Creamy Potato Chowder With Bacon

Creamy Potato Chowder With Bacon

The Spruce Eats / Loren Runion

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
221 Calories
10g Fat
25g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 221
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 650mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 10mg 52%
Calcium 18mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 620mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The first thing people think of when they hear the word "chowder" is probably clam chowder, which is a wonderful thing, but clams are not the easiest things to deal with, and you don't typically have some just lying around. On the other hand, potatoes are a different story, as are the rest of the ingredients for this hearty potato chowder. So in reality, the word "chowder" refers to any cream-based soup thickened with flour and featuring potatoes.

This one is made with red potatoes, which is nice for the color (since you don't peel them), although any firm, waxy potato such as whites or Yukon Golds will also work. The bacon adds a salty, smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the creamy soup. Serve with crackers, crusty bread, or salad.


  • 2 ounces salt pork, or 2 strips bacon

  • 1/2 large onion, chopped

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 quart chicken stock

  • 1/4 cup white wine

  • 1 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 3/4 cup half-and-half

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Ground pepper, to taste

  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for creamy potato chowder with bacon recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Loren Runion

  2. Cut the salt pork or bacon into about 1/4-inch cubes. If using bacon, this may be easier if you let the bacon sit in the freezer for a few minutes before dicing it.

    Pieces of bacon

    The Spruce Eats / Loren Runion

  3. Add the pork or bacon to a heavy-bottomed saucepot or soup pot and heat it slowly over low heat, stirring more or less constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the fat is liquefied. Be careful not to let the fat burn. Lower the heat if it starts to smoke.

    Bacon in a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Loren Runion

  4. Add the chopped onion and cook it over medium heat until it's translucent but not brown, another 4 minutes or so.

    Onions cooking with bacon

    The Spruce Eats / Loren Runion

  5. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon while it's absorbed into the bacon fat, making a roux. Cook the roux for another 3 to 4 minutes, but like the chopped onion, don't let it brown.

    Add flour to the onion and bacon mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Loren Runion

  6. Slowly whisk in the stock, making sure the roux is fully incorporated into the liquid. Keep stirring while the mixture comes to a boil, and then add the white wine.

    Add stock and white wine to the bacon mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Loren Runion

  7. Add the potatoes and simmer 15 minutes or so, or until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a knife. You should see an occasional slow, gentle steam bubble but not the rapid bubbling of a full boil.

    Add potatoes to the soup in the saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Loren Runion

  8. While you're waiting for the potatoes to cook, heat the half-and-half in a small saucepan. You want it hot but not boiling so that when you add it to the soup it won't cool down the chowder.

    Half-and-half in a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Loren Runion

  9. Add the hot half-and-half and bring the chowder back to a simmer for just a moment. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve hot.

    Chowder simmering in the pot

    The Spruce Eats / Loren Runion


Cut the potatoes in as uniform size as possible so they take the same amount of time to cook.

Do you have to peel potatoes for chowder?

This potato chowder recipe keeps the potato skins on. The peels on the potatoes not only provide some color to the soup but also add a little extra texture.