Chicken Chipotle Chowder

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.

creamy chicken soup in a bowl with mexican toppings

Ingredient Notes

  • 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.

Instructions

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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. You could also sub chipotle chili powder to taste, which is a little easier to control.

Serving Suggestions

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!

creamy chicken soup in a bowl with mexican toppings

Chicken Chipotle Chowder

This smoky, spicy chowder is hearty and filling. Perfect comfort food for cold nights!
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
Author: Our Best Bites
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. Thank you for another great recipe!

  2. I’ve made this before when my boys were still at home (both grad students now) and I remember everyone liking it. So when I was talking with my oldest yesterday about “what for dinner”, he mentioned Chicken Chipotle Chowder and how much he loves it. Apparently he’s made it multiple times and it’s one of his favs. So now that he’s got this in my head, this is on the menu for dinner this week! I wonder if it’d be good in a Panera bread bowl?

  3. I made this tonight and used tapioca flour instead of all purpose to make it gluten free. Texture was just like times I’ve made it in the past. Heads up to anyone who has to avoid gluten.

  4. I love having chowder in winter, this dish looks so awesome! Thank you for the recipe!

  5. Can this be frozen? I made a double batch for a function tomorrow and it just got postponed until next week. Love this soup btw!

  6. Where do you find chipotle? I’ve never bought it. Is it something you can find at any grocery store? Is it a canned thing or a fresh thing from the produce section?

  7. Can’t wait to make this tomorrow! Just have a quick question: I don’t have any chipotle Tabasco sauce. Is this little ingredient going to be a deal-breaker if I don’t have it? Thanks!

    1. Nah, you’ll be fine (although I totally recommend that you get some–that and the green jalapeño are my favorite! Super flavorful and not quite as spicy as the original.)

  8. Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious, and even approved by my picky husband, too:)

  9. Ok, i am making this right now and am so excited about it. Corn chowder from a can if a fav of my hubby’s so i can’t even fathom how much he’ll enjoy this!!! Anyway, just noticed that it doesn’t mention when to add the salt. This may seem like a no brainer and prob the “dumbest” question you’ve received but I am a measurer to the “t”, and follow recipes exactly, like in an insane kinda way. I’m just afraid to mess up the whole thing! My issues aside, I just thought I’d let you know for any other crazies out there like me 😉

  10. We got hit with a surprise snow today so this trumped my normal dinner plan. It was perfect! Very tasty and made a good amount of soup so everyone was able to eat to their heart’s content. Thank you!

  11. We just had this for lunch. It was so good. The chipotle was great in it. I did half an onion instead of a whole one.

  12. My family LOVES your corn chowder and I know they would like this one too, but I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for substitutions for the bell peppers. I am unfortunately allergic to them.

  13. I absolutely love your corn chowder recipe. I even make my family eat it in the middle of summer because I love it so much. I am beyond excited to try this new take on it. Yay!!!

  14. I’m cooking the garlic lime chicken recipe today. Look’s like I might have to try this one with the leftovers tomorrow!

  15. This looks awesome. And we are finally having cool enough weather to eat soup. I think this will be dinner tomorrow night. Hooray for a new soup!

    1. P.S. I don’t see in the recipe when you add the potatoes. I assume it’s before you let it simmer for 20 minutes?

    2. Okay, that’s so weird–I fixed it on my phone first thing this morning, and it looks like it’s changed on the wordpress mobile app, but not on the site. It should be fixed now! Thanks, girl!

  16. This looks amazing. Your corn chowder is one of our very favorite soups. I can’t wait to try this one out.