Corn Chowder

Chilly days call for warm bowls of sweet, smoky Corn Chowder. This incredible soup can be made any time of year and comes together quickly, thanks to frozen corn.

Corn chowder in a blue bowl.

Chowder may be my favorite way to enjoy sweet corn. As soon as I slurp down one bowl, I’m aching for another. This recipe is made with bacon and diced potatoes; both are optional, but add a heartiness that I absolutely love.

To make things even easier, I use frozen sweet corn. It’s easy to find and plentiful year round. But if fresh whole corn is still popping up at the market, by all means, use fresh.

Recipe ingredients:

Corn chowder ingredients in bowls and labeled.

Ingredient notes:

  • Bacon: Chopped bacon adds a smoky counterpart to the sweet corn. Corn chowder with ham is is just as fabulous.
  • Turmeric: This golden-hued spice boosts the yellow color of soup naturally and adds a subtle flavor.
  • Potatoes: Look for the thin-skinned new baby potatoes of any color.
  • Corn: To substitute fresh corn, bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add 8 ears of corn and boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Plunge corn in to a large bowl of ice water. When the corn is cool enough to handle cut it off the cob and proceed with the recipe.
  • Half and half: Substitute 4 1/2 teaspoons melted butter plus enough whole milk to equal 1 cup for the half and half.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. First, find a big stock pot or a good-sized Dutch oven. Cook the chopped bacon on medium-high heat until crisp, then remove it and set aside for later. To the bacon grease, add the butter and onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Then stir in the flour and turmeric and cook for about one minute, so the flour loses its raw taste.
    Corn chowder ingredients cooking in a black pot.
  2. Pour in the chicken broth, potatoes, and some salt. Bring the broth to a boil, reduce the heat, and let the soup simmer until the potatoes are tender. Then stir in the corn kernels, the crisp bacon, the half-and-half, and the shredded cheese. Cook until the soup is hot and the cheese is melted, then season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh chives.
    Corn chowder ingredients cooking in a black pot.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Keep warm in the slow cooker: Get the soup ready on the stove, then keep it warm for company in the crockpot. Turn it to LOW while the party happens.
  • Freezer: Soups with dairy may have a grainy texture and separate when you thaw them out. So, if you want to freeze corn chowder, don’t add the cheese or half-and-half. Store it in a freezer-safe container, label, date, and freeze. When you reheat the soup, go ahead and add the cream and cheese.
  • No potatoes: No problem! Boost up the veggies by adding diced zucchini, quinoa, or yellow lentils in place of the spuds.
  • Spicy: Dice up some fresh jalapeños or serranos and add with the corn in step 3, and serve with plenty of hot sauce.
  • Seafood: Don’t skip the bacon! Just add some peeled, deveined baby shrimp or lump crabmeat in with the corn and cook until just tender.

Two bowls of corn chowder on a mustard colored napkin.

More hearty soup recipes:

Corn chowder in a blue bowl.

Corn Chowder

Chilly days call for warm bowls of sweet, smoky Corn Chowder. This incredible soup can be made any time of year and comes together quickly, thanks to frozen corn.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 540kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces bacon chopped (see note 1)
  • 2 large onions chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (see note 2)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound thin-skinned potatoes unpeeled and diced (see note 3)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds frozen corn (see note 4)
  • 1 cup half-and-half (see note 5)
  • 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated
  • chopped fresh chives for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • In a large stock pot or Dutch oven or medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from pot and reserve. Add onions and butter and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in flour and turmeric and cook 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth, potatoes, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in corn, half-n-half, cheese, and bacon. Cook until corn is heated through and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Garnish with chives if desired.

Notes

  1. Bacon: Chopped bacon adds a smoky counterpart to the sweet corn. Corn chowder with ham is is just as fabulous.
  2. Turmeric: This golden-hued spice boosts the yellow color of soup naturally and adds a subtle flavor.
  3. Potatoes: Look for the thin-skinned new baby potatoes of any color.
  4. Corn:  To substitute fresh corn, bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add 8 ears of corn and boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Plunge corn in to a large bowl of ice water. When the corn is cool enough to handle cut it off the cob and proceed with the recipe.
  5. Half and half: Substitute 4 1/2 teaspoons melted butter plus enough whole milk to equal 1 cup for the half and half.
  6. Keep warm in the slow cooker: Get the soup ready on the stove, then keep it warm for company in the crockpot. Turn it to LOW while the party happens.
  7. Freezer: Soups with dairy may have a grainy texture and separate when you thaw them out. So, if you want to freeze corn chowder, don’t add the cheese or half-and-half. Store it in a freezer-safe container, label, date, and freeze away. When you reheat the soup, go ahead and add the cream and cheese.
  8. No potatoes: No problem! Boost up the veggies by adding diced zucchini, quinoa, or yellow lentils in place of the spuds.
  9. Spicy: Dice up some fresh jalapeños or serranos and add with the corn in step 3, and serve with plenty of hot sauce.
  10. Seafood: Don’t skip the bacon! Just add some peeled, deveined baby shrimp or lump crabmeat in with the corn and cook until just tender.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 540kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 1570mg | Potassium: 1062mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 461IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 220mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. John

    Yum!! Perfect and easy recipe for a chilly and rainy day.5 stars

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