Most of us may be warming up and out of the recent deep freeze, but we’re still in the heart of soup season and today I’m sharing this cozy Ham and Corn Chowder recipe! I originally came up with this recipe right after Christmas when I was still down pretty hard with COVID and all I wanted was soup. I had a big chunk of leftover boneless ham that I needed to use up, plus literally all the other ingredients for this recipe in my fridge. Some of you may remember that I shared on IG that I lost my sense of taste and smell when I got sick, but don’t worry – I’ve re-tested this recipe since that first run to make sure it’s not just a cozy and colorful delight for the eyes 😉
Growing up, I always pictured chowder as thick New England clam chowder. Turns out, chowder is really any soup with seafood or vegetables that’s made creamy with a roux and milk or cream. So while ham isn’t a classic chowder ingredient, I love the hearty bite it creates in this version. Then you have sweet corn, hearty potatoes, crisp celery, and flavorful carrots all mingling together in a pot of creamy goodness. It’s like a warm hug for your belly! No need to be a kitchen whiz to nail this one – we’re keeping it easy and fuss-free.
So, if you’re craving a bowl of warmth and flavor that’s packed with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, let’s get cooking! This Ham and Corn Chowder is about to become your new go-to comfort meal. Let’s dive in!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here’s what you’ll need to recreate this Ham and Corn Chowder recipe at home!
- Ham – I made this recipe right after Christmas with leftover boneless ham that I chopped into about 1/2″ chunks.
- Bacon – We’re doubling down on the pork flavor in this recipe by using bacon grease to help build the roux that makes this soup nice and creamy. The cooked bacon is then crumbled over top the soup before serving.
- Potatoes – I picked Yukon golds for this recipe since they hold their shape after cooking but have such a nice and creamy texture when you bite into them.
- Corn – I used frozen sweet corn kernels to keep things super easy, but if you want to use corn on the cob, you could grill it, cook it on the stovetop, or even microwave it to soften up the corn, cut it off the cob, and add it to the chowder. Then, toss in the cobs to help bump up the corn flavor and get some of the corn “milk” to add even more creaminess to the chowder.
- Onion, Celery, Carrots, and Garlic – These are the foundation of flavor for the chowder and bring great tender-crisp texture too. You can skip one or two if you must, but I wouldn’t skip them all.
- Chicken stock – I used a good, flavorful chicken stock to serve as the liquid base for this chowder. Most recipes have the ratio of chicken stock to half and half reversed (ie. more half and half than chicken stock), but I wanted to keep things a little healthier.
- Half and half – I used half and half since it has lends some creaminess to the broth without adding too much fat. To cut down on fat, you could use whole milk. To bump up the creaminess of the soup, use light or heavy cream instead.
- Butter – In addition to the bacon grease, you’ll need a bit of butter to help create a roux that will give this soup a creamy base.
- Worcestershire sauce – Just a bit of this helps the smokey ham flavor shine and brings some umami to the party. If you don’t have Worcestershire sauce on hand, an equal amount of soy sauce would work too.
- Seasonings – I used a bit of lemon pepper seasoning, dried thyme, along with salt and pepper to season this chowder. Feel free to play with these to fit your tastes!
Shop for this Recipe
I bought my 7 quart Cuisinart dutch oven pictured here many years ago in a Home Goods for cheap, but you can still find the aqua color way on Amazon from time to time.
Souper Cubes came out with the No Mess Utensil set pictured above and linked below, and they’re the kitchen utensils you never knew you needed but are so happy to have! The bend in the neck of the spoons allow you to rest it on the edge of your pot without worrying about it sinking down into the soup.
- 1 lb honey glazed ham, chopped
- 3 strips Wegmans Center Cut Uncured Bacon, 25% Less Sodium, (3 oz)
- 4 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped, (400 grams)
- 2 cups frozen corn kernels, (227 grams)
- 1 medium onion, diced, (280 grams)
- 3 stalks celery, chopped, (178 grams)
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced, (107 grams)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced, (8 grams)
- 3 cups unsalted chicken stock, (24 fl oz)
- 2 cups half and half, (16 fl oz)
- 1/4 cup flour, (30 grams)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp Oh My Spice! Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a 5-7 qt dutch oven over medium high heat. Add bacon strips, cooking until crispy, then remove to a paper towel lined plate, leaving the bacon grease behind.
- Add butter to the dutch oven and melt, then add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and the carrots begin to soften slightly.
- Add flour and stir to combine with the veggies and butter. Cook for at least 1 minute, then whisk in chicken stock and half and half, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the dutch oven.
- Add all remaining ingredients except the cooked bacon, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove from heat.
- Chop bacon into small bits, then add as a garnish to the soup before serving.