Slow Cooker Corn & Red Pepper Chowder

Slow Cooker Corn and Red Pepper Chowder
Healthy? Check. Comforting? Check. Easy? Super check. Oh, and vegan?! Check check!

Yup, this Slow Cooker Corn and Red Pepper Chowder hits all the right marks. Hearty, creamy, satisfying, chock-full of sweet corn countered perfectly by smoky red bell pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, and a smidge of cayenne.

We have a favorite corn chowder around here, but it’s heavy on the cheddar and the cream. This version is much (much!) lighter, and it’s made in the slow cooker to boot. Healthier and hands-off?! Love it. And I know it sounds a little cliched, but when we’re eating this corn chowder instead of our usual dairy-heavy version, we really don’t miss the fattening stuff.

Slow Cooker Corn & Roasted Red Pepper Chowder
I do have to admit that I found it a bit challenging to create a thick, rich, and creamy vegan corn chowder without my usual dairy products–it took me a few tries to get it right. I include buttery Yukon Gold potatoes, and then I puree the whole darn thing before adding the majority of the corn. And then for good measure, I finish with a couple glugs of soy milk, which gives it a bit of richness and a velvety texture.

I know I should suggest a nice light green salad served alongside this soup, and it probably would be wonderful. But the truth is, I really prefer a whole mess of saltine crackers piled in and around this one. Comfort food to the max? Check!

Slow Cooker Corn & Red Pepper Chowder

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Slow Cooker Corn & Red Pepper Chowder

This creamy vegan chowder is much lighter than most traditional versions, but with its sweet and smoky notes, it's still packed full of flavor. It simmers in the slow cooker all day, making it the perfect easy weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced (about 3 cups, or 1 pound)
  • 4 cups frozen sweet corn kernels, divided (or fresh corn kernels - approx. 4 ears of corn)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup soy or almond milk
  • Additional salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Chopped red bell pepper, corn kernels, and sliced scallions to garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until transparent and soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion to the slow cooker, along with the red bell pepper, potatoes, 1 cup corn, broth, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  2. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours, until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Turn the slow cooker off and remove the lid. Allow the soup to cool slightly. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a regular blender, puree the soup. Return it to the slow cooker and turn it back on.
  4. Stir in the remaining 3 cups corn and soy milk. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for another 20-30 minutes, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve topped with additional corn, diced bell pepper, and/or sliced scallions.

Notes

If you're going with frozen corn, I recommend Trader Joe's fire-roasted corn. It adds an extra note of smoky flavor that can't be beat.

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Kare Raye

About Kare

Kare is the associate editor for Oh My Veggies. She's a home cook, vegetarian, and mom who coexists with her otherwise carnivorous clan. Her blog, Kitchen Treaty, helps mixed-diet families keep the peace.   Read more from Kare →

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Comments

    • Kare RayeKare Troughton says

      It’s such an incredible ingredient, isn’t it?! One of my favorites. And so great for vegetarian/vegan dishes especially.

    • Kare RayeKare Troughton says

      Right?! Seriously, it just puts a little pep in my step all day to know I don’t have to worry about the dinnertime scramble.

  1. says

    Mmmm I love me some TJ’s fire roasted corn! I too find that pureeing the corn and adding non-dairy milk and maybe a pinch of nooch does the trick for vegan corn chowder. And smoked paprika, too! Love that this can be done in the slow cooker :)

    • Kare RayeKare Troughton says

      Thanks for asking, Sara Leigh – I used my 4.5 quart slow cooker with plenty of room to spare. I’d estimate 3 quarts or larger and you should be good to go.

        • Kare RayeKare Troughton says

          The first version I tested was more than double the quantity; almost not enough room in my biggest slow cooker. I was like, this is ridiculous! So I decreased it by a lot! I also found that it freezes rather well which is nice for those who can’t eat it all in one or two sittings. :) Hope you like it!

  2. says

    Oh I am so going to make this, but not being vegan, just a vegetable lover, I may add some chopped bacon and will certainly make cornbread from scratch instead of the crackers. Have to watch my salt. Looks sooo good!!

    • Kare RayeKare Troughton says

      Cornbread sounds like a fine accompaniment! I add bacon to my other (more fattening) corn chowder recipe for my carnivorous husband, and he gives it a big thumbs up. :)

  3. Cheryl Marting says

    You forgot to mention to ONLY use ORGANIC CORN. Non-organic (conventional) corn is GMO (genetically modified) which means it is made from Roundup-ready BT toxin corn, which essentially means you are ingesting pesticides galore.

    Did you know that 85-95% of corn grown in the US these days is GMO Roundup ready, which means 2 things: 1) the corn has a built-in toxic pesticide so that when a “pest” bites into the corn, its stomach explodes and the “pest” dies (so think about what it is doing to your health??) + 2) because corn is Round-Up ready and becomes resistant, it requires even more pesticide spraying in the field so it is receiving massive doses of pesticides. All of this is invisible, so we humans tend not to think so much about the pesticides and herbicides we are ingesting.

    Do you know that in most countries around the world (in Europe for example), GMO foods are banned? (the people there are more savvy about these kinds of things and the government agencies are not in bed with the agricultural companies like Monsanto, Bayer, and other pesticide manufacturers – who have very strong lobbyists in Washington DC).

    Did you know that because GMOS are banned in many, many countries, companies like Kelloggs and most other food companies make GMO-free versions of their foods and thus people around the world buy GMO-free products to eat; but because GMO versions of foods are a few pennies cheaper to produce – here in the States, they sell us the GMO versions. I was outraged to learn this! Most Americans are not even familiar with what GMOs are or that they are in our foods and so don’t protest what these companies are doing to our food!

    If anyone is not familiar with GMOs and what the Agricultural businesses do to our modern day food, please research up on it – you’ll be shocked!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Thanks for your comment. While my contributors and I use mostly organic produce in our own kitchens, we don’t feel it’s our place to tell people that they need to buy only organic food too, which is why we don’t specify to use organic ingredients in our recipes. We feel it’s up to our readers to decide what kinds of ingredients they’re comfortable with using.

  4. Neha says

    We are not vegan – what I can use instead of soy or almond milk? Can I use regular milk or evaporated milk or anything else? Thank you – this looks delicious.

    • Kare RayeKare Troughton says

      Hi Neha, certainly, simply use cow’s milk one-for-one, or you might want to try 1/2 cup of half-and-half or heavy whipping cream for a really rich result.

  5. says

    What a lovely, simple recipe. I don’t know why but I haven’t made soup for a few weeks. Better change that quick before spring arrives and I don’t fancy it anymore…though I’m sure I could eat soup all year round!

  6. Louie says

    This sounds so good and I really like the TJ’s fired-roasted corn. Also – where did you get that beautiful bowl? Love it!

  7. says

    Such a brilliant idea thickening the soup with potatoes! Absolutely delicious and nutritious! You hit a home run with this one Kare! I’m ready to break out my crock asap! mmmm!

    • Kare RayeKare Troughton says

      I swear, when I was testing this recipe, it was just SO NICE to know dinner was going to be done when 5 o’ clock rolled around! Slow cookers are the best invention ever. Other than iPhones. ;)

    • Kare RayeKare Troughton says

      That sounds like a delicious combo! In one of my test versions of this recipe, I tried pureeing in cannellini beans to give it a creamier texture. It tasted great, but then it sort of became a bean soup instead of a chowder! A future recipe, perhaps … :)

    • Kare RayeKare Troughton says

      Hi Jennifer, this is how I’d do it: Start by sauteing the onion and the bell pepper in a large soup pot, then add the 1 cup corn, potatoes, spices, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until potatoes are tender; puree. At this point the soup may be a bit too thick (Crock Pots tend to need less liquid) – so add more vegetable broth if necessary. Then add the remaining corn and the milk along with salt and pepper to taste. Then you should be good to go!

    • Kare RayeKare Troughton says

      Thanks, Joanne! And I specifically used potatoes you don’t have to peel because I HATE PEELING POTATOES! ;)

  8. Leisa says

    I am thinking of making this today, but was wondering if you happen to know any of the nutritional values? I don’t think it can be too high in calories, etc, but since I just started working with a BLC (Biggest Loser Club) I don’t want to think I am eating healthy and then find out its not good for me. :) But it certainly sounds YUMMY!

  9. Pankti says

    Lovely recipe, I have been a sweet corn fan since I was a child. To incorporate corn regularly in dishes is my goal most of the time, and this soup looks yummy. Plus healthy and comforting too. Though I have one question — its really unusual, but I do not own a slow cooker yet (have been planning to get one, but my husband is not a big fan of soup/stews, so I keep juggling whether its worth investing in one, if I am going to be using it much less). So my question was, how do I adjust the time and cooking to get the flavor and texture from the slow-cooked one? I have tried a recipe for slow-cooker chili just by cooking it normally…but just wanted to confirm if there are any changes needed for normal cooking of this recipe.

    Thanks much.

    • Kare RayeKare Troughton says

      Hi there! I haven’t tried it, but I think this recipe should translate to stovetop cooking pretty easily. Jennifer asked this question just a few comments above yours and I replied with how I would go about it. The main change is that you might need a little more veggie broth to get the right consistency. If you try it, please come back and let us know how it turns out!

  10. Mandi says

    Have this in my crock right now and it is making the house smell amazing! Thank you so much for posting this recipe – it’s a perfect addition to my choices for ‘Meatless Mondays’ in our household!

  11. Julie says

    I just wanted to let you know my 19 month old son LOVED this soup. He couldn’t get enough. I only blended half of it so that he could see that there were potatoes and corn in it because he always ‘asks’ what’s in his meal. I love it too. Thank you!!

    • says

      As a toddler mom myself, I know what a huge win that can be when your little one loves something like this! Great idea to leave some identifiable chunks in there. :)

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