New England Clam Chowder Pressure Cooker Recipe
OK, if you use fresh clams it’s 5 more minutes but who wouldn’t want a chowder from scratch in under half an hour?  You saute’ the bacon and onions for 5 minutes, pressure cook the veggies for 5 minutes, add the cream and clams and simmer for just 5 minutes more.  Wow!  This recipe was so fast and delicious that it is now on my “what to serve if we have guests for lunch” rotation. Once you try it you will never be able to enjoy anyone else’s clam chowder!

Here’s how to prepare the clams and save their “juice”:

  • Fresh Calms– Prepare your pressure cooker by putting in one cup of water, and the steamer basket.  Clean the shells of the clams, then place them in the steamer basket.   Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker and turn the heat to high. When the pan reaches pressure, lower the flame to minimum heat and count 5 minutes cooking time under pressure. When time is up, release pressure through the valve. Open the clams over the pan (to keep the juice dribbling in there) and set the clam meat aside.  Discard clam shells and unopened clams – the liquid at the bottom of your pan is the clam juice!
  • Frozen Clams – If they are frozen in their open shells, follow the instructions for fresh clams, above.  If they are un-shelled simply let them defrost in your refrigerator overnight or immediately in your sink by running cold water over the unopened package.   Then, put a strainer over a bowl and carefully open the package over the strainer.  Strain the clams.  The liquid in the bowl is your clam juice.
  • Canned or Jarred Clams – Put a strainer over a bowl, pour the contents of the can or jar into the strainer.  The liquid in the bowl is your clam juice.
Because this recipe has been ported to the pressure cooker, there will be some variations from the original – such as thickening with a roux – to compensate for the fact that this recipe will not be simmering in an uncovered pot.
Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
3 L or larger none 5 min. High(2) Normal

4.9 from 19 reviews
Pressure Cooker Recipe: New England Clam Chowder
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 4 servings
  • Calories: 359.9
  • TOTAL Fat: 11.9g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 32.8g
  • Sugar Carbs: 8.4g
  • Sodium: 328.8
  • Fiber Carbs: 2.7g
  • Protein: 27.6g
  • Cholesterol: 86.3g
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: America
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 12-24 fresh clams (or 11 oz. or 300g strained frozen or canned clams)
  • 2 cups Clam Juice (see instructions to make your own, above)
  • 1 cup, smoked and cured bacon (or pancetta) cubed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup (125ml) tarty white wine
  • 2 Medium Potatoes, cubed skin on
  • 1 Bay Laurel Leaf
  • 1 Sprig Thyme
  • 1 pinch, Cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes)
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 1 cup (250ml) cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  1. Prepare the clams and make your own clam juice as detailed, above.
  2. In the cold pressure cooker, with the top off, add the bacon and turn on the heat at a low flame. When the bacon releases it's fat and it begins to sizzle, add the onion, salt and pepper and raise the heat to medium.
  3. When the onions have softened, add the wine and scrape all of the brown delicious bits off the bottom of the pan to incorporate into your sauce.
  4. Let the wine evaporate almost completely and then add the diced potatoes, clam juice (if you do not have 2 cups of juice, compensate the rest with water), Bay Leaf, Thyme, and Cayenne Pepper.
  5. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  6. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 5 minutes pressure cooking time.
  7. When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure.
  8. While the potaoes are pressure cooking, make a roux to thicken the chowder by blending equal amounts of butter and flour over low heat and stirring constantly with a small wooden spoon until they are both well blended.
  9. To the open pressure cooker add the clam meat, cream, milk and roux.
  10. Stir well, and simmer all of the ingredients in the pressure cooker, with the top off, at medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
  11. Serve garnished with soup crackers or inside a bread bowl.

pressure cooker clam chowder step-by-step photos in fissler pressure cooker

New England Clam Chowder Pressure Cooker Recipe


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  1. I am new to Instant pot cooking. Can I double the soup recipe in my 6 qt pot and do I need to change the cooking times?

    1. Yes. See my comment from December 9th, above, for details.



  2. ‘Best chowder I’ve ever had’ said my husband. I peeled my russet potatoes though. . This was the second recipe I’ve made in my new Instant Pot, both from your site. Thanks for your help! Such wonderful deliciousness!

  3. What are those lovely snail shaped crackers?!

  4. How many Calories per serving?

  5. OMG the best clam chowder ever.. I will never eat canned again!

  6. I’m a New England native, and love a good bowl of clam chowder. I recently bought an 8 qt Instant Pot and found your recipe. I bought fresh steamers and cooked them in the IP. This recipe was a huge hit, and tasted much like the clam chowder my grandmother made when I was a child, using steamers that my aunt and uncle dug out of the New Hampshire clam flats every weekend. The entire recipe took longer than I anticipated because of the prep work and time it takes the cooker to come up to pressure. Still, dinner was on the table in under an hour, and it was fantastic!

  7. Made this tonight in my instant pot. I pushed sauté to cook bacon then onions. In addition to potatoes I also added carrots and celery. High pressure for 5 minutes. Quick steam release. Took lid off and pushed sauté again. Added milk, cream, roux and clams, simmered for 5 more minutes. Super yummy. The potatoes and veggies were a bit overdone. Maybe I cut them too small? Maybe it only needed 3 min? Maybe low pressure would have been better? I will for sure be making this recipe again. Thank you for sharing it!

    1. The potatoes are not supposed to remain in perfect “cube” form – in this recipe, they provide some of the thickener needed to make the chowder creamy. Original chowder recipes use more cream or more butter or potatoes as an ingredient- I developed this recipe to use a little bit of all three. It’s not a skinny recipe but, instead, capitalizes on the flavor and thickening benefits of each thickening ingredient to make a more vividly flavored and thick chowder.



  8. Very good. Doubled this recipe and cooked it in my Instant Pot. Thank you for the recipe.

  9. Great recipe!
    I made changes only because I wanted something dairy free. Used full fat coconut milk instead of cream, coconut milk in carton instead of milk, dairy free butter, added a teaspoon of fish bouillon and doubled the roux. Turned out perfect!
    I would personally not use a bay leaf the next time. We all found it too overpowering.

  10. I picked up a clan of clams at the store on impulse yesterday.. Today I hear that it is “Clam Chowder Day!” Enter this recipe. It was fast, easy and delicious, even without the proper amount of clam in it.

  11. Do you have a Rhode Island clam chowder recipe??

    1. Wow, I’d never heard of this so I had to look it up. It looks like it uses a different kind of clam, as well? The biggest difference I see is that it a clear-broth chowder, too. You can follow this recipe using the special clams and just not add the cream at the end. Let me know how it turns out!



  12. I’m a newcomer and will definitely try your New England clam chowder but by any chance do you have a good recipe for Manhatten clam chowder.

    1. antymame, I have a Manhattan Clam Chowder recipe in my cookbook, “Hip Pressure Cooking: Fast, Fresh & Flavorful” on page 34. I can’t share it here, but perhaps you can read my comment above and replace some of the cooking liquid with chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. ; )



  13. Excellent flavor but it was too thin. I used almond milk and whipping cream if that made the difference. I melted the butter in the microwave and blended the flour to make the roux. Would cornstarch make it thicker? I cubed little baby potatoes and will try small russet potatoes next time. We have large bowls so this 3-qt version only serves 3.

  14. Decent chowder recipe but something is missing. I’ll have to eat it at my favorite restaurant and see if I can figure out what they put in to flavor it. I added carrots and celery to try to imitate my favorite but the seasoning needs some adjustments.

  15. This is so so delicious. Instead of using the roux, I use a hand blender to grind up some of the potatoes and that thickens the chowder very nicely. Also, I have switched out clams for fresh oysters and that is the bomb!!

  16. Sorry…how many servings does this recipe make?

    1. This recipe makes 4 servings. I have just updated the recipe with the serving and nutritional information.



  17. This instant pot recipe was great, but I’m wondering if I can make it thicker without scorching the bottom? My family loved it, I just prefer my clam chowder a little thicker.

    1. Alice, to make this chowder thicker either add a couple more potatoes OR thicken with corn starch: Two tablespoons of corn starch mixed with two tablespoons of cold water, pour it in as the soup is boiling and keep boiling until as thick as desired.



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