AMAZING. 10/10. Whenever we are craving seafood, we will add this to our list with her gumbo.

staysnatched

Thursday 21st of January 2021

Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed it.