This post has been updated with new photos and tips.
This easy 30-minute chicken corn chowder recipe is a comforting meal loaded with the bright, fresh flavors.
This satisfying, delicious soup comes together with sweet corn, red and orange peppers, green onions, tender chicken, creamy coconut milk, crunchy water chestnuts, and jalapeno and chili sauce for a spicy kick.
It takes under 30 minutes to make -- but tastes like it took all day.
You’re going to love this
Fresh or frozen corn. I love making this corn chowder during the cooler temperatures of wintertime. But since I’m not industrious enough to freeze fresh corn in the summer, I rely on frozen corn from the grocery store, which is an excellent substitute for fresh.
Leftover turkey or ham. This corn chowder is a great recipe to use of rotisserie chicken breast, or leftover turkey or ham.
Unique flavors. Every spoonful brings unexpected “What’s that?” flavors that you don’t usually find in corn chowder. The chili garlic sauce and jalapeno zing it up, the coconut milk makes it sweet and creamy, and the water chestnuts add a satisfying crunch.
Fast and easy recipe. Yes, you can actually go from zero to a bubbling hot pot of delicious chowder in about 20 minutes.
Wholesome weeknight dinner. This creamy chicken corn chowder is packed with fresh vegetables, boneless skinless chicken, and no heavy cream. Coconut milk makes this a bit of a lighter version and provides all the creaminess it needs.
Chowder without potatoes. Some chowders rely on potatoes for a filler and thickener. This hearty soup uses a cornstarch slurry to achieve the perfect texture. No potatoes.
Green onions. Make the most of your green onions by using the green and white parts of the onion in this recipe.
Jalapeno. Use the seeds and ribs of the jalapeno if you like it spicy. Otherwise, remove them for less heat.
Chili garlic sauce. Chili garlic sauce is made from red jalapeno peppers and garlic. A little goes a long way, so if you’re not into spice, use less than the recipe calls for and add more, if you like.
Cooked chicken. You can use any leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or fresh poached chicken breasts.
Corn. Fresh or frozen, thawed corn both work equally well in this recipe. Cornstarch. This creamy soup is thickened with a slurry of cornstarch and water. So you can completely control the thickness of this soup.
Chicken. Feel free to use leftover turkey or ham instead of chicken.
Bell peppers. Orange and red bell pepper bring so much color and flavor to the soup. But you can use just one or the other, or green peppers, if that’s what you like best.
Jalapenos. If you don’t care for spicy foods, you can substitute in an Anaheim pepper or just leave it out. You can also substitute a can of green chiles or jalapenos, for convenience.
Garlic chili sauce. You can use sriracha sauce, hot sauce, harissa, or throw in some red pepper flakes if you don’t have this.
Coconut milk. You can replace coconut milk with cow’s milk, soy milk, almond milk, evaporated milk, or even Greek yogurt thinned with water.
Chopped parsley. Basil, thyme, or cilantro would be a delicious substitute for parsley.
How to Make Healthy Chicken Corn Chowder
In a large pot, saute green onion, red and orange pepper and jalapeno in the olive oil on low to medium heat for approximately 5 minutes.
Add garlic and chili garlic sauce, saute for additional 2 minutes.
Add coconut milk, chicken, corn, water chestnuts, lime juice and zest, and salt and pepper. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
To achieve a thicker consistency, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and stir it into your simmering corn chowder. Repeat once, if necessary.
Before serving, stir in chopped parsley.
Before serving, stir in chopped parsley and top it with all of your favorite things like crumbles of crispy bacon, corn kernels, and a little bit of cheddar cheese.
Serve with a healthy green salad and homemade cornbread or crusty bread for a comforting meal the whole family will love.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
If you are using frozen corn, run it under cold water to completely thaw it before using.
Make it your own. You can completely customize this recipe to make it your own.
- Leave out the chicken for a vegetarian option.
- Add chopped carrots, cauliflower, broccoli -- whatever you like -- during step one to boost the veggie power.
- Throw in some fish or shrimp during the last step and heat until cooked through.
- Fry up some crispy bacon and crumble it over the top.
Unfortunately, soups made with coconut milk don’t do well when frozen, defrosted, and warmed.
Both the microwave and the stovetop work great for reheating corn chowder.
Store your leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.
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Healthy Chicken Corn Chowder (Dairy-Free)
- 1 bunch sliced green onions
- ½ cup chopped red pepper
- ½ cup chopped orange pepper
- 1 chopped jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
- 2 cans light coconut milk
- 1 pound cubed cooked chicken
- 5 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
- 8 ounces diced water chestnuts
- ½ lime, zest and juice
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- In a large pot, saute green onion, red and orange pepper and jalapeno in the olive oil on low to medium heat for approx. 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and chili garlic sauce, saute for additional 2 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, chicken, corn, water chestnuts, lime juice and zest, and salt and pepper. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
- To achieve a thicker consistency, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and stir it into your simmering corn chowder. Repeat if necessary.
- Before serving, stir in chopped parsley.
About this recipe
This recipe was adapted from a Thai Chicken Corn Chowder recipe in a community cookbook from my hometown, Baudette, MN, called “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Cindy.”
This loving collection of tried-and-true recipes were compiled into a cookbook and sold to raise funds to support Cindy, a hometown girl who had a double lung and heart transplant.
As a testament to how beloved Cindy is and how generous the fine folks of Baudette are, this small town of about 1000 people contributed over 800 recipes and purchased 1000 cookbooks.