~ Just toss everything in the slow cooker! This Crock Pot Corn Chowder with Chicken is so ridiculously easy! A creamy, satisfying soup with the sweetness of corn and just a hint of smoky bacon. Healthy, simple and absolutely delicious! (Originally published as Crock-Pot Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder on February 6, 2014) ~
This Recipe Is: • Freezable • Make Ahead •
There’s a little running joke here in Ohio …
Ohio has four seasons: 1. Almost winter, 2. Winter, 3. Still winter, 4. Road construction.
Yeah, I know … funny-not-funny (at least if you live in Ohio). A little too true, maybe.
But with allllll that wintery-ness, we Ohioans are big-time into blankets, slippers, and comfort food. Comfort food experts, you might say. Because the cold weather makes us extra hungry (and cold, obviously … so, so cold).
We need comfort foods to soothe our cold, frozen little souls and melt through some of the chill. (Over dramatic? Ok. Maybe just a little. But only a little! 😉 )
Why We Looooove Crock Pot Corn Chowder
We want comfort food that’s fast. And easy. And delicious.
This Crock Pot Chicken Corn Chowder recipe’s got all that, and more! It perfectly combines:
- the sweet, sunshiny flavors of corn (oh, summer … we remember how good you taste!)
- with tender, hearty white-meat chicken and shreds of potatoes
- plus just a hint of smoky bacon
All in a steamy, warm, rich, creamy, keep-you-toasty-because-it’s-negative-twenty-degrees-outside chowder.
The most comforting part of all? You just toss everything in the slow cooker and walk away. No worries. It’s soooo easy!
You can even mix this Corn Chowder up in your crock-pot insert the night before … and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to fire up your slow cooker.
(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.)
Even better yet?
This Chicken Corn Chowder recipe makes a BIG batch. And it’ll still be fabulously delicious right on into another dinner later in the week, or as several warm, cozy lunches.
It’s Even Freezable!
Yup! For the ultimate in make-ahead meals, you can freeze the leftovers for another meal or two later!
So great for meal prep and for all those crazy-busy weeks when you really just need dinner to be already done!
Well, THK friends, we’ve got ya covered! Check out all Our Best Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes Ever – lots more ideas for making dinnertime easier – just like this amazing, hearty, family-favorite chowder!
Surprising Ingredients in This Corn Chowder with Chicken
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!
There are actually some pretty specific reasons why, after all our recipe testing, we settled on the ingredients we’re using in this Chicken Corn Chowder. So let’s talk about a few of ’em that might be surprising you.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Sometimes this 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 cream of mushroom soup 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.
The bacon adds a wonderful, additional layer of flavor to an already-delicious Corn Chowder. This soup’s just not the same without it!
Of course, you could cook up your own turkey bacon, lower-fat center cut bacon – or even veggie bacon – and crumble it in. You could.
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 by adding meaty, smoky depth of flavor to health-ified recipes like this soup.
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 allllllll those servings, and you’re getting a LOT of flavor without too much nutritional compromise.
Easy … and delicious. Do it!
Chicken (Hint: Don’t Use Frozen!)
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!
If you’ve got chicken in your freezer that you’d like to use for this recipe, thaw it properly first. (Wanna know why? Check out our post Is It Safe to Use Frozen Meat in Your Crock-Pot?).
Surprised again, right? Don’t be!
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 particular Corn 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 or mature, before being flash-frozen at their absolute peak.
Bonus of using frozen onions? It saves time … and tears!
Wow! That’s all a lot of explanation (and surprises) 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.
But let’s get back to the chowder: fast and easy! Warm and comforting! Delicious! Yummmmm …
It’s a meal in itself!
Maybe garnish it with a bit of shredded, reduced-fat cheese or some pretty, fresh parsley, if you’d like. You really don’t need anything else!
But did you notice a clever idea in some of our photos?
For a fun twist, try serving your Corn Chowder in individual bread bowls. Divine!
Of course, we recommend choosing grainy or whole wheat bread for the extra nutrition. Plus, those choices tend to be sturdier and more texturally interesting, too.
However you serve it, your family will love it (and you’ll love how quick and simple it is to make)!
Stay warm this almost-winter (and winter, and STILL winter) season, my friends! And share those blankets – you don’t need all five for yourself!
- 3 cups nonfat 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 (14 3/4-ounce) cans cream-style corn
- 1 (14-ounce) can organic cream of mushroom soup (we like Health Valley Organic – see note)
- 1/4 cup real bacon bits (not Bac-Os)
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- optional for serving: shredded reduced-fat cheese, minced fresh parsley, or whole grain rolls (personal bread bowls)
- Combine all ingredients except chicken breasts in your slow cooker, stirring to mix thoroughly and to break up any clumps of vegetables.
- Add chicken breasts to mixture, pushing them to the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Cook on low (6-8 hours), or on high (5 hours).
- 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.
- Serve soup sprinkled with cheese or parsley, if desired. Can be served in large, hollowed-out, whole-grain rolls as bread bowls.
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 together all ingredients, except chicken, the night before cooking, and 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.
In addition, this soup makes a large batch, and refrigerates well to be reheated for meals later in the week. It also freezes well after cooking and can be frozen in a tightly sealed baggie or freezer container.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 servings Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 303Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gFiber: 4g
Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.