Chicken Corn Chowder

I’ve got chowder on the brain. From the creamy Chicken and Corn Chowder with Sweet Potatoes to the Boston Clam Chowder I posted recently, warm soups are just the medicine I need to avoid the doldrums of a cold, chilly fall leading toward the inevitable doom of winter. This particular chowder recipe is from my incredible chef of a sister-in-law, Erin (the exact same one that brought us the clam chowder recipe – she’s a gold mine of fabulous food!).

I made this soup last week and despite the long list of ingredients, it really does come together quickly. The night I served this, things (or should I say kidlets) were particularly crazy at the table. With four boys, we get our fair share of rowdiness every night but this night was out of control. Yelling, shouting, vying for attention. Phrases like “M000000M, make him quit looking at my soup!” and “His feet are touching my chair!” were flying rampant. My husband and I didn’t so much as make eye contact during dinner since we were so busy diverting flying elbows and acting as the dinner police. Imagine my surprise when my husband managed to boldly exclaim through the chaos that this soup was “awesome.”


He said it twice. TWICE. Twice on a night when we had no business saying anything to each other or even tasting our food for that matter, since all of our resources needed to be directed toward convincing our children not to start an epic family food fight. And he was right. This soup is awesome. Packed with flavor and texture, it is perfectly balanced with the sweet red pepper, tender corn, creamy milk and cheese, and salty ham.

Just don’t ask how much ended up on my kitchen floor.

Chicken Corn Chowder

What To ServeCornbread Muffins or Cornbread and Fluffy Honey Butter
Broiled or griddled cheese quesadillas (for a fancier quesadilla these Crispy Cheese Wraps)
Fresh, seasonal fruit

Chicken Corn Chowder

Chicken Corn Chowder

Plan Ahead: This recipe calls for cooked chicken.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped, seeds and membrane removed (this is important for flavor – but doesn’t add heat because the seeds and membranes are removed and it is cooked with the other veggies)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced or cooked chopped ham
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (14-oz.) cans chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 ears of fresh corn kernels or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Place olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute celery, bell pepper, onion and jalapeno until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ham; cook for another 3 minutes. Whisk the broth with the flour in a liquid measuring cup or bowl and then stir into the soup. Stir in the corn and chicken. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat.
  2. Whisk together the cream cheese and milk in a large bowl until smooth (I had a difficult time getting my cream cheese to completely whisk into the milk so my soup had some minor small lumps but next time, I’ll soften the cream cheese until almost melted in the microwave).
  3. Whisk the cream cheese/milk mixture into the soup along with the salt, pepper and cheddar cheese. Simmer on low until ready to serve.

Recipe Source: from my sister-in-law, Erin

92 Responses to Chicken Corn Chowder

  1. Denise R. says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it tonight and it was REALLY good! I didn’t have ham so I used sausage and it tasted great! A great comfort soup! I didn’t have a jalapeño either so I left that out. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Teresa says:

    This is such an excellent soup. I love how it is not too thick and rich, but definitely hearty enough. I always have trouble with the cream cheese leaving lumps no matter how much I microwave the cream cheese (even tried heating the milk with it). So today I added the softened cream cheese after the veggies were sauteed. The heat from them combined with my whisking ensured there were no lumps. Not that it matters, because it is always so delicious. It’s still hot where we are, but I put the AC on and made soup!

  3. William K says:

    Have to Complement You on this recipe. Cooked last night form my Wife & Mom,,,Came out great,, i did nuke the cream cheese in microwave for 30 seconds then stirred then another 30 seconds,, this worked well with milk. Will make often. Thxs again..

  4. Lisa says:

    Wow, this is absolutely delicious! With an ice storm heading in, this was the perfect soup!

    My chicken stock came in a 32 oz container, so I used all of it and bumped the cream cheese to 6 oz and the milk by a quarter cup and the flour another tablespoon and a half and it came out perfectly!

    Thank you for yet another favorite in our house!

  5. Janelle says:

    This soup is really good! I used leftover turkey instead of chicken and it worked fine!

  6. mangomama says:

    Last night I made Mel’s Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with some added red potatoes… today used the leftovers from the turkey, the red potatoes and the carrot filled gravy/sauce in making this soup …(followed all the directions for making the soup as above, just added the chopped turkey and potatoes and the sauce) put it in the slow cooker to simmer…at the very end added some chopped spinach. The soup was delicious and so appetizing with the bright carrots, peppers, corn, spinach and creamy sauce. Thanks again for a good family recipe!

  7. jen says:

    Oh my, this was so good and so forgiving of my adjustments. To accomodate my fridge contents I left out ham, but used bacon fat instead of evoo. Also left out jalepeno and celery (running low on fresh veg) and added a bit of potato and sweet potato. Added an extra T flour and used 32oz stock since we like it thick. Used only 3oz cheddar. So creamy rich and delicious! We’ll definitely have it again and will probably add just a little more corn.

    Thanks so much for consistently churning out such reliably good, mostly not too time consuming, recipes. I’ve been seeking some new family friendly recipes for my young family (1 and 3 yrs) and have had some tremendous flops from some blogs. Man I hate to throw out a whole pot of food, and we’ve never had to do that with a MKC recipe. THANK YOU!

  8. gina says:

    Made a double batch and it is delicious. Oddly, it has been soup weather in July in Wisconsin. I will definitely make this for cool weather camping and ice fishing, it is so quick and filling. We always freeze alot of sweet corn and this is an awesome way to use it up.

  9. Lori says:

    I have been making many great recipes from this site for the last 2 years. Tonight I just made the chicken corn chowder….AMAZING. My husband and kids (6 and 2) gobbled it right up. Thank you for helping a busy working mom make wonderful meals for her famly!

  10. Melissa says:

    Just made this with leftover turkey and ham from Christmas dinner – SO good!! We all loved it!!!

  11. Candice says:

    Wow, the fam loved this! It was a cold San Diego night (okay it was 60 degrees, but still cold for us and any excuse to have chowder is rare) and the kids (3 teens and 1 tween) devoured it. I know it’s good when my 6′ 3″ tall 15 year old says “Mom, you didn’t make enough food again!” He had the dutch oven in the air trying to scrape every last little bit in his soup bowl! Thank you, thank you!

  12. Laura says:

    Just wanted to comment that this is perhaps my favorite recipe from your site! When asking the hubs for input on dinner menus this ALWAYS makes it to the top of his list. So good that we’re even eating it tonight, regardless of the 95 degree heat surrounding us! Thanks!

  13. Shannon says:

    A little late to the party here, but this was a big hit with my kids tonight. Wonderful flavor reminiscent of Max & Erma’s chicken tortilla soup. My 7 year old son thinks we should open a restaurant and sell this soup! Thanks for the recipe. I have yet to go wrong with a recipe from your site.

  14. John Maddux says:

    Great chowder. Can’t afford red peppers so used a green. Added 1 cup of ham because we have too much ham in the kitchen, so says my wife. Thanks Mel good eatin’!

  15. Jennifer Smith says:

    I love this soup. Love love love love it! Used fat free milk and lo fat cream cheese and lofat sharp cheddar…still soooooooo good. Thanks! You improve my life always!

  16. Wendy says:

    We loved this! I had bacon on hand and used that instead of the ham and it was awesome. I overheard my friend’s husband tell her to ask me for the recipe.

  17. Stephanie L. says:

    Wonderful, I’ll give it a try & let you know!

  18. Mel says:

    Stephanie – I’ve never frozen this but it’s probably worth a try. The texture might be slightly different upon reheating but the flavor should still be great.

  19. Stephanie says:

    I just made this today with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving & it was wonderful! Do you thin this would be OK to freeze after cooking? I’d live to make a double batch to have on hand for nights I don’t want to cook. Thanks & I love your site!

  20. Sarah Jane says:

    Wow! Another hit with the hubby. We loved this soup. Next time I might triple the jalapeno (daring, I know). I also added carrots in place of the red pepper, as I don’t like red pepper, and omitted the ham. It was wonderful!! Mel, thank you so much! This soup was a dream come true!

  21. Ruth says:

    This soup finally made it to my dinner table last night and it did not disappoint. Not only is it entraordinarily yummy and comforting, it is beautiful with the flecks of red, yellow and green. Thank you, Mel for sharing this awesome recipe.

  22. Kim says:

    Mel, you have made my dinner table 3 nights in a row: Fabulous Orange Chicken on Monday, Sweet Balsamic Glazed Pork (we made sandwiches) Tuesday, and tonight the Chicken and Corn Chowder simmers, waiting for children to come home from sports practices (but I’ve test-tasted, and it’s delicious!). I am a big fan of your great recipes!

  23. Kim in MD2 says:

    It’s a cool rainy autumn day and I had all the ingredients on hand, so I decided to make this chowder. I started by cooking and shredding the chicken using Mel’s recipe for simple shredded chicken posted a few days ago. I used two jalapenos with seeds and membranes because I like a little heat. Wow, it turned out so yummy! Will definitely make this recipe again.

  24. […] Cafe which I have never cooked anything from before but I will look at it again.  I made the Chicken Corn Chowder and it was delicious.  Look it up and give it a […]

  25. Mimi says:

    Hi there! Yet again I have found another one of your recipes I love so much that I had to give it a “fit” makeover for my blog (! This is the soup my husband requests most. When he got home from work last week and saw that it was on the stove he cheered . . . seriously cheered! Thanks Mel!

  26. Fit Chicken Corn Chowder « Mimi's Fit Foods says:

    […] Fit Chicken Corn Chowder Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  27. […] WEDNESDAY: Chicken Corn Chowder […]

  28. Rachel Russell says:

    BEST-SOUP-EVER.. . .. I mean . . .EVER. Made tonight and both kids and husband ADORED. Followed up with fab Chocolate Chip Bars (FABULOUS!) and Mel is hero of dinner! Made enough for 2 adults + 2 kids and 3 additional adult portions- freezing them for husbands lunches, he says that Mel left-overs are a million times better than eating out and this soup is a perfect example- hurrah hurrah!! Thank you thank you!!!! (ps- SO love that when I shop/make/serve anything by Mel- it is always a thrill with picky kids and husband alike! So no more kid whining/protesting/eventual throwing out of most of cooked meal! (and mother rage. .!) The slow cooked pulled-pork buns last week also major hit along with your peanut butter cookies- old recipe for PB cookies in trash!). 3 cheers for Mel!

  29. Lee-Anne says:

    Oh my. I just made this soup for dinner and my husband, who is not a big fan of cheese or milk in things, gobbled up TWO bowls. I was VERY glad to double this recipe (pregnancy exhaustion is killing my love of cooking) and SO happy we don’t have to fight over leftovers. I think I will add 1 more jalapeno for our taste next time, but this soup was HEAVEN! THANK YOU!

  30. Nickelpup says:

    So I just made this soup tonight with the cornbread – SO FRICKIN DELICIOUS!!! For a soup that I’ve never made it turned out PERFECT! BTW: It makes plenty. I fed 9 people with it. It was gone but everyone was chuck full! I also added more milk, chicken boullion and prob about twice the corn – It was perfect!

  31. Gail says:

    What a great soup! Really easy to prepare…thanks for all of the helpful hints. I was going to ask if you’ve ever frozen this but we only had one bowl for leftover lunch tomorrow. My houseguests went back for seconds! I served it with sourdough rolls and fresh fruit…it was a fantastic lunch for our houseguests to sit down for upon their arrival…you made me look like a pro! Thanks so much for sharing!

  32. Jen says:

    This continues to be tied for my very favorite soup! I made it tonight and totally forgot to pre-cook the chicken. I just sauteed raw chicken cut in bite size pieces for a couple minutes in the oil before adding the onion and peppers and it worked like a charm! I love the egg noodle idea too – I think I’ll try that next!

  33. Judy says:

    Hi Mel! My husband especially loves this recipe. When I searched for it on your site tonight, I realized that many other husbands adore this soup, and thought I would propose a name change – “Happy Husband Chicken Corn Chowder” ! 😉 Just wanted to say thanks for this recipe and for all the others that you share with us. We’ve enjoyed many meals & treats from your collection.

  34. Tobi says:

    mel…yet another family fave! i made this tonight and the hubby ate two bowls and then proceded to call dibs on the leftovers for his lunch thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Tobi – I love it when my husband declares dibs on leftovers before dinner is even over and I hate it, too, because it means I have to fight him for them. Glad this soup was a hit!

  35. Whitney says:

    This was delicious!! I added some egg noodles because I needed to feed extra people. Everyone loved it! My 3 year old kept saying “this is the bestist dinner ever!” Thank you!

  36. jackie says:

    melanie i made this last night and oh my goodness it was good. i usually don’t look forward to leftovers but i was sooo excited to eat this again today. we loved it so much i will double the recipe next time! thanks for another great recipe.

  37. Raelyn says:

    So…I have beena LONG-TIME lurker…and I just wanted to let you know, as I am making this soup tonight, how much my family loves it! My husband is constantly requesting it….like every time I ask him for menu input…and two of my 3 kids love it as well! (The third, doesn’t like much of anything 🙂 ) I have printed, and LOVED MANY of your recipes. I put my own twist on things…for instance…I skip the ham in this recipe…and I add smoked paprika! YUM
    Anyway, just wanted to take a moment to thank you for all of your wonderful ideas, and the time that you put into this website!

    • Mel says:

      Raelyn – thanks for checking in from lurker status! That’s great that this is such a popular recipe with your husband and two kids (I have a couple picky ones, so I know what you mean!). I hope you continue to have good luck with the recipes you try!

  38. Marcie says:

    Just wanted to say I’ve made this 4 or 5 times and it is SO delicious! My husband requests this almost every week. He laughs at me because I try and make soup when it’s rainy or cold, but we live in AZ, so those days are few and far between. He says this soup is so good we have to have it every week. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • Mel says:

      Marcie – your husband has a kindred spirit in mine because they both absolutely adore this soup. It is one of my husband’s favorites and I’m glad you both like it, too!

  39. Melanie says:

    joyce – great job improvising! I’m glad that the soup worked out and you loved it – the flavor is amazing, don’t you think?

  40. joyce says:

    LOVE THIS SOUP! I love how much flavor there is from the red pepper and jalapeno. While making it, I could tell there wasn’t going to be enough, so I had to improvise. I added an extra can of broth, doubled the ham, corn, cream cheese, milk and cheddar cheese. Because of the intense flavor before adding the extra stuff, I knew I could get away with it. It did not disappoint.

  41. Melanie says:

    Dwight – you are funny. Thanks for commenting and representing the scant male population on this here blog. Glad you like this soup!

  42. Dwight says:

    How come only women comment on these recipes? This may be my all-time most favorite soup.

  43. Anonymous says:

    This recipe sounds soo good. I was wondering if there’s any way that I would be able to throw it all in a crock pot? Thank you!

  44. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – I’m a fan of converting soup recipes to crockpot and I’m sure this would work out ok, but I would definitely still saute the veggies and ham and would probably wait to add the milk/cream cheese until the end. Hmmm..I don’t know…this may be a tricky one to adapt. Let me know if you try it.

  45. Melanie says:

    Tessa – so glad your husband loved this. I hope it is a hit with his family’s soup day also. Thanks for letting me know you liked it!

  46. Tessa says:

    I made this soup last week and got high marks from my husband as well. We’re having a soup-day for his family’s Christmas, and he’s got this pegged as the recipe he wants to bring. Thanks, as always, for the amazing recipes!

  47. Melanie says:

    Liz – glad you liked this! I always love to know you’ve tried (and approved) of a recipe on here!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Yum, Yum, Yum! We had this for dinner last night and it was delicious. So much color. So much flavor. All of the kids really liked it too.I thickened the soup just a little bit more and served it in bread bowls. -Liz K.

  49. Melanie says:

    Danielle – I’m so glad this soup (not me!) made you look good. Thanks for letting me know it was a hit (especially with your brother-in-law!).

  50. Danielle says:

    I made this for company last night. It was a hit. My brother-in-law had helping after helping ( I was glad I doubled the recipe). Thanks for making me look good!

  51. Tycksen Family says:

    Yes, Melanie..they are all mine :). I have 6 girls and 1 boy…He is my second oldest. Too much fun. I am making your chili right now and it smells wonderful. Thanks again for all your recipes. 🙂


  52. Melanie says:

    Tycksen Family – ok, I know you’ve commented here before and I don’t think I’ve realized it – but are those seven children you are referencing all yours?? Amazing. Absolutely amazing. Girl, you need to teach me a thing or two, I can tell you that right now! I’m glad the corn chowder was a hit…hopefully your mother-in-law will like it too. Thanks so much for letting me know!

  53. Tycksen Family says:


    You never disappoint. I come to your blog often and LOVE everything I have tried. I made this soup on Halloween and my husband, who is a very good cook himself, declared it was “perfect.” And he wants me to make it for his mom’s birthday party.

    It is always a hit when I can get 7 children to like it too. Thank you for the posts..and I am especially excited about your Thanksgiving 101. THis is the first year we will be doing it ourselves and I am excited now. 🙂
    Thank you again!

  54. Melanie says:

    aprilkhunt – thanks for the substitutions you used – that’s always fun and helpful to know. I’m really glad you liked it, thanks for letting me know!

  55. Sue Oop says:

    We made the chowda’ (as we prounounce it out East), and substituted bacon instead of ham. We almost never have bacon around, and happened to have some when we made the soup. Overall, it turned out well, but I think I would have preferred ham. Next time I will get one of those thin ham steaks and cut it into small cubes for the soup. I had to substitute the cheese with Monterey Jack, but I think the cheddar would have matched well with the bacon. I also added extra chicken. The soup was good, but nothing beats your White Chicken Chili recipe which we made the day before along with the Go-To Corn Bread and Honey Butter.

  56. April says:

    I made this for my family tonight and we all really enjoyed it! I used 1% milk and 1/3 less fat cream cheese and loved that it was creamy but not too thick and heavy. Also, I like a little bit of spice, so I allowed some of the jalapeno seeds to “sneak” in. It was great! I had to used a can of creamed corn, since that was all I had on hand, but I’m sure corn fresh off the cob would have been a real treat. We had french bread for dipping and it was fantastic! Thanks for the recipe!

  57. Melanie says:

    Juls – thanks for commenting! I’m glad you liked this soup…and yes, the cooking blog that you saw that had this recipe posted? That’s the same Erin that is my sister-in-law and gave the recipe to me. Fun connection!

  58. Melanie says:

    Hey Monique – I hope you won the leftover war. You deserve it, especially if you made it, right?? Thanks for letting me know you guys liked it!

  59. Monique says:


    Hi! It’s Monique! I made this SUPER YUMMY chowder tonight. Ahhh..Heaven. It was so good! I didn’t add anymore salt than asked for..nothing. It was the best. Mitch and I both chowed down 2 bowls of the stuff and are arguing over who gets to take it tomorrow. I will be making this often. Hope all is well!

  60. Melanie says:

    Hey Loralee – glad this pleased the picky-eater! That’s always nice to hear. Thanks for letting me know!

  61. Loralee and the gang... says:

    I made this for my extremely picky eater husband the other night, and he went back for 3rds! (But I beat him to the small amount of leftovers the next day!) It was so good – thank you!

  62. Colleen says:

    I love making soup in the winter – I am adding this to me repetoire!

  63. Melanie says:

    camille – glad this soup worked out, especially since you were serving it to others. I’m also glad it wasn’t too bland. Thanks for letting me know!

  64. Melanie says:

    Kristi – love the recommendation of tomatoes and avocados. Yum! Thanks for your comment!

  65. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – you are certainly brave to be making soup with 100+ temps but I’m glad this didn’t disappoint! Seriously, I don’t know how you survive that hot weather!

  66. Melanie says:

    Laurie – I always find when we eat soup in bread bowls we are full for a LONG time. I’m glad this was a hit – thanks for detailing all the comments. 🙂

  67. Melanie says:

    Candace – have you told me before that you have four boys? If so, I forgot. I have four boys, too, and I know how cooking for them can be a challenge. Thankfully they are pretty good eaters and will eat most anything that doesn’t have beans or potatoes in it! If you are looking for some good, kid-friendly meals, some of my favorites on this site are:

    Good luck! Oh, and I’m glad this corn chowder worked out for you. Using a rotisserie chicken is brilliant!

  68. [email protected] says:

    The chowder was delicious! I used a rotisserie chicken and it was easy to put together! Your recipes are so GOOD!

    Do you have any sure winner recipes you would recommend for kids? I have four picky boys under the age of 8 and have trouble getting them to eat.

  69. Laurie says:

    I made this chowder Friday night – here are the comments: “Yummy; 3 thumbs up; awesome and I love this stuff!!” It was a HIT!!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us – I served it in bread bowls and the family was stuffed for the night!!

  70. Karine says:

    Your corn chowder sounds hearty and delicious! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  71. Anonymous says:

    Made it last night. Delish! Here in Arizona it was 102 degrees at the time. Perhaps not the best timing, but the soup was great. Thanks for another “keeper” recipe!

  72. Kristi says:

    I have a really yummy corn chowder recipes that has you top with tomatoes and avacado, you should try topping with those things, it makes a delicious corn chowder even delisiouser. : )

    Have I mentioned I love your blog? Love.

  73. ARLENE says:

    I like to try a new soup each week and will have to give this one a try soon. It looks so chunky…like a stew…yum.

  74. Barbara says:

    What a great chowder recipe! Love that you put cheese in it too. We are finally getting a touch of cold weather in Florida- makes me want to make corn chowder!

  75. camille says:

    I just made this soup to take to a Halloween party! (That’s pretty trusting of me to try a new recipe to take some place, huh?) 🙂

    Anyway, it is AMAZING!!! I think it is my new favorite soup. Corn chowder is generally a little bland for me, but this is anything but bland!!!

  76. Libby says:

    This looks great! That sounds like dinner at my house

  77. Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    This sounds so perfectly comforting for a cold, rainy day! Now I just need to actually get a cold, rainy day so I can make it, lol.

  78. bdubscafe says:

    I absolutely LOVE this soup! I crave it regularly. I buy red peppers on sale, chop ’em and freeze them just for this recipe!

  79. teresa says:

    oh my gosh, this looks AWESOME! i love this!

  80. grace says:

    now THIS is my kind of chowdah! forget clams, give me corn any day. creamy, fantastic, warming goodness. 🙂

  81. Lynda says:

    This does looks awsome and I’m sure it tasted that way too with these ingrdients!
    I remember when my kids were little, we had many of those rowdy times too!

  82. Cammee says:

    I can’t wait to try this. Usually corn chowder is a little too bland for my taste (ironically it’s my husband’s favorite), but there’s no way this chowder can be bland!

  83. East Meets West says:

    Oh, I have been so into soups lately too. This will be a perfect recipe to mix in with my old favorites. Thanks!

  84. cindy says:

    I can always count on finding delicious recipes on your blog. I think this will be perfect for girls weekend. My 6 children are grown but I do remember meals similar to what you described! Enjoy as they grow quickly.

  85. Gillie says:

    Oh glory, we had two girls and a boy so perhaps not quite as rowdy but we had our fair share – the phrase “tell him, mum” is still used on occasion! Please note the masculine pronoun! Anyway, how did you know that I am moving next week and have to empty my freezer and that I have chicken and corn in there…….! Thank you both for the delicious recipes!

  86. rachel says:

    Oh man…I have been craving chowder lately and this does look “awesome!” I can’t wait to try this!!

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