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Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon is Super Easy to Make

by | Oct 12, 2021 | Recipes

Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon is a flavorful, cozy soup. It’s filled with diced potatoes, fresh corn from the cob, sautéed onion and sweet red bell pepper, and bacon, all in a rich, cheesy, creamy broth made of half and half, chicken broth, and shredded cheese. Fresh corn is best for this deeply comforting and hearty soup, but it can be substituted with frozen or canned corn when fresh is out of season.

close up of corn chowder garnished and served in a bowl with place setting

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I LOVE potatoes and recently bought a 5-pound bag of potatoes because I wanted to share some starch heavy recipes now that the seasons are changing and we’re all collectively transitioning to eating more hearty, carb heavy meals. So prepare for some carb-loaded goodness in the coming weeks!

I was playing around in the kitchen with an idea for another cozy version of a potato soup at the end of last week. And, while gathering all of my ingredients from the fridge for that soup, I came across some fresh corn I’d bought a week earlier and totally forgotten about.

Do you guys ever have that happen to you?? This is a pretty constant in my life. Girl sees delicious fresh produce on sale for affordable price and buys produce. Girl then puts produce away in fridge and promptly forgets about said produce.

JUMP TO:

INGREDIENTS    SWAPS    TIPS & TRICKS    HOW-TO    RECIPE

Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon

About 8 years ago, I had my one and only experience thus far with corn chowder. It was a crab and corn chowder from a popular regional diner in Northern Virginia. Normally, I’m not big on crab, which is strange since I’m originally from a coastal state. But, this crab and corn chowder was beyond delicious! Seriously, 8 years later and it still crosses my mind at least 3-4 times a year.

close up of potato corn chowder garnished with bacon, shredded cheese, and sliced green onions

So, because I was in full-on potato soup mode and saw this forgotten fresh corn, I suddenly wondered if I could make a crab-less version of corn chowder that would be equally delicious. Let me just tell y’all—this Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon is ridiculously delicious! Even the picky AF eater in my house (who sacrilegiously doesn’t like bacon!!) enjoyed this corn chowder.

I’m not kidding you guys. It’s one of those soups that you’ll finish your bowl, be full, and then wonder if there is anymore soup left. I made this soup on Friday and have eaten some every day since. We have plenty of other food in the house, but I literally keep thinking about eating this damn soup. LOL! So, I knew it was a winner and I had to share it with all of you.

Gonna try out this recipe?

Leave a star rating or review in the comments to let me know what you think!

Ingredients & Notes For Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon

overhead shot of ingredients needed to make potato corn chowder
  • Fresh Sweet Corn – If fresh isn’t available, it can be replaced with frozen or canned corn.
  • Russet Potatoes
  • Bacon – I like to use thick cut bacon from either Oscar Mayer, Smithfield, or Jimmy Dean.
  • Red Onion – I used red onion to give this pale dish a bit more color, but sweet onion will work very well in this dish too.
  • Red Bell Pepper – If you don’t have red, you can easily sub in another color of sweet bell pepper.
  • Chicken Broth – If you have chicken bone broth, this would be a great option too as it will boost the amount of protein in this soup. For bone broth, I like to use either Kitchen Basics, Pacific Foods, or Swanson.
  • Half and Half
  • Shredded Cheese – I used Colby Jack, but any cheese that melts well will be a good choice (ex. Cheddar, Havarti, Fontina, etc.).
  • Seasonings – Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  • Optional Garnishes – Crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, and sliced green onion.

Pin this recipe to make later!

pinterest pin graphic for potato corn chowder with bacon

Ingredient Swaps & Variations

  • Make It More Creamy! – Do you prefer a thicker, creamier soup? If so, then subbing the half and half for heavy cream will give you more of what you desire in the broth for this Potato Corn Chowder.
  • No Russets? No Problem! – You can sub a waxy potato in for the Russets and have a potato soup that’s just as delicious. You’ll want to boil them for about 5 minutes instead of 10 before adding in the corn. Also of note, this recipe anticipates a Russet potato, which breaks down into the soup as it cooks. A waxy potato holds its shape better than a Russet, so the broth will be thinner than with a Russet. If you want a thicker broth, switch the half and half to heavy cream or mash more of the potatoes.
  • Kick It Up a Notch! – If you like a little heat in your corn chowder, you could add a dash of cayenne or chipotle pepper, or your favorite hot sauce. Or, take it one step further and toss in some diced jalapeños when you add the bacon into the soup!

Recipe Tips & Tricks

What to Remember – Bacon grease is HOT! I may or may not have burned myself while coming up with this corn chowder recipe (LOL). Remember to add the bacon slices into the pot by laying them down first at the side of the pot closest to you. Then, moving away from your body as you lay down the rest of the slice. This way, the hot bacon grease is less likely to get on you and burn your skin.

macro close up of corn chowder, ungarnished, in small bowl

What to Avoid – Avoid overcooking your veggies in the beginning stages of the recipe. By cooking them less up front, you can better ensure they still have texture when it’s time to serve rather than being a bunch of mush. So make sure that your potatoes are peeled, prepped, and ready to go by the time you need to add them to the pot.

Recipe Notes

Storage – Store leftovers of this Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon in an airtight glass or plastic container in the fridge. Stored properly, the leftover soup will be good to eat for up to 7 days.

Reheating – This corn chowder heats wonderfully in both the microwave and on the stove top, so pick whatever suits your lifestyle best.

Servings & Nutrition – One serving of this Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon is 1 cup. This recipe makes 6 servings. Each serving has approximately 301 calories, 33 g of carbohydrates, 13 g of protein, 14 g of fat, and 6 g of sugar. For the full recipe and additional nutritional information, please see the recipe card below.

How to Make Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon

Step 1. Prep the corn. Cut the corn kernels off of each cob of corn. Then, use the back of a butter knife and run it along the cob to extract the “milk” the corn cob.

overhead shots of prepping the corn by cutting off the cob and milking the corn cobs

Step 2. In a large pot, add the slices of bacon and cook them to your desired crispness. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate to cool. Transfer the bacon grease left in the pot to a small dish.

Step 3. Adjust your burner to medium high heat and add 2 teaspoons of the reserved bacon grease back into the soup pot. Then, add in the celery and cook for 2 minutes. Next, add in the onions and continue cooking another 3 minutes. Then, add in the bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes before sprinkling in all of your seasonings and continuing to cook for another 2 minutes.

overhead shots of sauteed veggies and potatoes stirred into pot

Step 4. Stir in the potatoes and add in the chicken broth to the pot. Depending on the size of your soup pot, you may need to add more liquid to ensure the potatoes are submerged. Up to 1.5 cups of water can be added and still result in great flavor. If you need more liquid, then add in additional chicken broth.

Step 5. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes. While you wait for the potatoes to boil, chop the cooked bacon into quarter-inch pieces and set aside. Then, use a potato masher and mash the potatoes in the soup pot 4-5 times to break up some of them. (This helps thicken the broth of the soup.) Next, add the half and half to the pot and bring the mixture back up to a boil.

Step 6. Add in the corn and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to medium and add in 3/4 of the chopped bacon; reserve the remaining bacon for garnish. Continue boiling the soup for 5 minutes.

closeup shots showing corn and bacon added to potato corn chowder soup pot

Step 7. Turn off the heat of the burner and gradually stir in 3/4 of the shredded cheese until its fully melted into the soup. Garnish with the reserved chopped bacon, shredded cheese, and (optional) sliced green onion. Serve immediately.

overhead shot of potato corn chowder with garnishes

If you make this recipe, tag me in your photos on Instagram—I love seeing what you guys decided to make!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze the leftovers of this potato corn chowder?

Unfortunately, no, freezing isn’t a good option for leftovers of this soup due to the dairy and the potatoes in it.

Are there any veggies you suggest for bulking up this soup?

Ooh yes, I’m all for adding more veggies to a cozy, creamy soup like this corn chowder! Some that come to mind as a good pairing are broccoli, carrots, peas, and green beans.

Is there a way that I could increase the protein in this corn chowder to make it a bit more substantial?

Absolutely! This soup is deceptively hearty as is. However, if you’re looking to pump up the protein, then I’d suggest some shredded chicken or turkey.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

close up of corn chowder garnished and served in a bowl with place setting

Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon is a deeply flavorful, cozy soup loaded with potatoes, corn, and bacon in a rich, cheesy, creamy broth.

Ingredients

  • 3 ears of sweet corn
  • 3-4 small Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Optional garnishes (bacon, green onions, shredded cheese)
  • Optional additional water, up to 12 oz

Instructions

1. Prepare the corn by cutting the kernels off of each cob and placing them into a bowl. Then, using the back of a butter knife, scrape the down the length of each side of each cob to remove the remaining bits of corn still on the cob. Add these bits to the bowl and set aside.

2. Cook bacon to desired crispiness in a large pot over medium high heat. Then, transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate to cool.

3. Transfer bacon grease to a small dish. Add 2 tsp of the bacon grease back to the pot. Then, add in the celery and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Add in the onions and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Then, add in the bell pepper and continue cooking for 2 minutes.

5. Sprinkle in the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Continue cooking veggie mixture for another 2 minutes.

6. Add the potatoes to the pot and stir in to combine with the veggie mixture. Then, add the chicken broth to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes.

7. While waiting for the potatoes to boil, chop the cooked bacon into 1/4-inch pieces and set aside.

8. Next, use a potato masher to break up some of the potatoes with 4-5 mashes.

9. Add in the half and half and bring the mixture back up to a boil. Then, add in the corn and continue boiling for 5 minutes.

10. Reduce the heat to medium and then add 3/4 of the bacon to the pot, reserving the remaining bacon for garnish. Continue boiling the soup for 5 minutes.

11. Turn off the heat. Then, gradually add in 3/4 of the cheese until it is fully melted into the soup. Garnish with the reserved bacon, remaining cheese, and (optional) sliced green onions. Serve immediately.

Notes

In step 6 when you add the chicken broth to the pot, you'll want to ensure that the potatoes are submerged. Depending on the size of the pot you're using, you may need to add more liquid. You can add up to 12 ounces of water and still retain a flavorful broth. If you need further additional liquid, then you should add additional chicken broth instead of water.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 301Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 939mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 13g

This nutrition data is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. Please keep in mind that your specific nutritional values may vary based on the brand of ingredients you use to make this recipe.

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Hey there! I’m Krystal, the sassy-mouthed, self-taught, home cook behind the content here at Sweet, Savory & Sassy. I have a deep love for sharing food with people and showing folks just how easy it really is to make dishes that will bring a little extra joy to those you love. There’s nothing like making something special for friends and family and seeing their face light up in delight during that first bite!
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