Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder

4.56 from 134 votes
1 hour 10 minutes
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Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder with Bacon and Gouda Cheese is total comfort in a bowl!  This creamy chowder with smoky roasted Poblano peppers, sweet corn, buttery Yukon gold potatoes, bacon and Gouda cheese will be your go-to comfort soup! You’ll also love my Potato Cheese Soup for more cheesy potato goodness!

“This was amazing! My husband said it was the best soup he ever had!”

Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder in white bowl garnished with cilantro sprigs with soup spoon inserted.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

This creamy, cheesy Poblano Corn Chowder is definitely not your average chowder! It’s jam-packed with smoky poblano peppers, sweet corn, buttery Yukon golds, crispy bacon and Gouda cheese!

Roasted poblano peppers are easy to do and add another layer of flavor to this delicious, soul-satisfying chowder.

This Poblano Corn Chowder recipe:

  • Has over 100 rave reviews and many more on Pinterest where it has been pinned over 100,000 times!
  • Is easy to make.
  • Can be made ahead of time and gently reheated on the stovetop.
  • Is freezer-friendly!

Let’s make it!

Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder in white bowl garnished with cilantro sprigs.

How to Make Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this poblano corn chowder recipe along with how to prep. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredients for Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Poblano Peppers: Poblano peppers are a mild variety of chile pepper and are believed to have originated in Puebla, Mexico, the town for which they are named. This mild pepper is grown and used extensively in Mexico and the southwestern United States. Although Poblanos can be eaten raw, Poblanos are best when roasted, peeled and seeded, which can be done more easily after roasting. Dried red poblano peppers are called ancho chile peppers.
  • Bacon: If you don’t consume pork, use turkey, beef or plant-based bacon.
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes: I like to use waxy potatoes such as Yukon gold in chowder and other soups because they don’t get crumbly after being cooked.  Starchy Russets tend to crumble and can get “whittled” away in soups and stews. Red potatoes may also be used and of course, use Russets if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Corn: I used frozen corn kerns which work perfectly, but if you have good fresh corn, by all means, use it.
  • Chicken Broth / Stock: Can also use vegetable broth.
  • Gouda Cheese: Gouda is a sweet, creamy, yellow cow’s milk cheese that originated in the Netherlands. It’s one of the oldest recorded cheeses still made today and is widely available at most grocery stores. It’s often recognizable by the red wax rind but that rind can vary in color based on the variety of gouda. The rind is easily removed by simply peeling it off.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • First, make the roasted Poblano peppers: By roasting the peppers, you’ll be coaxing a lot of flavor out of them so it’s worthwhile to do this extra step!  If you’re short on time and don’t want to roast the Poblanos, simply add them when cooking the onions and cook until soft.
    • Place peppers on a rimmed aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
    • Set a rack in your oven near the top–approximately eight inches away from the element works well. Preheat the broiler to high.
    • Place the sheet pan in the oven under the broiler. Broil until the top is blackened, approximately 8-10 minutes.  Turn them over and blacken the other side–approximately 5-6 minutes.
    • Immediately cover with aluminum foil or another rimmed baking sheet.  The steam created will help separate the skin from the flesh, making the peppers easier to peel.
    • Peel and remove the stem ends and as many seeds as possible. You want to resist the temptation to peel them under running water as you will rinse away flavor.
    • Chop and set aside until needed.
    • Here’s more detailed information on roasting fresh peppers and chiles:  How to Roast and Freeze Hatch Green Chiles
  • Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve the bacon drippings. (You should have approximately 2 tablespoons.)
Cooked, crisp bacon in blue Dutch oven.
  • Add oil and butter to the bacon drippings in the Dutch oven keeping the heat at medium. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for approximately 7 to 8 minutes or until softened.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook briefly or until fragrant, approximately 15 seconds.
  • Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender, approximately 15 to 18 minutes, or until you can easily pierce them with a paring knife.
Chicken broth and potatoes added to other ingredients in blue Dutch oven with hand stirring the soup with white mixing spoon.
  • Add the roasted and peeled Poblano peppers, corn and heavy cream and bring back to a low simmer.
Corn, roasted poblanos and cream added to blue Dutch oven with white mixing spoon.
  • Add Gouda cheese in small handfuls and stir each addition until the cheese has melted.
Cheese being added to soup in blue Dutch oven.
  • Add half the bacon, reserving the remainder for garnishing the chowder.
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper to taste.
Bacon added to soup in blue Dutch oven.
  • Serve in bowls, garnished with crumbled bacon, cilantro sprigs, diced avocado and lime wedges if desired.

Soup’s on!  Let’s eat!

Finished Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder in blue Dutch oven with soup ladle bacon, cilantro and lime wedges in small bowls.

Chef Tip:

  • Adding a small amount of canola or other oil to the bacon grease helps to increase the heat tolerance because the smoke point of bacon grease is only 325 degrees. That way, the onions, garlic and flour won’t burn.
  • When adding cheese to the poblano corn chowder, make sure the temperature is not too high. A temperature over 150 degrees F breaks down the protein in the cheese allowing too much of its moisture to escape. At a low simmer, gently toss in a small handful of cheese at a time. Whisk or stir the soup until each handful of cheese is thoroughly melted and incorporated before adding more.
Three bowls of Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder garnished with cilantro.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why do you add oil to the bacon grease?

Bacon grease has a smoke point of only 325 degrees so adding a small amount of canola or other oil helps to increase the heat tolerance. That way, the bacon grease, butter and subsequently the onions, garlic and flour won’t burn.

Can this poblano chowder recipe be made ahead of time?

Yes! This chowder recipe can be made 1-2 days ahead of time. Make the soup as directed, leaving half the bacon off the soup to use as a garnish when serving. Cool completely then reheat on the stovetop over low heat until heated through. Add the remaining bacon when ready to serve.

Can a poblano corn chowder be frozen?

Yes, this chowder can be frozen in airtight containers for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop, stirring frequently until the soup smooths out. (Soups with cream sometimes don’t look that great when thawed out but with gentle heating and stirring, it comes back together.)

Three bowls of Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder garnished with cilantro with a spoon inserted into one of them.

Storage:

  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • Can be frozen in airtight containers for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop, stirring frequently until the soup smooths out.

Serve with:

For more great, hearty soup recipes, be sure to try:

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Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder in white bowl garnished with cilantro sprigs.

Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder

4.56 from 134 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder with Bacon and Gouda Cheese is total comfort in a bowl!  This creamy chowder with smoky roasted Poblano peppers, sweet corn, buttery Yukon gold potatoes, bacon and Gouda cheese will be your go-to comfort soup!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine Southwestern / Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 637 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 large Poblano peppers - roasted, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (1 to 1 1/2 cups)
  • 8 slices bacon - cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil - or vegetable oil, if needed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic - chopped
  • 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes - scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 bag (12-ounce) frozen corn kernels - thawed under hot tap water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded Gouda cheese - (an 8-ounce wedge)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • Chopped cilantro, diced avocado, lime wedges - optional

Instructions
 

  • Roast the Poblanos: Place peppers on a rimmed aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Set a rack in your oven near the top–approximately 8 inches away from the element. Preheat the broiler to high. Place the sheet pan in the oven and broil until the top is blackened, approximately 8-10 minutes.  Turn the peppers over and blacken the other side–approximately 5-6 minutes. Immediately cover with aluminum foil or another rimmed baking sheet.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Peel and remove the stem ends and as many seeds as possible. Chop and set aside until needed.
  • Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve the bacon drippings.
  • Add oil and butter to the bacon drippings in the Dutch oven keeping the heat at medium. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 7-8 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook briefly or until fragrant, approximately 15 seconds.
  • Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender, approximately 15-18 minutes.
  • Add the roasted and peeled peppers, corn and heavy cream and bring back to a simmer. Add Gouda cheese in small. handfuls and stir each addition until the cheese has melted.
  • Add half the bacon, reserving the remainder for garnishing the chowder.
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Serve in bowls, garnished with crumbled bacon, cilantro sprigs, diced avocado and lime wedges if desired.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD:  Can be made 1-2 days ahead of time. Make the soup as directed, leaving half the bacon off the soup to use as a garnish when serving. Cool completely then reheat on the stovetop over low heat until heated through. Add the remaining bacon when ready to serve.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Can be frozen in airtight containers for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop, stirring frequently until the soup smooths out.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 637kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 1549mg | Potassium: 1006mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1650IU | Vitamin C: 157mg | Calcium: 636mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.56 from 134 votes (120 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




66 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This dish came out amazing. The only thing I did different was add white cheddar. Sadly I did not have Gouda, which I love. My 12 year old son loves this dish! I will make this again, and use gouda. 👍

  2. 5 stars
    This is an outstanding recipe! I used poblano peppers from my garden and substituted Muenster cheese because I couldn’t find any Gouda. My husband requested that this recipe be added to the rotation!

  3. 5 stars
    I added crab and old bay to this and it was FANTASTIC!!! I also used half smoked and half regular Gouda. This recipe is a keeper!!

  4. We are gluten free so don’t typically use flour. Would there be a good substitute or alternate way to thicken?

    1. Hi, Emilee, Thanks so much for your great question! If I’m cooking for a gluten-free personal chef client, I generally use sweet rice flour which is also known as Mochiko. Here’s a link to some information about it. Sweet Rice Flour It thickens better than traditional rice flour. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

    1. Hi, Katelyn, Thanks so much for your question. I haven’t made it in a slow cooker, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be. If you give it a try, please let me and my readers know how it went. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi, Geri, Thanks so much for your question. You absolutely can use red skin potatoes. Sometimes I choose the Yukon Golds for things and other times the red. Just depends on what I’m making and how I want it to look. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  5. 5 stars
    Poblano are our go to pepper for any recipe. This is fabulous! I added 1 tsp. Of cumin, 1/2 tsp of oregano and a couple of bay leaves to the seasoning mix. For those who need protein like my family. I roasted 4 chicken thighs, shredded them and added prior to serving. Garnished with a lime wedge, served hot rolls and a nice green salad. Wonderful aroma, excellent taste. A keeper for sure! Loved the smoked gouda!

    1. ABSOLUTELY love this recipe. My twist on this delicious recipe is that I smoked my Poblanos after I roasted them and I’ll tell you wowza what a winner. My only problem is I made to much ( I know not really a problem haha ) but is this freezable ? Thanks for your delicious recipes.

      1. Hi, Douglas, Thanks so much and I LOVE your suggestion about smoking the Poblanos. Our Poblanos didn’t do very well last year but we had a bumper crop two years ago. Hoping for another bumper crop this year and I’m definitely going to give that a try! I think this soup will be fine after being frozen as I’ve frozen other soups with potatoes in them. It might look “iffy” after thawing, but gently heating and stirring will bring it all back together. Thanks again and so glad you enjoyed!

    1. Hi, Leandra, Thanks for your question. It will reheat beautifully in a slow-cooker. Because of the potatoes and cheese, low and slow is the best way to go!

  6. Oh my goodness…yum!! This looks so amazing! I cant wait to make this recipe!! Thanks for sharing and your photos are beautiful!

  7. This chowder looks like our kind of comfort food. My husband and I we are both fighting a cold, so that would be perfect! Love the roasted poblano peppers, I don’t work with them often, I need to! Beautiful pictures, too, Carol!

  8. This chowder sounds so comforting, and your pictures are beautiful. Poblanos and Yukon golds are two of my favorites. They would make a great combo! Plus, you can’t go wrong when bacon is involved. 🙂