Instant Pot Clam Chowder is one of my favorite Instant Pot soups. It’s tasty, comforting and warming on chilly days, and also good on a summer day! It’s easy to make my pressure cooker clam chowder recipe!
Instant Pot Clam Chowder
I grew up in Seattle, the place where Ivar’s Acres of Clams was a big deal! If you have ever had the pleasure of strolling along the waterfront in Seattle, you would have seen Ivar’s Clam Bar. They serve up yummy deep fried clams, as well as fish and chips, salmon and chips, clam chowder, and more. I have memories of that place and their clam chowder as far back as… Well, pretty far back! We still like to go there.
This Instant Pot Clam Chowder recipe is one of my most popular recipes.
Many people in states along any coast will have their own recipe for clam chowder. Some are really loaded with stuff, while others are simpler. My Instant Pot Clam Chowder leans towards the simpler, but it has great flavor! My mom made a version very similar, and my recipe is based on hers that we ate growing up.
This pressure cooker clam chowder recipe has a nice amount of clams in it. If you are a clam super fan, go ahead and add in an extra can! This recipe also doubles nicely. Just keep the cook time the same.
The feedback on this recipe has been awesome! I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to let me know that they love my Instant Pot Clam Chowder recipe! Pin this recipe on Pinterest and share the love!
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Instant Pot Clam Chowder is a classic New England style clam chowder. It is tasty, comforting and warming on these wintry days, and it’s easy to make in your electric pressure cooker!
- (3) 6.5 oz cans Chopped Clams* (reserve the clam juice)
- Water or a small bottle of clam juice. (to add to clam juice)
- 5 slices Bacon, chopped
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Onion, diced
- 2 stalks Celery, diced
- 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme (or 1/4 tsp dried)
- 2 cloves Garlic, pressed or finely minced
- 1 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt (3/4 tsp table salt) or to taste
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1 1/2 lbs Potatoes, 4 cups diced (I use gold potatoes and don't peel them. If you use russets, you may want to peel them.)
- 1/2 tsp Sugar (optional)
- 1 1/3 cups Half and Half
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Potato or Corn Starch (optional, for thickening)
- Chopped Chives, for garnish
Open the cans of clams and drain the clam juice into a 2 cup measuring cup. Add enough water to make 2 cups of liquid. Set the clams and juice/water aside.
Turn on the pressure cooker's Sauté function and add the chopped bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fat has rendered out of it, but not crispy.
Add the butter, onion, celery, and thyme. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to get up all of the brown bits, until the onion starts turning translucent.
Add the garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
Add the potatoes, sugar (if using) and clam juice/water mixture and stir.
Put the lid on the pot and lock in place. Turn the steam release knob to the Sealing position.
Cancel the Sauté function.
Set to Pressure Cook/Manual, and use the + or - (or dial) to choose 4 minutes (High Pressure). When cook time has ended, let the pot rest undisturbed for 3 minutes, then do a controlled Quick Release.
When the pin in the lid has dropped down, carefully open the lid, facing away from you, and stir the contents.
Use a potato masher to carefully mash some or all of the potatoes, as desired.
Turn the Sauté function back on, and use the Lowest setting (on the IP is called Less).
Add the clams and the half and half. Let the chowder heat through, but try not to boil it.
If you want it thicker, you can thicken it with potato or corn starch mixed with some of the half and half, mixed well, and stir it in.
Turn off the pot and garnish the clam chowder with chopped chives, and serve with crackers or some nice bread or rolls.
*An alternative to the canned clams is 1 lb of frozen clams and a bottle of clam juice.
RESOURCES TO MAKE Instant Pot Clam Chowder recipe and more
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Hi Sandy! I’ve made this before and it’s delicious! I’m excited to make it again. I was wondering, can I use whole milk instead of half and half? Thanks! Sam
Yes you can. It will still be delicious.
This is SOOOOO GOOD! I made a few minor changes; 1/4 c chicken broth instead of water or extra clam juice to add to the canned clam juice (to make a full 2 cups of liquid), no sugar or sweetener, leeks in place of onion, extra fresh garlic, pancetta and proscuitto in place of bacon, and I forgot the salt and pepper (but didn’t miss it). This recipe is DEFINITELY a keeper! Thank you, Sandy!
Hi, can you double this?
Yes! Keep the cook time the same.
Thanks so much for this recipe, it’s so delicious. I’ve made it so many times within a span of 4 months. I like my clam chowder chunky so I normally add 4 or 5 cans of clams and some scallops. The first time I made it I mistakenly used rosemary instead of thyme. I prefer it that way or a combination of rosemary and thyme.
Heidi S. Atwood
This was so ridiculously good I had to come onto the website to review it! I have your cookbook and am ALWAYS happy with your recipes. You are my go-to and I refer people to you often. Thank you for this amazingly delicious recipe. I subbed in two cans of evaporated milk for the cream and thickened it up with some potato flakes and holy moses, wicked crazy good!
I love your IP chowder recipe and in the cold winter months make it at least 3 times a month! I haven’t tried making it with a non-dairy alternative but do you have a suggestion what non-dairy milk may work as a substitute? I have guests coming for dinner but they can’t tolerate dairy. I was considering coconut, almond or soy but not sure which would be best as to not affect the taste?
I think almondmilk or coconut milk.