Hearty Homemade Corn Chowder

Cozy up to a big bowl of this homemade corn chowder! Easy to make with either fresh or frozen corn, it’s a great year-round soup!

Cozy corn chowder, made with tender potatoes, salty bacon and sweet corn!  Perfect as a weeknight meal!  Crockpot directions too! #soup #chowder #cornchowder #fall #souprecipe #weeknightmeal #crockpot #slowcooker

I cannot wait to get into soup season!  Normally we eat soup year round, but this summer has been insanely hot.  And sadly, it still is.  Here is is mid-September, and we’ve only had 2 semi-cool days.  I say bring on the chilly weather!

There’s not a whole lot I love more than a thick and hearty soup… actually, a chowder.  Chowders are so rich and stick-to-your-ribs fantastic!

Ladle full of corn chowder

CAN YOU FREEZE CORN CHOWDER?

I love freezing soups, but due to the dairy and potatoes in this one, I don’t recommend freezing it as is.  If you REALLY want to try it, here’s what I would try:

  • Skip adding the half and half during step #8.  Instead, add it in when reheating the soup.
  • Cool soup completely, then add to freezer-safe containers and freeze 1-2 months.
  • To thaw, place containers in the refrigerator overnight or until thawed completely.  
  • Reheat in dutch oven or soup pot and once heated through, add half and half and stir to heat.  Serve as directed.

HOW CAN YOU MAKE CORN CHOWDER THICKER?

I would say this chowder is about a medium thickness, but if you’d like it thicker, there are a few options.

  • Puree more of the soup in the blender, or alternatively, mash some with a potato masher.
  • Before adding in the half and half, whisk a tablespoon or so of cornstarch into the half and half, then add to the soup as directed.
  • Add equal parts softened butter and flour and knead together with your fingers or a wooden spoon until a thick paste has formed.  Add to the finished soup and stir until the heat has melted the butter.  This is called a Buerre Manie and it’s a great way to thicken sauces, soups, roasts, etc.

Overhead view of corn chowder in white bowl

CAN CORN CHOWDER BE MADE IN THE SLOW COOKER?

Absolutely!  I get it, some days the last thing you want to do is stand by the stove for 30 minutes.  On those days, the slow cooker is my best friend!  Slow cooker directions are listed below the recipe.

CAN YOU ADD CHICKEN OR CHEESE TO THIS CORN CHOWDER?

Sure can!  Sometimes I add about a cup or so of shredded cheddar cheese to the soup, or add a sprinkling of cheese when serving.  Chicken is also a fabulous addition!  For this, I like to use shredded chicken, from leftovers or a rotisserie chicken.

Holding a bowl of creamy corn chowder

WHAT TO SERVE WITH CORN CHOWDER

Spoonful of corn chowder

HELPFUL TOOLS:

Cozy corn chowder, made with tender potatoes, salty bacon and sweet corn!  Perfect as a weeknight meal!  Crockpot directions too! #soup #chowder #cornchowder #fall #souprecipe #weeknightmeal #crockpot #slowcooker

Hearty Homemade Corn Chowder

Cozy up to a big bowl of this homemade corn chowder! Easy to make with either fresh or frozen corn, it's a great year-round soup!
4.84 from 30 votes
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Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups water (chicken broth or vegetable broth may be substituted)
  • 8 ears yellow sweet corn (husks and silks removed)
  • 1 lb. yukon gold or baby red potatoes , sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • handful of chopped fresh chives

Instructions

  • Slice corn kernels off the cob and set aside.  Take each ear of corn and hold it over a bowl.  Use either the back of your knife or a spoon and scrape any remaining pulp and juice from the cobs.
  • Cook bacon pieces in large heavy bottomed pot (like a dutch oven) over MED heat.  Cook about 5-8 minutes, or until bacon is crisp.  Use a slotted spoon to remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  • Use a clean paper towel to absorb some of the bacon grease, reserving about 1 Tbsp of grease in the pot.  Add butter and melt over MED heat.
  • Add diced onions and cook about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.  Add garlic and flour and cook about 1 minute, stirring often.
  • While whisking, pour in water and increase heat to MED-HIGH.  Add in corn, potatoes, thyme, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper.  Stir and bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to MED-LOW and simmer.
  • Simmer, stirring every so often, for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.
  • Use an immersion blender to blend about half the soup until smooth.  Alternatively, remove about 3 cups of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth.  Stir the blended soup back into the pot.
  • Add in half and half, reserved corn juice, and about half the chives.  Stir in and heat through.
  • Serve sprinkled with remaining chives and cooked bacon pieces, if desired.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated magazine (August 2011)

SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS:

  • Cook bacon in skillet.  Add all ingredients (except half and half and chives) to a 6 qt or larger slow cooker.  Stir well, cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.
  • Use 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 half and half and chives, cover and cook another 10 minutes or so to heat through.
 
If using frozen or canned corn, add a drizzle of honey to replace the corn "milk".
  • use approximately 4 cups of frozen or canned corn (32 oz)
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Cozy corn chowder, made with tender potatoes, salty bacon and sweet corn!  Perfect as a weeknight meal!  Crockpot directions too! #soup #chowder #cornchowder #fall #souprecipe #weeknightmeal #crockpot #slowcooker

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80 comments on “Hearty Homemade Corn Chowder”

  1. AHHHMAZING! Thank you! I didn’t use any bacon as we don’t eat any meat and this turned out so delish! My family enjoyed it. I used half and half and water which made a very creamy base. I blended it and it was extra creamy. Thank you so much for this!

  2. Thanks, Chef! This corn chowder is delicious. I made it with vegetable stock instead of water and whole milk rather than 1/2 and 1/2 to cut calories and it was still creamy tasting, probably because of the blending of the potatoes and the corn.. I loved the ideas in the comment section about making broth out of corn cobs. I had never heard of that but sounds like a great idea.

  3. It was delicious! It is alot of work esp if you double recipe. I will try frozen corn next time to see. I also added some carrots and red pepper for flavor. I actually was tempted to add some kielbasa to it but didn’t want to change the flavor for first time. But the bacon went well with it.

  4. I made this last night! I added a red bell pepper and celery salt. I also used chicken stock and it was amazing! I even impressed my Italian mother-in-law
    (who is an incredible cook). I didn’t blend any of it. I just simmered it down longer and actually really loved the consistency. 

  5. Thank you for the recipe. I put my spin on recipes usually and had some deer sausage (that is really good), three slices of bacon and some ham. I actually made corn stock last night from cobs and used this as the broth. Used fresh corn on the cob and added celery as well. Didn’t have smoked paprika so used regular and added a little liquid smoke.  Didn’t have heavy cream so used evaporated milk. Added some fresh dill and will add fresh parsley as a garnish. It smells delicious and hope it tastes as good as it looks.

  6. I made it with chicken stock.  I also placed cobs in pot of simmering corn chowder , so that the rest of the juice and pulp would be extracted.  Before I purée, I removed the cobs.  The Corn Chowder was delicious!!!!!!  Recipe was a double yum!!!!  😋

  7. I love this recipe i also use chicken broth and breast of the chicken.. Thank you for the recipe. Now i don’t have to eat it from the can..😋

  8. Made it as is, first time cooking corn chowder and it was amazingly delicious. Great leftover and even eating it cold. Will be making this again and again thanks for sharing the recipe!

  9. The single biggest reason I am so unimpressed with this potentially winning recipe is that you add 5 cups of no flavor. I am sure you catch my drift… please be MUCH more creative when cooking… there are so many better alternatives that will enhance the flavor of this dish GUARANTEED!

    • Thank you for your concern with my “creativeness” when cooking. I chose to use water as I wanted to simple flavor of the corn to shine, but as mentioned, you can substitute chicken or vegetable broth if you’d like. That’s the beauty of cooking… you can add your own flair to things!

  10. Thank you for this tasty recipe.  It was easy to make and forgiving to approximate measurements.  I did sub whole evaporated milk which worked well.  

  11. My suggestion to make it creamier is to add some instant potato flakes to it until it is as thick as you want. I do the same to potato soup. Makes more sense then adding flour or cornstarch.

  12. I made this tonight. It was really good. I think next time I would add more garlic and I would use veggie stock instead of water. I used my pressure cooker to cook the entire dish. Cooked the bacon pieces, onion, garlic, and flour using the sauté function. Then I used the manual setting on my pressure cooker for 5 minutes after adding the water, potatoes, and corn. Yummy! 

  13. Can I use milk instead of half and half ?? 

  14. can you use milk instead of half and half?

  15. I made this soup as described and while I liked the texture and the sweetness (particularly with the bacon bits) I felt it was a little one-dimensional and boring in flavor. Before serving to the family, I added 2 cups organic low-sodium chicken stock and some Garlic Salt with Parsley and let simmer for another hour to thicken up. This made a HUGE difference to the flavor. Next time I’ll make with chicken stock instead of water for a more flavorful and nuanced soup 🙂

  16. I made this soup twice! Once with corn on the cob & once with frozen pkg corn & couldn’t tell the difference. Will always us the frozen. The cob was messy & took too much time to get it off the cob. Soup was delicious & is a definite keeper. Tsk!!

  17. Do you have nutrition values for this soup? Particularly calories per cup and varbohydrates? I have a diabetic in the family. I do love this recipe and have made it before. Thanks..

    • Glad you enjoy it! As I’m not a nutritionist, I don’t provide full nutritional information for my recipes (don’t want to inadvertently pass along incorrect information). Your best bet would be to copy the ingredients into your favorite online nutritional calculator.

  18. I don’t care for yellow corn. Can I use white corn instead?

  19. I love the it. Great job CHEF!! YES , I SAID CHEF!! Question: can i freeze it or can it in jars for winter?? Thanks so much for sharing your dish CHEF.

  20. Awesome recipe which is easy to prepare. I used fresh thyme, left out the cream and used the 8 corn cobs to make a corn stock to replace the water. After using the immersion blender the chowder was wonderfully thick and creamy hence the decision to leave out the cream. The chowder goes great with a fresh summer salad and a baguette.

  21. Great recipe and as a 1980 graduate of the CIA in Hyde Park New York. I am not all offended by you calling yourself a chef. With the Internet being what it is today everyone can increase their knowledge in a number of vocations. I after running my own business for 20 years am still learning. I just want to say thank you for a great recipe which turned out awesome!

  22. Do you have to blend the ingredients? 

  23. I made the chowder exactly as described, and it was delicious. Thanks Chef!

  24. Insanely good. Even better than the version that everyone swoons over at a local restaurant. I subbed chicken broth for the water. Added a red bell pepper, a punch of Tabasco and a little more thyme. Making for the second time this month. Leftovers even better the next day. Thank you, Chef 😋! 

  25. You are doing a huge disservice to those of us who are trained, skilled chefs by calling yourself a chef. Definition of a chef:
    Chef means a degree of professionalism either because you’ve got the qualification or because you’ve worked in a restaurant kitchen.

    Please refer to yourself as a cook.

    • As a college educated woman, I don’t need you to define the word chef to me. The chef part of my site name comes from a family joke. As it is MY website, I will call myself whatever I want, but feel free to start your own website where you can make yourself feel fantastic about your culinary skills and call yourself whatever you want 🙂

    • Just because she isn’t a classically trained chef doesn’t mean she is forbidden from using the word at all. Dr. Dre surely never took a Hippocratic oath, but calls himself a doctor nonetheless. The fact that you are so threatened by a mere play on words is frankly sad. 

    • Wow! Someone is butthurt. He’s just mad cause he can’t come up with a better soup recipe. 🤣

    • You need to work on your insecurities. The only difference between a chef and a home cook is the home cook isn’t spitting in your food.

    • WOW Patrick – Rude much? By all means let me know where you work as a “Chef” so that I can make sure I never dine there.

    • Holy cow! Chill out. 

    • Patrick – Just because someone is Chef doesn’t mean they can cook worth a crap. I’ve known people that are just “cooks” that can out- cook someone that was a trained chef. Get over your self coming up in here like you own a 5 star restaurant with your over the top self righteousness.

    • You’re a wee bit insecure. And quite nasty. I wonder, other than denigrating “the Chunky Chef”, what is the purpose of your comments? Instead of inciting bad karma, why don’t  you post a recipe for a dish that will be as delicious as this one? 

  26. Absolutely to good, will make over and over again!!!!!

  27. Super nice! I added a little bit of roasted capsicum and roasted chicken breast separate then added to the soup while serving, Also use sweet potato mash i had left over! Everyone loved it!

  28. Crazy question…  do I cook the corn before cutting it off the cob??  

  29. Can you use home grown corn from the freezer? If so about how many cups do you need.

  30. We added some Hatch green chilies, we kept everything else true to the recipe. Awesome!

  31. Hi!  Looking forward to making this. Do you peel the potatoes?  Thanks for your help!

  32. Added small chunks of chicken breast.
    Best yummy soup of all time…… 😉

  33. I have not made it yet, but I expect it to be delicious. I am actually salivating already! HAHA!

    I was going to do canned tomato soup for supper, but hubby has been having bad acid reflux, so I suggested using canned corn chowder, even though I HATE canned corn chowder…

    Your recipe is basically the same thing as what my grandparents made in their restaurant, minus the bacon crumbled on top. They used bacon grease. And their corn chowder is the “only” corn chowder I’ve ever liked — not even my mom’s was as good as her parents’!! LOL — Soooo THANK YOU for your recipe. I am making it tonight. And seeing as it only takes 50 minutes start to finish – I am happy to wait til 5 pm to start it. HAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

    I also shared it within a group I am with on FB

  34. Amanda – this is Amazing! I had to make some mods due to my husband hating potatoes in soup (IKR?) so I blended up two cans of cream of potato instead of the 1 lb of yukons or reds, I used 4 cups of chicken broth (instead of water) because I added a whole shredded rotisserie chicken (we like thick soup) and let me tell you …. wow! I really appreciate the tip about the honey. I added that too as I used frozen corn from this past summer’s garden. My husband is no “soup fan” and he said this was “fabulous!” I agree!

  35. The whole family raved how delicious this chowder is. I heard “best chowder ever”! The immersion blender is a great idea. Thanks. 
    Deb V

  36. Made the slow cooker version. was excellent!

  37. Delicious! Used 1 can of 15.25 oz whole kernel corn & 1 can of 14.75 oz cream style corn instead of the fresh corn. Also added the bacon into the chowder & only used 1/2 c of half & half

  38. I made this tonight. It turned out so good. I used frozen corn and baked potatoes instead of fresh. I also used half chicken broth and half water. Make sure you add the honey if you use the frozen corn. It made a world of difference.
    The only change I would make is to dice a baked potato and add it in after using the immersion blender and before adding the half and half. But that is because I really like the potato chunks in my chowder.

  39. When do you add the the bacon back into the soup?

  40. Dumb question…when do you add back in the bacon? Only at the end?

  41. I added a bay leaf at the same time as the thyme, and it added a great flavor!

  42. How many cups of frozen corn would I use? Its winter and I don’t have fresh corn :/

  43. Hi. How many servings does this recipe make?

    Thank you.

  44. I love a good corn dish! This is going to be a must make at my house!

  45. This looks super comforting! Perfect for colder nights!

  46. mmm..this looks incredibly delicious!! YUM!

  47. Do you think this would still be good without the bacon? Looks so delicious but I don’t eat pork!

    • We don’t eat pork either over here, but corn chowder desperately needs the smoky flavor the bacon adds, I use turkey bacon instead and have also used vegan bacon although it didn’t give me that deep smoky flavor as the turkey bacon! You could omit it altogether but corn chowder really is so much better with it!

    • A good sub is parm cheese

  48. What a great idea! Love this. I’m sure this is incredibly delicious!

  49. This is my type of comfort food! I can’t wait to try this out!

  50. This is comfort in a bowl! Would love to be having this for lunch today!