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Crab and corn chowder recipe

Crab and corn chowder is the perfect late summer dinner. This hearty chowder gets a bit of sweetness from the fresh summer corn and sweet crab meat. It is a creamy, filling and delicious one pot meal.

A quick and easy soup recipe for dinner, it is ready in about 45 minutes, and it feeds a crowd. Fresh sweet corn and the cobs give this chowder a ton of flavor, along with aromatics like onions and celery. Serve with chopped chives for a simple herb garnish.

Crab and corn chowder in shallow white bowls on wooden table top with antique spoons.

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Seafood chowder

We’re big seafood lovers in our house. I’ve liked just about any kind of seafood, especially crab, since I was a kid, so this is not new territory.

If you are also a crab lover, this is the meal for you.

Overhead photo of bowl of chowder with fresh corn and crab meat on wooden table.

It fills you up, but doesn’t leave you feeling heavy, like some thick soups can. The broth is creamy, but not so thick that you can stand a spoon up in it, which is just how I like it.


For our corn and crab chowder, we’re keeping the flavors pretty straight-forward, which allows the crab and the corn to shine.

They are the stars of this dish and I don’t want any strong flavors to compete with that. Fresh crabmeat is not inexpensive, so I don’t want to cover up that delicate, sweet flavor.

Ingredients for crab and corn chowder on gray marble background.

How to make crab and corn chowder

When making meals like this – whether it is chowder, soups or stews, it’s all about layering flavors. The first step in this crab and corn chowder is to sauté the onions and celery in a bit of butter.

I use my Le Creuset Dutch oven for this. It is my go-to pot for any kind of soup or chili.

Roux with celery and onions in red Dutch oven pot.

Then, sprinkle in a bit of flour to make a roux. This helps to thicken the chowder and give it a bit of body.

Next, the stock goes in and we’ll let that simmer with the corn cobs to get every last bit of flavor out of them.

Chowder with corn cobs in red pot.

After about 30 minutes, the corn cobs have done their job and they can be discarded. Now that we have a super flavorful base, we can start adding the rest of our chowder ingredients.

Ladle full of crab and corn chowder with pot of chowder underneath.


Got chowder questions? I’ve got answers.

Can I use frozen corn?

Absolutely. The only change to the recipe will be the lack of corn cobs to give the base of your chowder a bit more flavor.

Can I freeze this chowder?

I don’t recommend it. When cream-based foods are thawed out, the cream can separate and they tend to get grainy and almost curdled-looking.

Can I substitute shrimp for crab?

Yep. I would use smaller, bite-sized shrimp for this recipe. Add them to the pot just as you would the crabmeat. When shopping for them, look for 71/90 size. This means there are between 71 – 90 shrimp per pound.

Can I use canned crabmeat instead of fresh?

I would not recommend it. I know it is much less expensive, but I think you’ll be disappointed if you do.

More chowder recipes

Check out these chowder recipes for more one pot meals:

What to serve with crab chowder for dinner

You could serve this chowder with oyster crackers to keep it simple, but if you want something extra to round out the meal, here are a few tasty options.

Corn chowder with crab in shallow white bowl with fresh chives snipped on top.

How to store crab chowder with fresh corn

Store leftover chowder in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days. I would not freeze this chowder. When thawed, cream-based soups or sauces tend to get grainy and unappealing.

Corn chowder with lump crab meat and fresh chives in shallow bowls with pot of chowder in the background.

To reheat chowder: Place in a small sauce pot and heat gently on the stovetop over low/medium heat. The cream can separate over high heat, so, I don’t recommend microwaving the chowder either.

There you have it – a quick and simple chowder with crabmeat and fresh corn that is perfect for dinner tonight.

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Crab and corn chowder recipe

Cheryl Bennett
Hearty crab and corn chowder is a filling one pot meal that gets its sweetness from fresh corn and crab meat.
4.60 from 10 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Soup and Stew Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cups
Calories 589 kcal


  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion diced, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 3 ribs celery diced, about 1 cup
  • 4 tbsp. flour 6 tbsp. if you prefer thicker chowder
  • 3 ears fresh corn shucked and kernels cut off, cobs reserved
  • 4 cups vegetable chicken or seafood stock
  • 2 cups baby Yukon potatoes scrubbed and quartered
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt I use Diamond Crystal
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb. fresh crab meat picked over
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chives chopped, optional


  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add diced onions and cook for 5 – 6 minutes until they begin to soften.
  • Add diced celery and cook for an additional 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle flour over sautéed vegetables and stir to coat. Add salt, pepper and Old Bay, then add stock and stir to combine.
  • Add reserved corn cobs, lower the heat and cover. Simmer for 25 – 30 minutes on medium-low heat.
  • After 30 minutes, remove corn cobs carefully with kitchen tongs and discard.
  • Increase heat back to medium. Add potatoes to the chowder and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes, or until potatoes begin to soften.
  • Add fresh corn and cook an additional 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in heavy cream and crabmeat.
  • Garnish with chopped chives, if desired.


This recipe makes 3 quarts. Use a large, heavy-bottomed 6 quart (or larger), pot to make your chowder.
It will serve 6 as a meal or 12 as an appetizer.
Also, a bit of crispy bacon would not be bad in this either.


Serving: 2cupsCalories: 589kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 31gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 179mgSodium: 943mgFiber: 9gSugar: 11g
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