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close up summer corn chowder in a bowl

Summer Corn Chowder

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: One-Pot
  • Cuisine: American


Creamy chowder loaded with fresh corn and zucchini is the best summer food! This lightened up chowder is made with fresh corn from the cob, no flour, and half and half.


Units Scale
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion, about 1/2 large onion
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled + chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 medium (1 lb.) russet potatoes, peeled, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 cups water (or veggie stock)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 ears of sweet fresh corn, husk + silk removed and kernels cut from cob (2 3/4 cup corn)
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced into 1/2-inch cubes, (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
  • Cayenne pepper, to serve, optional


  1. In a large heavy-duty bottom stockpot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon renders its fat and begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and thyme; cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring couple times, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes, water, and bay leaf. Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer, then lower the heat back to medium and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are halfway cooked.
  4. Add zucchini and corn; season with salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer for additional 8-12 minutes or until the vegetables are completely tender.
  5. Discard the bay leaf and then transfer 2 cups of chowder to a food processor or blender; puree until smooth. Stir the mixture back into the pot. Add half and half and cook just until heated through. Taste for salt and pepper.
  6. Serve garnished with fresh chopped parsley and sprinkle of cayenne pepper, optional.


  • Substitutions: For a detailed list of all substitutions, see the recipe post.
  • FAQ: I originally shared this recipe in 2016 and have since updated the post to include all frequently asked questions. If there is something I missed, please ask in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer.
  • To Make it Vegan: replace butter with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, replace bacon with 1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika or even better some type of southwest seasoning blend that has smoked paprika in it, such as this one (affiliate link). Lastly, replace the half and half with 1 cup full-fat unsweetened coconut milk (make sure to shake the can first). To make these substitutions, you would first heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the veggies (step 2), plus the smoked paprika. Cook until veggies are soft. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as written. If you need further clarification, please ask in the comments.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 189
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Sodium: 131.2 mg
  • Fat: 8.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Protein: 5.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 13.2 mg

Keywords: corn soup, summer, seasonal, meatless chowder