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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Vegan Corn Chowder with Quinoa

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Vegan Corn Chowder will keep you warm on a chilly day with all its comforting and delicious flavors. This lightened up version is hearty and filling without being too heavy and overwhelming. It’s super creamy and ready in just 30 minutes!

vegan corn chowder in a white bowl

This vegan corn chowder is a soup that I could eat all year long. It doesn’t have to be a cold, dreary day for me to crave all the incredible flavors and ingredients. The sweetness from the corn, the heartiness from the potato, and the freshness from the lime, cilantro, and bell pepper always keep me coming back for more. 

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My whole family is more than happy to eat a bowl whenever I make it for dinner. Next time you are heading to a potluck or inviting friends or family over for dinner, I recommend making a batch of this vegan corn chowder. No one will believe it’s dairy-free. Everyone will devour it and rave about how wonderful it is!

How To Make the Most Comforting Vegan Corn Chowder

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Recipe Ingredients and Notes

  • Quinoa: Any type of quinoa will do! This adds bulk and a texture to the soup that makes it even more hearty and satisfying.
  • Corn: Because you can’t have a creamy corn chowder without corn!
  • Potato: A secret ingredient for adding creaminess (once the soup is blended) without cream in this vegan corn chowder.
  • Unsweetened Soymilk: Any unsweetened plant milk will do. Coconut milk would be a great substitute as well. This is a healthier and vegan friendly replacement for heavy cream.
  • Red Bell Pepper: For color and flavor
  • Shallots or Onions: Gives the broth a depth of flavor
  • Spices: You’ll need cumin seeds, cumin powder, crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper.
  • Vegetable Broth: An essential for any soup! Low sodium is best here.
  • Garnishes: I used cilantro and lime wedges for a pop of color and flavor.

What Is The Secret To Making This Vegan Corn Chowder Creamy with No Cream?

There are 3 ways we get a rich creamy consistency in this corn chowder without needing any cream at all! They are:

  1. Unsweetened plain soymilk (or any plant milk)
  2. Potatoes
  3. Broth

Each of these ingredients adds a different type of creaminess to this corn chowder. Once they are cooked down and blended together, you’ll end up with a thick and creamy soup! You definitely need either an Immersion Blender or any high powered blender to make sure your soup is completely pureed to get that creamy consistency too.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Toast quinoa and cumin seeds in pot over medium-high heat, 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden and fragrant, stirring constantly. Transfer to bowl.

quinoa in a pot

Step 2: Heat oil in pot; add corn, potato and shallots. Sauté 5 minutes, or until shallots are translucent.

potatoes and corn in a pot

Step 3: Add broth and soymilk and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa mixture and all spices (cumin powder through black pepper). Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes.

broth added to pot

Step 4: Stir in bell pepper, cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until quinoa and vegetables are tender. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro.

corn soup in a pot

Step 5: Ladle into soup bowls, and garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges (squeeze lime juice into soup and stir before eating).

vegan corn chowder in a white bowl

What Makes This Vegan Corn Chowder Healthy?

  • Nutrients: Potassium, vitamin C, folate, iron, vitamin A, copper, and vitamin B6 are just a few of the nutrients in this incredible vegan corn chowder. 
  • Low Calories: Each batch of corn chowder makes six servings! Each serving has only 253 calories to keep you satisfied and content until your next meal.
  • Protein and Fiber: Two important nutrients you need are protein and fiber. Enjoy a hot bowl of chowder and get 8 grams of protein as well as 5 grams of fiber per serving. 

Recipe FAQs

Is Vegan Corn Chowder Kid Friendly?

Yep! There really aren’t any strong-flavored ingredients in this vegan corn chowder that kids won’t like. The quinoa, as well as the corn kernels, are always a hit with kids. If you do have a kiddo that struggles with eating veggies, you may need to give them a smaller helping with a side of bread to get them accustomed to the chowder. 

What Can I Use Instead of Quinoa?

If you find yourself out of quinoa or just want something different, you can easily swap it for another grain or legume. You could use brown rice, white rice, or even chickpeas or cannelini beans for additional protein. The flavor and texture will be slightly different, as well as the nutritional information, but the taste is still going to be wonderful. 

How to Store and Keep

Once the vegan corn chowder has cooled completely, place it in an airtight container. 

To Refrigerate: The leftovers will last in the fridge for 4-5 days as long as it’s kept airtight. 

To Freeze: Pour the chowder in a freezer bag and remove any excess air. Then lay flat in the freezer for 2-3 hours or until frozen. Then you can move the bag to allow more space in the freezer. You can also pour the chowder in a freezer-safe container with an airtight lid.

To Reheat: Allow the leftover vegan corn chowder to thaw in the fridge. Then warm it in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until hot. Stir frequently when reheating, so it warms evenly. 

Top Tips For Making This Easy Vegan Corn Chowder Recipe

  • Be sure to stir the quinoa and cumin seeds constantly. Otherwise, they will burn and stick to the bottom of the pan. If that happens, start over, so the soup doesn’t lose it’s incredible flavor and taste burnt. 
  • For a slightly different texture, try blending only half of the soup and leaving the rest chunky.
  • Don’t forget to garnish! Fresh corn kernels, cilantro, lime wedges, green onions, or even some diced tomato would all taste great on top of this soup.
vegan corn chowder in a white bowl

Check Out These Other Comforting Soup Recipes!

If you have tried this Vegan Corn Chowder Recipe or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

vegan corn chowder in a white bowl
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Vegan Corn Chowder

Vegan Corn Chowder will keep you warm on a chilly day with all its comforting and delicious flavors. This lightened up version is hearty and filling without being too heavy and overwhelming. It's super creamy and ready in just 30 minutes!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 253kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup white quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ Tbsp olive oil or organic canola oil
  • cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup diced red potato
  • 4 small shallots chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups plain unsweetened, organic soymilk
  • 1 large red bell pepper diced
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ⅛-¼ tsp crushed red pepper to taste, depending on how spicy you like things
  • ½ tsp salt more to taste
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Lime wedges for garnish

Instructions

  • Toast quinoa and cumin seeds in pot over medium-high heat, 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden and fragrant, stirring constantly. Transfer to bowl.
  • Heat oil in pot; add corn, potato and shallots. Sauté 5 minutes, or until shallots are translucent.
  • Add broth and soymilk and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa mixture and all spices (cumin powder through black pepper). Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Stir in bell pepper, cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until quinoa and vegetables are tender. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro.
  • Ladle into soup bowls, and garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges (squeeze lime juice into soup and stir before eating).

Notes

Top Tips For Making This Easy Vegan Corn Chowder Recipe
  • Be sure to stir the quinoa and cumin seeds constantly. Otherwise, they will burn and stick to the bottom of the pan. If that happens, start over, so the soup doesn’t lose it’s incredible flavor and taste burnt. 
  • For a slightly different texture, try blending only half of the soup and leaving the rest chunky.
  • Don’t forget to garnish! Fresh corn kernels, cilantro, lime wedges, green onions, or even some diced tomato would all taste great on top of this soup.
Adapted from Vegetarian Times

Nutrition

Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 378mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g

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61 responses to “Vegan Corn Chowder with Quinoa”

  1. Hi there, Just wanted to thank you for sharing this recipe – it’s one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made! I have been trying to find some tasty healthy-vegan meals and this definitely qualifies. My husband said it was fancy and had complex flavor – 2 compliments I’ve never gotten on my food before. This was the first time I toasted quinoa, and it popped like popcorn a little bit, which kinda freaked me out, but all ended up well. I also couldn’t find cumin seeds, so I just used the 1 teaspoon of cumin and the flavors seemed to work really well. Thanks for posting one of my new favorite recipes! YUM

    • Omg that is so great to hear Karyn! Sounds like you made this recipe like a pro – nice job! 🙂 So glad you and your husband liked this recipe so much, thanks for letting me know!

  2. This is delicious. My husband asked that it be added to the list of dinners we have on regular rotation- his biggest compliment! I forgot the lime at the end and it was wonderful anyway. One thing – Quinoa doesn’t settle on my stomach well (no matter how much I rinse it). Any suggestions for something else I can use instead?

    • Woohoo! So glad you and your husband liked this recipe Angela! So sorry to hear that quinoa doesn’t work well for you — I’d substitute brown rice for it instead. Hope that helps, let me know how it works out!

  3. Made this last night and first, let me say, the soup was delicious. Just a few comments. We followed the recipe with the exception being that we used chicken broth (low sodium) versus vegetable broth. We also added an extra cup of frozen corn (mostly just to finish off the bag.) When it was all said and done, my boyfriend and I both found it a little bland. We ended up adding more salt, pepper, cumin and red pepper flakes. We also added a few drops of a smoky chili sauce for some extra depth. Obviously, some of this is a matter of preference but I figured I’d throw that out there. We served it to guests and everyone loved it. 🙂 Also, I thought it was one of the best “chowders” I’ve ever had… and I am usually not too keen on chowder recipes. My boyfriend (who loves them!) said that while the soup was great, it was less chowder-like than most (mostly due to the lack of milk) and so it wasn’t a true chowder. This of course, is why I liked it as much as I did.

    • Hi Valerie! Thanks so much for sharing your experience, I’m so glad you liked this recipe! Since you added the extra corn, it makes sense that the existing seasoning amounts in my recipe weren’t enough. Because the extra corn definitely would need more seasoning to compensate for it! But I’m glad you modified it – love the idea of adding smoky chili sauce to it too 🙂 Thanks again!

  4. Hi Anjali,
    Thank you for welcoming me to your site! My family LOVES this chowder! I followed the recipe almost exactly (just used frozen fire roasted corn instead of plain sweet corn) and it is just delicious! Even though the recipe made a pretty good sized pot of chowder, there is just enough leftover for tomorrow’s lunch! We all had second helpings of this hearty soup. I used the Whole Foods 365 brand of plain, unsweetened soy milk and my picky husband has no idea that the chowder does not contain milk. He didn’t ask so I’m not telling!

    • P.S. Looks like part of my reply was omitted…I must be too wordy! I wanted to add that the addition of freshly squeezed lime made all the flavors come alive. I am looking forward to trying more of your family friendly recipes. Thank you!

      • Awww that is so great to hear!! I’m so happy you and your family loved this recipe. My husband couldn’t tell that the chowder didn’t contain milk either — isn’t it fun when healthy swaps work out so well? 🙂 Thanks for letting me know! Keep me posted on how the rest of my recipes turn out for you!

  5. Hi Anjali,
    I will be making this chowder for dinner tonight! Can’t wait to try it and I’m so glad to have found your blog. I am always looking for healthy, vegetarian meals to prepare with my family and this looks like a winner! I am looking forward to exploring your blog!

    • Oh awesome! It’s so great to “meet” you Laura! I can’t wait to hear how you and your family like this recipe 🙂 Keep me posted as you explore more of the recipes on my blog!

  6. I am eating this right now. It has such a delicious flavor. I only had red quinoa and coconut milk and I didn’t have limes so I used lime juice from a bottle but it’s still really good. I imagine it would be a little bit creamier with white quinoa and a little less broth-like if I used soy milk instead of coconut milk. But it’s really good and I look forward to making it again when I have all of the ingredients on hand. This soup has my name written all over it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Oh great! I’m glad the substitutions turned out well for you 🙂 You’re right, I think the soy milk will make it more creamy — since when it heats up it gets a little bit thicker. So glad you liked this recipe Ashley!

    • Thanks Rekha! I’d be interested to hear how it tastes with coconut milk – keep me posted on how it turns out!

  7. This looks so amazing! I love the color and texture of chowder its absolutely perfect. Can’t wait to try this recipe out. Thanks for this wonderful recipe! 🙂

  8. Thanks for the recipe 🙂 It’s on the stove for tonight! Whenever I’m in the bulk foods aisle at my grocery store I’m faced with the decision between regular quinoa, red, or mixed! Do you notice a difference in flavour? I usually buy for the interest of colour but I wonder if there’s more to it!

    • Awesome!! I can’t wait for you to try it 🙂 So there are slight differences between red, black and white quinoa (but not major ones). White quinoa has the softest texture of the three, while red or black maintain a more firm “crunchy” texture when cooked. Black quinoa also has a slightly more earthy flavor than the other two varieties. Hope that helps!

  9. YUM!

    I just stumbled upon your blog and love it – I’m always looking for a vegan way to get a creamy taste!!!

  10. This quinoa chowder looks absolutely amazing, it’s so creamy and I’m sure very yummy too.
    I’ll definitely give this recipe a go.
    I eat meat too but I love soups like this. I tried different brands of soy milk but not a big fan:(

    Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

    Naomi

    • Thanks for your comment! Let me know how it turns out for you. I’m not a huge fan of soy milk either – but you can’t even taste this one in the soup (I got it from Trader Joe’s). Love your blog btw – I’m always looking for more recipes to make with quinoa!

  11. Hi Anjali,
    I’m glad to have found your blog via LinkedIn. I’ve been looking for a good quinoa recipe and this one looks delish — can’t wait to try it out, especially since my husband, who is a big meat-eater (but who I’ve gotten to eat more meatless meals — triumph! :-)), loves corn chowder.

    • Thanks so much for your comment Stephanie! 🙂 Let me know how you and your husband like this soup once you make it. My husband used to be a big meat-eater too – and he thought the soup was super hearty so I think this recipe definitely works for all types of foodies 🙂

  12. This looks really creamy and delicious. Can you taste the soy milk in the soup? I’ve been making a few quinoa soups and I really like it since quinoa is so much healthier than pasta.

    • So, the amazing thing is – you can’t taste the soy milk in the soup at ALL! Just make sure you get the unsweetened, unflavored one. It just gives the soup an amazing, creamy texture without adding all of the fat/etc of regular cream. And totally agree with you about quinoa – its such a great substitute!

  13. that sounds like a delicious chowder!! I have my girls eating quinoa on a regular basis now, I will have to try your recipe!
    Cheers
    Dennis

  14. I am absolutely trying this out! Thanks for a great recipe! Yummy! I wonder how some navy beans would do in the mix?

    • Awesome!! I think navy beans could probably work in this soup. If you do decide to add them, I’d recommend decreasing the quinoa amount a bit (maybe to about 1/3 or 1/2 cup depending on how much of the beans you add) – so the soup doesn’t get too thick. Let me know how it turns out!

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