Shrimp Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder is one of those recipes that you must make when sweet corn is in season.  We are fortunate to live near several local farms and fresh corn is just a five minute drive up the road.  You can make this chowder with shrimp, crab, chicken or even meatless.  It’s ready to enjoy in about 90 minutes.

Now I know you are asking, can’t I make this with frozen corn?  You can, but you will be missing a key flavor component in the recipe.  The base of this chowder is made from the corn cobs.  After the kernels are stripped, the cobs are simmered to make a stock.  You can substitute chicken broth and use frozen corn, but seriously, try it this way.  It is very, very good!

6 Servings


  • 6 ears of corn
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 Maine white potatoes peeled and diced (use young, thin skinned or waxy potatoes)
  • 12 oz. raw shrimp in the shell
  • 4 oz. gluten free bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp. sweet rice flour
  • 1 cup gluten free low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • paprika
  • Old Bay® seasoning
  • smoked sea salt (optional but very good)


Strip the corn kernels from the cob and refrigerate (you should have about 4 cups).  An easy way to do this is to stand the corn straight up on a cutting board and run a sharp knife down the sides.

Peel and devein the shrimp, reserving the shells.

Place the cobs in a stock pot with the reserved shells, 6 cups of water and 1 tsp. salt.  Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Discard the corn cobs and strain the corn stock through a fine mesh sieve, or use cheese cloth.  You should have about 4 cups.  Add 1 cup chicken broth, or enough to total 5 cups of liquid.

Heat a Dutch oven over medium low and cook the shrimp in 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter for 2-3 minutes, just until you get a little pink color on both sides.  Remove from the pot, sprinkle with Old Bay and set aside to cool.  Refrigerate the shrimp until serving time.

Discard any liquid remaining in the Dutch oven and wipe clean.  Add the bacon and cook until crisp, stirring frequently.  Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving the fat.

Add the onions to the pot with the reserved bacon fat along with 1 tbsp. of butter.  Cook for 15  minutes, stirring frequently.  The onions should be nicely browned and caramelized.

Quickly sprinkle the rice flour over the onions and whisk constantly as you stream in the stock.  Add the potatoes, corn kernels, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves, and more Old Bay.  Simmer on low until the potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.

When ready to serve, gently warm the chowder over low heat.  Chop the shrimp, leaving a few whole for a nice presentation.  Add back the reserved shrimp, with 1/2 cup of half and half.  Cover and heat through, 5 minutes more.

Serve in shallow bowls and garnish with crumbled bacon and fresh thyme.  For a special treat I added a skewer of grilled scallops.

This hearty chowder will provide a filling meal for lunch or light dinner.  Like most soups, it is even better (and thicker) the next day.

Notes: ♪♫  For a perfect accompaniment to this hearty chowder, check out my homemade gluten free oyster crackers!

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