Vegan Corn Chowder

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Vegan Corn Chowder is creamy and comforting, made without gluten or dairy. I use a bag of frozen corn to make this recipe as fast and easy as possible, but you can use fresh corn sliced off the cob, if you prefer!

vegan corn chowder in two bowls

Ingredients You’ll Need

How do you make vegan corn chowder? Skip the heavy cream and use your favorite non-dairy milk, instead. I’ve tested this recipe with both almond milk and coconut milk, and it’s delicious either way!

vegan corn chowder ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Corn (use frozen to save time & effort!)
  • Potatoes
  • Red bell pepper
  • Onion
  • Dried herbs & seasonings
  • Milk of choice

As you can see, this dairy-free soup is incredibly simple, but you’ll be amazed by the flavor. It’s inspired by the restaurant where I worked in college, which served the best corn chowder I’ve ever tasted. It’s creamy, with a slight kick! (Omit the cayenne if you are sensitive to spice, FYI.)

How to Thicken it Up

Corn chowder is notoriously thick, which is usually achieved by making a roux (a mix of flour and butter). Instead of adding flour to this soup, I prefer to puree half of the soup to thicken it up, and add creaminess at the same time.

Adding potatoes to this soup gives it a similar starchiness, while also keeping it gluten-free and flourless. You can use an immersion blender to blend the soup directly in the pot, but you’ll achieve a creamier texture by transferring half of the soup (or more, if you want more creaminess) to a blender, and blending it until smooth.

corn chowder in blender to thicken

When choosing which parts will get blended in this soup, I usually aim for grabbing any big chunks of potatoes, so the soup will have a smoother texture.

Tip: I don’t bother peeling the potatoes for this recipe, but you can if you want to.

Then you can add the blended soup back to the pot and mix it in with the remaining veggies. I love the contrasting textures in each bite.

blended soup in pot and served in bowl

Substitution Ideas

Need to swap an ingredient? Here’s my best guesses for what might work.

  • Potatoes. I love using cauliflower as a swap for potatoes! (If you’ve ever tried Mashed Cauliflower, you know it can be just as satisfying.
  • Milk. You can use cashew milk or hemp milk instead of the almond or coconut options. Or just use more water, if you don’t mind a slightly less-creamy soup.
  • Cayenne Pepper. You can totally omit this if you don’t want the soup spicy. I think it helps take it to the next level flavor-wise, though.

vegan corn chowder in bowl with spoon

Two bowls of dairy free corn chowder topped with scallions
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4.96 from 22 votes

Vegan Corn Chowder

Vegan Corn Chowder is a light, creamy soup made without gluten or dairy. It's the perfect way to use up fresh corn, or you can use frozen corn to make the prep work easier.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan corn chowder
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 251kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion , chopped (204 grams)
  • 1 red bell pepper , chopped (170 grams)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes , cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound frozen organic corn kernels (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (no more than 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt , plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauté the onion and pepper until softened, about 5 minutes.
    sauteed peppers and onions in pot
  • Add in the water, potatoes, corn, thyme, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Bring the water to a boil, then cover and lower the heat, simmering until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.
    corn chowder ingredients added to pot and cooked
  • When the soup is done cooking, stir in the coconut milk. Use a ladle to scoop half of the soup into a blender, and carefully blend until smooth. (When blending hot liquids, be sure to lightly cover the vent in the lid with a thin dish towel, so steam can escape and you won't get splattered with hot soup.)
    corn chowder in blender and blended
  • Pour the blended soup back into the pot, and then adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve warm with any toppings you love. Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
    blended soup in pot and served in bowl

Notes

This recipe was updated in May 2021. If you prefer the original recipe, simply omit the coconut milk and cayenne pepper. I think this updated version is even better, though!
Nutrition information is for 1 of 4 servings. This information is automatically calculated and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.
See substitution notes in this post if you need swap ideas!

Nutrition

Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 1191mg | Potassium: 710mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 945IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 3mg

If you try this Vegan Corn Chowder, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it. (I hope you love it!) And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience.

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Comments

Kezia @Super Naturally Healthy

i eat a lot of soup living in cold but beautiful Scotland – favourite has to be squash coconut and cayenne soup – creamy with a bit of a kick!

Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

This soup looks marvelous! Like you alluded to, my biggest gripes with soups are the heavy cream added. I’m not 100% against dairy or anything, just don’t love the calories and think to myself for the same amount of calories, I could have eaten a [fill in the blank]. My kids gobble down a good soup too which as a mom is kind of flattering. I had no idea Yukon Gold potatoes were that chock-full of Vitamin C! My skin needs all the help it can get. Sometimes, I do believe potatoes are unfairly treated and are blamed for weight gain like many carbs are. Eager to try this with my new immersion blender ~ my MIL thoughtfully got me one for Christmas!!!

Robin

I always loved my homemade corn chowder, but it hasn’t been the same since i had to go dairy free. I also can’t eat potatoes. I’m going to try your recipe using white sweet potatoes because they were awesome in your dairy free “queso” dip. I love bacon in my corn chowder.

Jenny

You have out done yourself again. I just made this soup and it was AMAZING. It’s so nice and creamy. I love that the ingredients are so simple and clean. I have to admit, I did add a tsp of Better n’ chicken Bouillon for a little flavor. However, next time, I will leave that out because I’m sure it would still be great without it. With ingredients like these, I don’t have to worry about counting calories lol. You’re recipes are so wonderful. Thank you for your creativity.

Abbi*tarian

I look forward to making this! My favorite soup is loaded baked potato, so I love that you made a corn chowder with my favorite type of potato – total win! I found I can’t eat bell peppers very often. Do you have a suggestion for a bell pepper substitute that would compliment this recipe? I also look forward to seeing your Mulligatawny Soup recipe. I hadn’t heard of it until I read this post & “had” to research it right away. It sounds neat!

    Debbie

    I can’t eat bell peppers at all and immediately thought of using carrots instead.

meghan

I added a quarter cup of cashews to mine to make it even more creamier! Yummy!

Heather

Made this tonight and it was delish!

Melissa

This was absolutely delicious, Megan! I made it tonight and it turned out awesome. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thanks so much!

Melissa

Oops, forgot to give it a rating in my last comment. 5 STARS!!

Maureen

Made this over the weekend and it is terrific. I used 2 cups of chicken stock for half of the liquid because I wanted to use it up. I then lowered the salt to about 1 teaspoon. I’m not dairy free so added a little Greek yogurt to the bowls. However, it definitely stands on its own for those who want dairy free. I love your soups!

Honey flavored Lemonade

I have corn chowder on our menu this week. I like potatoes in my chowder & I love the idea to use them as thee thickner.

Christina E.

Hooray! I gave up (or DEEPLY minimized) my dairy intake about 6 months ago and I LOVE corn chowder. Whenever I see it, I’ve been totally bummin’ that I couldn’t have any. So, I went looking today and there was a 5-star non-dairy corn chowder… Sign me up! Hubbie was sweet and picked up the ingredients on his way home and the test was moving right along…
First of all, super easy to make. I chopped my potatoes into tiny cubes, because that’s how I like it, so it took a few minutes longer. I did reduce the salt to about 1.5 tsp and the thyme to about 3/4 tsp. Everything was easy breezy. Mini-victory… as long as it tastes good…
Next, the taste test. My son said he would’ve liked it a little thicker and with some meat in it (I think he might just want some Shepherd’s Pie), but he still said that it was good. My husband said it was “just good. No changes necessary”… and I agree! It was delicious and allowed me to have some scrumptious Corn Chowder again!!!! Woo Hoo!!! THANK YOU, Detoxinista!!!!
I guess my only question would be, does anyone have any advice to increase the protein content? My best thoughts were some black beans thrown in to the pot or throw some cooked chickpeas into the blender with the soup. And I just saw the cashew suggestion, so I’ll try that! Anyone else have any other suggestions?

    Laurel

    I think quinoa would be fantastic!

    Kathleen Fonseca

    Hi! I made fish stock out of a piece of sea bass filet and veggies. Used that instead of the ‘water’ in the recipe. Then when the soup as done i cut another filet into chunks and added it to the soup, cooked qa bit, adjusted seasoning and voila, a complete meal.

    Deborah

    I think you could put in some diced chicken breast to poach at the end, after taking out the part you will blend up. That’s my plan anyway, taking this from a side to a one-pot meal.
    I am not sure yet about the coconut milk. Can I use the can or does it have to be the kind in the carton from the dairy section? I have only canned coconut milk and plan to use that.

Aimee

Just made this soup and it is absolutely amazing! I will be making it again and again!
Thank you!

Illaria

My family from Nebraska gave me some fresh corn and I was looking for a good corn soup that was not cream based. My finicky hubby love this recipe. I didn’t have potatoes in the house, I used corn and zucchini as substitutes. I also made my own chicken stock instead of water. I also used parsley instead of chives, but it still had a good flavor. My husband suggested I add a little kick of jalapenos for the next time. I’ll have to try it next time. Two Yums Up!

Christine

I made this tonight using homemade chicken stock in place of water and it was SOOO good!! My husband added some ham and he loved it as well (and he is hard to please with healthier recipes!)

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m so glad to hear that! My husband is hard to please with healthier recipes, too– which makes him an excellent critic before I post a recipe. 😉

Dana

This is so comforting and delicious yet nice and simple. It comes together really quick w/ minimal dirty dishes in prep work. I make this often and add shredded chicken for my husband & son – we all love it! Can’t wait for No Excuses!

Jenn

This is the best soup ever! I loved it and so did my family.

SHAONNA C CHASE

I really want to try this however my husband is on dialysis and is on a low potassium and phosphorus diet which means no potatoes or cashews. Is there anything else I can use as a thickener?

    Megan Gilmore

    Perhaps arrowroot starch? I’d try 2 tablespoons mixed with 1/4 cup of water first, then stir that “slurry” into the soup at the end.

Mindy

I’m wondering how Tofutti would work in addition to the potatoes for a creamy mouth feel.

Asha

Yummy! I like that it doesn’t have any milk but was creamy from the potatoes. I will definitely make more. Thank you for the recipe.

MegAn

This soup was sooo flavorful and delicious! I used fresh corn cut off the cob and a mix of yummy peppers from a CSA, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Highly recommended!

Mikey

Thank you for the vegan recipe! I added BBQ at the end for a little tang, and it boosted the flavor profile x100!

Jen

Hello!

On the soups what is considered a serving size. 1/2 cup? 1 cup?

Thank you for showing the nutritional information, it has been a huge help!

All the best,

April

Followed the recipe exactly & used my food processor for blending 1/2 of the soup & adding it back to the main pot. A couple of my friends tried it with me & we all loved it! Excellent chowder, healthy & super easy to make. Definitely my kind of recipe. Thanks Detoxinista! You have great recipes & great taste!! pun intended! 🧡

Nachatr

This soup is hearty, satisfying and easy. You’re a genius. Thank you!

Katie

How long do you think this would need in the Instant Pot?

Katrina McGuire

This was hands down the best soup I’ve ever made! So incredibly easy and fast for a weeknight meal. I used sweet potatoe, added a bouillon cube + doubled the cayenne.

Jess

My whole family Loved this recipe so much!such a hit, incredible flavor and so simple.I didn’t have any frozen corn so I used 4 cobs, and threw the bare cobs in the pot to simmer with the veggies because why not!? And I think it really added some depth to the broth. Also, I used chicken broth.added carrots. Only had oat milk so I used that instead. Can’t wait to make this again!

Jenny

We made the original version (no coconut milk or cayenne) and it was so delicious! We’ve made it twice now and added some leftover halibut the 2nd time. Yummmmm!

Erika

Super yummy! Not the traditional kind but my kids enjoyed the flavour 👍

Luisa

We had this for dinner this evening, and it was yummy! I’m usually not a big corn chowder fan, but this definitely hit the spot. I used roasted corn that I had on hand and an orange pepper instead of the red. I also replaced the coconut milk with almond milk. I’ll definitely be making this again.Thank you for another great recipe.

Lindsay

This corn chowder is amazing! I tried another vegan corn chowder from another website that I didn’t like. This one is so much better!

VW

Delicious & easy to make. I found that I wish I’d cut up the potatoes a bit smaller. I cut the salt in half & used no-sodium Spike to reduce sodium. Did add some salt to taste at the end. Used some leftover coconut milk & made up the rest with unsweetened almond milk. Really yummy. Would definitely make again.

Caren

This is so good! I made it in the instant pot. Sautéed the onion and bell pepper along with a jalapeño for extra spice, then added the other ingredients and cooked at high pressure for 4 minutes (2 min probably would have been enough).

Becky

I made this for dinner tonight and it was delish!! It never fails, I love all of the recipes that I try from your website! Thank you and keep them coming!

Jacqueline

Does this soup freeze well?

Cindy

In several of your recipes you call for coconut milk. Do you use the canned coconut milk or the coconut milk found in a carton?

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