Crock Pot Corn Chowder

5 from 19 votes

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My crock pot corn chowder is a thick soup with tender potatoes, bacon and spicy heat. Make this easy corn chowder recipe for a hearty meal!

close up: ladle full of crock pot corn chowder


I love to make crockpot meals, and if you work from home like I do, then you have the benefit of smelling your meal as it cooks. If you have to leave the house, then rest assured; when you get back home, dinner will be ready and waiting.

Crock pot corn chowder

Loaded with sweet corn, chunks of tender potatoes, carrots onions, and crumbled, smoky bacon, this Southwest inspired corn chowder is amazing! There’s a slight kick from a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, and although it’s super creamy, there is no cream in this chowder soup!

That’s right, no cream or butter are used, but the flavors and textures still scream pure comfort food.

Prep the veggies and into the slow cooker they go. Push one little button and you’re set! This robust and hearty corn chowder soup is loaded with creamy goodness and flavors of the Southwest!

chowder in slow cooker

Ingredient notes and substitutions

  • Sweet corn

The fall and winter months are the very best time of year to enjoy corn chowder. Unfortunately, fresh sweet corn is only in season during the summer. It’s okay, though; my easy corn chowder recipe calls for either frozen or canned corn.

In addition to the niblets, you’ll also need a can of creamed corn. This is my secret ingredient for making a thick and creamy corn chowder without heavy cream. The benefits here are that creamed corn is less expensive and lower in calories.

  • Thickeners

This chowder recipe is made in the crock pot, so rather than making a traditional roux to thicken the soup, I use a slurry of cornstarch and evaporated milk.

I use evaporated milk because it contains 60% less water then regular milk. If you make slow cooker soups often, you probably know that they don’t reduce down and thicken. This is because the steam can’t escape during cooking. The slurry thickens the crock pot corn chowder soup perfectly.

overhead: diced potatoes onions and carrots with bacon and corn in crock pot
  • Other veggies

Diced potatoes are what make a chowder a chowder, and onions are a standard ingredient. Yellow, white, or even red onion can be used. As for the potatoes, I prefer to use Yukon Gold or thin skinned reds. You can use Russet potatoes, and they do a good job of helping to thicken the chowder. However, they tend to break down and become mealy if the soup cooks too long.

I like to add diced carrots for a pop of color, but you can leave them out and the soup will be delicious.

The only other veggie I use in this recipe is a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. I like to make my own chipotle peppers, and it’s easier than you might think! If you don’t want that extra work, just buy a can of them.

💡 No waste PRO TIP
You can freeze chipotles in adobo!

To freeze the chiles, chop them (or leave them whole), and freeze them surrounded in adobo sauce in an ice cube tray. When you want to add a spicy kick to a bowl of Instant pot chili or some scrambled eggs, pop out a cube and toss it into whatever you’re making.

  • Optional meat

I add bacon to my crock pot corn chowder because I love the smoky flavor it adds. If you’d like to make a vegetarian corn chowder, you’re welcome to omit the meat.

However, if you’re a meat lover and you want add more meat, feel free to add any cooked protein of your choice. The most popular is chicken corn chowder, but feel free to use your imagination! I think it would be fantastic with leftover holiday ham or turkey breast.

Video: making corn chowder

For visual step by step instructions, be sure to watch the video located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!

ladle full of thick creamy soup with potatoes and bacon

Recipe notes and tips

  1. Dice the veggies uniformly. Don’t stress over this; just try to keep the veggies approximately the same size. This ensures that everything cooks evenly.
  2. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
  3. Reheat on stove top over medium heat. If your corn chowder is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before reheating.

Note:
If you’re planning to freeze the corn chowder soup, I recommend using red potatoes. The second choice is Yukon Gold, and Russets only if there are no other options.

I find that Russets tend to get mealy in texture after being frozen, though not every time. My thinking is it the amount of starch in them, not positive. Just something to think about.

Southwest Slow Cooker Corn Chowder

Those pops of sweet corn, the slight kick from the chipotle, tender carrots and potatoes and the smoky bacon all come together. Looks pretty good for no cream or butter, huh? Tastes even better, and this recipe makes a large batch, so I usually freeze half for a later use.

Serve it with a crusty loaf of bread or some Mexican cornbread and you’ll be set for a delicious comfort food meal!

For other crock pot meal ideas, check out my recipes for sweet and sour ribscrock pot bolognese sauce, or root beer pulled pork.  Enjoy!

2 bowls of vegetarian corn chowder

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This post, first published on Kevin Is Cooking Oct. 24, 2016, was last updated with new content on Nov. 26, 2021.

close up: ladle full of crock pot corn chowder

Crock Pot Corn Chowder + Video

5 from 19 votes
This crock pot corn chowder has a southwestern kick from chipotle chiles and smoky bacon. Make this chowder recipe for a comforting meal!
Servings: 10 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 hours
Total: 5 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Either render bacon in skillet until crisp or wrap slices of bacon with several layers of paper towel and microwave for 4 minutes to render fat and get crisp. Chop and set aside.
  • Dice potatoes, carrots and onion into 1/2 inch pieces, set aside.
  • In a slow cooker add diced vegetables, frozen and creamed corn, chipotle pepper, seasonings and chicken broth. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours until vegetables are softened and cooked.
  • Whisk together the evaporated milk and cornstarch. Stir into slow cooker and cook for another 30 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally. Stir in chopped chicken and chopped bacon. Adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Before serving add the parsley and ladle into bowls.

Video

Notes

  1. If planning on freezing, red potatoes are best, next ae Yukon Gold, and Russets are last in choice. Russets sometimes become mealy in texture after being frozen.
  2. Nutritional information shown is per serving, without optional chicken.

Nutrition

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 517mg | Potassium: 875mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2722IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Soups
Cuisine: American, Southwest
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image of crock pot corn chowder

Kevin

Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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65 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Soup when it is cold outside just hits the spot for me and this soup rocked my world. The corn and the bacon make is sweet and savory! It is a very hearty and filling soup and is a meal in itself. Serve with a salad and some bread and dinner is done!!

  2. 5 stars
    Kevin,

    Made this a couple of days ago and it was a big hit! Used red potatoes because I knew I’d need to freeze the leftovers (really appreciate the tip!). I always purée canned chipotles and the adobo sauce then freeze in 1 tbsp portions. I used one tbsp to make the soup and it was definitely not too hot, seems to have mellowed during the cook as you said. So, next time I’ll probably up it to 2 because we’re fans of the smoky heat they bring to complement the other flavors in your soup. Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. Thank YOU Dave! Love the chipotle puree tip, I gotta try that one. Have a great day. Cheers! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I remember this one, Kevin! I mean, this chowder is too delicious to forget, right!? It’s still really cold here (we got snow the other day), so I’m still in full blown cozy soup mode, and this southwest flavor packed deliciousness is SCREAMING my name! Pinning (again!)! Cheers!

  4. 5 stars
    This sounds delicious! I’m a soup fan any time of year, and being from Iowa originally, I
    Love corn. I need to try this soon, I’ve been wanting to use my crock pot more.

    1. Hi there Cathy! Have you made it to the States yet? Bust out that crock pot and give this one a try, you’ll love it. Cheers!

  5. This looks and sounds delicious. What kind of potatoes do you use that will freeze well? I froze another homemade soup but the potatoes were mealy when thawed. I don’t recall which potatoes I used but the texture was distasteful enough that I’ve never frozen another soup or stew containing cooked potatoes.

    1. If I am planning on freezing I would use red potatoes, next Yukon Gold and Russet last in choice. I find Russets tend to get mealy in texture after being frozen, though not every time. My thinking is it’s the amount of starch in them, not positive. Just something to think about.
      I updated the recipe to reflect your inquiry. Thanks Renee!

      1. Thank you, Kevin. I’ll make it with red bliss. Fortunately, that’s what we have in the pantry. I may try freezing just a small amount as a test.

    1. Thanks so much Karly. Always fun to connect with new peeps here! Went over to your site and now I need your Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip. Stat. Holy smokes that looks killer!

  6. 5 stars
    Another winner for the slow cooker. Love all of these flavors – confession: I’d have to cut it to 1/2 a chipotle pepper. Just looking at that whole one made me start to sweat. 😉

    1. It actually mellows in the slow cooker I think. Sometimes when I used to put it on long timers, all the intense herbs and seasonings would get muddled. No more of that.