Wrapping your chilly hands around a hot bowl of this vegan corn chowder is like holding sunshine. The brilliant yellow color excites your eyes as your spoon dips into this creamy, nutrient-packed soup speckled with little bits of corn, potatoes, bell pepper, onion, and celery. Your first bite begins to warm you from the inside out. Soup perfection.
We made this chowder flavorful by using onion, garlic, jalapeño, and flavorful vegetable broth, and we made it creamy using plant-based milk and pureed potatoes. Unlike most corn chowder recipes, our calls for zero cream or butter, making this recipe extra healthy while still being just as delicious.
This vegan corn chowder recipe comes from The Friendly Vegan Cookbook. While it’s an absolute fall favorite, it can be enjoyed any time of year, as it comes together perfectly with frozen corn.
Vegetable Oil: This versatile ingredient provides a smooth start for our chowder. A medium for sautéing, vegetable oil allows other ingredients to release their flavors, making the dish aromatic and mouth-watering. You can use olive oil, canola oil, avocado oil, or any oil of choice.
Yellow Onion & Garlic: A classic combo in many dishes, these two aromatic ingredients are essential for building a flavorful base. They not only give the chowder depth but also enhance the taste of other ingredients.
Red Bell Pepper & Jalapeño: While the red bell pepper offers a sweet, vibrant twist, the jalapeño comes in with a hint of spice. Together, they strike a balance between sweet and spicy that’s hard to resist.
Celery: With its fresh and crunchy texture, celery adds a refreshing bite to the chowder. Potatoes (Red, Russet, or Yukon Gold): These starchy wonders thicken the chowder, making it creamy without any dairy. Each type of potato lends a unique texture and flavor, but they all contribute heartiness to the dish.
Corn Kernels: The star of our chowder! Corn brings in natural sweetness, a pleasant crunch, and a sunny, yellow hue. Whether you choose frozen, canned, or fresh corn, you’re infusing the chowder with a burst of summer flavor.
Rich Vegetable Broth: This liquid gold forms the base of our chowder. Opting for a rich vegetable broth ensures that every spoonful is bursting with layers of flavors. Salt: While a simple ingredient, salt is crucial. It amplifies the flavors of all the ingredients, making the chowder taste even better.
Unsweetened, Plain Plant-Based Milk: Adding creaminess without the dairy, plant-based milk (like almond, soy, or oat) ensures the chowder remains vegan while still having that traditional creamy texture.
Green Onion & Black Pepper (for garnish): The finishing touch! Green onions add a pop of color and a zesty flavor, while freshly ground black pepper provides a subtle kick, making every bite of the chowder an adventure for the palate.
Vegan corn chowder isn’t just a medley of delightful ingredients; it’s an experience of flavors, textures, and warmth. Every ingredient plays its part, coming together to create a dish that’s comforting, nutritious, and utterly satisfying. Whether you’re vegan or not, one thing is certain: once you’ve had a taste, you’ll be coming back for more!
Whenever a recipe calls for vegetable broth, you have two options. You can add in pre-made vegetable broth (either store-bought or homemade). Or, you can add in that same amount of water plus vegetable bouillon.
I’m a big fan of using bouillon and have transitioned away from pre-made vegetable broth almost entirely. Let me explain why.
Any soup broth that you buy at the store will come housed in a container, usually a plastic or aseptic container, which is usually not even recyclable. That’s a lot of single-use waste for something that’s 95% water. And that’s where the beauty of bouillon comes in.
Just add the bouillon to boiling water and voila! You’ve got vegetable broth that works perfectly with any recipe. And save those glass Better Than Bouillon jars—you can reuse them for leftover sauces, dry spices, homemade baby food, and more!
You can use any type of corn in this recipe—fresh corn, canned corn, or frozen corn kernels! We personally like to use frozen corn because it’s already removed from the cob and is super-easy to toss in. Plus, frozen produce is usually picked, harvested, prepared, and frozen at the peak point of ripeness, creating very highest quality produce that’s perfect to cook with.
I’ll be honest, I rarely have leftovers when I make this chowder because my family goes to town when we make this. But when we don’t devour every last bite, it stores beautifully. This vegan chowder recipe is a great one to save—either in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week, or in the freezer to enjoy in the future.
To freeze your leftovers, just ladle portions into glass containers (I love using single-serving containers), secure the lids, and pop them in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy more soup, just allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating them in the microwave the next day. You can also microwave them from their frozen state, but it will take longer and require some mixing along the way.
Don’t miss our round-up of the best vegan soup recipes from all around the web! Here are a few of our top favorites:
Hungry for more corn-inspired dishes? Check out these delicious recipes!
This creamy vegan corn chowder recipe is from The Friendly Vegan Cookbook by Michelle Cehn and Toni Okamoto. Photos by Zhoro Apostolov. Published with permission from BenBella Books, 2020, all rights reserved.