There’s just no comparison to a thick and creamy homemade chowder. With shredded chicken, sweet corn, and a creamy base, slow cooker corn chowder is the perfect cozy soup that will bring everyone back for seconds. Try this simple and satisfying recipe in your slow cooker and top it off with crumbly bacon and fresh chives.
What is corn chowder?
Corn chowder is a thick creamy soup full of shredded chicken, sweet yellow corn, and a savory, herbal broth that could be eaten on its own! Chowders are typically cream-based and thicker than traditional soups due to the hearty pieces of meat, potatoes, and other vegetables.
This chicken corn chowder is a recipe I can make on repeat in the colder months. It’s the best soup to share around the table!
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts – Chicken breasts work well in soups and stews since the added liquids prevent them from drying out. They also shred easily which helps with even distribution in an all-in-one dish. If you have boneless skinless chicken thighs already on hand, those will work too!
- Frozen sweet corn kernels – Corn will be the key player in this recipe so I would look for a good quality package of frozen corn to maintain texture and maximum freshness.
- Flour – Flour is essential to a creamy chowder base since it helps thicken the mixture. You can use regular or gluten-free flour.
- Seasonings – A classic mix of garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, and salt develops a rich flavor. Thyme is especially delicious when paired with chicken and vegetables.
- Chicken broth – Any variety of chicken broth can work. I prefer using chicken bone broth since it contains added nutritional benefits and a richer taste.
- Heavy cream – Heavy cream will be added near the end. The heavy cream (also called heavy whipping cream) is worth the splurge for the decadence of creamy chowder!
- Cooked bacon, optional – Chop or crumble pre-cooked bacon over individual bowls of soup for extra bits of savory texture.
- Fresh chives, optional – A sprinkle of fresh green chives is another flavorful garnish.
How To Make Chicken Corn Chowder In The Slow Cooker
- Add chicken and corn to the slow cooker.
- Next, whisk the flour with ¼ cup of water and add it to the slow cooker.
- Add the seasonings and chicken broth, then stir all ingredients together.
- Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken, shred it, then return it to the slow cooker. Add the heavy cream.
- Heat the soup through for 10-15 minutes.
- Serve bowls of chowder topped with crumbled cooked bacon and fresh chopped chives.
Recipe Substitutions and Variations
This recipe provides the perfect chowder base to add or swap ingredients to make it even more filling and delicious.
- You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer darker meat. Also, you can chop the chicken into tiny bite-sized pieces before adding it to the slow cooker if you prefer that texture as opposed to shredded chicken.
- Use regular all-purpose or gluten-free flour.
- If you like, add 4-6 ounces of diced baby potatoes to bulk up this dish. If you do, also add ½ cup of additional broth.
- Additional frozen veggies are great additions to this chowder! They will change the traditional corn chowder overall but are a nutritious addition if you want to get as many veggies in as possible. Simply add frozen vegetables (mixed, peas, green beans, carrots, etc.) along with the cream and allow the chowder to cook until heated through.
- For a little spice, add some finely diced jalapeño, crushed red pepper, or a few drops of hot sauce.
What To Serve With Chicken Corn Chowder
I like to top a hearty bowl of corn chowder with crumbled bacon and chives as pictured, but you could add lots of other tasty toppings and sides! Another great option is a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese – I recommend shredding yourself from the block for best results. You can also add sliced green onions sprinkled across each bowl.
Serve bowls of chowder alongside warm cornbread, classic drop biscuits to crumble into the dish, or a handful of soup crackers for a little crunch.
Storing and Reheating
This would make the perfect warm and cozy lunch portion on a cold day! Store leftover chowder in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can freeze leftovers, but soups with a cream base will have some separation after thawing that some may find unappealing.
Defrost if needed, then reheat in a saucepan over the stove.
If you’d like to prep this recipe ahead as a freezer meal, add everything but the heavy cream to a freezer-safe baggie. Defrost and follow all cooking directions, adding cream at the end as directed.
Chicken Corn Chowder FAQs
- Can this recipe be made in the Instant Pot? Yes, this recipe can be made in the Instant Pot! Follow the original recipe steps by adding the chicken, flour and water mixture, and all other ingredients (except cream) to the Instant Pot and set it to high pressure for 15 minutes. Remove the chicken, shred it, and return to the pot along with heavy cream, then turn the Instant Pot to sauté mode to heat all ingredients through while stirring occasionally.
- How do you thicken corn chowder? If you need the chowder thicker than the flour included in the original recipe, whisk in an additional amount until you reach the desired texture. You can also thicken it with cornstarch or tapioca flour for a smoother texture. Reduce the amount to 2 tablespoons (instead of ¼ cup of flour).
- Is it better to thicken chowder with flour or cornstarch? It really depends on preference, but I like the traditional texture that is achieved by adding flour to thicken the chowder. If you decide you need more thickener, slowly add small amounts of either flour or cornstarch into the chowder.
- Can you freeze chicken corn chowder? You can freeze leftover chowder but since it is a cream-based soup, there will be some separation after thawing. Another option is to make this recipe a freezer meal by adding everything but the cream to a freezer bag and thawing before cooking. Add the cream right before serving!
- What can be added if the chicken corn chowder tastes bland? If the chowder is too bland for your taste, there are flexible options when it comes to seasoning. Try a little garlic salt, coarse ground black pepper, or a few drops of hot sauce or crushed red pepper for spice.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder
- Slow Cooker
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 16 oz frozen sweet corn kernels
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour regular or gluten-free
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 sliced cooked bacon optional
- fresh chives optional
- Add chicken and corn to slow cooker
- Whisk flour with ¼ cup water until smooth and add to slow cooker
- Add seasonings and broth and stir
- Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours until chicken is cooked through
- Remove and shred chicken, then return to slow cooker and add cream
- Heat through for 10-15 minutes
- Serve topped with crumbled bacon and fresh chopped chives
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you choose to freeze leftovers, expect some separation when defrosted.
- Prep as a freezer meal by adding all ingredients, except heavy cream, to a freezer bag. Thaw before cooking and add cream 10-15 minutes before serving.
- I cooked this on high for 3 1/2 hours from start to finish in my 4.5-quart multicooker.
- As an optional step to add additional flavor, melt a little butter in a skillet and brown the chicken before adding it to your slow cooker. You will still shred the chicken after cooking, but this is just an extra step to bring in deeper flavor to the chowder if you like!