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Peruvian Quinoa and Corn Chowder (Chupe de Quinoa)

4 Servings

30 minutes

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Ají amarillo, an orange-yellow chili with a fruity yet earthy flavor, is ubiquitous in Peruvian cuisine. The fresh chilies are difficult to find in the U.S., but ají amarillo paste, sold in jars, is available at well-stocked markets and specialty stores. The paste is key to the deep, spicy flavor of this quinoa chowder. If you can't find it, use 1 or 2 minced jalapeños instead (if you like, seed the jalapeños for milder heat). The soup is especially good made with fresh in-season corn but, in a pinch, substitute frozen corn kernels. Serve with a simple salad of shredded cabbage, sliced avocado and crumbled queso fresco.




Don't forget to rinse the quinoa to remove the naturally occurring saponin that gives quinoa a bitter flavor. But check the packaging first, as some quinoa is sold prewashed; if so, there's no need to rinse.

30 minutes



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Faith F.
October 3, 2023
New twist on Corn Chowder
Loved this new variation of corn chowder with quinoa. Shared it with a friend who also enjoyed the flavors. I definitely will make this again!
Rhonda A.
January 29, 2023
This is an easy and hearty soup. The next time I make it, I will add a bit more salt, but it was delicious.
Thomas M.
October 18, 2022
easy to make
it was delicious and easy; I couldn't find the chili paste so I used habanero paste. I like heat.
Susan K.
June 19, 2022
A Taste of the Andes
The soup is delicious. If you like the constituent parts, you'll be delighted with how it all melds together. I have made it twice and prefer it with orange yams, as opposed to the Japanese yams (which are terrific otherwise). Guage the amount of Aji Amarillo against the palettes if those invited to dinner, as it can be overwhelming for those with tender palettes.
Michael W.

Delicious and so quick to make. You could add some rotisserie chicken too.


I substituted a few ingredients, dry oregano, jalapeños chilies and yellow quinoa, just because I couldn’t get the ones you ask. When it started to cook the broth at medium low, I didn’t like the smell of oregano gave to me. Ten minutes after, the corn’s sweet smell started to release and that calm me down a little. When I started to have the soup, was so yummmmmmmm. I like this simple dish every much. Next time I will probably put chili seeds in there to cook to make it more complex.

Michele R.

Made as recipe was written - we love quinoa and aji and had all ingredients on hand. Very simple to put together. Used fresh corn kernels and home made chicken broth, both of which I think mattered here for the great flavor. Given quinoa will continue to 'thicken' over time, for a soupy chowder this needs to be served right after it is made. If you plan to make it in advance and hold it to reheat and finish with the cream later it will become almost stew texture.

Lori R.

If one has the actual aji amarillo pepper, how does one substitute them for the paste?

Lynn C.

Hi Lori -

The recipe says you can substitute with 1 or 2 fresh jalapeños, which are anywhere from 4-20x less spicy than aji peppers. If you're on board with spicy food, I'd start with one aji Amarillo pepper, seeds and ribs removed.

The Milk Street Team

stephanie e.

I make this often and its always a hit! Easy to make with simple ingedients once you have the aji amarillo paste. I have also added leftover chicken or shrimp and greens. Making it again now!

John G.

Just got back from a Latin American foods market and I could only find aji rocoto paste - anyone have experience using that instead of aji amarillo?

Susan K.

Superb! At first, I thought the pepper paste would be too much, but it was actually the perfect amount. Yum!