Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder with Bacon

The perfect combination of smoky bacon flavor and a hint of jalapeno spice really makes this creamy chicken corn chowder recipe shine. This classic comfort food favorite is easy to make all in one pot.

Creamy chicken corn chowder in a white bowl with a red and white napkin.

Rich & Savory Chowder

This rich and flavorful soup is one of my personal favorites and I’ve tried making many different versions of this recipe over the years. Those who know me well know that I am a bit of a goldilocks when it comes to my favorite dishes, it’s got to be “just right”.

And folks, I think I finally got it right! This creamy corn chowder recipe had been thoroughly taste tested to achieve the perfect (in my opinion) combination of flavors and textures.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper:


  • Creamy and Comforting: Rich, velvety chowder that’s perfect for cozy evenings.
  • Packed with Flavor: Smoky bacon, tender chicken, and sweet corn come together beautifully.
  • Easy to Make: Simple steps, minimal ingredients, and ready in under an hour.
  • Seasonal Goodness: Fresh corn, bell peppers, and potatoes make it a perfect summer or fall dish.
  • Perfect for Gatherings: Ideal for family dinners or a comforting addition to any special occasion.

Seasonal Produce Spotlight:

🌽 Corn 🌽

Corn is a summer superstar, bringing it’s sweet, juicy kernels to your table. Did you know Washington State ranks first in the nation for sweet corn production?

Packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, it’s both nutritious and delicious. Look for ears with bright green husks and plump kernels, and store them in the fridge with husks on.

To prepare, shuck the corn and cut the kernels off the cob. Check out The Kitchn’s guide for tips. Enjoy the fresh, vibrant flavors of Washington-grown corn in your summer dishes! For more on the benefits of corn, visit Eating Well.

Looking for more easy summer dinner ideas? Be sure to try our creamy rainbow vegetable pasta, our oven-baked pesto crusted salmon, our lemon herb-crusted cod, and our quick pesto butter salmon.

Don’t forget to pin this for later

Creamy chicken corn chowder in a bowl with crumbled bacon and chives on top with the title of the recipe at the top.

Ingredient Notes

  • Bacon: Smoky, crispy goodness that adds a savory punch.
  • Onion: The aromatic base that brings sweetness and depth. Substitution: Shallots or leeks can be used for a milder flavor.
  • Red Bell Pepper: Adds color and a mild, sweet crunch. Variation: Use yellow or orange bell peppers for a different color.
  • Fresh Jalapeño: Just the right amount of heat; remove seeds for less spice. Tip: For extra heat, leave some seeds in or add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Fresh Garlic: A must for that rich, aromatic flavor.
  • Chicken Breast: Provides lean protein and a hearty element. Substitution: Chicken thighs or rotisserie chicken work well too.
  • Oregano: Warm, earthy goodness. Variation: Double the amount if using fresh oregano.
  • Thyme: Light, slightly minty flavor. Variation: Fresh thyme works too; just double the amount!
  • Smoked Paprika: Rich, smoky depth and vibrant color. Tip: If you don’t have smoked paprika, regular paprika works in a pinch.
  • Sweet Corn: Adds natural sweetness and satisfying crunch. Substitution: Fresh has the best flavor but frozen or canned corn can be used when fresh corn is out of season.
  • Red Potatoes: Creamy and hearty with the skins left on for extra texture and nutrients.
  • Chicken Broth: Forms the flavorful base of the chowder. Substitution: Vegetable broth can be used for a vegetarian version.
  • Heavy Cream: Rich and velvety, making the chowder super creamy. Sub: Half-and-half or coconut milk for a lighter or dairy-free option.
  • Chives: Fresh, mild onion flavor and a pop of green. Variation: Green onions or parsley also make a colorful garnish.

*Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

Chicken corn chowder in a bowl with chopped bacon and chives on top.

Variations

Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder: Sometimes I am in the mood for a spicier version, so instead of removing all of the seeds from the jalapenos, I leave some of them in. And/or I just double up on the jalapeno and add an extra one to the pot. This variation gives the chowder an extra layer of warmth that perfectly balances the sweetness of the corn.

Cheesy Chicken Corn Chowder: Stir in a cup of shredded cheddar cheese or pepper jack cheese just before serving for a creamy, cheesy twist that adds extra richness and flavor.

Seafood Corn Chowder: Substitute the chicken with shrimp, scallops, crab meat, or a combo thereof for a coastal take on the classic chowder. Add the seafood in the last few minutes of cooking to avoid overcooking.

Three-quarter view of chicken corn chowder in a white bowl with bacon and chives on top.

Favorite Sides for Serving

  • Crusty Bread: Ideal for soaking up the creamy broth.
  • Cornbread: A slightly sweet cornbread pairs wonderfully with the savory chowder.
  • Buttermilk Biscuits: Fluffy, buttery biscuits are perfect for sopping up every drop of chowder.
  • Summer Berry Salad: Mixed greens, berries, goat cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette for a sweet and tangy side.
  • Tomato Cucumber Salad: A fresh salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a light vinaigrette to balance the richness of the chowder.
  • Caesar Salad: Crisp romaine lettuce with a creamy Caesar dressing, croutons, and Parmesan cheese for a hearty side.
  • Mango Cucumber Salad: The bright, tangy flavors of ripe mangoes and crisp cucumbers perfectly complement the creamy, savory chowder.

FAQs

Yes, frozen corn works great in this recipe and is a convenient alternative when fresh corn isn’t available. Simply add it directly to the chowder without thawing.

Absolutely! This chowder can be made a day ahead and reheated on the stove. In fact, it often tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld together.

You can substitute chicken thighs for a richer flavor. Alternatively, use leftover rotisserie chicken or even turkey.

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Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder

The perfect combination of smoky bacon, creamy sweet corn, and a hint of jalapeno spice really makes this creamy chicken corn chowder recipe shine.
By: AllieAllie Cleveland
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6 cups
Calories 383 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5 strips bacon
  • 1 small sweet onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeds removed then diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb. red potatoes chopped into one-inch pieces
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into one-inch pieces
  • 2 cups sweet corn kernels fresh or frozen (about 16 oz)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chives or scallions optional (for garnish)

Instructions
 

  • In large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat, fry bacon until crispy about 8-10 minutes. Remove bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel reserving the grease in the pot.
  • In same pot with bacon grease, add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Turn heat up to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes. or until the onions and peppers have softened.
  • Add the oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, and garlic and stir to combine with the onions and peppers. Cook for one minute.
  • Add the potatoes, chicken, and chicken broth. Continue cooking on medium-high heat until soup just begins to simmer. Lower heat immediately to keep on a soft simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, chop bacon into small crumbles.
  • Add the corn and heavy cream and cook for about 10 minutes, until the chowder starts to thicken, and the potatoes and chicken are cooked through.
  • For a thicker consistency, scoop out about a third of the soup and use an immersion blender to puree and then return to the pot.
  • Add half the bacon back to the pot (use the rest as garnish). Then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with bacon and chopped scallions or chives for garnish.
  • If you loved this recipe, be sure to leave a 5-star rating and review below!

Recipe Notes

Spicy Kick: If you like a little more spice, don’t remove all of the seeds or just double up and add two jalapenos instead of one to the pot.
Leftovers: Store any leftover chowder in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving.
To Freeze: Allow it to cool completely before transferring to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove.

Nutrition

Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 25.5g | Fat: 19.6g | Saturated Fat: 7.5g | Cholesterol: 82.1mg | Sodium: 807.1mg | Fiber: 4.1g | Sugar: 11g

*Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Maplevine Kitchen makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!

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