Corn chowder is one of those dishes that hits the spot every time. Warm and hearty straight out of the slow cooker, and with just the right balance of salt and creamy corn chowder sweetness, it’s truly a top-tier comfort food.
Deciding what to serve with it, however, can be a bit of a challenge.
The challenge lies in finding items that complement the soup’s texture and depth of flavor without clashing or overpowering.
Furthermore, these items must be substantial enough to make for a satisfying meal but not so heavy that you’re left feeling like you’ve swallowed a brick once you’ve eaten your fill.
Choices, choices. What is a cook to do?
Don’t sweat it—we’re here to help.
The next time you simmer up a batch of homemade corn chowder, try partnering it with one (or more) of these 17 delectable side dishes.
Nothing goes better with a piping hot bowl of the best corn chowder than a slice of fresh bread straight out of the oven.
Except maybe two slices.
We recommend going with something crusty and dippable, like an unobtrusive baguette, rustic focaccia, or pillowy brioche. Ah, crusty bread for the win!
For this Italian rustic bread you don’t need a bread machine and no kneading is required. It only has a 2-hour rise time.
Be sure to save enough to sop up those last few irresistible bites.
As much as we love corn chowder, it’s not the most colorful dish in the Rolodex. Plus all that heavy cream, too. Corn chowder is a pretty hearty soup. Enter the simple green salad.
You’ll be getting plenty of sweet corn, so pass on the fruit and other sugary toppings and stick with savory ingredients like nuts, cheese, seasoned croutons, or crumbled crispy bacon.
Fresh salad can really do the trick with fresh produce and fresh herbs.
If tomatoes are in season, then you’ve got everything you need to put together a rollicking repast.
Just slice them, sprinkle them with salt (maybe a little lime juice), and try not to drool all over the floor.
The one-two punch of a large pot of hot soup and ripe, juicy tomatoes are sure to be a knockout with even the pickiest eaters.
Are cherry tomatoes all you have around? Add them to small bowls with olive oil, scallion whites and a teaspoon salt and you have tomatoes on the side.
Is there such a thing as too much corn?
Probably, but we don’t think having a couple pieces of cornbread as sides for corn chowder will push you over that edge, especially if you mix in just enough jalapeño to give each bite a hint of heat.
As you will see in our recipe we like to cook our cornbread in a cast iron skillet. Give it a try!
Corn kernels and tender potatoes go together like peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, Sonny and Cher.
Naturally, if there is an answer to “What goes good with corn chowder”, it’s potato. These pancakes will be the corn chowder’s best friends.
Throw a little diced onion or garlic in the soup pot with your grated potatoes and chicken broth to enhance the flavor of your pancakes and cement the synergy between the two dishes.
This fluffy yet filling French favorite is practically a tailor-made side for corn chowder.
For a more meal-worthy tart, go heavy on the ham, chicken, sausage, and/or cheese.
For a vegetarian-friendly version, swap out the meat for spinach, kale, broccoli, bell peppers, lentils, or mushrooms.
Biscuits are much more than just an obligatory breakfast accessory.
You can do almost anything with them—drape them with slices of country ham, slather them with tantalizingly tart fruit preserves, or simply butter them up and enjoy them as-is, sidled up next to your steaming bowl of corn chowder.
A grilled cheese sandwich takes the inherent awesomeness of bread and add ooey-gooey cheese to the equation. Seriously, could anything be better?
For best results, use a soft bread, plenty of real butter, and a generous helping of Havarti, muenster, fontina, extra sharp cheddar cheese, or another zippy cheese that will contrast well with the mildness of the corn.
Sticking with the sandwich theme, this quick and easy lunchtime staple can also satisfy your bacon craving while at the same time providing the perfect complement to your corn chowder.
You get the toothsome toastiness of the bread, the cool crunch of the lettuce, and the bright, peppy acidity of the tomatoes.
Oh yeah, and there’s bacon on it, too. You had us at “bacon.”
Put a south-of-the-border spin on traditional corn chowder by serving it next to a towering mound of mouth-watering melty quesadillas.
You can stuff them with whatever you want, of course, but black beans and corn are such a timeless partnership that we hate to think of splitting them up.
11. Cured Meats
When it comes to what to serve with corn chowder, cured meats are a no-brainer.
Corned beef, country ham, prosciutto, pancetta, or sausage (be it Italian, andouille, or chorizo): any and all of these can go great alongside—or on top of—corn chowder.
Set up a charcuterie board like no other and make soup season sing! Add slices of red onion, cheese biscuits, traditional oyster crackers, chunks of rotisserie chicken.
Set it up in a lot of different ways. And speaking of boards…
12. A Cheese Board
This is a good opportunity to show those hard, crumbly, stinky cheeses some love.
Selections like aged cheddar, manchego, asiago, and smoked gouda can all offer a bold counterpoint to the more subtle tasting notes of your great recipe.
Did you know Brick Cheese isn’t just a rectangular block of random cheese? It’s a special Wisconsin cheese all its own. Pretty amazing on a cheese board. Who knew?
New Englanders are long accustomed to gobbling up fresh catch with their corn chowder. For the rest of the world, it’s about time the trend caught on.
Try serving some succulent crab legs, broiled shrimp, or grilled cedar plank salmon on your next corn chowder night and see if your tastebuds don’t demand a repeat performance.
If you’ve got a big appetite, you need a co-main course that can handle your hunger.
And as every meat enthusiast knows, steak is never not on the menu.
If the thought of a char-grilled slab of sizzling beef sitting side-by-side with a steaming cup of corn chowder isn’t enough to get you salivating, you may need to get your glands checked.
15. Sauteed Veggies
Looking for a healthier alternative to all those high-fat meat and cheeses offerings?
Look no further than the classic vegetable medley, which can lend both essential nutrients and vibrant color to a spread centered around corn chowder.
16. Fried Okra
Another Southern standby, pan-fried okra can supply a mellow, earthy crunch that introduces some much-needed variety without pulling the spotlight away from your chowder.
To really make okra’s surprisingly complex flavors pop, add a dash of cayenne pepper (or cracked black pepper) to your cornmeal mix.
17. Apple Pie
If you’ve still got room left after your feast, there’s no better way to fill it than with an indulgent slice of all-American apple pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Just don’t bank on getting this far.
The bottom line
As you can see, the question of what to eat with creamy chowder doesn’t have a single answer—it opens up a whole world of possibilities.
We’re confident in saying that you can’t go wrong with any of the crowd-pleasing companion dishes listed above. And really, they will go with many of your favorite soups.
Looking for sides to go with clam chowder? We have you covered there, too!
- Fresh Baked Bread
- A Garden Salad
- Heirloom Tomatoes
- Potato Pancakes
- Buttermilk Biscuits
- Grilled Cheeses
- Black Bean Quesadillas
- Cured Meats
- A Cheese Board
- Sautéed Veggies
- Fried Okra
- Apple Pie
- Pick a side dish for corn chowder
- Follow the recipe instructions
- Let us know which ones you picked