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Hearty Potato Chowder with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese

This Hearty Potato Chowder with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese is hearty, rich, and delicious! Served with a salad and crusty bread, it makes an elegant meal, guaranteed to warm the heart of near anyone.

Bird's Eye View of Potato Chowder

Chowder? Why and How?

Fall is on the horizon and we could not be happier about that! As days grow shorter and the temperatures drop, we can feel a new season coming about, and like any good squirrel, it’s time to start that hearty eating! This incredible and rich Hearty Potato Chowder with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese will warm you up like the coziest of blankets.

I’m not sure what clicked, but it was a high of 92°F here in Atlanta ,when I decided to make this chowder! Sitting out on our patio, I spooned mouthful after mouthful of this rich, hearty soup until the bowl was licked clean and then went inside for seconds… I promise you, it wasn’t my best look as I continuously dabbed sweat from my forehead, but it was darn worth it!

The Perfect Chowder for Freezing!

Going back to the squirrel mentality, I wanted a recipe that I could burrow in my freezer for those cold winter days. (I know, I know, I live in Atlanta and it doesn’t get FREEZING here, but you can’t completely take the Chicago (winter) out of this chef.) This chowder fits the bill perfectly, it’s a homey, rich, and filling. As Barbara, my wife said, “It’s like a better version of a Panera soup.” Originally thinking of a clam chowder, I quickly decided against it. Reheated seafood isn’t my cup of tea. Then I thought about a corn chowder, but I’ve got other plans for that… Browsing my fridge and eyeing some amazing Nueske’s Hardwood Smoked Bacon triggered it. Bacon, potatoes, and cheese; everyone knows you couldn’t ask for more complimentary flavors! In fact, it should be taught in Preschool right after the primary colors.

Closeup View of the Top of the Soup

How Should I Pair This?

Speaking of Panera, this soup is paired perfectly with some crusty French bread or sourdough. Before going gluten free, one of my favorite lunches was their Sourdough Bread Bowl with Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Yum! While I haven’t tackled it yet, eventually I’ll get my gf bread recipes posted. Though in a pinch, ‘Against the Grain’ makes a frozen baguette that’s spot on. I usually brush it with a bit of olive oil and throw it in the oven until its warm, crusty, and ready to devour.

There is only so much you can say about a Hearty Potato Chowder with Bacon and Gruyere. It’s delicious, now go on and start making it!

Tips and Tricks For Making Hearty Potato Chowder With Bacon and Gruyere Cheese

  • There are a couple complimentary vegetables you can add if you want a little more health: Sweet Corn and Diced Red Pepper
  • Want extra protein? This soup is delicious with Kielbasa or any other smoked sausage. It gives it even more heartiness, if you can imagine that!
  • Freezer Tip! Gallon and Quart Freezer Bags… They’re great for storage, especially when you’re low on space. Fill the bags 3/4 of the way. Remove the air and seal the bags. Initially freeze the bags flat so you can stack them on top of each other.

Hearty Potato Chowder with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese

3.0 from 4 votes
Course: Soups, DinnerCuisine: Southern, American, French


Prep time


Cooking time



A delicious and Hearty Potato Chowder with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese. It is elegant and guaranteed to warm the heart of near anyone.

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  • 1/2 Lb Hardwood Smoked Bacon, Roughly Chopped

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

  • 6 Tbsp Butter, Salted

  • 1+1/4 Cups Red Onion, Roughly Diced

  • 1 Cup Celery, Chopped

  • 1+1/2 Tbsp Garlic, Crushed

  • 6 Cups Red Potatoes, Cubed (Separated)

  • 1/2 Cup Sauvignon Blanc

  • 1/4 Cup Pernod

  • 6 Cups Chicken Broth

  • 2 Cups Water (as needed)

  • 2 Bay Leaves

  • 3/4 Cup Carrots, Shredded

  • 3 oz Cream Cheese

  • 1 Cup Gruyere

  • 1 Cup Milk

  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream

  • 3 tsp Ground Coriander

  • 3 tsp Ground Black Pepper

  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

  • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch (if needed)

  • 1+1/2 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt

  • 1/2 Cup Parsley, Chopped (Separated)

  • 1/3 Cup Green Onions, Diced (Garnishment)


  • In a large stock pot add the Olive Oil and Bacon. Cook over medium/high heat until the bacon starts to brown, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the Butter, Red Onions, and Celery. Saute on a medium temperature until the onions just start to brown.
  • Add the garlic and stir occasionally until the garlic has softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Turn the heat to high to deglaze the pot.
  • Pour in the Pernod and Sauvignon Blanc and immediately stir with a wooden spoon scraping the bottom of the pot for about 30 seconds.
  • Add 4 Cups 0f Cubed Red Potatoes, the Bay Leaves, Coriander, Cayenne, Black Pepper, and Chicken Broth.
  • Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Add the last 2 Cups of Cubed Red Potatoes and Shredded Carrots. Continue simmering for another 20 minutes.
  • In a small mixing bowl, blend the Cornstarch, Cream Cheese, Heavy Cream, and Milk. Once smooth, slowly add it to the pot.
  • Add 1/3 Cup Chopped Parsley, Himalayan Pink Salt, and Gruyere. Bring the chowder to a rolling boil allowing the cornstarch to thicken the base.
  • Garnish with more Parsley and Green Onions or Chives.
  • Enjoy!

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  1. Any substitutions for the Pernod?

    • Hi Patty,

      I would suggest using a French Pastis, Sambuca, Green Chartreuse, or Ricard. Ricard has predominantly licorice flavor compared to Pernod being an Anise based liquor. If you’re at the liquor store in the cordial/aperitif section, I would look for an anise seed based liquor.

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