Home Chowder How to Make Ham and Cheese Chowder

How to Make Ham and Cheese Chowder

Wondering what to do with leftover ham? This creamy ham and cheese chowder recipe is a perfect way to use it. It is easy to make and has a delicious flavor!

A Hearty Soup

This thick and hearty soup is a delicious way to use leftover ham–and it is surprisingly easy to put together! It uses everyday pantry items and can be modified to suit your taste. Leftover chowder can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-5 days; however, it doesn’t freeze well, so plan to eat leftovers, which are even better the next day!

Ham and Cheese Chowder

Steps for Ham and Cheese Chowder

Follow these steps to make this chowder. Cook the bacon in a non-stick pan so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the Dutch oven, which can sometimes cause the chowder to scorch.

Adapting the Chowder to Your Taste

The chowder is easy to change for your taste preferences. Add 2 heaping cups of precooked ham if you like ham in every bite. Reduce the cheese amount to 1 1/2 to 2 cups to reduce the fat in this recipe. Add more or less of the vegetables listed. Saute celery and jalapeno (or other peppers) with the carrots and onions to add more texture and spiciness. Finally, omit the rendered bacon fat and use olive oil to reduce the saturated fat.

Ham and Cheese Chowder

Serving Ham and Cheese Chowder

Serve this creamy chowder piping hot with a sprinkling of crispy bacon and minced, fresh parsley. If you prefer a thinner soup, add equal amounts of chicken stock and milk, starting with 1/2 cup (1/4 cup each). If you prefer a thicker chowder, make a cornstarch slurry of 1 tablespoon water and cornstarch. Stir the slurry and whisk it into the chowder.

Ham and Cheese Chowder

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Ham and Cheese Chowder

Ham and Cheese Chowder

Creamy chowder with leftover ham, corn, potatoes, and carrots
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 14
Calories 299 kcal


  • 8 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
  • 3 large carrots, sliced into coins
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 4 ½ cups whole milk
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • (1) 11-ounce can corn, drained
  • 1 cup precooked ham, cubed
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley, minced (optional)


  • Cook the bacon until crispy in a nonstick skillet. Remove to a plate, reserving the rendered fat.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of bacon fat to a Dutch oven. Add the carrots and onions and cook until tender.
  • Add the flour and whisk to mix. Cook until the flour is lightly browned. (Add extra bacon fat if needed.)
  • Add the chicken stock and milk. Whisk until the flour is well mixed and dissolves.
  • Bring soup to a boil, stirring as it thickens.
  • Add the potatoes and corn and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • When the potatoes are cooked, stir in the ham. Then, remove the soup from the heat and add the cheese. Stir until melted.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle bacon on top of each bowl of soup and garnish with parsley.


Thinning the Soup

You can change this soup to a thinner consistency by adding equal amounts of chicken stock and broth. Start by adding 1/4 cup each to the soup and stirring. You can rehydrate chilled soup by adding extra stock and milk (1:1 ratio).


Add 2 heaping cups of diced ham for extra flavor. If the ham has a heavy, sweet crust, cut it away or your chowder might end up with a sweet taste.


Calories: 299kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 15gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 489mgPotassium: 523mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 2952IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 286mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cheddar and ham chowder,, chowder, Soup
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