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This ham and corn chowder recipe is loaded with hearty potatoes, crispy bacon, and plenty of sweet corn! It’s creamy, comforting, and easy to make.
Why you’ll love it
This corn chowder with ham is based on my popular Chicken and Corn Chowder. The ingredients and simple cooking process are fairly similar, but it’s great to use up leftover ham from Easter or Christmas. One lovely reader called it “the perfect cozy dinner”!
Cream gives this ham, potato, and corn chowder recipe that signature silkiness. This comforting chowder is made from everyday ingredients. Bacon, onion, celery, and garlic infuse a ton of flavor. The flour and potatoes thicken the soup and make it hearty.
What you’ll need
- Bacon – it makes everything better!
- Onion, celery, and garlic – tasty building blocks. I like sweet (Vidalia) onions here.
- Flour – to thicken up the broth
- Chicken broth – for more savory flavor
- Heavy cream – to make the texture rich and luscious
- Corn – I used frozen corn for convenience. You could definitely use fresh or canned corn if you wish.
- Ham – use leftover, or you can also just buy a piece of ham and cut it up like I did. You can find smaller pieces of smoked ham (like around 1-2 pounds) in most major grocery stores.
- Potatoes – Russets are my go-to in soups
- Italian seasoning – my favorite all-purpose seasoning blend
- Cayenne – it’s optional; it doesn’t make it spicy but it adds a little something-something to punch up the taste even more
How to make ham and corn chowder
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Cook the bacon in a soup pot until crispy, then transfer to a paper towel lined plate, leaving the fat behind. Stir in the onion and celery, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add in the flour and garlic, and stir until fragrant.
Stir in the broth until the flour has dissolved while scraping up the browned bits. Add in the cream, corn, ham, potatoes, Italian seasoning, cayenne, and most of the bacon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender. If needed, season with salt & pepper. Top with remaining bacon.
Substitutions and variations
- As with any recipe, substitutions are at your own risk. Someone made my other (similar) chowder recipe with half-and-half instead of cream, and the heat curdled it, so just be mindful if you’re doing a substitution.
- Because ham and bacon can be quite salty, you may want to use low-sodium chicken broth if you have any concerns with salt content.
- I like the starchiness of Russet potatoes, but you can use a different variety if you like.
Leftovers and storage
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge.
- Reheat over a low heat. The soup gets thicker the longer you leave it. You can add more chicken broth to leftovers to thin it out if needed.
- You could freeze it if you want for up to 3 months, but since there’s dairy, there’s a chance the texture will change a bit. But it’ll still taste good!
Questions about this corn chowder recipe with ham and potatoes? Made it? Leave me a comment below! Tag me on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes.
Ham and Corn Chowder
- 4 strips bacon
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 2 sticks celery chopped
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 pound smoked ham chopped
- 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).
- Meanwhile, prep your onion, celery, ham, and potatoes.
- Once the bacon is crispy, transfer it to a paper towel lined plate. Leave the bacon fat in the pot.
- Add the onion and celery to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and garlic and cook for about a minute, stirring nearly constantly.
- Stir in the chicken broth, and ensure the flour has dissolved and the flavorful brown bits are scraped up from the bottom of the pot.
- Add in the cream, corn, ham, 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.
- Cook with the lid slightly open until the potatoes are tender (about 15-20 minutes). Stir every so often. The soup will get thicker the longer you cook it.
- Season the soup with salt & pepper if needed. Garnish with the rest of the bacon.
- Serves 4-6 depending on portion size.
- If you’re sensitive to salt, use low-sodium chicken broth. Ham can be quite salty.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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