Easy to make Instant Pot Clam Chowder! Thick, creamy New England Clam Chowder with some chunky potatoes, sprinkled with crisp smoky bacon, and crispy biscuits. You'll enjoy this very heartwarming, comforting, & delicious soup.
Crisp Bacon: Add bacon in Instant Pot. Heat up Instant Pot using Sauté More function. Stir occasionally and allow bacon to crisp. Remove bacon and place them on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat.
Saute Onions, Garlic, and Vegetables: Add diced onion in bacon fat, saute until softened (roughly 3 minutes). Add in 2 bay leaves, ½ tsp (0.8g) dried thyme, minced garlic, diced celeries, and carrots, then saute for another minute.
Deglaze Instant Pot: Pour in 1 cup (250ml) clam juice or unsalted chicken stock. Scrub all the brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. *Pro Tip: Keep those brown bits because they're very flavorful!
Pressure Cook Soup: Add in 2.5 lbs (1132g) potato cubes, 2 tbsp (30ml) fish sauce, and 3 cups (750ml) unsalted chicken stock. Give it a quick mix. With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 3 minutes, then 15 minutes Natural Release. Remove the lid carefully.
Blend & Cook Clams: Set aside half of the potato cubes, carrots, and celery. Find & discard the bay leaves. Blend the soup with an immersion hand blender. Bring the soup back to a simmer with the Saute function. Once it simmers, add in clams, and cook for roughly 2 minutes. Once the clams are fully cooked, add in previously set-aside potato cubes, carrots, and celery.
Optional - Thicken with Flour & Cream: We recommend mixing 1 cup (250ml) heavy cream with 2 tbsp all-purpose flour until well combined. Slowly pour the flour cream mixture in clam chowder one third at a time until your desired thickness. Taste and season with more salt (for reference, we added 4 - 5 large pinches of kosher salt).
Garnish & Serve: Garnish clam chowder with crisped bacon bits, freshly ground black pepper, and oyster crackers. Serve immediately & enjoy! :)
Crispy Bacon: You don't need to add any oil because bacon has a lot of fat. In order to cook the meat and fat evenly, crispy, and not burnt, place the bacon in the cold pot before turning on the heat. Then, let the heat slowly render out the pork fat. It’s also important to absorb the bacon’s excess fat with a paper towel after sauteing. This helps to crisp up the umami bacon bits!Potatoes: We're using both Yukon gold potatoes and russet potatoes for more complexity. You can use one kind of potatoes if that's what you have on hand.Preparation: To save time, you can slice the ingredients while the bacon is crisping in the Instant Pot.Fish Sauce: Fish sauce is an optional ingredient you can skip, but it adds a kick of umami flavors to the soup. Don’t worry! It won’t taste fishy.