Slow cooker corn chowder with crispy bacon and fresh chives sprinkled on top is a delicious and easy dinner or cozy lunch to kick off soup season.
Soup season is finally here! Our family is absolutely obsessed with homemade soup recipes and I've been so excited to kick things off with an end-of-summer slow cooker corn chowder made from the still in-season corn on the cob available at our market.
This easy corn chowder recipe only requires a single potato and onion to pair with the sweet corn.
Use the natural starches from the corn cobs along with a splash of cream for a thick and rich soup that pairs perfectly with crispy bacon garnish on top.
Why This is the Best Recipe
Soup season is our favorite time of year! Our family loves making homemade soups with a loaf of homemade bread to go with it.
I think this is the best slow cooker corn chowder recipe because:
- Fresh or Frozen Corn: You can use in-season corn on the cob for the sweetest corn chowder but frozen corn can be used the rest of the year.
- Crispy Bacon: Add my peppered bacon at the end to keep it nice and crunchy.
- Thick and Creamy: The potato and corn starch help to thicken the soup so that just a splash of cream is needed for a bit of richness.
- Freezer Friendly: You can prep this soup during corn season, just wait to add the cream when you reheat it and serve it.
The wonderful thing about this corn chowder recipe is how few ingredients you need to make it:
- Fresh Corn: I used cooked corn on the cob but if you're making this during the winter you could substitute frozen corn.
- Bacon: I used leftover peppered bacon but any bacon will do.
- Potato: A russet potato is the best choice but you could use red potatoes, too.
- Minced Garlic
- Chicken Stock
- Heavy Cream: This gives the soup a very rich flavor but you could substitute fat free half and half or low fat milk if you don't mind a thinner textured soup.
- Dried Thyme
- Salt and Pepper
Prep the Fresh Corn
Starting with fresh corn on the cob will give this chowder the perfect sweet flavor.
I made a big batch of corn on the cob so I could make my sweet corn pizza for dinner one night and purposely saved six cobs to make this soup the next day.
To make fresh corn on the cob:
- Add the corn cobs to a large pot of water over HIGH heat.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Cook for 12 minutes.
- Remove the corn from the water with a pair of tongs.
Use a large chef knife to cut the kernels from the cobs. Reserve 1 cup of corn for stirring in at the very end as garnish.
The remaining corn kernels can be added to the slowcooker.
There is a delicious starch in the cobs of corn that add a fantastic layer to the soup.
Run the back of your chef knife along the cobs to release the milky corn starch and scrape it into the slowcooker.
This takes another couple minutes of effort but is a delicious way to thicken the corn chowder.
Build the Soup
Add the chopped potato and onion to the slowcooker with the corn.
Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Pour in the chicken stock and then stir everything together until well mixed.
Cover the slowcooker and cook the corn chowder on HIGH for 4 hours or on LOW for 6 hours.
Stir the soup once or twice to make sure none of the potatoes stick to the bottom of the pot.
Puree the Soup
Use an immersion blender to puree the corn chowder directly inside the Crockpot.
Otherwise, you can work in batches and puree the soup in a blender and just return the pureed soup to the slowcooker.
Add the lime juice and heavy cream and stir. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Add the reserved cup of corn along with the chopped bacon to the soup and stir.
Alternatively, you could use the reserved corn and bacon as garnish on top of each serving but we liked the texture they added when stirred into the chowder itself.
Best Corn Chowder Garnishes
This sweet corn chowder is a lovely light yellow color and looks so pretty in a plain white bowl.
The chowder is the perfect backdrop for colorful, crunchy garnishes to add visual interest and flavor.
You could top the soup with:
- Chopped Bacon
- Chopped Red Onion
- Chopped Green Chives
- Chopped Green Onions
- A Swirl of Creme Freche
- Drops of Hot Sauce
- More Corn Kernels
- A Bit of Lime Zest
Make Ahead Tips
Corn chowder can be stored in the fridge and reheated gently in a saucepan on the stovetop. It will keep for up to 5 days if you reserve the bacon separately.
Corn chowder freezes quite well without the cream stirred in.
If you plan to freeze it, cook the chowder as directed but wait to add the cream until you reheat the soup before eating it.
Otherwise, the dairy will separate and cause the chowder to be less smooth.
A bowl of corn chowder makes a delicious light lunch or dinner when served with a piece of fresh bread on the side.
My pineapple zucchini bread is a perfect end-of-summer quick bread that would pair quite well with this corn soup as well.
More Slow Cooker Soup Recipes
If you love making soup in your Crock Pot, you won't want to miss these other easy slowcooker soup recipes:
Slow Cooker Corn Chowder
- 1 russet potato peeled and diced
- 1 onion diced
- 6 ears corn on the cob or 4 cups frozen corn
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 4 strips cooked bacon
- Add the diced potato and onion to the bowl of a slow cooker.
- Use a large chef knife to cut the kernels from the ears of corn. Set the kernels from 1 cob in a small bowl and scrape the remaining kernels into the slow cooker.
- Use the back of the chef knife to scrape along the cobs of corn to release all the thick starch and remaining bits of kernels. Add this to the slowcooker as well.
- Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the mixture. Pour in the chicken stock and stir until everything is well mixed.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 4 hours.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup right in the crockpot. It should be mostly blended but bits of corn kernel and chunks of potato can be left for texture.
- Add the lime juice and heavy cream and stir. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Let the cream warm through a minute and then ladle the soup into bowls and top with crumbled bacon and the reserved corn from earlier.
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