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This corn chowder recipe is savory, salty, sweet, and creamy. It’s the perfect cozy bowl to highlight this tasty seasonal vegetable!

Corn chowder
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When sweet corn starts to appear at farmers markets, we crave corn chowder—no matter how hot it is! There’s something about this cozy bowl that makes it work both in the heat of summer and on cozy fall days, too. It’s seriously creamy, with a savory, salty, and sweet flavor from simmering the corn cobs directly in the pot. And it’s even more fun paired with a side of flaky buttermilk Biscuits! (Or, try this Vegan Corn Chowder or Chicken Corn Chowder.)

Ingredients in corn chowder

Corn chowder is a simple concept: chop veggies, then simmer in milk and broth to perfection. This recipe takes a bit of prep time because of all the chopping. Depending on your prowess with knife skills, it can take a range of time to prepare. Even better: grab your partner or kids to help with all the prep! Here’s what you’ll need (with knife skills tips linked if applicable):

Corn Chowder

Tips for this corn chowder recipe

After the vegetable chopping, the remainder of making this corn chowder recipe is a breeze! Sauté the veggies, then add milk and veggie broth and simmer. Here are a few tricks we’ve used in this recipe to make it ultra creamy and flavorful:

  • Simmer in milk and vegetable broth. Many corn chowder recipes use whole milk or cream. This spin uses 2% milk and a bit of veggie broth, with a little cream mixed in at the end.
  • Skip the bacon. To keep it on the healthy side, this is a vegetarian potato corn chowder with no bacon. (And if you want one without dairy, try our vegan corn chowder.)
  • Simmer with the corn cobs. To get major flavor into this corn chowder, the corn cobs are simmered in the broth. This infuses a sweet corn flavor throughout the entire soup.
  • Puree some of the soup itself. Blending a few cups of the soup together results in a beautifully creamy soup body without adding calories.
Corn on the cob

How to cut corn off of the cob without a mess!

We love sweet corn recipes, but we used to have an issue with a spray of flying yellow specks all over our kitchen every time we tried to cut it. Cutting corn off of the cob can be a little messy, and this corn chowder calls for 4 to 6 ears! Here are a few ways we like to cut corn without making a mess:

  • Bundt pan method. Place the corn cob right on top of the raised center part of a bundt pan. When you slice downward, the Bundt pan catches all the corn kernels. Genius! Here’s How to Cut Corn Off the Cob.
  • Inverted small bowl inside larger bowl. Same method as above, but if you don’t have a Bundt pan, you can use an inverted small bowl inside a larger bowl. (Here’s a video.)
  • Mandoline. If you have a mandoline, you can use it to cut corn off the cob. It slides right off without making a mess.

What to serve with corn chowder

This corn chowder recipe is creamy and delicious, bursting with rich flavor, soft potatoes and pops of sweet corn. However, it’s not quite a meal in itself, since it doesn’t have a protein source. (If you prefer it with chicken, try our Chicken Corn Chowder!) Add a side to make it into a satisfying meal! Here are a few side ideas to serve with corn chowder:

Corn Chowder recipe

More corn recipes

There are so many great ways to use corn in recipes! Here are a few more ways to cook it:

This corn chowder recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Corn chowder

Corn Chowder


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Description

This corn chowder recipe is savory, salty, sweet, and creamy. It’s the perfect cozy bowl to highlight this tasty seasonal vegetable! Note: Recipe updated 8/17/23 to enhance flavors and method. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peel and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 large or 6 medium ears corn, enough for 4 cups corn kernels, plus cobs (or 2 15-ounce cans corn*)
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 quart broth
  • 2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (optional but recommended)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the butter and olive over medium high heat. Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and potatoes and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add 3 cups* of the corn kernels, the corn cobs (broken into a few pieces, if necessary to fit in the pot), broth, milk, soy sauce, smoked paprika, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, the kosher salt, and several grinds of fresh black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove the cobs from the soup and discard. Using a 2-cup glass measuring cup with spout, carefully scoop out about 4 cups of the hot soup and place it in a blender. Blend on high for about 1 minute until smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour the puree back into the soup pot. Stir in the reserved 1 cup corn kernels. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving (it will be very hot and the residual heat cooks the corn). Taste and add additional salt or cream if desired. Ladle into bowls and allow to cool. 

Notes

*If using canned corn, use 2 cups in the soup in Step 2.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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10 Comments

  1. Amanda Meyers says:

    Love the ingredients in this recipe. Have you tried it in a slow cooker?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We haven’t tried it!

  2. Kathleen Hurd says:

    Hi,
    I really like the ingredients in this recipe, but I am a little confused about when to add the corn? Does it all go in at the end? You mentioned reserved kernels-when did the rest go into the pot, maybe I am reading this too literally! I would think it would be yummy if some of the corn was “creamed”? Thanks!

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Hi there! The corn cobs go into the pot in Step 3! This helps add a creamy sweetness to the broth. The reserved corn kernels go in in Step 4!

  3. Crystal says:

    I made this on a cold snowy Sunday afternoon and it turned out amazing!! So delicious! Thanks for the recipe and the hard work you put into your site creating delicious creations!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      You’re welcome! We love to hear that you enjoyed it :)

  4. Alex Overhiser says:

    Hi! Sorry about the confusion. This was a typo and is fixed now!

  5. Ali says:

    Making this right now and am confused. You say to add the water. Do you mean the milk?? There’s no water in the ingredient list, and I can’t find anywhere in the recipe where the milk is added.

  6. Bonita says:

    I am making this & in the directions it says to add water? Do you mean the milk? that’s what I did…it smells amazing….

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Yes! I’ve updated the recipe. Thank you!