Vegan Corn Chowder with Green Chiles

This rich vegan corn chowder recipe is made with sweet corn, spicy green chiles, hearty potatoes, and cashews for creaminess. It’s gluten-free and on the table in an hour! In partnership with Pompeian!

Vegan Corn Chowder with Green Chiles

My first time making vegan corn chowder came out even better than I expected! Although, nothing bad can really happen when you mix sweet corn with potatoes in a hearty bowl (honestly, potatoes in anything is never bad). Despite my lack of cooking lately thanks to life being busy, I’ve still got some skills in the kitchen when it comes to cooking meals. Let’s not talk about baking, though… that’s a different story. 

Although the purpose of this website is to share recipes with you that you can follow, truthfully my style of cooking is actually quite different. I have an idea of what I want to make, but I just go with the flow during the process. Typically I only measure things out so I can post the recipes here, and anytime someone asks me “how long should I roast this vegetable” I always respond with “I don’t know, keep an eye on it.”

My friend Haley calls this “intuitive cooking,” a term I really like. It empowers you to make the decisions to fit your own preferences and what you have available. It’s great to know cooking skills, like how to make quinoa or roast broccoli, and follow recipes, but I really encourage you to break the rules a little bit and explore! 

green chile corn chowder topped with fresh corn

How to Make a Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder

For this vegan corn chowder recipe, I looked at some standard corn chowder recipes and used the basic ingredients in my version (onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, corn). Then I improvised from there: I wanted it to be a creamy vegan corn chowder, so I added a blended cashew and corn “cream” and made sure to take my time sautéing my base of veggies.

Every good soup starts with cooking down an aromatic base of veggies. It’s a super important step to build flavor and ultimately make a creamy soup. Of course, I used my favorite Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil to sauté all of the vegetables until tender. I used a couple heaping tablespoons to add extra creaminess and richness to the vegan corn chowder! 

I picked up my bottle of Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil (and all of my other beloved Pompeian products, like their Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray and Organic Balsamic Vinegar) at my local Target. I’ve also seen them at Walmart! I love brands that are accessible and affordable. Check the Pompeian store locator! 

The second key to this super creamy vegan corn chowder is the cashew corn cream. To make the cashew cream, you’ll want to soak your cashews a few hours in advance, or overnight if possible. Soaking the cashews will help ensure your cashew cream is silky instead of gritty. However, if you’re tight on time, you can simply boil the cashews for 10 minutes. After soaking or boiling your cashews, you’ll blend them in a high-powered blender along with some corn to create a sweet, thick cashew cream for our soup.

Cashew cream is poured into a pot of corn chowder

Spice up your vegan corn chowder

I also wanted to give this vegan corn chowder some Colorado flare so I opted to use as many local veggies as I could and added a can of green chiles! Hyper-local ingredients are #TrendingInTheKitchen, and I’ve been trying to use as much locally grown produce as possible. I’m pretty spoiled here in Fort Collins because the farmers’ market is lush and abundant; all of the produce in this recipe came from local farmers! It just makes the food feel cozier, ya know? 

Another local trend in Colorado is green chile everything. Actual chili, green chile salsa, soup, you name it. Green chiles are an affordable canned food you can use to add flavor to anything! Canned green chiles tend to be pretty mild, so don’t be scared off if you’re not a fan of spicy food! 


A large pot of corn chowder

Ingredients in Vegan Corn Chowder

  • Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Not only does is olive oil the base of our soup, but it lends velvety smooth texture to our vegan corn chowder
  • Yellow onion, carrots, celery, red bell pepper and garlic. This is our veggie base to start the soup. Take your time sautéing the veggies, as this is where we build flavor for the chowder
  • Russet or red potatoes. Potatoes make our vegan corn chowder hearty and satiating.
  • Yellow corn. Because it is corn chowder after all
  • Bay leaf. Bay leaves add a super subtle bitter and minty flavor that break up the heartiness of the chowder
  • Veggie broth. You can also use water if you don’t have veggie broth on hand
  • Raw cashews. If you’re allergic to nuts, I suggest trying unsweetened soy yogurt. I would avoid using plant-based milks as it won’t provide the same thickness to our vegan corn chowder
  • Green chiles. You could even try fresh jalapenos if you prefer it a bit spicier
  • Smoked paprika. Many traditional corn chowders are topped with bacon, so we accomplish a similar smoky flavor by using smoked paprika, and liquid smoke if you have it!
  • Ground turmeric. Not only does this add a beautiful color to our vegan corn chowder, but it also imparts a deep earthy flavor.

Two bowls of vegan corn chowder next to a bottle of olive oil

More Vegan Soup Recipes

As the cooler weather approaches, I know we’re all looking for dinner recipes that are comforting and hearty and warm us up from the inside out. I promise this green chile vegan corn chowder fits the bill. It’s a cozy hug in a bowl. Also, it’s freezer-friendly! Make a double batch and freeze the rest for easy dinners. 

If you’re looking for more cozy vegan soups, check out these recipes on Emilie Eats!

A close up of a bowl of green chile corn chowder

How to make:

Vegan Corn Chowder with Green Chiles

This rich Green Chile Vegan Corn Chowder is a comforting dinner you can whip up in one hour! Each bowl features sweet corn, hearty potatoes, and cashews for extra creaminess. Gluten-free!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hour
An overhead shot of a bowl of corn chowder
6 1x
Rating: 5 from 7 reviews


  • 2 tablespoons Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery stalks, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, core removed and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound Russet or red potatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks (about 4 cups)
  • 4 cups yellow corn (about 4 ears of corn), divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 quart (4 cups) vegetable broth or water
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or at least 4 hours*
  • 1 7-ounce can green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • Green onions, for garnish


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil. When hot, add onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Add carrots, celery, and bell pepper; cook for 8-10 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute.
  2. To the pot, add chopped potatoes, 3 cups corn, bay leaf, and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, drain cashews. In a blender or food processor, add cashews, remaining 1 cup corn, and 1 cup water. Blend until smooth.
  4. When the chowder is done cooking, add cashew/corn mixture, green chiles, salt, pepper, paprika, turmeric, and liquid smoke; stir. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove bay leaf before serving. Garnish with green onions.


*If you need soaked cashews in a hurry, boil raw cashews in a pot of water for 10 minutes.

Thanks to Pompeian for sponsoring this post! I love working with brands whose products I really love and would honestly recommend. Thank you for supporting this blog that I love oh-so-much!