Is Panera’S Mexican Street Corn Chowder Vegetarian? Ingredients And Recipes

Panera Bread added a new Mexican Street Corn Chowder to their soup menu, featuring flavors like corn, chili powder, lime and cotija cheese. But with its creamy broth and cheese toppings, can vegetarians enjoy this southwest-inspired soup? Let’s find out.

Here’s a quick answer: Unfortunately Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder contains both chicken stock and cheese, so it is not suitable for vegetarians. However, you can recreate the spicy corn flavor at home with veggie broth, corn kernels, peppers and spices.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll check the ingredients of Panera’s new soup, discuss how to adapt it for vegetarians, and share flavorful meatless Mexican street corn chowder recipes to make at home.

Panera Mexican Street Corn Chowder Overview

Description of the New Soup

Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder is a delicious and flavorful soup that combines the traditional flavors of Mexican street corn with the comfort of a creamy chowder. This soup features sweet corn, roasted poblano peppers, red bell peppers, and onions, all simmered in a rich and creamy base.

The addition of spices like cumin and chili powder gives it a slight kick, while the garnish of cotija cheese and cilantro adds a tangy and fresh element.

Other Menu Items with Mexican Street Corn Inspiration

Panera has taken the popular Mexican street corn flavor and incorporated it into other menu items as well. One such item is the Mexican Street Corn Salad, which combines grilled corn, avocado, black beans, and tomatoes with a tangy lime vinaigrette.

Another option is the Mexican Street Corn Flatbread, which features a crispy flatbread topped with corn, cotija cheese, cilantro, and a drizzle of chipotle mayo. These dishes provide a unique twist on traditional Mexican flavors and are sure to please any corn lover.

Nutrition Facts and Dietary Restrictions

For those with dietary restrictions, Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder is a vegetarian option that does not contain any meat or animal byproducts. However, it does contain dairy and may not be suitable for those who follow a vegan diet.

Panera provides detailed nutrition information for all of their menu items on their website, making it easy for customers to make informed choices. According to Panera’s website, a cup of the Mexican Street Corn Chowder contains approximately 250 calories, 14 grams of fat, 24 grams of carbohydrates, and 7 grams of protein.

It also provides 6% of the recommended daily intake of fiber.

It’s important to note that while Panera strives to provide accurate and up-to-date information, there may be variations in ingredients and preparation methods at different locations. It’s always a good idea to check with the specific Panera location or refer to their website for the most accurate and current information.

Examining the Ingredients in Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder

When it comes to determining whether Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder is vegetarian, it is important to take a closer look at the ingredients used in the recipe. While Panera is known for offering a variety of vegetarian options, it’s always a good idea to double-check the ingredients to ensure it aligns with your dietary preferences.

Full List of Ingredients

The Mexican Street Corn Chowder at Panera is made with a combination of ingredients that include corn, red and poblano peppers, onions, garlic, celery, potatoes, and spices. These ingredients create a flavorful and hearty soup that is loved by many.

It’s worth noting that Panera provides a full list of ingredients for all their menu items on their official website, allowing customers to make informed choices about their meals. So, if you have any specific concerns about certain ingredients, it’s always a good idea to refer to their official website.

Use of Chicken Stock

One important factor to consider when determining the vegetarian status of Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder is the use of chicken stock. Traditionally, chowders are made with a base of stock, which is commonly derived from animal sources.

According to Panera’s website, their Mexican Street Corn Chowder does contain chicken stock, which means it is not suitable for those following a vegetarian diet. However, it is essential to keep in mind that Panera offers a variety of vegetarian soups and dishes, so there are plenty of alternative options to choose from.

Cheese and Cream Make It Non-Vegetarian

In addition to the use of chicken stock, Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder also contains cheese and cream. While these ingredients add richness and creaminess to the soup, they are derived from animal sources, making the chowder unsuitable for vegetarians.

If you are looking for a vegetarian alternative to the Mexican Street Corn Chowder, Panera offers a variety of vegetarian soups, such as the Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup or the Ten Vegetable Soup. These options are made with vegetarian-friendly ingredients and are equally delicious.

It’s important to remember that Panera continuously updates their menu and may introduce new vegetarian options or modify recipes, so it’s always a good idea to check their official website or speak to a staff member to get the most up-to-date information.

Key Differences for a Vegetarian Version

Subbing Veggie or Mushroom Broth

For those looking to make Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder vegetarian, one of the key differences lies in the choice of broth. The original recipe calls for chicken broth, but vegetarians can easily substitute it with vegetable broth or mushroom broth.

Both options provide a rich and savory flavor that complements the delicious combination of corn, peppers, and spices in the chowder.

Using Plant-Based Milk and Cream

To maintain the creamy and luscious texture of Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder, vegetarians can opt for plant-based milk and cream alternatives. These dairy-free options, such as almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk, can easily replace the traditional dairy products without compromising the taste or consistency of the chowder.

Experimenting with different plant-based options can also add a unique twist to the recipe, allowing you to personalize it to your liking.

Omitting or Swapping the Cheese Topping

One of the final touches in Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder is the cheese topping. For vegetarians, omitting the cheese altogether is a simple solution. However, if you still want to enjoy that cheesy goodness, there are several vegetarian-friendly cheese alternatives available in the market.

These can be easily grated or shredded and sprinkled over the chowder to add a delightful burst of flavor.

Remember, when making any recipe vegetarian, it’s essential to check the labels of the ingredients you use to ensure they are free from any animal-derived products. Substituting ingredients in a recipe is a great way to explore new flavors and cater to your dietary preferences while still enjoying the deliciousness of Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder.

Tips for Making Creamy Vegetarian Mexican Corn Chowder

If you’re a fan of Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder but follow a vegetarian diet, you may be wondering if you can still enjoy this delicious soup. The good news is that Panera’s Mexican Corn Chowder can be made vegetarian-friendly by making a few simple substitutions.

Here are some tips to help you create a creamy and flavorful vegetarian version of this beloved soup.

Pureeing Some of the Corn Kernels

One of the key elements of Panera’s Mexican Corn Chowder is its creamy texture. To achieve this, you can puree some of the corn kernels before adding them to the soup. This will help thicken the chowder and give it a smooth consistency.

Simply remove a portion of the corn kernels and blend them until smooth. Then, stir the pureed corn back into the chowder to create a velvety rich base.

Adding Potatoes, Cauliflower or Beans for Thickness

If you want to add some extra thickness to your vegetarian Mexican Corn Chowder, consider adding potatoes, cauliflower, or beans. These ingredients not only provide a creamy texture but also add a depth of flavor to the soup.

You can dice the potatoes or cauliflower into small pieces and cook them along with the other vegetables. Alternatively, you can add cooked beans such as black beans or pinto beans to give the chowder a heartier consistency.

Using Vegan Nacho Cheese or Nutritional Yeast

To give your vegetarian Mexican Corn Chowder a cheesy flavor, you can use vegan nacho cheese or nutritional yeast. These substitutes can add a savory and slightly tangy taste to the soup, reminiscent of the traditional cheese used in Mexican cuisine.

Simply stir in a few tablespoons of vegan nacho cheese sauce or sprinkle nutritional yeast into the chowder while it simmers. This will enhance the overall flavor profile and make your soup even more satisfying.

Garnishing with Crunchy Tortilla Strips

To add a delightful crunch to your vegetarian Mexican Corn Chowder, consider garnishing it with crunchy tortilla strips. These strips can be made by cutting tortillas into thin slices and baking them until crispy.

Sprinkle the strips on top of the chowder just before serving to add a satisfying texture contrast. Not only will this garnish make your soup look visually appealing, but it will also take the overall taste experience to the next level.

By following these tips, you can easily transform Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder into a vegetarian delight. Whether you’re looking for a comforting meal on a chilly evening or planning a gathering with friends, this creamy and flavorful vegetarian soup will surely impress.

So, gather your ingredients and get ready to enjoy a bowl of deliciousness!

Vegetarian Mexican Street Corn Chowder Recipes

Are you craving a hearty and flavorful soup that’s both vegetarian and packed with Mexican flavors? Look no further than these delicious vegetarian Mexican street corn chowder recipes. Whether you prefer a stovetop or slow cooker version, a lighter low-fat option, or a spicier version with jalapeños or chipotle, there’s a recipe here to suit your taste buds.

Stovetop and Slow Cooker Chowder

For those who prefer the traditional stovetop method, there are plenty of vegetarian Mexican street corn chowder recipes that can be made on the stovetop. These recipes typically involve sautéing onions, garlic, and bell peppers before adding corn kernels, vegetable broth, and spices such as cumin and paprika.

Some recipes also call for diced potatoes or tofu for added texture and protein. The chowder is then simmered until the flavors meld together, and it’s ready to be enjoyed.

If you prefer a hands-off approach, you can also make vegetarian Mexican street corn chowder in a slow cooker. Simply combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker, set it on low heat, and let it cook for several hours.

The result is a rich and creamy chowder that’s perfect for a cozy dinner on a cold day.

Lighter Low-Fat Recipes

If you’re watching your calorie intake or simply prefer lighter fare, there are also vegetarian Mexican street corn chowder recipes that are low in fat. These recipes often use ingredients like low-fat milk or coconut milk instead of heavy cream to achieve a creamy texture.

They also tend to be lower in oil and use lighter cooking methods, such as sautéing the vegetables in vegetable broth instead of oil.

To add even more nutritional value, consider adding extra vegetables like diced zucchini or red bell peppers to your chowder. You can also top it off with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice for a burst of freshness.

Spicy Versions with Jalapeños or Chipotle

If you like a little heat in your chowder, try making a spicier version with jalapeños or chipotle peppers. These ingredients add a kick of flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweet corn and creamy base of the chowder.

To make a jalapeño-infused chowder, simply dice a few jalapeños and sauté them with the other vegetables. For an extra spicy twist, you can also add some diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. These smoky peppers add a depth of flavor and heat that will satisfy any spice lover’s cravings.

Remember to adjust the amount of spice to your preference and taste. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can always reduce the amount of jalapeños or omit the chipotle peppers altogether.

Now that you have an array of vegetarian Mexican street corn chowder recipes to choose from, it’s time to get cooking! Gather your ingredients and enjoy a bowl of this delicious and comforting soup.

Places to Find Similar Vegetarian Mexican Corn Soups

If you’re a fan of Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder but are looking for other vegetarian options with a similar taste, you’re in luck! There are several other restaurants and grocery stores that offer delicious Mexican corn soups that are suitable for vegetarians.

Here are a few options to consider:

Chipotle’s Vegan Corn Salsa Soup

Chipotle, known for its customizable burritos and bowls, also offers a tasty vegan corn salsa soup. Packed with fresh ingredients, this soup features sweet corn, red and green bell peppers, cilantro, and spices that will tantalize your taste buds.

It’s a great option for those looking for a flavorful and vegetarian-friendly Mexican corn soup.

Qdoba’s Mexican Grain & Corn Chowder

Another place to find a delicious vegetarian Mexican corn soup is Qdoba. Their Mexican Grain & Corn Chowder is made with a blend of sweet yellow corn, red bell peppers, green chilies, and a hint of lime. The combination of flavors creates a hearty and satisfying soup that will leave you wanting more.

Trader Joe’s Spicy Smoky Pea & Corn Chowder

For those who prefer to cook at home, Trader Joe’s offers a Spicy Smoky Pea & Corn Chowder mix that is both vegetarian and easy to prepare. This soup combines the sweetness of corn with the smoky flavors of chipotle peppers and paprika, creating a unique and delicious taste that will impress your taste buds.

These are just a few examples of places where you can find vegetarian Mexican corn soups similar to Panera’s Mexican Street Corn Chowder. Each option offers its own twist on the classic dish, so you can choose the one that suits your taste preferences.

Whether you dine out or prepare it at home, these soups are sure to satisfy your craving for a flavorful and vegetarian-friendly Mexican corn soup experience.


Panera’s new Mexican Street Corn Chowder puts a tasty Southwest spin on classic chowder, but isn’t suitable for vegetarians due to its use of chicken stock and cream. Luckily, you can make your own meatless version at home with veggie broth, corn, peppers and spices for a quick soup that’s mucho delicioso.

Simply leave out the cotija topping for a vegetarian soup the whole family can enjoy.

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