Using either, fresh, canned, or frozen corn, this easy Corn Chowder recipe is a great year-round soup. With added potato, bacon, and cheese, you’ll want a big bowl!
Really love corn? Serve this with a little cornbread on the side!
Year-Round Corn Chowder Recipe
There are so many soups I absolutely love, but if given the choice between a brothy soup and a thick creamy chowder, I’ll go for the chowder. Using either fresh, canned, or frozen corn, this easy homemade corn chowder gets made all year.
It’s everything a chowder should be – thick, creamy, hearty, flavorful, and simple. The rich broth pairs perfectly with the sweet corn. Pure comfort food.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this corn and potato chowder:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Corn – Fresh, frozen, or canned corn can be used, making this chowder recipe great any time of year. I find that fresh corn is the sweetest, so it’s my preference, but there’s a simple fix to that if using canned or frozen – add a bit of honey! A little drizzle helps replace the missing corn “milk.”
- Potatoes – Either Russet or Yukon gold. If using Yukon gold, no need to peel. Your choice.
- Vegetables – Onion, celery, garlic, and scallions provide wonderful aromatics and flavor.
- Liquid – Low-sodium chicken broth and heavy cream.
- Bacon – For flavor…because BACON. Ha.
- Flour – Used to thicken the soup.
- Butter – To sauté the vegetables and for richness and flavor.
- Cheese – Shredded cheddar cheese
- Seasonings – Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, dried thyme, and bay leaves season the soup.
- Add in some chicken. Diced or shredded cooked chicken can be added in for extra protein and flavor.
- Vary the seasoning. Replace the thyme with dried oregano.
- Kick up the spice. Add in some paprika for a smoky flavor or cayenne pepper for a little heat.
- Change the cheese. The cheddar cheese can be swapped out for pepper jack.
- Make it vegetarian. Simply omit the bacon and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. Note, you might need additional seasoning to make up for the flavor bacon provides.
How to Make Corn Chowder
This potato corn chowder recipe is very easy to make in just a few simple steps. Here’s a summary.
(Scroll to the bottom for our easy printable recipe with the complete directions, and don’t miss the video below.)
- Cook the bacon. Add bacon to the bottom of a large heavy soup pot set over medium heat. Stir until browned and crispy. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon. Drain off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat in the pot. Add butter to the pot.
- Sauté the vegetables. Add in the onion and celery and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
- Mix in flour and add the broth. Sprinkle the flour into the vegetables to coat them evenly, making sure no white patches remain. Slowly pour in the broth, stirring.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Add in the potato, corn, honey, thyme, and bay leaves.
- Simmer. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle bubble. Simmer until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, stirring occasionally.
- Add heavy cream. Discard the bay leaves from the soup and stir in the heavy cream.
- Blend. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until the desired consistency is reached (alternatively, transfer about 3 cups of the soup in a food processor or blender and stir it back into the soup.
- Add the cheese and cooked bacon. Stir in the shredded cheese until melted, then stir in most of the cooked bacon, reserving some for garnish.
- Serve. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the some cooked bacon and diced scallions.
Can I make Corn Chowder in the Crockpot?
This chowder is really easy and all made in one pot, but if you still need (or prefer) to make it in your crock pot, you certainly can.
- Cook bacon in a skillet.
- Add all ingredients (except the cream and cheese) to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir well, cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours. (NOTE: If you like your potatoes to be less soft, add them in after a couple hours of cooking. They’re usually tender after 5 hours. Cook time will vary depending on the size of your potatoes.)
- Use an immersion blender to blend about half the soup (or add 3 cups of soup to a blender and puree then add back to the slow cooker).
- Stir in cream, cover and cook another 10 minutes or so to heat through, then stir in the cheese until melted.
Video: Corn Chowder
What to Serve with Corn Chowder
This soup is pretty substantial all on its own, but here are some great additions that pair really well with it:
- Leftovers. Leftovers will keep in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
- To reheat. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave over low heat until warmed through. If it seems too thick, you can add a little broth to thin it out.
- Can you freeze corn chowder? I’m not a fan of freezing this soup since the heavy cream tends to separate once thawed and the potatoes break down creating a weird texture – the overall soup just doesn’t taste all that great. If you simply must freeze it, omit the cream initially and add it once thawed and when reheating the soup. Freeze up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
More Soup Recipes:
- French Onion Soup
- Hungarian Mushroom Soup
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Minestrone Soup
- Zuppa Toscana
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon , diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small sweet onion , finely diced
- 2 stalks celery , finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic , diced
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 medium russet potato , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 cups corn kernels (fresh from 5 ears of corn, canned and drained, or frozen thawed and drained)
- 1 tablespoon honey (if using canned or frozen corn)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 scallions , diced small
- Add the bacon to the bottom of a large heavy soup pot set over medium heat. Stir until the bacon is browned and crispy. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon.
- Drain or spoon off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat in the pot. Stir in the butter until melted.
- Add in the onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables just begin to become tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Sprinkle the flour into the vegetables to coat them evenly and make a paste. Cook a minute or two to get rid of the raw flour flavor.
- Pour in the chicken broth along with the potato, corn, honey, thyme, and bay leaves; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, stirring occasionally, about 10-12 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaves from the soup.
- Add in the heavy cream.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until the desired consistency is reached (alternatively, transfer about 3 cups of the soup in a food processor or blender and stir it back into the soup.)
- Stir in the shredded cheese until melted.
- Stir in most of the cooked bacon, reserving some for garnish.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the some cooked bacon and diced scallions.