Chicken corn chowder is a favorite, hearty cold weather soup. Add some chipotle peppers, adobo sauce and a bit of pumpkin for a whole new easy slow cooker cold weather favorite!
Originally published in October 2014; updated September 2018
There is nothing more soul-warming than a chunky chowder filled with potatoes, corn, and chicken; except one made smoky-spicy with Chipotle en Adobo, and creamy with the fall addition of pumpkin puree.
An easy recipe to put together in a slow cooker, this chowder greets the cold weather chill with gusto!
The recipe is gluten-free or gluten-filled based on the flour used.
What is the Difference Between a Soup and Chowder?
Simply put, a chowder is a type of soup that is thick with chunky ingredients. ‘Chowder’ is most often associated with clams, closely followed by corn.
The true definition of a chowder is a rich stew often made with milk or cream, usually containing seafood or vegetables, and including potatoes and onions. It is often thickened by broken up crackers or bread as well.
If you love loads of texture, chowders are the soup for you!
What is in this Chicken Corn Chowder?
Loads of tasty ingredients go into making this Spicy Pumpkin Chicken Corn Chowder the mouthwatering comfort food recipe it is!
The soup base is a combination of cream and chicken stock, thickened with a bit of flour (regular or gluten-free).
The spicy ingredient is some canned chipotle pepper with some of the adobo sauce from the can. It brings a bit of spice and a smoky flavor that make this chicken corn chowder really special.
NOTE to gluten-free eaters: always check the ingredients on the can of Chipotle in Adobo as some brands do add wheat.
Why make THIS Chicken Corn Chowder?
This recipe has all the qualities of a great chowder. It’s thick, rich, and hearty with satisfying textures.
In addition the pumpkin adds a depth of flavor as do the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce.
Now the favorite chicken corn chowder comfort food delivers exciting flavor, a bit of spicy and a beautiful color too.
Pumpkin in the Chicken Corn Chowder: A note of Encouragement for Pumpkin Haters
I know there are pumpkin haters out there. And to you I say ‘don’t fear the pumpkin in this chowder’!
A secret about winter squash for those who are lesser fans is that combining the sweetness of the squash with the smoky, spiciness of chipotle, tames the flavor.
You can taste it but this chicken corn chowder does not taste ‘pumpkin-y’ in a way pumpkin haters fear.
When I first made the recipe and later asked my kids what they thought of the pumpkin in the recipe they looked at my quizzically and asked ‘there is pumpkin in here?!’.
Testimonial from a Pumpkin Hater
I have a long-time reader and friend who was dubious and frankly resistant to trying this recipe when it was first published. It took a lot of convincing to get her to try it.
She even needed to hear from my daughter that it didn’t taste pumpkin-y before making the recipe the first time.
She loved the chowder and now emails every time she makes it for visiting friends or family, which is often, recounting how much she loves the recipe. She also passes out the recipe to others like candy on Halloween. Love that.
Trust me and try it if you normally steer clear of savory pumpkin recipes. I think you will be happily surprised with this chowder.
How to Make it – Step by Step:
Step 1: The onions are sautéed in a skillet and set aside.
Steps 2-4: Cubed potatoes and corn are added to the slow cooker, (3) tossed with flour and (4) layered to cover the bottom of the slow cooker.
Step 5: The onions are scattered on top of the potatoes and corn, followed by the chicken.
Step 6: Next the combined broth and pureed pumpkin. Last the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce are added to the slow cooker.
The chicken corn chowder is cooked on HIGH for 4-6 hours until the potatoes are softened. The cream is poured in and salt and pepper added to taste.
The Spicy Pumpkin Chicken Corn Chowder is ready to be served and may be garnished with a bit of cooked, crumbled bacon and torn cilantro leaves if desired.
Check out our Easy Dinner Recipes section for more great recipe ideas!
More Recipes You’ll Love!
- Chicken Adobo (Fillipino recipe)
- Jalapeno Corn Chicken Chowder
- Potato Corn Chowder – Instant Pot recipe
- Instant Pot Mashed Chipotle Sweet Potatoes
- Easy Chicken Soup recipes
- Tex Mex Potato Soup (Instant Pot recipe)
Slow Cooker Spicy Pumpkin Chicken Corn Chowder
- 1 cup Red Onion , chopped
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 pound Red New Potatoes , scrubbed and cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 cup Frozen Corn Kernels
- ¼ cup Flour (gluten-free or regular)
- 6 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- 2 cups Rotisserie Chicken , shredded (home cooked chicken may also be used)
- 1 15- ounce can Pumpkin (unseasoned); or the equivalent homemade
- 1 canned Chipotle Pepper , diced
- 1 teaspoon Adobo Sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers)
- ¼ cup Heavy Cream
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Optional Garnish: crumbled bacon and torn cilantro leaves
- In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium high. Add the chopped onions and sauté until the onions are translucent. Set aside.
- Add the potatoes and corn to the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle with the flour and toss to fully coat the potatoes and corn. Spread evenly on the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Add the sautéed onions evenly on top of the potatoes and corn, followed by the chicken.
- Combine the broth and the pumpkin; gently stirring to combine them. Top with the chopped chipotle pepper and adobo sauce in the slow cooker.
- Cook on high between 4-6 hours until the potatoes are soft. Stir in the cream. Salt and pepper for taste. Add garnish if desired and serve.
- Garnish with crumbled bacon and torn cilantro if desired!