This Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder is an easy pressure cooker soup recipe that is loaded with creamy potatoes, fresh corn, and smoky ham.
It’s perfect for cooler weeknight meals when you want something comforting.
I am home in Nova Scotia and boy is it cold! I’ve been making lots of Nova Scotia seafood chowder but I miss the Cuban warmth.
During this time I’m also going to catch up on work.
Wifi in Cuba isn’t the greatest so I’m spending most of my time on my laptop, taking breaks to make dinner.
And there’s something about cold weather that has me breaking out my Instant Pot and my slow cooker.
Meals are just easier.
I can throw a few things in a pot and voila dinner is made.
I fell in love with the Instant Pot the first time I cooked with it. I use this cheaper Instant Pot model, which is a couple years old but does all your need.
And I don’t think I’ll be air frying in it or making yogurt so I don’t need all the bells and whistles…or the extra price.
If you’re new to Instant Pot cooking try the balsamic pork tenderloin I’ve mentioned above.
It gets rave reviews.
Seriously everyone who makes it loves it, even kids.
Using What You Already Have
Some days I want to cook elaborate meals that take an hour to prep. And other days I don’t want to think if I have everything I need for a recipe.
And I don’t want to go to the store to buy ingredients. I just want to use what I have and throw it in a pot.
That’s what this Instant Pot corn chowder recipe does.
I always a bag of frozen corn in the freezer, frozen ham for western sandwiches and potatoes.
I also tend to have a bit of cream because it’s great for last minute vegetable soups or pasta sauces.
You could also throw in red pepper with the onion or add spinach at the very end to sneak in a few more vegetables.
Corn and Ham Chowder Ingredients
While I’m more of a throw a bunch of things in a pot and see how it goes kind of cook, I’m aware people like exact instructions.
I’ve tried to answer as many questions as I could possibly think on how to make an Instant Pot Corn Chowder.
If there’s more let me know in the comments below and I’m happy to answer!
Corn Chowder Substitutions for Ham
If I didn’t have ham I’d take some frozen bacon and first sauté it in the Instant Pot until cooked but not too crispy – 2 minutes a side.
Remove it and dice but keep the bacon fat to cook the onion and garlic. The same works for sausage.
Cooked chicken would also be great to add at the very end. As would shrimp.
And because my mother likes things a bit spicy I almost always put in a bit of sriracha or chipotle sauce before serving.
What Cream is Best in a Chowder?
It doesn’t require a heavy cream to make this Instant Pot corn chowder recipe comforting. But I wouldn’t recommend skim milk either.
I recommend 5% cream which is considered a light cream and so it’s not too calorie-laden. I wouldn’t do anything less than homogenized milk which is 3.25 as you need a bit of weight to the milk.
But at the same time I find Instant Pot’s do not cook heavy cream well.
It can burn and other times you get it spewing out the top when you open the pressure valve.
The most I use is 10% or what people call half and half cream.
If you’d like it thicker add some 35% cream after its done cooking.
Should I Use Fresh Corn or Frozen Corn
Nothing beats fresh local corn. I gorge on fresh corn on the cob in the summer.
But for me this is a cooler weather dish.
I’m not really interested in eating a creamy corn chowder soup in the summer. In Canada the only corn on the cob we have in winter is imported.
So I skip the fresh corn and just use frozen.
But if you have access to fresh local corn it would be amazing. One cob usually gives you 3/4 cup of corn so 4-5 cobs should work.
FAQ Cooking Instant Pot Corn Chowder
If it’s your first time cooking soup in the Instant Pot you should know it takes a LONG TIME for it to come to full pressure.
It’s just because it’s full of liquid so it could take twice as long as other recipes.
But add 20-25 minutes of time to let it come to pressure.
How Long Can I Keep Corn Chowder in the Fridge?
I find most soups and chowders are better the next day so feel free to make it at night and reheat for dinner the next day.
It should last 4 days in the fridge.
Can I Freeze Potato Corn Chowder?
Most chowders don’t freeze well at all. Potatoes can get really grainy and lower fat dairy often separates. If you want to try your luck at it use 10% cream.
What is NPR or Natural Release?
When cooking in an Instant Pot there are two ways to release the pressure after cooking.
- Open the value as soon as the timer beeps. This is called Quick Release.
- Wait for the pressure to gradually release. A recipe will state how long or ask to wait until its completely released (up to 20 minutes)
Corn Chowder Toppings
- Bacon bits
- Lump crab
- Green onions or chives (I use kitchen scissors to just snip off a bit)
What to Serve with Corn Chowder?
- I love a good cup of soup and half sandwich. This would go so well with a grilled cheese.
- It’s also fantastic with a nice kale or spinach salad.
- Or just a soft dinner roll, garlic toast or warm biscuit.
Instant Pot Corn Chowder Recipe
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups cream, 5% MF (milk fat) or more
- 1 pound red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 cups frozen corn, peaches and cream if possible
- 8 ounces ham, diced I prefer smoked
- Set Instant Pot to saute mode and add oil. When oil is heated, add onion and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and continue sautéing for another 30 seconds or until you can smell the garlic.
- Stir in cornstarch and saute until brown and bubbly, around 3 minutes.
- Turn off Instant Pot and add chicken broth. Deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula to remove stuck-on pieces of food.
- Season with parsley, thyme, and black pepper.
- Add heavy cream, potatoes, corn, and ham. Stir to combine.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and seal vent. Set to high pressure cook for 10 minutes.
- When cook time is up, do a (NPR) natural release for 5 minutes and stir before serving.