Corn Chowder Recipe

This Creamy Corn Chowder Recipe is topped with bacon, chives, red pepper flakes, and cracked black pepper. It’s old fashioned corn chowder with a twist, and so simple to make! 

A soup pot filled with homemade Corn Chowder topped with bacon, chives, corn, and red pepper flakes.

Corn Chowder

Believe me when I say, this is like no corn chowder that you’ve ever had. It’s SO flavorful with such a smooth consistency and the best combination of flavors. It’s comfort food in a bowl, and if I handed it over to you for a taste, you would swear that it came from a gourmet restaurant.

There are a few tricks to this recipe that make it different than other other. Not only is it cheesy, but it’s thickened with mashed potatoes that are blended into the broth along with the corn, celery, onions, garlic, and red bell peppers.

This makes it super smooth instead of chunky, which gives you more savory broth. (And picky lovers love it with no detection of vegetables except for a cup of reserved corn.)

Scroll down to see how simple the ingredients are and how easy to is to make!

Ingredients

  • 6 strips thick cut bacon, ham makes a good substitute for bacon
  • 1.5 lbs. Yukon Gold or Russet Potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted Butter
  • 1 small Yellow Onion
  • 1 stick Celery, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, finely diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Ranch Seasoning
  • 1 (15 oz.) cans Canned Sweet Corn, drained. (Don’t accidentally buy creamed corn. Been there, done that.)
  • 2 cups Half and Half, plus an extra splash
  • 3 cups low sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Chives, to garnish

*Cooked chicken, shrimp, or crab make nice additions to this soup as well.


How to Make It

Shred the cheese from a block, measure out the half and half. Let them sit out at room temperature.

Cut the bacon into 1-inch squares with kitchen shears. Cook in a large pot over medium-low heat, rotating occasionally. Remove and set aside once crisp. Leave 1 Tablespoon of drippings in the pot and add 1 Tablespoon of butter.

While the bacon cooks, peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes of equal size. Add to a pot and cover the potatoes with 1 inch of cold water. Boil gently for 10 minutes or until very fork tender. Drain.

A pot of bacon cooking on the left and a pot of sliced potatoes in water on the right.

Add the diced onions, celery, and carrots to the pot with the bacon drippings and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add bell peppers and garlic, cook 1 more minute.

Whisk in flour, use a silicone spatula to stir as the flour cooks for 1 full minute to remove the raw flour taste.

Diced onions, carrots, and celery in a pot with flour being added to make corn chowder.

Add 1 tablespoon butter and a splash of half and half to the potatoes. Gently mash and set aside.

Add the chicken broth. Use a silicone spatula to loosen any bacon remnants from the bottom of the pot, this will add flavor.

Slowly add the half and half followed by the ranch seasoning and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Mashing potatoes in a pot on the left and a pot of broth for corn chowder on the right.

Set aside 1 cup of corn and add the rest to the soup along with the potatoes. Use an immersion blender and carefully mix the soup until smooth and well combined. (This is optional but makes the soup very creamy. Alternatively, you can let it cool a bit and transfer to a blender in batches.)

Adding corn and mashed potatoes to a pot of creamy soup to make corn chowder.

Add the remaining cup of corn and red pepper flakes. Gradually sprinkle the cheese into the soup over low heat and stir to combine.

Garnish with bacon, chives, a few more red pepper flakes, and freshly cracked pepper. Remove from heat and serve!

Pro Tips

  • 3 cups frozen corn or 4-5 ears of fresh corn may also be used. Canned or fresh corn is ideal as it’s sweeter in taste.
  • The Bacon, Ranch Seasoning, and Cheese all contain sufficient amounts of salt, so you shouldn’t need to flavor it with any additional. You should consider unsalted butter and reduced sodium chicken broth.
  • You may choose to eliminate the Ranch seasoning if desired, but I like the subtle additional flavor that it adds. If preferred, you could use 1/4 tsp dried thyme, 1/4 tsp paprika, a bay leaf, and perhaps a little salt and pepper. (Remove the bay leaf before blending.)
  • I don’t recommend using a food processor to blend the soup, as you would have to do it in several batches to ensure you don’t overfill it, which will cause the hot soup to overflow.

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. This soup does freeze and reheat well, especially if blended until completely smooth.

Try These Next

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon Affiliate links)

  • Immersion Blender. This is one of my all-time favorite kitchen tools for making soups and sauces.
  • Kitchen Scale– To measure the weight of the potatoes. This is the one I have, I use it all the time.
  • Dutch Oven. I love making almost all of my recipes in a dutch oven as it conducts heat really well.
  • Soup Crocks. These are pictured in the process shots above and are an elegant and cozy way to serve up soup!

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A soup pot filled with creamy Corn Chowder topped with bacon and chives.

Corn Chowder

5 from 1 vote
This Creamy Corn Chowder Recipe is topped with bacon, chives, red pepper flakes, and cracked black pepper. It's old fashioned corn chowder with a twist, and so simple to make!

Ingredients

  • 6 strips thick cut bacon
  • 1.5 lbs. Yukon Gold or Russet Potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted Butter
  • 1 small Yellow Onion
  • 1 stick Celery, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, finely diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Ranch Seasoning
  • 2 15 oz. cans Sweet Canned Corn, drained
  • 3 cups low sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups Half and Half, plus an extra splash
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Chives, to garnish

Instructions

  • Shred the cheese from a block, measure out the half and half. Let them sit out at room temperature.
  • Cut the bacon into 1-inch squares with kitchen shears. Cook in a large pot over medium-low heat, rotating occasionally. They’ll overlap at first but will shrink down as they cook. Remove and set aside once crisp. Leave 1 Tablespoon of drippings in the pot and add 1 Tablespoon of butter.
  • While the bacon cooks, peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes of equal size. Add to a pot and cover the potatoes with 1 inch of cold water. Boil gently for 10 minutes or until fork tender. Drain. Add 1 tablespoon butter and a splash of half and half. Gently mash and set aside.
  • Add the diced onions, celery, and carrots to the pot with the bacon drippings and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add bell peppers and garlic, cook 1 more minute.
  • Whisk in flour, use a silicone spatula to stir as the flour cooks for 1 full minute to remove the raw flour taste.
  • Add the chicken broth. Use a silicone spatula to loosen any bacon remnants from the bottom of the pot, this will add flavor.
  • Slowly add the half and half followed by the ranch seasoning and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Set aside 1 cup of corn and add the rest to the soup along with the mashed potatoes. Use an immersion blender and carefully mix the soup until smooth and well combined. (This is optional but makes the soup very creamy. Alternatively, you can let it cool a bit and transfer to a blender in batches.)
  • Add the remaining cup of corn along with the red pepper flakes. Gradually sprinkle the cheese into the soup over low heat and stir to combine.
  • Garnish with bacon, chives, a few more red pepper flakes, and freshly cracked pepper. Serve!

Notes

  • 3 cups frozen corn or 4-5 ears of fresh corn may also be used. Canned corn or fresh is ideal as it’s sweeter in taste.

  • You may choose to eliminate the Ranch seasoning if desired, but I like the subtle additional flavor that it adds. If preferred, you could use 1/4 tsp dried thyme, 1/4 tsp paprika, a bay leaf, and perhaps a little salt and pepper.

  • Cooked chicken, shrimp, or crab make nice additions to this soup as well.

Crock Pot Instructions:

  • Prepare the bacon, set aside.
  • While the bacon cooks, gently boil cubed potatoes. Drain and combine with 1 TBS butter and a splash of half and half. Mash gently.
  • Saute the onions, carrots, and celery in 1 TBS bacon drippings + 1 TBS Butter. Add garlic and red bell peppers and cook for 1 more minute. Toss with flour, cook for 1 more minute.
  • Transfer the vegetables to the Slow Cooker. Add the chicken broth, 2 cups of corn, Ranch seasoning, and mashed potatoes. Stir until well combined.
  • Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8.
  • Temper the half and half in the microwave until warm. Slowly add it to the Crock Pot, stirring as you do so. Use an immersion blender to mix until smooth and well-combined.
  • Add the remaining cup of corn along with the red pepper flakes.
  • Remove from heat. Slowly sprinkle in the shredded cheese and stir to combine until smooth.
  • Garnish with bacon, chives, red pepper flakes, and freshly cracked pepper. Serve!

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 62mg, Sodium: 563mg, Potassium: 535mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1749IU, Vitamin C: 23mg, Calcium: 233mg, Iron: 1mg