Tailgate Tuesday: Sausage and Cheese Chowder

 One of our tailgate staples, this creamy soup has made appearances on the road and at home.  It's easy to make...so easy, I think The Godfather could do it (but he won't).  I highly recommend pre-prepping it at home in a large heavy-bottomed pot and transferring it to one or two crock pots / slow cookers for serving.  Recipe makes enough to feed a large crowd.

Adapted from Tailgating.com.



  • 3 pounds of smoked kielbasa or other smoked sausage, diced
  • 1/2 pound of bacon, preferrably peppered bacon, diced
  • 3 medium onions, diced
  • 1 bunch scallions, diced
  • 3 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 6 cups of corn kernels, frozen is fine
  • 1.5 cups of flour
  • 1 gallon of whole milk
  • 3 pounds of finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper




  • Cook bacon in bottom of large (at least 10 quart size) heavy bottomed pot
  • Remove bacon with slotted spoon, set aside
  • Add onions and granulated garlic, cook until starting to caramelize
  • Add sausage, cook until heated through.  A little browning is fine.
  • Add corn, cook until heated through.  Again, a little browning is ok.
  • Add flour and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes.  This is like a roux.  It will darken a bit, but don't let it stick or burn
  • Add 3 of the 4 quarts of the milk (don't add the whole gallon!), one quart at a time, bringing the milk close to boiling each time.  Stir vigorously, breaking apart the flour/vegetable/sausage mix and incorporating it into the milk.  You will be left with a quart of milk...keep that off to the side in case you want to make the soup thinner later.
  • Bring the concoction to a simmer, turn the heat down to low to medium-low and add in the cheese...again stirring constantly.
  • Once melted, add in the cream.
  • Keep heat on low and keep cooking for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, check the thickness of the soup.  Too thick?  Add milk a cup at a time, waiting 10 minutes each time to make sure it is incorporated into the soup, until desired consistency is reached.  Too thin?  Make a slurry of one cup of milk + one cup of flour (whisked together) and add it to the soup, again waiting 10 minutes between additions to make sure it gets incorporated.
  • Just right?  Add the bacon back in, add scallions, crack some black pepper in there, and salt to taste.
  • Serve!  Note:  It tastes great now, but you should probably reserve a couple bowls for yourself and put it in the fridge...because it's even better tomorrow.


Important tips! Once the cheese is added, the heat should never go beyond low or medium-low, otherwise you will burn the bottom resulting in a beautiful pot of creamy charred crap.  If you feel like you have burned the bottom, don't stir up the bottom!  Transfer to another pot to try to salvage the soup, leaving the cheesy charred remains behind.

Enjoy! ...and Go Blue!