Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon

Thick, creamy and chunky potato chowder is filled with cheese, corn, bacon and more. It’s hearty and is made in 30 minutes.

We love chowders (like corn and zucchini chowder and vegetable chowder) and today’s recipe is no different. Filled with all the best ingredients, and easy to customize, this potato chowder is sure to be a fall favorite.

Potato Corn chowder in bowl

Chowder vs. Soup

I absolutely love soup! My husband can attest to the fact that I make soup about 2-3 times a week. I’m not sure how much he loves it, but he never complains 😉 This soup is one I’ve made before and keep coming back to. It’s chunky, creamy and topped with crisp pieces of bacon. Let’s be honest, everything is better with bacon!

What I really love about this soup is how quick and easy it is to make. You only need a handful of ingredients and just over 30 minutes. Not bad, right?!

So, what makes it a chowder?

A chowder is a thick, chunky soup. It used to be a fishermen’s stew made with seafood but now they have all sorts of vegetable and potato chowders like today’s version.

corn chowder in ladle

How to Make, Tips + Tricks

The one thing that makes this soup extra delicious (aside from the bacon) is the chopped leek. I know a lot of people aren’t familiar with leeks, or if they are they really hate cleaning them, but I absolutely love cooking with them!

CLEANING LEEKS. I’ve found the easiest way to get the dirt out of the ends is to cut the really green part off, and then quarter the leek down to the root without going through it. Then fan out the leek and wash it root side up. All of that dirt will get rinsed out and then you can just chop it up as-is.

ROUX + VEGGIES. Along with the leek you’ll want to toss in some chopped onion and minced garlic. Saute them in a bit of butter until they’re nice and tender (Add a pinch of salt to help the onion and leek sweat and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender and transparent.) Add garlic and corn (fresh, frozen or canned all work) and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Then, add some flour and pour in the chicken broth & milk. Whisk, whisk, whisk and turn the heat up to a simmer. Add the chopped potatoes (I usually do about 1/4″ chunks) and corn (fresh or frozen) and season.

SIMMER. Turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 25 minutes.

TOPPINGS. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in some grated cheddar cheese and crisp crumbled bacon. You can sprinkle in some minced parsley, but that’s totally optional.

SLOW COOKER. If you want to make this in the slow cooker, just make as directed and before simmering for the last 25 minutes, throw it into the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4 hours or HIGH on 2 hours. 

Potato chowder with corn in white bowl

Potato Corn Chowder NOTES

STORING. To store this soup, just place in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. This soup REHEATS really well – I usually just add a bit of water to it before reheating it (to loosen it up a bit).

VARIATIONS. If you aren’t a fan of leeks, these can be omitted. Other veggies that work in here include: celery and carrots. You can also make it a more Southwestern version by adding green chiles and chopped peppers.

SIDES. This chowder can be served with any of your favorites, but ours include: 

Potato corn chowder recipe with bacon in bowl

Serve immediately and watch it get devoured within seconds. Seriously though, we inhale this soup! It’s hearty, flavorful, filling and will definitely keep you coming back for more! Enjoy!!

For more soups and chowders, check out:

DON’T FORGET TO WATCH MY VIDEO TUTORIAL HERE!

Potato Corn & Bacon Chowder

Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon Recipe

This cozy potato corn and bacon chowder is a quick, easy & filling meal! It's packed full of flavor and is ready to go in a little over 30 minutes!
4.81 from 21 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 307kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion - diced
  • 1 leek - rinsed well and diced
  • 1 clove garlic - minced
  • 1 cup whole milk - or half and half
  • 4 cup chicken broth - or (1) 32oz box of chicken broth
  • 3 russet potatoes - rinsed, peeled (optional) and cubed into 1/4"-1/2" chunks
  • 2 cup fresh corn - or frozen
  • 1 tsp kosher salt - + a pinch for sweating
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper - or less, depending on personal taste
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon - cooked until crisp and diced
  • 1/2 cup medium-sharp cheddar cheese - grated
  • 1 tsp parsley - minced, (optional)

Instructions

  • Set a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add butter and melt. When the butter has melted add the onion and leek. Add a pinch of salt to help the onion and leek sweat and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender and transparent. Add garlic and corn and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Sprinkle in flour and whisk. Slowly add chicken broth and then milk. Turn heat up to medium-high, then add potatoes. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Simmer for 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Once the potatoes are tender and the soup has thickened, remove from the heat. Add in cheddar cheese (and parsley) and stir until incorporated. Spoon into individual bowls and top with crisp bacon pieces. Serve immediately.

Notes

- This soup reheats really well, I usually add a bit of water to it before reheating it.

Nutrition

Serving: 6g | Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 1189mg | Potassium: 839mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 588IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 2mg

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Comments:

    1. Sure! I’d just let it simmer for a few hours, and be sure to sweat your leeks before putting them in, that way they are nice and tender.

  1. Whats the measurement for the butter? I don’t know if im blind but I keep missing the amount to put in the pot?

  2. Maybe somehow I measured the pepper wrong but it was awfully spicy. I will try it again though with a lot less pepper!!

    1. We like things on the spicy side, but I know others don’t. I scaled it down just now, so it should reflect a smaller amount. Thanks for letting me know!

      1. I’m having trouble with mine thickening up. I did omit the leeks. I think I’ll add a little more flour. Once the potatoes are boiling over med high heat, do I then turn the heat down to a simmer? Or control to boil? Maybe that’s the issue.

        1. It will definitely thicken as it cooks & cools. But you should keep it at a “low boil” or simmering the entire time (medium heat) to ensure that your potatoes get cooked and that the starch from them helps thicken everything 🙂

  3. Can I just say I love this recipe!!! I seriously make it once a week. My husband & kiddos just love it! It seriously is so easy to whip up & tastes amazing!!!!

  4. does this recipe yield 4-6 large servings? i’m making it for a soup potluck at work and was just wondering how many batched i needed to make!

  5. You are amazing. I had an amazing corn chowder recipe (that was not my own making, by the way) that I lost and have been looking for and of course couldn’t find. I went scouring my recipe books and the internet and came across yours and THIS IS IT! I love that this recipe incorporates everything I love (cheese, corn, bacon, and potatoes), and doesn’t require a crockpot. I’m so happy right now!

    1. Yay! I’m so glad to hear that! And I totally get the crockpot thing- it’s definitely my least favorite kitchen appliance 🙂

  6. I made this soup tonight and it’s really delicious, it’s a keeper. My husband says that I can make this anytime for him!

  7. Is there anyway to make this milk and soy free. I would love to try it but my son won’t be able to eat it this way. 🙁

    1. Hi Jessica! You could swap the milk out for more chicken stock or you could use another type of milk (if he can have it) like almond. I hope that helps!

  8. Was wondering if this recipe can be reheated. My concern is that potatoes may get mushy and cheese might separate or curdle. Would like to double the recipe to have some now and some another day. Recipe sounds wonderful and can’t wait to try it.

    1. You know, I’ve never had leftovers before, so I’m not sure! But I’ve made a chipotle version of this (with a few additional ingredients) and it reheated perfectly. Just be sure to remove it as soon as the potatoes are tender… and maybe pour it into a container to start letting it cool off, that way they won’t continue to cook in the pot. Hope that helps!

      1. Thanks Stefanie! I use cayenne and paprika in just about everything savory, it’s amazing what a difference they both can make! I love that your kiddos love it!

  9. Made it for lunch today for myself and 2 kids! We all loved it!! Thanks so much for he awesome recipe

  10. I found this recipe on Pinterest back in the winter and have been making it ever since– it quickly became one of my favorite soup recipes. It is SO GOOD. It’s hearty and tastes like it takes all day to make, but I can whip up a pot after work on a weekday. My 3 & 4 year old boys always have two bowls each. Thanks for a great and easy recipe!

    P.S. I’m convinced the cayenne is the secret ingredient that sets this apart from other recipes!

  11. Found your recipe today on Pinterest and made it for my minions. It was so good, they loved it! I just went back to pin it to my board when I noticed you made this post on my youngest child’s birthdate so I can’t help but think it was meant to be for me to choose your yummy recipe over all the others!

    1. Thanks Andrea! I love that it was a hit- I guess it was meant to be! Glad your kiddos love it as much as we do 🙂

  12. I found your recipe on Pinterest and prepared it tonight for dinner and it was totally delicious. My husband enjoyed it as well, which surprised me, because he is a meat and potatoes kind of man. We’ll be eating this again! Thank you so much!

  13. made the soup the other night and it was fabulous everyone loved it I was so thrilled with it the only thing I did different was I added a little celerythank you so much for such a great recipe

  14. Trying to teach my husband to try amd make something besides waffles. Picked this, didn’t have leeks so added a cup of steamed chopped up cauliflower. Delicious! Served with johnny cake cornbread and toasty french bread.

  15. I wanted to find a recipe for potato corn chowder because it is one of my favorite soups.  This recipe got a thumbs up from the whole family.  Thank you so much!

  16. I followed the recipe as written and it was so good!!! Possibly the best soup I’ve ever made. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  17. Love this chowder!  I double it, add a little less stock but do add a can of whole peeled tomatoes with the juice. I cut up the tomatoes and it just adds another dimension that I love. Perfect on a “cold” Florida winter day and it’s on the stove right now. Yummo!!

  18. I would like to make it but need to serve it in a crock pot at a Christmas gathering. Would you suggest I make it according to your recipe and then plave it in the crockpot once it is cooked?

    1. Yes, you can just keep it on the ‘warm’ setting. You may need to add an extra half cup of liquid or so, just because it will thicken as it sits.

  19. We are a soup loving family with a very picky 11 year old girl!  This chowder has made into my top 3 go to recipes!  We love everything about it & I usually double it up to last a couple of meals!  With temps in the low 30’s in the Florida Panhandle this week, It will certainly warm our tummies a few nights!  

  20. I made this today – so good! I made a few changes – no leeks on hand so used dried chives and since I like really thick chowder I doubled the roux and dumped in a can of creamed corn. I left out the cheese because I am serving it with cheesy garlic bread and didn’t want to be redundant. Probably even better with cheese (what isn’t!) but my mom never added it and hers was good. Other than that followed the recipe to a T lol! Seriously amazing chowder.

  21. The soup on the video and the pictures are definitely not the same. I tried this because I was enticed by the pictures. But did it and it looked exactly like the one on the video (not the picture). The soup never thickened (just like in the video). then I realised, plain flour doesn’t thicken soup… cornstarch/cornflour does! Duh!

    1. Yes! I add it in the last 5 minutes or so of cook time. That way it’s not overcooked. Hope that helps 🙂

  22. I am wondering if it will work to increase the onion as I do not have leek …. going to use a whole onion and see how it goes. I cannot believe I missed it while scanning it while I was at the store

  23. Made this for Halloween night. Was great! I may have added a full pack of bacon and just dumped it in lol. And I added some more corn. 
    Was really great. Definitely saved for future dinners. Yum! 

  24. Delicious soup!! I omitted the leek because I didn’t have any on hand. I also left out the cayenne. I didn’t want it to be to hot for my three little kids.  Instead of bacon I threw in shredded rotisserie chicken when the potatoes were done just to warm the chicken through. It was so good! I recently went and got a bowl of my favorite corn chowder from a restaurant and was totally disappointed. This is soooo much better! 

  25. I just wanted to say that I discovered this recipe about a year ago and I’ve made it at least once a month ever since. Decided to finally leave a comment saying how delicious it is lol. I especially love it because it’s healthy and I can control how much bacon I have in my individual bowl. My boyfriend loves it and can add as much bacon and cheese to the top as he wants. It’s perfect! And the leftovers make for a great couple of lunches!!!

  26. Wow!!  I made this soup tonight and it was SO good. My husband just kept saying “Wow!  This soup is great.”  He is not easily impressed. Thank you for sharing. 

  27. Very good soup!  My husband and I thought it was missing some flavor even with the cheese and bacon.  We tried a little with paprika as someone else mentioned and then some with a little chili powder which was also good.   Then I found some Tajin seasoning in the cabinet and with that, this soup was amazing!   The Tajin is chili powder, salt, and dried lime.   It would be good both ways for sure.  Thanks for the recipe. 

  28. 5 stars
    I did not add the cheese because I think it overpowers the soup taste. I put the bacon in as the soup was cooking. I added carrots and celery , along with the garlic, onion and leeks. I added fresh thyme. Also doubles the amount of potatoes. This soup is delish ! Can’t wait to see how it tastes tomorrow.

  29. 5 stars
    Great and easy recipe! I had fresh Serrano peppers on hand so I substituted two of those for the cayenne and it’s got an awesome kick. 

  30. 5 stars
    I wanted to make mine extra thick, so I replaced half the stock with the same amount of creamed corn. delish!

  31. 5 stars
    Delicious.  Feels healthy, not too heavy.  I cannot use cows milk, so I substituted almond milk & upped flour to 1 1/2 Tbsp.  Thought added nutrition couldn’t hurt, added 3 stalks celery, chopped.  The celery adds nice color to soup.

  32. 4 stars
    The family absolutely loves this recipe. I usually add in more corn and an additional leek if I have it on hand.

  33. 5 stars
    This is a staple that I make – I love it! I make it vegan by using almond milk, omitting the butter/cheese/bacon and it’s fantastic 🙂