Instant Pot Clam Chowder (New England Style) – Aromatic Essence

Clam chowder recipe pressure cooker

The cozy and comforting Instant Pot clam soup is perfect for warming you up on a cold night. It’s creamy, rich, delicious and very easy to make!

45-degree angle shot of Instant Pot clam chowder served in two black ceramic bowls

Although there are many varieties of clam chowder, the classic New England style is our absolute favorite. It is also known as white clam soup or Boston-style clam chowder.

Pressure cooker clam soup is

really convenient to prepare, and it is prepared fairly quickly once you have the vegetables diced


This hearty clam chowder features perfectly cooked potato chunks and tender chopped clams in a tasty, thick, creamy broth, seasoned with fresh herbs like thyme and parsley.


love making things from scratch, however, I have made this Instant Pot clam soup with canned clams as it is more convenient and economical than buying fresh clams.

Traditionally, clam soup is made with salted pork. But we’re using bacon in this recipe.

<img src="×300.jpg" alt="Aerial shot of

pressure cooker clam soup served in two black bowls” />

Why will you love this recipe?

☑ It’s thick and creamy, full of delicious and comforting flavors Super

☑ easy to prepare using the Instant Pot

☑ Homemade is much better than soup

of canned clams Much cheaper to prepare it at home than to order it in a restaurant Necessary ingredients To make this hearty Instant Pot clam soup, gather the following ingredients; Clams: I have used chopped canned ☑

clams for this recipe. You can also use canned whole clams.

Bacon: We cook the bacon first to get the fat and the crispy chunks are used to cover the soup while it is served


Cooking fat: You’ll need some bacon fat and unsalted butter to sauté the vegetables

. Vegetables: I have

used white onions and celery


Garlic: I added a heaping tablespoon of freshly chopped garlic as I really love the taste. You can add more or less to suit your palate.

Potatoes: I have used golden potatoes. You can also use red potatoes, russets, Idaho, fry or baby potatoes cut in half in half. Ideally, it is best to use waxy potatoes in fish soup, as they tend to hold their shape better. I have peeled the potatoes, but feel free to leave the skin.

Liquid: For the liquid, I have used the juice of canned clams in addition to chicken broth. If you have clam juice, use it instead of chicken broth. I finished the soup with half and half. I made mine by combining 3/4 cup of heavy cream and whole milk. Please avoid using half and half fat-free in this recipe.

Cornstarch: To thicken it!

Seasoning: You’ll need some fresh or dried thyme, along with bay leaves, fresh parsley, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper!

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<img src="×1024.jpg" alt="Ingredients needed to mash Instant Pot clam chowder"


How to make Instant Pot clam soup – Step by step process Step

1: Drain

the canned clams and reserve the juices

Drain 3-(6.5) oz of canned chopped clams and reserve the juice for cooking. You should get about 1.5 cups of clam juice (Snows brand) and a little more than a cup (170 grams) of clam meat. (Photos 1 and 2)

Canned clam drainage

Step 2: Skip

Press the ‘SAUTE’ button and set it to ‘NORMAL’ or ‘MEDIUM’ (depending on your IP model), press ‘START’. Once it shows ‘HOT’, add 1/4 lb of diced bacon and sauté until the fat has surrendered and becomes slightly crispy. (Photos 3 and 4)

Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Pour excess bacon fat leaving a tablespoon in the pot. (Photos 5 and 6)

Cook bacon in the instant pot

Add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, add 1 cup diced onions and 3/4 cup diced celery, and sauté until vegetables soften. (Photos 7 and 8)

The onions will release enough moisture to deglaze the pot. But if not, add about 1/4 cup of broth to deglaze the pot. (Photos 9 and 10)

Sauté diced onions and celery in butter and bacon fat

Be sure to scrape all the golden pieces stuck to the bottom of the pot, to avoid a ‘BURN’ error


Add 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic and sauté until fragrant. (Photos 11 and 12)

chopped garlic added and sautéed until fragrant

Step 3: Add potatoes, liquid,

seasoning and pressure cook Add

4 cups diced potatoes, 1

cup vegetable broth or chicken broth, 1.5 cups reserved clam juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional, you can add later), 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, 1.5 teaspoons fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves. Mix well. (Photos 13 to 18)

The total liquid used for pressure cooking is 2.5 cups.

Press ‘CANCEL’. Close the lid of the Instant Pot. Set the valve to ‘SEALING’. Pressure cook in ‘HIGH’ for 5 minutes. It will take some time for the pressure to build up, after which the timer will begin. (Photo 19)

Potatoes, liquid, seasoning added, mixed well and cooked under pressure for 5 minutes.

Step 4: NPR (

5 minutes)

Let the pot depressurize for 5 minutes. Then make a quick release of any excess pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the silver pin drops, turn the knob to ‘VENTILATION’ and open the cap away from you. (Photos 20 and 21)

Natural pressure release for 5 minutes, open the lid

Step 5: Add the remaining ingredients

Discard the bay leaves. (Photo 22)

Press the ‘CANCEL’ button and

turn on the ‘SAUTE’ button, set it to ‘LOW’


Add 1.5 half and half cups and stir. (Photos 23 and 24)

Use room temperature half and half or cream to prevent it from splitting when added to the soup.

Add the cornstarch suspension and stir until the soup has thickened. (Photos 25 and 26)

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Next, add the drained clams and 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley. Mix well and cook until the clams heat up for about 1 to 2 minutes. (Photos 27 to 29)

Press ‘CANCEL’ to disable the ‘SAUTE’ mode. Check for seasonings and adjust with more salt and pepper as needed. I added another 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt.

Let the soup stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Add dairy, cornstarch grout, canned clams and fresh parsley to finish the fish soup

Serving Tips

Serve this Instant Pot clam soup and top with shredded pieces of bacon, crispy oyster crackers or crackers, and chopped parsley or chives! Bacon and fresh herbs definitely add a touch of color and a lovely contrast against the whitish color of fish soup!

You can serve it with homemade crusty bread


You can also serve them Panera-style in bread bowls


Garlic bread is also an excellent accompaniment to this

clam chowder.

Aerial shot of Instant Pot clam chowder served in a black bowl topped with oyster biscuit, crispy bacon pieces and chopped parsleyStorage instructions

Leftovers: Let clam soup cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 to 5 days. Do not let leftovers sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Freeze: I do not recommend freezing clam soup as it has potatoes, dairy and seafood. Also, herbs like thyme tend to add a bit of bitterness to the soup when frozen.

When thawing, the texture of the potatoes will become soggy, the dairy will separate, and the soup will have a grainy texture


Reheating: Clam chowder thickens with refrigeration. Transfer the soup to a pot and reheat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, to prevent sticking or burning to the bottom, until completely heated. Add some splashes of clam/chicken broth or milk to dilute it.

Recipe Tips

Consistency: This clam chowder will thicken when cooled. If you prefer a thinner soup, add more broth or half and half.

Season to taste: These seasonings were perfect for us! Please feel free to adjust it to your liking.

Thicken cornstarch without starch: You can skip the cornstarch and thicken the soup by mixing some of the potatoes. Remove half of the potatoes with a slotted spoon and mix the remaining contents of the pot until the soup is soft, thick and creamy. Add the potatoes again and the rest of the ingredients.


gummy clams: Canned clams are already cooked, so avoid overcooking the clams once you add them to fish soup. You just need to let them heat up for a minute and turn off the IP.

Lighter version: For a low-calorie clam chowder, swap half and half with milk. The texture will vary as it won’t be as rich, but it should still taste good.

Variations of This

Pressure Cooker

Clam Soup

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Skip the Bacon: Bacon adds a subtle smoky flavor to clam chow. Also, sautéing vegetables in bacon fat adds a ton of flavor. You can skip the bacon if you want, and use only butter.

Vegetables: You can add diced carrots and leeks (instead of onion). You can also add some corn kernels for a little sweetness.

Bacon substitutes: You can swap bacon with bacon, ham, or Italian sausage to change things up

. White wine:

You can add about 1/4 cup of white wine for cooking, after sautéing the vegetables to add some shine and complex flavor to the fish soup

. More clams

: Feel free to add another can of chopped clams. You can also replace chicken broth with an 8-ounce bottle of clam juice or you can use better than broth clam base for more clam flavor.

Condiment: You can certainly experiment with other herbs like oregano, rosemary, tarragon or seasonings like Old Bay, etc.

Close-up of Instant Pot clam chowder served in a black bowl topped with oyster biscuit, crispy bacon chunks and chopped parsley

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I make this recipe dairy-free?

To make this dairy-free recipe, you can use a mixture of coconut milk and coconut cream. Coconut pairs very well with seafood, so it would be the best substitute. If you don’t like the taste of coconut milk, you can use oat milk.

What’s the difference between Manhattan-style, New England-style, and Rhode Island-style clam chowder? New England clam soup is cream-based, white and quite thick. Manhattan



is tomato-based, dairy-free, red in color, and the broth has a thinner consistency. Rhode

Island-style soup

has a clear broth and contains no dairy or tomatoes. If you prefer a strong, moist taste, you’ll love this fish soup!

Can I use frozen clams?

Yes, you can! Thaw frozen clams in the refrigerator and use them as you would canned clams in this recipe.

What does clam

chowder taste like?

This Instant Pot clam chowder is packed with tasty treats. It is thick and creamy full of thick potatoes and tender clam meat. It has a subtle smoky flavor of bacon and a very small touch of seafood flavor of clam juice.

You can also enjoy these creamy soup recipes Instant Pot

Corn soup

with bacon

Tortellini sausage


Chicken gnocchi


Wild rice chicken soup Broccoli cheese soup

Have you made this recipe? I’d

love to hear from you! Be sure to share your feedback and/or rate this recipe in the comment below. Your feedback helps others get to know the recipe better as well.

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