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Slow Cooker Southwestern Corn Chowder

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My Slow Cooker Southwestern Corn Chowder is my take on a classic chowder, but instead of cooking it in a pot over the stove, I like to use my slow cooker. This hearty homemade corn chowder combines corn, with potatoes, onion, milk and heavy cream for a rich and delicious chowder the whole family is sure to enjoy!

Slow Cooker Southwestern Corn Chowder

I like to make this easy Southwestern corn chowder in the slow cooker as it can be prepared in minutes, then left to bubble away while you get on with the rest of your day. Then once it’s done cooking you have the perfect family dinner dish cooked and ready to serve.

This is my favorite Southwestern corn chowder recipe as it combines a traditional creamy Southwest corn chowder with green chilies which add a nice kick of spicy chili heat.

My hearty Southwestern corn chowder makes a filling and nutritious dinner dish. I don’t tend to add much to it, just a few crackers, or some crusty bread for mopping up all that sauce.

This Crockpot corn chowder recipe can be easily adapted if you want to add in other flavors. For example, make Southwest chicken corn chowder by either cooking some chicken in the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients, or stirring through some cooked and shredded chicken towards the end of the cook.

Recipe ingredients

  • CORN: this is a corn laden chowder so I use 6 ears of corn to serve 6.
  • POTATOES: I use a combination of baby gold and red potatoes in my chowder.
  • GARLIC: use fresh minced garlic for the best flavor, although garlic puree will work in a pinch.
  • ONION: I used a yellow onion as it has a good strong onion flavor.
  • CHILIES: I added an 8-ounce can of diced green chiles (including the liquid) to the chowder.
  • BROTH: for the best depth of flavor I used chicken broth.
  • SPICES: I used both chili powder and ground cumin to flavor the soup.
  • MILK/CREAM: I added both whole milk and heavy cream to the chowder.
  • FLOUR: cornstarch is used to thicken the chowder.
  • SEASONING: I keep the seasoning simple with some salt and black pepper.

How to make Slow Cooker Southwestern Corn Chowder

Cut the corn kernels off each ear of corn with a sharp knife.

Combine the corn, potatoes, garlic, onion, and green chilies in the bowl of the slow cooker.

Add the chicken broth, chili powder, and cumin.

Stir to mix.

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours.

When the cook time is up, combine the milk, heavy cream, and cornstarch until smooth.

Pour the mixture into the pot and stir to mix.

Turn the pot up to high and replace the lid.

Continue cooking for 30 minutes, until the soup is heated through and has begun to thicken.

Flavor variations

  • Add some diced celery to the chowder, along with the onion.
  • I used chicken broth as it adds great flavor to the soup. You could also use vegetable broth which would make a great vegetarian Southwestern corn chowder.
  • Swap the chili powder for red pepper flakes or some diced jalapenos.
  • For a lighter chowder replace the heavy cream with extra milk.
  • Scatter some crispy bacon pieces over the soup, just before serving.
  • Add some skinless, boneless chicken breast or thighs to the Crockpot and cook it till fork tender. Remove it from the Crockpot, shred the chicken and stir it back through the chowder.
  • Stir some shrimps through the chowder just before serving and until cooked through.
  • Canned beans like black beans, or cannellini beans are a great addition.
  • Add extra veggies. Squash, zucchini, pumpkin, bell peppers or sweet potato would make a great additions to the chowder.
  • Garnish the chowder with some freshly chopped green onions, or fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro.

Serving suggestion

Corn chowder is a hearty and filling dish, that I like to serve with a side of crackers or crusty bread for mopping up all the delicious juices. It makes a great hearty lunch or dinner main. At dinner, I might also serve it with a side of salad or steamed vegetables.

Recipe hints & tips

  • I like to leave the skins on my potatoes, that’s where a lot of the fiber and nutrients are and it also adds flavor to the chowder. However, you can peel your potatoes if you prefer.
  • I’ve used fresh corn, but you can also use frozen corn in this chowder recipe.

FAQs

What is corn chowder made of?

Corn chowder is made with corn, onion, milk and/or cream, broth, and is thickened with flour or cornstarch.

What can I use to thicken corn chowder?

You can either thicken corn chowder with cornstarch as I’ve done in this recipe. This is my preferred method as I combine the cornstarch with the milk and cream to create a slurry which is easily added back into the chowder and stirred to avoid any lumps from forming.

Or you can use a combination of all purpose flour with the milk and cream which you add to the chowder and stir through at the end of the cook.

How to store leftover chowder?

Leftover chowder can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. In fact it tastes even better when it has been left to sit as all the flavors will intensity and meld together. When ready to enjoy place into a large pot and warm up over medium heat until piping hot.

Can you freeze Southwestern corn chowder?

While you can freeze corn chowder, this recipe contains cream which doesn’t free well. Once defrosted, cream has a tendency to split and separate when reheated. I also find the potatoes break down a little during the freezing and defrosting process, leaving them with a grainy texture. However, if you do decide to freeze the chowder it will store for up to 3 months.

Try some of my favorite Crockpot recipes here at When is Dinner

Yield: 6

Slow Cooker Southwestern Corn Chowder

Slow Cooker Southwestern Corn Chowder

Slow Cooker Southwestern Corn Chowder is my take on a classic chowder. This hearty homemade corn chowder combines corn, with potatoes, onion, milk and heavy cream for a rich and delicious chowder the whole family is sure to enjoy!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 ears of corn
  • 1 pound baby gold or red potatoes (I used a mix of both), quartered
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 8-ounce can diced green chilies (including liquid)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the corn kernels off each ear of corn with a sharp knife.
  2. Combine the corn, potatoes, garlic, onion, and green chiles in the bowl of the slow cooker.
  3. Add the chicken broth, chili powder, and cumin.
  4. Stir to mix.
  5. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours.
  6. When the cook time is up, combine the milk, heavy cream, and cornstarch until smooth.
  7. Pour the mixture into the pot and stir to mix.
  8. Turn the pot up to high and replace the lid.
  9. Continue cooking for 30 minutes, until the soup is heated through and has begun to thicken.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 492Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 443mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 4gSugar: 14gProtein: 11g

Nutritional information is approximate and for guidance only.

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