Shrimp and corn chowder is a creamy, flavorful soup packed with plump, juicy shrimp, sweet corn kernels, and tender chunks of potatoes. This hearty chowder is simmered in an aromatic broth of herbs and spices, then richened with cream and cheese for an explosion of flavor. Serve it up with some garlic toast for an easy and delicious meal that will warm you to your core.
Shrimp and Corn Chowder
There’s nothing like warming up with a hot bowl of soup, but the best soups are ones you can enjoy all year long.
While chicken dumpling soup is a favorite for cold days, this shrimp and corn chowder, with its blend of creamy chowder richness and the light, sweet notes characteristic of a corn soup, is just as delightful in the winter as it is in the summer when you can use freshly picked corn.
This recipe is simple to make and is the perfect one-pot meal. You’ll love the fresh flavors, creamy texture, shrimp, corn, and potato bites in each spoonful. Serve with a simple sugar snap pea salad and a chunk of crusty bread for a satisfying lunch or dinner.
Why This Shrimp and Corn Chowder Recipe Works
- It’s a one-pot meal. You can make everything in a Dutch oven or stock pot, which means cleanup is a breeze.
- Hearty and filling. This corn and shrimp chowder is hearty enough to serve as a main lunch or dinner dish. Just some crusty bread on the side, and you’re all set!
- Wine, cognac, or brandy enhances the sweetness of the shrimp and gives the chowder a depth of flavor (we especially like a touch of cognac with this soup). But if you don’t cook with alcohol, skip it entirely and add some additional chicken stock.
- Quick and simple. This entire recipe takes about 30 minutes from start to finish – perfect for a weeknight dinner or lunch.
Shrimp Corn Chowder Ingredients
Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for this corn chowder recipe with shrimp. Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page for all the details.
- Olive oil. You can use any light-tasting oil or melt butter in the pot instead of oil.
- Onion. White or yellow onion, use what you have!
- Celery. For an extra savory flavor in this creamy soup!
- Red bell pepper. You can also use green bell peppers.
- Flour. All-purpose flour or a 1:1 gluten-free alternative for gluten-free shrimp and corn chowder.
- Dry white wine. Choose a wine like chardonnay, pinot grigio, or sauvignon blanc, or use cognac instead.
- Potatoes. Use Yukon gold or red potatoes, as they hold their shape better in soup. Russet or Idaho potatoes are more likely to fall apart and become mealy in texture.
- Chicken broth. Homemade chicken bone broth is perfect for this soup, but you can use boxed chicken stock as well. If you have shrimp stock, even better.
- Whole milk and heavy cream. An ultra-thick and luscious chowder starts with a creamy broth.
- Corn. Use fresh or frozen corn kernels. If using frozen, there is no need to thaw before adding to the pot. If all you have is canned corn, that works just as well. You can use cream-style corn or regular corn.
- Parmesan cheese. Freshly grated cheese is preferred. Powdered parmesan cheese that sprinkles out of the bottle has additional non-caking ingredients.
- Fresh herbs. Dill and thyme. Fresh is best but you can substitute for dry herbs if needed.
- Shrimp. Choose peeled and deveined shrimp to save time. You don’t need to look for fresh shrimp for this shrimp corn chowder recipe. Frozen shrimp thaws quickly and is just as tasty.
- Sea salt and black pepper. For the perfect blend of seasonings.
A Creamy Shrimp and Corn Chowder Recipe
Here’s a simple breakdown of how to make this chowder, but be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to view the full recipe card, which includes specific directions, ingredient amounts, and recipe notes.
Heat the oil in a large stock pot. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook until softened. Add the wine or cognac, cooking over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour.
Add the potatoes, chicken broth, milk, and cream. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer.
Add corn kernels, Parmesan, dill, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Bring the chowder back to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender.
Add shrimp and turn off the heat. Let the shrimp cook in the hot chowder for 4 to 5 minutes.
Just before serving, squeeze the juice from the lemon over the top and stir to combine.
You can serve this chowder with your favorite toppings like sliced green onions, crispy bacon, or chopped fresh parsley. Warm garlic bread is always a great side!
Tips for Success
- For a thinner soup, skip the flour. Making a roux with the flour helps thicken the soup so that it’s thick and creamy like a chowder or bisque, not a brothy soup.
- Don’t overcook the shrimp. Add them in the last step and let them cook gently off the heat. If you cook them too much, they will get tough and rubbery. And remember, smaller shrimp will need less time to cook.
- Use small or medium-sized shrimp for this recipe. You want to be able to easily scoop shrimp and other bits of the soup with a spoon.
- Fresh herbs add the best flavor, but you can always substitute with dried herbs if needed. A rule of thumb is to use one teaspoon of dried herbs for every tablespoon of fresh herbs a recipe calls for.
- You can use frozen or fresh corn in this chowder.
Substitutions for Corn and Shrimp Chowder
You can adjust the recipe and put your own spin on this shrimp chowder. Here are a few suggestions.
- Wine. Using brandy or cognac in place of the wine will enhance the sweetness of the shrimp. You can also leave the alcohol out altogether and replace it with another ½ cup of chicken broth.
- Seasonings. Add Cajun seasoning or chili powder for an extra kick. You can also add Old Bay seasoning or another type of seafood seasoning.
- Chicken broth. You can use vegetable broth, shrimp stock, or seafood stock.
- Cream. Heavy cream will give the chowder a silkier, richer flavor, but to reduce calories and fat, you can replace the heavy cream with milk. You can also make this a tomato-based soup if you want to use tomato sauce in place of the cream.
- Cream cheese. Add a few ounces of cream cheese for a rich, creamy flavor.
- Potatoes. Instead of fresh potatoes, use frozen diced potatoes, either plain or seasoned. Or sweet potatoes make an incredibly flavorful substitute for standard potatoes.
- Bacon: You can sub the bacon for pancetta, turkey bacon, or diced ham.
Frequently Asked Questions
The flour will thicken the chowder by making a roux, which includes cooking flour into sauteed vegetables before adding liquid. It can also be thickened using cornstarch. To use cornstarch, whisk two tablespoons cornstarch with 1/2 cup cold water. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the creamy bisque during the last 5 minutes of the cooking time.
Chowder is a type of soup. It is characterized by a thick and chunky consistency and usually contains cream, but not always.
This shrimp and corn chowder isn’t ordinary soup; it’s your secret weapon to becoming a kitchen legend. Ditch the dull dinners and elevate your chowder game with a recipe that whispers sophistication and shouts comfort. Arm yourself with a spoon, charge into your kitchen, and whip up an amazing yellow corn chowder.
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ cup dry white wine or ¼ cup cognac
- 1 large potato, peeled and diced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1-½ cups whole milk
- 1 cup cream
- 2 cups of fresh or frozen corn kernels
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces peeled, deveined shrimp and cut into small pieces
- Fresh squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 of a lemon
- Fresh dill for garnish
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until slightly softened.
- Add the wine or cognac and cook for 2 minutes to cook off the alcohol. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute (if you want a thin soup, skip the flour).
- Stir in the potatoes, chicken broth, milk, and cream. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 5-8 minutes.
- Add the corn kernels, Parmesan, dill, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Bring the chowder back to a brisk boil. then reduce to simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Add the shrimp and turn off the heat, allowing the shrimp to cook in the hot chowder for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Just before serving, squeeze the juice from the lemon over the top and stir to combine.
- You can substitute frozen diced potatoes for the fresh potato.
- Using brandy or cognac in place of the wine will enhance the sweetness of the shrimp.
- If you want to omit the alcohol, use ½ cup additional chicken broth.
- To reduce calories and fat, you can replace the cream with additional milk. However, the cream will give the bisque a silkier, richer flavor.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 336Total Fat: 16gSodium: 509mgCarbohydrates: 36gSugar: 7gProtein: 12g
This recipe was originally published on Oct. 2, 2015.