Cheesy Potato Ham Chowder Recipe
Perfect for those chilly nights, enjoy this delicious Cheesy Potato Ham Chowder made with shredded cheese, red potatoes, ham, and sweet corn. And might I recommend some bacon crumbles and more cheese on top? Look how pretty the diced green onions are. Pretty, but more importantly, great tasting.
Hello there. I was inspired to make my Cheesy Potato Ham Chowder as summer faded away and the nights got colder. I love the Autumn transition, don’t you? This has been one of my all-time favorite recipes, which has earned it the coveted “VVG” in my recipe book. VVG stands for “very very good.” This was my mom’s system, and that always makes me smile. For the record, if the recipe doesn’t earn at least a VG, it gets thrown out. Only the VGs and VVGs get to stay. LOL Anyway, back to the recipe.
A Chowder is Born
Start by peeling and cutting the red potatoes into 1-inch cubes, then cook the potatoes in salted water until tender. You’ll be keeping a cup of that same water after the potatoes are done, so don’t throw it out. Next, start peeling and chopping up the onion. The onion gets sauteed in butter until translucent. Flour is added to thicken things up slightly, and the pepper goes in. Almost done.
Where’s the Liquid?
It’s coming. Add the potatoes and the 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid to the onions. Give it a stir or two, then add the cheese, ham, and corn. Personally, the best part of this recipe is when I started using Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla milk. It’s much lower in calories and that little bit of vanilla adds a great flavor. Stir frequently as the chowder simmers for about 30 minutes.
To mash or not to mash…that’s a good question
Sometimes I like the potatoes chunky, in which case I leave the little cubes alone. Other times, though, it’s nice to mix things up and mash the spuds. With everything simmering I use a potato masher lightly, about 4 times. This way some of the potatoes are still cubes, but others have been broken down just a bit. In the above picture, the masher was put to use for a less chunky chowder.
Cheesy Potato Ham Chowder Leftovers
Something magical seems to happen to some foods in the refrigerator overnight. For instance, you’ll love how much thicker this chowder is the next day. Starch absorbs liquid, which is why it’s thicker the next day. Adding more Almond Breeze will make it more fluid again, but it’s not necessary, just your preference. Either way, the flavors have blended to perfection. The ham has the salt, the corn is sweet, the subtle onion in the background ties it all together. Potatoes and cheese have long been a perfect duo, but sprinkle a little bacon on top and you’ll be everyone’s hero for the day.
Cheesy Potato Ham Chowder
- 4 cups red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup reserved water from cooking potatoes
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- black pepper to taste
- 3 cups Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla milk
- 1 cup cooked ham, cubed
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn
- 1 cup shredded cheese, like cheddar/jack
- Cook potatoes in pot on low boil until tender, approx. 30 minutes. Drain potatoes reserving 1 cup liquid. Set aside.
- In large sauce pan, saute onions in butter until translucent. Add flour and pepper, cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add potatoes, reserved liquid, milk, ham, corn, and cheese to onion mixture. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes stirring frequently.
- Store leftovers in refrigerator. Chowder will thicken in refrigerator. More milk can be added when reheating, but it's not necessary -- your preference.
- Bacon crumbles, finely shredded cheese, diced green onions. Enjoy!
This is a great chowder to serve with bread, or even in a bread bowl. But, hey! Don’t forget dessert. Maybe some Chewy Gooey Walnut Brownies with a Macaroon Brownie Topping, or maybe a Pumpkin Pudding Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting. If bananas are more to your liking, try this Chocolate Banana Pudding Cake.
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