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Sweet Corn Chowder

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This corn chowder is full of vegetables, perfect flavors, and is a great year-round soup dish.


main image for corn chowder


If you are looking for an easy recipe that will give you the taste of summer corn in the form of a creamy soup, you have come to the right place.

There is nothing better than a delicious sweet corn flavor in a dish. It brings back memories of summer and family and all the fun that comes with warm summer harvest days.

But as harvest comes and goes, you still want to capture those flavors from sweet corn season. For centuries people have been trying to save food to keep it as far into the next season as possible.

With today’s technology, we have the ability to keep food safely and to keep it with the most flavors.

By using classic vegetables mixed with ready to eat canned corn, this corn and potato chowder is a great recipe to make even in winter months.


bacon sizzling in skillet


What is corn chowder?

A chowder is a kind of thicker soup or stew. It usually has potatoes, onion, and some kind of dairy product like butter or cream.

This easy corn chowder recipe uses corn kernels instead of meat to be the star of the dish. And by using canned corn, it is a perfect recipe to make even when you do not have fresh corn cobs.


onion, bell pepper, and celery added to bacon in skillet.


What ingredients are in corn chowder?

  • Bacon: using raw bacon will give you bacon fat to cook the other vegetables in, adding more flavor to them too
  • Yellow Onion: this is a classic soup and chowder ingredient because it will add a touch of sweetness and helps thicken the chowder
  • Red Bell Pepper: this adds color and is another sweet vegetable flavor
  • Celery: this doesn’t have a strong flavor, but it is a nice savory vegetable that balances out the other sweet veggies in this dish
  • Corn: canned makes it so easy to get great flavors year round
  • Bay Leaf: this is a secret ingredient; you notice if you leave it out, but you might not taste right away
  • Milk: this works as good as heavy cream and will give you a lighter chowder but with a creamy base
  • Potatoes: you can use any variety, but my family loves yukon gold potatoes to make a hearty chowder
  • Salt: if it doesn’t taste quite right at the end, try adding a little more salt to bring out all the other flavors
  • Black Pepper: this adds flavor and helps your body absorb the nutrients from other foods, making it a perfect spice to add to a vegetable dish
  • Thyme: this is my favorite spice to add to a chowder; it adds such a great flavor that blends perfectly with the vegetables, bacon, and milk


onion cooked with peppers and ready for soup.


How to make corn chowder:

  1. Cook bacon until just slightly browned, you do not need crispy bacon here.
  2. Add vegetables and cook until softened.
  3. Add the next 5 ingredients, bring to boil, cover, and turn heat off letting it cook covered.
  4. Then remove the lid and boil again, adding seasonings.
  5. Cook until potatoes are tender and serve!


corn, milk, potatoes, salt, pepper and thyme added to soup


What to serve with corn chowder:

I will serve almost anything with this potato corn chowder recipe, but I always recommend serving biscuits. There is nothing like a chowder with a good biscuit.

  • Fresh Bread: try biscuits, breadsticks, homemade bread, a crusty bread like sourdough, or even cornbread
  • Salad: soup and salad always go well together whether its a roasted butternut squash salad or a simple green salad
  • BBQ: bring this corn chowder soup to your next barbeque or potluck dinner; it makes a delicious side for almost anything else
  • Meat: chicken, steak, pork chops, and even fish are great served next to a large pot of chowder


full ladle being held above soup pot


How to add flavor to corn chowder:

Fat and seasonings will add flavor to corn chowder and other dishes the fastest. That is why this recipe card asks you to start cooking the bacon to release the fat and then cook the vegetables in the bacon fat. It’s adding flavor.

Be sure not to skip cooking the vegetables in the bacon fat before adding the other ingredients. Letting the onion, pepper, and celery caramelize in the bacon fat will add more flavor to this classic corn chowder soup recipe.

Adding your seasonings at the end of the simmer time will make sure the flavor hasn’t been boiled away either. Even when I reheat this dish, I add a dash of thyme and pepper to refresh the seasonings and bring out those flavors in the dish.



Can you freeze corn chowder?

Yes you can freeze corn chowder, and it can last for up to 3 months in the freezer in an airtight container. But you need to know that the perfect creamy texture and chunks of potato will not taste the same way they did before you froze it.

Dairy gets grainy and separates when frozen, and potatoes frozen in soup can get mushy.

If you are planning to make a big batch to freeze, the best way is to make it without adding the milk or potatoes. When you pull it out of the freezer to simmer, add the milk and the potatoes and let them cook fresh.

So while you can freeze this creamy corn chowder, it tastes best when made fresh.


spoon full held above bowl, top view looking down.


What goes with corn chowder?

We always say that big smiles and lots of cups of the soup go best with corn potato chowder. But other great companions are tailgating parties, weekday dinners, snow outing trips, potlucks, and any large gatherings where a soup pot will put a smile on everyone’s face.


top view looking down at soup in bowl with a spoon in bowl


Is corn chowder healthy?

Yes, this sweet corn chowder is healthy! It is full of vegetables which are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients including antioxidants that help you not get sick.

There is milk and bacon in this dish to give flavor, and some people will need to watch their portion sizes, but this dish has a place in healthy eating plans.

Is corn chowder gluten free?

Yes, my recipe for corn chowder is gluten free. Every ingredient used does not contain gluten in its natural form.

Even if the ingredients are not certified gluten free, as long as no gluten (like flour) has been added to the item, this is a perfect dish to serve when you need a gluten free dish.


zoomed in image of soup in bowl ready to eat.


More Soup Recipes You’ll Love…

This is the best corn chowder recipe I have ever made, and that’s because it is full of flavor and doesn’t have any filler ingredients, only ingredients that give you a perfect taste and texture in every bite. You will love it anytime you serve it!


Yield: 4 Servings

Corn Chowder

spoon full held above bowl, top view looking down.

This 30 minute corn chowder is full of vegetables, flavor, and is a great year-round soup dish. It's the perfect chowder for long nights.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 strips of bacon cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup large yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 2 (15.25 ounce) cans of corn, drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 1/2 cups milk - I use whole, however any % will work
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme


  1. In a heavy bottomed stock pot, add bacon and cook through. Do not cook till crispy, just until slightly brown.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, celery and sauté for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
  3. Add corn, bay leaf, milk, potatoes & salt. Bring to a boil then cover and turn heat off. Allow cook for 15 minutes. This will help the potatoes to cook without scalding the milk.
  4. After 15 minutes, remove lid and bring mixture to a boil again. Add pepper and thyme.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes or until potatoes are soft and tender.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 289Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 1832mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 3gSugar: 18gProtein: 15g

Originally Posted: October 8, 2015

Photos & Text Updated: November 27, 2022

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