This chunky, creamy Instant Pot chowder is loaded with vegetables, including potatoes and sweet corn, and is thickened with cheese, cream and gluten-free starch slurry made with tapioca flour. We got inspired by a dill pickle soup and added a twist of finely diced gherkins and fresh dill right at the end. They add freshness and little bursts of flavor taking this classic soup to the next level.
When you think of comfort food, a good hearty soup or stew always come to mind and chowder is always on top of the list. This popular soup is often made with clams or seafood and potatoes and has European and English origins; however, it has become known as part of North American cuisine, especially the New England and Atlantic coastal areas.
There are many variations of chowder and while traditionally it was thickened with crackers or stale bread, today, most recipes call for a flour roux or a starchy slurry and have a milk/cream base. Many add cheese and the potato itself adds a lot of starch that thickens the soup. Our Instant Pot chowder recipe uses white potato as the base but we wanted to load it with lots of other vegetables like carrots, celery, zucchini and peppers. We’ve got corn for sweetness and texture and a twist of diced pickles and fresh dill added right at the end.
If you’ve never had a dill pickle soup, the idea of it might seem strange but trust us, those pickled gherkins really add something special to this soup. Once cooked, this vegetarian-friendly chowder (lacto-vegetarian) is thickened with cream, cheese and tapioca flour slurry, which makes it gluten-free, too.
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT CHOWDER
You will find the full list of ingredients, instructions and nutritional breakdown for this soup in the recipe card below. Making the soup is really easy and only takes 30 minutes. Here are a quick video and step-by-step photos to guide you along.
CAN I FREEZE CREAMY CHOWDER SOUP?
Creamy soups like chowders don’t freeze well as they contain milk or cream, which can separate and create a grainy texture. The best way to freeze this soup is to hold back the pickles, cream, cheese and fresh dill. Cool the soup completely and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Once defrosted, reheat and THEN add the finishing ingredients.
CAN I MAKE A VEGAN OR DAIRY-FREE CHOWDER?
This particular potato chowder works best with cream and cheese, especially if you pair it with pickles and fresh dill. You can use a few alternatives:
- Swap cream and cheese for dairy-free alternatives such as vegan cheese or cream if you have access to those. Use olive oil instead of butter.
- Use nutritional yeast instead of cheese for that nutty, umami flavour.
- Don’t use cheese or cream, and stir in coconut cream into the soup. In this case, we would recommend to hold back on the dill pickles and fresh dill and instead turn this into a more oriental, Thai-inspired soup. Add a tablespoon of curry powder to the soup while cooking, then stir in some lime juice and coconut cream at the end and top with fresh cilantro.
MORE INSTANT POT SOUP RECIPES
Gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly Instant Pot chowder made with potatoes, sweet corn and dill pickles and loaded with vegetablbles. It’s creamy, chunky and super delicious, perfect for a midweek dinner as it only takes 30 minutes.
1 oz / 28 g butter
1/2 large onion, diced
1 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced zucchini
1/2 cup diced red peppers
1 cup sweet corn (canned or frozen)
1 lb potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
1 large clove of garlic, diced
2 vegetable stock cubes (we use this brand)
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups water (1 litre)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup grated cheese
2/3 cup low-fat double cream (half and half)
1/3 cup chopped dill pickles
1/4 cup chopped scallions / spring onions
1/3 cup chopped dill
3 tbsp tapioca flour (see notes)
1/4 cup water
- Turn the Instant Pot and set to Saute setting. Once the pot is hot, add the butter and onion. Stir and add celery and carrots. Cook for about 3 minutes, until softened.
- Add the rest of the soup ingredients and stir. Pop the lid on top and lock, making sure the top valve is pointing to Sealing. Press Manual/Pressure Cook and adjust the timer to 3 minutes on HIGH setting. After three beeps, the Instant Pot will start building the pressure. Once done, allow 5 minutes for natural pressure release and then quick release the rest of the steam.
- Open the lid and stir in the lemon juice, cheese, cream, and diced pickles. Dissolve tapioca flour in a quarter cup water and stir into the soup together with fresh dill. The starch slurry will instantly thicken the soup.
- Serve hot with extra fresh dill, pickles and cheese or cream.