Potato Corn Chowder is a thick and hearty soup packed with creamy potatoes, sweet corn and lots of crispy bacon bites. This creamy corn chowder recipe has the richness of a loaded potato soup with added sweetness from corn kernels & a hint of smokiness from the crisp bacon. Your whole family will enjoy this bacon potato corn chowder recipe year round!
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Easy Potato Corn Chowder Recipe
If you love the flavors of this chicken corn chowder and New England clam chowder recipe you’ll truly enjoy this potato corn chowder with bacon. It’s so good, so thick, rich, creamy and filled with huge flavors.
You can make this chowder recipe with either fresh summer corn on the cob or even frozen or canned corn kernels. Todays recipe will feature frozen corn kernels. A great way to make old fashioned corn chowder recipe quickly at home any day of the week!
Add hot sauce or red pepper flakes to make it spicy or you can even sprinkle a good amount of cayenne pepper. This recipe is so versatile and you can easily adjust it to suit your personal taste preference. You can even make it low carb and completely dairy free. So many ideas shared below!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Potatoes: Yukon gold, russet or yellow potatoes work great for this soup. We have used Yukon gold potatoes for it’s fluffy creamy texture.
- Corn: Frozen corn kernel. You can also sub it with fresh corn on the cob or canned corn kernels.
- Bacon: For a quick corn and potato chowder recipe use crispy fried bacon bites and cook the chowder in bacon fat for intense smoky bacon flavor. We love to dice the bacon into small squares, fry them into crispy bites in a skillet on the stove top, drain and preserve the bacon fat and store the crispy bacon bites in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 6 months. We use both the crispy bacon bites and the bacon fat to make quick homemade soups and chowders. This saves a lot of time! However, you can skip this step and fry the fresh bacon in the instant pot and than proceed with the chowder recipe.
- Aromatics: Yellow onion and minced garlic. Do not use red onion. You can use sweet onion also.
- Veggies: Celery and carrots. You can also add about ½ cup roughly diced red bell pepper.
- Seasonings: Thyme, ground or crushed black pepper, sweet paprika and salt according to your own personal taste preference.
- Dairy: Heavy whipping cream. You can sub it with half and half.
- Cheese: Pre-shredded or grated sharp cheddar cheese. This will elevate the flavor of this instant pot corn chowder recipe almost instantly and make the soup way more creamier and velvety thick.
- Liquid: Water or chicken stock. You can also use vegetable stock.
- Cooking fat: Bacon fat. To cut back on the calories sub the bacon fat with light or extra light olive oil. You can also use butter if you do not have bacon fat handy.
- Thickener (optional): Cornstarch slurry. Use equal amounts of cornstarch and water diluted together to form a smooth slurry. Use this as a gluten free thickener. You can also skip the cornstarch and mash a few potatoes and corn kernels with the
Tips for success
- For creamy flavorful chowder: Add grated or pre-shredded sharp cheddar cheese and heavy whipping cream for an extra creamy and velvety potato bacon corn chowder recipe. You can sub the sharp cheddar with mozzarella cheese.
- Cutting back calories: Sub the heavy whipping cream with whole milk or half & half and skip the cheddar cheese. Also, sub the bacon fat or butter with extra light or light olive oil. To cut back the calories even further cook the chowder with fat free or 1% milk. You can even use plant based milk like oat milk or almond milk. This homemade corn chowder won’t be rich and creamy however, it’ll still be tasty.
- Low carb corn and potato chowder: If you are on a low carb diet than do sub the diced potatoes with diced cauliflower and change the cook time to 3 mins instead of 5 mins. The rest of the recipe would remain the same.
- Avoid curdled dairy: Always add warm milk and warm heavy whipping cream to the chowder after turning off the instant pot. Do not add the dairy before pressure cooking the summer corn chowder. The dairy will curdle and separate.
- Avoid curdled cheese: Add the cheese at the end and mix well to naturally thicken the creamy soup. Do not cook down the chowder after adding the cheese. The cheese will curdle badly and you’ll have a super grainy potato chowder!
- Thicken the soup: You can either thicken the soup by adding cornstarch slurry to the soup. It’s a naturally gluten free thickener. You can also skip the cornstarch and thicken the soup naturally by mashing a few cooked potatoes and corn kernels with the back of the ladle. Adding the shredded cheese will also help thicken the corn chowder instant pot recipe to some extent.
How to make potato corn chowder? (Instant pot method)
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Sauté veggies & aromatics
- Sauté veggies: Sauté veggies & aromatics in the instant pot on sauté mode set at high heat setting. Add salt to quicken the process. Once, the veggies begin to turn soft add all the seasonings and give everything a good stir.
Step #2 Deglaze pot & Pressure cook
- Deglaze pot: Add the potatoes and frozen corn. Pour the stock and deglaze the pot very well by scrapping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will help loosen any stuck food particles and prevent the burn error.
- Pressure cook: Secure the lid, pressure cook on high for just 6 mins followed by a 10 mins natural pressure release. Open the lid carefully. Cancel the pressure cook mode.
Step #3 Make creamy corn chowder
- Add dairy & thicken soup: Mash a few cooked potatoes with the back of a ladle. This will make the soup extra creamy and also help thicken the soup. Add warm heavy whipping cream and cornstarch slurry. Mix well. Add the cheddar cheese and mix well until the cheese completely melts into the soup. Hit the sauté mode and warm up the soup just for 30 seconds on low.
- Serve soup: Add the crispy bacon bits. Mix well. Save some extra bacon bits for garnish. Serve the potato corn chowder immediately garnish with bacon bits. Enjoy!
Crockpot corn chowder
- Combine: Add all ingredients in the crockpot except the heavy whipping cream, cheese and the cornstarch slurry.
- Slow cook: Slow cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.
- Mash: Mash or blend a few cooked potatoes to thicken the soup.
- Add dairy: Add the warm heavy whipping cream, the crispy bacon bits and the cornstarch slurry, mix well. Continue cooking for another 10-15 mins. Add the cheddar cheese at the end and mix well until the cheese completely melts and blends into the soup.
- Serve: Serve the summer corn chowder with extra crispy bacon bits and enjoy!
This hearty corn chowder with bacon is a filling and comforting soup. It can make a whole satisfying meal all by itself. However, if you need extra sides here are some great ideas:
- A light crisp salad on the side.
- Ant crusty bread like sour dough or French baguette for dipping into the chowder.
- Corn bread.
- Bread sticks.
- Air fryer garlic bread.
- Air fryer smashed brussel sprouts.
- Air fryer roasted beets.
- Air fryer carrots and potatoes.
- Butternut squash fries air fryer.
- Instant pot Moroccan couscous.
Leftovers & storage
Fridge: You can store this best corn chowder recipe for up to 5 days in the fridge in air tight containers.
Freezer: If you want to freeze the easy corn chowder recipe than do replace the milk with evaporated milk and freeze the soup in portion controlled freezer safe containers for up to 3 month. Thaw the soup over night in the fridge and than follow the reheating directions shared below.
Stovetop: You can reheat the chowder in a heavy bottomed saucepan on the saucepan over medium heat. Stir the soup frequently to prevent burning. You can also add a splash of water, or milk or half & half or heavy whipping cream before reheating the chowder. This will help to thin out the fridge cold chowder. You can totally control the consistency as per your liking.
Microwave oven: Reheat the chowder in the microwave oven until warm or hot. Add a few splashes of either water or milk or half & half or heavy whipping cream to adjust the consistency of the soup before reheating. Stir gently and than reheat.
More instant pot soups you’ll love
- Lemon chicken orzo soup instant pot.
- Instant pot chicken corn chowder.
- Tom Kha Gai Soup Instant Pot.
- Alaskan salmon chowder.
- Instant pot creamy chicken noodle soup.
- Instant pot chicken wild rice soup.
- Chili’s chicken enchilada soup instant pot.
- Chicken gnocchi soup instant pot.
- Instant pot stuffed pepper soup with sausage.
- Creamy chicken tortilla soup instant pot.
- Unstuffed cabbage roll soup instant pot.
- New England clam chowder instant pot.
- Instant pot Olive Garden zuppa toscana copycat.
- Instant pot cheesy potato soup.
- Creamy chicken tortellini soup.
- Herbed white bean and sausage stew.
- Lamb stew recipe instant pot.
- Instant pot easy lasagna soup.
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Watch Recipe Video
- 2.5 cups potatoes (**yukon gold or russet or yellow potatoes peeled & diced into ½ inch cubes.)
- 2.5 cups Sweet Corn (**frozen. No need to thaw.)
- 1 cup onion (**yellow onion roughly chopped.)
- 1 tbsp garlic (**minced.)
- ½ cup carrot (**diced into small squares.)
- ½ cup celery (**roughly chopped.)
- 1 tbsp bacon (**crispy fried bacon bites. Check NOTES below.)
- 1 tbsp bacon fat
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream (**warm.)
- ½ cup cheddar cheese (**pre-shredded or grated. We used sharp cheddar.)
- Salt (to taste) (**add according to your own personal taste preference.)
- ½ tsp Paprika (**smoked paprika.)
- ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper (**or freshly crushed black pepper.)
- ¼ tsp thyme
- 3 tbsp cornstarch (**mixed with 3 tbsp water to form a slurry.)
- 2.5 cups water
- 1 tbsp Better Than Bouillon (**stirred in the above water to form an instant chicken stock.)
Saute aromatics & veggies
- Set instant pot on SAUTE mode on high heat. Add the butter and bacon fat. When the butter and the bacon fat just begins to melt add the chopped onion, carrots, celery and the minced garlic. Saute until the onion begins to turn soft.
- Add the salt according to your own personal taste preference and also add all the seasonings mentioned above in the "seasonings" section of the ingredients list. Throw in the peeled and diced potatoes and give everything a good stir. Add the frozen corn. Cancel the saute mode.
- Add the stock and deglaze the pot very well by scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will help loosen any stuck food particles and prevent the BURN error.
- Secure the lid of the instant pot, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 6 mins. Once the cooking cycle is over the instant pot will begin to beep, wait for 10 mins natural pressure release than, release the rest of the pressure by manually turning the valve from the sealing to the venting position. Once the metal floating pin on top of the lid drops open the lid carefully.
Add dairy & serve
- Cancel the pressure cook mode. Mash a few cooked potatoes with the back of your ladle or use a potato masher to do the same. You can even puree a few cooked potatoes in a blender and add them back into the chowder. This will help thicken the soup and also make it way creamier.
- Add the warm heavy whipping cream and the pre-shredded or grated cheddar cheese and mix them well until the cheese fully incorporates into the corn chowder. Now, hit back the saute mode and set it on LOW heat. Add the corn starch slurry and the crispy fried bacon bits. Stir to mix well. Warm up the soup for just 30 secs stirring it well. This will help thicken the soup. Do not simmer the soup!
- Serve the potato corn chowder immediately and garnish it with crispy fried bacon bits. You can also top it with more grated cheddar cheese. Enjoy!
- Crispy fried bacon bits: We love to fry the bacon pieces into crispy bits and than store them in an air tight containers in the fridge. We do not discard the left over bacon fat, we store it in an air tight container and use it in several recipes. You can follow this method to save time and you’ll always have crispy fried bacon bits ready to use it in recipes.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch slurry here acts as a gluten free thickener. You can skip it and mash or blend few cooked potatoes and add it back into the chowder to thicken it naturally.
- Spicy potato corn chowder: Add about 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes along with the other seasonings to make the chowder spicy. You can also add hot sauce while serving the corn chowder.
- Corn: You can add canned corn kernels to make this chowder. Drain them well. The recipe and the cook time would remain the same.
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