Creamy, Healthy Corn and Quinoa Chowder!

Last night, in keeping with the weather theme of this whole week, it was FREEZING. Well, freezing for California which is still pretty cold (like 30-40 degrees)! So of course, I decided that soup would be the perfect thing to make for dinner and warm all of us up. Corn Chowder is something I’ve always enjoyed – but I never eat more than 2 bites of it because the traditional recipe is made with tons of butter and cream / whole milk – so the soup ends up being like 50% fat and tons of calories. Then I found this recipe on Vegetarian Times and I was super excited to try it because of all the healthy substitutions! The recipe and my modifications are below – enjoy!


  • 3/4 cup red or white quinoa, rinsed and drained (I used white just because it makes the soup look more creamy)
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil (I probably used about 3/4 of a Tbsp)
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 large red potato, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 small shallots, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups plain soymilk (I used low fat soymilk)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 Tbs. chopped cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • Lime wedges, optional (I would actually recommend using the Lime because it adds a wonderful flavor to the soup!)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste – this is a MUST!


  1. Toast quinoa and cumin seeds in pot over medium-high heat, 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden and fragrant, stirring constantly. Transfer to bowl.
  2. Heat oil in pot; add corn, potato and shallots. Sauté 5 minutes, or until shallots are translucent. Add broth and soymilk, and bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in quinoa mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in bell pepper, cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until quinoa and vegetables are tender.
  5. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Ladle into soup bowls, and garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.
  7. I served it with toasted pita wedges which were fun to use as little dippers in the soup!

The Nutritionals are also great: The recipe makes 6 servings; and one HUGE serving only has ~250 calories, 8g protein and 5g fiber!

The Ingredients…

The quinoa/cumin waiting to be toasted

And the rest of the ingredients – mostly from Trader Joe’s of course! 🙂

And the Finished Product!

I love the creaminess of the soup without adding tons of fat/calories! The red pepper and cilantro add a brightness of color to the dish, and the lime added a great brightness of flavor which was a nice surprise for our tastebuds 🙂


Filed under Picky Cooks (Favorite Recipes)

11 responses to “Creamy, Healthy Corn and Quinoa Chowder!

  1. Can NOT wait to make this! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I am absolutely trying this out! Thanks for a great recipe! Yummy! I wonder how some navy beans would do in the mix?

  3. that sounds like a delicious chowder!! I have my girls eating quinoa on a regular basis now, I will have to try your recipe!

  4. anjalim

    Thanks everyone!
    @Jen – I think adding navy beans is a great idea! Will definitely have to try that next time
    @Chef Dennis – that’s so great! Let me know how it turns out 🙂

  5. This looks really creamy and delicious. Can you taste the soy milk in the soup? I’ve been making a few quinoa soups and I really like it since quinoa is so much healthier than pasta.

    • anjalim

      So, the amazing thing is – you can’t taste the soy milk in the soup at ALL! Just make sure you get the unsweetened, unflavored one. It just gives the soup an amazing, creamy texture without adding all of the fat/etc of regular cream. And totally agree with you about quinoa – its such a great substitute!

  6. Hi Anjali,
    I’m glad to have found your blog via LinkedIn. I’ve been looking for a good quinoa recipe and this one looks delish — can’t wait to try it out, especially since my husband, who is a big meat-eater (but who I’ve gotten to eat more meatless meals — triumph! :-)), loves corn chowder.

    • anjalim

      Thanks so much for your comment Stephanie! 🙂 Let me know how you and your husband like this soup once you make it. My husband used to be a big meat-eater too – and he thought the soup was super hearty so I think this recipe definitely works for all types of foodies 🙂

  7. This quinoa chowder looks absolutely amazing, it’s so creamy and I’m sure very yummy too.
    I’ll definitely give this recipe a go.
    I eat meat too but I love soups like this. I tried different brands of soy milk but not a big fan:(

    Thanks for sharing this great recipe!


    • anjalim

      Thanks for your comment! Let me know how it turns out for you. I’m not a huge fan of soy milk either – but you can’t even taste this one in the soup (I got it from Trader Joe’s). Love your blog btw – I’m always looking for more recipes to make with quinoa!

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