Vegan Corn Chowder

A delicious and creamy Vegan Corn Chowder Recipe that’s super easy to make and naturally gluten-free. Thickened with potatoes and natural corn starch and made creamy with coconut milk, this recipe is as tasty as it is healthy. Go ahead and spice it up a lot or a little depending on how you like it! 

Two bowls of vegan corn chowder on a grey background with cilantro, corn kernels, crackers, and a silver spoon

Up there with blackberry pies, time with my family, and not working, fresh, sweet corn is hands down one of my favourite things about summer. There’s nothing quite like gnawing fresh kernels off a hot, buttered cob on a warm summer night.

Normally the corn we get here in Sweden is just ok, but this year thanks to an extra long, hot summer, it’s much more sweet and delicious than usual. Which is a good thing, because, due to an incident which shall forever be known as Corn Gate 2018, in which my mother, thinking we had an excess of corn, gave away nearly half of our stash to the neighbours, I only had ONE COB of the candy-sweet Chilliwack corn I love so much.

24 cobs divided by 12 adults is only two cobs per person. It’s not too much corn, IT’S SIMPLE COB MATH, MOM!!!

I shall carry this grudge to the grave, I tell ya. Or at least into next summer, until I get my teeth into that sweet, sweet corn again.

corn, celery, potatoes, garlic, red pepper, onions, coconut milk, spices on a grey background

But let’s talk about making a delicious vegan corn chowder! Or is it vegan corn soup? What makes a chowder a chowder? According to Wikipedia, In Merriam-Webster’s dictionary chowder is defined as “a thick soup or stew made of seafood or corn with potatoes and onions and milk or tomatoes.”

Did you see what I did there? I quoted Wikipedia quoting the dictionary. Super reliable information, I’m sure, but if we go by that definition it seems like this vegan corn soup is, in fact, a chowder. Ha!

What’s in this vegan corn chowder?

  • Corn, B*tches! We’re using the corn kernels, but are also making good use of the cobs for a super corny broth.
  • Celery, onions, and garlic. Also known as your aromatics.
  • Potatoes. To get this chowdah nice and thick, but still be gluten-free.
  • Red pepper. Makes the soup pretty and tastes good.
  • Spices! We’re going in with smoked paprika, cumin, and oregano. That combination may or may not be traditional, but it sure is tasty.
  • Coconut milk! To replace the cream and keep this beauty on the vegan side of things.

corn kernels being cut off of the cob into a metal bowl

How do you make vegan corn chowder?

Super simple, my friends. First, get out a big old soup pot. I like to use my heavy-bottomed Dutch Oven for this kinda soup making.

We’re going to heat some oil in the pot, and then we’re going to throw in the onions and let them sweat it out. Once they’re nice and translucent, we’ll add in the garlic and celery and let things get steamy with a little aromatics ménage à trois.

While that’s going down, you’re going to want to cut the corn kernels off of your cobs. Here’s a super important kernel-removing hack that’s going to save you from having corn parts splattered all over your kitchen:

Stand your corn cob up in a deep bowl, and use a small sharp knife to slice the kernels off and into the bowl. If you ignore this advice and do this on a cutting board instead, you’ll end up with corn EVERYWHERE. Consider yourself warned. 

vegan corn chowder process shots

Add the potatoes and spices to the pot, and give it a good stir. Then add the corn cobs (not the kernels, these go in later) and the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the ‘taters are tender.

At this stage you’ll want to remove the corn cobs (scrape the liquid off of them and into the pot for maximum corn flavour), then go in with the diced red pepper and most of the corn kernels (you can reserve some for garnish if you’re feeling fancy).

Give this 10-ish minutes to simmer, and then you have a big decision to make: to blend or not to blend?

Personally I’m a fan of a chunkier corn chowder, so I like to blend a little bit to get the the soup base to thicken, but not so much that I’m left with a puréed soup. I use an immersion blender and do a quick blend on just half of the pot, and that seems to do the trick.

Now you can stir in your coconut milk, adjust the seasonings if necessary, and YOUR CORN CHOWDER IS DONE!!!

vegan corn chowder process shots blended

Tips for making Vegan Corn Chowder:

  • Fresh corn isn’t in season, can I use something else? For sure. In lieu of fresh corn, use 3 cups of frozen corn kernels and you’re good to go.
  • Is this corn soup gluten-free? Yep! We’re using potatoes and the natural starches from the corn kernels to thicken this chowder up!
  • I prefer a thicker / thinner soup. You do you! Feel free to adjust the amount of broth accordingly.
  • I don’t like coconut. Fair enough. First of all, let me assure you that this corn chowder does NOT taste super coconutty – there’s too much other stuff going on. But if you’d prefer an alternative, I’d suggest the following:
    • A thick and creamy plant-based milk of your choosing.
    • A bit of cashew cream stirred through at the end (I’ve made this with chipotle cashew cream and it was delish)
    • Half and half if you’re not vegan / avoiding dairy.
  • Can I freeze this vegan corn chowder? You sure can. I’ve got a bunch in my freezer as we speak.
  • Can I make this soup in advance? Yesss. I always find that soups taste better the next day. It’ll keep in your fridge for 3-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

two bowls of vegan corn chowder with a red soup pot in the background

Hey Nutrition Lady, what’s the deal with corn?

Guess what, folks? CORN IS NOT A VEGETABLE!!!

Nope, it’s a grass, and a sweet, delicious, tasty grass at that. Scientifically known as Zea mays which is a nod to its ancient moniker maize, this late summer grass has a lot to offer. I love corn for the digestive lesson it gives us – what goes in must come out – and those tough little cellulose casings can’t be broken down by our digestive acids. So chew your food!

Recent research has shown that the fiberous portion of corn can support the growth of friendly bacteria in our large intestine and can also be transformed by these bacteria into short-chain fatty acids, which can supply energy to our intestinal cells and help lower our risk of colon cancer.

The fiber : protein combination in corn is helpful for stabilizing blood sugar as it moderates the passage of food through the digestive tract. Additionally, corn is a phytonutrient rich food with a plethora of antioxidant benefits. Of course different colours of corn (yellow, blue, red, etc) will yield different phytonutrients, but the most common varietal of yellow corn is rich in carotenoids.

Let’s also note that corn is a good source of niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate and vitamins B-6, E and K, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.

overhead photo of two bowls of vegan corn chowder with cilantro and corn kernels on a grey background

Other tasty soup recipes you might enjoy:

Spicy Carrot Soup with Tahini and Garlicky Greens
Tomato Fennel Quinoa Soup
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut, Miso, and Lime

Did you make this recipe? Please rate and review below! Tag your Instagram photos with #heynutritionlady and mention @heynutritionlady so we can see and share our favourites!

overhead photo of two bowls of vegan corn chowder with cilantro and corn kernels on a grey background
5 from 3 votes
Print

Vegan Corn Chowder

This delicious and creamy Vegan Corn Chowder Recipe is super easy to make and naturally gluten-free. Thickened with potato and natural corn starch and made creamy with coconut milk, this recipe is as delicious as it is healthy.

Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword Chowder, Corn, vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 285 kcal
Author Katie Trant

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 2 medium yukon gold potatoes diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • 3 large cobs of corn kernels removed and cobs reserved
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium red pepper diced
  • 14 oz can coconut milk
  • cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. 

  2. Add the onions, and sauté, stirring frequently. When they are just translucent, add the garlic and celery. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until the celery has softened. 

  3. Add the cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, and salt, and add the potatoes. Stir to combine. 

  4. Add the shorn corn cobs (not the kernels!) and pour the vegetable broth over the top. 

  5. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer until the potatoes are tender - approximately 10-15 minutes.

  6. Remove the corn cobs from the pot, and add the corn kernels and red pepper in. Stir, and cover the pot to simmer for 10 minutes more. 

  7. Remove from the heat and purée half of the soup if desired. 

  8. Add the coconut milk, and stir to combine. 

  9. Serve garnished with corn kernels and cilantro, if desired. 

Recipe Notes

  • Nutrition values are an estimate only.
  • Fresh corn isn't in season, can I use something else? For sure. In lieu of fresh corn, use 3 cups of frozen corn kernels and you're good to go. 
  • Is this corn soup gluten-free? Yep! We're using potatoes and the natural starches from the corn kernels to thicken this chowder up! 
  • I prefer a thicker / thinner soup. You do you! Feel free to adjust the amount of broth accordingly.  
  • I don't like coconut. Fair enough. First of all, let me assure you that this corn chowder does NOT taste super coconutty - there's too much other stuff going on. But if you'd prefer an alternative, I'd suggest the following:
    • A thick and creamy plant-based milk of your choosing.
    • A bit of cashew cream stirred through at the end (I've made this with chipotle cashew cream and it was delish)
    • Half and half if you're not vegan / avoiding dairy. 
  • Can I freeze this vegan corn chowder? You sure can. I've got a bunch in my freezer as we speak. 
  • Can I make this soup in advance? Yesss. I always find that soups taste better the next day. It'll keep in your fridge for 3-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Corn Chowder
Amount Per Serving
Calories 285 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Sodium 1053mg 44%
Potassium 509mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 10g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 26.8%
Vitamin C 42%
Calcium 3.5%
Iron 11.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This delicious and creamy Vegan Corn Chowder Recipe is super easy to make and naturally gluten-free. Thickened with potato and natural corn starch and made creamy with coconut milk, this recipe is tasty and healthy. #vegan #soup #recipe #chowder #corn #cornchowder #gluten-free #vegetarian #easy #healthy


 

Comments

  1. Your mother did WHAT?!? I too would hold that grudge for a good long time…. We are lucky here to still have about a month of sweet corn left. Now is when I start stalking the farmers market to freeze enough to get me through the fall/winter/spring. (LOL, it’s not possible to buy THAT much!) If I had my way I’d buy an extra freezer JUST to store corn. Store bought frozen corn doesn’t even come close so when I run out, no corn for me! I’ve been living for corn chowder, just made a pot yesterday. Haven’t tried with coconut milk so I’ll give it a go next week. Can’t wait to try a new one! I’m breaking my rule and rating this recipe w/o yet trying it…my corn chowder expertise knows it’ll be spectacular!

    • I know, right?! To be fair, these neighbours are the most wonderful giving people probably in the whole world, so at least the corn went to a worthy home, but sheesh! Having your own corn freezer does sound pretty special, I gotta admit. Get all that corn while it’s in season!

  2. OK – I think I may know the answer to this but this recipe looks amazing and I have everything at home to make it tonight (YAY) BUT I’m missing I think the key ingredient…..the potatoes. I have sweet potatoes but not the Yukon and I know how amazing and buttery those yukon potatoes are but I just have to ask…could I use sweet potatoes by chance??

    • Hey Jen, you definitely could use sweet potatoes in place of yukon gold. It will change the flavour profile of the soup, but I think it’ll still be totally delicious!

  3. Made this on the weekend and made a double batch! I just knew it would be good. Everything on here is good. I froze some for future dinners because I had delicious chilliwack corn. Reheated some tonight and it was just like I’d just made it. So so so good. It probably won’t last the month.
    I made it without onion or garlic to keep it fodmap friendly and it was still addictively tasty!

    • Yes! Good to know the recipe still works well without garlic and onions. Some people with FODMAP sensitivity can’t eat corn or red peppers, so I didn’t tag this recipe as FODMAP friendly at all, but I’m happy it works for you!

  4. Loved this one! Boiling the cobs was something I had never heard of before! I admit that I bastardized it by using chicken stock and dairy, but it was a huge hit. The husband was skeptical at first but after the first bite, was totally hooked. I had planned to save some for future lunches, but there were no leftovers whatsoever 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *