Cheesy Pepper Jack Potato Chowder Recipe

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes


  • 1 pound bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more for extra spice)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces pepper jack cheese, freshly shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions for garnish


1. Cook the bacon: In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Leave about 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in the pot.

2. Sauté the vegetables: Add onion, celery, and garlic to the pot with the bacon grease. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Stir in the red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

3. Make a roux: Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and whisk until well combined. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, to create a roux.

4. Add liquids and potatoes: Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth. Add the diced potatoes, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.

5. Simmer and thicken: Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

6. Incorporate the cheese: Remove the pot from the heat. Gradually stir in the shredded pepper jack cheese, adding it in small handfuls and stirring until fully melted before adding more.

7. Adjust seasoning and serve: Taste the chowder and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. Garnish each bowl with reserved cooked bacon and chopped green onions.

Tips for Success

Make it vegetarian: Substitute the bacon for olive oil and use vegetable broth for a delicious vegetarian version of this chowder.

Customize the spice level: Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes for your desired heat.

Use cream for extra richness: For an even creamier chowder, substitute half of the milk with heavy cream.

Serving: This chowder is fantastic on its own, but also pairs well with crusty bread, a fresh salad, or cornbread.


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