This easy Corn Chowder recipe is hearty, flavorful, and loaded with fresh corn, bacon, potatoes, green chilies, and chipotle peppers! It is the perfect comfort meal on a cold night, and is a family favorite!

Corn chowder in a bowl with a spoon.

I doubt you’ve ever tasted Corn Chowder as packed full of flavor as this recipe! It’s absolutely delicious, and slightly unique with addition of green chiles and a hint of smokiness from chipotle peppers in adobe. It’s to DIE for; I know you’re going to love it!

How to make Corn Chowder:

Cook bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat.

Chopped pieces of bacon cooking in a pot.

Add diced onion and celery and stir, cooking 3 to 4 more minutes. Add butter and stir until melted.

Chopped celery and onion added to a pot with melted butter.

Add corn. Stir and cook for one minute.

Fresh corn kernels added to a large pot with sautéed celery and onion, to make corn chowder.

Add potato, green chilies, and chipotle chilies. Slowly pour in chicken broth and half & half. Add salt and stir. Bring to a low boil then reduce heat to low.

Diced potato and broth added to a pot with corn to make corn chowder.

Thicken: Ladle some of the soup broth into a bowl and stir 3 tablespoons of cornmeal into it, stirring until smooth. Pour into the soup pot. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. (If chowder needs more thickening, add another tablespoon of cornmeal mixed with a little broth.)

A bowl with soup broth in it, and cornmeal added on top, ready to stir in.

If you’re feeling extra fancy, serve it in a yummy homemade bread bowl!

A cast iron soup pot full of homemade corn chowder.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: Corn chowder tastes great up to one week later, so it’s a great soup to make ahead of time!

To Freeze: Freeze for up to 3 months. For best results, I recommend waiting to add the potatoes and half and half until after thawing and heating the frozen soup.

Possible Recipe Variations:

  • Potato: russet or yukon gold will work. I even use canned diced potatoes or diced frozen potatoes when I’m in a hurry. 
  • Chicken Corn Chowder: Add shredded chicken, or swap it out for the bacon.
  • Cornstarch: I love the texture the cornmeal provides, but to thicken chowder with cornstarch, make a cornstarch slurry by whisking together 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water and stir the slurry into the soup. Cook for a few minutes to allow it to thicken.
  • Slow Cooker: Follow directions as listed, but before adding the half and half, place in slow cooker on low for up to 6 hours. Add half and half and thicken right before serving.

Serve With:

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Recipe

Corn chowder in a bowl with a spoon.
Prep 5 mins
Cook 35 mins
Total 40 mins
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Video

Ingredients
 
 

  • 3-4 slices bacon , chopped
  • 1 yellow onion , diced
  • 2 ribs celery , chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups corn , fresh or frozen (about 5 ears)
  • 1 large potato* , peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce* , finely diced
  • 4 ounce can mild diced green chiles , undrained
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half , cream, or whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 Tablespoons cornmeal

Instructions
 

  • Add bacon pieces to a large soup pot over medium heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the diced onion and celery and stir, cooking 3 to 4 more minutes. 
  • Add butter and stir until melted. Add corn. Stir and cook for one minute.
  • Add chopped potato, green chilies and chipotle chilies.
  • Slowly pour in chicken broth and half & half. Add salt and stir. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low.
  • Ladle some of the soup broth into a bowl and stir 3 tablespoons of cornmeal into it, stirring until smooth. Pour into the soup pot. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat.
  • If chowder needs more thickening, add another tablespoon of cornmeal mixed with a little broth.
  • Serve in a yummy homemade bread bowl!

Notes

*Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce can be found at your local grocery store in the Mexican food aisle. Spoon out one or two of the whole chilies (less for milder heat) dice them and add to the soup.
Potato: russet or yukon gold will work. I even use canned diced potatoes or diced frozen potatoes when I’m in a hurry. 
Chicken Corn Chowder: Add shredded chicken, or swap it out for the bacon.
Cornstarch: I love the texture the cornmeal provides, but to thicken chowder with cornstarch, make a cornstarch slurry by whisking together 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water and stir the slurry into the soup. Cook for a few minutes to allow it to thicken.
Slow Cooker: Follow directions as listed, but before adding the half and half, place in slow cooker on low for up to 6 hours. Add half and half and thicken right before serving.
Make Ahead Instructions: Corn chowder tastes great up to one week later, so it’s a great soup to make ahead of time!
Freezing Instructions: Freeze for up to 3 months. For best results, I recommend waiting to add the potatoes and half and half until after thawing and heating the frozen soup.

Nutrition

Calories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 9gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 294mgPotassium: 622mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 512IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 1mg

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I originally shared this recipe October 2013. Updated October 2019 and September 2021.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    Made this last Sunday and it was hit! Today we made another batch but doubled it so we “might” have some leftovers for our lunches this week! Ha! Thank You Lauren, such a great soup!

  2. I just want to let you know that I love this recipe and have made it many times. The first time I didn’t have bacon or chipotles and it was great, but it is even better with them, so now I always have frozen corn, bacon slices and chipotles in my freezer! I usually use 3 stalks of celery and add 3 or 4 diced carrots for some extra veg and maybe an extra potato. DELICIOUS!

  3. 5 stars
    I have now made this at least 5 times. It is requested about every other weekend and no mention of adding onions on top anymore Love this recipe. Always double it and have never needed to freeze as it gets gobbled down.

  4. *****Wonderful recipe! I omitted the bacon and butter and it was still delish! Added a little cumin, garlic and used small purple potatoes instead of white. I think the chipotle peppers really up the flavors a notch. Great comfort food on a cold winter night!

  5. 5 stars
    My boyfriend is very picky and he rated it a 4 star. I asked why four stars and he said it could have used the little green onions on top. I think it was PERFECT without. I doubled the recipe which was probably not necessary. Can it be stored in the freezer? Will definitely make again and he can put his own onions on top.