The Best Corn Chowder
This creamy corn chowder recipe is made with golden sweet corn, a variety of garden fresh sweet peppers, and plenty of seasonings. My very favorite!
Before harvest season drew to a close, I was able to get my hands on several ears of sweet corn at the farmer’s market. Yes! I love sweet corn and by the time summer ends, I typically tend to realize I hadn’t eaten enough sweet corn while it was available.
Not now! I am getting my sweet corn fix by transforming those awesome golden kernels into a creamy corn chowder, and I’m including a nice variety of sweet peppers that I picked straight from our garden.
I am calling this recipe “The BEST Corn Chowder” out there because it is a touch different from all the other recipes you’ll find with a simple web search. This recipe includes lot of chili peppers, which brings in a lot of additional flavor. I deeply LOVE the flavors of sweet corn in a great corn chowder, but the addition of sweet peppers (or spicy, if you’d like!) as well as my chosen seasonings and ingredients sets this above and beyond.
Yes, it is my favorite, and I love it so. I hope you love it, too.
I made an extra large batch of this chowder so we can freeze some and enjoy it when the weather turns colder. There is nothing like a summery corn chowder enriched with sweet peppers to bring back those warm summer nights.
Making the soup is a simple enough procedure. Let’s break it down.
Corn Chowder Ingredients
- Butter. 2 tablespoons butter. You can also use olive oil if you prefer.
- Bacon. 3 slices bacon, though you can use more if you really love bacon.
- Peppers. Use 1 pound sweet peppers, chopped. You can use spicier peppers if you’d like.
- Onion. 1 medium sweet onion chopped.
- Corn. Use 4 ears sweet corn husked, kernels removed.
- Garlic. 3 cloves garlic, chopped.
- Flour. ¼ cup flour. This will act as a thickener for the corn chowder.
- Water or Broth. 5 cups water or chicken broth or chicken stock. I prefer chicken broth for more flavor, though vegetable broth is great.
- Potatoes. Use ½ pound yellow potatoes chopped.
- Chili Flakes. 1 tablespoon chili flakes, optional, for a touch of heat.
- Seasonings. Use 1 teaspoon dried basil, salt and black pepper to taste.
- Yogurt. 1 cup plain yogurt. You can also use heavy cream for a richer flavor.
- Garnish. Chopped cilantro, corn kernels and diced peppers for serving.
How to Make Corn Chowder – The Recipe Method
First, melt down the butter in a large pot over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook it down about 10 minutes, or until the bacon begins to crisp up. Toss in the peppers and onion and give it a nice stir. Cook the batch another 7-8 minutes or so to soften them up.
Next, add the corn and garlic and cook for 3 or so minutes, until the corn begins to turn an appealing golden color. Reserve some of the cooked corn kernels for garnish, if you’d like. I like the way the corn kernels look spooned over the top of the serving bowl. Yum!
Add the flour to the pot and stir it in. Cook it down for another minute. Then, slowly stir in the water or chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and add potatoes, chili flakes and basil. Taste it for salt and pepper and add those in to your preference.
Simmer the whole pot about 20 minutes to let the flavors develop and until the potatoes are tender. The chowder will thicken up for you.
Remove from heat and cool it down a bit. Stir in the yogurt and make sure it is completely incorporated. This will add in a nice touch of creaminess and flavor.
Finally, serve into bowls and top with chopped cilantro, reserved corn kernels and chili peppers.
BOOM! Enjoy! Your wonderful corn chowder is ready to serve. I am calling this The BEST Corn Chowder Recipe because I like it more than any others out there! I do like it spicy, my friends. Gotta love a nice, spicy soup with wonderful corn flavor.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Seasonings. Feel free to use some of your favorite seasonings with this corn chowder. It’s great with a nice smoked paprika or Southwest seasonings. Try it with taco seasonings, or some spicy cayenne powder, or a great Cajun blend. Bay leaf is a nice addition, too.
- The Corn. Fresh corn off the cob is best for this recipe, straight off the cob, but you can make it with frozen corn or canned corn. Frozen is better than canned, but both work nicely if you’re unable to find it fresh.
- The Peppers. The inclusion of chili peppers makes this the best corn chowder out there, as well as the seasonings. You just get more flavor this way. If you’re looking for a spicier corn chowder – I know you do, you crazy chiliheads! – incorporate peppers with more zing, such as the jalapeno pepper or the serrano pepper. What about a habanero pepper? Before you ask, YES, you CAN make this recipe with ghost peppers or the Carolina Reaper. Go for it, you spicy food lover! Just go with peppers to your own heat preference.
- Extra Creamy Corn Chowder. If you want your corn chowder extra creamy and smooth, add it to a food processor or blender and process until nice and smooth. Then transfer it back to the pot and stir in the yogurt. You can also process only part of it for a blend of creamy and chunky. Or, use a stick blender. This works nicely with very little mess.
Try Some of My Other Popular Soup Recipes
- Zesty Chicken & Tortellini Soup
- 30-Minute Sweet Potato Soup
- Spicy Thai Curry Chicken Soup
- Cheesy Guajillo-Potato Soup
- Roasted Tomato
- Spicy Pumpkin Soup
I hope you enjoy it! This is one of my very favorite summer soups. Great stuff! Let me know how it turns out for you.
If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
The Best Corn Chowder Recipe
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 slices bacon chopped
- 1 pound sweet peppers chopped
- 1 medium sweet onion chopped
- 4 ears sweet corn husked, kernels removed
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- ¼ cup flour
- 5 cups water or chicken broth
- ½ pound yellow potatoes chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- Chopped cilantro and diced peppers for serving
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat and add bacon. Cook about 10 minutes, or until the bacon begins to crisp up.
- Add peppers and onion and stir. Cook another 7-8 minutes to soften.
- Add corn and garlic and cook 3 or so minutes, until the corn begins to turngolden. Reserve some of the cooked corn kernels for garnish, if desired.
- Add the flour and stir. Cook another minute.
- Slowly stir in the water and bring to a quick boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and add potatoes, chili flakes and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer about 20 minutes to let the flavors develop.
- Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in yogurt.
- Serve into bowls and top with chopped cilantro, reserved corn kernels and chili peppers.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 11/25/20 to include new information. It was originally published on 9/11/17.