Don’t get us wrong: We love a classic bowl of creamy corn chowder. Packed with hearty potatoes and flavorful, low-calorie veggies (think celery), chowder is one of those tried-and-true staples that’s as satisfying as it is delicious. 

Alas, there’s a downside to the old faithful: Corn chowder is often chock-full of calorie-dense cream. In this recipe, we lighten up the classic dish with ingredients that are lower in fat and calories than the original. Then, we toss in punchy spices to give it a southwestern flavor.

What does that look like? Whole milk instead of heavy cream, and fresh jalapeno peppers for a kick. Add some sweet corn (frozen, canned, or fresh), a small potato, and cilantro for garnishing, and you’ve got good-for-you veggies in your bowl too. 

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But the best part about this comforting meal is that it can be made in a mug in the microwave. That means all you have to do is add the ingredients to your cup and press the start button.

In this video, you’ll learn how to combine unexpected ingredients to upgrade your chowder and also give it a healthy makeover. Follow along as we show you how to cook your vegetables ‘til tender and whip up soup in your most convenient kitchen appliance. (No need to tell your dinner guests how easy it was.)