This is the Creamiest Instant Pot Corn Chowder! It’s filled with corn, bacon, potatoes, cream and spices, and is ready in just 30 minutes.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – use any neutral cooking oil like canola oil or avocado oil.
- Yukon gold potatoes – substitute for red potatoes or another variety of yellow-skinned potatoes.
- Frozen or fresh corn – canned corn would also work here.
- Yellow onion – white onion or shallots will provide a similar flavour.
- Celery stalks – carrots would also add some crunch to this soup.
- Red pepper – use any colour bell pepper of your choice.
- Garlic – I prefer freshly minced garlic, but jarred minced garlic will work in a pinch.
- Thyme – oregano would be good if you don’t have any thyme.
- Paprika – cayenne is a good substitute here but has a bit more kick.
- Salt & pepper – to taste.
- Chicken broth – swap out for some vegetable broth instead.
- Heavy cream – sour cream or plain Greek yogurt will provide the same creamy consistency.
- Lemon juice – freshly squeezed lemon juice is best but bottled lemon juice can be used as well.
- Turkey bacon – use regular bacon if preferred.
- Green onions – shallots or chives would also be good as a garnish.
- Cilantro – leave the cilantro off altogether if you’re not a fan.
How to make corn chowder in the Instant Pot
Step 1: Add everything to the Instant Pot.
Add all ingredients to Instant Pot in the order in which they are listed, except for heavy cream and lemon juice. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal.
Step 2: Cook on high pressure.
Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 3 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook for 3 minutes.
Step 3: Blend the soup.
Do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily. Blend about half the soup with an immersion blender to make it thicker and creamier.
Step 4: Stir in the cream.
Stir in heavy cream and lemon juice.
Step 5: Prep your toppings.
Cook bacon and prepare desired toppings.
Step 6: Serve and enjoy!
Serve in bowls with desired toppings and enjoy!
What to serve with corn chowder
This Instant Pot corn chowder recipe is pretty filling on its own, but you can up the protein content by adding in some ham or chicken.
To add ham, just stir in some leftover cooked ham at the end of the cooking time with the cream and lemon juice, or cube some ham steaks and cook them in the Instant Pot alongside the other ingredients. To add chicken, dice up some rotisserie chicken and add it in after the soup has cooked.
You can also add on some toppings to your corn chowder. Here are some of my favourites:
- Shredded cheese
- Fresh chopped chives
- Sour cream
- Roasted jalapenos
- Oyster crackers
- Diced avocado
Frequently Asked Questions
A chowder is a type of soup that usually contains milk or cream and some type of thickening ingredient. It also contains chunks of vegetables or seafood and isn’t pureed like cream soups. Chowder is often thickened with cornstarch, a roux, or crackers. Potatoes in chowder also act as a thickener.
The best way to thicken this Instant Pot corn chowder is by using an immersion blender. Before stirring in the cream and lemon juice, use an immersion blender to roughly blend about half the soup. It will make it nice and thick and creamy! You can also thicken your chowder with a cornstarch slurry or some crushed-up crackers.
It is thought that chowder, a form of the French word for cauldron, was created by fishermen who brought the custom to Newfoundland. From there, the recipe made its way to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and New England. Recipes for corn chowder can be found in the United States as far back as the late 1800s. Corn chowder first appeared in the Boston area, but the Shakers soon became well-known for their chowders. This religious group had a very simple corn chowder recipe made from just cream, butter and fresh corn. It’s very similar to New England Clam Chowder, but corn is used as a substitute for fresh clams. This corn chowder Instant Pot recipe offers an easy spin on the classic dish!
Storing and reheating
Let this Instant Pot corn chowder cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container. If you store it properly, chowder will last in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
Reheat this soup in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop until warmed all the way through. Make sure to use low heat so the cream doesn’t curdle and separate.
Can you freeze corn chowder?
You can freeze this corn chowder Instant Pot recipe, but you’ll need to leave out the cream. Soups that contain milk or cream do not freeze well as the dairy will separate as it thaws, giving the soup an unpleasant and grainy texture. If you decide to freeze this corn chowder, the best option is to make the recipe as written, but omit the heavy cream and lemon juice.
Let the soup cool completely before storing it in Ziploc bags or airtight containers. Be sure to leave some space at the top of the container to allow for expansion of the soup as it freezes. The soup will last in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When you’re ready to enjoy, let the soup defrost in the fridge overnight. Reheat it in a pot on the stovetop, then stir in the heavy cream and lemon right before serving.
More Instant Pot soup recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this soup into leftovers.
- If you don’t already have an immersion blender, get one here (it’s so much easier than a blender!)
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months.
Creamiest Instant Pot Corn Chowder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
- 4 cups frozen or fresh corn
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 red or green pepper, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt & pepper
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 6 slices turkey or pork bacon, cooked & crumbled
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Add all ingredients to Instant Pot in the order in which they are listed, except for heavy cream and lemon juice. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal.
- Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 3 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, cook bacon and prepare desired toppings.
- Do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily.
- Optional: blend about half the soup with an immersion blender to make it thicker and creamier. Stir in heavy cream and lemon juice, then serve in bowls with desired toppings and enjoy!