An easy to make chunky Veggie Corn Chowder recipe chock full of corn, potatoes, and beans with white cheddar and optional jalapeño peppers. This vegetarian corn chowder comes together in about 30 minutes making it a cozy weeknight favorite! This recipe is vegetarian and gluten free.
Soup Season Is Here!
Between August and October, in-season produce is so abundant in its diversity. It’s the only time of year you can buy fresh sweet corn, winter squash, sweet peppers, jalapeños and late season tomatoes in one market haul. There’s a chill in the air too, so that means soup season is here!
I made this delicious vegetarian potato corn chowder recipe on a whim, after scanning the contents of the fridge and pantry. What a delicious discovery after following a craving! We love the results. It’s easy to make, freezer friendly and pairs perfectly with a big salad and crusty bread.
What Defines Chowder?
Chowder is a thick, rich, chunky and creamy soup that contains potatoes. Traditional chowder typically includes cream or milk, some sort of seafood and is made with a base of bacon or pork. And, there’s also a tomato based Manhattan style or “red” clam chowder. But meat and/or seafood is not a requirement to make a hearty chowder.
In this vegetarian corn chowder recipe, potatoes, corn and navy beans make it chunky. While blending a portion of potatoes and corn with milk then later adding sharp cheddar make it creamy. Onions, smoked paprika, garlic, and veggie broth bring all the flavors together!
Quick Guide: How to Make Vegetarian Corn Chowder
Simple to pull together, you’ll need a heavy bottom pot such as a Dutch oven, and a blender or immersion blender. The recipe calls for fresh corn, but thawed frozen corn kernels can be used when fresh is unavailable. Minced fresh jalapeños are optional, but recommended. Here’s how to make this easy vegetarian chowder (see recipe card for details):
- First, saute the onion, then add the corn kernels and jalapeños (if using), garlic and smoky paprika. Stir in the potatoes and pour in the vegetable broth.
- Second, bring to a simmer and cook on low until potatoes are tender.
- Third, transfer some of the potato mixture to a blender, add milk and blend. Pour back into the soup pot.
- Next, to the soup pot, stir in the beans and a squeeze of lime. Warm through over medium heat.
- Last, remove the chowder from the heat and stir in the cheese.
Share with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and garnish with chives or cilantro.
- Jalapeños: The recipe calls for two medium jalapeños which offer a hint of heat and interest to the finished chowder. You can opt for whole jalapeños (minced), or to quell the heat, remove the ribs and seeds before mincing. While jalapeños are recommend, they are optional.
- Milk: Use whole milk or favorite plant milk. I use homemade cashew milk in this recipe.
- Potatoes: I like Yukon gold potatoes in this veggie corn chowder because they have a thin, light color skin, are creamy and are easy to find. German butterball or yellow finn potatoes are good subs if needed. All have thinish skin, so there’s no peeling the potatoes. Simply scrub, dice and add to the soup pot!
- Beans: Small white beans such as navy beans or great northern beans work perfectly in this vegetarian potato corn chowder. They’re small and tender enough not to overwhelm the other ingredients.
- Cheese: To keep the color of this chowder a light yellowish color, I opt for white sharp cheddar cheese, but any sharp cheddar will work. If dairy free, try sprinkling in nutritional yeast or your favorite dairy free cheddar.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Freezer Friendly? Yes Please! Transfer the veggie corn chowder to a storage container, cool completely then freeze for up to several months. Thaw in the fridge, then gently reheat stovetop.
- Make Ahead: While this recipe is freezer friendly, it can also be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to three days. Its flavor improves with a little time.
- Make it Vegan or Dairy Free: Use plant milk, omit the cheese and use either a tablespoon or more (add to taste) of nutritional yeast, or your favorite cheddar dairy free cheese.
Vegetarain Corn Chowder
- 2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil I use olive oil
- 1 Cup (125 grams) Yellow Onion medium dice, about 1/2 a large onion
- 3 1/2 Cups (430 grams) Corn Kernels* fresh, about three ears of fresh corn or thawed from frozen
- 2 teaspoons Minced Garlic about 2 small cloves
- 3 – 4 tablespoons Fresh Minced Jalapeños** optional, adjust to taste, from about two medium jalapeños
- 1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 1/4 teaspoon fine Sea Salt
- 3 Cups (485 grams) Yukon Gold Potatoes diced to 1/2inch, skin on, from about 4 small potatoes
- 1 1/4 Cup (295 grams) Vegetable Broth
- 3 Cups (655 grams) Water
- 1 Cup (250 grams) Milk plant or dairy (whole), I use homemade cashew milk
- 1 (425 grams) Can of Navy Beans rinsed and drained
- 3/4 C (80 grams) Grated White Sharp Cheddar Cheese packed
- 1/2 Fresh Lime
Garnish With (optional):
- Freshly ground black pepper, chives, fresh jalapeños, cilantro and/or more cheese.
- In a 4 quart Dutch oven or heavy bottom soup pot, add the oil and heat on medium until it shimmers.
- Add the onion and saute on medium low for 7-8 minutes or until just softened.
- To the soup pot, stir in the corn, jalapeños, garlic, paprika, salt and potatoes. Pour in the broth and water. Stir. Bring to a simmer and cook on a low simmer for about 13-18 minutes, or until the potatoes are just fork tender, stirring occasionally to prevent any sticking.
- Transfer about 1 1/2 cups of the soup mixture to a blender and pour in the milk. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer the blended soup back into the soup pot and stir in the beans. Cook on low for about 5 minutes just to warm through.
- Remove from heat, stir in the cheese and squeeze in the juice of half a lime. Taste for salt adjustment.
- Ladle into soup bowls, add a few twists of fresh ground black pepper and garnish as desired.
- Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to three days or cool completely and store in the freezer for several months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and gently rewarm on stovetop.