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Shrimp Corn Chowder is a hearty soup that is loaded with tender shrimp, smokey bacon, sweet corn, and chunks of potato. Ready in under 30 minutes, this is the perfect weeknight supper for those cool weather months. 

Serve this chowder as a starter (soup course) or as a meal. Pair it with oyster crackers, a big Steakhouse Salad, and these buttery Rhodes Rolls for a complete meal.

Gold ladle with shrimp soup.

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Why We Love This Recipe

  • One-Pot Recipe – You can make the entire recipe in one dutch oven or soup pot.
  • Creamy and Hearty – It’s perfect when you’re craving a soup, but want something more filling.
  • Tender Shrimp – This recipe is loaded with tender shrimp for a delicious seafood chowder.

Ingredients For Shrimp Corn Chowder

Shrimp Corn Chowder ingredients.
  • Bacon – You’ll chop it up into small pieces. The bacon is used both to sprinkle on top of the bowls and the bacon fat adds flavor to the chowder itself. 
  • Medium Shrimp – You can buy pre-peeled and deveined to save time.
  • Butter and Flour – Melted butter and flour make a roux that helps thicken the soup.
  • Seafood Stock – If you can’t find seafood stock you can sub chicken stock.
  • Spices – Paprika (smoked or regular), salt, pepper.
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes – Diced up super small. You can swap in another potato, like russet if you already have them on hand.
  • Corn Kernels – Fresh or frozen work! If you’re using fresh corn, you’ll need the kernels from 2-3 cobs.
  • Heavy Cream – You can substitute half and half or whole milk, but the texture will be thinner. I would not recommend skim or low-fat milk, as it can more easily curdle. 
  • Additional Ingredients – Yellow onion, celery, garlic and fresh thyme.

How To Make This Shrimp Corn Chowder Recipe

You can make this hearty shrimp chowder all in one soup pot or dutch oven.

This is a visual overview of the steps to make this recipe. Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.

Shrimp and bacon cooking in a large pot.

Cook the Bacon and Shrimp – Cook up the bacon in a large dutch oven until crispy and the fat has rendered. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

Add the butter to the pot and cook the shrimp until they turn opaque. Remove and set aside. If they are big shrimp, then you can chop up most of them into smaller pieces.

Cooked flour and diced celery in a large pot.

Cook Veggies – Add the onion and celery to the pot and cook until softened, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add in the flour and cook to make a roux.

Creamy broth pouring into a large pot.

Add Broth –  Next whisk in the broth and bring to a boil.

Creamy broth with diced potatoes and paprika.

Cook Potatoes – Once boiling, add in the spices and potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are soft and tender.

Broth and milk in a large pot with shrimp and corn.

Add Remaining Ingredients – Add in the corn, cream, and chopped shrimp and bring back to a simmer.

Shrimp corn chowder in a white bowl.

Serve – Serve, topping the bowls with bacon and green onions. Enjoy!

Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between corn soup and corn chowder?

While a soup is thinner, a chowder is thicker and richer. A chowder often contains chunks of veggies, potatoes, and meat or seafood.

What makes a chowder a chowder?

A chowder has a base made from broth and thickened milk or cream. A classic chowder typically features seafood or other meat and is served with crackers.

Can you use frozen shrimp?

You can use frozen shrimp for this recipe, but you’ll want to thaw them first. You can quickly thaw frozen shrimp by running them under cold water until the ice has melted. This only takes a few minutes.

How can you tell when shrimp is cooked?

The easiest way to tell that shrimp is cooked is by their color. Raw shrimp is gray and slightly translucent, but fully cooked shrimp is opaque and pink.

Variations

  • Spicy – Add cayenne pepper to the chowder or you can serve with a bottle of hot sauce for everyone to add spice to their taste.
  • Crab Meat – Instead of shrimp, this recipe is great made with a pound of lump crab meat!

Storage 

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and gently reheated on the stove. Generally I do not recommend freezing soups with large amounts of potatoes in them as the texture turns mealy. 

Shrimp corn chowder in a white bowl with a spoon.

Helpful Tips

  • Do Not Boil – After you add the cream, make sure you don’t bring the chowder to a boil (only a gentle simmer) or the cream can curdle and separate.
  • Poaching vs Sauteing Shrimp –  Instead of sauteing the shrimp separately, you can poach the shrimp by adding them to the broth about 5 minutes into the potato cooking time.
  • Chop up Large Shrimp – If you use large shrimp, I like to chop the shrimp up into smaller pieces before adding it back to the soup. This will make it easier to fit on a spoon. 
  • Bacon – Instead of sprinkling the cooked bacon on top, you can add it right into the chowder at the end of cooking. I prefer to sprinkle it on top as a garnish so it stays crunchy.

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Shrimp Corn Chowder

5 from 3 votes
Shrimp Corn Chowder is a hearty soup loaded with shrimp, bacon, corn, and chunks of potato. Ready in 30 minutes, it's a perfect weeknight meal.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 -6 servings
Calories 638kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 slices bacon cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • ½ yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 4 cups chicken or seafood stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked or regular paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds Yukon gold potato diced small
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Green onion chopped for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium low heat, cook the bacon until crispy and the fat has rendered. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel, and set aside.
  • Add butter to the pot and turn the heat up to medium. Cook the shrimp, until they start to curl and turn opaque and firm up, turning once; about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Roughly chop ¾ of the shrimp if desired, leaving some whole for garnish if desired.
  • Add the onion and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add in the flour to make a roux and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the broth and bring to a boil. Add the thyme, paprika, salt, pepper and potatoes. Simmer for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and tender.
  • Add the corn, cream, and the chopped shrimp and bring back to a simmer, do not boil.
  • Serve, topping each bowl with bacon, whole shrimp and green onion.

Notes

  • After you add the cream, don’t bring the chowder to a boil (only a gentle simmer) or the cream can curdle and separate.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and gently reheated on the stove. Generally I do not recommend freezing soups with large amounts of potatoes in them as the texture turns mealy. 

Nutrition

Calories: 638kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 18gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 22gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 1391mgPotassium: 1255mgFiber: 6gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 1482IUVitamin C: 39mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 3mg

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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