Spicy Corn Chowder with Bacon

Sweet corn and jalapeños give this summertime chowder an extra spicy kick.  Salty bacon and Cojita cheese take it over the top.  Pair with a side salad and dinner is ready in under 30 minutes. 

Spicy Corn Chowder with Bacon | The Suburban Soapbox

There’s nothing better than summer corn.  Like tomatoes and peaches, sweet corn is one of those things that I wait for all year.  Inevitably, I get impatient when I start seeing it in the store…..already shucked and wrapped in plastic.  All signs point to “Don’t you dare put that in your cart” but I do it anyway.  Every.Single.Year.  And when I sit down to eat my first corn of the season…it’s not quite what I had in mind. But I had no self control.  It’s like a lesson I will never, ever learn.  Patience, grasshopper.

Spicy Corn Chowder with Bacon | The Suburban Soapbox

This year was no different.  Luckily, the week after my annual corn buying fiasco, fresh corn was available at my local farmer’s market.  I bought 14 ears.  For 3 1/2 people.  I usually figure 2 ears per person but I couldn’t help myself.  I thought I would eat 9 ears myself.  So, what do you do with leftover corn on the cob?  Lots of things.  But let’s start with this Spicy Corn Chowder with Bacon….and Cojita Cheese, my new favorite thing on the planet.

Spicy Corn Chowder with Bacon | The Suburban Soapbox

I love a little heat with sweet corn…and the saltiness of the bacon really adds a great base for everything else in the pot.  I toyed with the idea of adding cheddar because….cheddar does make everything better.  But I wanted a cheese that would keep it’s shape and not melt, completely, into the chowder.  It adds an extra texture to the chowder….kinda like a mystery ingredient.  But it’s not a mystery….it’s cheese.

Spicy Corn Chowder with Bacon | The Suburban Soapbox

I upped the heat factor a little to make it a bit mexicany.  I like things spicy but not hair on fire spicy….so I added some chili powder and cayenne.  Feel free to leave those out if you like things subtly spicy.  It still seemed a little one dimensional so I threw in some cumin.  That was it.  That made it very South-of-the-Border.  Mexicany.

Spicy Corn Chowder with Bacon | The Suburban Soapbox

Sweet, spicy, creamy, salty, bacony, cheesy…..it’s all in there…in one big pot.  Quick, easy and so, so tasty!

Spicy Corn Chowder with Bacon

warm up with this delicious spicy corn chowder with bacon!
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 269 kcal


  • 3 slices of bacon cut crosswise into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 ears of corn kernels removed
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5 ounces crumbled Cojita cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large dutch oven or pot, cook the bacon over med-high heat until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Pour off all but two tablespoons of fat and return the pot to the heat reducing it to medium. Add the onions to the pot and cook until softened, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add the jalapeños and garlic to the onions and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the corn and sprinkle the onion/corn mixture with cornstarch and stir. Continue to cook for another minute and then add the broth stirring constantly to avoid creating lumps. Stir in the half and half, chili powder, cayenne, sugar and cumin. Allow the chowder to come to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Stir in the cheese and continue simmering over low heat for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately topped with the reserved crumbled bacon.


Serving: 1gCalories: 269kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 10gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 416mgPotassium: 455mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1285IUVitamin C: 38mgCalcium: 202mgIron: 1.3mg
Keyword corn chowder, soup
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35 comments on “Spicy Corn Chowder with Bacon”

  1. I think I could eat 9 bowls of this soup by myself!

  2. This sounds like such a satisfying soup. I love all the layers of flavor and the spice.

  3. These pictures are amazing! I just want to gobble up this chowder right now! I am in the process of already planning out all of my fall meals! I’m craving soups. It’s too hot for spicy and hot food like chowder right now so I’m pinning this for sure for October 😉

  4. LOVE corn chowder and this looks fantastic!!

  5. I just bought a boat load of corn, this will be made SOON! My family will love it.

  6. YUM! This is so going on my dinner menu!

  7. I absolutely love corn chowder. So much so I was going to make one today! Perfect timing. Thank you.

  8. Looks delicious and my husband will love the addition of the jalapenos and the Cojita cheese to one of our favorite soups!! Did I miss where to add it – I don’t see the cheese listed in the recipe ingredients or instructions at all? Is it added at the end? Thanks!

  9. This corn chowder looks amazing! I love the addition of heat with the jalapenos!

  10. You had me at spicy and the sweetness of the corn is oozing through. Yum. I wish I had this for lunch.

  11. I saw this picture of your Spicy Corn Chowder. with Bacon today on Instagram and I ran out and got the ingredients ( I had most already) it came out great!! You didn’t say when to add the corn or the cojita but I just guessed. It came out fantastic!! Where is your Instagram page? I wanted to tag you and thank you. My daughter loves the chowder!!!

  12. I’m trying so hard to be patient with the corn. When my CSA gets going with it, it’s insane. I think I had up to 20 ears in my fridge last summer. Keeping this in mind when I need to clear things out!

  13. As a huge fan of spicy food I am loving this right now!

  14. I saw this picture of Spicy Corn Chowder with Bacon this morning and by lunch time I was making it!!! Delicious! I wanted to tag Suburban Soapbox on IG and tag you, but I couldn’t find you (sad face) I do have a question, when do you add the corn and cheese? I guessed and took a chance and it still came out great! Thanks.

    • Hi Kim, you can find me on Instagram as TheSuburbanSoapbox. Thanks so much for catching my terrible edits. I went back and fixed the recipe.

  15. This soup looks amazing! Love the flavors, so comforting!

  16. I love Corn Chowder. I just made one the other day as a matter of fact. I love the sound of yours. It’s very different than any I’ve ever made.

  17. i’ve never made a chowder before.. something that i need to try. this is perfect for this winter weather!

  18. You combined all of my favorites into one dish! Love this! And beautiful photos!

  19. Can you freeze this chowder? In fact – what’s the best way to freeze corn? Thanks-JOY

    • You can definitely freeze the chowder in an airtight container. Corn you will need to blanch for a minute in boiling water and then allow to cool. Remove the kernels from the cob and freeze in a zip-top bag with the air pressed out.

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