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Cheesy Ham and Potato Chowder

This made from scratch Cheesy Ham and Potato Chowder is thick and creamy and the perfect way to breathe new life into your leftover ham. Bacon, carrots, onion, and potato make this one hearty and delicious soup!

Cheesy Ham and Potato Chowder

Use Leftover Ham

Do you make a ham for the holidays and tend to have leftovers? Well, this soup along with Easy Ham and Cheese Quiche are great for using up bits and pieces of leftover Easter or Christmas ham. Serve with some Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins and you’ve turned a little bit of leftovers into another filling meal.

Cheesy Ham and Potato Chowder

Lots Of Bacon Flavor

This Cheesy Ham and Potato Chowder has lots of fantastic flavor and it all starts with bacon. Hard to go wrong when you start with bacon.  🙂

The bacon grease gets used to cook some onions and carrots. I love the extra flavor the bacon grease adds and you know we southerners don’t like to put anything to waste!  🙂

Thick Rich Texture

Flour is used as the thickening agent for this recipe. It is added to the sauteed onions and carrots, creating a roux. The flour helps thicken the milk to a degree that it has a really rich texture. For even more thickness and richness, you could add a half cup of heavy cream or half-and-half in place of half a cup of the milk.

Cheesy Ham and Potato Chowder

Flour, milk, and water are added plus Better Than Bouillon for flavor, along with garlic powder and white pepper. Some diced russet potatoes are added and simmered until soft.

The ham and cheese gets added just before serving. The cheddar cheese is what really makes this soup as delicious as it is. It’s hard to resist cheesy goodness. Plus it helps give the soup a really thick and hearty consistency.

Quick and Easy Soup Recipe

All said and done, you can have this Cheesy Ham and Potato Chowder on the table in under 30 minutes.

Which Potatoes Hold Up Best In Soup?

Yukon Gold Potatoes and Red Potatoes hold up really well in soup and work great for this recipe. I typicaly use russett potatoes because they are what I am most likely to have on hand but they don’t hold up quite as well. You really can’t go wrong with any of them.

Cheesy Ham and Potato Chowder

More Chowder Recipes To Try

Be sure to try these slow cooker version of ham chowder.

Watch the short video below to see how easy this recipe is to make.

Cheesy Ham and Potato Chowder

Cheesy Ham and Potato Chowder

This made from scratch Cheesy Ham and Potato Chowder is thick and creamy and the perfect way to breathe new life into your leftover ham.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 25 minutes
TOTAL: 35 minutes



  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 medium yellow or sweet onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons better than bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  • Cook diced bacon in a Dutch oven until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Leave about 3 tablespoons bacon grease in the Dutch oven.
  • Add onion and carrots to bacon grease and cook over medium heat until soft.
  • Sprinkle flour over onions and carrots. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  • Gradually stir in milk and water. Add Better Than Bouillon, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder and potatoes and bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  • Turn heat to low and stir in ham and cheese until cheese is melted. Sprinkle bacon on top. Serve.


Leftovers will keep for 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or in a pot over medium-low heat. If too thick, thin with a little milk.
Nutritional info is provided as an estimate only and can vary greatly based on brands of products used.


Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 915mg | Potassium: 786mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3980IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 445mg | Iron: 2mg
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: leftover ham

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Cheesy Ham and Potato Chowder

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Originally published March 29, 2017

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71 thoughts on “Cheesy Ham and Potato Chowder”

  1. I used a Virginia salt cured “country ham” and was glad that the recipe didn’t call for salt, the ham seasoned this soup wonderfully. I’d only change the garlic from powdered to fresh and sauté it at the tail end of the onions and carrots. I had the chicken flavor of “better than bouillon” and would perhaps use some of my ham juice next time and less of the bouillon. Thanks for the recipe, it’s delicious!

  2. This was super simple and easy to make and absolutely delicious!!! I doubled the recipe and added celery (i always use onion, carrot and celery for a base of soups? bc I feed teenagers lol and I made butter biscuits to go with it. DELICIOUS!!! Thank you for the recipe!!

  3. I’ve made this soup twice. The first time it was amazing. My husband and I could not stop eating it. The second time (just a day ago) I must have done something wrong or differently. The base (cheesy soup) seemed to have separated. It still tastes delicious but it’s not as creamy and pretty as my first attempt. Any thoughts??

    1. im not the recipe poster, but from my experience this can happen with cheese in soups if you heat it too much after youve added the cheese. you want juuuuust enough heat to melt the cheese, but not simmer or boil it, or it ‘breaks’ and the cheese separates. try turning the heat off and taking the pot off heat next time right before you add the cheese, then stir it in and pop a lid on, and let it sit and melt in the residual heat a bit before stirring it again. the gentler heat should prevent breaking, and the soup should be plenty hot to melt the cheese if you just let it sit for a few.

  4. Kenneth Biro

    “Delicious”. I will be making this again. I used Yukon Gold potatoes and used some heavy cream as you suggested

  5. Mary Geissler

    I’ve been trying to find a recipe you had on Facebook to use left over Christmas ham. It was called , I think, scalloped potato and ham soup. It had cream and white cheddar cheese and carrot , celery and onions. I saved it , but now it’s gone from my saved items

    1. When I watched the video it looked like it was chicken, but I have ham flavored, too, so I think I will try that.

  6. This soup was sooooo yummy!! My husband loved it. Followed the recipe except I added thinly sliced celery when sautéing the carrots and onions. Really hearty and filling, perfect for a cold winter night.

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