Learn how to make easy turkey corn chowder with a southwest flair by following these simple, step-by-step instructions. Turkey corn chowder is a budget-friendly meal that can be spiced up as much as your tastebuds desire. With some diced green chiles, cream style corn, tomatoes, chicken broth and seasonings, an ordinary leftover turkey meal can become something special. In addition to curried turkey and easy Thai chili, this leftover turkey corn chowder is now one of my favorite ways to get the most out of turkey leftovers. Get the basic ingredients for, instructions to make, and ideas about what to serve alongside this delicious, creamy turkey corn chowder. Ready to make this turkey corn chowder recipe? Let’s get started!
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My Turkey Corn Chowder Backstory
Just as I try to avoid frozen berry buildup in the freezer in the garage, I try to avoid leftover meat buildup as well. When I was organizing the freezer the other day, yes, you guessed it, I found a long-forgotten freezer bag of leftover turkey. What to do? Make soup! Ironically, I had just gotten an idea a few days earlier for a chicken corn chowder recipe that includes one of my childhood favorite foods, cream style corn. I used to call it corn sauce. Why not adapt the cream style corn chicken chowder recipe for leftover turkey? I adjusted a few of the other ingredients as well, then, presto! This easy recipe for leftover turkey corn chowder was created. Now I’m sharing it with you in the hopes that you, too, can avoid leftover turkey buildup in your freezer.
Equipment Needed for Turkey Corn Chowder
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In addition to a stock pot for making the turkey corn chowder, these other items will make this recipe a snap:
1 garlic press for easily mincing the garlic cloves
1 knife for cutting the onions and turkey
1 ladle for serving the chowder
Ingredients for Turkey Corn Chowder
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5-ounce can chicken broth
1 and 1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 14.75-ounce cans cream style corn
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 and 1/2 pounds cooked turkey, diced
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, divided
Directions for Turkey Corn Chowder
Heat olive oil or butter in a stock pot on medium heat. Chop the onion and mince the garlic.
Add the onion to the olive oil and saute for 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute.
Add the chicken broth and cumin, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the remaining ingredients except the milk and cheese. Heat through, stirring occasionally.
Add milk and heat through, but do not boil.
When ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle about 1/8 cup cheese onto the top of each serving. Serves 8.
What to Serve with Turkey Corn Chowder
This turkey corn chowder would be ideal with a side of easy cornbread or bread machine rolls. Berry tossed salad would be another great side dish choice. To stretch the dish further, it could be served on top of rice. For dessert, a nice warm oatmeal apple crisp or a refreshing pea pickin’ cake would complement the flavors of turkey corn chowder quite well.
Turkey Corn Chowder Southwest Style
- 1 garlic press
- 1 Knife
- 1 cutting board
- 1 cheese grater
- 1 Ladle
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 14.5-ounce can chicken broth
- 2 14.75-ounce cans cream style corn
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1½ pounds cooked turkey, diced
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- Heat olive oil or butter in a stock pot on medium heat. Chop the onion and mince the garlic.
- Add the onion to the olive oil and saute for 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken broth and cumin, then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients except the milk and cheese. Heat through, stirring occasionally.
- Add milk and heat through, but do not boil.
- When ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle about 1/8 cup cheese onto the top of each serving. Serves 8.
Common Turkey Corn Chowder Questions
Can this turkey corn chowder be made in a slow cooker?
Yes, a slow cooker would work well for all of the ingredients except the cheese. Just set the crock pot or slow cooker to low for about 4 hours. Follow the instructions for serving the turkey corn chowder and add the cheese to the top of the soup after it is ladled into bowls.
How do you thicken corn chowder?
Flour or cornstarch: One common method is to mix together equal parts flour or cornstarch with a small amount of cold water to create a slurry. Then, slowly add the slurry to the chowder while stirring, until the desired thickness is achieved.
Potatoes: Adding diced potatoes to the chowder can help to thicken it up. The potatoes will release starch as they cook, which can help to thicken the broth.
Pureeing some of the soup: Another option is to puree some of the soup using an immersion blender (one of my favorite uses for an immersion blender, in fact) or a blender. This will help to thicken the chowder and give it a creamy texture.
Using heavy cream or half-and-half: If you want to add richness and thickness to the chowder, you can stir in some heavy cream or half-and-half in place of the milk called for in this recipe.
Reduce the liquid: You can also thicken the chowder by simmering it for a longer period of time, which will allow some of the liquid to evaporate, leaving a thicker consistency.
How can I thicken corn chowder without cornstarch?
If you follow any of the above methods, such as adding potatoes or using cream instead of milk, you can thicken the corn chowder substantially. I use an immersion blender in place of cornstarch to thicken blueberry syrup, and the results are excellent.
What are some other herbs you could use in turkey corn chowder?
For this recipe’s southwest flavor, cumin is used. If you are looking for more traditional seasonings, you could omit the green chilies and add fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Bay leaves can also be added to the soup to give it flavor. To add additional spice to this recipe, you could add red pepper flakes, chili powder, or red pepper sauce.
What are some other vegetables you could use in turkey corn chowder?
Some turkey corn chowder recipes also include beans, peas, carrots, or other vegetables. Since this recipe has a spicy tang, green peppers and kidney beans would be good choices. Regular corn may be used in place of cream style corn, but then you may also want to use one of the thickening methods listed above.
Is it better to thicken chowder with flour or cornstarch?
Flour is a good choice if you want a thick, smooth consistency. However, flour has a tendency to clump when added to hot liquids, so it’s important to mix it with a small amount of cold water to create a slurry before adding it to the chowder. Flour can also make the chowder taste a little “floury” if you use too much.
Cornstarch is a finer powder than flour, so it tends to dissolve more easily in liquids. It also doesn’t have a strong flavor, so it won’t alter the taste of the chowder. However, cornstarch needs to be cooked for a few minutes to fully thicken the chowder, so it’s important to cook the chowder for a little longer after adding the cornstarch.
Overall, both flour and cornstarch are effective thickening agents for chowder, but it’s ultimately a matter of personal preference which one you choose. Experiment with small amounts of both to see which one you like best.
What can I use instead of cream in chowder?
In this recipe, cream style corn is used. If you wanted to go dairy-free, you could also use any one of these ideas:
Coconut milk: Coconut milk can be used as a vegan and dairy-free alternative to cream in chowder. It will add a subtle coconut flavor to the soup.
Cashew cream: To make cashew cream, blend soaked cashews with water until smooth and creamy. This can be used as a vegan alternative to cream in chowder.
Pureed beans: Pureed beans, such as navy beans or white beans, can be used to thicken and add creaminess to chowder.
Pureed vegetables: You can also use pureed vegetables, such as potatoes or cauliflower, to add thickness and creaminess to chowder.
Tofu: Silken tofu can be blended with the broth in the chowder to give it a creamy texture.
Non-dairy milk: You can use non-dairy milk, such as almond milk or soy milk, as a cream substitute in chowder. These may not be as thick as cream, so you may need to use a little extra to achieve the desired consistency.