Corn Chowder
This Corn Chowder recipe is destined to become a new easy family favorite – and definitely one of mine! It’s ridiculously creamy (but lightened up) loaded with sweet corn, juicy sausage, creamy potatoes, carrots, celery, garlic and onions for a symphony of comforting flavors and texture in every spoonful. It’s also extremely versatile and pantry friendly – swap the sausage for ground beef, turkey or chicken, the potatoes for sweet potatoes, cauliflower etc., and add any of your favorite veggies. This corn chowder also reheats beautifully for make ahead dinner or lunches!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 20minutes
Cook Time
40minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 20minutes
Cook Time
40minutes
Corn Chowder
Ingredients
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 1lb. hot Italian sausage, casings removedsee notes for substitutions
  • 1 medium yellow onionchopped
  • 1cup chopped carrots
  • 1cup chopped celery
  • 2 1/2cups Yukon gold potatoespeeled and diced into 1/4-1/2” cubes
  • 4-6cloves garlic minced
  • pinch-teaspoon red pepper flakesoptional for spicy
  • 1/3cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 14.75 oz. cans cream style corn
  • 30ounces cornfresh, frozen (not thawed) or canned
  • 2teaspoons chicken bouillon
  • 1teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2tsp EACH dried oregano, dried thyme, salt
  • 1/4teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4cups low sodium chicken broth
Add later
  • 2cups half and half
Instructions
  1. Heat one tablespoon oil in a large soup pot/Dutch oven over medium heat-high. Add sausage, onion, carrots and celery and cook until sausage is cooked through and onions are tender.
  2. Add potatoes, garlic, red pepper (if using) and sauté 30 seconds.
  3. Sprinkle in flour and cook an additional 1 minute while stirring (it will be thick).
  4. Stir in creamed corn, corn, chicken bouillon, bay leaves and all seasonings. Whisk cornstarch with 1 cup of chicken broth and stir in. Add remaining chicken broth.
  5. Cover and bring to a boil then uncover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn’t burn.
  6. Stir in half and half and heat through. Discard bay leaves. Taste and season salt/pepper to taste if desired.
Recipe Notes

 *Don’t miss the how to make corn chowder video in the post!

TIPS AND TRICKS 

  • Use hot Italian sausage. This corn chowder recipe will work with chicken, bacon and any other protein, but it doesn’t get any better than juicy, flavorful sausage.
  • Alternate ground protein.  You can swap the sausage for lean ground beef or turkey seasoned with Italian seasonings, fennel and a pinch of red pepper flakes to mimic Italian sausage.
  • Rotisserie chicken:  add 2 1/2 cups rotisserie chicken with the half and half.  If you use chicken instead of sausage, you will need to use 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoon butter to cook the carrots/celery/onions in.
  • Don’t drain the drippings.  We are going to use the sausage grease instead of adding additional butter to create the roux.
  • Red pepper flakes. I only suggest using red pepper flakes if you want a spicy soup because the sausage already will have a little kick. We love heat at our house, so we use both.  You may also use mild Italian sausage and add red pepper flakes to taste.
  • Customize vegetables.  In addition to the mirepoix, you can add whatever veggies you have on hand or mix it up just for fun!  Green beans, zucchini, cabbage, bell peppers etc. Just be aware most vegetables only need 10 minutes to cook – see my detailed instructions in the Variations section.
  • Vegetable size.  Chop carrots and celery a about 1/4-inch thick so they will cook in time.
  • Consistency.  You can make this corn chowder more or less “chunky” or more or less creamy.   For a less chunky soup, simply add additional broth or half and half at the end of cooking.  See section on how to make it creamier.
  • Gluten Free.  If you want to make gluten free corn chowder, use gluten-free flour – the rest of the ingredients should be gluten free, but make sure to check ingredient labels.
  • Vegan.  To make vegan corn chowder, omit the sausage, use 5 tablespoons olive oil to sauté the vegetables, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth, replace the half and half with plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice whisked with 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch.

    Even healthier Corn chowder:

    • Swap the Italian sausage for ground turkey seasoned with Italian seasoning, fennel and a pinch of red pepper flakes or swap it for rotisserie chicken.
    • Swap the half and half for evaporated milk whisked with 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
    • Swap the potatoes for cauliflower chopped into bite size pieces and add them the last 5 minutes of cooking.
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    HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT 

    • Storage:  let the corn chowder cool to room temperature, then cover and store in your Dutch oven or transfer to an airtight container.  Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
    • Stove:  reheat large batches on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally about 10 minutes.
    • Microwave:  transfer individual servings to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lids or paper towel.  Microwave for 90 seconds, stir, then continue to microwave for 20-second intervals, if needed.
    • Crockpot:  transfer soup to a crockpot and heat on low for 1-3 hours.  The time will depend on how much soup you have remaining.

    HOW TO  FREEZE 

    As a general rule of thumb, creamy soups do not freeze well as the texture can become unpleasantly grainy as the dairy and fat separate. You can still freeze the soup with these expectations, or omit the half and half when freezing, then add the half and half to the soup after defrosting.  Alternatively, you can swap the half and half for evaporated milk (see tips section in post).

    • Cook the corn chowder according to recipe directions but omit the half and half or swap it with evaporated milk + 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
    • Allow soup to cool completely then transfer soup to an airtight freezer safe container or freezer bag.
    • Freeze for up to 3 months.
    • When ready to use, defrost overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in the microwave, crockpot or stove, adding half and half if omitted.