This chicken and corn chowder recipe is cozy, flavorful, and easy to make. Bacon makes this recipe extra delicious!
You may also like my Ham and Corn Chowder, which was inspired by this one.
Why you'll love it
Corn chowder is already comforting, but pairing it with juicy chicken and crispy bacon takes it over the top in this simple recipe that's made all in one pot. It's one of my go-to meals in late summer especially, but I find myself craving it year-round.
Corn is good any time of year if you buy it frozen, but there's something special about enjoying corn when it's in season in late summer through fall. Corn chowder always hits the spot as the weather starts to turn a little crisp. I also love using it in my Creamy Corn Chowder and this Salmon Chowder!
What exactly is chowder?
- Ok, so we've all heard the word "chowder" and know that it's a soup, but why are some soups called chowders while others aren't? So, according to the internet, chowders are soups that are often thickened by way of a roux. That's pretty much what we're doing here since we've got the flour as our main thickening agent. Other methods include broken crackers.
- They typically contain fish, clams, or corn with potatoes and onions. I don't know about you, but it seems like a weird definition. Like why group fish and clams with potatoes, corn, and onions and decide to classify it as "chowder" rather than "soup"? If anyone wants to do more in-depth research than I've conducted or knows why, please let me know. 😛
Ingredients for it
- Bacon - I find it's easiest to cut up bacon with kitchen shears
- Chicken - we're using chicken breasts in this recipe
- Onion, garlic, and celery - for the tasty base of the soup
- Flour - a thickening agent
- Chicken broth - a 32 oz carton of broth equals 4 cups. Just pour the entire thing in for this recipe. If you're sensitive to salt, I suggest using low-sodium chicken broth. Chicken stock works too!
- Corn - feel free to use fresh corn (just cut if off the cob with a knife) if you have some. Canned corn isn't quite as good, so I'd choose frozen over canned.
- Heavy cream - for added richness and thickness
- Potatoes - we prefer Russet in this recipe
- Italian seasoning - it's a blend of dried herbs in a single convenient jar
- Cayenne - a pinch of cayenne pepper is optional but adds a little warmth
How to make chicken and corn chowder
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Cook your bacon in a large pot until crispy, then take it out of the pot and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Leave the grease in the pot. This adds so much flavor to the soup! Sauté the onion and celery in it.
Stir in the flour, and cook it for about a minute to cook out that "flour" taste. Add the garlic to the pot, and deglaze with the chicken broth.
Put in the remaining ingredients, saving some of the bacon for topping it later, and simmer until the potatoes are done and the soup has thickened as desired. Season with salt & pepper and garnish with chopped scallions if you like.
- I've had a few people ask me in the comments if the chicken should be added in raw. Yes! There's no need to pre-cook it because it has plenty of time to cook in the soup. Over-cooking chicken makes it dry and rubbery.
Substitutions and variations
- I have tested this chicken chowder recipe with other potatoes besides Russets. I made this with 1.5 pounds of yellow little potatoes (baby Yukon golds) cut into halves/quarters and it turned out fine, but I prefer Russets.
- We don't recommend substituting the heavy cream for something with a lower fat content. We're not using a ton of it here, and it makes the chowder that much tastier!
- This is a fairly thick soup. If you like a thinner consistency better, just add a little more broth or water as necessary.
What to serve with it
- It's one of those meals that's perfect on its own with a big slice of crusty bread.
- If you do want to pair it with a salad, try this Super Simple Parmesan Arugula Salad.
Leftovers and storage
- This chowder will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Simply reheat in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through.
- You could try to freeze it, but sometimes dairy doesn't hold up after thawing, so the texture may change. It should still taste fine, though. If you plan to have a lot of leftovers, you can leave the cream out before freezing and add it in later!
Will you give this chicken and corn chowder a try? Questions? Ask me in the comments. 🙂
Easy Chicken and Corn Chowder
- 6 strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 2 large uncooked chicken breasts cut into small bite-size pieces
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 2 sticks celery chopped
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups chicken broth or stock
- 2 cups frozen or fresh corn
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 3 medium-to-large Russet potatoes peeled & diced
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Pinch cayenne pepper optional
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Scallions chopped, optional for serving
- Prep your bacon (I find kitchen shears the easiest thing to cut it up with) and add it to a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook until crispy (about 10 minutes).
- Meanwhile, prep your onion, celery, chicken and potatoes.
- Once the bacon is crispy, take it out of the pot and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Leave the grease in the pot (it adds a ton of flavor).
- Add the onion and celery to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring nearly constantly.
- Add in the garlic, followed by the chicken broth. Give it a good stir to ensure the flour has dissolved and everything is scraped up from the bottom of the pot.
- Add in the chicken, corn, cream, potatoes, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, and 3/4 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 with the lid slightly open.
- Cook until the potatoes are done (about 15-20 minutes). Stir every so often. The soup will get thicker the longer you cook it.
- Season the soup with salt & pepper as needed. Garnish with the rest of the bacon and chopped scallions if desired.
- Serves 4-6 depending on portion size.
- Yes, the chicken will cook right in the soup. If you want to use already cooked/rotisserie chicken, add in during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking so it doesn't dry out too much since it's already cooked.
- Anywhere around the 1.5-2 pound ballpark will work for the potatoes if you want to weigh them.
- This is a fairly thick soup. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a splash more broth or water as needed.
- If you're sensitive to salt, use low-sodium chicken broth.
- 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.
Courteney Hennings-DeRoo says
Hi there, Maybe I am just missing it, but when does the cream get added?
Hi! Step 7.
Michele U. says
Have you ever made this in a crockpot? It sounds yummy and I can’t wait to serve it.
Hi! I haven't. You'd need to fry the bacon and make the roux on the stove anyway, so it's probably just easiest to use that method unless you're in an experimenting kinda mood.
Denise LaCaille says
This soup is rich without being heavy and has great flavor. I want to try this base with clams and clam broth for a different version of the chowder. It's delicious!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
So happy it was a hit, Denise!