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Bacon Corn Chowder

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Bacon Corn Chowder | #soup #recipe

I am seriously in denial that it is the middle of August, that temperatures are back down to being in the 80s, that my Facebook feed is full of adorable kiddos proudly heading back to school, that Halloween candy has arrived in grocery stores, and that summer — my beloved summer — is nearly over.

I feel like summer just began!

I mean, wasn’t it just yesterday that I was pulling out my tank tops and sandals, and kicking on the a/c for the first time, and getting excited (yes, I get excited) for temperatures to climb into the three-digits, and tasting the sweet summer harvest of peaches, and — I just don’t want it to end. I mean, I love my scarves and riding boots, but I love summer more.

Le sigh.

I need to figure out what to do about this lack of warm weather coming my way soon. But in the meantime, the one consolation I have about the impending Season That Is Not Summer is that I happen to really, really love fall food. Namely, soups. I happily enjoy soups year-round, but they seem to be especially comforting in the fall. And one of my favorite transition soups into fall is a good corn chowder, made with fresh summer corn. (Or if that’s not available, canned corn will also make do.)  This week, I happened to have a few fresh ears of Kansas corn in my kitchen. So I paired them with some smoky bacon to try and edge my way into just thinking about this season ahead.

Of course, doing so in a tank top and a glass of iced tea with the windows open and Death Cab’s “Summer Skin” on in the background. Because, you know, baby steps.

Bacon Corn Chowder | #soup #recipe

I love a good corn chowder, and this is a good one. It was the perfect mix of sweet (the corn), smoky (the bacon), cheesy (the cheddar), thick (the potatoes) and creamy (the milk, which is a lighter option than cream). And it was seasoned like a good “chowdah” should be with Old Bay and thyme and a generous pinch of cayenne.

So flavorful! And of course, so comforting as well.

Bacon Corn Chowder | #soup #recipe

It’s a great recipe to celebrate the best of summer in the heart of summer. And a great recipe to celebrate and count down the days til summer…in the heart of winter. ;)

Whenever you make it, though, I’m pretty sure you will love it. Enjoy, friends.

Bacon Corn Chowder | #soup #recipe

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Bacon Corn Chowder

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.3 from 3 reviews
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 6-8 servings 1x


This Bacon Corn Chowder is full of delicious, comforting flavors that can be made with fresh or canned corn.


  • 5 ears of fresh corn, shucked (*or you can substitute 2 15-ounce cans of whole kernel corn, OR a combination of 1 can each of whole-kernel and creamed corn)
  • 8 slices (about 1/2 pound) bacon, diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1.5 pounds potatoes, diced into 1/4-inch cubes (I used Yukon gold)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (add more/less to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt (add more/less to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • optional garnish: extra shredded cheddar cheese, thinly-sliced green onions, reserved bacon bits, sour cream


  1. Heat a large stock pot over high heat. Add the corn kernels and let them dry-roast for about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until their edges begin to brown and caramelize. Transfer the corn to a plate to set aside.
  2. In the same stock pot, fry the bacon pieces over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon grease in the pan, and discard the rest.
  3. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in the flour until combined, then cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add in the chicken stock, milk, potatoes, green chiles, Old Bay, and thyme, and stir to combine. Continue heating until the mixture reaches a simmer but not a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add in the corn, cheese and most of the bacon bits, reserving a few to save as a garnish if desired. Stir to combine.
  5. Taste test the broth, then season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. (I recommended the amounts that I used, but your seasoning preferences may vary.)
  6. Serve warm, with additional garnishes if desired.

Bacon Corn Chowder | #soup #recipe

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37 comments on “Bacon Corn Chowder”

  1. I’m jealous you’re at least getting weather in the 80s! Boston has been super chilly the past few weeks… in the 50s when I wake up in the morning. But I’d totally eat this chowder any time, in any weather :)

  2. I absolutely love corn chowder! Your recipe looks amazing!

  3. I’m so excited for soup and chowder season!

  4. This is totally my kind of soup! So awesome!!

  5. GORGEOUS photos, as always!! Oh I just love love love your blog! (and loved your blog post about blogging today too :)

  6. Ali, the bright colors is this chowder are just irresistible! I’m more of a fall person and am looking forward to the return of more hearty soup recipes in our life. This looks perfect for the cooler temperatures that are coming soon…

  7. This HAS been the fastest summer ever, hasn’t it? I’m just not sure where all of the days went. It’s back to work (teaching) for me in less than a week… sigh… but you’re right, I’ll focus on the positives like all of the yummy soups that are to come! This corn chowder looks amazing, and I love that you’ve used milk rather than cream to lighten it up a bit.

  8. This looks DELISH! I was just watching a Bobby Flay Throw Down with Corn Chowder last night and it made me want some, I’m pretty sure your if you would have made this, your version would totally have won :)

  9. Yum! This looks delicious! I know you’re lamenting the end of summer but this looks like the perfect fall soup =)


  10. Just made a big pot of soup outta leftovers last night…..and froze it. Might have to do the same with this!

  11. Wow amazing photography as always! Soups are super tough to photograph and you showed the ingredients splendidly. I’m so goon make this

  12. I don’t have any old Bay – would Emeril’s Essence work??? This is great…I picked up 5 dz GMO free corn today and yesterday at my favorite discount store I got 4 pkgs of bacon – No Nitrites No nitrates @ $2.59 pkg! Whoopie!

  13. I think you left the potatoes out of the instructions. Just to be clear, we put those in with the stock and milk, right?

  14. This looks awesome!!

  15. Um… HOLY COW yes please! I don’t care if its still 100 degrees outside this needs to get in my belly pronto! Loving your pale yellow dutch oven by the way so stinking cute!

  16. This looks fabulous.. I am definitely gonna try it!

    Do you have by any chance the recipe for Poblano Corn Chowder?

  17. Can you reccommend an alternative broth, we have a poultry allergy in the family, I am not sure what would be a good substitue :)

  18. I’ve read thru the recipe twice and can not figure out what the red ingredient is that looks like red peppers or diced tomatoes. I’d like to make this to take to our senior soup lunch at church. Thanks!

  19. This is an amazing recipe! Tonight is the second time I am making this since I found this recipe. The first time three of my neighbors ate it up, so tonight I am going to enjoy! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!

  20. may sound like a silly question, but did you peel your potatoes or leave the skin on?

  21. Been looking for a corn chowder recipe for AGES that will please my fiancé, he’s so strangely picky about it but I think I may have stumbled across a dynamite one right here!! Will report back! Thank you again for hosting us at your lovely home, you are such a wonderful, humble, gracious person! XO

  22. This chowder is honestly and truly this pregnant chick’s most FAVORITE thing to stuff into her face right now. I’ve made it three times in the last month, which isn’t enough times. Seriously the perfect balance of flavors. Even my food-weird two-year-old scarfs this chowder down like a champion. Thanks for this recipe!!

  23. yummie! this just looks so delicious I think I really have to try it out tomorrow! xo

  24. I prefer this without the Old Bay Seasoning! And a bit more cheese. I also like to add julienned green beans, shredded carrot and celery. :-)

  25. Don’t have any Old Bay here in Canada (that I know of). Any suggestions for a substitution? Soup looks wonderful.

    • Thanks Suzanne! Hmmm, we think a good Old Bay substitute would be this homemade mix: We hope this help, and that you enjoy the recipe! :)

  26. We made this for dinner last night and LOVED it. We added a jalapeno we needed to use up from our garden and chicken to bump the protein and it was so filling and absolutely delicious. Cannot wait to make this year round.

  27. My husband said this is the best soup he’s ever had.

  28. Overall okay. It was a little too rich for my tastes and I wasn’t sure about the Old Bay seasoning in this chowder.

  29. This is such a great recipe! I have enjoyed it as written, but today I added most of a can of pumpkin because I had it left over from another recipe. So good!

  30. This was soooo good just as it is. I was wondering if it can be frozen? I like to make large batches of soup, divide it into individual servings and freeze?

    • Ive always read that soups with milk or cream shouldn’t be frozen as the milk separates and becomes grainy, so i never do.