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Hearty and comforting Chicken Corn Chowder has celebrity status! Not only is it an easy one-pot meal made with only a few simple ingredients, but it’s also thick and creamy without using flour or cream. This means it’s healthy and naturally gluten free. And it’s been on the menu of one of the most famous people in the world, as well as my family, for decades!
Comforting Chicken Corn Chowder Soup
Remember how Oprah used to go on and off all sorts of different diets? And every time she did, everybody then used to try the same diet. At one point she had a personal chef named Rosie, and Oprah and Rosie released a cookbook. It had all the different dishes that Rosie used to cook for Oprah.
This recipe is from that book. Sort of. I’ve been making this chicken corn chowder soup recipe for years. Though honestly, I don’t think I ever made it in its original form. But this is how I have always made it for at least the past, oh, ten years or so.
So now it’s totally my recipe and has been a family favorite that is always requested when the temperature starts to dip. And I am sharing it with you to enjoy on a cold night.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
This soup is incredibly delicious. The robust corn flavor is enhanced with sage and thyme. And, like any good chowder, the soup itself is smooth, but it is chock full of hearty chunks of chicken, carrots, and peas for a little pop of color and texture. But there are so many more reasons to love it!
- Hands-Off Preparation. It takes a little less than an hour to make, but most of that is the time that it is simmering. So you can be preparing the rest of your meal, cleaning up the kitchen, or relaxing with a glass of wine.
- Healthier and Gluten Free. It is lighter than many traditional corn chowder recipes that are thickened with cream or flour and butter. But it is still comforting and satisfying with a creamy texture and a rich, simmered-all-day flavor.
- Make-Ahead. You can make it a day or two in advance and just reheat it when you are ready to eat it. And since it doesn’t have cream, it’s freezer-friendly.
How do you thicken corn chowder?
Most chowder recipes are thickened with a roux of flour and butter. And oftentimes they are made even thicker and creamier with the addition of heavy cream. This recipe doesn’t use either! So how do I make it smooth and thick and creamy without any of those ingredients?
Yes, by simmering the corn in chicken broth until it is nice and tender and then pureeing it, you get that creamy texture you love in a corn chowder recipe. But in this case, you can avoid gluten and even a few extra calories.
Here is a quick overview of what you’ll need to make this chowder. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for the full amounts and instructions.
- Olive oil
- Corn – you can use fresh or frozen, though I have always used frozen.
- Chicken broth or stock
- Sage and thyme – fresh or dried work equally well.
- Cooked chicken – you can use leftovers from your Sunday dinner of roasted chicken or crockpot roast chicken, or cooked chicken breasts. Or this is one of my favorite recipes with leftover rotisserie chicken from Costco or the grocery store.
- Carrots – again, fresh or frozen can be used with equally good results. You will have to simmer it a bit longer if you use fresh in order to get them tender.
- Peas – let’s be real, I always use frozen because who has time to shell peas?!
- Salt and pepper
How to Make Chicken Corn Chowder
Really, this soup couldn’t be easier. Here is an overview of the few simple steps. All of the details are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Saute the aromatics and corn. In a large pot, cook onion in olive oil with a little salt and pepper until translucent. Add corn, sage, and thyme, and saute for a few minutes.
Simmer till soft. Add corn, sage, and thyme, and saute for a few minutes. Pour in chicken stock and simmer until corn is tender.
Blend the soup. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
Finish it off. Add additional chicken stock, corn, carrots, and peas, and simmer until soup is hot and carrots are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Storing and Reheating
This is definitely a soup you can make in advance, and leftovers are delicious. It’s also simple to make a double batch.
Cool the soup and store it covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. To heat it up, transfer the soup to a pot to gently warm to a simmer on the stove or microwave until just barely starting to bubble, stirring occasionally.
Can you freeze corn chowder?
The other benefit of making a corn chowder recipe that doesn’t use cream or a roux is that it is freezer-friendly. You can freeze your leftovers in individual portions or made a double batch and freeze enough for another family dinner.
Transfer the leftover soup to an airtight container, wrap it in plastic wrap, and place it in the freezer. It can be frozen for up to about three months.
The night before you are going to eat it, let it thaw in the refrigerator. Then reheat as instructed above.
What goes with corn chowder?
Of course, you can simply enjoy your soup with some crackers. But let’s make it a meal by talking about some sides to serve with your steamy bowl of corn chowder.
- Have Some Bread. Grab a big hunk of crusty Gluten Free French Bread for dunking. A buttery slice of Gluten Free Cornbread would also be nice.
- Add a Salad. Toss a simple salad and whip up one of your favorite salad dressing recipes.
- Have Soup and Sandwich. It’s a classic combo for lunch or dinner. Go with some Kentucky Hot Brown Grilled Cheese or make Gluten Free Ham and Cheese Sliders.
- Make Muffins. Add even more vegetables to dinner by making mini Veggie Muffins with carrots and zucchini (or try the Gluten Free Zucchini Carrot Muffins).
- Serve More Veggies. You can even have some Baked Cauliflower Tots or Air Fryer Carrots on the side.
Things You’ll Need
- Heavy-Bottomed Pot – while you can use any large soup pot or stockpot, I prefer one that is heavy-bottomed, particularly an enameled cast iron Dutch oven. This allows you to simmer the soup for a long time if you like without it scorching, and they are easy to clean.
- Blender or Immersion Blender – an immersion blender is a great option to minimize cleanup, but a regular blender works fine too. I love to use my Blendtec blender. It always makes veggie soups super smooth and velvety. If you use my Blendtec Affiliate link and the code CUPCAKESANDKALECHIPS you’ll save 25% and I will earn a small commission.
Chicken Corn Chowder
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 6 cups frozen or fresh corn kernels
- 4 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1 cup fresh or frozen sliced carrots
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat
- Add the onion and a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute for about 5 minutes, until translucent.
- Add 4 cups of corn, sage, and thyme, and saute for 4-5 minutes to start to soften the corn.
- Add 2 cups of chicken stock and cook about 15-20 minutes to soften the corn.
- Transfer the entire mixture to a blender or use an immersion blender and puree until smooth.
- Return the puree to the saucepan over medium-low heat, and add the remaining 2 cups stock, 2 cups corn, chicken, peas, and carrots.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for another 10-20 minutes, until heated through and carrots are tender (time will depend on whether you used fresh or frozen carrots). Season to taste with salt and pepper.