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Thickening Corn Chowder: Easy Guide to Creamy Consistency

Chowder is a soup that was commonly eaten by the early settlers of New England.

They would put any leftovers they had into the pot to make this type of soup.

Today, corn chowder is still one of America’s favorite soups, and it is considered a mainstay food for coastal regions such as Massachusetts because of its availability of local ingredients.

Corn chowder is so popular that during the winter, it often outdoes clam chowder in local restaurants.

In fact, a recent survey showed that Maine and Massachusetts were tied for the number one place in the nation for making corn chowder.

Although the recipe may vary in each region, the basic ingredients do not change too much.

One of the most common reasons that cook has trouble making their corn chowder thick enough is because they use too much liquid and not enough vegetables or meat.

As a result, they usually end up having to throw it out and make a new batch.

How can you avoid this? In this article, we will cover various ways to thicken corn chowder and how to determine if your chowder is thick enough.

How to Make Perfect Corn Chowder?

how to make perfect corn chowder

Corn chowder has a reputation for being one of the most difficult soups to make, but with a little bit of effort, you will be able to create the perfect consistency and flavor.

Can its reputation be true? I don’t think so because if you follow these simple instructions, you will have your corn chowder recipe mastered in no time.

To make the perfect corn chowder, you will need.

For the Broth:

  • 4 cups chicken broth.
  • 1 cup heavy cream.
  • 1 1/2 cups milk.

For the Chowder:

  • 3 oz sliced bacon.
  • 4 Tbsp butter.
  • 1/4 cup flour.
  • 1 large onion diced.
  • 2 carrots shredded with a cheese grater or processor. Yes. Both the carrot and onion need to be shredded.
  • 4 ears of corn cut from cob (don’t worry, this recipe is faster than you think).
  • 1 cup of diced potatoes.
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (you can adjust this to your taste).

Now that you have all the ingredients, it’s time to get started.

Cooking Broth:

First things first, we need to make the broth.

To do this, put the chicken broth, milk, and cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

Let it come to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for about twenty minutes.

The liquid will be much more flavorful after letting it sit for twenty minutes.

Next, strain out the solids that are floating on top of your broth.

You can do this by using a fine-mesh strainer or by pouring through a coffee filter.

Once you have strained the liquid, set it to the side for now.

Now that your broth has had time to cook and sit in a saucepan on the stove, get out another medium-sized saucepan and start making your chowder.

Cooking the Corn Chowder:

The first step to making the chowder is to cook your bacon.

This will give you a nice flavorful base for your soup and give you time to shred the onion and carrot.

To cook the bacon, simply place it in the middle of a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.

While cooking the bacon, wash and chop the onion and carrot on a cutting board.

Also, you should start shredding the corn cobs on another cutting board.

When the bacon is done cooking and has rendered its fat, remove it from the pan to a plate lined with paper towels.

The next step is to sauté your onion and carrot in the bacon grease for about five minutes until they are translucent.

Next, put the flour in the frying pan and mix it into the onion and carrots.

Cook for another two minutes to let it cook-off. This is called a roux and will thicken your corn chowder.

After this, add corn and potatoes. Mix well and cook for about five minutes.

Then add the prepared broth and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and let it simmer for about 15 minutes while stirring every five minutes or so.

When it’s done, season with pepper and serve.

Common Mistakes That Cause Watery Corn Chowder

common mistakes that cause watery corn chowder

Here are a couple common mistakes that cause corn chowder to turn out watery.

If you keep these in mind when making your corn chowder, it will come out perfectly every time.

  • Don’t add the broth from the can of creamed corn. It is too thin on its own and will make your soup watery.
  • Don’t use too much water or stock/ broth. This will also make your corn chowder thin and watery, so be sure to only use the amount called for in this recipe.
  • Avoid over-cooking the corn, as this will also cause your soup to become watery and not in a good way.
  • Although it’s tempting to use the microwave to quickly cook your bacon, make sure that you don’t. The microwave will end up cooking it unevenly and could cause it to be quite greasy. This can ruin the taste of your soup.
  • The slow simmering of the broth lends itself nicely to a rich, flavorful sauce. The fats congeal as they get cold, though, which leaves water behind and can make it harder for some pieces of meat or veggies to cook through due to their more liquid state.

How to Thicken Corn Chowder?

how to thicken corn chowder

Now that your corn chowder is done, how can you make it thicker? Although it may seem like a problem for many people, there are several ways to solve this issue.

Here are some common ways to thicken corn chowder.

1 – Add Cornstarch.

Adding a few tablespoons of cornstarch to your soup is an easy fix.

Just add the cornstarch to a small bowl with a couple tablespoons of water and mix until it becomes a thick sauce-like consistency.

Then, just stir this mixture into your chowder a little at a time until you get the desired thickness.

This will help to thicken your soup and won’t change the flavor.

To make this work, you will need to add a little cornstarch at a time until it is properly thickened.

If too much is added, there can be an off taste that comes with it.

If you choose to go this route, make sure that you only mix in a little bit at a time and then slowly stir the chowder.

Otherwise, you will get undesired results.

2 – Use a Roux.

Adding a roux to your chowder can give it the perfect consistency.

To create a roux, just begin by melting 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Then, add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir until they are fully mixed together.

Simply cook this mixture until it is golden brown, which should take about two minutes.

If you want to make more, add 2 tablespoons of butter or flour as needed.

When you are done with your roux, simply pour it into the soup and simmer for about five minutes.

This should be enough time for it to fully cook down and thicken the chowder.

3 – Add Cornflour.

Cornflour is a common ingredient found in many kitchens.

It’s usually used for gravy, but it can also be added to soups and stews to thicker them.

To make thick corn chowder with this ingredient, you first need to mix 1 tablespoon of cornflour together with 3 tablespoons of water.

Then, pour the mixture into your soup and stir for about two minutes until it thickens up.

This will help to thicken your soup, just like adding another liquid would do without changing its taste or texture.

4 – Add Less Liquid to Start.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when making soup is to add a lot of liquid and boil it down.

The many issues with this method are that you end up with watered-down corn chowder and, if your stove isn’t very powerful, it could also take a long time for the liquid to reduce.

If you are worried that your corn chowder is too watery, then all you need to do is add less liquid in the first place.

You can always make it more concentrated later if you want to stand out if there is a particular flavor.

5 – Reduce It on the Stovetop.

Another solution for thickening corn chowder can be found by simply reducing the soup on your stove.

This involves heating it over medium-high heat for around 10 minutes, but after this is done, you will have a thick and rich dish that has been reduced to the perfect consistency.

6 – Use Cornbread as a Topping.

If you want an even thicker corn chowder, try using a cornbread piece as a topper.

Cut the cornbread into small cubes and add it to your soup as you are eating it.

This will help give your chowder a more bread-like texture and a rich consistency that is very filling.

They also have a unique flavor that can really change up the taste of your meal.

7 – Add More Veggies.

You can add more vegetables to your chowder, and this will help make it thicker.

Certain vegetables, such as celery or carrots, will help thicken the soup, while others, like corn, are there simply to give your meal an extra flavor kick.

No matter what you choose, adding more vegetables to your corn chowder will give it the rich taste that you are looking for.

However, do not add too many at once, or you will overload on flavor and end up with something that tastes very bad.

8 – Wait Before Adding Milk or Cream.

When making soup, many people like to add a bit of milk or cream at the end.

This is fine if you want to add flavor and another texture layer to your dish, but it can also make your soup less thick.

To prevent this from happening, simply wait until the very end before adding milk or cream to your corn chowder.

This will help keep it thick and tasty.


In conclusion, corn chowder is naturally thick and filling, but you can get it even richer if that’s something you want.

You will do this by following the above tips, such as reducing the liquid or adding cornbread to your dish.

If you add too much liquid at first, then it could easily become watered down and lose the rich flavor that you are looking for with this meal.

So, keep these tips in mind and make your corn chowder even better with them.

how to thicken corn chowder

How to Thicken Corn Chowder? Easy Guide to Thicken Corn Chowder

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Cooking


  • Corn chowder
  • Whisk or spoon
  • Stovetop
  • Your preferred thickening ingredient


  • Prepare all the required ingredients and equipment in the article.
  • Select and follow your desired method to thicken.
  • Depending on your desired thickness, you can add more or less.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @EatDelights or tag #eatdelights!

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