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Instant Pot Clam Chowder Recipe

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This delicious Instant Pot Clam Chowder recipe. Clam chowder is a healthy and tasty recipe and one you can enjoy on a cold day or in the summer months. Clams are super healthy and this fantastic seafood chowder will leave you wanting more.

Instant Pot Clam Chowder Recipe

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Time-Saving: The Instant Pot significantly cuts down the cooking time, making clam chowder a quick and easy meal to prepare.
  • Flavorful: The pressure cooking method enhances the flavors, giving you a rich, hearty, and deeply flavorful clam chowder.
  • One-Pot Convenience: With the Instant Pot, you can sauté, simmer, and pressure cook all in one pot, making cleanup a breeze.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Canned Chopped Clams: The main ingredient that gives the chowder its distinct seafood flavor.
  • Olive Oil: Used for sautéing, it adds a rich, fruity note and helps bring out the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • White Onion: Adds a sweet, slightly sharp flavor that complements the clams.
  • Cornstarch: Acts as a thickening agent, giving the chowder a creamy, hearty consistency.
  • Russet Potatoes: Add a starchy element that thickens the soup and makes it more filling.
  • Water & Half & Half Milk: Form the liquid base of the chowder, with the milk making it creamy.
  • Salt: An essential seasoning that enhances the overall flavor of the chowder.
  • Chopped Bacon: Adds a smoky, savory element that contrasts nicely with the clams.
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper: Enhances the chowder’s flavor and adds a bit of heat.
  • Fresh Parsley: Adds a fresh, herbal note to the chowder.
Instant Pot Clam Chowder ingredients 1

How To Make Instant Pot Clam Chowder?

Step 1: Saute The Bacon

Turn your Instant Pot onto sauté mode. Once your pot becomes hot, add the olive oil. Add diced onion. Next, add bacon bits. Stir and cook for about three minutes. Then turn off the saute function.

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Step 2: Add Your Canned Clams

Add the canned clams and cornstarch to the bacon bits and diced onion. Mix well.

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Step 3: Add Diced Potatoes

Add the diced potatoes, salt, freshly ground cracked pepper, water and half-and-half. Stir well

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Step 4: Pressure Cook Your Clam Chowder

Close your pressure cooker lid, set the pressure valve to closed and pressure cook in your Instant Pot at high pressure for 3 Minutes.

Step 5: Perform A Quick Release

Once your Instant Pot is done cooking, do a quick release by bringing the valve toward you and opening the pressure. Once the Instant Pot has released its pressure open the lid carefully and stir with a wooden spoon.

Step 6: Saute For 10 Minutes

To make the best clam chowder you’ll need to hit the saute setting again and stir occasionally for 10 minutes. This will reduce the liquid and thicken your half-and-half making the best clam chowder soup. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

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Step 7: Garnish And Serve

Pour your delicious soup chowder into a soup bowl or a bread bowl and top with fresh parsley or crispy bacon.

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Cooking Tips

  • Reserve Clam Juice: Use the juice from canned clams as a base for extra flavor.
  • Quick Pressure Release: Use the quick-release function after cooking to prevent overcooking the clams.
  • Creamy Consistency: Mix flour with cream before adding to thicken the soup.

Variations

  • Skip the Bacon: For a lighter version, skip the bacon and replace its smoky flavor with smoked paprika or other herbs.
  • Swap Out Ingredients: Experiment with different types of seafood like shrimp or scallops, or add different vegetables like corn or bell peppers for a twist. milk.
  • Spice it Up: Add a bit of heat to your chowder with a dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce.

Substitutions

  • Bacon Fat: You can use bacon fat instead of olive oil. You may have to cook the diced onion in the Instant Pot for slightly longer if using bacon fat.
  • Heavy Cream: Yes, you can substitute the half-and-half in this Instant Pot clam chowder recipe with milk or heavy cream for a lighter version.
  • Yukon Potatoes: Russet potatoes can be substituted with any type of white potatoes such as Yukon Gold potatoes, Red potatoes or baby potatoes.
  • Fish: Switch the clams for cod or haddock to make this into an Instant Pot fish chowder.

Storage & Reheating Instructions

Store: Cool the clam chowder and add to an airtight containers.

Refrigerator Storage: If you plan on consuming the leftovers in the next 3-4 days, you can store them in the refrigerator.

Freezer Storage: To freeze clam chowder place the cooled container into the freezer for 2-3 months.

Thaw and Reheat: Thaw your clam chowder overnight in the refrigerator and reheat it on the stove or microwave.

What to Serve With This Recipe?

  • Bacon Bits: A popular topping for clam chowder is crumbled bacon bits which add a smoky, savory flavor.
  • Oyster Crackers or Saltine Crackers: These can be sprinkled on top of the chowder to add a pleasing crunch and to soak up the soup.
  • Fresh Thyme: A sprinkle of this herb can enhance the soup’s flavor.

FAQs

What Does Clam Chowder Taste Like?

Clam chowder is a great seafood chowder to try. Unlike some shellfish, clams are not as fishy and so this Instant Pot chowder recipe is more subtle than other seafood options.

Clam chowder tastes like a creamy soup that is slightly savory and salty thanks to the bacon and clams

What Is The Difference Between Soup And Chowder?

Soups are dishes made from liquids such as water, chicken, vegetable or beef stock. Soups are combined with different ingredients whereas a chowder is a much more thicker, creamier style soup or stew type recipe.

The word chowder traditionally comes from the Latin word caldeia, which meant a place for warming things.
In the past vegetables and stewed fish was cooked in a cooking pot or cauldron which is how this method of cooking became known as chowder.

Is This a New England Clam Chowder Recipe?

Yes this Instant Pot clam chowder recipe is a traditional New England clam chowder as it does not include any tomatoes.

Clam chowder with tomatoes would be a Manhattan Clam chowder.

What Kind of Clams Can I Use in Instant Pot Clam Chowder?

I used canned clams in this clam chowder Instant Pot recipe, but you can also use fresh or frozen clams.

If using fresh or frozen clams, make sure to clean and remove any sandy grit from the clams before adding them to your Instant Pot.

How to Thicken Clam Chowder?

If your Instant Pot clam chowder is not thick enough, you can use a slurry mixture of cornstarch and water to thicken the soup.

Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water until it forms a paste and add to the pressure cooker clam chowder while stirring. Let cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until desired thickness is reached.

Why Is There No Chicken Broth in Clam Chowder Instant Pot Recipe?

Clam chowder is sometimes made with chicken broth, however in this clam chowder recipe we opted to use water. You can certainly substitute with chicken broth if desired.

Can Clam Chowder Be Made In The Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can also make Instant Pot clam chowder in the slow cooker. Cook the bacon and diced onion on the stovetop before adding them to your slow cooker with all of the other ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

INSTANT POT CLAM CHOWDER

Instant Pot Clam Chowder

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes

Dive into the deliciousness of our Instant Pot Clam Chowder, a home-cooked New England delight.

Ingredients

  • 4 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 (pealed optional – I did for this recipe)
  • 3 cups water
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups half & half milk
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Turn your Instant Pot onto sauté mode. Once your pot becomes hot, add the olive oil. Add diced onion. Next, add bacon bits. Stir and cook for about three minutes. Then turn off the saute function.
  2. Add the canned clams and cornstarch to the bacon bits and diced onion. Mix well.
  3. Add the diced potatoes, salt, freshly ground cracked pepper, water and half-and-half. Stir well
  4. Close your pressure cooker lid, set the pressure valve to closed and pressure cook in your Instant Pot at high pressure for 3 Minutes.
  5. Once your Instant Pot is done cooking, do a quick release by bringing the valve toward you and opening the pressure. Once the Instant Pot has released its pressure open the lid carefully and stir with a wooden spoon.
  6. To make the best clam chowder you’ll need to hit the saute setting again and stir occasionally for 10 minutes. This will reduce the liquid and thicken your half-and-half making the best clam chowder soup. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour your delicious soup chowder into a soup bowl or a bread bowl and top with fresh parsley.

Notes

  • Quick Pressure Release: Use the quick-release function after cooking to prevent overcooking the clams.
  • Creamy Consistency: Mix flour with cream before adding to thicken the soup.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 638Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 3469mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 5gSugar: 14gProtein: 41g

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