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Shrimp Corn Chowder Recipe (Loaded With Veggies)

Wonderfully textured, colorful, and flavorful shrimp corn chowder is a delicious rustic meal in a bowl. Add a smoky sausage or make a vegetarian version. Delish!

The chowder works as a full meal with a salad, warm crusty bread, or just on its own. If you are looking for a substantial soup loaded with lots of healthy veggies and tasty bits, this one fits the bill.

bowl of shrimp corn chowder topped with homemade croutons.

What to expect

This is a chunky soup with great contrasting textures. Crunchy from the corn, plump tender shrimp and snap peas. And soft from the potatoes, carrots, peppers and celery.

The hearty chowder has a bit of smokiness from the smoked paprika as well as the sausage/hot dog (if you decide to add that).

The heat from the chili flakes or hot sausage is balanced nicely with the sweetness of the corn and the creaminess of the broth.

Bottom line: This shrimp chowder with sweet corn kernels is packed with vegetables, has beautiful bold colors, and can be varied to your taste or what you have on hand. Dicing all the veggies takes some prep time, but it’s worth it I think.

Ingredients tailored to your taste

corn on the cob, potato, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, shrimp, broth, red pepper, smoked paprika, thyme, red pepper flakes.
  • Corn: Use fresh corn on the cob or frozen corn niblets for a shortcut.
  • Shrimp: Any kind will do. I like to use large shrimp as they are less likely to overcook than smaller shrimp.
  • Seasonings: Oregano, thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes (for heat) and smoked paprika.
  • Vegetables: We are using traditional chowder veggies – potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery. I like to add red pepper and snap peas for color. And of course, corn since this is a corn chowder!
  • Garnish: This is optional but I love serving the shrimp corn chowder with homemade croutons (pieces of bread sautéed in oil with salt and garlic powder). They are really good with this chowder!
  • Vegetarian version: Leave out the shrimp. Add more snap peas and butternut squash or other fresh veggies you like. Flavor the soup with more fresh herbs.
  • Sausage or bacon version:  Add a cut-up cooked sausage/hot dog (spicy or not) to the chowder for some smoky, intense flavor.  If using bacon, chop into small pieces and fry as a first step. Then remove all but 2 tablespoons of grease (instead of the butter) and start the recipe from there.
  • Creamy soup version: Before adding shrimp, sausage, snap peas and cream, use an immersion blender to blend part or all of the vegetables.  If using this version, the potato will act as a thickener and you will not need to add any or as much cornstarch.

Step-by-step instructions

This is a quick visual overview with basic instructions. For the full recipe, see the recipe card below.

corn kernels, diced veggies, and shrimp on cutting board.
Slice kernels off corn cobs and dice veggies.
diced veggies sauteeing in pot.
Sauté carrots, onions, celery, red peppers and potato in a pot for a few minutes.
veggies. broth and sausage simmering in pot.
Add corn, broth and seasonings. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender. Bring to a boil, then add shrimp (and snap peas and sausage if using). Cook 2-3 minutes until shrimp are cooked through. Stir in cream if you like.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with homemade crispy garlic croutons and parsley if desired.

  1. To remove kernels from the cob, check out this quick video with a simple clean way to shell corn. It just takes a minute. Instructions are in the recipe card below as well.
  2. To thicken the chowder, add a slurry of cornstarch mixed with water (see recipe instructions). The potato and corn also act as thickeners when they release their starches.
  3. Level up by grilling the corn on the cob, then slicing off the kernels.

Shortcuts

  • Buy peeled, deveined shrimp.
  • Instead of dicing the veggies by hand, you can do a rough chop by pulsing them briefly in a food processor.
  • Use a thin-skinned Yukon gold or red potato and skip the peeling.
  • Use frozen corn niblets.
  • Buy pre-strung, pre-washed sugar snap peas.
  • Use frozen garlic cubes.

Make Ahead

The trick here is to add the shrimp just before serving. This way, the shrimp will remain plump, tender, and not overcooked. You also want to add cream (if using) at the end – boiling it will make the soup curdle. The chowder can be frozen if you are not using cream.

What to serve with it

My favorite way to serve this shrimp corn chowder recipe is garnished with homemade garlicky croutons (instructions are in the recipe card).

Warm crusty bread is another great way to serve the soup – it’s perfect for dipping. To round out or stretch out the meal, serve the chowder with a salad such as citrus salad, winter salad or arugula peach salad with walnut dressing.

For a low-effort dessert, how about a simple berry compote on cake (4 ingredients), quick strawberry shortcake or 8-minute microwave brownies?

What is chowder?

A chowder is a richly flavored soup that typically contains onion, potato and/or corn, and often a type of seafood or smoky sausage. Some have a tomato base instead of a cream base. Nowadays, there are lots of variations including the thickness of the soup.

bowl of shrimp corn chowder topped with homemade croutons.

More hearty soups

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟in the recipe card below. And if you REALLY like it, consider a review in the comments. Thanks very much!

bowl of shrimp corn chowder topped with homemade croutons.
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5 from 10 votes

Shrimp Corn Chowder Recipe (Loaded With Veggies)

Wonderfully textured, colorful, and flavorful shrimp corn chowder is a delicious rustic meal in a bowl. Add a smoky sausage or make a vegetarian version. Delish!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 meal size servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced onion (1/2 medium onion)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 2 small carrots, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 2 corn on cob, kernels sliced off (or 1 1/2 cups/210 grams frozen corn)
  • 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth, Note 1 for thickened broth (plus 1/2 cup/118 ml more if not using cream at the end)
  • 1/2 pound large fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined, cut in half (or frozen shrimp, thawed)

Seasonings, Note 2

  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH, dried oregano and kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or black pepper for less heat)

Optional (added at the end)

  • 1 cooked smoked sausage or hotdog, diced
  • 1/2 cup snap peas (strings removed), chopped
  • 1/2 cup half and half cream (or 1/4 cup heavy cream)
  • garnish: homemade croutons, Note 3, chopped green onions or parsley

Instructions

  • SAUTÉ VEGETABLES: Heat oil or butter in a medium to large pot to medium heat. Add onions, peppers, carrots, potatoes and celery. Stir for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent. Add garlic and stir for another 30 seconds.
  • ADD CORN, SEASONINGS AND BROTH: Stir in corn, seasonings and broth. (When bubbling, add cornstarch slurry if you want a thickened broth). Then lower heat to medium-low heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until potatoes and other vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally. Cook time will be shorter if you diced your veggies into small pieces and longer if pieces are bigger.
  • FINISH THE CHOWDER: Increase heat again to medium-high heat. When bubbling, add sausage (if using), snap peas (if using) and shrimp. Cook for about 3 minutes until shrimp are no longer translucent. If you like tender juicy shrimp, don't overcook them! Remove from heat and stir in cream if you like a creamy broth. Otherwise, add 1/2 cup/118 ml more broth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls and top with homemade or store-bought garlicky croutons and/or chopped parsley if desired.

Recipe Notes

  1. For a thicker broth: Stir 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch into 2 tablespoons water (to make a cornstarch slurry) and add it to the simmering broth for a thicker soup.
  2. Seasoning alternatives: Instead of the oregano, thyme and salt, try using 2 teaspoons of old bay seasoning. 
  3. To make homemade croutons (for 2-4): Cut 2 slices bread into 1/2 inch/1.3 cm pieces. Most breads will work. Stale is good but not essential. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan to medium heat. Add bread cubes in a single layer in pan. Sprinkle with salt (and garlic powder if desired). Continue to toast, stirring occasionally until nicely browned, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Variations
    • Vegetarian version: Leave out the shrimp. Add more snap peas and butternut squash or other vegetables you like. Flavor the soup with more fresh herbs.
    • Sausage or crispy bacon version:  Add a cut-up cooked sausage/hot dog (spicy or not) to the chowder for some smoky, intense flavor.  If using bacon, chop a few slices bacon into small pieces and fry until crisp as a first step in the recipe. Then remove all but 2 tablespoons of grease (instead of the butter or oil) and start the recipe from there.
    • Smooth, creamy soup version: Before adding shrimp, sausage, snap peas and cream, use an immersion blender to blend part or all of the vegetables. If using this version, the potato will act as a thickener for a creamy texture and you will not need to add any or as much cornstarch.
  5. Shortcuts
    • Buy peeled, deveined shrimp.
    • Instead of dicing the veggies by hand, you can do a rough chop by pulsing them briefly in a food processor.
    • Use a thin-skinned Yukon gold or red potato and skip the peeling.
    • Use frozen corn niblets.
    • Buy pre-strung, pre-washed sugar snap peas.
    • Use frozen garlic cubes.
  6. Make Ahead:
    • A few hours or a day or two ahead: Follow the recipe up until the point of adding the shrimp, sausage and snap peas.  The chowder may be refrigerated at this point. When ready to use, continue with the last step in the recipe (adding the shrimp). This way, the shrimp will remain plump, tender, and not overcooked. If you are adding cream for richness, add it at the end before serving.
    • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
    • Freezing: If you have added cream, I don’t suggest freezing the soup. If you haven’t, freeze the soup. Thaw before gently reheating it on the stove.  
Nutrition values are estimates and include low sodium broth and no optional add-ins (sausage, cream, snap peas). 

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 885mg | Potassium: 835mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1621IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

Adapted from Bev Cooks and similar recipes from The Blond Cook, Real Simple and Damn Delicious.

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