Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder

Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder

A few months ago when the weather started to get chilly, my Chief Culinary Consultant began eating a lot of soup for lunch and sometimes for dinner. Some of the popular soup brands have come out with new, updated flavors and one of his favorites has been a chipotle chicken and corn chowder. He’ll throw in a different soup every now and then, but that has been his go-to for quite a few months now. I used to love eating soup, but have gotten away from the canned soups mostly due to the exorbitant amount of sodium they contain, and because they usually leave a nasty after-taste in my mouth for some reason. Most times, I either do homemade soup or none at all. My CCC asked if I could try to recreate his new favorite chipotle chicken and corn chowder, and I was happy to take on the challenge. After tasting the soup, examining its ingredients list and looking back to my archives for similar chowder-style recipes, I came up with this recipe.

Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder

I held my breath when he took his first bite, not sure how my homemade rendition of his favorite soup would hold up. He declared the soup awesome, one of the best things to come out of my kitchen, and way better than the canned version. Success! Even though I did use some milk and cheese in this recipe, he said it tasted significantly healthier than the store-bought stuff.

There are so many big flavors packed into one little bowl of this soup; you have the combination of red bell and poblano peppers… the chipotle chile and adobo sauce for the smokey, spicy flavor… the cheesy, creamy broth… tender potatoes… crushed tortilla chips for some flavor and texture… lime juice and seasonings… and tons of corn. The soup has just the right amount of spice, that is, it’s noticeable but not at all overwhelming or distracting from the other flavors.

If you’re in need of a hearty bowl of soup to warm your soul this winter, this one will serve you well. No more canned soup here!

Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder

One year ago: Focaccia Bread

Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

A thick and hearty soup full of chicken, corn, cheese,
peppers and just the right amount of spice.

Ingredients:

1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 poblano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
2 cups chicken stock
6 small red potatoes, peeled and diced small
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
4 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 (30-ounce) can sweet corn, drained
1 (15-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 cup crushed tortilla chips
Juice from 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
Chopped cilantro, to garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. Remove one chile from the can of chiles and mince it. Remove 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce and set it aside to be used later. You can save the remaining chiles and sauce for another use.

2. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add the poblano pepper, red bell pepper, the chile from the can, cumin, thyme and oregano, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the peppers become soft. Add the garlic, stir and cook for an additional 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

3. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook for 1 minute, or until there is no longer any visible raw flour. Slowly stir in the milk and chicken broth, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan as you stir.

4. Add the potatoes, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced with a knife.

5. Add the shredded cheeses a handful at a time, stirring after each addition until the cheese is completely melted.

6. Finally, stir in the chicken, both cans of corn, the tortilla chips, lime juice and the reserved 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the soup is completely heated through. Serve immediately.

Note: If you have leftovers that have been refrigerated and reheated, you may need to thin out the soup with some extra chicken stock, as it may thicken up in the refrigerator.

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128 Responses to “Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Nicky @ Pink Recipe Box on January 16, 2013 at 6:32 am

    This soup sounds fabulous!
    It would be the perfect dish to warm me up on a chilly winter day.

    Reply

  2. Emily on January 16, 2013 at 7:16 am

    My husband has been obsessed with the exact same canned soup! So excited to have a way to duplicate it without the can!

    Reply

    • Beverly Worthington on April 13th, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      I really liked what you did with the recipe, but I’d need to work around the canned corn. Most canned corn in the US uses GM corn, and I dpn

      I really liked what you did with the recipe, but I’d need to work around the canned corn. Most canned items in the US contain GM vegetables in one form or another (NOT healthy for my family). I’d appreciate any suggestions.

      Reply

      • Michelle on April 16th, 2014 at 12:53 pm

        Hi Beverly, You could use fresh or frozen corn, and then make your own creamed corn, if you prefer.

        Reply

        • Carol on November 21st, 2014 at 10:35 am

          I believe it is safe to say that ALL commercially grown corn in the U.S. is GMO corn. The only exception would be organic-certified or that which is grown in a home garden from seed specifically chosen as certified non-GMO. GMO corn is banned in Mexico, however, so if, in the winter, some corn is coming to the U.S. from there you might be OK. Except then of course you still don’t know what ‘cides may have been sprayed on it… It really IS a jungle out there!
          That said, I can’t wait to make this recipe!!

          Reply

  3. Terri A. on January 16, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Yum! I can wait to make this this weekend!

    Reply

  4. Ellen @ The Baking Bluenoser on January 16, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Oh my GOSHH this looks like an amazing soup! I just made a potato bacon soup the other day and it has re-ignited my love for making soup! Can’t wait to try this recipe :)

    Reply

  5. Dana on January 16, 2013 at 7:46 am

    We eat a LOT of homemade soup in the winter, and this really looks yummy. Spicy, too, with a whole can of adobos…which are my favorite peppers! Can’t wait to try this out!

    Reply

    • Marla on January 16th, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      Just a warning about the “with a whole can of adobos” – see Step 1. She uses only 1 chili and some of the adobo sauce, reserving the rest for another use. A whole can would probably be over the top, even if they are your faves (I love ‘em too!).

      Reply

      • Leah @ L4L on January 31st, 2013 at 11:53 am

        Thanks for pointing that out. I almost died when I saw 1-can of chipotles. I was thinking it better be a really small can!

        Reply

  6. Jen @ Savory Simple on January 16, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Husbands can be such a great kitchen support. Chowder is always one of my favorite comfort meals, this looks great!

    Reply

  7. Molly on January 16, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Oh, this warms me up just looking at it! Will have to give this recipe a try.

    Reply

  8. Kim C on January 16, 2013 at 8:24 am

    This looks and sounds great! Cannot wait to try it out!

    Reply

  9. megan @ whatmegansmaking on January 16, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Yum, I love chowder type recipes! And I agree with you on the canned soup thing – homemade is so much better :)

    Reply

  10. Tabitha (From Single to Married) on January 16, 2013 at 9:15 am

    This looks like the perfect winter soup! Yum!

    Reply

  11. Beth G on January 16, 2013 at 9:24 am

    After discovering chipotle chilies and having fun creating so many things with that smokey goodness I can hardly wait to try this recipe. Our house always enjoys a good soup/chowder/chili/stew!

    Reply

  12. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on January 16, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Love this recipe!! Peppers, chicken and corn is such a great combo!

    Reply

  13. Michele on January 16, 2013 at 9:49 am

    How do your store the leftover chiles that you’re not using, and how long will they last? I always hesitate to make recipes using them since I end up wasting the “extra” chiles.

    Reply

    • Becky on January 16th, 2013 at 10:44 am

      I put my extra chiles in a container, label it and freeze them. Then you are able to take out the amount needed.

      Reply

    • Michelle on January 16th, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Michele, I also freeze any extras that I have; I freeze the chiles and sauce separately.

      Reply

      • Maria on January 16th, 2013 at 11:00 pm

        I freeze the peppers and sauce in ice cube trays, then later store in resealable freezer bags. By the way, they are much easier to chop/mince when frozen.

        Reply

    • Jean on February 26th, 2013 at 6:57 pm

      Place individual chilis in some sauce on a piece of parchment or wax paper on a plate or small cookie sheet. put in freezer. when frozen pop in plastic bag.store in freezer use as needed.

      Reply

    • Rebecca on October 21st, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      I place individual chilis in ice cub trays, top with sauce then freeze. Once frozen I store in a ziplock bag.

      Reply

  14. Loretta on January 16, 2013 at 10:08 am

    A homemade version always beats out the competition! This looks so hearty and delicious!

    Reply

  15. Tracey on January 16, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I tried a canned version of this soup a few days ago and I was so disappointed. I just know this is going to be better, I can’t wait to make it!!

    Reply

  16. Michael on January 16, 2013 at 10:16 am

    LOVE Corn Chowder – plus, I haven’t had it in years. My high school cafeteria lady would make her homemade recipe once a week for us, and it was delicious. Granted, not as sophisticated as this one!

    Reply

  17. Diane W. on January 16, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I’m having a soup potluck at my house next week and I think this is the ticket! I’ve been ravaging the internet looking for something and this speaks to me! Question, how spicy is it? I know that’s kind of subjective, but I know several of the ladies are not into spicy food. I want the small kick and smokiness from the chipotle and adobo sauces, but wondering how hot it will be.

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 16th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      Hi Diane, It’s actually just as you described – a small kick and smokiness from the chipotle and adobo sauces, but not too terribly spicy. My mom is super-sensitive to spicy foods, and she had multiple bowls of this soup; she didn’t think it was too spicy, if that’s any guide!

      Reply

      • Monica on January 21st, 2013 at 11:35 am

        I just made this soup with only half the can of chiles and it was soooo hot for us. I would love to know what you thought after you made it Diane. I live in CA and am used to hot Mexican food. Perhaps I had a rouge can of chiles. Other than the heat, we loved it. I didn’t put any cheese in it and added chicken bouillon for the extra flavor. WW for us.

        Reply

        • Monica on January 21st, 2013 at 11:38 am

          OK. I just figured out why mine was so hot. I didn’t read the recipe.
          I have made this soup so many times and just throw it all in. I didn’t
          see that I should have only used 1 chile. That will teach me!

          Reply

  18. shelly (cookies and cups) on January 16, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Oh my yes. Pinning.

    Reply

  19. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie on January 16, 2013 at 11:13 am

    I love love soups during the winter, but being a single person household I end up getting sick of it by the 6th and 7th time I eat it in a row. I really need to free up space in my freezer because this soup looks so good.

    Reply

  20. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet on January 16, 2013 at 11:15 am

    We love corn chowder! Can’t wait to try your recipe!

    Reply

  21. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts on January 16, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I made a corn chowder for the first time last year, I love the chipotle addition here – so good!

    Reply

  22. Donna on January 16, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I’m excited about this. It’s very similar to a soup I had at one of the restaurants at the Grand Canyon just a couple of weeks ago. Excited to try your version.

    Reply

  23. Cookin Canuck on January 16, 2013 at 11:47 am

    It sounds like you hit the mark with this one. The flavors sound fantastic! I love how you styled the soup in the opening shot, with the chunky parts to the left and the broth to the right. Very nice.

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 16th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      Thank you, Dara! :)

      Reply

  24. Oxymoron on January 16, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Non-canned soup using canned corn. The irony.

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 16th, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Obviously, fresh ingredients are always preferred, but fresh corn season and soup season land during opposite times of the year where I live. You could substitute frozen corn for the canned whole corn, but the cream-style corn is what provides the same texture that you’d find if you were to scrape the milky pulp from a fresh ear of corn. You’re obviously free to omit it if you’d like.

      Reply

  25. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction on January 16, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    We love corn chowder. . .the addition of the chipotle chilies sounds fantastic!

    Reply

  26. Aikko @ Bake Happy on January 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Bookmarked! I love corn chowder!!! :)

    Reply

  27. Katherine Johnson on January 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    You just answered the “What should I make for dinner?” question with this soup. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  28. Heather @ SugarDish(Me) on January 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    This is a soup I could probably get my guy to eat. All my guys- the little ones included! And none of them are soup eaters, so that’s saying a lot!

    Reply

  29. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe on January 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    We don’t have Chipotle around here, but this chowder looks fantastic! What a great way to keep warm during the freezing winter months! I’m pinning the recipe for future making!

    Reply

    • Laura B on January 18th, 2013 at 8:51 am

      I sometimes substitute canned chipotle chiles in adobo for powdered chipotle chili powder found in the spice aisle. You might try looking there to see if you have that?

      Reply

  30. Ellen on January 16, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Is there a brand name that I should look for when trying to find chipotle chiles in adobo sauce? Thanks

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 16th, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Ellen, My local grocery store carries the Embasa brand in the Hispanic foods section of the store. I’m sure there are other brands, but that’s the only one I’ve seen at my local store.

      Reply

  31. Ellie@Fit for the Soul on January 16, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    This looks so amazingg!!!!!! I love the pictures, and the recipe looks delicious. Great job, and if your husband said it’s one of the best things you’ve made, then it MUST be good. *craving soup now*

    Reply

  32. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on January 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I try to stay away from canned soup too- it just doesn’t taste as good to me! How could you possibly beat all the spicy *natural* flavors in this soup? It sounds so good :)

    Reply

  33. Little Kitchie on January 16, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    mmm, this sounds like just my kind of soup! yummy, yummy for a cold day!

    Reply

  34. Juanita on January 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Did you try to mimick the Campbell’s soup recipe?

    Reply

  35. Shari Kelley on January 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    This soup looks wonderful. I love all the spices in it. I am going to save it to try soon.

    Reply

  36. Beth on January 16, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight. Thank you for the recipe – it was so delicious!!

    Reply

  37. Karly on January 16, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I make a version of this and love it! Never thought to add chipotle peppers!

    Reply

  38. Rebecca on January 16, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    I made this for lunch today and subbed a few things based on what I had on hand…shrimp for chicken and 1 cup frozen corn directly in the soup and about 3/4 cup frozen corn in the food processor with a laddle full of the soup liquid and 1 T brown sugar, then added back to the soup…also only added 1/2 cup cheese. It was wonderful, my husband and I scraped our bowls clean!

    Reply

  39. Mercedes (Satisfy My Sweet Tooth) on January 16, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Wow, this soup sounds so flavorful! I love all of the different types of peppers that you incorporated.

    Reply

  40. KathyJND on January 17, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I made this last night for a crowd, and it was a hit!–including a VEGETARIAN version! I followed your directions exactly, save for the substitution of frozen corn for the 30 oz. canned (I had the frozen, so I figured I would use it). And for the vegetarians — I made a separate batch using vegetable broth and no chicken (no other modifications at all). Both were terrific. Thank you!

    Reply

  41. Amber @ Slim Pickin's Kitchen on January 17, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Oh, my gosh! This looks heavenly! I tried one of Campbell’s new soups in a pouch which are made with quality ingredients and zero added crap, and they are actually really, really good! The one I had was a spicy chorizo and pulled chicken with black beans, and it really was phenomenal. I also *adore* corn chowders! They are just so comforting!

    Reply

  42. Lorelei on January 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I made this soup last night and we all LOVE it! just the right amount of “heat”!
    I added crispy bacon to the top and swapped out potatoes for pinto beans. Oh so good!

    Reply

  43. Carole on January 17, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Hi there. Food on Friday: Corn on Carole’s Chatter is now open for entries. This looks like a good one! I do hope you link it in. This is the link . Please do pop back to check out some of the other links. Have a great week.

    Reply

  44. Malinda G. on January 17, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Hi! Made this soup last night and it was very, very delicious!! Thank you! Love your site and have loved it for a long time!

    Reply

  45. Laura Dembowski on January 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Yay for homemade soup! I don’t ever eat canned soup – or anything from a can actually. Love the idea of the tortilla chips in it.

    Reply

  46. Laura B on January 18, 2013 at 8:48 am

    You are trying to avoid canned soups yet you use 2 cans of corn. Is there any way to avoid canned corn in this recipe? I would substitute frozen for the regular but how about the creamed corn? Just curious, not so much as I am against canned foods, but my hubs specifically doesn’t like canned corn. Thanks for a great recipe!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 18th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Hi Laura, I avoid canned soup because of the large amount of sodium and all of the other pseudo-ingredients that are included in not just soup, but the majority of packaged foods. I used canned corn (no salt added) in this recipe because it’s the middle of January and I have no access to fresh corn until July. You can substitute frozen corn for the whole corn, however the cream-style corn is what replicates the milky pulp that would come from scraping a fresh ear of corn. If you don’t want to use the can, just omit it, although the broth will be a little thinner. You can add some cream or more cheese, if you’d like.

      Reply

      • Laura B on January 18th, 2013 at 8:48 pm

        I made this tonight and it was great! I didn’t see your response but that’s exactly what I did, LOL. I did do my own post with my changes. I hope you don’t mind. If you do, just let me know and I’ll take it down. Thanks for such a great recipe!!

        Reply

  47. danielle on January 19, 2013 at 10:00 am

    This is my kind of soup! I wanted to let you know that I featured this in my “What I Bookmarked This Week” post – stop by and see.

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 20th, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      Hi Danielle, Thanks so much for sharing this with your readers!

      Reply

  48. Brooke on January 19, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Mmmmm this sounds fantastic! As a vegetarian, though, I’m thinking of subbing in vegetable stock for the chicken stock, the chicken with either one of those chicken substitutes (which are just okay) or just adding broccoli instead and telling myself it’s even healthier than the canned version. Yum!!

    Reply

  49. Sandy on January 19, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I think this is the best soup I have ever made… in fact, the best I have ever had – and I’m 50! (I did make one substitution b/c it was easier for me: instead of the chiles in adobe sauce I used a small can of chopped peppers) Thank you for sharing such a great recipe.

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 20th, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Sandy, I’m so thrilled to hear this! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback, as well as your adaptation!

      Reply

  50. Rochelle on January 19, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Yum! My son loves corn (I mean LOVES, it’s crazy) so this sounds fantastic. Though he’s not a fan of spicy stuff, I’ll just have to make him a small amount sans chipotle and leave that for the hubby and me :)

    Reply

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