Instant Pot Clam Chowder is a quick and easy way to make this comforting seafood stew. As a New England native I grew up on chowder. We do love clams around here. As a kid we even dug them ourselves at the beach for that evening’s dinner.
While harvesting clams and enjoying homemade clam cakes and chowder may sound idyllic, the pot of chowder always seemed to take forever to finish cooking. It was torture, because my mom didn’t make the clam cakes until the chowder was done. After a day at the beach digging up the clams, we were eager to reap the reward.
While chowder can also be easily made in a slow cooker, the electric pressure cooker speeds the cooking right up! We want chowder and we want instant gratification…lol
Instant Pot Clam Chowder
I’m sharing how you can make any of the three most popular clam chowders in the Insta Pot. The high pressure cooks this stew incredibly fast.
First, let’s discuss the chowder types, if you are already savvy on this skip to the next part.
Preparation for each version is discussed in the printable recipe card below.
New England Clam Chowder
The main recipe I have for you is New England Clam Chowder, which has milk or cream in it. It is s rich stew like chowder and overall the most popular type.
Red clam chowder is called Manhattan. It is typically made with canned tomatoes rather than cream.
Rhode Island Chowder
Here in Rhode Island we also serve a clear chowder. It is commonly referred to as Rhode Island Chowder, but I expect in other areas it would simply be called clear.
Sorry, no pic of this style.
How to Make Clam Chowder in Instant Pot
Clam Chowder is easy to make anyway, but even more so in the electric pressure cooker. Here are step by step directions with pictures to guide you along, if you need them. Printable recipe card below.
This depicts the New England Clam Chowder. See notes at bottom for Manhattan and Rhode Island versions alterations
First, chopped bacon and onions go in the Instant Pot.
Brown them up on saute mode until the bacon has rendered.
Add cornstarch, diced potatoes and chopped clams. If using celery, add that now too.
Stir it together to coat.
Add the salt and pepper. Then pour in the water.
Lock and seal the pressure cooker. Set for a manual-high time of 3 minutes. Use quick release when it is done.
Now pour in the half and half.
Serve with oyster crackers, clam cakes, or even in bread bowls for a satisfying family meal.
Making the Other Types of Chowder
If making the red Manhattan chowder, add a large can of diced tomatoes along with an extra cup or two of water before pressure cooking. Skip adding the cream/half & half after.
When making the Rhode Island clear chowder you will skip both the tomatoes and cream. You may want to add a cup or two of clam broth to enhance the flavor along with equivalent extra water.
More Recipes you May Like
- Instant Pot Pot Roast
- Rhode Island Cranberry Walnut Stuffed Shortbread Cookies
- Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
- Homemade Coffee Syrup Recipe for Coffee Milk
Instant Pot Clam Chowder Recipe
- 1 1/2 pounds chopped clams or 4 (6 ½ ounccans
- ½ pound bacon diced
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 8 medium sized potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 cup celery chopped ***optional**
- 3 cups water
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups half and half
- 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 8 oz clam juice
- 1 cups additional water
- 16 oz Clam Juice
- 2 cups additional water
New England Chowder
- Turn Instant Pot on to saute mode and cook bacon and onions until bacon has browned.
- Add in clams and cornstarch and stir together. Add in potatoes and then the water and seasonings, stirring to mix.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn pressure valve to sealing. Set for a manual-high time of 3 minutes. Allow for a quick pressure release when the time has completed.
- Add half and half and turn on saute mode to heat through. Add additional salt and pepper as needed, to taste.
- Add the tomatoes, extra water and clam juice in step 2. Skip step adding half & half.
- Don't add cornstarch. Add clam juice and extra water in step 2. Skip adding the half and half.