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Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder
19 votes, 4.79 avg. rating (94% score)
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Yield: 6 to 8 servings

The Shakers prepared chowders as a creative way to use what was fresh and on hand. This basic recipe for sweet potato corn chowder comes from Jeff Paige, the former chef at New Hampshire's Canterbury Shaker Village. "This is the method of preparation I use to create a number of wonderful corn-based chowders. By simply adding one or two new ingredients, like the sweet potatoes, you create a new and exciting twist on an old favorite.

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Sweet Potato Corn Chowder
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey


  • 1/2 pound smoked slab bacon, diced
  • 1-1/2 pounds red bliss potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (1/4-inch dice)
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock, or to cover
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, cooked until just tender
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


In a large soup pot, fry the bacon over medium heat just until it starts to crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, quarter and slice the red potatoes by hand or in a food processor, about 1/4-inch thick. Add the onions and bay leaves to the bacon, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully drain off half of the bacon grease and discard.

Add the sweet and red potatoes to the soup pot, add enough stock to cover the potatoes, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the brown sugar, corn, parsley, scallions, and cream, and cook until heated through, stirring often.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.

Updated Friday, December 6th, 2002

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13 Responses to Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

  1. June Gravel April 25, 2003 at 5:43 am #

    This is an excellent corn chowder! I have made it twice and it is definitely a keeper. Once the chowder has been chilled, you have the option of discarding all or some of the bacon fat, if desired.

  2. Christine Przybylowicz January 24, 2004 at 3:28 pm #

    My husband is the soup maker in the house. We changed it a little. We used 1 can vacuum packed corn, 1 can creamed corn and 1 5-ounce can evaporated milk. Excellent, less calories!! He has already made it 3 times.

  3. Susan Updike December 29, 2004 at 1:25 pm #

    This chowder is awesome! The brown sugar and sweet potato adds just a hint of sweetness. Can’t wait to serve this to company.

  4. Anonymous November 9, 2005 at 12:40 pm #

    This is also very good in the slow cooker if you cook the bacon and onions first. Then put in the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients and relax for 8 hours! Awesome flavor!

  5. Anonymous November 10, 2005 at 7:44 pm #

    I used the evaporated milk like 1 of the other ladies did. i gave a bowl to a friend and she said you can make that for me again. My husband loved it. Thanks

  6. Anonymous February 8, 2006 at 7:39 pm #

    This one is a keeper, right next to my grandmother’s chicken soup. I substituted condensed milk for the heavy cream, and it was simply delicious. I’ll definitely make it again.

  7. Anonymous November 6, 2007 at 2:04 pm #

    Too much fat–heavy cream and bacon….

  8. Cynthia Cicale February 16, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    I loved the chowder. I only made two minor changes. I added 1/2 cup more heavy cream and I eliminated the brown sugar. I thought it was sweet enough.

  9. Nancy Boardway January 10, 2013 at 12:08 am #

    This is the best!!!!

  10. Anonymous April 23, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    I like to follow recipes as closely as possible the first time I make them so I will really know what the recipe tastes like. Followed this recipe with the exceptions of using only 1/2 of the bacon, Klondike Gold potatoes and Half-n Half, because those were what I had on hand. Tasty soup, but wish I had not added the brown sugar as it made the soup way too sweet. A teaspoon of brown sugar might be in order, but certainly not 1/4 cup. Next time I will add brown sugar to taste.

  11. Anonymous December 7, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    I have made this recipe twice now and it has been a big hit both times. I doubled the recipe because I was serving a crowd. I added one cup of heavy cream, and one can of evaporated milk. I eliminated the sugar, and added more sweet potatoes and fewer red bliss. I also added some awesome roasted corn that I got from Trader Joes. Thank you for this wonderful recipe that is both delicious, and “gluten free”.

  12. Charlotte lee February 20, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

    Has anyone tried to make a chowder without dairy? I love it, but family members get sick with milk products.

    • Liz October 18, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

      Charlotte, puree some of the potatoes to give the soup a creamy texture without adding any dairy.

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