One of my all-time favorite recipes is the one for our corn chowder; it’s inexpensive, it’s quick, it’s insanely delicious, I almost always have all the ingredients available, it’s healthy, no one complains too loudly if we have leftovers the next night.
I’ve been making that corn chowder since the summer my husband and I got married so…12 years (side note: how???) and I’ve never really veered too far off course because I love it so much. But then…one day…it happened. I decided to mix it up. I didn’t have any bacon (gasp!) and I had a can of chipotles left over from this chicken (plus about half the chicken, which, spoiler alert, comes into play as well). It ended up being fabulous; my kids thought it was a little on the spicy side, but my husband and I loved it.
- Chicken broth – Your favorite broth will do, be it canned, boxed, homemade, or mixed up from Better Than Bouillon. Broth from bouillon cubes would work in a pinch, but you’ll get much better flavor from one of the previous options.
- Corn – This recipe calls for a can of corn. Feel free to replace it with fresh or frozen corn kernels if you wish.
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce- You can find canned chipotle peppers in the Latin foods aisle of your grocery store. To reduce the level of spice in the final chowder, remove the seeds.
- Garlic, onion, and bell peppers, and potatoes – This is a great place to use up whatever varieties of these you have on hand! Fresh garlic is best. Any variety of onion and any color combo of bell peppers will do. Red, gold, or russet potatoes would all work.
- Leftover chicken – Rotisserie chicken works well here, or leftover grilled chicken breasts or thighs. If you don’t have any leftovers, you can make a couple of quick Air Fryer Chicken Breasts.
- Flour – This chowder is thickened using wheat flour and has not been tested with alternative options. If you need to make this gluten free, you can try using your favorite thickener (corn starch, arrowroot powder, etc.) mixed with a little bit of chicken broth and add it at the very end of cooking.
- Chipotle Tobasco Sauce – This is optional, for serving. You can typically find it on the condiment aisle of your grocery store.
- Vegetarian Option – If you’d like to make this vegetarian, simply replace the chicken broth with veggie stock and omit the chicken.
- First you’ll start off by chopping some onion and peppers. Mince a good amount of garlic and some chipotle chilies (remove the seeds to reduce the spiciness and set the adobo sauce aside for use in a few minutes).
- Melt some butter in a large skillet and sauté the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and chipotle chilies until the veggies are tender. You’ll add to that a bit of flour and cook for a few minutes.
- You’ll then add some chicken broth and cook until the flour is smooth and the broth is starting to thicken. Add some milk and bring to a low simmer. Add the chopped potatoes (these help thicken the chowder). Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the milk isn’t burning. Add the chicken, corn, black beans and a small amount of adobo sauce at a time, and any additional salt to taste. Serve with chipotle Tabasco sauce and shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
My family doesn’t like spicy food. Are they going to eat this? The spice here is not overwhelming. That said, you control level of the spice! Feel free to reduce the amount of minced chipotle chilies and then taste test at the end as you add the adobo sauce back in to make sure the spice level is right for your family.
The great thing about chowder is that is can be a one bowl meal if you choose. Serve with a simple side salad or sliced fruit. If you’re looking for something more, consider whipping up some Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits or One-Hour Dinner Rolls.
Did You Make This?
I’d love to hear from you! Snap a picture and tag me on Instagram, then come back and give this recipe a rating!Print
This smoky, spicy chowder is hearty and filling. Perfect comfort food for cold nights!
- 1 large onion, minced
- 6–7 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 colored bell peppers, chopped
- 1 chipotle chili, chopped (seeded if you’re worried about heat; I seed mine)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 heaping cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth (1 can)
- 5 cups low-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2–3 small red potatoes, chopped
- 1 small can corn, drained
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (I used leftover chicken from this recipe)
- Adobo sauce from chipotle chilies to taste (we used 2-3 teaspoons)
- Chipotle Tabasco sauce
- Shredded sharp cheddar or pepper jack cheese
Chop onions and bell peppers and mince garlic and chipotle peppers (reserve adobo sauce for later).
Melt butter in a large skillet. Sauté the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and chipotle chili until the veggies are tender.
Add the flour and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the broth and cook until the flour is smooth and the broth is starting to thicken.
Add the milk and bring to a low simmer.
Add the potatoes and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the milk isn’t burning. Add the chicken, corn, black beans and a small amount of adobo sauce at a time, and any additional salt to taste. Serve with chipotle Tabasco sauce and shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Serves 8-10.