Instant Pot Clam Chowder Recipe

Instant Pot Clam Chowder

 Kristina Vanni

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Pressure Build: 10 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 6 bowls
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
336 Calories
16g Fat
28g Carbs
20g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 336
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Sodium 862mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 147mg 11%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 756mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.


  • 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 diced potatoes, from 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, for serving

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!


  • 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.