Cajun Corn Chowder

This Cajun Corn Chowder recipe is lightened-up with healthier ingredients (also vegan and gluten-free), full of protein-packed lentils, and seasoned with the best zesty Cajun flavors.

Vegan Cajun Corn Chowder Recipe

I will never be that girl who looks forward to winter.  But now that we’re on the home stretch of summer, with September now just around the corner, I will say that I am extremely ready for one perk of winter to roll back around soon — hot soup season!  

A quick pass through the recipe index here on the blog will give away the fact that soups are my absolute faves.  So much so, that there’s really no such thing as soup “season” in our house.  I’ve always been the girl happily cozying up with a bowl of chicken noodle, sweating through curry hot pots, and eating my favorite lentil soup on repeat all summer long.  (Yes, even in our un-airconditioned Barcelona kitchen — whew.)

But this time of year, there’s always one soup in particular that is a must — a big comforting batch of corn chowder.

As the granddaughter of Kansas corn farmers, this soup is a tradition during harvest season, and always feels like the perfect transition from summer into fall.  And all the better with this new recipe I’ve been tweaking lately.  It goes big on zesty Cajun flavors, which I think pair perfectly with sweet corn.  Yet it also goes mercifully lighter on the usual heavy thickeners, opting for creamy coconut milk instead, which allows this soup to be naturally vegan and gluten-free.  I’ve also hidden lots of lentils in there, which amp up the protein and lend some nice heartiness to the soup.  And if you’re looking to do some meal prep for the start of the school year ahead, I’ve included instructions below for how to freeze this soup too.

So in honor of harvest season coming up, let’s all pick up a batch of fresh, frozen or canned sweet corn and make a big batch of soup together!

Cajun Corn Chowder Recipe (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Cajun Corn Chowder Ingredients:

So what exactly is in this delicious chowder?  You will need:

  • The Cajun “Holy Trinity”: Onion, green bell pepper and celery = classics
  • Garlic, Cajun Seasoning and Thyme: For seasoning
  • Vegetable Stock: Keeping with our vegetarian/vegan theme
  • Potatoes: You can really use any kind you’d like, but I would recommend Yukon golds.
  • Corn: Fresh, frozen or canned — up to you.  You will just need a little less than 1 pound (about 2.5 cups)
  • Red Lentils: They can be split or whole, but you really need red lentils for this recipe.  Other colors will take much longer to cook.
  • Coconut milk: I used full-fat canned coconut milk for this recipe.  But feel free to use low-fat coconut milk.  Or you can sub in whole milk (if you eat dairy).

Zesty Cajun Corn Chowder Recipe (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

How To Make Corn Chowder:

This corn chowder recipe is pretty straightforward!  Simply…

  1. Sauté your veggies. Sauté the Cajun holy trinity, plus garlic, until softened.
  2. Stir in your remaining ingredients. Sans coconut milk.
  3. Simmer, simmer, simmer.  Until the lentils and potatoes are nice and tender.
  4. Add coconut milk.  Then taste and season with extra Cajun seasoning and/or salt, if needed.
  5. Serve hot!  Topped with any garnishes that sound good to you. :)

As I mentioned above, this recipe is also easy to freeze if you’d like.  The trick is to just leave out the coconut milk if you are planning to make and freeze a batch, and then add it later when you reheat the soup (since coconut milk doesn’t freeze very well).  That said, if you’d like to make a batch of this soup that’s completely freeze-able, you’re welcome to sub in cream or half and half instead (both of which freeze well).

Cheers, friends!

Cajun Corn Chowder Recipe (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
5 from 13 reviews

Cajun Corn Chowder

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 -10 servings 1x


This Cajun Corn Chowder recipe is lightened-up with healthier ingredients (also vegan and gluten-free), full of protein-packed lentils, and seasoned with the best zesty Cajun flavors.



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 (14-ounce) bag frozen corn (or you could also use canned whole-kernel corn)
  • 1 cup red lentils*, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 tablespoonCajun seasoning (or more/less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • optional toppings: chopped green onions or chives, bacon, or oyster crackers, etc.


  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add bell pepper, celery and garlic, and continue sautéing for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add vegetable stock, potatoes, corn, lentils Cajun seasoning, thyme and salt.  Stir to combine.
  3. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 10-15 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and lentils are tender.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk until combined.  Taste and season with additional salt and/or Cajun seasoning if needed.
  5. Serve warm, garnished with your desired toppings.  Or refrigerate soup in sealed containers for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


*Whole red lentils take about 15 minutes to cook.  But if you are using split red lentils, they only take about 7-8 minutes to cook, so I would recommend adding them in halfway through the potatoes’ cooking time.

I also like to use a lot of Cajun seasoning in this soup.  But if you don’t like much heat in your food, I would begin with 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning, and then you can add more as you would like, to taste.

The BEST Cajun Corn Chowder Recipe (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

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22 comments on “Cajun Corn Chowder”

  1. This looks delicious. Was wondering if using fresh corn would you suggest adding it raw or cooking it first? Think I might have to make this over the weekend. Love all your recipes. Keep them coming.

  2. JESUS, Ali. This sounds ridiculous. Making it for lunch today.

  3. I’m making this for sure. Sprouts has corn on sale to so a win win. I didn’t see coconut oil listed in ingredients but listed in post as add all ingredients sans coconut oil?

    I’m with you on loving soup all year ’round.

  4. for a soup to be a chowder it must contain at least these 4 specific ingredients: cream, pork, onion and potato; otherwise, great liberty is taken with the name. this, although probably fantastic, is not a chowder. i hope this helps.

    • Not according to webster’s dictionary…since it’s very first printing by Noah Webster.

      And besides this looks like a yummy recipe

    • What about Manhattan Clam Chowder? I’ve adapted close to a dozen recipes and I’ve never used cream for Manhattan, only New England. Many Manhattan Clam Chowders don’t use bacon/pork products, either.

  5. Can I use corn cut off the cob? I bought a huge pile when it was on sale this week and have no idea how I’ll use it all up. This sounds SO good!!

  6. 5 stars
    This corn chowder looks amazing!! Corn in season right now and this is perfect!

  7. 5 stars
    I loved this soup. Followed the recipe exactly except used half and half for my coconut milk. Wonderful!

  8. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for the Cajun Corn Chowder recipe… It is sooo delicious ! WOW !

  9. 5 stars
    Made this last night to enjoy for lunch today. SO GOOD. Made it exactly as written and added some Crystal hot sauce as a “garnish” to take the heat up a notch. I can’t believe it’s vegan! Thanks a million for the great recipe. Love this site.

  10. 5 stars
    Hi Ali – Found your site by chance and I LOVE your recipes. I’m an expat as well, moved to Auckland 13 years ago from California. It’s winter for us here and we’re always on the hunt for good crockpot and soup recipes for the season. This one was a big hit with my husband and daughter this week. Thank you!

  11. 5 stars
    this is delicious!!!!!!!

  12. 5 stars
    I just made this chowder and had to comment on it! SO DELICIOUS! I made a few substitutions for things I had on hand – I had some butternut squash so I used that in place of 1/2 of the potatoes (made the chowder a little more browner than if it had just potatoes). I also used almond milk rather than coconut milk (it’s what I had on hand). The only issue was that it came out a little thin due to the thinner nature of almond milk, so I just added in a little cornstarch slurry, cooked that in and voila – thick chowder again!

  13. 5 stars
    Hi Ali,

    I made this today and I’m thrilled. I was a little sceptical when I read the ingredients list – I thought “this can’t work!” I’ve never tried Cajun recipes before, so I didn’t know what to expect. Needless to say, I’m already in love with this soup. I’ve been stuck in a rut as far as cooking is concerned, and your blog is a great inspiration.

    Greetings from Germany!


  14. 5 stars
    Mmmm … this was so delicious! Definitely on my family’s “make again” list. Thank you!

  15. 5 stars
    This chowder is amazing. I used milk and lots of bacon. I used 1.5 cups of lentils. This recipe is easy and quick to make. It includes ingredients that are staples in our kitchen. The lentils thicken it up to make a hearty meal. I plan on sharing this with all my friends and family. I have no idea how I stumbled on to this site but it might be my new favorite site for recipes.

  16. 5 stars
    Delicious!! Thank you so much!

  17. 5 stars
    Light and delicious! I put the finished chowder in the blender to create a smooth, uniform consistency (just my preference) and added some extra salt for taste. The coconut milk makes such a lovely undertone. Easy to make, must try!

  18. 5 stars
    Used fresh corn as it’s in season now. We loved it! A definite keeper.