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Creamy Vegan Instant Pot Corn Chowder

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This Creamy Vegan Instant Pot Corn Chowder is lux, zesty and delicious. I can’t stop hearing “It’s Chow-Dah! Say it right!” in my head, but it’ll be okay. If you are a corny kinda of person and you love using your Instant Pot, this post is for you.

Courtesy of Disney–ABC Domestic Television

Ingredient & Prep for Creamy Vegan Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Salt

When I make this I usually end up adding about 1/2 teaspoon more kosher salt after it’s done and I’ve tasted it. However, it depends on your personal preference, your corn (if it’s canned or frozen it may have salt already), cashews (salted or unsalted), and your no-chicken broth (low or full sodium). I recommend using kosher or sea salt, because it is about half as salty as table salt so it will be easier to gradually balance the salt level of the chowder.

Jalapeños

You can leave the seeds in the jalapeños for a little more kick.

Jalapeño hand

If you’ve had jalapeño hand or jalapeño any other body part—you know what it is. I once made homemade green curry paste and I didn’t wear gloves when I de-ribbed, sliced, and diced the jalepenos.

At first, nothing burned. I washed my hands afterward and went about my day. Surprisingly, later on that night, it burned—bad. It burned under my nails, in my cuticles and on my finger tips. My hands were on fire. I spent most of the night soaking my hands in ice water. It was a special kind of hell.

Since then I’ve seen a Seinfeld-esque episode of I’m Sorry with jalapeño hand. It’s real, folks. Just know it could happen to anyone. I now wear food prep gloves when I handle jalapeños.

Don’t skimp on the lime juice

The lime juice in this soup is the continuity monkey that pulls it all together and takes it to the next level. Skip the lime—miss out on the magic. We squeeze the lime juice onto the chowder right before serving to elevate this delicious chowder. If you add the lime juice while cooking it tends to lose its potency and get lost.

Unsweetened coconut milk

I recommend unsweetened coconut milk, the sweetened variety is best for desserts.

Cashews

You could use raw or roasted & salted cashews for this recipe. If your cashews are salted be sure to taste the chowder before adding any additional salt to the chowder.

I recommend boiling & draining the cashews before blending, but if you have a high speed blender, it’s not necessary. However, I do think that boiling adds extra creaminess, which is one of the heavenly things about this chowder.

Easy Garlic Mince

If you have a small food processor you can peel the garlic and mince it in the food processor.

Broth Talk

If I went back in time I would totally tune-in to SNL’s Goth Talk, I miss it

I strongly recommend finding yourself some vegan no-chicken broths. I much prefer the no-chicken base flavors to regular veggie base flavors. I’ve made things and not liked them because I substituted regular veggie broth instead of my trusted no-chicken varieties. Seeing the word chicken on vegan products tends to fry my brain a little.

Low Sodium No-Chicken Broth

For this recipe, if you can find the No-Chicken Low Sodium kind I recommend it, it’s gluten-free. If you can find No-Chicken, but it’s not Low Sodium, that works too; you may want to lower the salt or wait to salt until tasting the soup.

This No-Chicken Low Sodium Veggie Broth is Vegan with a different flavor profile than regular vegetable broth. It’s gluten-free.

Nooch

I always use and recommend unfortified nutritional yeast. This adds nice umami and depth of flavor to the soup.

The fortified stuff can taste synthetic or vitamin-y. Fortified nutritional yeast can lose potency when stored, so there is no reason to suffer through the artificial taste when there is a chance of not receiving the benefits of the vitamins.

Nutritional yeast is typically gluten-free, check labels. The ones I have linked to are gluten-free.

These two are my favorite unfortified nooches:

B12

I take this cherry flavored vegan B12 supplement instead of getting it through nooch. This supplement is sublingual, which aids absorption. Additionally, this supplement’s B12 is from methylcobalamin as opposed to cyanocobalamin. Methylcobalamin composed B12 has been shown to have better body retention than cyanocobalamin composed B12. Please consult a health professional if you need medical or dietary advice. I am not a health professional. You can read more about B12’s bioavailability here.

Both vegans and non-vegans may have difficulty getting enough B12.

Most of the B12 that we consume is made in a lab.

Here’s an excerpt from an article by Michael Greger M.D. FACLM at Nutritionfacts.org:

“It’s true, plants don’t make B12.  Animals don’t make it either. B12 is made by microbes that blanket the earth. These bacteria grow in the guts of animals, which is why their bodies and products can be a source of this vitamin. Our herbivore primate cousins get all they need ingesting bugs, dirt, and feces, and we may once have gotten all we needed by drinking out of mountain streams or well water. But now we chlorinate our water supply to kill off any bugs. So we don’t get a lot of B12 in our water anymore, but we don’t get a lot of cholera either—that’s a good thing!”

Blending

With this recipe the following gets blended in the blender before it goes into the Instant Pot

  • drained cashews
  • coconut milk
  • unfortified nutritional yeast

After the chowder is done cooking in the Instant Pot, then place some of it in the blender, blend until creamy, and then stir it back into the chowder. I usually blend 3 & 1/2 cups, but you can blend more or less depending on how chunky or how bisque-like you prefer.

Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender to blend until you have achieved your desired consistency.

Let’s Make Creamy Vegan Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Ingredients for Creamy Vegan Instant Pot Corn Chowder
Ingredients for Creamy Vegan Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Cashews

Boil the cashews in water and then turn off the heat and let them sit in the hot water while you measure the spices into a small bowl or ramekin and prep the other ingredients.

Drain after 20 to 30 minutes and place the cashews in the blender with the coconut milk, and unfortified nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth.

Blending the soaked & drained cashews with the coconut milk & unfortified nutritional yeast in a blender for Creamy Vegan Instant Pot Corn Chowder
Blending the soaked & drained cashews with the coconut milk & unfortified nutritional yeast

Corn

If using fresh corn: hold an ear of corn upright in a large bowl and shave off the kernels with a sharp knife. (If you charred the ears of corn, wait until the corn is cool enough to handle.). Repeat with the remaining ears. Place the kernels in a bowl and reserve 2 TBSPs for garnish. If using canned corn, drain it. If using frozen corn there is no need to thaw it.

Sauté In The Instant Pot

Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and let the pot heat up for a few minutes before adding the oil.

Once the oil is hot, add the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.

Sautéing onion in the Instant Pot for Creamy Vegan Instant Pot Corn Chowder
Sautéing onion in the Instant Pot

Add the garlic & jalapeños and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Adding garlic & jalapeños the Instant Pot
Adding garlic & jalapeños

Then add the carrot and celery with a pinch each of salt and black pepper and cook for 2 minutes.

Adding carrot and celery with a pinch each of salt and black pepper

Add the potatoes and cook for 2 more minutes, tossing frequently to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Select the Cancel setting.

Add the blender mixture, broth, corn kernels, and spices. Stir well to combine.

Seal & Set The Instant Pot

Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at Manual High Pressure and set the cook time to 10 minutes.

Once the 10-minutes are up and the Instant Pot beeps, allow a natural pressure release for 5 minutes and then carefully switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam. I use a silicon oven mitt when I touch the Pressure Release knob.

Taste

Open the pot and discard the bay leaves. Squeeze the juice of a 1/2 lime into the soup, stir, and taste for seasonings. Add more lime juice or salt and black pepper as needed. The soup will be very thick, adding additional broth is up to you.

Blend

Transfer 3 & 1/2 cups of the soup to a high-speed blender. If desired, add 1/2 cup of additional broth if you want to slightly thin the chowder or if you prefer thinner chowder, add more broth. If you want this to be a bisque you could batch blend all of the chowder, making it all smooth.

Alternatively, use an immersion blender directly in the Instant Pot to blend the soup until pureed and thick, thinning with additional broth as you blend.

Transfer the blended soup back into the instant pot and stir.

Stir, Garnish & Serve The Chowder

garnishes for Creamy Vegan Instant Pot Corn Chowder plated on a blue plate
Chowder garnishes

Chowder Time

Serve in bowls topping each bowl with lime juice, reserved corn kernels and other garnishes as desired. Store leftovers in fridge for around 5 days.

Creamy Vegan Instant Pot Corn Chowder
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5 from 3 votes

Creamy Vegan Instant Pot Corn Chowder

This stuff is lux, zesty and delicious. If you are a corny kinda of person and you love using your Instant Pot, this is for you.
Course Soup
Cuisine American, California, Fusion, midwestern, Southern, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword creamy, dairy-free, delicious, gluten-free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings of ~ 1 cup
Calories 351kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • high speed blender

Ingredients

Blender Mixture

Chowder

  • 2 cups low-sodium no chicken broth up to 1 & 1/2 additional cups to thin the soup if desired
  • 3 cups canned or frozen kernels or 4 large ears husked fresh sweet corn; charred if desired
  • 2 TBSPs olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced; more if desired
  • 2 jalapeño peppers diced remove seeds & ribs for mild, leave seeds in to add heat
  • 1 medium carrot diced
  • 1 cup diced celery 3 – 4 medium stalks
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes mini or regular; diced, no need to peel

Spices

  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Freshly cracked black pepper more to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt

Garnishes

  • 2 limes Stir half a limes worth of juice into soup before serving. Serve with extra quartered limes to squeeze on soup; strongly recommended
  • 1/4 cup reserved corn kernels optional
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions or chives optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or chiffonade basil leaves optional
  • 10 halved grape tomatoes optional

Instructions

  • Boil the cashews in water and then turn off the heat and let them sit in the hot water while you measure the spices into a small bowl or ramekin and prep the other ingredients. Drain after 20 to 30 minutes and place the cashews in the blender with the coconut milk, and unfortified nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth.
  • If using fresh corn: hold an ear of corn upright in a large bowl and shave off the kernels with a sharp knife. (If you charred the ears of corn, wait until the corn is cool enough to handle.). Repeat with the remaining ears. Place the kernels in a bowl and reserve 2 TBSPs for garnish. If using canned corn, drain it. If using frozen corn there is no need to thaw it.
  • Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and let the pot heat up for a few minutes before adding the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic & jalapeños and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Then add the carrot and celery with a pinch each of salt and black pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for 2 more minutes, tossing frequently to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Select the Cancel setting.
  • Add the blender mixture, broth, corn kernels, and spices. Stir well to combine.
  • Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at Manual High Pressure and set the cook time to 10 minutes.
  • Once the 10-minutes are up and the Instant Pot beeps, allow a natural pressure release for 5 minutes and then carefully switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam. I use a silicon oven mitt when I touch the Pressure Release knob.
  • Open the pot and discard the bay leaves. Squeeze the juice of a 1/2 lime into the soup, stir, and taste for seasonings. Add more lime juice or salt and black pepper as needed. The soup will be very thick, adding additional broth is up to you.
  • Transfer 3 & 1/2 cups of the soup to a high-speed blender. If desired, add 1/2 cup of additional broth if you want to slightly thin the chowder or if you prefer thinner chowder, add more broth. If you want this to be a bisque you could batch blend all of the chowder, making it all smooth.
    Alternatively, use an immersion blender directly in the Instant Pot to blend the soup until pureed and thick, thinning with desired additional broth as you blend.
  • Transfer the blended soup back into the instant pot and stir. Serve in bowls topping each bowl with lime juice, reserved corn kernels and other garnishes as desired. Store leftovers in fridge for around 5 days.

Notes

Nutrition Information is approximate. 

Salt

When I make this I usually end up adding about 1/2 teaspoon more kosher salt after it’s done and I’ve tasted it. However, it depends on your personal preference, your corn (if it’s canned or frozen it may have salt already), cashews (salted or unsalted), and your no-chicken broth (low or full sodium). I recommend using kosher or sea salt, it is about half as salty as table salt so it will be easier to gradually balance the salt level of the chowder.

Jalapeños

You can leave the seeds in the jalapeños for a little more kick.

Jalapeño hand

If you’ve had jalapeño hand or jalapeño any other body part—you know what it is. I once made homemade green curry paste and I didn’t wear gloves when I de-ribbed, sliced, and diced the jalepenos.

At first, nothing burned. I washed my hands afterward and went about my day. Surprisingly, later on that night, it burned—bad. It burned under my nails, in my cuticles and on my finger tips. My hands were on fire. I spent most of the night soaking my hands in ice water. It was a special kind of hell.

Since then I’ve seen a Seinfeld-esque episode of I’m Sorry with jalapeño hand. It’s real, folks. Just know it could happen to anyone. I now wear food prep gloves when I handle jalapeños.

Don’t skimp on the lime juice

The lime juice in this soup is the continuity monkey that pulls it all together and takes it to the next level. Skip the lime—miss out on the magic. We squeeze the lime juice onto the chowder right before serving to elevate this delicious chowder. If you add the lime juice while cooking it tend to lose its potency and get lost.

Unsweetened coconut milk

I recommend unsweetened coconut milk, the sweetened variety is best for desserts.

Cashews

You could use raw or roasted & salted cashews for this recipe. If your cashews are salted be sure to taste the chowder before adding any additional salt to the chowder.

I recommend boiling & draining the cashews before blending, but if you have a high speed blender, it’s not necessary. However, I do think that boiling adds extra creaminess, which is one of the heavenly things about this chowder.

Easy Garlic Mince

If you have a small food processor you can peel the garlic and mince it in the food processor.

Broth Talk

I strongly recommend finding yourself some vegan no-chicken broths. I much prefer the no-chicken base flavors to regular veggie base flavors. I’ve made things and not liked them because I substituted regular veggie broth instead of my trusted no-chicken varieties. Seeing the word chicken on vegan products tends to fry my brain a little.

Low Sodium No-Chicken Broth

For this recipe, if you can find the No-Chicken Low Sodium kind I recommend it, it’s gluten-free. If you can find No-Chicken, but it’s not Low Sodium, that works too; you may want to lower the salt or wait to salt until tasting the soup.

Nooch

I always use and recommend unfortified nutritional yeast. This adds nice umami and depth of flavor to the soup.
The fortified stuff can taste synthetic or vitamin-y. Fortified nutritional yeast can lose potency when stored, so there is no reason to suffer through the artificial taste when there is a chance of not receiving the benefits of the vitamins.
If you only have fortified nutritional yeast, start with 1 TBSP and a little at time, or try adding a little to a cup of the soup and tasting to see if the synthetic taste shines through.
www.planttestkitchen.com

Nutrition

Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 784mg | Potassium: 792mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2032IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 4mg

Recipe adapted from The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook: Wholesome, Indulgent Plant-Based Recipes by Nisha Vora.

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How did it go? Any variations? What else do you make in your Instant Pot? Tell me about it in the comments section below. If this recipe went well for you, please leave a 5-star rating on the recipe card to help others find it.

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