Dinner Freezer Meals Make Ahead - Heat & Serve Recipes

Corn and Squash Chowder – A Perfect Summer Soup

A white crock of chowder with zucchini cubes, yellow corn kernels and cubed potatoes peeking out the surface.
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Are you still looking around your grocery store and seeing zucchini on every outpost like I am? It grows like weeds in these summer months and I just can’t get enough of it. It’s like the slogan for Frank’s Red Hot, “I put that sh on everything!”

Even though it’s hot outside, I still like my dinners hot (most of the time.) And since soup is a great kid-friendly dinner that can be easy to make, why save it only for winter? Using in-season ingredients like sweet corn and summer squash make this chowder taste summery and light and can be a welcome change to the dinner routine.

This Corn and Squash Chowder is creamy but not heavy. Made with a chicken broth base it is the perfect balance of airy and hearty. It’s also kept fresh by not adding a ton of spices and seasonings. The corn and squash get to shine as the main flavors of this soup. Con and Squash Chowder is like summer in bowl.

About the Ingredients for Corn and Squash Chowder

Butter – for sautéing the vegetables.

Zucchini – 2 small or 1 very large zucchini should be enough. Leave the skin on but cut off the stem and then dice it small.

Corn – corn is abundant where her on Long Island so 4 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut off the cob, is what I use. You could alternatively use 2 cans of sweet corn, drained.

Onion – keeping with our flavor theme of sweetness, use a sweet yellow onion. Its mellow flavor will compliment the corn and squash rather than overpower it.

Potatoes – baby potatoes are great because they don’t need much chopping or peeling. Just halve them; or quarter the larger ones.

Seasonings – bay leaf, salt and pepper.

Chicken Broth – this is the soup base so you’ll need a lot; 4 cups.

Milk – rather than heavy cream, I use milk for this chowder to keep it a little lighter. 1% milk is just enough fat to thicken things up but not weigh down the chowder.

FlourWondra is a home cook’s best friend. It’s a super fine flour that mixes in to soups, sauces and gravies super quick. It basically keeps things from getting clumpy and lumpy. If you’ve never tried it, today is your day. You’ll never go back. (If you want to just use what you have though I get it. All-purpose flour will do the trick too.)

A white crock of chowder with zucchini cubes, yellow corn kernels and cubed potatoes peeking out the surface.

How to Make Corn and Squash Chowder

Prepare the Vegetables

Begin by cutting the zucchini, corn and onion. Cut off the stems of the zucchini and dice it into bite size pieces. Using a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels from the cob by standing the corn on its flat end and slicing straight down from the top of the ear. Then peel and dice the onion.

Melt a little butter in a heavy bottom pot. (The heavy bottom will get extra hot and give that nice golden char to the veggies for extra color and flavor.) Add the corn and zucchini to the hot butter and cook for about 10 minutes until they start to char. Then remove the vegetables to a bowl and set them aside.

If the pot is a little dry, add a swirl of olive oil and then add the diced onion. Cook the onion for a few minutes until it softens.

Boil the Potatoes

Add the potatoes to the onion and then pour in the chicken stock. As you bring the stock to a boil, season the soup by adding a bay leaf, salt and pepper. Boil the potatoes until they’re tender; about 10 minutes. You can test them by gently sticking them with a fork. The fork should go into the potato easily but the potato shouldn’t crumble (then you’ve over done it.)

Thicken the Broth

Measure out your milk into a large measuring cup. Stir the flour right into the cold milk with whisk. Continue whisking until the mixture is smooth. Pour the milk mixture into soup while whisking the chowder. Things should stay nice and smooth.

Bring your chowder back to a simmer and continue to cook, whisking occasionally, until the soup thickens. This should take about 5 minutes. It will get noticeably thicker and creamier.

Now add back your corn and squash and taste for salt and pepper.

A white crock of chowder with zucchini cubes, yellow corn kernels and cubed potatoes peeking out the surface. Long chives are piled across the top of the soup.

Recipe Substitutions & Variations

Make Your Corn and Squash Chowder a One Pot Meal

Corn and Squash Chowder is delicious and hearty but it’s a little too light to be a meal on it’s own, at least for the big appetites in my family. But you could certainly beef it up by adding some protein and then you’ll have yourself a one pot meal.

Shredded chicken, either left over or from a store-bought rotisserie chicken, would be great in this summer soup. Just shred the chicken and throw it in at the end when you add back the cooked corn and squash.

Sweet Italian sausage could also be a delicious addition. The best way to do this would be to cook the sausage meat to a crumble in the pot before you begin the remainder of the recipe. Remove the sausage to a plate and set it aside. Then continue on with the recipe as written and add the sausage back to the soup at the end when you add back the cooked corn and squash.

Make Ahead Instructions

Corn and Squash Chowder can easily be made ahead of time and reheated later. Store your soup in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and reheat it on the stove when you’re ready to eat. I don’t recommend microwaving this chowder because of the milk, which is easy to burn and curdle under the high heat of the microwave.

A white crock of chowder with zucchini cubes, yellow corn kernels and cubed potatoes peeking out the surface.

Freezer Meal Instructions

Once your Corn and Squash Chowder has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to freezer safe containers. Leave a little extra room at the top of the container for the soup to expand as it freezes. Freeze the chowder for up to 2 months.

To defrost Corn and Squash Chowder simply place the sealed containers in a large mixing bowl and then fill the bowl with room temperature water. Let the soup containers sit in the water bath for 1-2 hours or until totally defrosted. Then pour the soup into a pot on the stove over medium low heat until heated through.

The Recipe for Corn and Zucchini Chowder

The recipe is attached below for easy downloading and printing.  If you test it out be sure to leave a note in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you thought. Serve your Corn and Zucchini Chowder with a Beer Can Chicken and a roasted vegetable to complete your meal. Enjoy!

A white crock of chowder with zucchini cubes, yellow corn kernels and cubed potatoes peeking out the surface.

Corn and Squash Chowder

This Corn and Squash Chowder is creamy but not heavy. Made with a chicken broth base it is the perfect balance of airy and hearty. It's also kept fresh by not adding a ton of spices and seasonings. The corn and squash get to shine as the main flavors of this soup. Con and Squash Chowder is like summer in bowl.
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 small zucchini squash
  • 4 ears corn shucked
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 lb baby potatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup flour preferably Wondra
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions
 

  • Remove the stems of the 2 small zucchini squash and dice small.
  • Stand an ear of corn on its flat end. Using a sharp knife, slice down each side to remove the kernels. Repeat this step for all 4 ears corn.
  • Melt 2 tbsp butter in a heavy bottom pot over medium high heat, then add the zucchini and corn. Cook until the vegetables start to char, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When done remove the corn and zucchini to a bowl and set aside.
  • While the corn and zucchini cook, peel and dice 1/2 yellow onion and halve 1 lb baby potatoes.
  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the hot pot and add the onion. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
  • When the onion is cooked, add the cut potatoes, 1 bay leaf, 4 cups chicken broth, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper to the pot. Bring the broth to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  • While the soup simmers, pour the 2 cups milk into a large measuring cup or bowl. Whisk 1/2 cup flour into the milk.
  • Once the potatoes are tender, whisk the milk mixture into the soup. Continue whisking as the liquid comes back to a simmer and then thickens. This should take about 5 minutes.
  • Taste the chowder for salt and pepper and remove the 1 bay leafay leaf.

Notes

About the flour: Ideally, you should use Wondra for the flour in this recipe. It’s a super fine flour that mixes in to soups, sauces and gravies super quick. It basically keeps things from getting clumpy and lumpy. If you’ve never tried it, today is your day. You’ll never go back. (If you want to just use what you have though I get it. All-purpose flour will do the trick too.)
Make ahead instructions: Corn and Squash Chowder can easily be made ahead of time and reheated later. Store your soup in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and reheat it on the stove when you’re ready to eat. I don’t recommend microwaving this chowder because of the milk, which is easy to burn and curdle under the high heat of the microwave. 
Keyword chowder, soup

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