Get ready to indulge in a steaming, rich bowl of shrimp and corn chowder. This creamy, flavorful soup is 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.
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 is just as good 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 Recipe Works
- It’s a one-pot meal. Everything can be made in a dutch oven or stock pot, making cleanup a breeze.
- Hearty and filling. This soup 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, just add some additional chicken stock.
- Quick and simple. This entire recipe takes around 30 minutes from start to finish – perfect for a weeknight dinner or lunch.
Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for this shrimp corn chowder recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card 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.
- 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.
- Heavy Cream. For an ultra-thick and luscious chowder.
- 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 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. Frozen shrimp thaws quickly and is just as tasty.
- Lemon Juice.
- Sea salt and black pepper.
How to Make This Recipe
Here’s a simple breakdown of how to make shrimp and corn soup, 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 and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the potatoes, chicken broth, milk, and cream. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer.
Add the 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 the 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. Top with sliced green onions, crispy bacon, or chopped fresh parsley, and serve with garlic bread.
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 last and let them cook gently off the heat. If you cook them too much, they will get tough and rubbery.
- 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 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.
- 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.
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.
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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.