This creamy corn chowder recipe is loaded with sweet corn, crispy bacon, and hearty potatoes. It's a really satisfying one pot meal that's simple to make, and everyone will ask for seconds!
Got corn to use up? Try my Easy Creamy Corn Pasta or Cajun Grilled Corn on the Cob next.
Why you'll love it
This comforting and filling corn chowder recipe has it all. There's bright sweetness from the corn, savory goodness from the bacon, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes, and of course a flavorful and thick, robust broth you'd expect in any good chowder to make it totally irresistible. There's also nothing fancy here, just a few wholesome ingredients.
You can use either fresh or frozen corn to enjoy this easy corn chowder year-round. It's great as a summer soup when corn is in season, but there's no reason why you can't make it as a cozy meal when it's chilly out! I know I do. I based this one off my popular Easy Chicken and Corn Chowder, another family favorite you may enjoy.
What you'll need
- Bacon - I find it easiest to cut it up with a pair of kitchen shears
- Onion, celery, and carrots - a classic base to start off many soups and stews right. I like sweet (Vidalia) onions best.
- Flour - it's a thickening agent for the broth
- Garlic - this garlic press makes it easy to mince the cloves. You don't even need to peel them first.
- Chicken broth - it adds more depth of flavor to this chowder. Just use an entire 32 oz container to make up the 4 cups. Easy peasy.
- Heavy cream - it's what makes the broth so luxurious
- Corn - fresh is ideal, but frozen works too
- Potatoes - I prefer using Russets for chowder. They're nice and starchy and thicken it up even more.
- Italian seasoning - if you're a regular reader, you know this tasty dried herb blend is my go-to for so many recipes. It comes all in one single, convenient jar.
- Cayenne pepper - it's optional, but the slightest amount gives a gentle warmth and zip. It doesn't make it spicy.
Do I use fresh or frozen corn for chowder?
- Frozen corn is great, but if you've got fresh corn, then by all means use it! Just cut it off the cob and add it to the soup. You could even use grilled corn and then add it for extra flavor. I'd buy 4-5 cobs of corn to make what's needed for this soup.
- I don't recommend canned corn unless you're really in a pinch. I find the flavor and texture of frozen or fresh to be a lot better. Canned corn lacks that crisp quality.
- I usually like to prep the the ingredients as I go along to save time, but feel free to chop and measure everything ahead before starting the recipe if that's more comfortable for you, especially when making this chowder for the first time.
What is chowder vs soup?
- There's no true consensus as far as I know, but chowder is generally a rustic soup made thicker with flour, and they're always creamy and normally have chunks of potatoes. Chowder has seafood if it's made on either coast, but it isn't a requirement in something like a southwestern chowder or this one with corn. However you define it, I've never found one I didn't like!
How to make corn chowder
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Prep the bacon, and cook until crispy in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate leaving a couple of tablespoons of the fat in the pot, and sauté the onion, celery, and carrots until softened.
Still in the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add in the flour, and stir it constantly for about a minute. Pour in the chicken broth and stir until the flour has totally dissolved. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
Add in the cream, corn, potatoes, Italian seasoning, and cayenne along with most of the bacon. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until the potatoes are tender and it thickens up. Season with salt & pepper, and garnish with the rest of the bacon and fresh parsley if desired.
Substitutions and variations
- I don't recommend subbing the cream for milk or half-and-half because there's a good chance the soup will curdle. It happened in another of my chowder recipes and I wouldn't want that happening to you, so use your best judgment if trying that.
- You can sub the Russet potatoes for another kind if you wish, but they're ideal since the starch released helps thicken the broth even more.
- Some readers have added in shrimp near the end of the cooking time with fantastic results.
- I get asked fairly often if you can make this in a Crockpot. We haven't tested it, and you'd have to do the sautéing steps in a skillet anyway, so it's much easier as a one pot stovetop recipe!
What to serve with it
- This corn chowder is a meal in itself, so it doesn't need much else to go with it. I do like a dinner roll or a big slice of bread to dip into it. A French baguette or sourdough is my favorite.
- If you'd like to pair it with a salad, try some mixed greens with my Homemade Ranch Dressing. It's super quick and easy. I also am fond of throwing together this Super Simple Parmesan Arugula Salad.
Leftovers and storage
- Corn chowder is one of those better-the-next-day kinda soups, in my opinion. The flavors meld even more. It'll keep for 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
- Reheat in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring every so often, until it's warmed through. It's quite thick to begin with, and it thickens up more the longer you leave it. Feel free to add a little more chicken broth to leftovers if you need to thin it out a touch.
- I wouldn't recommend freezing it since the texture of the potatoes could change and dairy doesn't do so well in the freezer. If you plan on having lots of leftovers, though, you could leave out the cream, freeze, and add when warming it up.
Try these cozy soups next
I hope you agree that this is the best corn chowder recipe you've tried! Leave me a review if you made it or have any questions. I'd be happy to answer them in the comments below. You can also find me on Instagram.
Creamy Corn Chowder
- 4 strips bacon
- 1/2 medium onion chopped small
- 3 sticks celery chopped small
- 2 medium carrots peeled & chopped small
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 4 cups frozen or fresh corn
- 2 large Russet potatoes peeled & diced
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper optional
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Prep your bacon (I use kitchen shears to make cutting it up easy) and add it to a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook until crispy (about 10 minutes).
- Once the bacon is crispy, take it out of the pot and remove to a paper towel lined plate. Leave about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pot.
- Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring nearly constantly.
- Add in the chicken broth and give it a good stir to ensure the flour has dissolved and the brown bits are scraped up from the bottom of the pot.
- Add in the cream, corn, potatoes, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, and most of the bacon (I save the rest for garnishing the bowls later on). Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to a rapid simmer so it's gently boiling. Cover the pot so the lid is slightly ajar.
- Cook until the potatoes are tender (about 15-20 minutes). Stir every so often. The soup will thicken up more the longer you cook it.
- Season the soup with salt & pepper as needed. Garnish bowls with the rest of the bacon.
- Serves 4-6 depending on portion size.
- I prep the onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes while the bacon is frying to make the recipe go faster.
- You may need to add more broth to leftovers as the soup thickens the longer you leave it.
- Since the cream is boiled, I would NOT recommend subbing it for milk or half-and-half because there's a good chance it'll curdle from the high heat.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information
This soup was fantastic!!
I'm thrilled to hear that!
Great recipe! I ended up making a vegetarian version. I omitted the bacon and used veggie broth. I added a bit more corn and also some diced red pepper for some color. In place of the bacon, I added some smoked paprika to give it that smoky taste. I used celeriac in place of the celery, since celery is not in season yet where I live. I think it turned out rather well, and my vegetarian friend will enjoy it. Some croutons on top would add a bit of crunch. Thanks so much for this recipe!
Hi! I'm so glad it worked out, Aaron! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Susanne Claypool says
I don’t eat bacon so instead I used a half pound of mild Italian sausage along with a half pound of hot Italian sausage. It’s a hit every time I serve it! We like to pair it with a loaf of beer bread.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Susanne! 😀 Thanks for your review!
Deborah D says
YUM! YUM! My favorite soup. Made exactly as shown but added shrimp last few min of cooking. This is definitely a keeper!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Fantastic to hear, Deborah! 🙂
Shannon Wright says
Hi, this sounds delicious. Can you freeze it?
Hi! See "leftovers & storage" section of the blog post for my explanation.
I have a recipe that uses canned cream corn and instant mashed potatoes to thicken… it’s actually really good for not being a “total fresh soup” but I am a school cook and sometimes I just can’t do it all Five AM is early
Oh my oh my, this is delicious!! I used half milk an half cream, totally worth the effort, the bacon flavor pts it over the top; had to make some French bread to go with it, thanks so much for sharing 🤗🥰
So happy you liked it!
Gail Plaskiewicz says
I made this last night for supper and oh my gosh, it was AMAZING! It was rich but not to rich, loaded with veggies and it so yummy! I will definitely be making this one again for sure! I am even going to share it with family & friends.
I'm thrilled you enjoyed it, Gail!! I also appreciate you passing the recipe on. 😀
Mark Lamos says
Very easy to make and excellent. I ended up having leftover chicken. When I added to it for all the world with her, so I made chicken pot pie without the crust.
Thank you very easy to make!
You're very welcome, Mark!!
My family loved it!!! It was delish!!! I will serve it to my sisters after our Bible Study tomorrow also and we’ll have it again for our dinner!!! Thanks!
Love that! Thank you! 🙂
This was delicious! I had some smoked brisket leftover so used that instead of the bacon. Yum. I also used a little less cream. Excellent recipe, thx.
You're very welcome!
Very easy recipe and very tasty. My kids(6, 8, & 12), devoured it and asked for more.
That's awesome!! 😀
Amy McKnight says
Can I make this a day before and reheat??
I made this for my crew at the fire station for the first time and it was a hit. I added some hickory ham chunks in addition to everything else and it turned out great! Thank you👍🏾
I love that, Warren!! 🙂 You're very welcome!! And thank you for all you guys do!
April Morton says
This recipe was the absolute BEST! The only change I made was to boil some fresh chicken thighs for a more robust flavor. I've made it twice, served it with some crusty French Baguettes and none of it was left. Thank you for this.😋
You're very welcome!!
Nancy Piotrowski says
Thoughts re using those colorful petite potatoes?
I think that should be fine. 🙂 They'll have a firmer (less fall-apart) texture than Russets, though.
One of my favorites. Great taste!
Yay!! Thanks for your review! 😀
My husband and I loved this soup for dinner tonight!
Fantastic!! Thanks, Julie!
When adding the frozen corn, do you add it still in its frozen state? Or do I need to defrost it first? Thank you—cannot wait to try this!!
I just add it in frozen. It thaws super quickly. 🙂
This is so simple and very, very delicious! One of my new favorite soups!
Made this tonight for supper- it was delicious! Added a little smoked paprika as well, so delicious on a cold winter night!
So glad you enjoyed it, Jill! 🙂
Janna hildebrand says
MDe this tonight.
Excellent like a warm hug.. definitely keep and make again. Whole family loved
That's great to hear, Janna! 🙂 Thanks for your review!