A great way to use up some leftover ham from Sunday’s dinner is in this delicious ham and corn chowder! This soup has tons of flavor and is the ultimate comfort soup. Packed with ham, corn, and potatoes, this soup is creamy and delicious!

I love potatoes in soups! Some of my favorites are this copycat Zuppa Toscana, broccoli potato soup, and potato pepper jack soup. If you love creamy soups, I know you’ll love these!

Three bowls of Ham and Corn Chowder, with one bowl on a bronze platter.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Great way to use leftovers. This soup is your best friend when it comes to using up items in your fridge from yesterday’s meal. I like making this soup after Sunday, Christmas or Easter dinners to use up a bunch of that leftover ham. It’s also a great way to use up some leftover corn on the cob.
  • Not just creamy, but tasty too! This soup totally delivers on flavor and texture. We get a great creamy element with the heavy cream, and then using an emulsion blender, the soup turns into chowder and, oh man, crazy good!
  • One pot soup. One pot ham and corn chowder? Yep, that’s right! Just. One. Pot! This makes cleaning up so much easier.

Ingredients

Ingredients used to make ham and corn chowder on a white background.
  • Corn: Frozen, canned, fresh or leftover corn. Anything goes 🙂
  • Ham: Use actual ham, not a deli ham, because there is more flavor and structure to it. This ham and corn chowder is a great recipe for any leftover ham from another meal.
  • Potatoes: I’d recommend gold potatoes or russets because they’ll hold up better in the soup.
  • Broth: Using broth is much better than water because there is more flavor depth than water.
  • Cream: Using heavy cream gives us a thicker and creamier consistency. You can use half and half or whole milk, but the consistency will be more brothy and less chowdery.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot on medium heat then add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. 
  2. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. The mixture will be pasty and thick.
  1. Add the chicken broth to the pot and stir constantly. Add the salt, pepper, and paprika and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes. 
  2. Add in the corn and cook for 10 minutes or until corn is heated through and the potatoes are fork tender. 
  1. Using an immersion blender blend the soup to your desired consistency. I like to keep some corn and potato chunks. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can transfer some of the soup to a blender. 
  1. Add the heavy cream and ham. Cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until the ham is warmed through.
A large pot full of corn chowder, with diced ham and heavy cream placed overtop of the chowder.

Recipe Tips

Additions: Adding bacon pieces, green onions and/or chives on top of each serving of soup would be delicious garnishes!

If you don’t have an emulsion blender, transfer some of the soup to a blender and pulse that a few times. I don’t blend/emulsify the entire soup because I like having chunks of potato and corn still.

Ingredients: Using heavy cream gives us a creamier consistency. You can use half and half or whole milk, but it won’t be as creamy. I definitely recommend using the broth, because water won’t carry as much flavor. Use any kind of corn: frozen, canned, fresh, or leftover. For the ham, don’t use sandwich deli ham. It won’t be as robust in the soup or as flavorful.

Variations: If you don’t have ham or you’d rather use another form of meat or protein feel free to do so. Bacon would be delicious! Can also use cooked and shredded chicken. 

Serving suggestions: Serve with homemade buttermilk biscuits or dinner rolls; and a side broccoli caesar salad.

A wooden spoon scooping up homemade Ham and Corn Chowder.

FAQs

How do I make the perfect corn chowder?

The trick to making the perfect chowder is using broth and cream as a base and then using an emulsion blender to blend a portion of the soup to give it an even thicker, creamier consistency.

What’s the difference between soup and chowder?

Soup is more like a broth base and chowders have cream in it and are chunkier and much thicker in consistency.

Can you freeze chowder?

Yep! With a caveat. If you want to make sure the soup doesn’t separate (because there is cream in it) whatever you want to freeze, freeze if before adding the cream. Then, when you are ready to eat it, pull it out of the fridge, let thaw and then add the cream to the soup and continue following the instructions from that step. Note: Freezing dairy does have a tendency to separate once it’s thawed, so that’s why I’d recommend freezing pre-heavy cream. Freeze the ham and corn chowder in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in the fridge for up to 2 months.

A close up of Ham and Corn Chowder in a black bowl against a white textured background.

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A close up of Ham and Corn Chowder in a black bowl against a white textured background.
Print Review
5 from 2 votes

Ham and Corn Chowder

Creamy ham and corn chowder
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 10 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 small yellow onion - diced, about 3/4 cup
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic - minced, about 3 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth - or vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 lb gold potatoes - peeled and diced into 1/2" inch cubes
  • 32 oz corn - frozen or canned (I used frozen). Drain the corn if using canned
  • 1 cup heavy cream - can sub half and half for less fat. See notes
  • 1 lb ham - diced into 1/2" cubes. See notes

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot set over medium heat melt the butter. Once melted stir in the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. 
  • Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. The mixture will be pasty and thick.
  • Pour the chicken broth into the pot all while stirring constantly. Add the salt, pepper, and paprika and potatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer (uncovered) for 8-10 minutes. 
  • Add in the corn and cook for 10 minutes or until corn is heated through and the potatoes are fork tender. 
  • Using an immersion blender blend the soup to your desired consistency. I like to keep some corn and potato chunks. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can transfer some of the soup to a blender. 
  • Add the heavy cream and ham and cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until the ham is warmed through.

Notes

Additions: Adding bacon pieces, green onions and/or chives on top of each serving of soup would be delicious garnishes!
Emulsion Blender: If you don’t have one, transfer some of the soup to a blender and pulse that a few times. I don’t blend/emulsify the entire soup because I like having chunks of potato and corn still.
Ingredients: Using heavy cream gives us a creamier consistency. You can use half and half or whole milk, but it won’t be as creamy. I definitely recommend using the broth, because water won’t carry as much flavor. Use any kind of corn: frozen, canned, fresh, or leftover. For the ham, don’t use sandwich deli ham. It won’t be as robust in the soup or as flavorful.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 338kcal (17%)Carbohydrates: 28g (9%)Protein: 15g (30%)Fat: 20g (31%)Saturated Fat: 10g (50%)Trans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 67mg (22%)Sodium: 1393mg (58%)Potassium: 672mg (19%)Fiber: 3g (12%)Sugar: 6g (7%)Vitamin A: 667IU (13%)Vitamin C: 22mg (27%)Calcium: 35mg (4%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
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