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.
My non-vegan husband loved it too!! I will rotate this all summer long!
Sorry, Nora! I just read the bottom of the recipe. I just needed to open my eyes. lol
Awesome! Thank you!
Do the cashews need to be soaked before adding them to the blender?
First time I have ever made or had corn chowder . Did not have a pepper subbed a carrot was very tasty I will make again
ANOTHER GREAT RECIPE. VERY CREAMY WITH THE NUTRITIONAL YEAST. I ADDED SOME TURMERIC TO RAMP UP THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ASPECT OF THE DISH.
Very good recipe! I added soy sauce rather than salt, mushroom umami powder, onion powder, cracked black pepper, and when served added a squeeze of lime. Hot sauce, scallions, jalapeños as optional garnish. Will make again!
it looks great cant wait to try it!
This is a favorite. I used canned corn and replaced 1 can of corn with a jar of Trader Joe’s corn salsa. Gave it a little kick. If you don’t have the salsa you can add some canned chopped green chili pepper, some pimento and a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Delicious and easy recipe. Thank you
I love the sound of those add-ins, Pat! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
Thank you for sharing this recipe. It was quick to put together, creamy and taste great.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback Chan! I am so glad that you love the corn chowder!
Love the creaminess of the soup! Used what I had to put it together, red potatoes, jarred roasted red pepper, canned unsalted corn, jalapeño, added carrots, Hungarian paprika, garlic and a tad Cajun seasoning. Soaked cashews in boiling water and soup was very creamy and omitted nutritional yeast. Definitely a keeper! Will make again for sure.
Hi Suzy. Thank you for sharing your fabulous recipe additions and feedback! I’m so glad you love the soup!