Filling and Hearty Corn Chowder

Potato corn chowder Jonelle Weaver / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings

Creamy corn chowder made with evaporated milk, red bell pepper, thyme, and chives is rich, hearty and filling, perfect for a chilly weeknight meal in front of the fire.

This recipe uses frozen corn, so you can serve this soup year-round if desired. Substitute fresh corn if it's in season -- if you like soup in the heat of August, that is.

Serve corn chowder in a bread bowl for a full meal. And check out the variations using bacon, ham, lobster, crab or potatoes that make corn chowder even more of a meal all on its own.

Corn chowder can be frozen up to two months if you want to make a big batch and have it on hand.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 6 cups (two 16-ounce packages) frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed, divided use
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fluid-ounce can) evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed milk)
  • 1 ​red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Steps to Make It

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Gently saute the onions in the butter, stirring often, until soft and translucent. Do not brown.

  3. Add 4 cups of the corn to the onions, along with ​chicken broth.

  4. Cook, stirring often until corn is tender, about 15 minutes.

  5. Pour corn, onions, and liquid into a food processor and puree in batches until smooth.

  6. Return to the pot and add remaining 2 cups of corn, evaporated milk, bell pepper, and thyme.

  7. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often until soup is thickened and peppers are soft.

  8. Season the chowder with salt and pepper and garnish with chives to serve.

Recipe Variations

  • Bacon Corn Chowder: Add 4 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and chopped, to the chowder during the last 5 to 10 minutes of simmering time.
  • Ham Corn Chowder: Add 1 cup chopped ham during the final 5 to 10 minutes of simmering.
  • Lobster or Crab Corn Chowder: Substitute fish, seafood or clam broth for half of the chicken broth. Add 1 cup chopped lobster or crab during the final 5 to 10 minutes of simmering.
  • Potato Corn Chowder: Substitute 1 cup diced potatoes for half of the final 2 cups of corn during the final 5 to 10 minutes of simmering, You might need to cook longer until the potatoes to get tender. 
  • Potato and Bacon or Ham Corn Chowder: Add either bacon bits or chopped ham and potatoes to the corn chowder recipe for a supremely hearty dish.