Instant Pot Clam Chowder

Instant Pot Clam Chowder

 Kristina Vanni

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Pressure Build: 10 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yields: 6 bowls

You won't need to travel to New England for a thick and rich white clam chowder. This easy version can be prepared in minutes using an Instant Pot. The classic recipe contains both clams and clam juice, as well as diced potatoes, onion and celery. It is often served with saltine crackers or oyster crackers. Sometimes diced carrots or fresh parsley are added for interest. This version adds some crisped and crumbled bacon for added flavor, texture, and color.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
  • 4 strips smoked bacon (diced)
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 5 cups peeled and cubed potatoes (about 3 Russet potatoes)
  • 1 (10-ounce) can clams (drained)
  • 1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Oyster crackers (to serve)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Instant Pot Clam Chowder
     Kristina Vanni
  2. Turn the Instant Pot to the sauté function. Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the pot. Transfer the diced bacon to the pot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Instant Pot Clam Chowder
     Kristina Vanni
  3. Carefully transfer the cooked and crisped bacon to a paper towel lined plate, leaving the rendered bacon fat in the pot.

    Instant Pot Clam Chowder
     Kristina Vanni
  4. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and add the diced onions, celery, and garlic. Sauté for about 4 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.

    Instant Pot Clam Chowder
     Kristina Vanni
  5. Add the cubed potatoes, clams, clam juice, water, salt, thyme, and pepper to the pot. Secure the lid on the pot and set to manual. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. When the cooking is complete, manually release the pressure by moving the valve to venting. 

    Instant Pot Clam Chowder
     Kristina Vanni
  6. Remove the lid and once again set to the sauté function. (Use a low setting, if possible on your appliance). Add the milk and cream to the pot. Heat, stirring occasionally, to a very gentle boil.

    Instant Pot Clam Chowder
     Kristina Vanni
  7. In a small bowl, add the flour. Ladle about 3/4 cup of the liquid from the soup and transfer it to the bowl. Using a fork, stir the flour and liquid together until you get a thick paste. Scrape the thick paste into the pot and stir to incorporate with the rest of the soup. Let the soup simmer for about 4 minutes more to thicken. 

    Instant Pot Clam Chowder
     Kristina Vanni
  8. Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Top with the crumbled bacon and a few twists of fresh black pepper. Serve with oyster crackers, if desired.

    Instant Pot Clam Chowder
     Kristina Vanni
  9. Enjoy!

Tip

  • To prevent the potatoes from browning after peeling and chopping, soak them in cold water until ready to use. Drain well before adding them to the electric pressure cooker.