This creamy Instant Pot Corn Chowder is made with bacon, potatoes, corn, cheese and more! It’s a quick, easy, and hearty dinner idea for the summer.
An Easy Corn Chowder Recipe
Give your Instant Pot some love by making this comforting corn chowder! This easy dinner recipe is full of your favorite savory flavors; crispy bacon bits and juicy corn kernels give this creamy chowder some texture and keep it nice and filling.
Corn chowder is a tasty meal for any time of year, but I especially like it in the summer because the corn is at its best! You can use frozen or canned corn for this recipe, but fresh corn will really bring your soup to the next level.
Why Make Chowder in the Instant Pot?
Using an Instant Pot is a great way to make creamy corn chowder without all the work. The cook time is way shorter and the flavors are just as good. Plus, no one wants to hang around a hot stove on a warm summer day.
- Bacon: Dice up your bacon to desired size. Smaller bacon bits will get crispier.
- Yellow Onion: Finely dice the onion.
- Minced Garlic
- Chicken Broth
- Potatoes: I like making this chowder with red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Corn Kernels: Drain your corn kernels before adding them to your soup.
- Dried Thyme
- Bay Leaf: This will add a nice herbiness to your chowder.
- Half and Half
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Green Onions
- Fresh Parsley: Make your dish pretty by garnishing it with sliced green onions and chopped parsley.
How to Make Corn Chowder
- Cook Bacon Bits: Set your Instant Pot to SAUTÉ. Add diced bacon to the Instant Pot and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until cooked to a crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove your bacon from the pot and set it aside for later.
- Sauté Onions & Garlic: Add diced onions to the bacon fat inside the Instant Pot and cook for 2 minutes. Then, stir in the garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
- Add Broth: Slowly add in the chicken broth and stir to get all the browned bits from the bottom.
- Add Corn & Potatoes: Add potatoes, corn, thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf to the Instant Pot.
- Cover & Cook: Cover and lock the lid into place. Pressure cook on HIGH for 15 minutes.
- Release Steam: Do a quick release to let out the steam from your instant pot.
- Remove Cover: Remove the lid and discard your bay leaf.
- Set to Sauté: Change the setting of your Instant Pot back to Sauté.
- Combine Corn Starch & Half and Half: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half & cornstarch. Stir the half-and-half mixture into your soup.
- Cook: Continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until chowder has thickened.
- Add Cheese & Bacon: Stir in the shredded cheese and half of the bacon; heat through until the cheese is melted.
- Serve & Enjoy: Divide your chowder into soup bowls and garnish it with the remaining bacon, a sprinkle of shredded cheese, green onions and parsley.
Tips for the Best Corn Chowder Soup
- Release Steam After Covering: Please don’t forget to do a quick release before you remove the lid from your Instant Pot. You need to relieve the pressure from inside the pot so it doesn’t explode when you take off the cover.
- Use Fresh Corn: This chowder is best when it’s made with fresh, in-season corn. If corn is not in season, you can use frozen or canned corn instead. If you use canned corn, drain it very well. You don’t have to thaw frozen corn.
- Season to Taste: You can adjust the amount of seasonings in this soup to suit your tastes. If your corn is on the sweeter side, add more salt to balance it out.
Mix In & Topping Ideas
- Add More Cheese & Bacon on Top: I suggest saving some bacon bits for serving as well as sprinkling a little extra cheese on your chowder. The bacon will stay super crisp and your dish will look as good as it tastes!
- Add More Meat: To make your soup even heartier, add in some shredded chicken or cubed ham.
- Top with Crackers: Try topping this chowder with some oyster crackers! They’re nice while they’re crunchy and also after they’ve absorbed some of the soup.
- Add More Veggies: Feel free to add your favorite veggies to your corn chowder. Add them to the Instant Pot along with the onions.
What to Serve with Corn Chowder
- Bread: I love dipping homemade bread into my chowder. Try pairing your soup with this Easy Homemade Flatbread or homemade popovers!
- Chicken: This soup makes a yummy side dish for my 20 minute Mojo Grilled Chicken.
- Salad: A big bowl of chowder with a healthy side salad is the perfect summer meal. Serve your soup with this simple Roasted Vegetable Salad!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Store leftover chowder in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy your leftovers within 4-5 days.
- To reheat your chowder, simmer it over medium-low heat or pop it in the microwave! I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
Quick & Easy Instant Pot Corn Chowder
- 6 slices bacon, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth, (try to use lower sodium chicken broth whenever possible)
- 3 cups (14 ounces) red potatoes, (3 to 4 medium sized potatoes) cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 cups corn kernels, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- sliced green onions, for garnish
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- crumbled bacon, optional, for garnish
- shredded cheese, optional, for garnish
- Set Instant Pot to SAUTÉ.
- Add diced bacon to the Instant Pot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until cooked to a crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from the pot and set aside for later.
- Add diced onions to the bacon fat inside the Instant Pot and cook for 2 minutes; stir in garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
- Slowly add in the chicken broth and stir to get all the browned bits from the bottom.
- Add potatoes, corn, thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf.
- Cover and lock lid into place.
- Pressure Cook on HIGH for 15 minutes.
- Do a quick release.
- Remove cover and discard bay leaf.
- Set Instant Pot back to SAUTÉ.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together half-and-half & cornstarch.
- Stir half-and-half mixture into soup.
- Continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
- Stir in cheese and half of the bacon; heat through until cheese is melted.
- Divide into soup bowls and garnish with remaining bacon, a sprinkle of shredded cheese, green onions and parsley.
- Serve and enjoy!