Vegan Corn Chowder

Hearty and healthy veggie-packed vegan corn chowder. Blended up corn, potato, and coconut milk make the chowder base for this super delicious meal!

Vegan Corn Chowder - a lightened up, healthy version of the classic soup | TheRoastedRoot.net #stew #vegetarian #dinner #recipe

Mmmmmmmm choooooowdah! Who doesn’t love a big steamy bowl of creamy, salty, sweet, chunky, cozy corn chowder?

Up until recently, me of all people!

Confession: I used to be the biggest of chowder naysayers that ever did live. When I was little, my siblings would go wild over the clam-chowder-in-a-bread-bowl situation, especially when we visited San Francisco. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why the stuff turned my stomach in knots…until…

Flash forward a couple decades, and come to find out it was because the cream and gluten content of the soup made me feel like Punnany McGeester. Too much cream and gluten for this girl = bellyache = bad mood juju. Even the slightest whisper of the word, “choooowdaaaaah” wrecked havoc on my digestive tract.

A few years ago, one of my brothers started making his own clam chowder, complete with bacon and potatoes for hearty splendor, but with a thinner (not roux-based) consistency and less cream. Not only could I enjoy his homemade clam chowder without feeling sick, but it inspired me to work my own magic in the substitutions department. Nothing like a big brother to draw you a map to the Eightfold Path of Chowder Enlightenment. 

Vegan Corn Chowder - a lightened up, healthy version of the classic soup | TheRoastedRoot.net #stew #vegetarian #dinner #recipe

As it turns out, you don’t need cream, butter, and flour in order to make chowder. You can replace regular flour with a gluten-free all-purpose blend, use a vegan butter replacement, and/or substitute coconut milk for the cream.

As strange as it may seem in its cream-less, chicken-less, bacon-less glory, this veggie-packed dairy-free, gluten-free version of corn chowder is hands down the best batch corn chowder I’ve ever made. I know, I know…it’s hard to believe something so seemingly fun-less could be so good, but you guys, it truly is. Plus, it won’t make you curl up in a food coma and beg the chowder higher-ups for forgiveness.

Vegan Corn Chowder - a lightened up, healthy version of the classic soup | TheRoastedRoot.net #stew #vegetarian #dinner #recipe

The key to making this chowder sweet, thick, and creamy, is to cook one of the red potatoes and blend it with half of the cooked corn kernels and the coconut milk. This makes for a chowder-y consistency without having to tap into the butter and flour to make a roux. The other red potato gets chopped up and cooked with the veggies in order to make the soup nice and chunky and hearty. Similarly, the other half of the corn kernels go into the soup – I like keeping long strips of corn to make for the optimal big bite. I hope that all makes sense – holler at your girl if you need clarification on the prep method.

Vegan Corn Chowder - a lightened up, healthy version of the classic soup | TheRoastedRoot.net #stew #vegetarian #dinner #recipe

While this recipe contains no heavy cream or butter, it tastes completely rich and decadent. Like a treat soup. Chowder with benefits. Dessert chow chow. I’ll stop.

To summarize: make this corn chowder while fresh corn is still in season to keep your belly warm and satisfied on the chilly evenings.

CHOWDAAAAH!

Kitchen Tools

I used the following kitchen tools to prepare this recipe:

Vegan Corn Chowder - a lightened up, healthy version of the classic soup | TheRoastedRoot.net #stew #vegetarian #dinner #recipe

Vegan Corn Chowder

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Julia
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Ingredients

  • 4 ears corn shucked and steamed
  • 2 large red potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 large white onion
  • 5 cloves large garlic minced
  • 3 large carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 large stalks celery chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper cored and chopped
  • 1-½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2/3 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Place ears of corn into a large pot and fill with water. Cover the pot with a lid and place on the stove over high heat. Bring to a full boil and cook until corn is plump and juicy, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Use tongs to remove corn from the boiling water and place on a cutting board.
  3. Chop one of the red potatoes in half and carefully place into the same pot of boiling water you used to cook the corn. Allow potato to cook until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. While the potato is cooking, saute the rest of the vegetables. Add the coconut oil to a large pot, along with the other diced potato, chopped onion, garlic, carrots, celery, bell pepper, sea salt, Cajun seasoning, paprika, and cumin. Heat to medium-high and saute, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Use a knife to remove the corn kernels from all of the ears of corn. Place half of the kernels in a blender, along with the cooked potato. Add the coconut milk and water (or broth) to the blender, and blend until completely smooth. This may take two or three rounds of blending.

  6. Add the remaining corn kernels to the pot with the sauteed vegetables, and pour the blended corn/potato (chowder) mixture into the pot. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until potato has softened, about 10 to 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and taste chowder. Add sea salt and Cajun seasoning as desired. Serve with chopped green onion.
Vegan Corn Chowder - a lightened up, healthy version of the classic soup | TheRoastedRoot.net #stew #vegetarian #dinner #recipe

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Comments

  1. Julie

    Oh, man. I need to make this for me and Jerry before the sweet corn is all gone. Only I’ll be serving it with sweet potato biscuits, which–as you know–contain buttermilk, flour, and butter, which makes them totally NOT vegan or gluten-free. But hey–we would be trying, right?? And just yum in the tum!! I’ll take two bowls, please. xoxo

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      YES you must make the chowder! And I bet you’d love it with chicken – next time I make it, I’ll be adding chicken and chicken broth. The sweet po biscuit sounds like the perfect accompaniment…I say we need to pick and choose how we take in our butter and carbs, and a biscuit that caused a marriage would definitely seal the deal on the meal 😉

      Reply
      1. Julie

        Ok. So if you used chicken broth, would you use it in place of the water? How would it do with the coconut milk, taste-wise? I’m asking because this is one of our dinners for next week, since it’s supposed to be cooler. Also, you know those biscuits help old marriages, too. 😉 Our men do like to eat and do like their carbs.

        Reply
  2. Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies

    “Chowder with benefits” lol. I’ve always been a big fan of chowders, but you’re right on the money with stomach aches for days over that creamy, fatty cream. Plus basically every corn chowder has chicken broth (wahhh). This looks like the homemade chowder of my dreams 🙂

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Yuuuuuhs! I bet you’d love this! I was amazed at how flavorful it turned out…and how filling it was. Real modern marvel right here! ;D

      Reply
  3. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

    Haha, you beat me to it, I really wanted to start my comment with ‘CHOWDAH!’, buuuut because you are an awesome soul, you already done did it for me 🙂 Totally all over this, especially since they are practically giving away corn at the farmer’s market these days!

    Reply
  4. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

    I was never a big chowder person either for similar reasons. All that heavy cream made me feel like was going into labor, lol! That and not everyone served it fresh so sometimes it would be stinky from the clams…blech.

    This version though, I can definitely get down with! It looks light yet supah comforting!

    Reply
  5. marcie

    I’m not a fan of overly rich foods — they don’t agree with me at all. This is one chowder I can get behind — I’d rather taste all of those wonderful ingredients and not just milk and cream! haha This is my kind of soup and I’m definitely trying it!

    Reply
  6. Vivian

    Made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious! Very filling too Veggies needed to be sautéed a little longer on my relatively slow stove. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for a great recipe.

    Reply
  7. Joanne

    I refuse to make corn chowder with cream anymore…corn is creamy enough! And this vegan soup is total proof. Absolutely decadent without being belly-aching.

    Reply
  8. izzy

    I’m not a big fan of seafood so I’ve never even tried chowder before, but this vegan corn chowder is something I can get on board with! It sounds so delicious and I just want to curl up with a big bowl and binge watch something on Netflix 🙂

    Reply
  9. Issie

    I’ve been desperate to find a healthy version of corn chowder! I’m so pleased I stumbled across this recipe in time for Autumn. Can’t wait to try it 🙂

    Issie x
    concealerandkale.blogspot.co.uk

    Reply
  10. Ashley

    I love a good chowder! Well, vegetarian chowder … I kinda sorta hate seafood because I’m weird like that and could never stomach even the smell of clam chowder! haha This sounds fantastic with the coconut milk!

    Reply
  11. Katie (The Muffin Myth)

    Chowder with benefits! Love it! I don’t usually have trouble with dairy or gluten, but I admit sometimes a chowder can be so rich that I need to lie down after. This one looks perfectly decadent without all that crazy richness. Can’t wait to get it in my belly!

    Reply
  12. Erin @ The Speckled Palate

    Like you, I never really dug chowder as a kid… but as an adult? I’m a huge fan. While I don’t have gluten intolerance or a dairy sensitivity (anymore, that is — pregnancy miraculously making this go away FTW!), I have a hard time with really heavy soups… and I kind of can’t wait to make this now because it sounds delightful! And as someone who loves corn and is trying to eat her fill before the season is over, this is basically a perfect meal for me! Nice work!

    Reply
  13. Laura

    I wasn’t crazy about it. It turned out too thick and too sweet for my taste. Also, the ingredients say steam the corn, don’t do it since you will boil it. Don’t chop one of the potato’s because later the directions say boil it.

    Reply
  14. Becky Franklin

    I made this and it was absolutely delicious! I did change it up a little by adding curry powder. I think it really made it taste that much better if you like curry! I brought it in for lunch for a couple of co-workers & they raved about how wonderful it was! I will definitely be making this again!

    Reply
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    1. Alma

      I loved the recipe. I don’t like cooked red peppers very much. I would substitute cauliflower next time instead of the red peppers and the carrots. Was yummy. I also made it on a hot summer’s day, because I couldn’t wait to for autumn to try it. Will definitely make it again. Thanks for the recipe. Thanks for the good eating

      Reply
  16. Cassandra

    OH MY! I tried this tonight, was so good! Simmered for about an hour after everything was combined and the flavours came together really well! Was thick, creamy, flavourful, and filling..not too mention vegan…a big win in my books! Even my husband who is skeptical of vegan dishes had thirds!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Woop woop! So thrilled to hear it, Cassandra! I’m glad you and your husband enjoyed the chowder – it’s definitely one of my favorites!

      Reply
  17. Jodi

    That is THE BEST CHOWDER we’ve ever had whether at home or eating out! So freaking delicious!!!!! Thank you for putting in the time to develop such a wonderful recipe. I substituted sweet potatoes for the red ones so my chowder had a pretty orange color and a little more added nutrition. It is going to be a family favorite for sure.

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Yaaaaaaay I’m so happy you love it, Jodi! I’m loving the idea of using sweet potatoes – how brilliant! I’ll definitely have to whip up my next batch using sweet potatoes. Thanks so much for the kind words! xo

      Reply
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  19. Barb

    I’m not vegan, and I don’t find butter or cream unhealthy, but I do love coconut milk, so I’m going to try this tomorrow. The question I have is why do you prep cook the corn? When I make cold corn salad I cut the raw corn off the cob. When I cook corn for myself, I only boil it 1-1/2 minutes. This seems like the corn would be overcooked???

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Barb,

      The process as outlined in the recipe does not produce overcooked corn, but if you’re concerned about it, feel free to use raw corn off the cobb – I bet it will still turn out great! I hope you enjoy the chowder, and let me know if you have any more questions.

      Reply
  20. Angela

    I was nervous to try this. But after my Dictor suggested going off dairy and gluten. I searched for more recipes. I’m so glad I gave this a go it was so delicious. Even my junk food junkie hubby liked it. That’s saying a lot. This is going in our rotation hot list for sure!!!

    I just did 5 potatoes instead of 2 cuz I love them. I also didn’t use garlic because I can’t and it still was FAB.

    I wouldn’t change s thing.

    Superb!!!!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      I’m so glad you and your husband enjoyed the chowder, Angela! It’s definitely a filling and flavorful meal. I love the idea of adding extra potatoes – I’m a potato fanatic, too. So happy the recipe exceeded expectations, and thanks so much for stopping in to give your feedback! 😀

      Reply
  21. Kylee Duff

    This was absolutely delicious! My husband and I are trying to go vegan and are always looking for new good recipes. My kids even loved it! Thanks for a great recipe.

    Reply
  22. Crissy

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was wonderful. It’s hard to believe it is a vegan dish. I didn’t have an onion, so I used dried minced onion. I subbed vegetable stock for the water and cut way back on salt because my cajun seasoning also had salt. I may add a little more stock or water next time because it’s a lot of vegetables. Wonderful recipe!

    Reply
  23. Kelly

    I made this a few weeks ago and after one bite knew it was going to be our first course at Thanksgiving (my husband and I eat plant-based while my family eats turkey, so it will also be our main dish). Sooooooo yummy! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  24. Victoria W.

    Seriously delicious. I replaced almond milk with the coconut milk and used 2 tablespoons of coconut oil instead of 3 and it turned out perfect. The entire family loved it!

    Reply
  25. Nicole

    Wondering if you taste the coconut in the coconut milk? If so, is there any sub that I could use instead? Soup looks amazing but not a huge fan of the coconut flavor. Never cooked with coconut milk before, so not sure what to expect.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Nicole, Surprisingly, the coconut milk flavor stays pretty well hidden! If you have a super sensitive palate, you may be able to detect it, but for me, the soup tastes like regular corn chowder. You can definitely replace the coconut milk with broth, milk, or cream if you’re not concerned about keeping the recipe vegan. I’ve also seen folks blend up soaked cashews to give the creamy essence (check out this recipe, for instance: http://makingthymeforhealth.com/vegan-roasted-poblano-corn-chowder/). Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Reply
  26. Kat

    Delicious! I had golden potatoes on hand, so used 3 of those and frozen corn. I have an immersion blender, so I took the following steps:
    -Sauté veggies first (add to pan to sauté as you chop them, in the following order: onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, garlic, all of the potatoes).
    -Add seasonings, coconut milk and water (I added extra coconut milk and water and a tsp of vegetable Better than Boullion)
    -Soft boil for 5 min
    -Add corn, soft boil for 10 min (or until potatoes are done)
    -Use immersion blender til you reach a consistency that you like, adjust seasonings as needed, and serve!
    This recipe will be added to the dinner rotation!

    Reply
  27. Heidi Musser

    Do I skim off the clear liquid in the coconut milk and only use the more solid white cream or do I shake the can to incorporate the clear liquid before I use it for this recipe? Thank you.

    Reply
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  29. Syd

    Home run!! My 16 yr old son who has not been a big fan of my vegan cooking went back for seconds, whoop!

    Reply
  30. kimberly jackson

    I am a little late to the game but I just made this. Sofa king good!!! Wonderful taste and easy to make. I like the idea of adding a sweet potatoe per another comment. Next time I make it I plan to add butter beans as well. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  31. Cheryl

    Made this tonight it was delicious. Grilled the corn. Since I don’t like Cajun spice, I used chipotle instead. Made it kind of Southwest. Added a little cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. It came out really creamy and I loved the texture. Thank you for the recipe. It’s a keeper.????????

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Oooooh that chipotle flavor is probably lovely in the chowder! I’ll have to try that, myself! I’m so glad you like it! Thanks for the sweet note! xo

      Reply
  32. Ali

    This chowder is the BEST! I don’t use oil so I subbed with water when sauteing veggies and everything still came out delicious. I also added some red curry paste – 1-2 tbsp – and it was sooo good. Thanks for this great recipe – a staple in my household!

    Reply
  33. Latasha Metcalfe

    Wow! Amazing! Love this recipe, and no dairy a plus. My Husband loves it. I was skeptical at first with blending the mixture, but it turned out soooo good. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  34. Geri

    Omygoodness delish! I used smoked paprika and vegetable broth in place of water and a bit of turmeric for some gorgeous color!

    Reply
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  38. Siobhan

    This was so good! I doubled the recipe and made a few tweaks (mostly thanks to some other comments!):

    – used 2 red potatoes and 1 large sweet potato
    – added half a head of cauliflower that I needed to use
    – added a bit of spicy green curry paste
    – after I boiled the corn, I sauteed all of the uncooked veggies except the potatoes in the same big pot; then added the coconut milk, veg broth and potatoes; once they were soft, I gave it a few pulses with my immersion blender

    Definitely will be making this again — thanks!!

    Reply
  39. Lauren

    I’ve been vegan for almost two years and am always looking for comforting and cozy recipes that remind me of food I ate before going vegan. This sure fit the bill! I’ve made creamy soups with cashew cream and was skeptical about using coconut milk, but it really went well with the sweet corn! I’m so glad I doubled the recipe, I’ll look forward to having this for lunch all week! It’s always great to have a bowl full of veggies, but when its super filling and comforting, it’s even better! Thanks for this recipe!!

    Reply
    1. Lauren

      Forgot to say that I didn’t use oil, just sautéed the veggies in a splash of veggie broth and that worked perfectly! The coconut milk added plenty of fat to make it rich and creamy.

      Reply
  40. Lori

    Amazing! This Chowder is so delicious! I was worried the coconut milk would have an overpowering taste but it doesn’t. Gonna make a second batch and experiment with adding maybe jackfruit or cubed tofu.

    Reply
  41. Edith Goldman

    This made a good chowder but I have a few comments/suggestions. First – NEVER put boiling liquids into a blender or food processor! Always let the fluids cool several minutes first. Second: You can save a lot of time and energy by not boiling the corn. Instead, place the UNshucked ears in your microwave, head to toe, and zap. The timing is 4 minutes for the 1st 2 ears plus 30 seconds for each additional ear. You may need to trim a bit off the bottom to fit them in the microwave. When done wrap them in a clean dish towel and walk away. This should be done at least 30 minutes before starting the soup. When you’re ready to start cooking, put the potato you’re boiling in a small amount of water (enough to cover) and let it cook. I cut mine into quarters, both to reduce cooking time and to make it fit better into my food processor. When the corn is cool enough to handle shuck, remove the silk and cut in 1/2. Stand the cut side on your cutting board and slice down carefully, Slice deeper than you think you should, so you get all the “milk” from the corn. I keep the husks for other recipes, like corn risotto. Place 1/2 the kernels in the blender and 1/2 with the sauteed veggies. Once you’ve fished the cooked taters from the pot, you now have lovely starchy water to add to your soup. And it’s hot, so it doesn’t mess up your soup by adding cold liquid to the hot soup you’re trying to thin out. I didn’t have Cajun seasoning but all you need is oregano, paprika, cumin, sage and a light dusting of cayenne. Also add a bit of nutmeg – always add nutmeg to anything dairy (and yes, I’m counting coconut milk as dairy). I skipped the carrots and the soup was still very tasty and colorful. Lastly – if you’ve softened all the sauteed veggies there’s no need to cook for any additional time. Once you’ve added the creamed corn and taters, bring to a boil, add additional liquids to bring to your desired constancy, adjust seasonings and turn it off. If you cook for another 20 minutes you’ll have mush, not chowder. Thank you for reading this long post, I hope it helps.

    Reply
  42. Elizabeth

    I know this is a dumb question but can this be frozen for a later time. Trying to find some meals I can freeze and this is a favorite

    Thanks
    Elizabeth

    Reply
  43. Dakota girl

    We really enjoyed this recipe. Since fresh corn is out of season I substituted frozen corn and it was great. I didn’t have any Cajun Seasoning so used smoked paprika and other herbs and it was awesome. I fixed both potatoes in the early part of the recipe and after I had all the ingredients in the pot I took some out and blended it together with a little Arrowroot. The coconut milk is a great way to make it vegan and certainly does not come across in the taste. One other thing – I used a bay leaf or two – it adds so much depth to any soup. Thanks for a great recipe

    Reply
    1. Casey

      To be honest the first four or five times I made this chowder I didn’t use the canon seasoning either. I never had used it before and thought the chowder was excellent without, using a little extra paprika and whatever else I felt. Wow I was missing out. I got “Louisiana Cajun” seasoning and I will never (be able to) leave it out again! What an immensely delicious experience this chowder is. I highly recommend you try again with the Cajun! I actually left for the end as my kids won’t like the heat but my husband and I piled it on 😁

      Love this chowder!!

      Reply
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  46. Helaine

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!! I will definitely make it again. The fresh corn did not look good at the market so I ended up using frozen (3 cups) but I don’t think it took anything away from the taste. I also only used one teaspoon of Cajun seasoning because my mix is pretty spicy and I was concerned it would be too much. I loved the flavor and texture and enjoyed every spoonful. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

    Reply

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