Creamy Corn Chowder

This easy 30-minute corn chowder recipe is one of our all-time favorite soups! Smoky, sweet & creamy, it's sure to enter your regular meal rotation.

Creamy Corn Chowder

It’s hard for me to pick favorites, but I’ll come out and say it: this corn chowder recipe is one of my favorite soups on the blog. I don’t care what temperature it might be outside, I could eat a bowl of this creamy, smoky corn chowder anytime.

Corn Chowder Recipe Ingredients

Corn Chowder Recipe Ingredients

Unlike many corn chowder recipes, mine uses veggies and spices to get a delicious creamy texture and smoky flavor. Here’s what’s in it:

  • Onion, garlic, and celery make the aromatic base of the soup.
  • Fresh sweet corn is the star of the show! It contributes to the creamy texture, adds essential sweetness, and dots it with crispy kernels.
  • Potatoes thicken the soup’s creamy base and add chunky texture.
  • Red pepper adds more great veggie flavor and deepens the golden color.
  • Coconut milk (or whole milk) works with the corn and potato to perfect the creaminess.
  • Sherry vinegar brightens it up!
  • And smoked paprika and celery salt add rich, smoky flavor without any meat!

If you use coconut milk, this recipe will be vegan, but if you don’t have it on hand, or you prefer to use dairy, whole milk will work just fine in its place.

Best Corn Chowder Recipe

How to Make the Best Corn Chowder

Great veggie ingredients are the base of this soup, but these key steps help make it so smoky, satisfying, and delicious:

  • After you slice the kernels off cobs of fresh sweet corn, use the back of your knife to scrape the juices off the cob. The milky liquid works with blended corn kernels to make the veggie base of this recipe extra rich.
  • Blend half the soup, and leave the rest chunky. When blended, the starches in corn and potatoes yield a luscious creamy broth that’s perfect dotted with veggie chunks for texture.
  • Don’t forget to garnish. Save a few raw corn kernels and pieces of diced red pepper to sprinkle over bowls of chowder. They’ll create the perfect crispy contrast to the creamy soup.

Corn Chowder in bowls with spoons

If you love this corn chowder recipe…

Try this corn salad, this cornbread, or steaming or grilling corn on the cob next!


5.0 from 22 reviews
Creamy Corn Chowder
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 Yukon gold potato, chopped
  • 4 ears fresh sweet corn, husked
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk (or 1¾ cups whole milk)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped chives, for garnish
  • Reserve some corn kernels and diced red pepper for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and a few pinches of salt.
  2. Cook until soft, then add the garlic, celery, and potatoes.
  3. Slice the kernels off the corn, then use the back of your knife to scrape the juices off of the corn cob and add to the pot. Add the red pepper, celery salt, paprika, a pinch of salt, black pepper, and stir. Cook until the potatoes are slightly softened, about 5 minutes, then add the sherry vinegar, vegetable broth, and coconut milk.
  4. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 more minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer half the soup to a blender. Blend until creamy then return it back to the pot and stir.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings and serve with chopped chives.

 

96 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Ale from piloncilloyvainilla.com
    04.01.2015

    I love corn chowder! I have to try this one out, LOVE that it is vegan.

  2. Loving these vegan options! Yay! I usually have to avoid chowders because they’re always packed with cream. This is a great workaround!

    • jeanine
      04.03.2015

      I know me too – I can’t really have heavy cream so I’m always missing out on soups! But that’s why I love to make them so much…

  3. Caitlin from ultimatebridesmaid.com
    04.01.2015

    This is perfect! I had wanted to make a corn chowder this week but could not find a recipe I liked. It’s like you read my mind (+ you made it vegan). What do you think about adding zucchini to this? I have some and love it with corn but I’m worried it might make the soup too watery.

    • jeanine
      04.01.2015

      It might make it too watery, I’m not sure. This one’s pretty good exactly how it is 🙂 Let me know if you give it a try!

      • Glenda
        08.02.2017

        you could always add some precooked zucchini at the end or as topping for your dish and not dilute the flavor by cooking it with to soup itself

  4. Oh my gosh! This chowder looks amazing! It looks so beautiful & light!
    The perfect spring soup! I cant wait to give this a try! My husband is a big corn chowder fan!

  5. Oh this is love… I can just tell. I’ve been wanting to make a vegan corn chowder for awhile now (funny enough), and you just took all the work out of it for me! Yay! Cannot wait to devour this one.

    • jeanine
      04.03.2015

      Ha, hope you like it 🙂

    • jeanine
      04.03.2015

      I know, I LOVE smoked paprika!

  6. no matter what the weather, I love soups and especially chowders. I will try this corn chowder recipe — looks very flavorful.

  7. Therese from thebakedapple.wordpress.com
    04.02.2015

    this looks divine! Your pictures amaze me 🙂 inspiring blog!

  8. Valerie from naplesflatbread.com
    04.02.2015

    Creamy corn is the best! My grandmother always made this, and I can’t wait to try this recipe out. So yummy!

  9. marie
    04.02.2015

    Your recipe looks great.
    Anyway on the Sunshine sweet corn website I was not able to find if their corn is GMO free ? any informations ?
    🙂

    • jeanine
      04.03.2015

      It is, let me see if I can get a more specific link with info for you…

    • jeanine
      04.17.2015

      Hi Marie, here’s the area on their site that talks about it being GMO free: http://sunshinesweetcorn.com/growing-sweet-corn/sweet-corn-varieties

      they also said:
      – The growers use non-GMO seeds
      – Typically when you hear about GMO corn they are talking about dent corn (as opposed to sweet corn) which is used for animal feed, ethanol and other food manufacturing (corn flour, oil, chips, etc).

  10. sarah from thegourmetgourmand.com
    04.03.2015

    Yum!! This looks so fresh yet comforting 🙂 Love anything with coconut milk…

  11. Omg this.looks.AMAZING.

    Drooling and am now hungry thanks.

    hehe love your work!

    xx

  12. Jeanine, this soup is just gorgeous! Now I’m really looking forward to getting some corn at the farmers’ market this summer 🙂

  13. Catherine
    04.07.2015

    Hey
    I’ve just tried this receipe an it so amazing…..sooooooooo gooooooooood ! the texture is perfect. I had a pinch of chili flakes to spice it up a bit and so good.

    Bon Appétit.

    Je viens juste de faire cette recette et elle est excellente, la texture est parfaite!!! C’est certain que je vais la refaire, elle va devenir un must à la maison!

    Bon Appétit

  14. Grant Allen
    06.21.2015

    This is our new favorite soup/chowder by far. Just upped the game with new Vitamix, which brings new meaning to the creamy blended half. So good and so good for you. Thanks!

    • jeanine
      06.21.2015

      I’m so glad you liked it! Congrats on your new vitamix (I’m pretty obsessed with mine!)

  15. Sara
    07.20.2015

    This corn chowder was WONDERFUL! Such a sweet burst of flavor. Even my kids loved it. Thank you so much!

  16. Cameron
    08.07.2015

    This soup is SPECTACULAR. I’ve made it twice now and still can’t believe how good it is! My all time favorite soup. Thanks for the recipe.

    • jeanine
      08.09.2015

      Thanks! I’m so glad you liked it – it’s definitely one of my favorites too 🙂

  17. Johanna
    08.13.2015

    Can I make this a day ahead or would you recommend making day of?

    Thanks!

    • jeanine
      08.13.2015

      Hi Johanna, you can definitely make it a day ahead (it actually tastes better the second day!)

  18. Andrea Golombeck
    08.30.2015

    Great summer recipe ! Easy to make

  19. Sara S.
    09.22.2015

    This recipe is to die for. So healthy, light, delicious… a perfect meal for a chilly fall day. I topped it with bacon, cheese and homemade croutons. 🙂

    • jeanine
      09.22.2015

      Yay, I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  20. Gillian
    10.27.2015

    Does this recipe demand a dutch oven? Can I use a big soup pot instead?

  21. leah
    10.28.2015

    Would it be possible to use green pepper instead of red pepper? I’m trying to empty out our fridge and we have an abundance of green peppers but no red.

  22. Cat
    12.16.2015

    Hi there,

    Do you have a nutritional break down of all fat, carbs etc per portion (and what the portion size is)?

    Thank you 🙂

    • jeanine
      12.17.2015

      Hi Cat, I don’t count calories, but you can find a nutritional calculator online – this serves 4-6 (depends how hungry you are, but it is a very filling soup).

  23. Nadine
    12.16.2015

    I was wondering if it would be alright to use Frozen Corn?

    • jeanine
      12.17.2015

      Hi Nadine, I haven’t tried, but I’m thinking it would be fine… let me know if you give it a try..

      • Candace
        01.05.2016

        Oh I used frozen corn because there were no cobs at my grocery store. It still tasted amazing.

        • Stacey
          10.24.2016

          How much frozen corn did you use?

          • Candace
            10.28.2016

            I can’t remember…I think I just googled how much corn one cob would make and then eyeballed it 😀

  24. Candace
    01.05.2016

    Oh my goodness. I made this tonight because my hubby was craving corn chowder, but I prefer to eat vegan…so quick google search and I found you. It was to die for!!! My inlaws (who are so far from vegan) loved it too. Major hit, and so easy, especially when you use leftover baked potatoes like me. Thank you!!!

    • jeanine
      01.06.2016

      I’m so glad – yay! Thanks for letting me know that frozen corn worked great – corn season is so short so that’s so helpful to know!

  25. Caitlin
    01.19.2016

    Despite it being freezing cold in Illinois right now, I made this summery soup for dinner tonight. It was wonderful and a fairly quick dinner to make! Love your blog…it’s always a go-to when trying to find new and interesting recipes.

  26. Tim
    02.08.2016

    Great recipe! My fiancé and I added some habanero and cayenne pepper to spice things up. Some diced avocado puts this dish over the top!

  27. Janae
    03.31.2016

    We get a vegetable box delivered once a week for our family of 6 here in Melbourne Australia. For the past couple of weeks we have been getting two ears of corn. finally we had about 10 sitting in the fridge unused. after Googling corn recipes and this being the best option for our vegetarian, gluten, dairy, egg and most nuts intolerant family!
    Your soup recipe was a revelation! Corn has become a way more appreciated vegetable in our house. I doubled the recipe to make sure we had enough and the whole lot disappeared into very appreciative tummies. Thank you for creating something so simple yet so delicious which I think will become a staple at our house. I can’t wait to get your cookbook as your recipes cover everything on our weekly shopping list. Thanks again 🙂

  28. Impish
    07.08.2016

    This is excellent! I have been looking for a classic vegan corn chowder and this is IT! I didn’t have celery salt so added a little saffron, and our corn wasn’t quite perfectly sweet, so I added a squeeze of agave syrup. I’ve made a few vegan corn chowders and this is the absolute best. Easy to prepare. One of those recipes that is greater than the sum of its parts, good enough for company, and easy peasy. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.12.2016

      I’m so glad you liked it! This is one of my all time favorites. The saffron sounds delicious 🙂

  29. Rose
    08.13.2016

    OMG, thank you!!! I have this simmering on the stove now and it’s absolutely amazing! I have to say that I was skeptical about using the coconut milk because I thought it would taste coconuty despite your saying that it wouldn’t. But you were bang on – no coconut flavour, just a big pot of deliciousness! I used the corn cobs to make the broth used in this chowder and I’d highly recommend it – don’t throw them out – there’s flavour in them there cobs! Toss in a pot with some water and gently boil for about 1/2 an hour. Yum! Thanks for such great vegan recipe – will definitely make again and again and again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.13.2016

      Hi Rose, I’m so happy to hear that you loved this one! Thanks for the tip about the corn cobs!

  30. Maria
    09.04.2016

    I made the recipe exactly as stated and it was delicious. For garnish i chopped fresh chives and drizzled a little green sirracha sauce. Great end of the summer meal!! Thank you

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.08.2016

      Hi Maria – I’m so glad you liked it! 🙂

  31. D
    10.15.2016

    Made this great recipe. Thank you. I like to experiment so I took it to a whole another with some tarragon, galangal, and green chili powder. Wow! This is gonna be my always recipe for cream corn soup. Thanks again!!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.15.2016

      oh that sounds delicious – I’m glad you loved this one, thank you for the ideas!

  32. Stacey
    10.28.2016

    Has anyone tried this in a slow cooker/crockpot?

  33. katie
    11.04.2016

    my soup wasn’t as creamy as I would hope for a chowder. I wonder if they only puree the corn. I am guilty of eye balling measurements though.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.06.2016

      I blended half the soup so that it would thick and still somewhat chunky.

  34. Dorcas
    11.12.2016

    Love this recipe! I call myself an omnivore because I love meat but i see the health benefits of eating vegetarian/vegan meals. I used this as the vegan option at a soup sale fundraiser and now it’s a permanent recipe in my binder. I did add an extra potato to make it thicker, and it’s so loaded with veggies I used water instead of the broth. Didn’t notice a difference.

  35. Mrs E
    04.15.2017

    After recently adapting a plant based diet my husband and I were thrilled to find this recipe. I love to cook and need to start an arsenal of great recipes to add to my cooking repertoire. The recipe was shared with my by a local café that makes a similar version which I had not tried. Ever since I saw the recipe I knew I wanted to make it and we were completely thrilled with the results! My husband said this chowder tasted good enough to be served in a restaurant! To me, the soup tasted almost like a seafood chowder/bisque broth. I followed the recipe with ingredients and as a substitute for celery salt I used a 1/4 tsp celery seed and 1/4 tsp salt to equal the 1/2 tsp of celery salt. The smoked paprika really gives this soup a nice smoky smell and flavor, I added the spices and sautéed for a minute or so, just after my onions were sautéed, to pull as much flavor out of the spices before adding the other ingredients. I pureed have if the soup with an immersion blender. Never knew plant based eating could be so flavorful and down right delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.15.2017

      I’m so so happy to hear that you and your husband loved the chowder! Thanks for coming back to let me know!!

  36. Jessica G
    06.20.2017

    I made this last night and was thrilled with the results. It let’s the corn take center stage without being under-seasoned, and the coconut/corn combination is so natural that you don’t feel this is a substitute corn chowder–it stands on its own. Best of all, since the focus is on the corn, the recipe doesn’t have dozens of ingredients and can be made quickly. This will be in heavy rotation in my house! Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.20.2017

      Thank you Jessica! I’m so happy you were thrilled with the recipe!

  37. Banana
    06.28.2017

    I’ve made this a couple of times and love it. I added carrots because my little one loves carrots. And it was great!! It’s a hit with the whole family even my very picky toddler.

  38. Linda
    09.05.2017

    Hi Jeanine – Just curious how much potato you used – 1 medium, small or large yukon gold? Maybe it doesn’t matter too much …

  39. Jen black
    09.07.2017

    This was really good but my version came out almost too sweet. The corn was really good local corn so maybe that is why. I also didn’t have the celery salt so maybe that’s the culprit. I thought it delish with no stomach ache afterwards so that k you thank you thank you.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.08.2017

      If your sweet corn was really great, that might have been the issue since there’s no added sugar here (although that’s great that you had such good corn!) The celery salt would definitely deepen the flavor – if you don’t have it, I’d try just adding more salt to taste.

  40. Beth
    12.23.2017

    Kinda defeats the purpose to review by looks. Has anyone actually tried this?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.23.2017

      If you skip the first few comments on this thread, you’ll see that nearly everyone else who left a review made it. Thanks!

  41. Jill Roberts @ WellnessGeeky
    01.09.2018

    Amazing creamy vegan corn chowder! It looked soooo good, I had to try and make it. I used your suggestion and used ½ teaspoon celery salt.

  42. Nancy Sampson-Bach
    04.22.2018

    Oh my! This was delicious – and so easy to make! Thanks so much!

  43. Bella Hardy
    05.23.2018

    Definitely your creamy vegan corn chowder is awesomeness! This is a great recipe Jeanine, as you know I made it a short while ago and it was lovely, in fact have made it again since. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.23.2018

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  44. Twyla
    06.15.2018

    Has anyone tried this with regular (not light) coconut milk? If so, does the flavor become too coconuty?

    • angela
      07.18.2018

      I used full fat coconut milk and it was great.

      My changes: Full fat coconut milk, 1 sweet potato, 1 baked potato, 1 small bag corn, red wine vinegar, 1 tsp better than bouillon, celery, yellow onion, garlic, 2 cups water, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, pinch celery seed, 1 tsp smoked paprika – I skipped the red pepper

      I’ve made corn chowder multiple times but this was the best version yet.

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        07.19.2018

        I’m so glad you loved it, thanks for your notes!!

  45. Kasey
    11.05.2018

    Thanks, this was a really tasty recipe. My baby and 4 year old enjoyed too. Perfect soup for a cool rainy day.

  46. Tracy
    03.05.2019

    This chowder is delicious & my favorite !!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.09.2019

      Hi Tracy, I”m so happy you enjoyed it!

  47. GuiderBarb
    03.14.2019

    If I had to use frozen corn, any idea how much?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.17.2019

      I’d use about 3 cups – hope that helps!

  48. I just made this for dinner and it was SO GOOD! I just added about a half-cup of nutritional yeast, which made it even more savory and yummy. My husband even loved it! Now if only I could get my kids to eat anything besides pasta… 😉

  49. kim
    06.05.2019

    This recipe is amazing. I’ve made it twice already and I will probably make it many more times.

    • kim
      06.05.2019

      Oops I forgot to rate it

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.07.2019

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!

  50. Amy
    07.03.2019

    How long do you think this would last in a cooler? Looks like the perfect soup to bring on our camping trip but since corn/potato are exactly freezer friendly I was thinking of making the day before we leave and eating on night 2 of trip.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.10.2019

      hmm… I really don’t know, I’ve never tried storing it in a cooler. I guess it would depend how long your cooler stays fridge-cold for.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.