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Hearty Beef and Bacon Chowder

5 from 1 vote

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This Beef and Bacon Chowder is rich and hearty, but fast and easy enough for a delicious weeknight dinner.

Beef and Bacon Chowder in white bowl with blue napkin.

Need a great hearty meal for a chilly weeknight?

I’ve got you!

This Beef and Bacon Chowder recipe is rich and delicious, but so fast and easy to put together!

It’s a favorite cooking-from-the-canning-pantry recipe that uses home canned ground beefpotatoes, and mushrooms. I even throw in some homemade beef bouillon.

If you don’t have any of those home canned items in your pantry, no worries!

I’ll give you instructions for subbing fresh meat and potatoes.

Either way, you’re gonna love it!


I like to serve Beef and Bacon Chowder with fresh, hot Sourdough Cornbread (or in a Sourdough Bread Bowl).

But a piece of garlic bread would be good too. Or even just a plain ole chunk of French bread.

Whatever makes you happy!

So go grab a cute apron and let’s get started!

beef and bacon chowder in white bowl with blue napkin

Hearty Beef and Bacon Chowder

  • 12 bacon strips
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 pint home canned ground beef OR 1 pound fresh
  • 1 quart home canned potatoes OR 1 1/2 pounds fresh, cubed
  • 4 oz jar of home canned mushrooms OR 4 oz can of mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • sharp cheddar cheese and fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

NOTE: If you don’t have canned potatoes, you need to start your potatoes first.

So peel and cube 1 1/2 pounds of potatoes.

Put them in a pan and cover them with water. Add a pinch of salt.

Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 7-8 minutes.

You don’t need to cook them all the way, just partially. They will finish up in the chowder.

Remove from the stove, leave the potatoes in the water and set them aside for now. You’ll need some of the potato water later.

While your potatoes are cooking follow the rest of the directions.

Heat a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat.

I have fallen in love with this Lodge Dutch Oven! I have a stainless steel one, but this is my first enameled cast iron one. It’s made a world of difference! It cooks so evenly and there aren’t any hot spots. And the enamel makes it so easy to clean!

Cut the bacon strips into about 1/2″ to 1″ pieces.

I’ve found that a a pair of kitchen shears works really well for cutting up bacon. 

Way better than a knife does.

However you cut it up, toss it into the Dutch oven and fry it until it’s crispy. Take the bacon out of the pan and drain on a wire rack or paper towel.

chopped bacon in dutch oven.
bacon chunked

Once the bacon is cool enough to handle, crumble it up.

Now add the chopped onion to the hot bacon grease in the Dutch oven and cook them until they are translucent. Make sure you stir them though so they don’t burn.

chopped onions in bacon grease in Dutch oven
onions sizzling away

Seriously, is there any aroma better than onions frying in bacon grease?

When they are ready take them out of the pan and set them aside as well.

NOTE: If you are using fresh ground meat, crumble it up into the hot fat and cook it until it is no longer pink, stirring often. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Drain the bacon grease from the pan, reserving 4 Tablespoons and return that to the Dutch oven.

Whisk in the flour and cook that until it’s browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. You need to whisk this constantly.

adding flour to bacon grease in Dutch oven.
adding the flour

After the rue is nicely browned, add in the beef bouillon and whisk that in as well.

Now you need to add the milk all at once and whisk till smooth.

Continue cooking and whisking until the chowder base thickens, about 2 to 3 minutes. It will be quite thick.

Thicker than you think it should be, probably.

It’s ok, it’s supposed to be.

Once that base has thickened up nicely return the onions and 3/4 of the crumbled bacon to the pan. (You did remember to crumble the bacon, right?)

beef and bacon chowder in Dutch oven
ready to serve

That last 1/4 of the bacon is for garnishing the top to make it look cool. If you don’t feel the need for cool soup, just toss it all in. 🙂

Now that you’ve added whatever level of coolness you desire to the base, add in the ground meat, potatoes, and mushrooms. Just toss it all in, including the liquid in the jars.

NOTE: If you are using freshly boiled potatoes you will not need all the water. Just add enough to thin the chowder to your desired consistency.

Add the salt and pepper and adjust the seasonings as necessary for your taste.

If the Beef and Bacon Chowder is still too thick for your liking you can thin it out with a little more milk.

Stir well and cook until heated through. Make sure to stir often so it doesn’t stick.

Serve hot.

Beef and Bacon Chowder freezes well. Canning jars are really handy for freezing soups. Just make sure you leave about an inch of headspace so the jar doesn’t crack.

A pint jar will hold enough for a generous serving for 1.

Once it’s thawed, put it in a pan to reheat.

It’s possible that it may separate as it’s thawing.

That’s normal. Just reheat and stir well.

Frequently Asked Questions About Beef and Bacon Chowder

How long will Beef and Bacon Chowder keep?

This chowder will keep for 3 to 5 days in the fridge. For longer storage toss it into the freezer.

Can you freezer chowder?

Yes you can. Put in an airtight freezer container and put in the freezer for up tp 5 months. To eat, let thaw in fridge and put in a saucepan on medium high to reheat. The chowder may have separated while it thaws. That’s completely normal. Just stir it together again.

More soups and stews you should try:

Beef & Bacon Chowder in white pot

Hearty Beef and Bacon Chowder

This Beef and Bacon Chowder is rich and delicious, but fast and easy enough for a weeknight dinner.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 477 kcal


  • 12 bacon strips
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp beef bouillon
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 pint ground beef OR 1 pound fresh
  • 1 quart canned potatoes OR 1 1/2 pounds raw, cubed
  • 4 oz jar of mushrooms OR 1 small can
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  • NOTE: If using fresh potatoes, peel, cube, and boil for 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Leave in water, you'll need some of that later.
  • Cut up bacon strips into chunks and fry till crispy in a heavy Dutch oven. Remove and set aside. When cooled, crumble.
  • Add onions and cook until translucent. Remove and set aside.
  • NOTE: If using fresh ground beef, add to the pan and cook until no longer pink. Remove and set aside.
  • Drain bacon grease, reserving 4 Tbsp and return to Dutch oven.
  • Whisk in flour and cook until browned.
  • Add the beef bouillon and whisk in.
  • Add milk and whisk until smooth. Continue to cook until thick, 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Return the onions and 3/4 of the cooked bacon to the pan, reserving the last 1/4 for garnishing if desired.
  • Add the ground meat, potatoes, and mushrooms with the liquid from the jars. Season to taste. Stir well and cook until heated through.
  • NOTE: if using freshly cooked potatoes, add enough of the potato water to give the desired consistency.
  • Adjust thickness by adding milk, if necessary.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 477kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 21gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 672mgPotassium: 919mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 212IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 171mgIron: 3mg
Keyword bacon, chowder
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on August 31st, 2022

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