Classic Potato Chowder

Classic Potato Chowder

Classic Potato Chowder - so good & budget friendly. Easy and quick to make.

Classic Potato Chowder is just a bit healthier than some of the “Loaded Baked Potato Soups” out there. More like an Old Fashioned Cream of Potato Soup, think of this soup as the smarter, plainer sister – you know who I mean, the one who has a sense of decorum (and might be not quite as much fun…) but is definitely more sensible…ok, so me! I’m talking about me!!

Classic Potato Chowder

Classic Potato Chowder

Deep-seated sibling issues aside, this Classic Potato Chowder, with its handful of ingredients, lets the flavor of the potato shine through. It’s absolute simplicity, uses basic pantry ingredients and comes together quickly; Classic Potato Chowder is ready in under 1/2 an hour, so it’s perfect for a cool fall or winter night, toss something together after work, meal.

This is not a thick, hearty, stand up your spoon loaded baked potato soup. It’s quite a bit thinner with just a little body, but it could be enriched easily by adding heavier diary. Maybe some sour cream, cream cheese or good old-fashioned cream; that’s always your prerogative. Hey, I’ll never tell.

Classic Potato Chowder

Classic Potato Chowder

Of course a little cheese and or sour cream in the garnish (along with that bacon) never hurt anyone. The bacon in this soup really adds its own touch of flavor and I think is what puts it a notch above any regular old Cream of Potato Soup. If you’re opposed to bacon, a little butter’s just fine, too.

I think about this recipe when milk and/or potatoes are on sale. It’s dirt cheap, as is, but it’s a great recipe to use up a large, bargain priced bag of potatoes. You might want to double the recipe if you have big eaters or want leftovers. Think about serving this with my Crusty Bread or Beer Cheese Bread) and a dark green or spinach salad…

Classic Potato Chowder

Classic Potato Chowder

Classic Potato Chowder

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 3 tablespoons onion, chopped
  • butter as needed
  • 5 to 6 medium potatoes, about 1 1/4 pounds, 1/2″ dice; russet or red bliss
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 2 1/4 cups water or broth
  • 2 cups milk (add more if you’d like)
  • Salt to taste, you may need more or less depending on the saltiness of the broth; 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
  • pepper to taste
  • Garnish as desired with the crumbled bacon and possibly sour cream, chives or green onions, cheese

In a large saucepan, cook bacon until just crisp, remove, crumble and reserve. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat and saute onion and carrots in the remainder. Add a little butter if mixture becomes too dry or there is not enough bacon fat to amount to three tablespoons.

Add potatoes and water and/or stock just to cover, bring to a boil, partially cover with a lid, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, add milk. If the soup needs to be warmed more, return to heat just to warm through but do not boil. Taste for salt & pepper.

Use a hand masher and roughly mash a bit of the potatoes until it reaches the consistency you desire. The soup will thicken slightly as it cools a bit. Soup may be blended but the carrots will turn the soup a slightly pink hue.

Garnish with the reserved bacon. Garnish additionally as you desire with cheese, chives or green onion, and/or sour cream.


  • This recipe makes 4 bowls of soup; you may wish to double.
  • You might wish to try a little Old Bay Seasoning in this soup,

 from the kitchen of

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read Strategies Applied for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Kitchen & Cooking Hacks:


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Per Serving: 210 Calories; 6g Fat (27.1% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 18mg Cholesterol; 554mg Sodium

My Pay Off:

  • A soup that is pretty much a meal on its own (simply add a muffin or a hearty piece of bread, perhaps a salad) at a cost that beats out canned, hands down.
  • Recipe priced originally at $1.70 in May of 2012; updated for under a dollar in February of 2014 – Even I am getting to be a better shopper as many prices have risen.

Note: recipe reposted in 2017 with new (much needed) photos.


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