This Creamy Shrimp and Corn Chowder is irresistible comfort food at its finest! This hearty soup is loaded with succulent shrimp, sweet corn kernels, crispy, smoky bacon, and tender chunks of potatoes. The velvety broth pairs wonderfully with the vegetables to bring everything together.
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What Type of Shrimp to Use
You can use either fresh or frozen shrimp, depending on what is available to you. If using frozen shrimp, make sure to thaw them thoroughly before adding them to the chowder. I avoid pre-cooked shrimp because shrimp cooks really fast and reheating shrimp that is already cooked results in rubbery, dry shrimp.
When shopping for shrimp refer to our Shrimp Size Guide and Counts Per Pound, medium-sized shrimp, 26-30 count will work well.
I recommend grabbing shrimp that has already been deveined so that you can save time skipping this step. Deveining is the process to remove the digestive tract or “vein” that runs along the back of the shrimp.
It’s a matter of personal preference whether you prefer shrimp with the tail intact or removed. Tail-on shrimp can add visual appeal and be used as a garnish, while tail-off shrimp can be more convenient for eating.
I prefer wild-caught shrimp. Farm-raised shrimp are raised in captivity on a shrimp farm. These farms can be located in ponds or in tanks on land. The shrimp are typically fed a diet of fishmeal, soy, and other ingredients, and are sometimes given antibiotics or other chemicals to prevent disease. Those chemicals are then passed into the food you eat.
Fresh, Frozen, or Canned Corn
Any of these will work just fine in the recipe. If using frozen corn, thaw it first and squeeze out any excess moisture to avoid watery soup. I like to use frozen, grilled corn.
What Type of Potatoes to Use
When selecting potatoes, choose ones that are firm, smooth, and free from blemishes. The size and thickness of the potato chunks can be adjusted based on your preference. I love to use red potatoes. Here’s a list of options:
- Yukon Gold: A popular choice due to their creamy texture and slightly sweet flavor. They hold their shape well and add a nice richness to the chowder.
- Red Potatoes: They have a smooth texture and hold their shape when cooked. They provide a slightly firmer bite compared to Yukon Gold potatoes.
- New Potatoes: New potatoes, which are young and small potatoes, work well. They have a thin skin and a firm, waxy texture.
- Russet Potatoes: While russet potatoes are commonly used for mashed potatoes or baking, they can also be used in shrimp chowder. However, they tend to break down more easily during cooking and may result in a softer texture. If using russet potatoes, you can cut them into larger chunks to help them maintain their shape.
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Salt and Pepper
How to Get it Creamy
If you want to avoid dairy or a creamy soup, simply omit the heavy cream. You can substitute additional broth for the same serving amounts.
The Difference Between Chowder and Soup
Soups typically have a thin and clear base, which can be made from broth, stock, or water. The base is often seasoned and flavored with various ingredients like vegetables, herbs, spices, or meat.
Chowders have a thicker and creamier base. The base is usually made with milk or cream, combined with broth or stock. Chowders often use ingredients like potatoes, onions, and other vegetables to add substance and texture to the dish. The base is typically thickened with flour or a roux, giving it a creamy and rich texture.
How to Make Creamy Shrimp and Corn Chowder with Potatoes
Full detailed instructions are below in the recipe card.
- Heat a Dutch oven or soup pot on medium heat and add chopped bacon. Cook until browned and crisp.
- Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside. Drain any excess bacon fat.
- Add butter to the pot on medium heat. When melted, add the flour in stages.
- Add celery, onions, and carrots to the roux and stir.
- Add garlic. Cook until the garlic is fragrant.
- Adjust the heat on the stove to medium-high. Add in broth/stock, potatoes, corn, cooked bacon, Old Bay Seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste and stir. Stir until the ingredients are well combined.
- Adjust to heat to low and place the lid on the pot. Simmer.
- Remove the lid and add in heavy cream.
- Add in the shrimp and serve.
Substitution and Add-in Ideas
- Bell Peppers
- Green Beans
- Grated Cheese
- Hot Sauce
- Sweet Potatoes
- Butternut Squash
How to Store Leftovers
Leftovers can be stored tightly covered and sealed for 3-4 days.
How to Reheat
If you know you plan to have leftovers and reheat the soup I would cook most of the shrimp separately and not all at once. Shrimp takes 3-4 minutes to cook.
You can prepare it fresh and toss it onto the chowder when you’re ready to eat it. If you reheat fully cooked shrimp you risk overcooking it which will result in a rubbery texture.
The best way to reheat the chowder is on the stove until warm. You can also use the microwave.
If the chowder seems too thick after reheating, add a splash of broth, milk, or cream to achieve the desired consistency.
If you plan to freeze it, I recommend freezing it without the shrimp. You can if you wish, but the shrimp texture may change and get rubbery. This chowder is also made with dairy. Dairy separates when thawed and reheated. This doesn’t change the taste, but it will change the way the soup looks.
More Soup Recipes
More Shrimp Recipes
Creamy Shrimp and Corn Chowder with Potatoes
- 3-4 slices bacon Optional, Chopped into 1 inch pieces.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 3 garlic cloves Minced
- 2 cups broth or stock Seafood, chicken, or vegetable stock.
- 1 pound potatoes I used red potatoes, diced into 1-2 inch cubes.
- 10 oz corn fresh, frozen (thawed), or canned (drained)
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 pound raw shrimp Peeled and deveined.
- Heat a Dutch oven or soup pot on medium heat and add the chopped bacon. Cook until browned and crisp.3-4 slices bacon
- Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside. Drain any excess bacon fat. I like to reserve about 1/2-1 inch of the fat in the pot for flavor.
- Add the butter to the pot on medium heat. When melted, add the flour in stages and stir. You add it in stages to avoid clumping. This will create a roux.4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Add the celery, onions, and carrots to the roux and stir. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.1/2 cup chopped carrots, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup chopped onions
- Add the garlic. Cook until the garlic is fragrant.3 garlic cloves
- Adjust the heat on the stove to medium-high. Add in the broth/stock, potatoes, corn, cooked bacon, Old Bay Seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste and stir. Stir until the ingredients are well combined.Use enough broth to completely cover the potatoes. You can also use water if you are out of broth. The potatoes need to be covered in liquid in order to soften.2 cups broth or stock, 1 pound potatoes, 10 oz corn, salt and pepper to taste, 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- Adjust to heat to low and place the lid on the pot. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or however long it takes for the potatoes to soften and become fork tender.
- Remove the lid and add in the heavy cream. Stir until creamy.1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Add in the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes and serve.1 pound raw shrimp