Vegan Corn Chowder is luscious and creamy, even without the dairy! This 9-ingredient comfort food comes together in one pot and boasts BIG flavor.
Vegetarian potato corn chowder
This Vegan Corn Chowder recipe is creamy comfort food at its finest. Made with fresh or frozen corn, potatoes, and a handful of smoky seasonings and simple ingredients, you and your family won’t be able to get enough!
The recipe is practically effortless, too. The vegetable-packed base of the soup comes together in one pot while a blended cashew cream helps thicken the luscious finished meal in a pinch. Make the meal unforgettable by sprinkling crumbled vegan bacon on top and serving fresh artisan bread on the side.
The best part? Corn chowder is fitting for any time of year! Turn to it when you have more summer corn than you know what to do with (the rest can be thrown in vegan cornbread) or for a comforting, warming dinner during cold winter nights. Just freeze the leftovers and reheat them whenever you’re craving the sweet and smoky flavors.
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Olive oil
- Red bell pepper – Or any other color of bell pepper. Feel free to add even more vegetables in addition to the peppers if you’d like!
- Vegetable broth – A meatless “chicken” broth would also be delicious.
- Smoked paprika – If you don’t have smoked paprika, swap it for regular paprika. The smoky flavor can be replaced with 2 or 3 drops of liquid smoke.
- Corn – I prefer fresh corn but drained and rinsed canned corn and frozen corn will also work.
- Yukon gold potatoes – These are the best kind of potatoes for chowder because they help thicken the soup and give it a creamy texture. Russet potatoes are the next best option.
- Cashews – Raw cashews are blended with the soup for ultra creaminess. Raw slivered almonds will also work here. You may also use a bit of coconut cream or milk to make the soup creamy.
- Nutritional yeast – To help the soup taste cheesy even without the dairy. Try not to leave it out!
How to make vegan corn chowder
Find the complete instructions with measurements, temperatures, and cook times on the recipe card below.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot and add the onion. Saute until it’s aromatic and soft, then add the red bell pepper.
Add the vegetable broth, smoked paprika, corn, and potatoes. Bring the soup up to a boil and let it simmer until the potatoes are fork tender.
To a blender, add the cashews, nutritional yeast, and 2 cups of the soup. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour this mixture back into the soup pot, stir, and season with salt. Serve with any toppings you like and fresh bread on the side, then enjoy!
Because it’s so rich and creamy, potato corn chowder can easily be enjoyed on its own as a filling meal. However, if you’re looking to pair it with the perfect side dish, I recommend serving it with fresh dutch oven bread, asparagus, kale caesar salad, or vegan collard greens and plenty of toppings on each bowl.
Serving a crowd? Impress your guests by topping each bowl of chowder with simple, yet extravagant-looking garnishes, such as:
- Roasted corn kernels
- Tofu bacon or tempeh bacon
- Green onions
- Vegan sour cream
- Diced jalapeno
- Roasted chickpeas
- Fresh herbs
- Toasted sourdough pieces
Frequently asked questions
- What makes a chowder a chowder? Chowder is a thick and creamy soup that’s typically made with a base of pork or bacon and vegetables. This vegan chowder recipe, as well as my vegan clam chowder, omits the meat but keeps the rest of the recipe as traditional as possible thanks to the inclusion of onions, potatoes, and a creamy soup base.
- Can vegan corn chowder be made nut free? You can make this easy corn chowder nut free by omitting the blended cashews and pureeing the soup with an immersion blender. The potatoes will make the soup quite creamy by themselves. Or add a bit of coconut cream/milk.
- How do you store leftover corn chowder? Leftover corn chowder can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let the soup thaw completely overnight before reheating it on the stove or in the microwave.
Want more comforting vegan soups?
Vegan Corn Chowder
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped small
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 4 cups corn, fresh or frozen
- 2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped | about 4 medium potatoes
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2-1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- In a large soup pot, saute the onion in the olive oil for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the red bell pepper and cook for 1 more minute.
- Now pour in the vegetable broth, smoked paprika, corn and potatoes. Stir. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.
- To a blender, add the cashews, nutritional yeast and 2 cups of the soup. Blend until very smooth, then add back to the pot and stir. Add salt to taste. Serve and enjoy!
- Consider serving corn chowder with a sprinkling of crumbled tempeh bacon and vegan sour cream.
- Allergic to cashews? Try raw slivered almonds, or just leave them out completely. The soup will still be quite creamy from the potatoes, and you can use an immersion blender directly in the pot, or blend a few cups of the soup and add it back to the pot. Or stir in 1/2-3/4 cup coconut cream or milk.
- There is no need to soak the cashews, because the soup will be so hot it will help them blend.
*This recipe was originally published April 2019 and has been republished with new photos and writing. The recipe is unchanged.
I’ve made this twice so far. It’s a good base recipe, but I found I had to add a lot of things to give it more flavor. I added 2 carrots, 2 ribs of celery, a lot of garlic, and a jalapeño (very finely diced). I also found that I had to double the cashews. It still wasn’t quite right, so I doubled the paprika (I don’t like smoked paprika, so it might have been enough if I had used smoked), added Bay leaf, a splash of apple cider vinegar, black pepper, and finally I figured out that the star missing ingredient was parsley. I used dried parsley the first time because that’s what I had on hand, but I bought fresh for the second batch and that was even better. I also used mushroom broth the second time and it was phenomenal. Just throwing out ideas for other readers that said it wasn’t as “complex” as they’d have liked since I know not everyone is as comfortable winging it as I am.
Love this recipe. Creamy, comforting and it comes together quickly. Thanks Nora!
You are welcome, Lena! I’m so glad you love the recipe! Thank you for your wonderful feedback!
So good! I am not vegan but am always looking for healthier ways to make our favorites by not using processed foods. This fits the bill perfectly! I used less potatoes (because I didn’t have enough) and added some chopped garlic and jalapeños. Chef’s Kiss! Thanks for a great & easy recipe.
You are welcome, Lisa! Thank YOU for your terrific feedback and review! I’m thrilled you loved the chowder!
This is absolutely amazing. Adding it to my list of favorites. Thinking about trying some carrot next time as others mentioned. Thank you, Nora, you knocked it out of the park AGAIN!
Hi Ashley. Thanks for your fabulous feedback! I am really happy that you love the chowder! Adding carrots do sound delicious! Happy cooking!
I tried this soup thinking I would like it, but I ended up loving it! The only change I made was to add some black pepper at the end at top with red pepper flakes for just a little bit of heat. I couldn’t believe how creamy it was!
Hi Kelly. I’m glad you loved the soup! Thank you for your great feedback and review!
This recipe is AMAZING. My only variation was the addition of a garlic clove with the red peppers. I garnished with blackened/roasted corn and fresh black pepper. So delicious! I will be pressure canning this one for my son who is away at university, for sure. Thanks yet again, Nora! Your recipes are incredible.
You are welcome! I’m so glad you loved the corn chowder! Thanks for sharing your ideas and wonderful feedback!
This is my GO TO for corn chowder! I’ve made this at least 4 times already and my family LOVES IT!
I still eat some fish once in a while and I added a can of crab claw meat and a hefty dose of Old Bay seasoning and it’s to DIE FOR! Thank you for ALL of your incredible recipes! You make it so Easy to go VEGAN!! THANK YOU! ??
Hi Gina. Wow, I’m so happy this is your go-to corn chowder! I am so glad you are enjoying my recipes! Thank you for your great feedback and review! Wishing you happy cooking!
This was absolutely delicious made with simple ingredients!
Hi Mackenzie. I’m so glad you loved the corn chowder! Thank you for sharing your great feedback!
Made this twice so far. The first time, followed the recipe exactly and it was amazing. Second time, separated cooked soup into two pots and used the immersion blender on half before combining both with the cashew mixture. This made it even creamier. Made it with fresh corn both times, which I think is key. Very hard to believe there’s no cream in this recipe.
My husband and I are both in love with this soup. One of my favorite Nora recipes, and I’m sure one that I’ll come back to again and again.
Hi Nancy. I’m so glad you are loving the chowder! It is a such a cozy and satisfying dish! I appreciate you taking time to share your great feedback and ideas! Thank you!
This is the best vegan corn chowder recipe that Ive tried! I served with vegan biscuits, and it was delicious. It made enough for 2-3 meals for 3 adults.
This was very good! I did sub one big carrot and two stalks of celery for the red pepper. I used my last russet potatoes and added about another 3/4 cup of broth. It turned out so delicious and made enough for several meals. We’ll enjoy it tonight with a fresh sourdough bread and Wednesday with croissants. Thank you for this recipe – loved it!
Hi Claudia. You are welcome! Thank you for taking time to share your feedback and ideas! Your soup sounds so delicious, and the sourdough bread on the side is perfect! Aren’t leftovers great! May you enjoy it all!
I found the corn.
Hi Anton. Glad you found it! Enjoy!
It’s good chowder, and I’ve missed corn chowder since going vegan. I feel like it could use a little more of a flavor profile and just because nothing is perfect, I gave it 4 stars out of 5. Even though I wanted a little more complexity in the flavors, I did appreciate how quickly and easily it came together. Thanks Nora!
You are welcome! Thank you for sharing your feedback!
This is so delicious. The gold potatoes have a perfect texture and the smoked paprika adds the perfect flavor.
Thanks for your wonderful feedback! I’m so glad you love the chowder!
I just made this recipe today and it is great. The family voted thumbs up to making it again.
I may have added a few extra potatoes! SO good.
I like the suggestion some people made of replacing the red pepper with carrots and may do that sometimes.
This is a great go to recipe and I think it would do well to take for a potluck.
Thank you, Lauri, for your positive feedback! I’m so glad you you loved the corn chowder. This is truly one of my favorites! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!
I made this with 1/2 cup of cashews and it was good not great. So I added the other 1/2 cup and it was much better. I love this recipe very creamy and delicious. Who says vegan food is boring?!
Right?! I’m so glad you loved the chowder! Thank you for your fun and wonderful feedback! Wishing you happy cooking!
The recipie does not say when to add the corn.
It’s listed in step 2 of the instructions!
Seriously delicious! This reminds me of a bacon, potato, corn chowder my mother used to make as I grew up, but I’ve had a hard time finding a suitable replacement for my family. This brought back memories! I swapped the bell pepper for carrot and celery for a more “classic combo”, but I could see almost any veg would be amazing! Will make again for sure!
Thanks so much for sharing! Yet another stellar recipe 🙂
I’m so glad you loved the chowder, Teagan! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful review!
I love this extremely comforting recipe. I modify it by exchanging 1 cup oat milk for 1 cup cashews. So delicious!
I’m so glad you are loving the chowder! Thank you for sharing your great feedback and idea!
Delicious! Made this tonight. The only change I made was to swap carrots and celery for the bell pepper because bell pepper upsets my stomach. Turned out fantastic. Thank you, Nora, for another amazing, easy, and tasty recipe.
You are welcome! Carrots and celery sounds wonderful in this chowder! Thank you for sharing your feedback, and I’m glad you love the chowder!
Could you please explain how to adapt this recipe for the Instant Pot? This sounds delicious!
I haven’t tried it, but I think it will work fine! I would saute the onion, then red pepper in the Instant Pot first, add the rest of the ingredients except the cashews and nutritional yeast, pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Blend some of the soup just like in the regular instructions, add back, and your done.
I left out the oil for the veg saute and added a jalapeno and this was so yummy! Yet another winning recipe; every single one has been amazing thus far! Thank you!
Thank you for your wonderful feedback! I’m thrilled you loved the corn chowder! Thank you for using my recipes!
Hi Nora; Can this be frozen and results the same? Asking only because when I use cashews for my creamy soups; freeze it and reheat the creamy part is not the same tasting. I love your recipes. Been a plant base and vegan for over 20 years.
Hi Lisa. I have found that this chowder freezes well, and reheats well. I’m so glad you are enjoying my recipes!
Hi Nora, We love all your recipes in our vegan home, you are always our go to!
This soup sounds so good, do you have directions for making in the instant pot?
Thank you for your wonderful comments and encouragement! I am so glad you are loving my recipes! Sorry, I do not have directions for making this in the instant pot.
Made this today for my Daniel Fast! So delicious and comforting! ??
I’m so glad you enjoyed the flavor and comfort of the chowder. I find it to be the same! Thank you for your wonderful feedback!
I have made this recipe many times, and my family and I love it. I just have one question: is it ok to freeze it?
I am so glad you guys love the chowder! Yes, it freezes well! Thank you!
I love creamy soups with blended cashews so I knew this was going to be great. So simple and delicious (: I packed it for lunch with some sautéed chickpeas to bring to work today.
Hi Lia. I’m with you…I love this chowder! I’m thrilled that you love it! Thank you for taking time to share your wonderful review and comments!