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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Recipe Rating




66 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love it. Like others there was a surprising amount of kick to the peppers. Next time I would cut back on them by a third to suit some of my family. Otherwise, yum!

    1. Hi, Cheryl, Thanks so much and happy you enjoyed!! Poblanos can vary; you probably got some good fresh ones! Thanks again and I appreciate your taking the time to come back and comment.

  2. 5 stars
    Excellent. The poblano had a little more kick than I anticipated. I substituted cannellini beans for the potatoes and half-and-half for the cream and it turned out very very good.

    1. Hi, Linda, Thanks so much and happy you enjoyed! Cannellini beans are a great substitute for the potatoes. Appreciate your taking the time to come back and comment.

  3. 5 stars
    I used smoked Gouda in the recipe which of course added a smokiness to it. Love this recipe! One of the best soups I ever made. The poblanos were from my garden and had a surprising amount of heat for being picked in October! But I like heat so was perfect!

    1. Hi Tara, Thanks for your question. Those are affiliate links but I do love Wusthof which is why I link to them. The Santoku is the best knife I’ve ever used. Thanks again!

    1. Hi, Ciara, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, you can do that. Stir a tablespoon or two into the cream when you add it then bring to a simmer to thicken it up. I haven’t tested it with corn starch so can’t give you the exact amount right now. You could also take some of the liquid out of the soup, add the corn starch then add it back in. Thanks so much and hope you enjoy!

    2. 5 stars
      Amazing flavor! i used my emulsifier on the garlic and onion before adding the potatoes. I had roasted the garlic and peppers together. This soup is so satisfying! Served it with cornbread. Best dinner in a long time!

  4. 3 stars
    I made it, following recipe to the letter. It looked and tasted amazing for about 10 minutes then the cream broke and separated and I was left with a thin soup instead of the creamy chowder I started with.

    1. Hi, Melissa, Thanks so much for your feedback. Have not heard that before. The cream gets added at the end, then just a short simmer and the cheese gets added. Can’t say what happened. Sorry that happened!

    2. 5 stars
      Excellent recipe; I’d say prep time is a bit more than listed but then again I was interrupted by family a million times… I did make it vegetarian for my daughter but cooked the bacon separately to add for the rest of us and it was good without it and even better with it. I did add some flavor with cumin, smoked paprika, and a garlic/onion powder combo, otherwise I think it would have been a bit bland, but I spice up most recipes. I also used smoked Gouda which is great in this recipe. Definitely a keeper!!

      1. Hi, Dorothy, Thanks so very much and so happy you and your family enjoyed! Appreciate your taking the time to come back and comment.

  5. 4 stars
    I love this recipe! It is so flavorful! It was a little too spicy for my group so I didn’t uses as many peppers. Roasted the corn in the house on the grill to add extra flavor. Very delicious.

    1. Hi, Jackie, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, you can. It may not be quite the same, but just thaw and very gently reheat on the stovetop in a saucepan and stir it often. Thanks so much!!

  6. I’ve made this numerous times with raves from all who ate it! The only diversion from your recipe is I used the bacon grease to cook the onions and garlic …. Why wipe it all out just to add more fat to cook the veggies? It just adds another layer into the flavors!

    1. Hi, Rhonda and thanks so very much! Great point about the bacon grease. When I developed the recipe, I was concerned about the saturated fat content with the cheese and the cream but you’re right about it adding another layer of flavor. Thanks again and glad you and everyone enjoys!

      1. 5 stars
        Love this chowder! My sons and their families love it! The first time I made it, all I had was smoked Gouda. It was delicious and it’s the cheese I always use now. Thanks for the recipe 😊

    2. I too would use bacon grease. Can’t wait to make this! Any suggestions for a Gouda replacement? I’m not a fan. Otherwise looks amazingly delicious as poblanos are my favorite!

      1. Hi, Linda, Thanks so much and happy you’re excited to make this! Are you okay with white cheddar? I would suggest that or a Mexican cheese blend. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  7. Hi there! Love this recipe! Making it for a friend, but they don’t do spicy. Can you leave the poblano out? Thoughts? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Judee, Thanks so much for your question! Can they do green bell pepper? I would do that in place of the Poblano or even red or yellow bell pepper. Thanks again and hope that helps!

  8. 5 stars
    I made this last night, and it was delicious. My husband even loved it. Nice to know chicken can be added to it too, but he loved it as is. Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe!

    1. Hi, Nancy, Thanks so much for your question. Monterey jack cheese would make a great substitute; it’s very mild but melts nicely. You could also use a shredded Mexican cheese blend as that generally melts very nicely. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  9. 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. 👍