When life throws you curveballs, you turn to your slow cooker, amiright? This Slow Cooker Quinoa Corn Chowder is a perfect solution for us homebound folks that are searching for something a little different, but who just need a meal that cooks itself without much effort.
If you’re lucky enough to have the ingredients on hand go forth and make it today, if not, you may have to plan ahead for your next grocery delivery or trip. We’ve been averaging every other week around here. We didn’t have much trouble finding the ingredients, that’s why this made it to the list of things to cook, hopefully you won’t either.
Cooking has been a much needed distraction for me. It was always a hobby of mine even before I went to school for it, and I still enjoy it so much. But, alas, our dwindling pantry makes it hard to come up with things, a challenge we are all facing. So, I’m getting creative with our recipes, to make our shopping trips stretch. Let’s see what we come up with in the coming weeks to help us through this time.
Aside from cooking we’ve been entertaining ourselves with the unusually mild weather (though snow is on tap for tomorrow, go figure), Eric’s been out in the yard eager to get things started. I’ve been starting seeds, eager to ward off wasps with my Wormwood plants this year around the deck. Let’s hope it works. Really, we’ve just been trying to distract ourselves.
A tale of many versions
This chowder has seen many versions. It used to have bacon and a roux, then it lost the bacon when I went vegetarian. That’s when it had cream and milk (dairy milk) and held onto the roux. Then when I went vegan, it lost the dairy milk and I turned to dairy-free milk. I switched to an olive oil and flour base for a roux, but eventually I did away with it because I thought it was too thick. Then it gained quinoa because I wanted to add in a little protein and whole grain, and it was all the rage, of course, so it went from a corn chowder to a slow cooker quinoa corn chowder.
Lo and behold, we have this nice, delicious, hearty, vegan, dare I say, low in calorie, quinoa corn chowder that is made in your slow cooker (in my case I made it in my Instant Pot Ultra on the slow cooker setting).
There’s nothing shocking here by way of the vegetables. They are all pretty standard. I haven’t pulled any punches. It’s a combination that works for many people, myself included. The red bell pepper adds to the sweetness of the corn, and the red potatoes are a mainstay (and both add color). A little garlic and we’re nearly done. I’ve tried carrots and celery, and I’ve always come back to the originals. You can experiment if you like to test this theory, especially if you need to use them up, perhaps you’ll enjoy them more than I have in the past.
Bay leaf, parsley, and thyme round out the ingredients for this chowder – making it not only a soup-er simple (see what I did there?) dish to put together, but also a clean one that focuses on the ingredients over heavy seasonings.
Now one thing that you may not see very often is the addition of shallots. I like the subtle flavor here over onions, less intense than an onion but still sweet. I tend to rely heavily on my sweet onions, but in this chowder I always reach for shallots. If you can’t find shallots at your grocery store, do not fret; a sweet onion will do just fine (I’ve made it both ways).
Heck, I’ve even made it without altogether – this recipe has been through the wringer!
A chowder for any season
I think you’ll enjoy how fresh it tastes. It’s definitely not a chowder to be confined to the fall and winter season. You can serve this anytime of year. While you’d want to serve it hot, not cold. It isn’t unheard of for me to make this when the mood strikes (aka I’m feeling lazy and just want something easy) any season.
How to store
If you manage to save it, storage is a breeze.
- Refrigerator: You can store it in the refrigerator for up to three days in a tightly sealed food storage container.
- Freezer: You can absolutely freeze this soup! I would cool and then freeze it in one of those containers I just mentioned or a freezer bag. I haven’t made it past a month, but perhaps it will last longer in your house!
That’s it, so pull out that slow cooker or instant pot, whichever you use, and put it to good use!
Be sure to let us know how you make out in the comment section below! Stay well my friends!
Slow Cooker Quinoa Corn Chowder
- 4 cups vegetable stock low sodium
- 2 cups dairy-free milk
- 1 cup quinoa any kind or blend, rinsed well
- 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 2 large red potatoes diced (the smaller, the quicker it will cook)
- 1 large red pepper diced
- 2 shallots diced
- 3 cloves garlic pressed (or minced)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra-virgin
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoons parsley
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracker pepper
- Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker, stirring to incorporate. On the low setting, cook for 6-8 hours or until potatoes are tender. I would recommend stirring every hour. You don't have to, but it doesn't hurt if you are around. After about the 6 hour mark, start checking your potatoes every hour and cook until fork tender.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.
- Keeps in the refrigerator for up to three days, or it freezes well, if you have any left.