Chicken & Bacon Potato Chowder + No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls


Chicken & Bacon Potato Chowder is the best answer to a cold winter’s day. 


Oh boy – we’ve got a blizzard on our hands!


Work, and most of the schools in the area, let out early this afternoon (snow day!) so everyone could get home safely. There isn’t a TON of the white stuff falling but, my God, the wind! I thought my tiny car was going to get launched off the road on the way home, and I don’t even take the interstate!


I’m not going anywhere tonight. Nosiree. I’m staying right where I am to enjoy a big, warm & cozy bowl of Chicken & Bacon Potato Chowder for dinner! AHH – this is the thickest, most decadent soup I’ve ever made! Soooo good!


I started by sautéing 3 pieces of chopped bacon in a big soup pot. I used Vande Rose Farms thick-cut brown sugar-cured bacon – drooooooooool. I’ll spare you the picture of sautéing bacon. You know what it looks like, right!?


After removing the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, I sautéed 1/2 a medium onion in the drippings (awww yeah,) with salt & pepper, until they were soft – about 8 minutes on low.


When the onions were soft, I added in 2 minced garlic cloves and sautéed for another minute, stirring constantly.


Next I added in one chicken breast that had been cut into bite sized pieces, rinsed with water, patted dry and seasoned with salt & pepper. I’m really into rinsing and patting dry my chicken these days. I don’t know why…


In went half a can of diced green chilies,


1 cup of frozen hashbrowns,


and 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more salt & pepper.


I slapped a lid on the pot and let it simmer for about 10 minutes – until the hashbrowns are soft.


Meanwhile, I whisked 1/4 cup flour and 1 cup milk together, then stirred it into the hot soup.


One final simmer turned my brothy soup into creamy soup. THICK and creamy soup!!


Finally I turned off the heat, stirred in 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (I really think sharp cheddar vs mild is best in nearly anything calling for cheddar!)


the cooked bacon,


and a dash of hot sauce. You don’t need a ton – just a dash’ll do ya’!


Chicken & Bacon Potato Chowder

Serves 4


Chicken & Bacon Potato Chowder is the best answer to a cold winter's day. 


  • 3 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces and seasoned with salt & pepper
  • 1/2 small can diced green chilies
  • 1 cup frozen shredded hashbrowns
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • dash of hot sauce


  1. Sauté chopped bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until brown and crispy. Remove bacon to a towel-lined plate to drain, leaving drippings in the pot.
  2. Turn the heat down to low, add the onion into the pot, season with salt & pepper, then sauté until soft, ~ 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium-high, add chicken pieces to the pot and cook until done. Add in green chilies and cook for an additional minute, then add in hashbrowns, chicken broth and more salt & pepper. Turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, turn the heat down, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until hashbrowns are soft.
  4. Meanwhile whisk flour and milk together. Slowly stir the mixture into the soup and cook, stirring frequently, until soup is thick.
  5. Turn the heat off then stir in the cheese until melted. Add in bacon and hot sauce, then stir to combine.


Adapted from CookinCanuck.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,





Squeal!!! I’ve never made thick soup that wasn’t potato based before and it was soooooo good!


I topped my piping hot, creamy & thick soup with a pile of sharp cheddar cheese and green onions. Omg, it was awesome.


Maybe your were wondering if this soup is husband approved also? It is. And I quote: “Best soup you’ve ever made. $%#! that was good.” MUWAHAHAHA!


Wait, it gets better. There’s No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls for dessert!


Lately I’ve been dreaming about a no-bake chocolate-peanut butter delight that was low on ingredients, but high on flavor. This is what I came up with!


Mix 1/4 cup old fashioned oats,


2 teaspoons chopped peanuts,


2 teaspoons chocolate chips,


1 Tablespoon peanut butter,

DSC_0008 DSC_0009

(This was from a fresh jar of Trader Joe’s creamy salted peanut butter, so it was super drippy. You may need to microwave your PB for 5 seconds!)


and 1 teaspoon honey.


Mix, then divide into four sections.


Press into balls and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


Then close your eyes and devour!


This recipe makes 4, rich & chocolaty peanut butter balls that taste exactly like Buckeyes – you know, the peanut butter, powdered sugar and butter balls smothered in chocolate?! – except they won’t go straight to your hips! 4 of these babies clocked in at 250 calories.


I was semi irritated that 4 balls were THAT many cals, but honestly you won’t want more than 4. They are SO dense and satisfying!


Mmmmm nasty night – tasty eats. Just the way I like it.

Ok, I could do without the nasty night, but the tasty eats? Spot on!

Off to hold down the fort. I feel like our house is going to blow away in this wind! See ya’!


Do you eat the bulk of your calories during the day or at night?

Ben and I were talking about this yesterday and we both eat moderate amounts during the day, and eat the bulk of our calories at night. At work we’re super busy and distracted, so at night we like to graze and fill up!

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  1. I am so going to make those balls tonight – they look delicious!!

  2. BrightBakes 02.01.2011

    That’s it…It’s snowin and blowin here, too…
    I’m off to make balls!!!! I love that they’re healthier too :)
    cathy b.

  3. I definitely eat the bulk of my calories at night, but always have more energy when I manage to spread them out a little more evenly!

    Those Chocolate PB Balls look delish! :)

  4. 1. I love buckeyes, so I can’t wait to try these.
    2. Extra sharp cheddar IS the way to go.
    3. Most of my calories are probably consumed during the day. Teaching wears me out, I have to replenish my energy with Greek yogurt, fruit, lunch, and a post school snack. I’m often not that hungry for dinner, and don’t really snack at night.

  5. Everything looks AMAZING! THat soup- YUM! I have a similiar recipe I am saving to make. I just made “peanut butter pretzel balls” tonight… another amazing, no bake, low ingredient recipe!

  6. That soup looks so good right now! I think my husband would seriously love it as well!

  7. Yum! I want to try those no-bake PB balls!!

    After running in the mornings, I am famished, so I consume a lot of my calories in the morning and then at lunch. I don’t eat as much for dinner then.

  8. Our weather sounds just like yours except we are getting more snow that DM!

    These look awesome! I tend to consume most of my calories during the evening!

  9. oh man, both recipes look so good! way to go :)

  10. Jen 02.01.2011

    My tummy is rumbling. Time to make our dinner and I wish I was having yours! Stay warm & safe in that weather!

  11. I consume most of my calories during the evening too. Wish it wasn’t that way, but I will normally eat my most elaborate meals at dinnertime. That’s when I go out to eat, drink wine/beer and order dessert. It adds up fast!

  12. I think mine are pretty moderately spaced, but I do like having a good dinner:)

  13. Bridget 02.01.2011

    I am definitely making that chowder next week! I do most of my eating during the day. I’m at home so I have a larger lunch which carries me to dinner. 4 pm is when I hit my “starving” stage so I need to head that off with a great lunch.

    The snow is crazy, isn’t it? I’m going to attempt to get on a plane in Minnie tomorrow and head to Vegas with some friends! I hope our plan works!

  14. I’ve got to try your healthy buckeye recipe. I’m looking for inexpensive desserts to make at night.

    I eat the majority of my calories at night. I probably snack too much! I need to balance out my meals better.

  15. GIrl, I am ALL about the no-bake recipes! This is so yummy and simple, and I love peanut btuter and chocolate so these will be gone in approximately 2.53 seconds:)

  16. Lauren 02.01.2011

    YAY for a snow day and I don’t blame you for staying in. Plus with that soup, what more could you ask for? Nothing beats a warm bowl of soup on a snowy day. :) Oh wait, those PB balls might come close. Have a good night hun. Stay warm and safe. :)

  17. Melissa 02.01.2011

    Holy deliciousness! I want to eat at your house tonight!!!

    I totally chow down in the evening, but can go all day barely eating a thing. Maybe not the healthiest, but I eat when I’m hungry & that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? ;)

  18. kate 02.01.2011

    Were generally the same way, unless Im working at night and then we flip flop and do a bigger lunch with a lighter dinner.

  19. Nicole 02.01.2011

    wow. I’ll have to try both the soup and the balls. I love anything peanut butter. And soup + cold weather sounds so relaxing and comforting. I wish I could relax to the beautiful scenery of a white covered ground and snuggle up w/ some hot chocolate, but alas, I am in Florida and it was HOT today! :-(

  20. Molly 02.01.2011

    chicken bacon and pototatos!? Sounds like heaven! LOVE. I just started a new schedule so my eats are way different than usual. I eat small meals all through out the day, but I would say I eat most of them at night! The chocolate just seems to find me ;)

  21. Misty 02.01.2011

    I’m definitely a grazer as well. Btw – the soup and treats look amazing!!

  22. girliefriend 02.01.2011

    I am all about the soup. I swear I licked my monitor. /slurp

  23. sassy molassy 02.01.2011

    These look uber tasty! I’m not sure if you read Gina of Fitnessista, but she makes these Amazeballz that are similar. I want to try a version of these.

  24. That soup looks like the perfect blizzard night meal!! I definitely eat the bulk of my calories earlier in the day, I’m so hungry from the second I wake up until about 3pm then it tapers off… usually a small dinner and dessert are good after that. Stay warm up there in all that snow!!!

  25. Dream Mom 02.01.2011

    I eat more calories for dinner as well. We are getting the blizzard tomorrow however it already started. I stocked up on comfort food too and did a post about it today. All bets are off in a blizzard, lol. I even threw caution to the wind and am making Paula Deen’s Hurry Up Chicken Pot Pie this week. The Peanut Butter Balls look really good. If you want to really go over the edge, try rolling your peanut butter balls in Trader Joe’s Golden Flaxseed. The flavor of their flaxseed is the best I’ve found. Of course, it adds more calories.

    As for recipes, I try to downsize recipes as well. I got this new Breville Smart Oven (toaster/convection oven) a few months ago and because it’s smaller, it uses smaller pans. It’s perfect for one or two people and I downsize everything now so I don’t have to use the big oven.

    If you want some really good recipes, check out the book “Shape Your Self” by Martina Navratilova. I was a little surprised at all of the good, mostly single serve recipes in there. (I check out books by athletes looking for good, healthy recipes.) She has one for some energy balls (oats/honey/coconut/sesame seeds/soy milk (I use whole and no soy.) and they are really good. They are no bake as well and are fabulous! She has a banana soy smoothie recipe (again I use whole milk and no soy), that is delicious after a hard workout session. It has banana, milk, honey and peanut butter in it.

    P.S. Great tutorial on the chowder. I can’t make soup/chowder on my life and you made it look easy:)

  26. angela 02.01.2011

    I had to check back in for your no bake PB recipe! Yum! I’m going to try it with less oats and add vegan protein powder for a more “doughy” feel. Besides, I’m always trying to up my protein at the end of the night while I graze…and graze…and, you get the picture :)

  27. Sarah 02.01.2011

    Made the peanut butter balls tonight minus the honey and nuts, and did twice the peanut butter and chocolate, and put them in the freezer for 10 min… HEAVEN! Seriously. Thanks so much for the dessert idea!

  28. Woops! Totally did 2T of both peanuts and chco chips (minis) but still tasted fine, just needed a bit more honey…

    I tend to eat more at nights, its easier not to snack at work when food isn’t surrounding me!

  29. Jennifer 02.01.2011

    The soup looks so amazing. Sharp cheddar is definitely the way to go. I noticed today at the grocery store that sharp is more expensive than medium. What’s up with that?
    I eat the bulk of my calories for lunch, since I go to the gym after work. I usually only eat the veggies of our dinner when I get home, because I’m not too hungry after the gym. The beast (stairmill) curbs my appetite!
    Stay warm all you blizzard folks!!!

  30. Imwaytoobusy 02.01.2011

    Seriously, this post was amazing. I want every. single. thing. you made tonight. The No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls…I will be making those. I’m in NE and we are getting battered by snow, too. I’m so ready for spring!
    I tend to spread my meals out pretty evenly throughout the day, but always leave room for dessert :)

  31. Lindsay 02.01.2011

    you iowa people need to know you can NEVER substitute OHIO buckeyes for anything!

  32. Lindsay 02.02.2011

    I love the look of your chowder tonight. My mom makes this amazing cheese, potatoe, vegetable soup it is amazing and I may just be asking my mom to make it for dinner tomorrow night as we are getting pounded with the snow today and tomorrow!

    I eat most of my calories in the evening as well. I am usually NEVER hungry during the day after I eat breakfast. I really dont know why, but I have found what works best for me and I have no trouble with weight maintenance! :)

  33. Juani 02.02.2011

    Oh Sweet Mary,this soup looks tasty.I’m definitely going to make this come winter time (at the moment it’s 104 degrees here,so soup is out of the question).

    My boyfriend and I also eat our biggest meal at night,so that we can enjoy it together,since we don’t get to eat breakfast or lunch together.He basically only eats dinner and a snack at lunchtime.I swear,he has a stomach the size of a grape ;)

  34. Emily 02.02.2011

    I try and keep my calories pretty steady throughout the day to avoid eating everything in sight once I get home. Also – I work out in the mornings so when breakfast is served, I eat a hefty meal.

  35. Hope 02.02.2011

    Wow, that is a lot of snow! We still have a ton of snow here on the ground and we got an ice storm last night. Made for a messy morning commute!

    That soup looks so delicious and those peanut butter balls look amazing too! I eat most of my calories at night, I think. I typically have a small breakfast and lunch. I don’t really snack too much at work. I eat more for dinner and snacks later at night, which is really bad.

  36. Mollyberries 02.02.2011

    Oh man, the hubs loves no-bake cookies, and any chocolate/pb combo. I think I may make these for him for Valentine’s day! Thanks for the post! Such a fab idea!

  37. bonni 02.02.2011

    It was corn chowdah night at our house too, last night was perfect snomagedon weather for soup!

  38. Yum! The soup and oatie dessert balls looked delicious!

    I try and eat the bulk of my calories during the day rather than at night because for me it seems I gain weight if I do the opposite.

  39. I love everything about this post! Okay, not the snow part, but the food! Yum!

    Stay safe and warm!

  40. Jenni 02.02.2011

    We definitely eat our calories at night. I rarely find time for breakfast (I know… I know…) and I usually eat a light or sometimes non-existant lunch. Unfortunately for me that means an overload of calories at night!

    I think last night was just a “soup night” in general. I made some classic homemade chicken noodle that was just phenom. Yum.

  41. stacey 02.02.2011

    Holy MOOOLY I just made that soup for dinner and it is BOOOOMB!

  42. Leigh 02.02.2011

    I made your no bake balls tonight and they were delicious! Thank you for the recipe and idea!

  43. Jennifer 02.03.2011

    I have been following your blog for a while and have tried lots of your delicious recipes. I am on my third snow day so I figured it was time to make those yummy peanut butter balls. I subbed nutella and butterscotch chips b/c it’s what I had on hand. They turned out great! Keep those awesome recipes and tips coming!

  44. Jen 02.03.2011

    mmm that looks sooo good! but it’s actually bad to rinse raw chicken because you’re just spreading bacteria around – they now recommend that you just cook it because it kills all germs ;)

  45. Sarah J. 02.03.2011

    whoa! Those peanut butter balls look amazing! And I just so happen to have all of those ingredients on hand :)

  46. […] 2 cups a day. The crackers were also an impulse buy, but we are having soup next week (thanks to Iowa Girl Eats for that one), and they were on […]

  47. Jen 02.10.2011

    Ok I just tried making those PB balls because they look amazing but sadly I think I did something wrong (although I’m not sure what because I followed the recipe exactly!). The mixture was so crumbly I couldn’t get it to form into balls at all, so I just ate some of it with a spoon. :( It was tasty though!

  48. […] if that makes any sense. Once I got home, I putzed around a bit, and was planning on making the soup I discovered courtesy of IGE, but Jay was less than thrilled about it. He was hoping I’d made […]

  49. […] adapted from Iowa Girl Eats No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls […]

  50. Karla 01.16.2012

    Made the soup for dinner tonight – so great! Rich and satisfying!

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