Fresh Corn Chowder


I watched Mark Bittman prepare this corn chowder on the Today Show one morning and with all the fabulous corn at the farmer’s market right now, I couldn’t wait to try it.

One unique step that he does that adds tons of flavor to the broth, is boil the corn cobs in the water. My corn was very sweet, so  I added some cheyenne pepper to balance out the sweetness of the corn.

Corn Chowder Ingredients

I also wanted to make it more filling, so I added some diced potatoes and bacon. I generally have Hormel precooked bacon slices from Costco in my freezer and that makes it easy to add bacon to soups, sandwiches, eggs, burgers … doesn’t almost everything taste better with bacon.

This is a perfect soup for the end of summer and our cooler nights. I use 1% milk and it still had a rich, creamy texture that you expect from a chowder. Enjoy!

Fresh Corn Chowder

Fresh Corn Chowder


  • 6 ears fresh corn
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 /2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 /8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 1 /4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk or half-and-half


Shuck the corn. Stand each ear up in a bowl and use a knife to scrape off the kernels. Put the corncobs and 2 cups water in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the water bubbles gently, cover, and cook, checking occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Leave the cobs in the pot until you are ready to make the soup, then discard them and save the corncob broth.

Put the butter or oil in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted or the oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 1 minute. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly with a whisk or a wooden spoon, until the mixture starts to turn golden and the flour no longer smells raw, just a couple of minutes. Add the milk and the reserved corncob broth and raise the heat to medium-high. Stir or whisk constantly until the flour is dissolved and the soup starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the cayenne pepper, corn kernels, diced potatoes and bacon and bring to a boil, then lower the heat so that the soup bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potato is tender and the soup has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.


adapted from Mark Bittman

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    Leave a Comment:

  1. Laurie says

    Best corn chowder I have ever made! I’m thinking of adding some chopped clams to a future batch, and there will definitely be future batches!

  2. Onie says

    Best corn chowder I’ve ever eaten. I’d never made corn chowder and I don’t like the packaged corn chowder. The corn was fresh from our garden, and it had the same sweet, yummy taste we get munching off the cob. Thganks !

  3. says

    I haven’t had any fresh corn yet this year. Thanks for reminding me what a great, versatile recipe this is. So glad your hubby enjoyed it.

  4. Mallory says

    I made this today I didn’t have half and half so used 2 cups whipping cream and 2 cups milk.. for chicken broth I used bullion.. and bacon bits were the real ones from hormel that come in the bag.. Was a hit with hubby…

  5. says

    My mom used to make a chowder recipe when I was younger but I had totally forgotten about it until now, it really isn’t something you see in the UK but I cannot think of a reason why. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. says

    I love the addition of potatoes and bacon to the corn chowder. One to make the soup richer and creamier, the other makes it so fragrant. Just love this recipe. It is especially suitable for the rainy season here right now..

    Sawadee from bangkok,

  7. Cristie says

    Beautiful corn chower. I’ve never made corn chower and I’m wondering why. Yours looks so inviting. Did you buy Mabey corn by any chance?

  8. says

    This is a wonderful looking corn chowder Barbara! I love the addition of bacon, potatoes and the cayenne pepper. I had not heard of boiling the cobs, so thanks for the tip.
    I love the look of your new site!

  9. Carolina says

    Hi, Barbara! I am catching up on blogs today. It has been so long, but I see you are still making a lot of good stuff and it all still looks lovely. Your site is wonderful! Would love to make this chowder soon!!!

  10. says

    Great corn chowder recipe. I’d read or heard that somewhere before that boiling the cobs gave the chowder more flavor and I think I’m going to try that!

  11. says

    I totally agree that everything tastes better with bacon! I love corn in any form and this chowder sounds and looks perfect for our not-quite-warm enough nights too :)

  12. says

    What an excellent recipe! I’m hanging onto the end of the Silver Queen corn season for all it’s worth and this would be a perfect way to use them. And thanks so much for sharing Mark Bittman’s brilliantly obvious tip of boiling the scraped corncobs for broth – wow – which I’ll definitely adopt.

  13. says

    I can honestly say that I have never had corn chowder, but I am thinking it is going to have to change! This looks delish!!! And I agree, anything is better with bacon!

  14. says

    I so agree about the bacon. It’s like a little black dress. Chowders are so delicious. My fridge is full of corn, well full if you think of a one occupier household.

  15. says

    I have been really looking forward to more soups and chowders coming up in our house for Fall. This sounds absolutely delightful! I like the additions you made, they sound delicious. :)

    • says

      I think fat free half and half would work great. I’ve started using it a little bit myself. In fact I used it last night on some raspberries for dessert and I wondered how they get it thick without having any cream?

  16. says

    Nice. I like the way you’ve created a bit of a corn stock which must give this nice little recipe some depth of flavour. The potatoes and bacon would just be yummy I agree. Really tops it off. Nice one Barbara :)

  17. JG says

    Oh, yummy! With the abundance of our local corn this will taste so good. A few months ago I purchased the Hormel precooked Bacon slices. Nice to know the bacon also tastes good after freezing, as I did not try doing that. Thanks, again!

  18. says

    Hey Barbara,

    As I write this, I’m eating some leftover chicken chowder I made earlier this week. In my humble opinion, it gets better when it’s been in the fridge for a few days! Yours looks delicious. Have a great weekend!


    P.S. Agreed, it’s all better with bacon. :-)

  19. says

    Oh yum…I saw this same presentation but didn’t get the recipe and I like your additions anyhow. Why do I do this to myself in the middle of the day when I’m lucky to find a piece of cheese and a cracker for lunch?