Crock-Pot Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder

THK Chicken Corn Chowder 1

There’s a little running joke here in Ohio, and this year we find it especially true …

Ohio has four seasons: 1. Almost winter, 2. Winter, 3. Still winter, 4. Road construction.

Yeah. It’s been one of those winters.

You know, the winters where you can’t bear to do much more than snuggle up in five blankets beside a fire trying to keep your toes warm.

Oh. And we eat.

Because the cold weather makes us extra hungry.

And what are we hungry for? Comfort food. Mmmmmm … yes, comfort food …

Comfort food that’s fast. And easy. And delicious. (This is THK after all!)

This chicken corn chowder combines the sweet, sunshiny flavors of corn (oh, summer … we remember how good you taste!), with just a hint of smoky bacon. All in a steamy, warm, rich, creamy, keep-you-toasty-because-it’s-negative-forty-degrees-outside chowder.

The most comforting part? You just toss everything in the slow cooker and walk away. Soooo easy!

You can even mix it up in your crock-pot insert the night before and keep it in the fridge. (Just think of the time saved in the morning! At least six minutes! You’ll probably need that time to put on your extra layer of clothes.)

THK Chicken Corn Chowder 3

And this makes a BIG batch – it’ll still be fabulously delicious right on into another dinner later in the week, or as several warm, cozy lunches … or you can freeze the leftovers!

After the incredible response to our 3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos and Crock-Pot Crazy Pineapple Chili, we knew you weren’t kidding about wanting quick, easy (yet healthy!) slow cooker meals. Well, THK friends, we’ve got you covered!

Now, we know you may be kinda surprised about a few things. Hmmmmm … bacon … in a THK recipe? And frozen onions … and cream of mushroom soup? Are you sure?!?!?

Yep! We’re sure!

THK Chicken Corn Chowder 4

Bacon: Of course, you could cook up your own turkey bacon, lower-fat center cut bacon – or even veggie bacon – and crumble it in. But occasionally we actually embrace the time-saving step of using pre-packaged real crumbled bacon (not Bac-Os). A little goes a long, long way to adding meaty, smoky depth of flavor to health-ified recipes.

Oh – and check out the nutrition label. Go ahead. We’ll wait.

We bet you’re looking at only about 25 calories and 1.5g total fat per tablespoon (we call for four tablespoons – 1/4 cup – in this recipe). Spread that out over all those servings, and you’re getting a lot of flavor without too much nutritional compromise.

Frozen onions: These beauties are a busy cook’s dream, at least in certain long-cooking recipes. They’re perfect in this corn chowder because they cook down enough to really soften and meld into the soup.

If you can’t find frozen onions or just happen to have a fresh onion you need to use – that’s ok, too. We’ve used fresh onions in this recipe many times. But given the choice, for this chowder, we definitely prefer the softer, silkier texture of frozen.

From a nutritional standpoint, frozen veggies are generally considered to be similar to fresh, and are sometimes even nutritionally superior because they’re allowed to fully ripen before being flash-frozen at their peak.

Bonus of using frozen onions? It saves time … and tears!

THK Chicken Corn Chowder 5

Cream of mushroom soup: We know sometimes it gets a bad rap for being too old-fashioned (you know … think 1950s cream-of-anything mystery casseroles!) but we did significant testing of brands and proportions. We found that there are some great new choices on the market that offer a wonderful, creamy and flavorful backdrop for modern, healthy recipes.

Of the brands that are easily available to us, we generally reach for Health Valley Organic, which is low in calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium. Read the labels and choose the best that your grocery store offers!

Wow! That’s all a lot of explanation for such a quick and easy soup!

We don’t always share so much of the testing, research and nutritional discussions behind each of our recipes. But, we know you THKers care about what goes into the food your family eats. And you want to know that the recipes you choose are fast … and yet also provide healthier options for fueling your family’s busy lives. So we thought you might be curious about some of the ingredients and methods we chose this time around.

Oh! One more thing … Are you confused about whether you should use frozen chicken in crock-pot recipes? Yeah – we know … it’s a point of hot debate.

Our short answer is: Don’t Do It! (Wanna know why? Check out our recent post Is It Safe to Use Frozen Meat in Your Crock-Pot?).

THK Chicken Corn Chowder 2

But let’s get back to the chowder: fast and easy! Warm and comforting! Delicious! Yummmmm …

Our families love this corn chowder, and we love how quick and simple it is to make!

‘Nuff said!

Stay warm this week, friends! And share those blankets – you don’t need all five for yourself!

THK Signature Gretchen & Shelley cropped

We’d Love to Hear From You!

So, for those of you who live in colder areas: how many days of school have your local districts missed this year? We’ve logged five days already, and lots of school districts near us have six! Ok, ok … and for those of you who live somewhere that’s not snowy and cold … feel free to share a story about the gorgeously warm temperatures you’ve been enjoying (we promise to be only a teeny bit jealous)!

To get more healthy, delicious recipe ideas, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest. Plus, be the first to get our newest recipes by simply entering your e-mail in the box at the top right corner of our page!

Looking for More Great, Super-Easy Dinner Ideas? Check Out:

Crock-Pot Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder
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Yield: About 10½ cups
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 1 16-ounce bag frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups frozen diced onions (see note)
  • 2 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (sometimes labeled as country style)
  • 2 cans (14¾ ounces each) cream-style corn
  • 1 can (about 14 ounces) organic cream of mushroom soup (We like Health Valley Organic – see note)
  • ¼ cup real bacon bits (not Bac-Os)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • shredded reduced-fat cheese, minced fresh parsley, or whole grain dinner rolls (personal bread bowls) for serving, optional
Preparation
  1. Combine all ingredients except chicken breasts in your slow cooker, stirring to mix thoroughly and to break up any clumps of vegetables.
  2. Add chicken breasts to mixture, pushing them to the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low (6-8 hours), or on high (5 hours).
  4. Just before serving, use two forks to shred chicken. Or, remove chicken from slow cooker onto a plate or cutting board and cut it into small cubes, and then return chicken to soup in slow cooker.
  5. Serve soup sprinkled with cheese or parsley, if desired. Can be served in hollowed-out, whole-grain dinner rolls as bread bowls.
Notes
Onions: For this recipe, we prefer to use frozen diced onions for two reasons. Of course, it saves the step of chopping the onions yourself. More importantly, however, the frozen onions break down better and become softer in the slow cooker, especially when cooking this soup quickly on high or for only six hours on low. You can certainly use fresh onion, chopped to equal 2 cups, if you would prefer your onions to be a bit more firm and crunchy in the final soup.

Cream of Mushroom Soup: When selecting a cream of mushroom soup, read the labels carefully, as ingredients and nutritional profiles vary widely. We recommend choosing an organic, lower fat brand such as Health Valley.

Make-ahead options: You can mix all ingredients except chicken together the night before cooking, then refrigerate overnight. Then just pour the refrigerated mixture into your slow cooker in the morning. We recommend adding the chicken in the morning when you begin cooking.

This soup makes a large batch, and refrigerates well to be reheated for additional meals later in the week. It also freezes well after cooking and can be frozen in a tightly sealed baggie or freezer container.

 

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Comments

Crock-Pot Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder — 63 Comments

  1. Hello ladies, I made this soup for my family last night and everyone loved it!!! We spent all afternoon hovering around the slowcooker cause we couldn’t wait to eat it! It was absolutely delicious and the perfect comfort food! Thank you so much for sharing this easy delicious recipe!
    we ate it all in just 2 days because we loved it so much!

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      • Hi, Kim! We’re so thrilled that you stopped by! You’re totally going to love this chowder recipe (and you, too, Julie :D )! It’s a tried-and-true family favorite (you know … one of those that every time you make it, the whole family happily says, “Mmmmmm … this is sooooooo good,” and you wonder why you don’t just give in and make it every other day)! Yeah … gotta love that! ~G&S

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  7. This was a hit with the whole family and my inaugural London Crock-Pot dish! The kids loved helping me dump the ingredients into the crock pot and then declared it “super-duper tasty”. Paired perfectly with a fresh baguette and butter. I then had the pleasure of enjoying it for lunch the next day – the perfect leftover meal. Thanks for a great wintertime recipe.

    • We’re so honored to be a part of your new crock-pot’s debut, and we just love that the kiddos got to help – you know we love kids in the kitchen! And you’re so right – doesn’t this soup just make the BEST leftover lunches?!?! I get to enjoy a steamy, warm bowl at lunchtime for several days after I’ve made a batch – bonus for mom!!! Thanks so much for stopping by to let us know this was such a hit with your family – we really appreciate the feedback! :D ~Shelley

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    • Yep, me too, Pamela! Oh … except sometimes on a cold, snowy day what I really want (besides this chowder, of course!) is a sandy beach, some palm trees, and a lounge chair in the sand. Ah, well … a girl can dream … :D ~Shelley

  10. Wow!! This looks AMAZING!! I love love LOVE chicken corn chowder!! It is so hearty and warming on a chilly winter night!! This looks delicious and I love the bread bowl idea! So fun :)

    • Hi, Cailee! I just love chicken corn chowder, too (ummmm … hence, this post! :D)! And definitely try the bread bowls – that little touch elevates comfort food chowder and makes it seem unique and kinda special. Actually, over Christmas, I had a mammoth bread bowl left over from a party buffet – you know, one of those giant monstrosities the bakeries sell filled with an assortment of (normally sized!) rolls and breads. Anyway, since I really had no idea what to do with it, I filled it with an entire batch of this soup (seriously – that bread bowl was huge enough to hold it all!) and presented that at the table one night for dinner! So fun! :D ~Shelley

  11. My wife fixed this Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder for dinner last weekend. While I’m more of a meat-here, veggies-there, potatoes-over-there kind of diner, I found this Chowder to be delicious! I’m sure we’ll have this again soon. Thanks, Shelley and Gretchen! Your web site is terrific!

    • What a really sweet compliment, especially coming from someone who’s such a “meat and potatoes” kinda guy! So glad you loved it! (And we bet your wife’s glad about how easy it was to make a dinner you looooved! :D) Thanks a million for taking the time to pop by and give us your feedback – that really does mean so much to us! ~G&S

    • Yes, you have been having quite a winter in WI! Sadly, once it leaves you, it kinda makes a beeline for us! This winter has been among the worst in quite some time … so it’s no wonder we all crave comfort foods. The most fabulous part of this recipe is that you can just toss it in the crock-pot and go (out, if the roads are clear … or back to the couch if it’s another snow day!). It’s perfectly ready at dinner time! Enjoy! :) ~G&S

  12. We have a similar joke in Michigan! At least construction season has sunshine and a some warmth — I’m ready for the snow to melt, please!

    I’ve also been pleasantly surprised with the cream of mushroom soup options at the store lately! Some foods just demand the soup (sometimes even just for nostalgia) and it’s nice to see options without weirdo ingredients and some are even GF.

    • Is it weird that I’m actually looking forward to road construction season?? You are totally right – at least it will be totally sunny and warm! :)

      Shelley and I both were thrilled with the many options when we started trying different brands. We had several to select from! My favorite part? Being able to pronounce all of the ingredients on the list! I don’t care for weirdo ingredients! Lol! ~Gretchen

    • Cate! Go get the crock-pot!! I promise you that you will LOVE it – and use it all the time! I use mine ALL.THE.TIME. And so will you … to make awesome soups like this! And yes … this soup is creamy, warm, cozy, and amazingly delicious! Gotta try it! ~Gretchen

  13. What a great weekend! We enjoyed the “Crock-pot Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder”. I love cooking with one pot so clean up is minimal. The bonus here was the great dinner! Thanks so much for this recipe!

    • Wow – thanks a million for stopping by to let us know this was such a hit! We love it, too, and are so happy that others are enjoying it … and enjoying how much easier it makes their dinner prep! Delicious … healthy … and easy! Perfect, right?!? :D So glad you like it! ~G&S

  14. I tried the soup, and we like it, Scott especially :-) It was a little too sweet for my taste (probably from the creamed corn), so I added a sprinkle of blue cheese to my serving, and it tempered the sweetness. (Being a blue cheese addict, I’ll add it to just about anything, I’ll admit.)

    Question: Did you experiment with the small diced frozen potatoes at some point rather than the shredded? We found that the shredded potatoes disappeared during the cooking process, and we like chunks of potato. Do you think the diced ones wouldn’t cook through well enough? Thanks!

    • Hi, Sue! So glad your family liked it! I normally turn to cheddar or sharp cheddar as the shredded cheese topping to add that last savory layer of flavor as a counterpoint to the sweet corn … but I also LOOOOOVE blue cheese, so your idea to use that as the cheese topping sounds fabulous, too!

      Now, about the potatoes: in this particular soup, the potatoes do cook down so that they’re almost unnoticeable – they’re simply serving as a creamy thickener to add body and just the slightest bit of texture. This chowder isn’t really designed to focus on the potatoes (but that doesn’t mean you can’t change it up a bit to suit your family’s tastes!). I haven’t tried making it with cubed potatoes, but I think it would work just fine! I definitely think that the potatoes will cook through with no problem, but you may see a bit of a difference in the thickness and texture of the soup, as they probably won’t meld into the body of the soup in the same way. Since your family likes larger chunks of potatoes, though, why not give it a shot? And if you try that before I do, please pop back and let me know how it goes! Thanks for asking a great question! :D ~Shelley

  15. Oh my gosh – I can totally feel your cold weather pain from here. Yikes! But, you do have to admit, it’s a great excuse for those hearty, belly-warming recipes. :-) And, this one sounds fabulous! And, I just recently discovered frozen onions…what a blessing! Sometimes, they are exactly what you need for a recipe. Especially on a busy weeknight!!!

    • Hey, Kristi! Yeah – aren’t frozen onions an unexpectedly swell idea!?!? They for sure don’t work in every application (sauteeing? … not so much …) but for recipes like this, they’re not only a much better fit because of their already-softened-structure, but also save time! Perfect! :D Hope you had a wonderful weekend! ~G&S

  16. I cannot think of anything more comforting than having one of these soups when it is so cold outside. It looks truly comforting and cozy! Yay for chicken soups which include bacon ;–) I believe it is healthy in moderation, so adding it to this soup sounds like a wonderful idea to me.
    I really can’t wait for winter to end though. This one is being a really harsh one :–(
    Thanks for sharing the recipe, I think this will be happening soon at home!
    Have a lovely weekend girls! <3

    • Ha, Consuelo! I know how you love bacon! It’s definitely not the healthiest of ingredients – but we try to take a similar view on occasionally using ingredients like this consciously and in moderation. Plus, it’s always an option to use nitrite-free, veggie, etc. – so it can work for a variety of different eating styles. And about this winter: you said it … harsh! I think it’s really interesting that clear across a giant ocean, your winter has been just as harsh as ours! Stay warm (make this soup!) … and have a great week! :D ~Shelley

    • Hi, Abbe! Canned soup has come a surprisingly long way with all of the wonderful new organic and natural options on the market. They can really be a busy cook’s lifesaver in so many ways without compromising nutritionally! And yes, yes, yes … get that slow cooker!!!! :D ~Shelley

  17. Making this for dinner! Looks so yummy!!!! I am loving the crock pot recipes…. Please keep them coming!!!! Thanks so much! Here’s my question though. I only use nitrate/nitrite free bacon in my house? How much of the real stuff would you say I should add? You mentioned that a little goes along way with the quick bacon crumbles so I’m wondering if I’d need more 1/4 cup pan fried to get the same flavor. Lmk! Thx!

    • Hi, Gretchen! High-five for avoiding those nitrates! You’ll want to cook 4 strips of your regular bacon, then crumble, which should equal approximately 1/4 cup (each strip of bacon should yield about 1 tablespoon crumbled). So excited that you’re making this! Please pop back and let us know how your family liked it! :D ~Shelley

  18. Well, I don’t have any kiddos but, I myself have had a few ‘snowdays’ from work! Where we live, west of Toronto, it’s been a brutal winter. Much worse than usual. Being a native of the west coast, I’m still getting used to it … Imagining a steaming bowl of this amazing chowder to warm the bones! Looks delish. :)

    • Thanks, Sharon! Wow – that really is a big transition, coming from the west coast into the chilly embrace of Toronto winters! You for sure need this soup, especially in the middle of a winter like this one! Bundle up, and think sunny thoughts of spring … it’s just gotta be around the corner! :D ~G&S

  19. First of all – gorgeous bread bowl shot above! Pretty!

    This recipe looks perfect. The crockpot and I are BFFs lately, and I love creamy anything soup. After how popular your crockpot chicken tacos were with us, I’m sure we’ll love this soup as well!

    (And speaking of cold weather days – it would figure that our schools would have 5+ days off – and one state-wide, governor-mandated day off – when I finally stopped teaching to be at home with babies!) :)

    • Good question! We actually had a very interesting comment on our 3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos from a reader in England who was finally able to track down and purchase a slow cooker, but mentioned how much more difficult it is to find them in Britain! Are the Netherlands the same way?!?! It doesn’t surprise me that the slow cooker craze is more of an American thing!

      Regardless, I think your “stuff everything in a pan” method will work (a large dutch oven would be great for this), but you may need a couple of tweaks. For one thing, because there is very little evaporation in a slow cooker, recipes targeted at that cooking method typically don’t have a lot of liquid, so you’ll probably need to increase the liquid (milk) in this recipe to adapt it to the stovetop. I would just thin it as you go until it’s the consistency you’d like. If you use a lot of additional liquid, though, you may also need to just slightly increase the seasonings to flavor that additional liquid. Easy enough to do – just take a taste toward the end of cook time and adjust the seasonings as needed. Lastly, besides marrying the flavors, the main concern in cooktime for this recipe is to make sure the chicken is fully cooked and tender. If you don’t want to cook the soup for a long time on the stovetop, you could shortcut the process a bit by adding precooked, shredded or chopped chicken breast into the soup toward the end of cooking.

      Ok! I hope that gives you some ideas! Let me know if you have more questions so I can help you make this work! (Or maybe I should just send you a crock-pot!?!?! :D Seriously – you’ll looooove it!) ~Shelley

      • I finally got around to making this! (I had a THK weekend ;)) I found a place that sells crock pots here actually, but they are a bit rare. Will probably turn into a hype, once yours is over! Anyway, this recipe totally works if you dump everything in a pan and wait until the chicken is cooked and then shred and cook a little longer. I caramelized the onions before adding the rest of the ingredients and somehow ended up using only 2 cups milk in stead of 3. (although I completely agree with your logic, not sure how I went wrong :P) Most importantly: the people who like corn in this family, thought it tasted amazing! (the rest needs to learn to eat really ;))

  20. My dad grew up in Dayton (among other places), but I don’t think he misses the snow one bit! Both of his parents also moved to California, and neither of them want to leave either. We’re cold wimps in our family! ;)

    But I’m still absolutely loving these easy crockpot meals, and this comfort food one looks amazing! Although he’s a super picky eater, my guy will actually eat corn chowder (not clam, he hates seafood), but… I’m allergic to mushrooms. Is there something else I could substitute?

    • Hi, Amy! Yeah – sounds like your dad and his parents have the right idea about climates! Honestly, Ohio is an awesome place to raise kids – we have a gorgeous pond out back, and year-round they’re either swimming and paddle-boating and fishing, or else skating, playing hockey and sledding, plus we have decent little ski resorts nearby, too – plenty to keep kids happy and active in any season! But, ummmmmm … as an adult, sometimes this type of winter wears just a teensy bit thin! Lucky for comfort foods like this! I just chowed leftovers of this soup at lunch … ahhhhhhh … so great! :D

      My first thought about the mushroom dilemma is simply to sub cream of potato soup – again, watching for a good organic, low-fat brand. Since there’s already potato in this chowder, anyway, it should be lovely together. Really – you’re just using it as a creamy, velvety backdrop for all of the other flavors anyway. The mushroom flavor isn’t at all prominent, so although I haven’t tried it, I honestly think you’d be just as happy with the cream of potato version. If you try it, for sure let me know how that works for you! ~Shelley

      • Aww that sounds like such a beautiful backyard Shelley! My guy and I love hockey (we actually just bought spur-of-the-moment tickets to see the Sharks tomorrow night!), but there’s no way I could ever join your kids… And I know what you mean about winters as an adult. I’m already counting down the days until spring — and have been since Thanksgiving! I’ll keep an eye out for cream of potato soup; thanks for the tip! :)

  21. Ladies this looks absolutely delicious and perfect for this crazy cold weather. This is our 2nd straight day of no school due to extreme temperatures. Today windchill..-44 degrees. Yes, that is right it is bitterly cold. Now this Creamy Chicken Corn chowder is just what we need today. Thanks!

    • We had -40 degree wind chills a couple of weeks ago, and then the kiddos missed school this week because we got so much snow! No kidding – they haven’t had a full week of school since before Christmas! We love it, though – so many bonus days to hang out with our little buddies! Sure does make it hard to get our blog work done, though! :D Stay warm, friend! ~G&S

  22. On my way to the grocery store with all of the ingredients listed for “Crock-pot Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder”. With yummy foods to look forward to, the winter winds can blow and we will be warm!

    • Those winter winds sure are don’t seem to be letting up, do they?!? Lucky this makes plenty of yummy soup to keep you warm for a good, long time! Hope you love it as much as we do! Let us know what you think! :D ~G&S

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