Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon and Cornbread Crumble |

Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon and Cornbread Crumble

This post was originally published here on September 3, 2014. I’ve since updated the texts and photographs to better showcase how delicious this Summer to Fall “transition” soup really is!

My appetite for corn on the cob is insatiable.

See also: crazed, unrelenting.

I seriously can’t get enough. And I have no shame about it. I’m currently inhaling 2-3 ears a day (typewriter style, of course). Usually while standing over the sink. It doesn’t matter how it’s prepared. Just GIVE IT ALL TO ME. Raw, grilled, cold from the refrigerator, naked, slathered with butter, etc. It’s all good.

Mid-September corn is truly the BEST corn of the entire season. And I’m not stopping until every last ear has been consumed.

Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon and Cornbread Crumble |

BUT. There are some days that require a little bit more culinary refinement. When messily eating corn on the cob while hovering over the sink just won’t due. So on those days, I cook up a big pot of this Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon and Cornbread Crumble.

This is one of my favorite “transition” recipes. One part Summer and one part Fall, it easily scratches itches in both seasons (September is the ultimate “elbow season”). So whether you’re feeling reluctant to put away your flip flops, or you’re already knee deep in flannel, you can appreciate this recipe.

The star of the show here is, of course, the corn. But let’s not forget about all the other delicious ingredients. Cubed potatoes give this chowder some heft. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are bringing the heat. And a couple handfuls of sharp cheddar cheese and a pour of half and half make it feel a bit luxurious.

Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon and Cornbread Crumble |

Oh and the topping. It’s glorious. I take store bought cornbread (a shortcut that I’m happy to embrace!), cut it into cubes, toast it and then toss it with cooked bacon. Some of the cornbread cubes break down into little salty, crumbly bits. Which results in a mix of textures that will make your mouth very happy. Trust.

Since we’re here. Tell me what soups, stews and/or chowders you want to see on the blog this Fall and Winter. They are some of my favorite recipes to create. And I would love your input!



Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon and Cornbread Crumble

Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon and Cornbread Crumble

At a Glance:
Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups cubed potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • 5 cups corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 4 cups cubed cornbread
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. In a large, heavy bottom stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until slightly crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions to the stockpot. Cook the onions in the bacon fat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Add the flour, salt, pepper and turmeric and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock, potatoes and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Bring the chowder up to a low boil and then turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are just about fork tender, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in the corn kernels and cook for 3 minutes more. Then turn off the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese and half and half. Cover to keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cornbread cubes with the olive oil and spread them out onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in your pre-heated oven until slightly dried and crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss with the reserved cooked bacon.
  5. To serve, ladle the hot chowder into bowls. Top with some of the bacon and corn bread crumble. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Enjoy immediately.
  6. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-4 days.


Recipe adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten.

28 comments on “Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon and Cornbread Crumble”

  1. Yum! I love soup season and this is one I’m definitely going to try soon (while fresh corn is still good!). Love it.

  2. Mmm, corn and chipotle sounds fantastic! And that crumble sounds amazing… So creative!

  3. OH MY WORD …I’m pretty sure I was drooling as I read this recipe. Mmmm .. so many different components, yet so simple. This would be perfect on a cold fall day!!

  4. No way, Elf is on TV already?! LOVE this chowder with the cornbread addition!

  5. Add chipotle to anything and I’m in! I’m ready for blazers and scarves too, but we’ll see what we get here in CA. I think it’s supposed to get to 100 today. Love the cornbread bacon crumble! Yum!

  6. This is my type of meal!! It looks delicious!

  7. I could eat soup all day, every day, even if it’s 100 degrees out! But I agree, it somehow feels a little more acceptable to eat now that fall is almost upon us. This soup looks incredible, Liz! I love all of the flavors that are blended together. So perfect for the season!

  8. It’s so hot outside, yet I want a big bowl of this for dinner right now! Soup is one of my favorite things to eat, and while I do eat it in the summer sometimes too, I live on it in the cooler months. Pinning this one to try! 🙂

    • Thanks, Marcie! When I made this soup it was definitely feeling like fall here, but now we are back in the 80’s. The weather can’t make up it’s mind! I hope it cools off for you soon!

  9. What a gorgeous soup, and I couldn’t agree more, re: season jumping. I get as excited about pumpkin and apples as the next person, but you can bake with those all year. Why not make the most of things like fresh corn during its short season? It’s all a bit overwhelming. This chowder looks like the ultimate!

  10. WOW this is such a creative and delicious-looking chowder. I cannot resist bacon and corn… I’m adding this to this week’s menu (:

  11. I have been craving chowder! This looks delicious and so fresh.

  12. Can’t wait for chilly nights and a big bowl of this chowder!

  13. Holy cannoli!  Glad you updated this post because that chowder looks absolutely, positively irresistible.  It’s definitely making its way onto my fall menu.

  14. Liz, I am SO with you on corn (and Fall – hooray!). Our local corn is still coming in strong, so you can bet I’m eating it as much as I can. The flavors you’ve pulled together here are mouthwatering and I know I’d love this chowder! So beautifully captured too!

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