Warm up with a hearty bowl of this Bacon Corn Chowder using fresh corn on the cob when it’s available or frozen corn to get this delicious meal on the table FAST year round!
This perfect chowder is quick to cook, super flavorful and it can even be made with any mix of proteins and vegetables on the stove top, in the instant pot or in the slow cooker. Read on to get the amazing recipe plus ideas for how to customize it and make it your own and you’ll be able to whip up amazing homemade chowders even on busy weeknights!
Quick cooking comfort
When the nights start to cool down there’s nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of soup. And this Bacon Corn Chowder is the perfect way to kick off the start of soup season right when delicious corn on the cob is in season.
But even if you’ve got a bag of frozen kernels instead of bushels of fresh corn this chowder recipe with only a few simple steps and wholesome ingredients is a winner that the whole family will love!
Step by step instructions
With these few simple steps you can have a delicious hearty and health packed chowder on the table in just over thirty minutes and even faster if you’re using frozen corn.
- Process corn using kernels for soup and use cobs to flavor the stock
- Crisp bacon and set aside, leave rendered fat in pan to start the soup
- Add aromatics (garlic + onion + leek + herbs) to rendered fat + butter and cook until soft + smelling delicious
- Sprinkle flour over aromatics + fats to make a base for thickening the soup
- Add stock and bring to a simmer
- Add additional vegetables like potato and corn in order of cooking time
- Season to taste + enjoy!
- Out of stock? Use only the corn cobs to make a vegetable stock from what you would otherwise throw out
- In a hurry? Skip the simmering and use purchased stock straight out of the carton to make this soup fast and a perfect busy weeknight meal
- No fresh corn on the cob? Substitute 2 cups frozen or canned corn instead.
- Substitute ham, clams, shrimp, smoked salmon, chicken or sausage for the bacon and add additional butter to make up for any loss in rendered fat.
- To make Bacon Corn Chowder in a slow cooker brown bacon and render fat then place all ingredients except milk and flour in crock pot and set to desired time. When ready to serve whisk flour into room temperature milk then stir into soup to thicken. Stir in bacon and scallions then season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
- To make Bacon Corn Chowder in an instant pot pressure cooker use the sear setting to brown bacon, set aside, then add the remaining ingredients, except milk and flour, cook for 5 minutes, de-pressurize 10 minutes then whisk milk and flour and whisk into soup to thicken. Stir in bacon and scallions then season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
This recipe makes roughly 6 small bowls of soup. Perfectly portioned for 3 to 4 people with light appetites and families who don’t like to have leftovers. But if you love having a big ole bowl of chowder for dinner and leftovers for the week I highly suggest making a double batch. Then either refrigerate in single servings to grab and heat for a few days or vacuum seal flat and freeze for up to 3 months.
How to serve
Chowders and stews are best served with a with a variety of toppings to add flavor and texture. OF COURSE something crusty and carby is required for dipping. To cut through the buttery rich chowder a butter but refreshing glass of chardonnay is the perfect pair. And a crisp green salad on the side doesn’t hurt either.
- Baking soda biscuits, crusty white bread or homemade naan
- Hot sauce
- Fresh cilantro and/or basil
- Sliced radishes
- Diced avocado
- Corn nuts or popcorn
- 1 pound bacon
- 4 – 6 ears corn on the cob
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 T butter
- 1 medium onion chopped
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme or about 1 tablespoon fresh
- 2 medium scallions sliced whites and greens separated
- 4 cloves garlic diced
- 4 T flour
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 medium yukon gold potatoes or russet, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup whole milk or cream
- salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 small leek rinsed and sliced
- While bacon is still cold chop into roughly ½ wide slices.
- Bring chicken stock to a simmer with 2 cups of water in a large stockpot.
- Meanwhile, stand corn on end in a large bowl and cut kernels from corn cobs. The 4 ears should yield about ½ cup kernels each for 2 cups total.. Scrape cobs with the back of a knife to remove the sweet inner pieces and add this and any juice to the bowl. Then place cobs in simmering stock mixture.
- In a large pot brown bacon over medium heat. When crispy and most of the fat has rendered place bacon bits to the side and remove all but 3 tablespoons grease. Add butter, onion, thyme, leeks and scallion whites and ¼ teaspoon salt. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the celery and garlic and sprinkle the flour over cooking until flour is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, strain corn cobs from stock into a large measuring bowl and add water to bring back to 6 cups total as some may have boiled down and reduced.
- Increase heat to medium high and slowly add strained stocked, scraping up any flavorful bits off the bottom while it deglazes. After all broth is added and the mixture comes to a boil add the fresh corn and potatoes and simmer over medium low until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium, add milk and ½ of the bacon bits, reserving the rest for topping the bowls. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve topped with scallion greens, remaining bacon bits and and garnished with fresh thyme, if desired.