Creamy Corn Chowder is easy to make on your stove-top or in the Instant Pot! This flavorful and cozy chowder recipe is filling, comforting, and classic. Great for both cold weather and summer nights alike!
Corn Chowder Recipe:
I have to say I’ve done it, I have finally perfected my corn chowder recipe! I absolutely love our Crockpot Corn Chowder and this is my best stovetop/instant pot version. This is one of the coziest soups I have ever made and we are in love with it. The sub-zero temperatures and snow have me craving this for dinner, and super excited for leftovers at lunch the next day! This corn chowder can be made on your stove top, slow cooker, or in your Instant Pot if you prefer that method. If you want anther fun way to do corn chowder try my Corn Tortellini Chowder too!
What Makes Chowder Different from Soup?
A chowder is simply a soup that is thick and chunky and has a rich, cream based broth. Corn chowder is a thick soup that is made primarily with corn. For this recipe you can use fresh, frozen, or canned corn! There are many versions of corn chowder out there. Typically though, they are all hearty and made with butter and cream for a rich flavor. My version also includes ham, and red potatoes for extra body to the soup. You’ll find that corn chowder is simple to make with only about 10 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes on the stovetop.
How to Make Corn Chowder:
- Melt the butter. Place a large soup pot over medium high heat. Melt the butter then add the onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft.
- Add the potatoes. Pour in the corn, diced ham, Italian seasoning, celery salt, ground mustard, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper, along with the chicken broth. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, just until the potatoes are fork tender (careful not to overcook them).
- Whisk in the sour cream. Once the potatoes are tender, give the soup another stir and gradually whisk in the sour cream.
- Combine the half and half and cornstarch in a separate bowl. Stir until no lumps remain, then add this mixture to the chowder, stirring constantly.
- NOTE: SEE THE RECIPE CARD FOR THE FULL STOVE TOP AND INSTANT POT VERSIONS.
Storing Chowder for Later:
This chowder, once completely cooled, can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days. I recommend simmering on the stove over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until warmed through when reheating. This soup does not freeze well with the cream and sour cream.
What Goes With Corn Chowder?
I love serving this soup with a loaf of toasted french bread! Other options are these tasty Drop Biscuits or this Cheesy Garlic Skillet Bread. If you’re looking for something lighter, then serve with a simple green side salad or a pan of Roasted Green Beans.
- Corn – You can use fresh, frozen, or canned corn for this recipe! For fresh corn, you’ll need 4-5 ears.
- Bacon or Ham – This is completely optional. Leave it out for a vegetarian friendly version (and swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth) or make use of leftover ham from another meal. You can also fry up some bacon to crumble on top instead!
- Cream – Feel free to use half and half, heavy cream, or whole milk as the thickening agent. Note that heavy cream will yield the thickest, creamiest results.
Creamy Corn Chowder
- 8 Slices Bacon, Cooked & Crumbled, OPTIONAL
- 2 Pounds Red Potatoes (about 4 medium), Washed and cut into 1/2-1 inch chunks
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Large Onion, Diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 3 Cups Corn Kernels**
- Salt & Pepper, To Taste
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon Celery Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, Optional
- 4 Cups Chicken Broth
- 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Cup Half & Half, Cream, or Whole Milk
- 2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
- 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Optional
- Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes until onion is soft.
- Add the cubed potatoes, corn, ham, seasonings, and broth to the pot and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes just until potatoes are fork tender.
- Once the potatoes are tender, whisk the sour cream into the soup.
- Measure the cream in a liquid measuring up and stir in the cornstarch until no lumps remain. Pour the cream mixture into the soup while stirring constantly.
- Simmer the soup for 3-5 more minutes until thickened. Serve immediately garnished with shredded cheese, green onions, parsley, or extra sour cream if desired.
INSTANT POT METHOD:
- Turn the instant pot to saute mode and add the butter. Once the butter is melted add the onion and garlic.
- Cook the onion and garlic, stirring constantly for about 3-4 minutes until the onion is soft.
- Turn the instant pot off. Add the cubed potatoes, corn, ham, all of the seasonings and the broth to the pot. Stir once to combine.
- Place the lid on the pot and set the valve to sealing position. Cook the soup on manual/high for 8 minutes.
- Once the 8 minutes is up, allow the pot to natural pressure release (don’t do anything) for 10 minutes. Then, quick release the remaining pressure.
- Carefully open the instant pot and stir in the sour cream. Whisk together the cream and cornstarch.
- Turn the instant pot to saute mode. Stir the cream/cornstarch mixture into the chowder and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes until thickened.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.