Vegan Corn Chowder (Dairy-Free & Delicious)

Savor the warmth of vegan corn chowder with our perfected recipe! Dive into this creamy delight, where fresh plant-based ingredients blend to create the ultimate creamy comfort.
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Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder
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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.

Two Bowls of Corn Chowder Soup served on a table garnished with green onion

Corn Chowder Ingredient Spotlight

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.

Sliced green onion in a small bowl.

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!

Soup Base: Vegan Broth or Bouillon?

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.

Bouillon is essentially condensed soup stock without the water. You can find it in little individually wrapped cubes (like this). Better Than Bouillon is my personal favorite.

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!

Fresh, Canned, or Frozen Corn?

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. 

Love Your Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder Leftovers

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.

Bowl of Creamy Corn Chowder

More Vegan Soup Recipes

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:

More Vegan Corn Recipes

Hungry for more corn-inspired dishes? Check out these delicious recipes! 

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Vegan Corn Chowder

Author: Michelle Cehn and Toni Okamoto
5 from 17 votes
We can't sing the praises of this vegan corn chowder enough. It's creamy yet chunky, and sings with the fresh flavor of corn. We've already had friends begging us for this recipe, and lucky for them—and you—it's really easy to make. If corn's not in season, don't worry—the frozen variety works just as well. 
Creamy Corn Chowder
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ medium jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 pound red russet, or Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups corn kernels, frozen corn or fresh uncooked corn sliced directly off the cob—about 4 large ears, divided
  • 4 cups rich vegetable broth, or equivalent amount of vegetable bouillon and water
  • teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups unsweetened, plain plant-based milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion, for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish

Instructions

  • In a large soup pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium­ high heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño, and celery and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion becomes translucent and tender.
  • Add the potatoes, 2 cups of the corn kernels, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  • In a blender, combine the remaining 2 cups of corn kernels, salt, and plant-­based milk and blend on high until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pot of soup, bring to a boil, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Using an immersion blender, briefly blend some (but not all) of the soup. This will thicken the soup, but visible chunks of the ingredients should remain. (Alternatively, you can use a regular blender to purée half of the soup, and then add it back in.) Be careful not to over-purée, because you want plenty of chunkiness to remain in the soup.
  • Garnish each bowl with chopped green onion and freshly ground pepper. 

Video

Notes

Friendly Suggestion: If you have extra frozen corn kernels, toss them in the soup after blending.

Nutrition

Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 1460mg | Potassium: 1006mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 893IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 5mg
Course — dinner, Main
Cuisine — American
Love this Recipe? Leave a Rating!And follow @Vegan on Instagram for more.

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.

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Recipe Rating




19 comments
  1. Geoff Myers says:

    This sounds like a good and healthy recipe for vegan corn chowder! It looks good to have a recipe that uses plant-based milk and pureed potatoes, rather than relying on cream or butter, dairy sucks. I like vegan in my world.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing these delicious and creative recipes! I love the idea of using bouillon instead of store-bought vegetable broth to reduce waste, and I can’t wait to try the tofu chickpea carrot burgers and the vegan corn chowder. The chocolate chip goddamn banana bread also sounds like a delicious and unique twist on a classic favorite. I appreciate the time and effort you put into creating and sharing these recipes, and I look forward to trying them out in my own kitchen. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    I’m always looking for vegan recipes and this one is delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    This is exactly how I love my corn soup. Creamy and chunky! This will be a new favorite this time of year. It warms you right up!

  5. 5 stars
    super creamy but with texture and great mouthfeel!

  6. 5 stars
    Super creamy and so flavorful! It’s a hit at the dinner table for sure.

  7. 5 stars
    this corn choder is soooo easy and so delicious! love it!

  8. 5 stars
    Fabulous! I really loved all the amazing flavors melting with the sweetness of corn! Thank you!

  9. That looks so delicious. Warming, creamy and perfect for cold days. I will make this recipe for sure.

  10. Kayla DiMaggio says:

    5 stars
    This vegan corn chowder was amazing! So easy and delicious!

  11. 5 stars
    my first vegan chowder and I loved it….and so did my family!

  12. Amanda Meth says:

    5 stars
    This looks absolutely delightful! I love how simple this recipe is! YUM!

  13. 5 stars
    I am SO in love with corn chowder! I seriously love most soups, but the combination of the creamy texture, sweet corn and super soft potatoes of this chowder makes me swoon! I could eat this every single night…and I just might!

  14. Beatriz Buono-Core says:

    5 stars
    I’m so in love with this creamy, sweet, and salty soup! It’s a family favorite 🙂 I add a few drops of tabasco to give it a little kick and it’s peeeeerfect! Thank you Michelle and Toni for introducing me to this amazing chowder!

  15. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    Yum! I cannot wait to make this!!!

    • 5 stars
      Love making this recipe, so easy and comforting!

  16. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite vegan soup recipes to make in the fall! I’ve already made this a few times this season 🙂 If I have extra frozen corn, I toss it in before I store my leftovers in the fridge!

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