Slow Cooker Light Chicken Corn Chowder

chicken corn chowder in a slow cooker with a wood spoon

Good morning and happy new week to you!

I feel like you might be in the same boat as I am right now: over-scheduled and slightly burnt out. In dire need for some me time, a few cooking magazines, puppy snuggles, and an afternoon on the couch. Life’s been hectic and it’s getting the most of us. As the holiday season quickly approaches, it’s imperative to our overall wellbeing that we take time for ourselves. Even if that’s just 15 minutes with your morning coffee—and not your phone/computer/iPad/iWhatever.

2 images of chopped celery, carrots, and onions on a wood cutting board and strips of cooked bacon

Last week, work was piling up getting ready for my Chicago trip– which was incredible. Thank you to everyone who came to my classes; I couldn’t be more grateful for our time together making cookie dough and pie crust!

But when my to-do list is unbearably long, I work late into the evening, often skipping what I enjoy most this time of year—cooking a warm and satisfying meal.

I decided to put reality on hold, close the office door, head into the kitchen and just cook for the heck of it. Well, slow cook. The crockpot kinda did the most work, but throwing everything into the darn thing was soothing enough! And maybe that’s what YOU need. A crockpot to cook for you, so you have more time in the evening with yourself, children, loved ones, pups.

onion, celery, and carrots sautéed in a skillet with a wood spoon

Kevin and I both loved this soup so much that I decided to make it again and photograph it for the blog, making a couple tweaks here and there. You will love this! I’m not really sure if this qualifies as an actual chowder, but it’s thick and creamy with chicken, potatoes, and corn. I call it a “light” chowder because it’s not thickened with cream or a roux; rather, whole milk and a little cornstarch.

Hello flavor extreme meal! Goodies inside: there’s mega amounts of corn (love that!) and chicken, savory thyme and parsley, plus sweet potatoes for a little something substantial. You can certainly use regular potatoes if it’s easier.

The soup begins with soup-starter basics like onions, celery, garlic, and carrots. These are actually cooked on the stove prior to going in the slow cooker. But that’s the only “work” you’ll really have to do. Throw everything else right in. Are you cooking this during the day while you’re at work? You can prep the veggies on the stove the night before.

2 images of ingredients in a slow cooker before cooking and chowder in the slow cooker

Oh, there’s bacon too. You’ll have to cook bacon. What a drag.

About 45 minutes before serving, pour in the milk. Whisk it with a little cornstarch to thicken up the soup. For a richer chowder, use half-and-half. Or you can use 1 cup whole milk, ½ cup heavy cream if you have any on hand. To keep things semi-light, I used all whole milk. And by semi-light, I mean about 150 calories per cup.

pouring milk into slow cooker for chicken corn chowder

This certainly isn’t diet-food, but it’s soul-warming and homemade– which counts the most. It’s filling too, so a little goes a long way. I LOVED these flavors together.

chicken chowder in a white bowl with a slice of bread and a spoon

So let’s give ourselves permission to slow down. We get so caught up in our routines that we don’t have a chance to enjoy the present and right now. Like, what’s happening at this very moment. We put so much pressure on ourselves to get all the things done when, in reality, our minds need the most nurturing and rest. And maybe a way to help is a warm home cooked meal with extra bread for dunking!

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chicken corn chowder in a slow cooker with a wood spoon

Slow Cooker Light Chicken Corn Chowder

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 hours, 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours
  • Yield: 12 cups
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


Slow cooker chicken corn chowder is a satisfying and easy crockpot dinner the whole family will love. Quick to prep and full of flavor!


  • 4 strips bacon
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (a little over 1 cup)
  • 23 celery stalks, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans corn, drained (or use about 3 cups frozen)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (or regular potatoes)
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 5 cups (1200ml) chicken broth (I use reduced sodium)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) whole milk
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • optional: fresh (or dried) parsley for garnish


  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned on both sides. (Keep grease in skillet!) Place strips on paper towels and allow to cool. Once cool, crumble the bacon.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic to the skillet. Stir and cook the vegetables in the bacon grease over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Place the creamed corn, corn, sweet potatoes, chicken, chicken broth, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper into a 5 quart or larger slow cooker. (Here’s one I own and love!) Add the celery/carrot/onions and the crumbled bacon (save some for garnish if desired!). Give it all a quick stir, cover with the lid, and cook on low heat for about 6-7 hours.
  4. At the 6-7 hour mark, whisk the cornstarch and milk together. Pour in the soup. Give it a stir and cover. Cook 1 more hour. Serve warm with a sprinkle of parsley and/or any leftover bacon crumbles.
  5. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for 1 week. To reheat, simply pour into a pot over medium heat and cook until warm. Soup freezes well, up to 3 months.


  1. No Slow Cooker? No Problem! Prepare recipe through step 2. Instead of placing ingredients into a slow cooker in step 3, place into a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Give it a nice stir, then allow to boil and cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, stir in the whole milk and cornstarch, and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Serve.

Keywords: chicken corn chowder, slow cooker chowder


  1. This was delicious! I thought I had bacon, but unfortunately I didn’t. I used italian sausage in replacement, and it turned out great – although next time I’m definately trying bacon! Thanks for another great crock-pot recipe 🙂 

    1. I’ll have to try it with sausage sometime– that sounds really good!

  2. Made this last Friday and it had so many good flavors. My husband and I had it for lunch and supper for about three days in a row! Thanks for such a delicious recipe.

  3. I made this for dinner last night and it was soooo good! The only change I made was using dried thyme instead of fresh and giving it a few pulses with my immersion blender. I’m very much looking forward to leftovers for lunch today and will be stashing some in the freezer (since it made so much) to pull out over the next couple of months. Thanks f or another great dinner recipe! 🙂

  4. I just made this recipe last night, and it was delicious! My fiance was a big fan. I used a mixture of half and half and the corn starch as well as water (I was out of milk and didn’t have all of the half and half I needed). You could not tell a bit of difference. I also used dried thyme instead of fresh. I think it would be difficult to make this recipe not taste good! I’m already looking forward to eating this again tonight with some crusty bread..yum!

    1. So happy you both liked it, Kaitlyn! I’ve been using my slow cooker constantly lately and it’s making dinner time so much easier!

  5. Do you think it is possible to cook this recipe for a shorter time on high?

    1. On high for 4 hours would work!

      1. did you mean high?? i want to make this later in the week and it would be convenient if i could make it in 4 hours. 

      2. High, yep!

  6. If I were to omit bacon, would the cooking time be the same?  Thanks!

  7. Sara (If the appocalypse happens and all I have to eat is your cornbread I'll be fine) F. says:

    Hey Sally!!! Would fresh corn work here? We’re drowning in delicious fresh Long Island corn this time of year but I’m mildly concerned about it getting mushy in the slow cooker.

    1. Fresh corn would be just fine!

  8. Excellent recipe.. comfort good.. hubby n kids loved it..

  9. Sally, how do we modify this recipe if the chicken is already cooked? Can we toss it all in the crockpot just to heat it up? (maybe 2 hours on low?) Thanks!


    1. Hi Karen! Yes that’s what I would do. Follow the recipe as directed, then add the cooked chicken about 2-3 hours before finish time. This way the cooked chicken will gently warm up, but not overcook.

  10. This is one of our favorites now. Sometimes I add a cup of pureed Picante sauce to the mix, either mild or medium heat. Adds a little kick to it. Pureed only because I have one family member who would not touch it if he found anything that resembled a tomato or green chili in it, darn!

    1. Sounds great with the picante sauce (and nice trick!) 🙂

  11. Sorry I don’t know if this is the right forum but… when I cook straight chicken breasts in my crock pot, like if I need cooked chicken for a casserole or something, at the end there is all kinds of goo that I have to wash out of my crock pot. Assume that some of it is cooked fat and gristle since it’s hard to remove all of that beforehand.

    So in chicken crock pot recipes, all that stuff goes into the dish/soup or whatever. It also dilutes the “sauce”- like if you are cooking chicken in a jar of salsa or teriyaki sauce, it dilutes it to the point where the chicken doesn’t pick up the flavor significantly. To me that is a wasted ingredient, since everyone picks out the chicken because the salsa/sauce has all that goo cooked into it.

    I don’t have a good solution except I cook the chicken about 3/4 of the way and pour out all of that stuff, then add the rest of the ingredients, keeping in mind that some things I have to cook halfway in the microwave, which sort of defeats the purpose of a crock pot. Or I look for recipes with whole pieces – like ginger chicken where the chicken cooks with a bag of frozen pieces so you can leave the “goo” in the crock pot.

    1. This not meant to be critical, Sally this is my absolute go-to recipe blog (and the cookbook), just wondering if anyone else had a suggestion.

  12. Can this be made in the Instant Pot? Thank you in advance!

    1. I haven’t tried it, but I can’t see why not!

  13. I have made this soup two times- the first time exactly as written, and the second time with modifications. Neither time turned out the way I wanted. My biggest complaint that when I made it as written, there is a lot of liquid at the end of cooking time (slow cooker meals end up with more liquid at the end) and once the thickener was added (milk & cornstarch), the soup never thickened. The second time, I reduced the amount of liquid, by half and the liquid quantity was much better. This time, I was hopeful that once I added the cornstarch & milk, it would actually thicken (due to the smaller volume of liquids), but it still did not. Alas, I don’t think that the cornstarch & milk step added anything to the soup, because it doesn’t affect the flavor, only change the color of the liquid to a milky white. I was looking for a chowder recipe, but this recipe is more of a soup than a chowder for sure (the title is a bit misleading). [And now that I look closer at the photos, it shows a thinner consistency.]

    One last comment, is that the cubed chicken cooks a lot faster (after about 2 hours on low) than the vegetables (which take about 4 hours on low), and was dry at the end of the cook time. If I were to make it again, I would leave the chicken pieces whole, and then shred/dice and then reincorporate into the soup.

  14. Hi Sally, really looking forward to trying this recipe! Can you tell me if whole milk is necessary for the creaminess of the soup? I typically just have 2% milk on hand.

    1. I do recommend whole milk, if you use 2% just note that it will not be as thick or creamy.

  15. I made this the other day, and both hubby and I enjoyed this so much. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Stacie Blair says:

    Made this for supper tonight. It was fantastic! Served it with a nice crusty French bread. Thinking it would be great with sausage as well!

  17. Made this and the huzz and I loved it!!! My only tip is to make sure you cut the sweet potatoes smaller than I did because they were still on the hard side. I froze this meal and defrosted/reboiled it before eating it again and that fixed it perfectly.

    My husband always tells me he makes the best corn chowder but now he says this is the best one…even though he typically despises celery, he did not mind it in this soup 🙂

  18. Miroslava Barkle says:

    I have lactose intolerance do you have any suggestions for a substitute for cows milk?

    1. Unsweetened (and unflavored) nondairy milk is a fine substitute. Let me know how you like it!

  19. When you say to cook the vegetables in the bacon grease over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes, are you referring to just the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic? Can’t wait to try this!

    1. Yes, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic in step 2. Enjoy!

  20. Can you please give the nutritional breakdown, I’m diabetic so need this info. Can’t wait to try this, sounds delicious.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Kathy, I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one:

  21. This is one of my favorite soup recipes! My husband appreciates the bacon addition 🙂
    Very hearty and satisfying, I’ve made this soup several times and will be making it for years to come!!

  22. Hi Sally! I’m not sure if I missed this in another comment, but if I cook this in my slowcooker on low rather than high, would you recommend setting it for like 3-4 hours?

    1. Hi Audrey, I cook this on low heat for about 6-7 hours.

      1. I totally meant high rather than low…I must have not been caffeinated when I wrote that.

  23. Hi Sally! I love this recipe and totally want to make it this week- but all I have are boneless chicken thighs in my fridge! Think they would dry out in this crockpot recipe? Should I switch to the stovetop for thighs? Or just cook them for less time in the crockpot? Any advice would be super helpful, thank you!!!

    1. Hi Jessica! You can definitely make this with boneless chicken thighs instead– follow the recipe as instructed. No changes needed. Cut the thighs into cubes and add to the slow cooker in step 3.

  24. This recipe was great. I didnt have enough chicken stock so I added some water and white wine (Chardonnay) and it gave it a nice buttery flavor. Also added some diced green chillies and a pepper flake blend. This is a definite keeper and just what we needed. Thank you!

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