Instant Pot Corn Chowder is one of the easiest and most flavorful pressure cooker recipes you can make! Simply saute your veggies and seasonings right in the Instant Pot, then cook and thicken for a rich corn chowder that’s perfect to serve with seafood or your favorite protein. Stovetop instructions are also included.
Chowders and soups aren’t typically something you think of making in the summer, but this chowder is quite the exception. Not only does it have the sweet flavors of fresh corn kernels, but there is no need to heat up the kitchen.
This corn chowder is made right in your instant pot which means that it’s pressure cooked all in one pot with no babysitting and no adding heat to the kitchen when it’s already hot out. Serve it at a BBQ or any time for lunch or dinner. Enjoy it with Blackberry Cobbler for dessert for a delicious summertime meal!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- One-Pot Cooking. No need to dirty up ten different pots to make this chowder. Everything is cooked right in the instant pot.
- No babysitting. Let your pressure cooker do all of the work while you finish up dinner or spend time with friends and family.
- Serve it with anything. This highly versatile chowder is both sweet and savory making it the perfect side dish to serve with any vegetable or protein. You can even eat it on its own and make it a meal!
- Perfect for summer. Corn tastes great when it’s in season making this recipe the perfect excuse to use it.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Onion & Garlic – Infuses the chowder with a classic garlic and onion flavor.
- Unsalted Butter – The perfect buttery oil to saute the vegetables in.
- Red Potatoes – Gives the chowder a thickness and bulk along with a satisfying texture.
- Chicken Broth – Thins out the chowder while adding flavor. You can substitute with vegetable broth or water.
- Sweet Yellow Corn – Freshly shucked corn is the star of this chowder.
- Seasonings – You’ll need a bay leaf, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to season this chowder.
- Cornstarch – Helps thicken up the chowder to give it a rich consistency.
- Milk & Heavy Cream – Adds a creamy flavor and texture to amplify the chowder.
- Honey – Balances out the naturally sweet flavor in the corn by enhancing it.
- Cooked Bacon – Adds a salty and smoky note that pairs well with the corn chowder.
- Garnish – Top with shredded cheese and parsley for a beautiful corn chowder display.
How To Make Fresh Corn Chowder (Instant Pot)
Step 1. Saute your veggies. Using the saute function, add butter along with the chopped onion and saute until onion is soft and brown around the edges then stir in the garlic.
Step 2. Pressure cook the corn chowder base. Pour in the broth and scrape brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the potatoes, corn, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper and stir. Close and secure the lid, then cook on Manual High for 15 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, quick-release the pressure. Carefully remove the lid. Discard the bay leaf.
Step 3. Thicken and blend. Press saute once again. Whisk the cornstarch with the milk until smooth in a separate bowl, then stir it into the soup, followed by the cream and honey. Use an immersion blender to pulse the soup a bit to thicken it, leaving most of it chunky.
Step 4. Garnish and serve. Stir the soup then allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes until thickened. Press cancel. Stir in bacon. Pour into bowls and top with cheese and parsley.
As an alternative to the Instant Pot, you can also make this chowder in a large pot on the stove.
- Add butter to a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened and just starting to brown around the edges. Stir in the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the cornstarch to the vegetables and continue to cook for one to two minutes. (You can also use flour instead of the cornstarch.)
- Pour in the broth (or water) along with the potatoes, corn, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
- Add the heavy cream and honey. Use an immersion blender to pulse the soup to thicken, leaving most of it chunky. Allow it to simmer for 5 more minutes, then stir in bacon and garnish with cheese and parsley, if desired.
- Looking for a lower carb version? Replace the potato with cauliflower.
- Add some heat. Dice up jalapeno and/or poblano pepper to add to the corn chowder for a kick of spice.
- This recipe can be made dairy-free by using a can of coconut milk instead of cow’s milk.
- Make it vegan by using vegan butter, coconut milk and omitting the bacon from the recipe.
- Add cooked shredded chicken after you blend the soup to make chicken corn chowder.
What To Serve With Corn Chowder?
This highly versatile chowder can be served with so many different dishes. Try some of these ideas below for a perfect corn chowder paring.
- Grilled Lobster Tail
- Toasted Rosemary Focaccia Bread
- Burgers with Homemade Burger Sauce
- Grilled Boneless Pork Chops
- Fresh Garden Salad
Cornstarch and flour are mixed with water to make a “slurry”. This prevents large clumps of flour or cornstarch from staying in the chowder. It’s then poured slowly into the chowder by stirring where it will simmer as it thickens making a perfectly thick chowder.
Not at all! It’s such a small amount and a little goes a long way when using this powerful thickening agent.
The best way to reheat refrigerated corn chowder is to add it to a saucepan and heat gently over medium heat until warmed through. You may have to whisk it together if the cream and milk have demulsified.
Instant Pot Corn Chowder
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth, (or water)
- 2 1/2 cups red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 6 ears fresh sweet yellow corn, shucked and kernels cut from cob
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup lowfat milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- Press Saute on your Instant Pot, then add butter and allow it to melt. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened and just starting to brown around edges, about 5-6 minutes. Press cancel and add garlic, sautéing for 30 seconds.
- Pour in the broth (or water) and scrape brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the potatoes, corn, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper and stir.
- Close and secure the lid, then cook on Manual High for 15 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, quick-release the pressure. Carefully remove the lid. Discard the bay leaf.
- Press saute. Mix the cornstarch with the milk until smooth, then stir it into the soup, followed by the cream and honey. Use an immersion blender to pulse the soup a bit to thicken it, leaving most of it chunky. Stir, then allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes. Press cancel. Stir in bacon.
- Serve garnished with cheese and parsley and, if desired.
- Broth: You can substitute chicken broth for vegetable broth or water.
- Cornstarch: You can use arrowroot powder or flour instead of cornstarch.