This simple Summer Corn Chowder is made with fresh-off-the-cob corn, bacon, smoked paprika and is the perfect summertime soup! This is a simple recipe that can be prepped and ready in under an hour and I’ve included plenty of tips including how to easily remove your corn from the cob and how to get that perfect hearty chowder texture!
A Fresh Corn Chowder Recipe
Before I get into all the details of today’s corn chowder recipe I have to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who commented, e-mailed, or otherwise reached out after our big announcement yesterday! I’m so excited to finally be able to share our big news with you, and all of your kind words mean so much to me. I’m still working my way through all of your messages!
With that said (💜), let’s jump right into today’s corn chowder recipe. This is actually an older recipe of mine that needed a refresh (and a video!). Made with sweet summer corn, cooked in a bit of bacon (for the best flavor), it’s hearty and thick, but also light enough to enjoy during even the hottest summer days.
Right now is the best time to find sweet corn at your local farmer’s market or produce stand (or maybe you even grew some yourself??), so grab yourself a few ears and let’s get to the best corn chowder of your life.
What is Corn Chowder Made of?
- Bacon! — We start by cooking a few slices and then cook our veggies in the residual bacon grease (along with a bit of butter… no, this isn’t quite health food!).
- Onion — diced
- Red pepper — finely chopped
- Poblano pepper — finely chopped
- Garlic — minced
- Flour — this is used to thicken the chowder
- Chicken broth
- Half & half — helps make the corn chowder creamy without being too rich.
- Spices: Smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Corn (obviously) — The sweeter the better, in my opinion. Some produce stands near me sell “Ambrosia” corn, which is my favorite.
- Red potatoes — though you can substitute Yukon gold or russet.
Can I Use Frozen Corn?
Yes, you can use frozen corn, but I say this hesitantly. Honestly, fresh is always better. Corn is the key ingredient in this corn chowder, so the better quality that you use the better your soup will be.
The Easiest Way to Get that Corn off the Cob!
Ultimately, as long as you get that corn off of the cob and into your corn chowder, it doesn’t really matter how you do it. However, after years of making a mess of my kitchen, I did find a corn-cutting technique that worked really well for me.
It calls for a bundt pan (though a tube pan would also work), of all things. Place your corn cob into the center hole of the bundt pan and grab a large sharp knife. Slice down the corn cob (staying as close as you can to the cob so you get all of the juices and flavor!). All of the corn and juice will fall off of the cob and be collected neatly in your bundt pan! I demonstrate this technique in my corn chowder video that I’m sharing today.
How to Make Corn Chowder
- Start by cooking your bacon. Cook until crisp and then remove from your post (save for later). Add a bit of butter and let that melt.
- Cook onions, peppers, and garlic.
- Add flour. We’re making a simple roux! Sprinkle the flour evenly over the veggies and stir until smooth. This helps make our corn chowder thick.
- Add liquid! In this case, chicken broth, water, and half and half.
- Add corn, potatoes, and spices. Then boil until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
- Blend or puree some, but not all, of the corn chowder. This gives it that creamy and thick chowder texture!
- Return your bacon to the pot and simmer, then you’re ready to serve!
Blending or pureeing the soup is critical to the thick, hearty, creamy texture of this corn chowder. If you’ve made my popular potato soup before, you might recognize this technique from that recipe. It’s a game changer when it comes to chowders or hearty soups!
More Recipes You Might Like:
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Turkey Chowder
- The BEST Chili Recipe
- Pair this soup with my Buttermilk Cornbread or Honey Wheat Dinner Rolls!
Let’s cook together! Be sure to check out my video at the bottom of the recipe where I’ll show you exactly how I make this Summer Corn Chowder in my own kitchen! If you enjoy watching, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 150 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
Summer Corn Chowder
- 5 strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter (43g)
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped (about 1 ¼ cup)
- ½ red pepper diced
- 1 large poblano pepper seeds removed, finely chopped
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (30g)
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (945ml)
- 1 cup water (235ml)
- 2 cups half and half (475ml)
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- 1 ¼ lb red potatoes¹ diced smaller than 1 inch (565g)
- 7-8 ears fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob (about 5 cups of corn)
- Add bacon to a large pot or Dutch oven. Turn heat to medium and cook until bacon is crispy and browned. Remove bacon from pot and reserve for later. Do not drain bacon grease.
- Add butter to pot and allow it to melt.
- Add onion, poblano pepper and red pepper, cook until softened (3-5 minutes).
- Add the garlic and stir until fragrant (about 30 seconds)
- Sprinkle your flour over the vegetables and stir until it is smooth and no clumps remain. Stir or whisk flour until smooth.
- Stir in chicken broth, water, half and half, and spices (smoked paprika, salt, and pepper).
- Add the potatoes and corn, bring mixture to a boil and boil (stirring occasionally) until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
- Once potatoes are cooked through, carefully ladle about 3 cups of the soup into a blender and blend until well-pureed. Alternatively you may use an immersion blender and blend the soup until desired consistency is reached (do not puree the whole soup, you'll lose that great hearty texture!).
- Return the pureed mixture back to the soup and stir well. Stir in reserved bacon.
- Allow soup to simmer for 15 minutes (stirring occasionally) before serving.
- Serve, topped with green onions, bacon, and additional smoked paprika, if desired. Serve with a side of crusty bread!
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
This corn chowder recipe was originally published 08/17/2017. Updated and video added 07/31/2019.