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Spicy Sausage Corn Chowder

My spicy sausage corn chowder recipe will warm you up for sure! It’s easy to make and feeds a crowd or makes enough for leftovers.

two bowls of spicy sausage corn chowder with a green napkin

Cold nights call for delicious hot meals.

I actually have dreams where I’m eating big bowls of steaming soup in front of a fireplace.

I do not have a fireplace but if I did I would make these dreams come true.

Do you have that good-soup-craving too? You can go the soup or chili route – you know we’ve both been there before.

My favorite soups include my 3-ingredient black bean soup, leek and blue cheese soup, and my roasted garlic tomato soup.

I also love chili. Favorites here include my buffalo sauce chili.

But chowder…. oh man, chowder. CHOWDER – you warm my heart in so many places.

Chicken potato chowder? Winner. Shrimp potato chowder? Gold medal holder.

And this spicy sausage corn chowder – easy to make and delicious. Soon to be your all-time favorite.

spicy sausage corn chowder in a dutch oven

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Spicy Sausage Corn Chowder

I almost always cook soup in cast iron dutch ovens these days. They may seem a little heavy but the cleanup is pretty easy.

Chowder is not exactly soup – it is much heartier and fills you up. Serve it with crusty bread and a salad.

What’s the difference between corn chowder and corn soup?

Corn chowder is a hearty dish that typically incorporates milk or cream to create a thick and rich texture.

It often features additional ingredients like potatoes, bacon, or sausage, enhancing flavor and substance.

Corn chowder is known for its chunky and filling nature.

On the other hand, corn soup is a lighter and more brothy option.

It lacks dairy, resulting in a thinner consistency, and mainly focuses on corn as the central ingredient, sometimes with added seasonings and herbs.

close up photo of spicy sausage corn chowder

What ingredients do I need to make this chowder?

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – A small amount of high-quality olive oil is the cooking fat and imparts a subtle fruity flavor. It’s used to sauté the diced onions and celery at the beginning, adding depth and richness to the chowder’s base.
  • Yellow Onion – Yellow onions provide a sweet and mild flavor to the chowder. They serve as an aromatic ingredient when sautéed in olive oil.
  • Celery – Celery adds a refreshing, slightly crisp texture and a subtle earthy flavor to the chowder. It complements the other ingredients and contributes to the overall balance of flavors and textures.
  • Potatoes – Potatoes are a key ingredient, lending a creamy texture and hearty thickness to the chowder. They also absorb the chowder flavors.
  • Chicken Stock or Broth – Chicken stock or broth forms the liquid base of the chowder, providing a savory and rich foundation. 
  • Thyme Sprigs – Fresh thyme sprigs infuse the chowder with a subtle herby aroma and flavor. They are typically added whole and removed before serving.
  • Loose Spicy Italian Sausage – Spicy Italian sausage contributes a kick of heat and a robust, savory flavor to the chowder. It’s browned and crumbled before being added to the soup, enhancing the chowder with its spiciness and overall depth of taste.
  • Corn – Corn kernels, whether fresh or frozen, bring a sweet, crisp, and slightly nutty flavor to the chowder. They add a pop of color and delightful freshness to each spoonful.
  • Heavy Cream or Milk – Heavy cream or milk provides the chowder with its creamy texture and helps balance the sausage’s spiciness. It rounds out the flavors and adds a comforting richness to the dish.

Tip for sautéing onions and celery: onions are cooked/soft when they turn translucent. Celery is cooked when it becomes bright green. 

spicy sausage corn chowder in a white bowl

How do you make spicy corn chowder?

Start by heating olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.

Once the oil is hot, add finely diced onions and celery and sauté them until they become translucent, usually taking 1 to 2 minutes.

Next, add the diced potatoes, chicken stock, and a few sprigs of fresh thyme to the Dutch oven.

I usually peel the potatoes because I have trouble scrubbing them enough to make me happy.

I’ve heard a little dirt never hurt anyone but I can’t get on that train.

Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil.

Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork.

Scroll down to see the full recipe below!

While the potatoes are simmering, cook the Italian sausage in a separate medium-sized pan.

Break the sausage apart with a spoon as it cooks, and stir occasionally.

Once the meat has browned nicely, remove it from the heat.

Transfer the cooked Italian sausage to the Dutch oven with the potato mixture using a slotted spoon.

Then, add the corn to the pot and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

To complete the chowder, pour in the cream and stir until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined and warmed.

Just before serving, remove the stems of the thyme for a smoother dining experience.

a piece of crusty bread being dipped into a bowl of spicy sausage corn chowder

What kind of sausage should I use?

I use loose spicy sausage in this chowder recipe. It *may* be hard to find loose sausage at your local grocery store.

If you can’t find loose sausage, you have two options.

  • Check the butcher counter.
  • Buy sausages in casing and remove the sausage meat from the casing.

To do this, cut a slit down the length of the sausage with a paring knife.

It’s pretty easy to do a great alternative to buying loose sausage meat.

If you can’t find spicy sausage, buy mild sausage.

Then add a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the sausage meat when you start cooking it.

single bowl of spicy sausage corn chowder

What should I serve with spicy sausage corn chowder?

I highly recommend buying some crusty bread and dipping it into the spicy chowder broth.

OMG. Heaven.

If you are cutting back on the carbs, a small side salad, chock full of vegetables is a great alternative. 

You can’t go wrong with either option.

close up photo of spicy sausage corn chowder in a white bowl

What kind of corn should I use?

You may be able to tell from the photos that I used fresh corn.

Placing the corn in a small bowl, I used a chef’s knife to remove the corn from the cobs. It was pretty easy to do.

Canned corn and frozen corn are also options.

If using canned corn, make sure you drain it well. If using frozen corn, you have two options.

One – add the corn 5 minutes early to give it time to defrost.

Two – defrost the corn by pouring it into a colander and running water over it.

spicy sausage corn chowder pin
two bowls of spicy sausage corn chowder with a green napkin

Spicy Sausage Corn Chowder

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

My spicy sausage corn chowder recipe will warm you up for sure! It's easy to make and feeds a crowd or makes enough for leftovers.


  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 4 cups peeled, diced potato
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 pound loose spicy Italian sausage
  • 1.5 cups corn
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or milk)


  1. In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and celery. Sauté until translucent (1-2 minutes.)
  2. Add the potatoes, chicken stock, and thyme to the dutch oven. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Add the Italian sausage to a medium pan. Break apart the sausage with a spoon and stir occasionally. When the sausage is brown, remove from heat.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked sausage to the dutch oven. Add the corn and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cream, stirring until all ingredients are combined and warmed again. Remove the thyme stems before serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 469Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 670mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 19g

Did you make this recipe?

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Monday 22nd of August 2022

Absolutely delicious! It’s even better the next day ( if you make a double batch of course). Will be making it again next month for sure ! It’s so easy to make and a new family staple.


Thursday 20th of January 2022

Is Italian sausage similar to spicy sausage? Could you substitute it?


Monday 1st of November 2021

I planned to make this dinner, but quickly realized that I didn't have sausage on hand. However, I had chorizo on hand and decided to use it. It was DELICIOUS!

Kathy S

Sunday 31st of October 2021

This is really delicious! I used a can of corn with poblano and red peppers. Definately making this for my work potluck . Thanks for this recipe!


Wednesday 6th of October 2021

Loved it. Only thing I changed is I cooked my sausage first removed the cooked sausage and cooked my onions celery in the drippings. No need to waste free flavor :)


Friday 14th of October 2022

@Rebecca, I also used the sausage first method and this recipe turned out absolutely divine! Will definitely be adding this to the rotation!

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