Crab and corn chowder with sweet corn from the cob, lump crab meat, no flour, and half and half. It’s creamy, full of flavor, and a perfect summer meal. 

Love crab recipes? Try our Chicken Chesapeake recipe.

Crab Chowder

There’s nothing more I love than a good one-pot meal with a ton of veggies and flavor! This fresh corn and crab chowder is something very popular in our neck of the woods, especially in the summertime.

Made with fresh lump crab meat and sweet summer corn from the cob.  This crab corn chowder recipe is creamy, full of flavor, and very filling.

Just like our Maryland Crab Soup Recipe, it serves well with oyster crackers or paired with one of our light sides. See below for a full list.

What is Chowder?

Chowder is a type of thick soup or stew typically made with fish, clams, or corn with potatoes and onions. It is also prepared with milk or cream and thickened with a roux.

For this crab corn chowder, I used my favorite thickening trick by puréeing some of the chowder before adding in the half and half. So that way it’s creamy and thick without any need for a roux.

Crab Chowder Recipe Ingredients

ingredients for crab chowder
  • Olive oil and unsalted butter: We use this to sauté the vegetables and add a rich flavor. 
  • Vegetables: Onion, celery, carrots, leeks, russet potatoes, and fresh sweet corn add flavor, nutrients, and texture. 
  • Herbs and spices: Bay leaves, Old Bay seasoning, kosher salt, finely chopped fresh parsley, and black pepper create a savory, herbaceous taste.
  • Chicken stock: Use store-bought or homemade chicken stock for the base of the broth. 
  • Crab meat: Use fresh lump crab meat, not canned or imitation varieties. 
  • Half and Half: This creates a rich, creamy consistency while keeping the chowder lower in fat than traditional recipes.

How to make Crab Chowder

  • Step 1: In a large dutch oven, cook onions, celery, carrots, and leeks until soft.
  • Step 2: Add potatoes, bay leaf, Old Bay seasoning, salt, black pepper, to taste, and chicken stock. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are halfway done.
  • Step 3: Puree 2 cups of chowder in a food processor or blender until smooth. Stir the mixture back into the pot. Add corn, crab meat, half and half, and cook uncovered until corn is tender about 7-10 minutes.

Tip: For best results, use the freshest crab meat. Avoid canned or imitation crab meat. 

  • Step 4: Stir in parsley. Serve with additional Old Bay seasoning.
instructions on how to make crab corn chowder

How to serve this Crab Corn Chowder

Storing Corn and Crab Chowder

TO REFRIGERATE: Leftover crab corn chowder recipe will last in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container. Reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Avoid using high heat or the microwave as the cream can separate.

TO FREEZE: I do not recommend freezing this chowder. Milk or cream-based soups, such as chowder don’t hold up well in the freezer – they turn grainy and separate when defrosted and rewarmed.

close up crab chowder recipe

Crab and Corn Chowder Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between a cream soup and a chowder?

Cream soups are typically made with a base of milk or cream and are pureed into a smooth, creamy consistency. On the other hand, chowders are chunky and contain pieces of ingredients like potatoes, vegetables, and seafood with a thick, creamy base.

How do you thicken seafood chowder?

If you prefer a thicker chowder, you can create a roux by combining equal parts cornstarch or flour in a bowl with water and stirring it into the soup. Or, try stirring evaporated soup or plain mashed potatoes into the chowder. Just keep in mind that the flavor will become richer.

Why is my corn chowder watery?

If your chowder is watery, it likely needs to simmer longer. If that doesn’t work, try thickening it with the methods listed above.

More Corn Recipes

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Fresh Corn and Crab Chowder - lightened up chowder with half and half, no flour, fresh sweet corn, and lump crab meat! It's a must have one-pot summer meal | littlebroken.com @littlebroken

Corn Crab Chowder

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 18 reviews
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Corn and crab chowder with sweet corn from the cob, lump crab meat, no flour, and half and half. It’s creamy, full of flavor, and perfect end of summer meal. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 small/medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled + chopped
  • 2 leeks, white and light green part sliced into half-moons (2 cups)
  • 2 large russet potatoes (about 2 lbs.), peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning, plus extra for serving
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 (32 oz.) carton chicken stock
  • 3 large ears fresh sweet corn, husk + silk removed and kernels cut from cob (4 cups corn)
  • 1 pound fresh lump crab meat (do not use canned or imitation)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, leeks, and sauté 5-7 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add potatoes, bay leaf, Old Bay seasoning, salt, black pepper, to taste, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook partially covered over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are halfway done.
  3. Discard bay leaf. Transfer 2 cups of chowder to a food-processor or blender, and purée until smooth. Stir the mixture back into the pot. Add corn, crab meat, half and half, and cook uncovered until corn is tender about 7-10 minutes. Make sure the chowder is not at a rapid boil at this point or the half and half will separate.
  4. Stir in chopped parsley. Serve with additional Old Bay seasoning.

Notes

  • Old Bay Seasoning: Old Bay is a blend of 18 herbs and spices, including celery seed, paprika, mustard, salt, red pepper, and black pepper. It’s a versatile spice for use on fish, chicken, vegetables, and soup. You can get Old Bay seasoning on Amazon or at most supermarkets near the seafood department.
  • Leftovers: Leftover crab chowder will last in the fridge for up to 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container. Reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Avoid using the microwave or high heat as the cream can separate. Crab chowder does not freeze well.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 257
  • Sugar: 9.7 g
  • Sodium: 1084.9 mg
  • Fat: 6.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30 g
  • Protein: 20.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 49.1 mg