Savor the taste of summer sweet corn in this easy corn chowder recipe! Packed with fresh corn and potatoes, it’s creamy, comforting, and delicious.
It’s the perfect time of year to make corn chowder. Summer veggies like sweet corn and peppers still abound at the farmers market and grocery store, but as the sun sets earlier and the temperatures cool, a comforting bowl of soup can really hit the spot.
This corn chowder recipe is everything I’m craving right now. A meal in a bowl, it’s filled with chunky potatoes, corn kernels, red peppers, and a lightly creamy broth that’s bursting with sweet corn flavor. To balance the sweetness, I throw in savory celery and a dash of Old Bay Seasoning, smoked paprika, and cayenne for heat. And of course, I add a squeeze of lemon juice for a bright, tangy finishing touch. All in all, this corn chowder recipe is comforting, satisfying, and intensely flavorful. If you need a great way to enjoy the last of your summer corn, look no further. This is it!
Easy Corn Chowder Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy corn chowder recipe:
- Sweet corn, of course! You’ll need 6 ears of corn on the cob. Tip: Save the husks and silks to add to homemade vegetable broth!
- Butter – For sautéing the veggies. Feel free to use vegan butter (or even olive oil) if you’d like to make this recipe dairy-free.
- Onion, celery, garlic, and red bell pepper – They create the savory base of the soup.
- Yukon Gold potatoes – They add delicious chunks to this corn chowder recipe, and they contribute to its creamy texture.
- Old Bay Seasoning – It adds more savory flavor and a hint of spice.
- Smoked paprika – For smokiness.
- Dried thyme and a bay leaf – For aromatic depth of flavor.
- Cayenne – For heat. Use as much or as little as you like depending on how spicy you want your corn chowder to be.
- Raw cashews or heavy cream – They make the soup thick and creamy. Both options are fantastic! Pick whichever you prefer.
- Fresh lemon juice – For brightness and tang.
- And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Make Corn Chowder
Ok, here’s my favorite thing about this corn chowder recipe: it uses the corncobs in addition to the corn kernels!
You’ll start by slicing the kernels off the corncobs. Once you do, run the back of your knife down the sides of cobs. They’ll release a milky liquid that makes this chowder extra-creamy and corn-tastic. Set the kernels, the cobs, and the corn liquid aside for now.
Next, sauté the onion, celery, and red bell pepper in the butter, and stir in the garlic, potatoes, spices, bay leaf, and 5 cups of water. Then, add the corncobs to the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
No broth required! Simmering the corncobs in the soup creates a quick corn stock, which really packs this recipe with sweet corn flavor.
Remove and discard the corncobs and bay leaf, and add the corn kernels and the milky corn liquid to the pot.
Simmer for another 10 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender.
Then, scoop out 2 cups of the soup and transfer it to a high-speed blender. Add the cashews and blend until smooth.
If you’re using heavy cream instead of the cashews, just puree the soup on its own. You’ll stir the cream straight into the soup pot in the next step.
Pour the creamy puree back into the pot and stir to combine. If you’re making the cashew variation, just add the lemon juice and season to taste!
If you’re making the cream variation, pour in the cream and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes to mellow its flavor. Add the lemon juice, taste and adjust the seasonings, and enjoy.
Best Corn Chowder Serving Suggestions
Before you dig in to this corn chowder recipe, top your bowl with chopped chives. They add a fresh, oniony note that really completes the soup. I also like to dollop on a little sour cream or vegan sour cream for extra tangy flavor.
Serve with crusty bread for mopping up any soup left at the bottom of your bowl.
Leftover corn chowder will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. It also freezes well.
More Favorite Soups for Early Fall
If you love this corn chowder recipe, try one of these early fall soups next:
Packed with corn and potatoes, this easy corn chowder recipe is hearty, comforting, and flavorful. I offer two variations below: a dairy-free version with raw cashews or a more traditional one with heavy cream. Both yield a delicious, creamy soup that I think you’ll love!
- 6 ears fresh sweet corn, husks and silks removed
- 2 tablespoons butter or vegan butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 5 cups water
- 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinches of cayenne pepper
- ⅓ cup raw cashews*
- 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Chopped chives, for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sour cream or vegan sour cream, optional, for serving
Slice the kernels off the corn cobs, then use the back of a chef’s knife to scrape off the milky liquid that’s left on the cob. Snap the cobs in half and set aside.
Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the garlic, then add the water, potatoes, Old Bay, salt, thyme, paprika, bay leaf, cayenne, several grinds of pepper, and the corn cobs. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove and discard the corn cobs and bay leaf. Add the corn kernels and milky corn liquid to the pot and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a high-speed blender and add the cashews. Blend until creamy, then stir the mixture back into the soup. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste.
Garnish with chives and serve with dollops of sour cream, if desired.
*For a more traditional corn chowder, skip the cashews. After you puree 2 cups of the soup, add it back to the pot along with ½ cup heavy cream. Stir in the lemon juice and simmer gently over very low heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the chowder thickens slightly and the raw cream flavor mellows. Season to taste and serve.