Summer corn is in full swing, which means it’s corn chowder season baby! Every year I look forward to making a big pot of corn chowder to use up fresh produce. A couple of years ago I shared this incredible vegan corn chowder recipe complete with perfectly sweet coconut milk (SO GOOD) and then last summer I had to kick it up a notch.
I posted this incredible southwest chicken corn chowder last year and we all fell in LOVE. It’s thick, creamy and packed with protein and vegetables for a bowl of magic you’ll seriously crave. I filled this amazing chicken corn chowder with wonderful southwest-inspired spices like cumin, coriander, chili powder and oregano, and even added an extra flavor and protein boost with a can of black beans. It reminds me of my famous cheesy southwest bean dip but with greek yogurt and a hint of sweetness from all of that fresh corn.
This comforting recipe is the perfect summer-into-fall dinner or lunch to enjoy as the temps start dropping. And if you love hearty soups & stews all year round like I do, prepare to be completely wowed by this one. Have fun adding your fav toppings and be sure to read the full post for ways to make it your own!
What makes this chicken corn chowder a little healthier
Traditional corn chowder recipes are typically made with butter, flour and plenty of heavy cream to make it thick and creamy. We’re swapping out the heavy cream and butter for protein-packed greek yogurt, and thickening it up with potatoes. The result is equally as creamy but packed with more nutrients!
Everything you’ll need to make southwest chicken corn chowder
You’re going to LOVE how creamy this southwest corn chowder is. With wonderful spices and a few special ingredients, it has the perfect flavors and textures! Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Protein: I like to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this corn chowder recipe. You’ll also add a can of black beans for extra fiber, protein and flavor.
- Veggies: you’ll need an onion, garlic, poblano pepper, red bell pepper and fresh or frozen sweet corn.
- Potatoes: that’s right, the secret ingredient for super creamy corn chowder is yukon gold potatoes!
- Spices: we’re using a mix of ground coriander, ground turmeric, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano and plenty of salt & pepper. Feel free to add some cayenne pepper if you like a little heat.
- For the base: you’ll need some low sodium chicken broth, plain greek yogurt and milk to create a creamy texture in this southwest corn chowder.
- Optional toppings: I love to garnish my bowl with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped scallions, fresh cilantro & avocado and tortilla chips. So good!
Make it your own
This easy southwest corn chowder is great for customizing and is delicious so many different ways. Here are some simple ingredient swaps & customizations you can make:
- Go vegetarian: feel free to omit the chicken and enjoy the chowder as-is, or add in another can of black beans for an extra boost of protein.
- Choose the milk: you can really use any milk you’d like. I prefer unsweetened almond milk but regular milk and even coconut milk will work well.
- Add some heat: if you love spice like we do, try swapping the poblano pepper for jalapeño and add in that cayenne pepper. A drizzle of your fav hot sauce on top would be perfect, too!
- Get a little indulgent: this chicken corn chowder would also be delicious with some cooked, chopped bacon for savory, salty bites.
The key to super creamy chicken corn chowder
As I mentioned, this southwest corn chowder is made extra creamy without using actual cream thanks to the potatoes! You’ll actually cook them up and blend the chowder all together to get the perfect texture. Adding greek yogurt or sour cream is the perfect touch.
How to make this healthy chicken corn chowder
- Cook your chicken. Start by cooking up the diced chicken in a large pot with olive oil, salt and pepper. Set it aside in a separate bowl while you continue with the recipe.
- Cook the veggies. In the same pot, you’ll cook the garlic, onion, peppers, corn and potatoes until the potatoes start to soften slightly.
- Simmer with spices & broth. You’ll then stir the veggies with all of those spices for about 30 seconds so that the flavor and aromas release. Then stir in the broth, milk, yogurt, salt & pepper and simmer everything for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Blend it up. Here’s the fun part! Take half of the chowder and carefully blend it in your blender so that it turns nice and creamy. Stir this back in with the rest of the corn chowder and voila! It will be so creamy and delicious.
- Add protein & serve. Finally, add the chicken back to the pot along with your can of black beans and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Serve with all of those delicious toppings if you’d like!
Storing & freezing tips
- To store: store this healthy chicken corn chowder in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- To freeze: simply let the corn chowder completely cool, transfer it to a freezer-safe container, and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to eat it thaw the corn chowder in the refrigerator and then heat it in the microwave or on the stovetop.
More soups, stews & chowders you’ll love
- Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder
- Homemade Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
- Lightened Up Cheddar Cauliflower Broccoli Soup
- Green Chile Chicken Pozole
- Creamy Tomato Orzo Soup with Mini Turkey Meatballs
Get all of our soup & stew recipes here!
I hope you love this southwest chicken corn chowder! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
Southwest Chicken Corn Chowder
Delicious and creamy southwest chicken corn chowder made with beautiful summer veggies like sweet corn and fresh peppers. This easy chicken corn chowder recipe is filled with savory southwest flavors and spices and packs plenty of protein. Add your favorite toppings for the perfect end-of-summer dinner!
- For the chicken:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced into bite sized pieces
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- For the corn chowder:
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced (can also use 1 seeded jalapeno)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 4 cups diced yukon gold potatoes
- 5 cups fresh sweet corn off the cob (can also use frozen)
- 1 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- Optional: ¼ teaspoon cayenne (only if you like a little heat)
- 2 cups milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk, but dairy milk or coconut milk would also work)
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- ⅓ cup plain greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- Juice from ½ lime
- To garnish:
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh diced cilantro
- Diced avocado
- Tortilla chips
In a large soup pot over medium-high heat add the olive oil and diced chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook until cooked through until chicken is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Once chicken is done cooking, transfer to a bowl or plate and set aside.
In the same pot, reduce heat to medium and add in onion, garlic, poblano, red bell pepper, potatoes and corn and saute for 6-8 minutes or until potatoes start to soften a bit.
Next stir in spices and cook for 30 seconds to release their flavors and aromas, then slowly stir in the milk, broth and yogurt (or sour cream), scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan as you stir. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes uncovered or until the potatoes are tender and can easily be pierced with a fork.
To give a creamy texture, blend approximately half of the soup (BE CAREFUL WHILE DOING THIS!) then return to the pot. Stir to incorporate and then taste and adjust seasonings -- adding in more salt and pepper if necessary. You can blend more if you like a creamier soup, but I love a little texture. Finally stir in the chicken, black beans and lime juice.
To serve, garnish with shredded cheese, scallions, cilantro, avocado and a swirl of sour cream (if not vegan). Makes 6 servings.
How to make it vegetarian: feel free to omit the chicken and enjoy the chowder as-is, or add in another can of black beans for an extra boost of protein.
See the full post for tips, customizations, and ways to store and freeze this corn chowder recipe.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on August 25, 2021, and republished on August 22, 2022.
I loved this chowder! I omitted the chicken and it was still very tasty, filling, and healthy, plus I got to use up lots of farmers market veggies. Thank you!
Made this last night for dinner, and WOW!! One of my favorite soups I’ve ever made. I’ve already told my fiancé that we’re having some of the leftovers for dinner tonight. It’s THAT good! I used a food processor to blend up the soup because my blender isn’t the best. Just be careful to fill whatever you’re using under the liquid fill line so that you don’t get sprayed with simmering soup!
Oh yay!! I’m so happy you guys loved this one so much! Thanks for the review 🙂
Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!! Thank you for another wonderful one pot recipe!!
Awesome!! So happy you loved it, Ashley!
Another winner! Made this for dinner last night, and it was delicious! The kids all gobbled it up and wanted more. Next time I will be doubling this to have on hand for a fall freezer dinner… thanks, Monique!
Woohooo! I’m so happy you all loved it, Jen!
We made this twice already this week. It’s seriously the best!
Yay!! So happy you love it!
Made with blackbeans instead of chicken so it was vegetarian – absolutely delicious!
Great call! So happy you loved it 🙂
Tasty and easy to make!
I’m so happy you loved it, Marta! Thanks so much for leaving a review 🙂
I made a massive vat of this chowder, and it is PHENOMENAL! I’m going to freeze some for a later date too. I thought this was absolutely delicious. Great flavor, packed with lots of yummy spices and I love the trick of blending some to make it creamy—this is one of several recipes that calls for this and I think it’s such a genius trick. This is the perfect level of creamy, salty, spicy, sweet. It’s just so good! Definitely will be making again this fall and winter! Followed the recipe exactly since I had all the Ingredients. So yummy!!!
Aw I’m thrilled to hear you loved it so much!! Great idea to freeze some for later–you’ll be happy you did that!
This soup was so good, so summery, and so easy to make. I left out the black beans for my picky eater and it was a hit!
Yay! I’m so happy you guys all loved it, Shelby!
This soup was delicious! It was so flavorful and filling, definitely a new favorite!
Yay!! So glad you tried and loved it, Stacy 🙂
This recipe was a big hit. Would make this again. A good transitional meal from Summer to Fall.
Exactly, that perfect combo of summery + cozy that I’m craving this time of year! So happy you loved it 🙂
Delicious, healthy, and comforting! Made this for my husband and a couple of our friends- it was a big hit! Definitely will make again
LOVE THIS SOUP!!! This soup tasted even better the second day! I left out the black beans bc I’m breastfeeding and it still turn out super flavorful and filling. I highly recommend adding a good amount of salt if you end up getting a low sodium broth and a good amount of cayenne! Loved this recipe but I had to add a lot more of the spices than listed.
This was delicious!!! My husband and I loved it. We used lite coconut milk. Will definitely keep this in our recipe file!
Although its still in the 70’s and humid here in Chicago I saw this on IG and had to make it. Its delicious! I did end up adding A LOT of spices at the end like cumin (lots as its my fav), paprika and red chili flakes but it turned out so yummy!
Delicious! I did it vegetarian with beans for myself and with chicken for my husband, just perfect!
So so good! Creamy, flavorful, healthy and my kids loved it too!
This was so good and flavorful! I made it with lean ground beef in place of the chicken just because I had it on hand and it turned out great.
My whole family loved it, from 18 months to 86 years. I omitted all the pepper except the chili powder and we added hot sauce to the bowl if we wanted some spice. Other than that, I made it as the recipe was written and I don’t think it can be improved upon!
Aw yay!! So happy to hear that everyone loved it 🙂 Thanks so much for the review–it means a lot!
My whole family really enjoyed this recipe! The only reason I didn’t give it five stars was that I ended up doubling all of the spice amounts to increase its flavour.
So happy you guys loved it! Totally fine to increase the spices 🙂
I made this over the weekend and it came out SO GOOD! My husband and I really like it. Plus, there was enough for leftovers and to freeze some for the colder months. I’ll be making this again, for sure!
I’m so happy to hear that, Addie! Such a great idea to freeze it for later 🙂
Monique does it again!! This was SO SO good! I followed the recipe to a T (subbed jalapeno for poblano) and it was a hit. I made a few minor errors (didn’t remove the chicken, and added beans before the end) but it still turned out great. Instead of separating the stew I used an immersion blender and blended about half of mixture for creaminess – delish!
Served with avocado, cheese, scallions, cilantro and hot sauce. Even better, it all came together start to finish in just an hour!
This will surely be on regular rotation in our house!
Amazing!! So happy it all worked out well and that you loved it!
This sounds delicious! Do you think there are any non- dairy substitutes for the Greek yogurt that would work? Thanks!
I think a nondairy yogurt (plain flavor) would be perfect! Or you could leave it out.
Delicious!! I didn’t blend any of it, but used a masher in the pot. It probably wasn’t as creamy, but I still thought it was 10/10! Leftovers for lunch today! Definitely adding this to my regular rotation.
That’s a great idea! So happy you loved it, Catherine 🙂
Really delicious as is! Perfect for when you want a hearty soup but don’t want chili. Definitely adding to our regular soup/chili cycle. Omitted the jalapeño to make it more kid friendly. It went over well with the whole family.
Nice! So happy you guys all enjoyed it, Laura 🙂
Is this soup GF? I don’t like black beans, so I added great northern white beans. And I added rotisserie chicken so it was quicker. And I used frozen diced potatoes. Will have my first bowl tomorrow!
Yes it is! And love the idea of using a rotisserie chicken and white beans 🙂 Hope you enjoy!
Oh and I didn’t blend any of it. I like chunky soups 🙂
This was so delicious. I made it exactly as written. My entire family loved it so much I passed this recipe on to them so that that can make it and enjoy it. I have added it to my rotation. Thank you for a great recipe.
Just made this with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving – I don’t like dark meat and you cannot taste it in this. Absolutely delicious! I added the cayenne for a little kick and it’s perfect. Highly recommend for leftover Thanksgiving turkey but will also be making again with chicken at other times of the year!
Delicious on a cold rainy night! I made a few swaps (added in a sweet potatoes I only had 1 yellow potato, used coconut milk), I omitted peppers as I don’t like them, and it was still delicious!
So cozy, right?! Happy to hear you loved it, Mary!
WOW! This was fabulous! And so easy to make. My one tip, and maybe for seasoned cookers it is a given, but make sure all ingrediencies are cut and prepped before you begin (all chicken, veggies etc.) because this chowder cooks fast. I cooked this for myself and my husband for lunch prep and it did not disappoint. In fact, I am eating it while I type this!
Don’t wait, cook it NOW!
Yes, that’s a great tip! So glad you’re loving it!!
This is one of the best soups I have made! It is filling and flavorful with just enough southwest flavor! I love that it is a cross between white chicken chili and corn chowder; it seriously changes the game with the sweetness of corn contrasted with southwest spice. I used frozen corn and it worked wonderfully!
Ahh YAY I’m so happy you loved it! And yes totally about it being a cross between the two 🙂
This was pretty extraordinary. Teenage boys, college-aged girls, my mom and husband destroyed this. I doubled the recipe. I subbed hatch green chiles and cream bc it was what I had on hand and I used two cans of diced potatoes that I let simmer in the chicken broth bc I did not feel like chopping potatoes. I set out bowls of shredded cheese, sour cream, diced avocado and diced bacon. Everyone gave the recipe a 5/5. Thank you for your creativity and great recipes!
Haha LOVE THAT! I’m so happy you guys were all obsessed 🙂 Thanks for the review!
SO SO delicious and flavourful! I used regular yogurt instead of greek, swapped the cayenne for smoke paprika since that was what I had at home!! Made the veggie version with extra black beans instead of chicken and it was good!
I’m so happy you loved it! Yay!
This recipe was delicious exactly as is!
Made this soup last year when you posted it and both my husband and I loved it! It is the perfect end of summer soup to use up the fresh sweet corn that is available right now. We just made it again tonight, and I have a feeling this will be an end of summer staple going forward!
I’m so happy you both are fans!! Agreed, SO good for end of summer 🙂
I love your recipes. I started the Mediterranean diet and all are perfect. I haven’t made any yet because its been so hot bit I certainly will as soon as the cooler weather comes.
Aw thank you, so happy you’re here! Can’t wait for you to try some of them — let me know what you think 🙂
I made this recipe as written. My husband remarked how good it was. I also love this soup with it’s south western flavors. It will be a recipe to repeat, for sure.
Yay!! So glad you both loved it 🙂
As always, this did not disappoint! This is such a great use of fresh corn especially when it’s in season. I added green chilies and chose to leave out the milk and yogurt. The whole family loved it.
Sounds amazing! SO happy you and the fam loved it 🙂 Thanks for the review!
The adults in the house enjoyed this very much and it was a nice way to eat corn from our farm share box in a different way. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It paired really well with a bacon cheese herb bread.
SO happy you guys loved it! And that bread sounds incredible 😍
Made without the cayenne so it was friendly for a toddler’s palate, but this was enjoyed by all. Hearty dinner made with peak late summer produce, this recipe is worth bookmarking to make again.
Perfect! One of our favs for late summer, too.
This chowder was delicious! I made it last night for a comforting rainy night meal and my husband and son loved it. I baked on-hand chicken breasts, used 4 fresh corn cobs and 1/2 can of black beans. Used 1 tsp taco mix and 1/4 tsp sazon, to improvise the spices that I didn’t have. Blended soup really thickened the pot nicely. Crusty bread and dinner is served. I will definitely make this again! Your detailed recipe instructions and sub suggestions are very helpful. Thanks Monique!
Perfect! So glad it was a hit with the whole family 🙂
Hi I see the recipe makes 6 servings. What serving size are you using?
Looks delicious! Is the serving size 8 oz or 12 oz? 1 cup or 1 & 1/2 cups? I can’t wait to make this! I’m trying to figure out serving size because I’m cooking this in a large batch for my church and need to make 46 servings. Hoping you can respond and let me know. Thanks so much! – Amy
Hi! Sorry, I haven’t measured it out so I can’t say exactly how much a serving is, but 1 batch makes 6 servings, so you’ll probably want to make around 7 batches. Hope that helps!
Silly question (I’m not much of a cook) but do I leave the skin on the potatoes?
I leave it on! That’s a personal preference but I like the texture + added nutrition and I think it’s much easier than peeling 🙂
This was amazing! I don’t normally do substitutions from your recipes but my grocery store was out of chicken thighs (I was worried breasts would dry out) so I went with ground chicken. It was still delicious! Thank you Monique!
So glad to hear the ground chicken worked well and that you loved it, Molly! Thanks for commenting 🙂
Sooo good! I’m trying to cook using things that have been sitting around in the freezer and a big bag of corn got me started. I also used the canned chicken breast from Costco (I know, I can’t believe this is where I’m at in my cooking journey either) and it was great. I’m sure it would have been better with chicken cooked as recommended but I was cooking with a couple of kids and cutting that corner really helped. Thanks for the great recipe!
Ahhh this is amazing! SO glad you loved this recipe and it came out great 😊
This was so yummy. Definitely will be making again!
So happy to hear this. Glad you enjoyed!
Delicious! I didn’t add the cayenne pepper. The poblano gave us the perfect heat. We will keep this in our rotation!
Delish. So glad to hear that this recipe is a hit ❤️🙂