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+ servings
a bowl of corn chowder topped with cheese and bacon
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4.34 from 9 votes

Slow Cooker Corn Chowder

Slow Cooker Corn Chowder captures the taste of summer whether you use fresh or frozen corn kernels. Top this rich, creamy chowder with bacon, green onions, and cheddar cheese. This chowder is naturally gluten-free.
This recipe should be made in a 6-quart Slow Cooker.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Soup
Keyword: gluten free, slow cooker soups, summer
Servings: 4
Calories: 367kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.00

Equipment

  • 6-quart Slow Cooker

Ingredients

Corn Chowder:

  • 6 ears Corn, kernels sliced off (this should make about 4 1/2 cups of fresh kernels or use frozen corn; see note)
  • 12 oz Bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Diced White or Yellow Onion
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp White Sugar
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 lb Baby or New Potatoes, chopped (you can leave the skins on; sub Yukon gold potatoes)
  • 4 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Half and Half (see note)

Optional Garnish:

  • Fresh Corn Kernels and/or Bacon (reserved from steps 1-2)
  • Chopped green onions, sliced
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Slice kernels from corn cobs. (Note: If you’d like, you can save 2 or 3 of the cobs and add them to the chowder as it cooks - this will help to enrich the stock with even more corn flavor.)
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Saute bacon until crisp, ~10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and drain off all but about 1 Tbsp grease from the skillet.
  • Return skillet with bacon grease to medium heat and add butter.
  • When butter melts, add onion, salt, and sugar and saute until onion is soft, ~4 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
  • Transfer the onions and garlic to the bowl of a slow cooker.
  • Optional: If you’d like to garnish the finished chowder with some corn kernels and / or crispy bacon, set about 1 cup of corn kernels and 1/4 of the crispy bacon aside before filling the slow cooker.
  • To the bowl of the slow cooker, add corn kernels, bacon, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, potatoes, stock, and water.
  • If you reserved any corn cobs, nestle those into the chowder.
  • Cover and slow cook until potatoes are tender, high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 7 to 8 hours.
  • When you’re ready to serve the chowder, remove and discard thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and corn cobs.
  • Stir half-and-half into chowder.
  • Optional: You can serve the chowder as-is, or blend some of it to create a creamier / thicker base. Use a stick / immersion blender (or transfer a few cups of the chowder to the blender) and blend until smooth.
  • Taste the chowder and add some salt and / or black pepper, if needed.
  • Serve chowder garnished with reserved corn kernels, bacon, green onions, and / or cheese.

Notes

Corn - If fresh corn is in season, you’ll get the most flavor from fresh corn sliced off the cobs. Otherwise, frozen corn works great (look for frozen sweet corn or fire-roasted corn kernels for added flavor).
Half and Half - Half and half gives the chowder a good amount of creaminess without the added calories of heavy cream. For a lighter version, use milk instead of half and half (a dairy-free milk will work if you prefer). For a richer, creamier chowder, use heavy / whipping cream.

Nutrition

Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 1211mg | Potassium: 1179mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 644IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 2mg