Delicious Corn Chowder

A bowl of corn chowder

The Ultimate Cold-Weather Comfort Food

In my last post, I mentioned that I’m on a major kick for corn chowder! After a ridiculously warm winter, we’ve had a few days of cold-snap here in Atlanta, which is nothing compared to the blizzard headed for the Northeast right now! Stay warm up there!

Of course, when it’s cold outside, there’s nothing like whipping up a big batch of chili or homemade soup.

This recipe is based off my mother’s corn chowder and potato soup recipes. It’s not low-carb, low-fat, or low-calorie. Definitely not Whole30-friendly. It’s not even particularly low-cost. It is accidentally gluten-free, which is the best way to do gluten-free, of course. (Double check your chicken broth and creamed corn labels just to be sure.)

Since I’ve told you what it’s not, here’s what this corn chowder recipe is: Simple. Comforting. Delicious. This batch of soup has already fed four friends, my husband and myself, and we still have around 4 cups left.

Brandy’s Corn Chowder Recipe

Ingredients for homemade corn chowder

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 3.5 lbs of baby potatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces*
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage
  • 2 small yellow onions
  • 1 8-oz can of evaporated milk
  • 2 14.5-oz cans of creamed corn
  • A few good shakes of crushed red pepper flakes to taste

*Quick note on the potatoes: this is equal to two bags Potato Inspirations potatoes. I used one bag of Enchanted Rose and one bag of Honey Gold. If you want to use regular potatoes, go for it–try small red and/or Yukon Gold.

Place the chopped potatoes and celery to a large soup pot. Add the water, broth, one tablespoon of butter, and salt to taste. I went easy on the salt because I used regular broth.

Water, brother, potatoes, celery, butter and salt for the base of the soup.

Adding salt, butter and celery to the base gives the potatoes good flavor.

Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are desired tenderness. I like when the potatoes start to break down a little, because it adds to the texture of the soup.

Meanwhile, start your Italian sausage in a separate pan on medium heat, adding the onions once the meat is browned. Cook until the meat is done and the onions are translucent, and add to the soup pot.

Q: Should you drain the grease?
A: If there’s an excessive amount, yes. The meat I bought was lean enough that I didn’t find it necessary, though, and I appreciate the flavor boost.
Browned Italian sausage with onions.

Brown the meat first. The onions will cook in the fat drippings.

Simmer the meat and potatoes together for about five minutes. Stir in the creamed corn, canned milk, remaining tablespoon of butter and the crushed red pepper flakes, turn down the burner, and heat through for about ten more minutes.

Adding cream corn, canned milk, butter and red pepper to finish the corn chowder.

Fun fact: the Norwegian idiom “Å være midt i smørøyet” translates as “to be in the middle of the butter eye.” It refers to the pat of butter melting in a bowl of porridge, and it means to be in a very favorable position. That’s pretty much how I feel about the butter in my corn chowder recipe, too.

Q: Can you skip the pepper flakes and just use a hotter variety of sausage?
A: Absolutely. Because I’m a wimp, I monitor my spiciness very closely!

And that, my friends, is it! Take a taste, adjust seasoning to your liking, and call the family to the table!

Ladling up Corn Chowder

Perfect for a cold day. Or any day. So good.

This recipe makes a massive pot of ten 2-cup servings! Let’s take a quick look at the economics, shall we?

Corn Chowder cost per serving

Here are recent prices for all the ingredients at my local grocery store.

  • Potato Inspirations potatoes: I used 2 bags at $4.29 each. (I know. Ouch.)
  • 1 32-oz carton chicken broth: I had Progresso in my pantry ($2.59), but the best price I saw was a Swanson BOGO at $1.50 each.
  • A 16-oz package of bulk Italian sausage cost me $4.89.
  • The lowest price on butter was $3.25 for a 16-oz package, or 20.31¢ per ounce. Two tablespoons equals one ounce.
  • I usually pay $2.99 for 3-lb bag of about 13 onions, so that’s about 46¢ for two of them.
  • Celery was priced at $1.69 per bunch. I’d say four stalks is roughly half a bunch, right?
  • A can of store-brand evaporated milk is 97¢.
  • I had Green Giant creamed corn on hand–two cans at $1.39 each–but the best price I saw was 80¢ each.
  • I happened to be out of crushed red pepper flakes and had to buy a new jar at $2.49. However, I know it will last a loooong time, so this cost is basically negligible, as is the salt. Let’s say 10¢ worth of seasoning, just to be fair.

The best-case total, assuming we raided those sale prices, is $19.15 before taxes, and $1.92 per serving.

Since the specialty baby potatoes aren’t strictly necessary, that’s the first place to make a substitution if you want to bring that number down a peg. I just couldn’t resist, although I did miss out on a sale price for them, unfortunately! However, a three-pound bag of petite red potatoes can be had for $2.99, which brings the cost per serving down to $1.36 per two-cup bowl.

Other Ideas

Like a warm home and a loving family, a good pot of soup should be both inviting and forgiving. Here are some thoughts on substitutions.

  • Switch the sausage out with either cubed ham or cut-up leftover chicken.
  • Omit the onions and boil leeks with the potatoes.
  • If you don’t like canned milk, use regular milk.
  • Omit the butter and drain the meat to cut down on the fat. Consider replacing the water with another carton of broth so you don’t sacrifice too much flavor.
  • Love garlic? Toss some into the meat mixture when the onions are about half-done.
  • Sub whole kernel or even frozen corn for cream-style if that’s what’s handy.
  • Replacing part of the celery with okra will thicken the broth some.
  • Scoop out some of the boiled potatoes, mash them, and return them to the broth for added thickness and texture.
  • Not sure you need that much soup? Make a half batch and freeze the unused sausage for another time or another use.

In other words, be creative and do what works for you!

A bowl of corn chowder


Share with Friends!

When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing like a big batch of homemade soup. #blizzard2017 #recipe (Click to Tweet!)

Like a warm home & a loving family, a good pot of soup should be inviting & forgiving. #recipe (Click to Tweet!)

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