Shrimp Corn Chowder

It’s almost time for me to head home for the holidays, which means it’s almost time for SHRIMP CORN CHOWDER. This creamy, dreamy, spicy (or not spicy) as you like Shrimp Corn Chowder recipe is easy to make and comforting to eat. If your family devours it with the same gusto ours does, it will warm and fill you in the best possible way.

CREAMY Shrimp Corn Chowder with Bacon. Easy one-pot meal that’s ready in 30 minutes! Sweet, smoky, and lightened up with everyday ingredients. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated
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This easy Shrimp Corn Chowder recipe was inspired by the corn crab chowder that my grammy serves at Christmas Eve dinner. At our Christmas Eve feast, we have one major rule: do not, under any circumstances, have more than one bowl of the chowder. If you do, you are sure to ruin your appetite for the delicious dishes to come.

Fact: no one keeps this rule, because it’s impossible. Every year, we each give ourselves a reasonable ladleful and savor it as slowly as we can, then everyone coyly side-eyes each other, waiting to see who will break first and go back for a second helping so that everyone else can follow suit.

Maybe it’s our recent cold snap, but I’ve been craving this comforting chowder more than usual this year. I’ll gladly sacrifice my pride for the second-helpings chowder cause!

Shrimp Corn Chowder. EASY and CREAMY! Loaded with big chunks of potatoes and shrimp. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Like Grammy’s recipe, this Shrimp Corn Chowder is luxuriously rich and creamy, absolutely loaded with seafood (no wimpy chowder here!), and tastes decadent enough to serve at a special holiday meal. Unlike her recipe, however, it’s wholesome and easy enough to prepare on an average weeknight.

Believe me, I adore my grammy’s corn chowder and its unapologetic quantities of butter and cream; it’s just not something I can eat every week…which is why I break the rule and have two bowls on Christmas Eve. This Shrimp Corn Chowder, however, is a different tale.

The BEST Shrimp and Corn Chowder. Rich, creamy, and so delicious! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

The Key to Lightening Up Shrimp Corn Chowder

To create a thick, rich chowder base that didn’t rely on heavy cream, I started by making a roux with flour, a touch of butter, and nonfat milk (for a step-by-step visual, check out the video at the bottom of the post), then added a can of cream-style corn.

The creamed corn gives the shrimp corn chowder body and a light, subtle sweetness that’s beautifully balanced by a kick of cayenne pepper. For good measure, I added a splash of half-and-half at the end, but honestly, the Shrimp Corn Chowder hardly needs it.

If you’d like a spicy corn chowder, you can up the amount of cayenne, or do what my family does and pass a bottle of hot sauce around the table so that each person can doctor it to his or her preference.

To hasten the prep time for the Shrimp Corn Chowder, and make it more affordable for everyday enjoyment, I replaced the lump crab meat in my grammy’s recipe with frozen shrimp. Frozen shrimp is a go-to in many of my healthy shrimp recipes, including Garlic Shrimp with QuinoaGarlic Shrimp Pasta, and Healthy Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles.

Creamy Shrimp Corn Chowder with Bacon. Simple and delicious! Healthy recipe made with everyday ingredients.

When combined with other flavors as it is here, the shrimp tastes fresh, not at all “fishy,” and is a total timesaver. In fact, the shrimp cooks right in the pot along with the rest of the chowder in fewer than three minutes.

Although this Shrimp Corn Chowder recipe is fit enough for a weeknight meal, in keeping with a soup’s first mission to comfort (and to stay in good graces with Grammy), I did make one other addition: a topping of salty, crispy bacon.

Easy Shrimp and Corn Chowder with Bacon. Creamy, delicious, and made light with everyday ingredients! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

The bacon’s smoky flavor and crunch is divine combined with the juicy pink shrimp. I’m confident that my grammy would approve, and that you and your family will too!

Shrimp Corn Chowder. EASY and CREAMY! Loaded with big chunks of potatoes and shrimp. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated
5 from 27 votes
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Shrimp Corn Chowder

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
Shrimp Corn Chowder with Bacon. A creamy, one-pot meal that's quick and easy to make! Smoky, sweet, and loaded with juicy shrimp, golden corn, and bacon.

Ingredients

  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon — cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 small green onions — thinly sliced, with white and green parts divided
  • 2 stalks celery — diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic — minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 2/3 cups nonfat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels — about 3 ears if using fresh
  • 1 can cream-style corn — (15 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper — plus additional to taste
  • 1 pound frozen peeled & deveined shrimp — any size you like, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half
  • Hot sauce — optional for serving

Instructions

  1. Cook the bacon in a dutch oven or large, deep saucepan over medium heat until crisp, about 6 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pan and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Lightly pat dry and set aside for serving. Discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat.

  2. Add the butter to the pot and let it melt. Set aside 1/4 cup of the sliced green onion tops for serving, then add the rest of the green onions. Add the celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are tender, about 3 minutes, then stir in the garlic, salt, and black pepper. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  3. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the onion mixture, then cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the milk, a few splashes at a time at first, stirring out any lumps. Stream in the rest of the milk, then add the corn kernels, cream-style corn, and cayenne. Stir and bring to a gentle boil. Let bubble until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and continue cooking just until the shrimp are done, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, then stir in the thyme and half-and-half. Serve hot, sprinkled with reserved bacon, green onion tops, and a dash or two of hot sauce as desired.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Homemade Soup Recipe, Shrimp Corn Chowder

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 serving) — Calories: 282, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 140mg, Sodium: 981mg, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 10g, Protein: 28g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

CREAMY Shrimp Corn Chowder with Bacon. Easy one-pot meal that’s ready in 30 minutes! Sweet, smoky, and lightened up with everyday ingredients. #wellplated #shrimpcornchowder #soup

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

79 comments

  1. Looks delish! Do you know how many cups the recipe makes though? Thank you!

    • Thanks, Mia! Unfortunately I don’t have an exact amount…the pot in the video holds a max of 5.5 quarts and was filled not quite to the top with all the ingredients in it, so I’d estimate about 4 to 4.5 quarts (or 16-18 cups).

  2. How much is a serving?

  3. I love everything about this!

  4. hey girl- this looks amazing! I love shrimp!

  5. Oh wow, I’ve got a serious craving for this chowder after seeing the photo, Erin! It looks fabulous!!! Love the combo of shrimp & bacon….Mmmm! xo

  6. Your soup looks delicious! It is 21 in Indianapolis and rain and ice are coming so I am making this for the weekend! Do you recommend using jumbo shrimp as pictured and cutting to bite size or using medium sized shrimp? I am thinking the jumbo would be more tender? Thank you!

    • This soup would be perfect for that chilly weather! You can truly use any size shrimp you prefer…if you think jumbo would be most tender, go with that! The overall key is to not overcook the shrimp. I don’t mind the chunkier size in a spoonful, but you prefer smaller, you could certainly cut them.

      • Just wanted you to know I fixed the soup for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I used jumbo shrimp and they were perfect! Kroger, my main grocer, carried Simple Truth products. Thanks so much!

  7. Could you make this ahead of time and place in the freezer and just heat it up when ready to eat?

    • Hi Jennifer! I’ve honestly never tried, but I would be worried about the shrimp overcooking and becoming tough when reheated. Unfortunately, bacon doesn’t freeze and reheat well either. You could try making the soup but omitting the bacon and shrimp (saute the veggies in olive oil or butter instead of the bacon fat), then when you reheat, add the shrimp and cook it then. You can then make a fresh batch of bacon to sprinkle over the top. I hope that’s a good happy-medium for you!

  8. I made this tonight and my husband said “this is literally the best soup I’ve ever had!” It was amazing! Thanks for sharing your recipe! We will definitely make it again!

    • Heather, I am so happy to hear this!!! Thank you so much for trying the recipe and taking time to stop back by to leave this lovely review and rating. It means a lot!

  9. So delicious! My family said to save this recipe. Thank you!

    • Hi Taylor, I’m so happy to hear it’s a winner! Thank you for reporting back with this wonderful review!

      • Hi could you substitute the flour to make it gluten free? Or use a gluten free flour?

        • Hi Sarah, I’ve never tested this chowder without the flour. If you’ve had success thickening other chowders with a different kind of flour (such as rice flour), you are welcome to experiment, but I’m afraid I’ve never thickened a chowder with something that was gluten free.

  10. Loved it, like shrimp and grits but a soup! Thanks.

  11. Best soup ever made!

  12. THIS WAS SUCH A HIT for both me and my husband.  We loved everything about it, thanks for sharing!

  13. Please forgive me for taking liberties with your recipe as I did not have bacon, green onions, or shrimp on hand. I made this and used a small white onion and 3/4 pound of bay scallops and it is absolutely delicious. I will certainly use the recipe as written when I make it again!

  14. I have to make a soup for a soup exchange party and love a local sandwich shop that serves Shrimp Corn Chowder. Your recipe is very close to the their soup. I just need to cut or buy bite size shrimp for it to be perfect. It is actually a cold and wet day in Florida so my trial soup went over very well with me and my husband for lunch. Thanks for the awesome step by step video too! 

    • Thank you so much, Nancy! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe and video! I really appreciate that you took the time to leave this nice comment. :)

  15. Can I use cream instead of half and half?

  16. I made this last night. Oh, so good. I was a little apprehensive about so little “chowder”. But that wonderful creamy sauce with all manner of corn, vegies and shrimp was to die for. I loved the minimal addition of thyme and the cayenne. I brought some to a friend and she called me and said it was the best she’d ever had. I have to agree. Thank you for sharing. P.S. I followed your recipe, but I had a half a red pepper hanging around and diced that up and saute’d that with the onions and celery. A bit more flavor and lot’s of added color.

    • I’m so excited to hear that you loved the recipe, Sandy! Thank you so much for giving the recipe a try and taking the time to share how it went!

  17. This was so yummy! – My husband’s first word was “amazing!” I added some red potatoes which I cooked up before the onion/celery. The little bit of spice was perfect! Already looking forward to my leftovers :)

    • YAY Kallie! Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try and reporting back. I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it!

  18. Made this tonight in our 25 degree weather. It’s AMAZING! Only things I did differently was added a small chopped yellow onion because we had one sitting around, and added the whole quart of milk because it was looking a little too thick. My boyfriend LOVES it and it’s so perfect for chilly weather! We’re enjoying it with a glass of Chardonnay :) thank you! 

    • That sounds like the perfect dinner for a chilly night! I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup, Kimberly—thanks for taking the time to share this review!

  19. Have you ever made this in a instant pot? 

    • Hi Lauren, I have not, and I don’t think I can recommend it. Most of what makes the soup is cooking the base, and that would still have to happen separately, so there wouldn’t be a time or effort savings by using the Instant Pot.

  20. Absolutely DELISH!

  21. I bought a first ever Dutch oven, and this was the first recipe I tried with it. This has so much flavor and it was so easy to make. Thank you for sharing this!

    • What a great way to break in your new Dutch oven, Alison! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe—thanks for sharing this awesome review!

  22. Can you use frozen already cooked, detained & pealed shrimp for this recipe?  That is what I have  on hand?

    • Hi Betsy! You could stir them in at the very end, just until they are warmed through (be careful not to overcook them). The flavor will be different because the shrimp won’t absorb much flavor from the chowder, but if you want to work with what you have on hand, I think they will be just fine! I hope you love the recipe and would love to hear how it goes if you make them.

  23. Great recipe, have made it several times for my family and is now a favorite! I follow the recipe with a few imprecise alterations based on what I have on hand, never disappointed.

  24. I made this last night. I used whole milk (that is what we had on hand) but skipped adding the half and half. 

    My family absolutely LOVED this soup. Even my 5 year old gave it a thumbs up.  I was told I need to make it more often.

    Thank you for a easy and delicious soup recipe!

    • HOORAY, Amy! I’m so glad to hear the soup was a winner with your family. Thanks so much for giving it a try and taking the time to report back!

  25. This was excellent! Thank you for sharing! Will definitely make this again.

  26. Erin – I just discovered your site after an ingredient search led me to your Shrimp & Corn Chowder Recipe. Oh. Oh. Oh. I’ve been haunted by its deliciousness every since I made it and can’t wait for another visit to our Farmer’s Market this weekend for Ruby Red Shrimp & Silver Queen Corn. I can’t wait to explore all of your other recipes! A quick scroll through promises that I will have lots of memorable new meals in my future! Yea! I’m completing a condo renovation now and plan to have mini-cooking “classes” with my friend when my new kitchen is complete. Yea!!!

  27. Wondering if anyone has attempted this without the corn? The recipe looks fabulous as is but due to some food allergies at our house we need to avoid the corn for a few. Since you commented that helped with the soup base and gave it a slightly sweet flavor, I was hesitant to simply remove it. Thought about cooking it separately and having it available for those who could eat it, to spoon in to their bowls… I’ve done that with several other soup recipes. 

  28. HI Erin…Thank you so much for your recipes! I would like to make this for a casual party of about 20 people…was thinking of making and putting in a crockpot to keep warm and then adding the shrimp and bacon at the end? Could I do that in the crockpot?  Also, what accompanying food would you suggest…we are having so many guests I thought maybe a ham to go with?? Thanks, again!

    • Hi Keri, I think keeping it warm in the slow cooker could work. I would cook it all the way, including the shrimp, but add the bacon right before serving so it stays crisp. I hope it’s a hit!

      • Hi Erin…I have 18 adults, 6 kids…serving baked ham as well. Do you think if I quadruple the recipe I’d have enough? Thanks!!

        • Keri, WOW what a crowd! Honestly, I don’t think I can answer this with a 100% guarantee. You’d need to think about how many other things are on your menu in addition to the soup and ham and how big of eaters everyone is. If you are unsure, you can always err on the side of more, but I know that would be a GIANT pot of chowder. Maybe do a double batch of it first early in the day or even the day before and see how it looks to you? Then you can do another double (or triple) later once you get a clear picture of how much soup a double batch feels to you. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help!

  29. Has anyone tried it with either full fat coconut milk or alternative milks….I have a gluten intolerant granddaughter and she and her mom also are allergic to cows milk. This sound absolutely delicious and who doesn’t love shrimp!?

    • Jill, I haven’t heard of anyone trying that swap, but I think you could experiment with almond milk instead of the nonfat milk and full fat coconut milk instead of the half and half. I’ve never done it that way, so if you do play around, I’d love to hear what you thnk!

  30. One of my favorite soups! And so good with fresh corn in the summer!!

  31. This is so simple to make but, it’s decadent too. Delish!

  32. I love how you lightened it up .

  33. A new favorite comforting meal in my house!

  34. Such a favorite soup recipe at our house!

  35. Looks wonderful

  36. hey girl- this looks amazing! Hope u have a blessed Christmas!

  37. What I really like about your recipe is how you lightened it up and still have plenty of flavorful ingredients. Pinning this to my soup board and will have to make it soon. You have me drooling!

  38. Michelle McCafferty Reply

    I made this for our Christmas Eve supper this year. It was SO easy to put together and turned out incredibly delicious!! My husband absolutely adored this chowder. I used large (21-25 count shrimp) wild-caught Louisiana shrimp and upped the corn to 2 cups as it seemed a bit more corn would be a good thing. Definitely a new favorite chowder recipe in our house now!

  39. This is my favorite recipe from your site so far and believe me, I read them all. I’ve made this before as written.  Marvelous. Then this time making it,  I added some carrots since I love them in soup and made a HUGE batch of this soup.  I didn’t quite have enough milk so I thickened it a little more with some flour and added a carton of chicken broth.  I made it earlier in the day and let it simmer and then before dinner I heated it up again and put the shrimp in.  This was truly delicious.  Oh……and I added a little kick with a can of chopped green chilis.  Try it, it gives a little southwestern flare chowder!

    • Diane, I am soooo pleased to hear how much you enjoyed this, and your tweaks sound to die for! Thanks so much for taking time to share this wonderful review.

  40. Leslie Ann Krasicki Reply

    I made your shrimp corn chowder today. It was really good. My fiancee’s 10-year-old grandson said it belongs in a restaurant.
    Thank you

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