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Instant Pot Clam Chowder

A handful of ingredients and just 20 minutes total is all that stands between you and a delicious bowl of homemade clam chowder. This Instant Pot clam chowder is rich and comforting and loaded with all the classic flavors. It’s hearty and filling enough to be dinner on even the coldest winter night.

instant pot clam chowder shown in stacked white serving bowl with fresh parsley leaves sprinkled on top

Do you have any foods that bring you back to childhood?

Foods that scream nostalgia and make you feel like you are 8 years old again?

For me one of these foods is clam chowder.

instant pot clam chowder

My dad used to buy canned chowder in bulk. Actually come to think of it, this habit of his kind of turned me on to my Costco habit.

But anyway, clam chowder was his very favorite soup.

Sometimes, he’d share a bowl with me. I used to love it.

I always felt so special, that he would share his favorite soup with me so it was always a treat when it happened.

instant pot clam chowder shown in stacked white serving bowl with fresh parsley leaves sprinkled on top with an instant pot in the background

At least that’s what I thought then.

When I grew up I found out that the nights he shared his clam chowder with me it was because my Mom was away for the evening and he didn’t feel like making dinner.

It doesn’t matter though.

For me clam chowder still feels special and always reminds me of my meals with Dad.

instant pot clam chowder shown in stacked white serving bowl with fresh parsley leaves sprinkled on top with an instant pot in the background

So of course, I love to have a steaming bowl of clam chowder to enjoy a nostalgic treat.

At first I was worried that it would be difficult to make because it’s seafood. Sometimes seafood tricks you like that.

You think because it is seafood that it might be harder because seafood is a little fancy.

This Instant Pot clam chowder is so easy. The hardest part of the prep is cutting the potatoes, onions and bacon.

Beyond that? No obscure ingredients and no complicated prep. The Instant Pot makes it so easy.

Just turn the Instant Pot on saute mode and brown the bacon and cook the onions.

Then stir in the clams and cornstarch before you add the potatoes, water, and salt and pepper.

Give it a good stir to mix and then put the lid on the Instant Pot before letting it cook for 3 minutes and doing a quick pressure release.

To finish just stir in half and half and turn the Instant Pot back on saute mode to heat it through.

instant pot clam chowder shown in stacked white serving bowl with fresh parsley leaves sprinkled on top with an instant pot in the background

Before you know it, this Instant Pot clam chowder is ready and you’ll be enjoying a bowl of my favorite nostalgia.  

Other Seafood Recipes You’ll Also Want To Try:

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Instant Pot Clam Chowder

This creamy potato based soup is chock full of delicious clams and savory bacon.
4.73 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Chowder, Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 4 6 1/2 oz cans chopped clams
  • 1/2 lb bacon, diced
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 8 medium russtet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups half & half


  • 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.
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4.73 from 11 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is SUPERB! I have been making my stovetop version for nearly 40yrs, that the family & guests love. So with a new IP to break in, I had to try this. Two-thumbs up from all those around the table! Absolutely delicious! Thank you!

  2. 3 stars
    I made this today and you CANNOT add the cornstarch while this is cooking. It has to be done at the end otherwise you end up with the Food Burn and it getting all gunked up at the bottom. We ended up pouring it all into a regular pan and cooking on the stove. It was still good but took over an hour.

      1. No problem. It was delicious though and will be my go to recipe for chowder, just gotta switch it up a little bit 😉

    1. I drained them, but if you want more of a seafood infused broth you can drain them and let the juice run into a measuring cup and include it as part of the three cups of liquid needed to make the broth.

    1. They don’t have to be, and they weren’t in the original creation of this recipe. It’s something I have begun doing over time. Sorry- I will update it to reflect that it is an option.