Skinny Corn Chowder with Poblano Peppers | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Monday, October 14, 2019

Skinny Corn Chowder with Poblano Peppers

Skinny Corn Chowder with Poblano Peppers is a rich thick chowder, with a lot less calories than the traditional corn chowder because it's made with milk and not heavy cream. The addition of poblano peppers gives it a slight heat that pairs perfectly with the thick, rich broth.

Whenever the weather starts to cool down, the soup making bug bites. This recipe for Skinny Corn Chowder with Poblano Peppers will satisfy those soup cravings in a most delicious way!

Healthy Corn Chowder

The other day, I stumbled upon a corn chowder recipe on Three Kids and a Fish. I was seriously drooling!

However, after I read the ingredients, I knew I'd need to make a few adjustments to the recipe to make it a bit more figure friendly for myself and my family. I set out to create a healthy corn chowder using milk (not cream) and reducing the butter in the original recipe. Just for fun, I decided to add mild poblano peppers to the soup to give it a bit of heat.

The end result, was a bowl of delicious creamy, corn chowder with a little kick. I promise you won't miss the heavy cream nor the extra butter.

A close up of a red mug with  Skinny Corn Chowder with Poblano Peppers by Renee's Kitchen Adventures and a spoon ready to eat

What's the difference between a soup and a chowder? 

You might wonder what the difference is between soup and chowder. According to Wikipedia, soup is made by boiling meat and or vegetables in some sort of stock or broth. Chowders, on the other hand, are a type of thick, chunky soup.  So a chowder is a type of soup, but not all soups are chowders. 

The word chowder comes from a French word describing the pot in which fisherman made their soup. Chowders often contain seafood, or corn with potatoes and onions with a creamy, thick base. 

Skinny Corn Chowder with Poblano Peppers by Renee's Kitchen Adventures two red cups with chowder in them on a blue and white checkered cloth

Frozen corn in corn chowder

Using frozen corn in this corn chowder recipe works perfectly fine! No need to go through the daunting task of cutting fresh kernels off of the cob. If you defrost the frozen corn first, you'll reduce the overall cook time. But, defrosting the corn is not necessary. 

While I love fresh corn on the cob, it's not always available year round and I'm the type of person who will always look for shortcuts to make my life easier. Using frozen corn in this recipe instead of fresh corn will made my life easier and it will make yours easier too!

I've actually made it both ways, and I really don't notice much of a difference. If you still prefer to use fresh corn on the cob for this chowder recipe, you certainly can replace the frozen corn with fresh. 

What to serve with Skinny Corn Chowder with Poblano Peppers

This vegetarian corn chowder is quite hearty and works well as a meal in itself. It's great with a garden salad and these Easy Peasy Buttermilk Biscuits served on the side. 

If you are looking for a good soup and sandwich combo, this corn chowder recipe pairs nicely with Southern Style Chicken Salad or an Easy Egg Salad Sandwich

There's always a huge debate in my house about what kind of soups are best! I tend to gravitate to creamy soups and chowders like this healthy corn chowder recipe, and my hubby will always go for more broth based soups like this Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls. Either way, soup always makes a good meal choice! 

You might also enjoy these delicious soups:
  • Skinny Zuppa Toscana Soup - An Olive Garden Copycat recipe with less fat and calories than the original but will all the taste you love!
  • Chicken N Dumplings - An easy, hearty, thick soup with easy homemade dumplings cooked right in the soup! 
  • Easy Vegetable Alphabet Soup - Straight out of your childhood, this homemade ABC soup will take you back in time! 

Skinny Corn Chowder with Poblano Peppers, corn chowder, corn chowder recipe, healthy corn chowder
Main Course, Soups, Vegetarian
Yield: 10 servings
Author: Renee Paj
Skinny Corn Chowder with Poblano Peppers

Skinny Corn Chowder with Poblano Peppers

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 55 Min
Skinny Corn Chowder with Poblano Peppers is a rich thick chowder, with a lot less calories than the traditional corn chowder because it's made with milk and not heavy cream. The addition of poblano peppers gives it a slight heat that pairs perfectly with the thick, rich broth.


  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cups peeled and diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1 large poblano pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups fat free, low sodium chicken stock ( I used Kitchen Basics)
  • 2 cups peeled and diced yukon gold potatoes
  • 4 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, warmed
  • a couple of dashes of hot sauce (optional)
  • fresh parsley, to garnish


  1. In 6 quart dutch oven, or other heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add in onion, carrots, and celery. Cook until vegetables begin to get tender and onion becomes translucent. Add in poblano pepper and garlic. Stir and cook until garlic becomes fragrant. Add in the dried thyme and some salt and pepper. (start with a tsp. salt and a 1/4 tsp. pepper, and you can adjust later)
  2. Add in 6 cups of stock, diced potatoes, and frozen corn. Bring to boil, then turn down to simmer. Continue to simmer until potatoes and the rest of the vegetables are fork tender.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan over med heat. Sprinkle in the flour and combine with a whisk. Whisk and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the warmed milk. Stir until the mixture is thickened. (about another 1 -2 minutes)
  4. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the simmering stock and stir to incorporate. Allow the chowder to cook until desired thickness.
  5. Taste for salt and pepper, add more as desired. Add in a few shakes of hot sauce, if desired. Garnish with fresh parsley.


The frozen corn doesn't have to be defrosted to use in this recipe, however, if you defrost it, the chowder will come to a boil quicker. This will help to reduce overall cook time. You can use fresh corn in this recipe in place of frozen corn. Add fresh corn as you would the frozen corn. The recipe calls for whole milk, but you can substitute 2% milk. It's good with both. A serving size is about 2 cups.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

12.14 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

5.90 g

Carbs (grams)

37.64 g

Fiber (grams)

4.28 g

Net carbs

33.36 g

Sugar (grams)

8.48 g

Protein (grams)

9.23 g

Sodium (milligrams)

440.98 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

26.87 mg

Nutritional Information is an estimate.

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @renees_kitchen_adventures on instagram and hashtag it #RKArecipes

Don't forget to pin Skinny Corn Chowder with Poblano Peppers to your Pinterest boards! 

Skinny Corn Chowder with Poblano Peppers by Renee's Kitchen Adventures pin for Pinterest with close up of soup in a red cup with a spoon and text overlay at the top

This recipe first appeared on Renee's Kitchen Adventures in September, 2014. It's been updated with more information and an easy to follow, printable recipe card. The recipe is unchanged from the original. 

Like what you see?  Follow RKA on all these social networks!!


  1. This looks and sounds so good Renee! The poblano peppers caught my attention right away. I know what you mean about the cold catching you off guard. Last night I was telling my husband the same thing. As if it isn't September in Ohio. LOL

    1. I think the poblano peppers really add a nice touch to this corn chowder, Tammy! I think you'd love it!

  2. Sounds delicious for this time of year. Catherine

    1. Thank you Catherine! It really is great for the cooler weather.

  3. Oh yum! Such a wonderful soup recipe!! Great flavors too!!

  4. Love the addition of the poblano peppers in this! Looks amazing! :)

  5. This looks so good, Renee! I could live on soup in the fall and winter. Love the addition of the poblano - they add so much flavor and not much heat. Perfect!

  6. This looks sooo good, but we are still sweltering here in FL! It will be another month before we see some relief from this horrendously hot and humid summer and then I'm going to make this delicious chowder! Holy goodness you had me when you said poblano pepper! I love 'em!! thanks for sharing!!

  7. You are slaying me with this! So yummy. It sounds fantastic. Seriously can't wait to make this corn chowder. I think I even have all the ingredients on hand. Lucky me!

  8. This is one of my favorite types of soups - now I don't have to feel guilty about eating it! Looks delicious!

  9. Your making me want to make soup! lol Ok, well, Chowder :) This looks yummy and sounds super flavorful Renee. I need to make some!

  10. This looks so yummy! You've got my craving chowder now!

  11. i am going to make this ,it looks so yummmy we love soup...


Thank you for visiting! Share what's on your mind and make my day! Make this recipe? I'd love to hear how it turned out for you! Share on social media with #RKArecipes