This classic New England recipe is simple to recreate in your Instant Pot and uses clams, potatoes, and onions. It’s the perfect winter warmer and makes a thick and rich dish you can enjoy with the whole family. I previously believed this was such a difficult recipe to pull off, but thanks to the Instant Pot, you’ll have Clam Chowder ready to serve in under thirty minutes. Today I’m going to show you how to cook this dish that will impress any visitors to your home this winter season.
If you’ve never tried clam chowder before, you don’t know what you’re missing out on! Clam chowder is used to describe any soup that is made from clams and a broth. There are many variations of this dish, often including potatoes, onions, celery, or possibly bacon. For the perfect meal, you’ll want to serve it with oyster or saltine crackers alongside the soup.
The most popular type of clam chowder is the one that is served in New England and is most commonly associated with Maine and Massachusetts. It’s believed that Nova Scotian or French settlers introduced this soup to the area. New England clam chowder, which you may see referred to as Boston clam chowder, is made from clams and potatoes but is slightly different due to its base of cream or milk. It’s a thick dish, and this recipe will recreate it using half and half in the soup.
Next time you get the chance to visit Boston, don’t miss out on visiting Union Oyster House. It’s been serving this dish since 1836 and is the United States’ oldest restaurant that has been continually operating since that time.
You’ll find that people from any coastal state in the country have slight variations of a clam chowder recipe. Some people love to make a chowder loaded with ingredients, while others prefer to keep their recipes much simpler. Our dish today requires minimal ingredients, but don’t let that fool you, as it’s still packed with flavor.
If you or your family are massive clam fans, you can actually double up on the quantity of clams in this recipe for even more taste and substance. The potatoes in this clam chowder really help to thicken the soup, and personally, I love having soups with plenty of texture.
For this clam chowder, I’d highly recommend serving it in a bread bowl. This is my absolute favorite way to enjoy soups, and I think it’s such a fun way to serve this dish. It will impress any guest, and the bread is the perfect accompaniment to make the dish complete. Alternatively, you can add crispy crumbled bacon on top, for even more flavor, texture, and color.
Another variation that’s popular with clam chowder lovers is to add diced carrots or fresh parsley into the soup. This is the perfect dish to experiment with, and you can adjust the recipe to suit your needs and to use up any produce you have lying around your kitchen.
The Instant Pot is one of the best devices to cook soups and chowders in, and I find it so much easier than using the stove and endless different pots and pans. I love that the Instant Pot saves you much of the hassle of clean up after you’ve finished eating. It gives me the chance to sit down and really savor each meal with my family, without dreading the pile of dishes awaiting me after I finish eating. It’s been such a help in my kitchen this year and has allowed me to create a great variety of meals for my family during these challenging times.
With the Instant Pot you can create soups, main dishes, and desserts, so if you are stuck for inspiration or looking for something else to serve this evening, check out our Instant Pot recipe collection for more meal ideas. Even if you have been using your Instant Pot for a while, you might not be aware of some of its amazing features.
Did you know it can also create cakes and yogurts? Honestly, its uses are simply endless, so I’d encourage you to keep researching all of the fun creations you can make with this device. While I knew it would be a helpful tool for my busy life, I’ve been blown away by its versatility.
Our clam chowder recipe creates four to five servings, but of course, you can simply increase the quantities to suit the size of your family or party you are serving. All of the ingredients you’ll need are listed below, and apart from the clams, most of these are everyday ingredients you should have lying around your kitchen. While it seems like a fancy dish, it’s actually incredibly simple to create and is very budget-friendly yet filling.
Soups are great dishes if you are trying to eat on a budget this winter, and they allow you to still enjoy a nutritious and warming meal each day. I love how soups can be made to use up any winter produce, and I always enjoy experimenting with new combinations and recipes.
This soup will take you just thirty minutes to create, and below you’ll find our step-by-step instructions to cook this recipe. I hope you enjoy this delicious, creamy clam chowder that I’m sure you’ll come back to time and again after making it for the first time!
Instant Pot Clam Chowder (makes about 4-5 bowls)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Instant Pot Clam Chowder Ingredients:
- Four 6 1/2 oz cans chopped clams; juice drained
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 large white onion, diced
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 6 medium russet potatoes, cubed (it’s optional to peel them – I did for this recipe)
- 3 cups of water
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 4 cups half & half
- 1.5 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
Instant Pot Clam Chowder Step-By-Step Instructions:
- Turn your Instant Pot on to sauté mode. Once your pot becomes hot, add in your oil, and then add in your white onions. Stir and cook for about three minutes.
- Add to the Instant Pot your clams and corn starch to mix in with the onions. Mix everything together well.
- Add in your potatoes, salt, pepper, water, and half-and-half. Stir well.
- Place your lid on the Instant Pot. Set your Instant Pot to the high-pressure setting for 3 minutes.
- Once your Instant Pot is done cooking, do a quick release by bringing the valve toward you and opening the pressure. Once your Instant Pot has come to a full release, open the pot.
- Choose the cancel button on your Instant Pot and then select the sauté mode. Stir your soup occasionally for about 10 minutes to reduce the liquid and continue to cook and thicken your half-and-half.
- Add more salt and pepper until the flavor is to your liking. Pour your soup into a bowl or a bread bowl, top with parsley (optional), and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this Instant Pot Clam Chowder recipe as much as I do. The Instant Pot makes this soup incredibly quick and easy to cook, and it’s the perfect way to transport yourself to New England for the evening. Served in a bread bowl, it’s an excellent start to a special winter meal for your whole family. Remember, you can try out all of the variations suggested above to create a little bit of variety each time you cook this dish. I’m always trying out new recipes for my Instant Pot, so make sure you come back soon to check out more creative, family-friendly Instant Pot meals.
Instant Pot Clam Chowder
- 4-6 1/2oz cans chopped clams; juice drained
- 2 1/2oz cans chopped clams; juice drained
- 1/2 large white onion, diced
- 4 cornstarch
- 6 medium russet potatoes, cubed (pealed optional - I did for this recipe)
- 3 cups water
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Turn your instant pot to sauté mode. Once your pot becomes hot, add in your oil. then add in your white onions. Stir and cook for about three minutes.
- Add to your instant pot, with the onions, your clams and corn starch. Mix well.
- Add in your potatoes, salt,pepper, water, and half-and-half. Stir well.
- Place your lid on the instant pot. Set your instant pot to high pressure for 3 Minutes.
- Once your instant pot is done cooking, do a quick release by bringing the valve toward you and opening the pressure. Once your instant pot is come to a full release, Open the Insta pot.
- Choose to cancel on your instant pot and then select the sauté mode. Stir your soup occasionally for about 10 minutes to reduce the liquid and continue to cook and thicken your half-and-half.
- Add more salt and pepper to your liking. Pour your soup in a bowl, a bread bowl, top with parsle (optional), and enjoy!