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This easy Vegan Corn Chowder recipe is one of those vegan soups that you’ll find yourself craving any time of year. It features a rich, creamy, savory soup broth filled with fresh corn kernels, a simple cashew cream, and tender potatoes. Have this hearty summer meal ready to eat in under 1 hour! 

white bowl full of vegan corn chowder
ladle full of corn chowder in large pot

When it comes to vegan summer soup recipes, there’s almost nothing better than corn chowder. There’s something so special about a creamy corn broth filled with creamy potatoes, tons of freshly grilled corn on the cob, and a blend of simple spices.

To make the creamy soup base, we used a cashew cream base similar to the base in our Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup. It adds the perfect richness while keeping the recipe almost entirely whole food plant-based! 

broth, non-dairy milk, bay leaves, bell pepper, miso paste, green onions, celery, vegan butter, flour, cashews, dried thyme, black pepper, smoked paprika, potatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, corn kernels

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • Cashew cream: Most traditional corn chowder recipes are made with a creamy combination of dairy milk and heavy cream. In recipe testing, we found a homemade cashew cream base to be the best dairy-free alternative. To make, you’ll need just 3 simple ingredients: raw cashews, unsweetened non-dairy milk, and miso paste. 
  • Vegan butter: Adds richness and depth of flavor to the chowder. If needed, opt for your favorite cooking oil of choice, such as olive oil or avocado oil. 
  • Aromatics: Green onions, celery, red bell pepper, and garlic create the flavorful base of the chowder, providing both sweetness and savoriness.
  • Spices: A simple blend of dried thyme, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves add complexity, warmth, and smoky flavor to the chowder, enhancing its savory profile.
  • All-purpose flour: Acts as a thickening agent that gives the chowder its hearty consistency and smooth mouthfeel. 
  • Broth: We like to use vegan chicken broth for it’s savory, umami-rich flavor. If you don’t have access to vegan chicken broth, any store-bought or homemade vegetable broth works just as well.
  • Corn kernels: What’s corn chowder without the corn?! If you’re making this chowder during the summer months, we highly recommend using fresh sweet corn on the cob, but frozen or canned corn work too!  
  • Potatoes: We prefer to make this chowder using Yukon gold potatoes, but peeled, chopped russet potatoes are the next best thing. Avoid using waxier potato varieties such as red potatoes. 
  • Leftover corn cobs: Optional, but simmering corn cobs in the broth helps to extract maximum corn flavor, enhancing the overall flavor of the vegan corn soup!
bowl of vegan corn chowder topped with green onions with a small bowl of green onions and corn cob in the background

How to Make Vegan Corn Chowder

  1. Soften the cashews: Add the cashews to a medium heatproof bowl and cover them with boiling water. Set aside for 20 minutes or overnight to soften.
  2. Prepare cashew cream: After the cashews have softened, drain them and transfer to a high-speed blender. Add the plant-based milk and miso paste, then blend until completely smooth. Set the cashew cream aside while you prepare the remainder of the chowder.
  3. Sauté the aromatics: Begin by melting 2 tablespoons of vegan butter in a large pot over medium heat. Once melted, add the scallions, celery, red bell pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir occasionally and cook until the aromatics soften and become fragrant, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add spices: Add the garlic, thyme, smoked paprika, and chili flakes to the pot. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  5. Thicken with flour: Incorporate the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegan butter into the pot and allow it to melt. Stir in the flour, ensuring it coats the mixture evenly. Cook for 1 minute until the mixture thickens slightly.
  6. Stir in broth and vegetables: Gradually pour the vegan chicken broth into the pot in two additions, stirring well between each addition. Add the corn kernels, cubed potatoes, corn cobs (if using), bay leaves, and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir the ingredients together until well combined.
  7. Simmer the chowder: Bring the chowder to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let the soup simmer for approximately 8 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  8. Stir in the cashew cream: Once the potatoes are cooked through, remove the bay leaves and any corn cobs from the chowder. Stir in the prepared cashew cream until fully incorporated. 
  9. Serve: Season the chowder with additional salt and black pepper to taste. Ladle the hearty chowder into bowls, garnish with fresh chives and tempeh bacon, and serve warm. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestions 

A hearty bowl of chowder is filling enough to enjoy on its own as a delicious lunch or dinner, but you can’t go wrong serving with a hunk of crusty bread for soaking up the creamy corn broth. 

Try a classic slice of our Fresh BreadVegan Garlic Bread, or even a warm piece of Homemade Pita Bread. Or, take it all the way and make a Smoky Corn Chowder Bread Bowl

overhead image of corn chowder bowl with scallions

Recipe FAQs

Can I make this vegan corn chowder oil-free?

Yes! Replace the vegan butter with a 1/4 cup of vegan chicken broth or vegetable broth. When sautéing the aromatics, add additional splashes of broth as needed to prevent sticking. 

Make sure to check out our Oil-Free Archives to find more healthy, oil-free vegan recipes! 

Is this chowder gluten-free?

As written, this chowder is thickened with wheat-based all-purpose flour and is not naturally gluten-free. If you are gluten-free, swap this wheat flour with a gluten-free flour blend. 

​Can I make this chowder ahead of time?

Yes. In fact, after refrigerating overnight, this chowder becomes even more rich and flavorful because the flavors have additional time to meld and marry. If you are bringing this corn chowder to your next summer get-together, feel free to prepare it the night before. Let cool to room temperature, transfer to an airtight container (or store directly in the soup pot), and refrigerate overnight. 

Then, when ready to reheat, transfer back to a large soup pot and reheat over medium-low heat until warmed through. 

Is vegan corn chowder freezer-friendly?

Although many of our vegan soup recipes are freezer-friendly, this vegan potato corn soup is not ideal for freezing for two reasons.

First, the cream base is likely to separate upon thawing and become unappetizing in texture and appearance. Second, cooked potatoes are notorious for not freezing well, particularly in soups, where they will continue to disintegrate into a grainy consistency.

bowl of corn chowder with green onion garnish in a white bowl

Storage Instructions

Leftover chowder will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat leftovers over medium-low heat on the stovetop or a heatproof microwave-safe bowl until warm.

More Vegan Corn Recipes YOu May Enjoy:

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you make this recipe. We love to see your photos! 

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overhead image of corn chowder bowl with scallions

Vegan Corn Chowder Recipe


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This easy Vegan Corn Chowder recipe is one of those vegan soups that you’ll find yourself craving any time of year. It features a rich, creamy, savory soup broth filled with fresh corn kernels, a simple cashew cream, and tender potatoes. Have this hearty meal ready to eat in under 1 hour!


Ingredients

Cashew cream:

  • ¾ cup raw cashews
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste

Corn chowder:

  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter, divided
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups vegan chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 4 cups corn kernels (from about 56 ears of corn)
  • 1 lb potatoes, diced into ½” cubes
  • 2 reserved corn cobs (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Black pepper, to taste

Equipment


Instructions

  1. Soften the cashews: Add the cashews to a medium heatproof bowl and cover them with boiling water. Set aside for 20 minutes or overnight to soften.
  2. Prepare cashew cream: After the cashews have softened, drain them and transfer to a high-speed blender. Add the plant-based milk and miso paste, then blend until completely smooth. Set the cashew cream aside while you prepare the remainder of the chowder.
  3. Sauté the aromatics: Begin by melting 2 tablespoons of vegan butter in a large pot over medium heat. Once melted, add the scallions, celery, red bell pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir occasionally and cook until the aromatics soften and become fragrant, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add spices: Add the garlic, thyme, smoked paprika, and chili flakes to the pot. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  5. Thicken with flour: Incorporate the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegan butter into the pot and allow it to melt. Stir in the flour, ensuring it coats the mixture evenly. Cook for 1 minute until the mixture thickens slightly.
  6. Stir in broth and vegetables: Gradually pour the vegan chicken broth into the pot in two additions, stirring well between each addition. Add the corn kernels, cubed potatoes, corn cobs (if using), bay leaves, and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir the ingredients together until well combined.
  7. Simmer the chowder: Bring the chowder to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let the soup simmer for approximately 8 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  8. Stir in the cashew cream: Once the potatoes are cooked through, remove the bay leaves and any corn cobs from the chowder. Stir in the prepared cashew cream until fully incorporated. 
  9. Serve: Season the chowder with additional salt and black pepper to taste, then ladle the hearty chowder into bowls, garnish with fresh chives and any other toppings of choice, such as tempeh bacon, and serve warm. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Freezing: This soup is not ideal for freezing.
  • Storage: Let cool to room temperature and transfer to an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Reheating: Transfer to a large soup pot and reheat over medium-low heat until warm. 
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Entree, Soup
  • Method: Stovetop

Meet The Bloggers

hey there! we’re jasmine & chris.

Hi, we’re Jasmine and Chris! We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious. When we’re not blogging, you will probably find us enjoying live music, tending to our backyard garden or playing with our dogs Berry and Louie

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Corn chowder is a favorite of mine and this turned out delicious. I did make some minor changes: subbed a small onion for the scallions and skipped the red pepper because it upsets my stomach. Easy and tasty…especially impressed with the flavorful take on cashew cream.