Skip to Content

Corn Chowder Recipe

I’ve included some videos below for those who prefer to watch rather than read.

Imagine a cozy bowl of corn chowder warming you up on a cool day. This delicious soup is an easy way to use fresh or frozen corn, potatoes, and bacon.

Learn how to make the perfect creamy and chunky corn chowder in just 30 minutes. You’ll love how adaptable it is, whether you want to cook it on the stove or in a slow cooker.

This classic recipe combines sweet corn, savory bacon, and hearty potatoes, creating a comforting dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Dive in and discover how to make this delightful soup that the whole family will enjoy.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Here’s what you need to make a delicious corn chowder. You may find some substitutes if you don’t have everything on hand.

Fresh Corn Kernels (5-6 cups)

  • Substitute: Frozen corn works well if you don’t have fresh corn.

1 Large Onion (diced)

  • Substitute: Shallots or leeks can be used, but they’ll give a slightly different taste.

2 Medium Carrots (diced)

  • Substitute: You can use parsnips or even sweet potatoes for a different twist.

3-4 Potatoes (diced)

  • Substitute: Sweet potatoes or cauliflower can offer a unique flavor.

4 cups Chicken Broth

  • Substitute: Vegetable broth for a vegetarian option.

2 cups Milk or Cream

  • Substitute: Plant-based milks like almond or soy milk can be used if you prefer.

2 tablespoons Flour

  • Substitute: Cornstarch or arrowroot powder work as thickeners.

Butter (2-3 tablespoons)

  • Substitute: Olive oil or vegetable oil if you avoid dairy.

Bacon (optional, for garnish)

  • Substitute: Smoked paprika or liquid smoke can add a similar depth of flavor.


  • Salt and Pepper: Essential for flavor.
  • Bay Leaf and Thyme: These herbs add a wonderful aroma.
  • Green Chiles and Roasted Bell Peppers (optional): They give a nice kick and extra flavor.

Feel free to adjust the ingredients according to your taste and dietary needs. This chowder is versatile, and there’s plenty of room to make it your own!


  1. Prepare the Corn:

    • Cut the kernels off 5-6 ears of corn.
    • Optional: Use the blunt side of a knife to scrape out the milk and pulp.
  2. Cook the Bacon:

    • In a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp (8-10 minutes).
    • Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
    • Leave about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in the pot.
  3. Cook the Vegetables:

    • Add chopped onion, carrot, red bell pepper, and celery to the pot.
    • Cook over medium-low heat until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Make the Corn Stock:

    • Optional: Simmer bare corn cobs in a pot with 4 cups broth, 1 ½ cups milk, and 1 cup cream for 20 minutes.
  5. Combine Ingredients:

    • Add the corn kernels, potatoes, chicken base, and seasoning to the pot.
    • Mix well and bring to a boil.
  6. Simmer the Chowder:

    • Reduce heat to low.
    • Simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  7. Thicken the Chowder:

    • For a thicker chowder, mash some of the potatoes in the pot.
    • Stir well to combine.
  8. Finish and Serve:

    • Stir in the reserved bacon pieces.
    • Adjust seasoning to taste if needed.
    • Serve hot with optional garnishes like fresh herbs or cheese.

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Fresh Corn is Best: Use fresh corn for the best flavor. Remove the kernels and use the back of the knife to scrape out the milky liquid from the cobs. This adds extra sweetness and richness.

Bacon for Flavor: Cook bacon until crispy and use the fat to sauté your vegetables. This adds a smoky flavor that enhances the chowder.

Thickening: To thicken your soup, mix cornstarch or flour with a bit of the chowder in a separate bowl before adding it back to the pot. This prevents lumps.

Consistent Sizing: Cut your potatoes and other vegetables into similarly sized pieces for even cooking.

Stirring: Stir occasionally while simmering to avoid sticking and ensure even cooking.

Seasoning: Taste and adjust your seasoning as you go. Corn chowder tends to need a bit of extra salt and pepper.

Storing: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Freezing: If you want to freeze your chowder, let it cool completely first. Store in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Reheating: When reheating, consider adding a splash of milk or cream to bring back the original creaminess. Stir gently to combine.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Switch up your corn chowder by experimenting with different ingredients. You can add bacon or ham for a smoky flavor. For a vegetarian option, include more veggies like bell peppers or zucchini. Another idea is to mix in some jalapeños for a spicy kick.

Here are some other tasty variations:

  • Cheesy Corn Chowder: Stir in sharp cheddar or gouda cheese.
  • Seafood Corn Chowder: Add shrimp or crab meat.
  • Chicken Corn Chowder: Include cooked, shredded chicken.

Consider these serving suggestions to complete your meal. A spinach quiche pairs well—its savory taste balances the sweetness of the corn.

For a light, refreshing side, serve with a simple green salad or fresh fruit. crusty bread is also a great addition, perfect for dipping.

Lastly, don’t forget garnishes. Top your chowder with chives, green onions, or crumbled bacon. A sprinkle of cheese or a dollop of sour cream can add a delightful finishing touch.

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.