This vegan Instant Pot Corn Chowder is simple, healthy, and utterly divine. Make from frozen or fresh corn, this delicious, hearty meal is great for meal prep and makes for an easy, nourishing meal. Stovetop instructions also provided.
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Hey Internet, soup is kind of a weird thing to be publishing in the summer, but this vegan instant pot corn chowder is totally worth it.
First of all, the Instant Pot and other electric pressure cookers are great during the summer because you don’t have to sweat over a hot stove when it’s already hot outside. Electric pressure cookers also don’t heat up the kitchen or the house like conventional stoves and ovens do.
Second, corn is totally a summer and fall vegetable and we might as well celebrate it while it’s here! Fresh corn is super sweet and fun to grill, steam, and even blend up in a soup. :)
However, this soup is good any time of the year, and you can totally use frozen corn if you don’t have access to fresh corn or if you just don’t feel like peeling all that husk!
I mentioned above that this is an Instant Pot recipe (other brands of pressure cookers will work too, Instant Pot is just the most popular and it’s what I have), but I do provide stove top directions.
And oh, this sounds like an advertisement for Instant Pot, but this post is not sponsored by Instant Pot, and my opinions are all my own (I purchased mine with my own money). I just really love this appliance and am impressed by its quality and ease of use.
Anyway, let’s get started.
What You’ll Need
Well, obviously you’ll need some corn. For this recipe, I used about 2 pounds of frozen corn, or about 4 cups / 32 oz fresh corn. I also had an extra 2 cups of corn that I used to garnish (so you would get blended and whole corn, which is nice for texture), but that’s optional.
I also added Yukon gold potatoes for creaminess. They are optional, but highly recommended as they give the soup a thick and hearty texture.
I did not peel my potatoes because gold potatoes (and similarly red potatoes) have a thin, more delicate and easily blended skin than russet potatoes. Everything blended very well with my immersion blender, but you can peel your potatoes if you like.
For the liquid for this soup, I used water with Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base, which is essentially stock concentrate. You add a couple spoonfuls of this paste to hot water and whisk it until dissolved.
It’s delicious (they have several vegan flavors including vegetable and mushroom), tastes just like chicken broth, is more economical than cartons of ready-made broth, and is super delicious.
You can substitute carton vegan chicken broth, or vegetable broth. Water will also work but you’ll probably need more seasoning.
I also used onion, garlic, a bay leaf, smoked paprika, and some nutritional yeast for flavoring.
Finally, I added a can of coconut milk right before I blended and it made it super creamy, rich, and luscious. I promise it does not make the soup taste like coconut!
You can leave it out (though you’ll miss the rich creamy texture), or use any other cream-like substance such as cashew cream or vegan heavy cream.
How to Make Vegan Instant Pot Corn Chowder
This recipe is VERY easy to make in the Instant Pot or any other electric pressure cooker. If I mention specific buttons, they apply to my Instant Pot, but you should have equivalent buttons if you have another brand of pressure cooker. Please consult your manual.
My Instant Pot has a Saute function, so I saute my onions and garlic before adding everything else in. If your Instant Pot or pressure cooker does not have that function, you can either saute your onions and garlic on the stove top and add them in, which adds more flavor to your soup, or you can just chuck everything in the pot--it will still be delicious.
After sauteing if you’re doing that, add in your corn, potatoes, broth, smoked paprika, and the onion and garlic if you haven’t already. Give it a good stir, then bury the bay leaf (I don’t stir it in because sometimes they can break, making them hard to remove later).
Close the lid and set the pressure valve to sealing. Cook on high pressure or hit pressure cook for 6 minutes.
After the timer goes off, release the pressure valve carefully (I do it with a wooden spoon) and let the pressure release completely. If you have an Instant Pot, wait until the pressure button has clicked down (if you have another brand pressure cooker, this may look different so please consult your manual).
Open the lid carefully and set aside. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Stir the soup, then stir in the nutritional yeast and coconut cream.
Using an immersion blender, blend up most of the soup. I like it with some chunks still, but you could blend it all if you like.
If you’d prefer to blend your soup smooth in a blender, you can, just be very careful when transferring it as the soup is incredibly hot.
Finish off by adding the extra steamed corn, some crunchy tortilla strips (see below for my quick recipe), and some cilantro or parsley!
How to Make Vegan Corn Chowder on the Stove
If you don’t have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker yet, you can still easily make this soup!
Start by sauteing your onions in a large pot. Add a splash of water (like a tablespoon) if they start to stick.
Saute for about 3 minutes or until translucent, then add the garlic and saute for another minute.
Add your potatoes, smoked paprika, bay leaf and broth and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
Now add your fresh or frozen corn. I recommend thawing your corn before cooking, but if you haven’t, you can just cook it a little longer.
Cook the soup until the potatoes are soft and the corn is cooked through. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Finally, as above, stir in the coconut cream and nutritional yeast, then blend until you’re satisfied with the texture.
Garnish with extra steamed corn, tortilla strips, and cilantro or parsley if desired!
How to Make Oil-Free Crunchy Tortilla Strips
I’m usually not a crackers in soup kinda gal, but this delicious corn chowder called for something a little crunchy on top. I could have bought tortilla chips to crush and sprinkle on top, but they have oil and that’s something I try to avoid.
I LOVE these crunchy tortilla strips and they’re so fast and easy to make with an air fryer, but you can also make them in the oven.
You’ll just need a couple of oil-free corn tortillas (Trader Joe’s makes good white corn tortillas if you have one by you), some water (preferably in a spray bottle), and some spices!
I used paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder for my spices. You can add salt if you like.
Cut the tortilla into strips using a knife or scissors. Next get them somewhat damp and add the spices to both or just one side.
I usually use a spray bottle of water to help adhere the spices when I roast veggies, so this came in handy here. You could also squeeze a lemon or lime to add the spices if you like.
I place my strips in the air fryer at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 177 degrees Celsius for about 2-3 minutes, shaking the basket or stirring halfway through. Cook until nice and crunchy!
You could also bake them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 205 degrees Celsius until crunchy. I would imagine it would take between 5 and 10 minutes.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week.
Other Instant Pot Recipes
I have a few recipes here on the blog for the Instant Pot (or any brand pressure cooker), I’ll list them below.
- Instant Pot Tomato Soup with Vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Creamy Mushroom Lasagna Soup for the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup
- Black Beans With Rice (Instant Pot)
- Instant Pot Seitan (and the Vegan Philly Cheesesteaks you can make with them!)
What to Eat with Corn Chowder
This soup is delicious on its own but would also pair awesome with soup or sandwiches! I’d definitely recommend checking out our:
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. It’s rare that we’ll both lick the bowl, but we did!
We had a lot of leftovers from testing this recipe a few times to make sure it was perfect for you, and every day we were excited to eat more of the leftovers--it is quite a feat to make Mr. Zardyplants like leftovers so much!
This Vegan Instant Pot Corn Chowder is:
- And oh so delicious!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!