Corn Chowder is thick and creamy and just darn delicious! This chunky corn chowder is full of fresh vegetables and hearty potatoes making it enough for a meal.
This version of cheesy corn chowder is an old family recipe that I was graced with after I got married. It’s been in my husband’s family for years and years and now my family loves it too! The cheese sauce base makes for a velvety chowder. It’s a favorite just like our fan favorite chicken noodle soup.
Corn Chowder is a summertime favorite because you can use summer corn, but we also love it in the fall because it’s so comforting and warm! In the summer you can use fresh corn, and in the fall or winter months break out canned corn or frozen corn and it’ll taste just as good.
It can also be called a potato corn chowder because, well, it has potatoes in it. I love the addition of potatoes in this soup recipe – they add a great texture and are filling.
My family eats this corn chowder soup as a dinner or heavy lunch. It makes a great lunch with a small side salad.
Corn Chowder Recipe
There’s non better way to use fresh corn, then adding it to a corn chowder recipe. Corn is the star!
We love fresh corn in the summer when it’s abundant and inexpensive at the grocery store or your local farmer’s market. It’s what makes this soup an inexpensive meal for our family.
Corn Chowder Ingredients
- Corn – if you make this recipe in the summer, use fresh corn on the box. We like to use yellow corn because it make the soup a wonderful yellow, but you can use any corn you like.If you’re in a hurry, or you’re making this in the fall or winter you can just as easily substitute a can of corn. Just be sure to use can corn in water, not cream of corn. You can also use frozen corn. It’s why I love this recipe so much – you can literally make it year-round!
- Onion, celery, carrots, and garlic – These add flavor and texture to the soup
- Potatoes – Youkon gold are great, but really any potato will work as long as the potatoes are tender
- Butter and flour – butter for sautéing and the flour is a thickener for the cheese sauce
- Chicken broth– the base of the soup. You can use home made stock if you have it, or just get some pre-made from the store
- Milk – for best results, I recommend using whole milk. It gives the soup the creaminess that it’s known for. You can substitute a lower percentage, but just know it will be a weaker soup
- Mustard – you can use a powder mustard if you want, but we use regular mustard so it mixes perfectly with the soup, and it adds to the yellow color of the soup
- White pepper – white pepper is best so that it blends in, but you can certainly use regular black pepper if that’s all you have in your pantry
- Paprica – this adds just the tiniest of heat to the soup
- Cheddar cheese – the best part! Technically, you could leave the cheese out, but that’s what we love so much about this soup. If you opt to leave the cheese out, I’d change the whole milk to half and half or heavy cream to add to the richness that will be missing from the cheese.I also recommend starting with a block of cheese instead of pre-shredded cheese. The cheese will melt better.
Should I Use Fresh Corn or Can corn?
I recommend making this corn chowder recipe with fresh corn if you have it available. I always have a can of corn (NOT cream of corn) in my pantry, however, so that I can whip up a batch of this corn soup any time of year.
Just keep the amount of corn kernels the same, so it doesn’t matter if it’s fresh, canned, or frozen corn.
Making the Best Corn Chowder
This chowder recipe really is easy, just take the time to watch it as each part simmers. You don’t want to overheat the soup.
How To Make Corn Chowder
Making corn chowder is really easy and just takes a little bit of time in front of the stove. When it comes together you’ll be amazed at the result!
- Simmer vegetables — add the chicken broth to a large stock pan and add the onion, garlic, celery (sliced), diced carrots, and cubed potatoes. Simmer about 15-20 minutes. This will allow the potatoes and vegetable to become tender.
- Add corn — Add the corn and stir. Remove from heat.
- Make sauce – in a separate pan, melt the butter then stir in the flour until smooth. Add the milk and stir to combine. The mixture will thicken as you stir. Stop when it’s thick, but not a paste.
- To the sauce, add the mustard and paprika, then add the cheese a little at a time. Stir until cheese is melted and combined. Season with salt and pepper
- Combine — Add the cheese sauce to the vegetable mixture. Reduce heat and stir over medium high heat until heated through.
Can You Freeze Corn Chowder?
I love freezing soups because it’s so easy to make a double batch and have some for dinner, then freeze the rest. Because this soup has a lot of cheese and uses tender potatoes it’s harder to freeze, but here are some tips.
- Freeze in small batches using freezer-proof containers. I like to use class jars.
- Thaw in the refrigerator or leave on counter until completely thawed.
- Reheat in pan on the stove, stirring continuously, but gently so you don’t mash the potatoes. Add more milk if necessary. Do not try to microwave. The cheese will need to melt and the microwave will make the cheese chewy.
What Can I Add to Corn Chowder?
- Bacon – cook some bacon, then crumble it into bacon bits and add to the the soup at the end, and add some as garnish.
- Chicken – use a rotisserie chicken for great flavor, or grill a chicken breast and chop into cubes. Add the cooked chicken at the last stage since it doesn’t need to cook, but will need to heat to the same temperature as the soup
What Should I Serve with Corn Chowder?
This soup is a meal in itself. It’s full of flavor and is very filling, but it’s great with:
- A small side salad
- Chunk of french bread or a good roll
- Added with grilled chicken
More Comfort Food Favorites
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup celery sliced or diced
- 1 cup potatoes peeled and cubed
- 2 cups corn kernels or 1 17. oz. can kernel corn (drained)
- 1/4 cup margarine
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk whole
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1/4 tsp pepper white is preferred
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
- In large stock pan, combine chopped onion, garlic, celery, carrots, potatoes, and chicken broth. Simmer over medium 15-20 minutes.
- Add corn. If using canned corn, drain. Remove from heat.
- In separate pan, melt margarine.
- Stir in flour and stir until smooth.
- Add milk and stir over medium to high heat until sauce thickens.
- Add mustard, and salt and pepper, paprika, and cheese.
- Stir constantly as cheese melts.
- Stir the cheese mixture into the vegetable mixture. Stir continuously over medium heat until combine.
- Serve warm.