Corn and Quinoa Chowder Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Corn and Quinoa Chowder

Organic red quinoa, available in most whole food markets, makes this chowder look festive, but the flavor's just as good with white.



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¾ cup red or white quinoa, rinsed and drained
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1 tsp. cumin seeds
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1 ½ Tbs. olive oil
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2 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
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1 large red potato, diced (about 1 cup)
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4 small shallots, chopped (about ¼ cup)
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4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
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2 cups plain soymilk
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1 large red bell pepper, diced
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3 Tbs. chopped cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish


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. Stir in quinoa mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until quinoa and vegetables are tender.

3. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls, and garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, if desired.

Nutrition Information: 

8 g
Total Fat: 
7 g
Saturated Fat: 
44 g
378 mg
5 g
1 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

This was so quick and delicious! The substitutions worked great too - yellow onion and ground cumin, plus didn't have red bell pepper and lime, so left them out. Still yummy!

I made this soup recently, and it is really good!! I am not a very "adventurous" vegetarian but had read so many things about quinoa that I had to try it. We had family over, and this went well with Mexican night (with Morningstar "chicken" strip tacos). It has a great flavor! My variations: - Used canned corn instead of fresh because it was on-hand already. - Added cayenne pepper and Tony's for more spiciness. - Used ground cumin instead of seeds. - Forgot to get shallots, so used white onion instead. - Topped with green onions - mmm!! - Made it the night before so it could sit in the fridge for 24 hrs. and really soak up the flavors. Try it; you'll love it. I'm eating the leftovers right now. :) I'm not much of a cook either, but this has kind of inspired me.

This soup is fantastic. We were low on groceries so I threw in a bag of mixed frozen veggies instead of the corn and the red pepper. I love Cilantro, I always tell my husband they should make it into a perfume, so instead of adding it in at the end, I threw in a quarter cup chopped and let it simmer with the soup. We didn't have fresh Lime, so I added 1 tablespoon of Lime Juice to the soup pot when it was done cooking. It's definitely a keeper in this house!

This is really good, though I think I overcooked it because there was very little liquid and it wasn't extremely soupy. But it's nice and hearty nonetheless.

We enjoyed this chowder. It is not very soupy since it is a chowder, but it is very satisfying. I loved how quick it is to make. It will be a regular in our house. (We used three ears of corn to make it.)

This is a fabulous and easy recipe, and I have 2 other corn chowder recipes that I really like. I did have some substitutions, particularly sweet onions for shallots, and I also added a biy of chile powder and cayenne pepper for some heat, and some tomatoes when I added the bell pepper because I had some from the garden that needed to be used. The quinoa make it really chowder-like...I was afraid it would be too watery when I added the liquids, but it thickened up nicely...yum!

Would almond milk work instead of soy?

This soup is so good! I used leeks from the garden instead of shallots, and lots of black pepper. Fresh rosemary would be nice, too.

Amy- this is waaaaay late for a response, but yes, plain Almond Milk would work instead of soy. The flavors are very similar. I also regularly substitute canned coconut milk in cooking.

I used onions rather than shallots, parsley instead of cilantro and added ground cumin while sautéing the onions in addition to the seeds. Very versatile recipe. Will add greens next time. Excellent!

Good flavor, will make again. Confused about toasting the quinoa after rinsing it, because usually when you toast a seed or grain it is dry, so I didnt rinse it. Wondering if thats why it came out soupy for me. Maybe you're just supposed to toast the cumin? Also, I didnt have red bell, so I used green. Thats not normally a substitution I would make since the flavor is so different, but I found the soup didnt need the sweetness from the red bell and the green was a nice balance, and added great color!