Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon [Instant Pot]

September 26, 2022

Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon [Instant Pot]

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This creamy, silky Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon recipe uses chicken bone broth as the base, making for an extra flavorful and nutritious soup (more on that below)! Made faster in the Instant Pot, you can have this delicious chowder on the table in forty minutes or less.

This recipe is the perfect way to use up some of your sweet summer corn. You’re going to love it! 🌽

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Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon Recipe

The sweetness from the corn, the creaminess of the half and half and potatoes, the smokiness of the bacon and smoked paprika….this Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon recipe is so good and flavorful! It’s also simple to prepare, which makes it even better.

The Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon Ingredients Going in the Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon ingredients in separate bowls.

How to Make Potato Corn Chowder in the Instant Pot

1. Sauté the bacon and mirepoix + seasonings

First, you’re going to set the Instant Pot to the sauté setting. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can also use a different pressure cooker, a slow cooker, or cook it in a pot on the stove. The instructions are the same, but you will of course need to adjust the cooking time!

Once the Instant Pot is hot, sauté your diced bacon. Stir the bacon often. It will take several minutes to get crispy, so be patient! Once it’s cooked, you can save a spoonful for garnish (if you wish).

instant pot potato corn chowder with bacon in a tan bowl with chives and bacon in tiny bowls on the side and a bowl with toasted baguette

Or, you can keep all of the bacon in the pot. Either way, you’ll still have tons of bacon flavor in the potato corn chowder because the next step is to sauté your mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion, and garlic) in the rest of the bacon, the bacon fat, and unsalted butter. We’re going for flavor here

Sauté the vegetables for about five minutes, then add oregano, smoked paprika, one teaspoon of salt, and pepper, and sauté for another minute.

2. Add the potatoes, corn, and chicken bone broth

Normally I’m a skin-on kinda girl because there are benefits of eating potato skins, but for this Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon recipe, I like to peel the russet potatoes as their skin tends to be chewy when cooked. I’m looking for a creamy, silky textured potato corn chowder, so I peel the potatoes and set them aside.

For the corn, remove the husk, and then with a brand-new toothbrush (I don’t think I needed to emphasize that so much – at least I hope not 😂) or a vegetable scrub brush, remove any remaining corn silk (the long, thread-like strands). Cut the corn kernels from the cob and add this along with the potatoes and the chicken bone broth to the instant pot. Don’t discard the corn cobs! We’re going to use them in a moment.

Bone Broth and Its Benefits
Chicken bone broth being poured into an Instant Pot.

You may be wondering what the difference is between regular chicken broth and chicken bone broth. Not only does bone broth have more of a full-bodied flavor; it also has more nutritional benefits than regular broth, such as electrolytes, protein, vitamins, and minerals. The long-simmering time creates naturally occurring collagen protein as well.

This is the base of the soup, so it must be flavorful! Lately, I’ve been making my own homemade bone broth from leftover whole chicken carcasses (I cut and freeze a whole chicken for my dog Bentley’s dinner every few weeks). I also freeze the scraps from fresh veggies and fresh herbs (onions, celery, carrots, scallions, parsley, mushroom caps, etc.). It’s a fantastic way to avoid waste. You can freeze the broth in freezer bags, or ice cube trays, and take some out when you need it.

I go into more detail about homemade chicken bone broth in my Chicken Manchow Soup Recipe!

There are several benefits of cooking with and/or drinking bone broth. My go-to brand (only for when I don’t have homemade available) is Kettle & Fire. They did a fantastic job of explaining those benefits in detail, but to give you an idea, bone broth may:

  • Promote Gut & Digestive Health
  • Support Joint Mobility
  • Support Skin, Hair, and Nails
  • Support Sleep
  • Offer Enhanced Results on the Keto, Paleo, and Intermittent Fasting Diets

3. Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook and Then Quick Release

Select the pressure cooker option on your Instant Pot and set it for ten minutes. Instant Pot explains how to do so here. Once the chowder is done cooking, quick release the pressure. Be sure to take the proper safety precautions when releasing pressure from your pressure cooker. More details on all of this can be found here.

4. Simmer Half and Half Milk with Corn Cobs and Fresh Thyme Springs

Corn cobs and thyme steeping in milk in a silver pot.

While the other ingredients are pressure cooking in the Instant Pot, in a separate pan on medium heat; steep the corn cobs and a handful of thyme in the half-and-half milk. Heat the milk until hot, but no boiling. Stir it often.

Once the pressure cooker has released all its steam, open the lid. From the half and half, remove the corn cobs and discard the thyme stems. With the back of a knife, remove the corn milk from the cobs (See video on YouTube: How to Remove Milk from Corn). The corn milk holds so much flavor, therefore we are going to add it to the chowder along with the half-and-half! Give it a stir.

At this point, I like to blend a lot of the chowder with a hand blender. I reserved a couple of cups of potato chunks and corn, blended the rest of the chowder, then added the chunks back. It will be so smooth and creamy with little surprise corn jewels. 🌽💎

If the chowder isn’t thick enough for your liking, you can mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of water to make a slurry and stir it into the Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon recipe!

Check for salt and add another half or full teaspoon depending on your tastebuds. I think with this much chowder, two teaspoons of salt is just right.

Gather Toppings and Serve

Instant Pot potato corn chowder with bacon in a tan bowl on a white surface.

Slice the chives and/or scallions, and shred the cheddar cheese (if using – I do if I have some in the fridge). Sprinkle some on top of each bowl along with the crispy bacon (if you decided to reserve some).

Now, it’s mandatory to have a crispy dipping element when eating chowder and soup. I like to slice a baguette about an inch thick and crisp it in a grill pan with some salted butter!

To be considered a chowder, a soup typically contains two main ingredients: seafood (such as clams, fish, or shrimp) and potatoes.

Traditionally, chowder does include seafood, but there are variations that omit seafood and focus on other ingredients like corn, potatoes, and vegetables (like this potato corn chowder with bacon recipe). While purists might argue that seafood is essential for a true chowder, culinary creativity allows for variations that can still be considered chowder-like, even without seafood!

You can thicken your corn chowder by using techniques such as adding a roux (a mixture of flour and fat), incorporating a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water), or pureeing some of the soup and then adding it back in. Additionally, simmering the chowder for longer periods can help reduce and thicken it naturally.

Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder in a tan bowl on a white surface, with green chives zig zagged on the side.

I’d love to hear from you! About your experience with this dish, any alterations you may have made and loved (or didn’t love), or just life and cooking in general. Please leave a question, comment, and/or review below, or get in touch via email.

Follow me on social media to stay connected and keep up with the fun! I sometimes post different recipes my husband and I make that I don’t share here on the blog, other cooking, and lifestyle tips, and more.

I hope you love this potato corn chowder recipe as much as we do!! 🌽🥔 – Jenna G.

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    instant pot potato corn chowder with bacon in a tan bowl with chives and bacon in tiny bowls on the side and a bowl with toasted baguette

    Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon


    5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

    4.9 from 14 reviews

    • Author: Jenna
    • Total Time: 40 minutes
    • Yield: 8 bowls 1x

    Description

    Creamy, silky potato corn chowder with bacon. Made faster in the Instant Pot.


    Ingredients

    Units Scale
    • 8 slices bacon
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 cup celery, diced
    • 1 cup carrots, diced
    • 1 cup onion, diced
    • 4 cloves garlic (approximately 2 tablespoons), minced
    • 1 1/22 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
    • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 4 ears corn (approximately 2 cups), corn kernels removed – don’t discard the cobs
    • 1pound russet potatoes (approximately 2 cups), peeled and diced
    • 4 cups chicken bone broth
    • 2 cups (1 pint) half & half
    • a .66-ounce container (or a handful of) fresh thyme sprigs

    OPTIONAL (BUT RECOMMENDED) TOPPINGS AND ADDITIONS:

    • Chopped chives and/or scallions, for topping
    • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese, for topping
    • Baguette, sliced, buttered, and toasted (I use a grill pan for those pretty grill marks)

    Instructions

    1. SAUTE THE BACON AND MIREPOIX + SEASONINGS. Turn on the Instant Pot and set it to sauté. Sauté the bacon until crispy, remove, and set it aside (we’ll use it later for topping). Melt the butter in the Instant Pot, then add the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the seasonings (just one teaspoon of salt) and sauté for another minute.
    2. ADD POTATOES, CORN, AND CHICKEN BONE BROTH. Peel and dice the potatoes and set them aside. Remove corn husks, then with a new toothbrush or a vegetable scrubber brush, remove the stringy corn silk. Save the corn cobs. Add the potatoes and corn to the Instant Pot along with the chicken bone broth.
    3. SET THE PRESSURE COOKER, THEN QUICK RELEASE WHEN DONE. Select the pressure cooker option on your Instant Pot and set it for 10 minutes. Instant Pot explains how to do so here. Once the chowder is done cooking, quick release the pressure. Be sure to take the proper safety precautions when releasing pressure from your pressure cooker. More details on all of this can be found here.

    4. STEEP CORN COBS AND FRESH THYME SPRIGS WITH HALF AND HALF. While the other ingredients are pressure cooking in the Instant Pot, in a separate pan on medium heat; steep the corn cobs and a handful of thyme in the half-and-half milk. Heat the milk until hot, but not boiling. Stir it often.

    5. ADD HALF AND HALF TO PRESSURE COOKER. Once the pressure cooker has released all its steam, open the lid. From the half and half, remove the corn cobs and discard the thyme stems. With the back of a knife, remove the corn milk from the cobs (See video on YouTube: How to Remove Milk from Corn). Add it to the pressure cooker along with the half and half.
    6. BLEND SOME OF THE POTATO CORN CHOWDER (OPTIONAL). I like a smooth and creamy chowder with some chunks, therefore I remove a couple of cups of the potato/corn mixture, blend the chowder with a hand blender, and then add the chunks back in. You can blend as much as you’d like, or none at all! Either way, it will be delicious. Check for salt and add another half or full teaspoon depending on your tastebuds.
    7. PREPARE TOPPINGS AND SERVE. If you’re using them: slice the chives and/or scallions and shred the cheddar cheese. Don’t forget about the bacon! Crack a little black pepper overtop and enjoy.

      instant pot potato corn chowder with bacon in a tan bowl with chives and bacon in tiny bowls on the side and a bowl with toasted baguette

    Notes

    • For more detailed information on the recipe, certain health benefits, the difference between regular chicken broth and bone broth, etc., please read the post above! 🖤
    • If the chowder isn’t thick enough for your liking, you can mix a tablespoon of corn starch with two tablespoons of water to make a slurry and stir it into the Instant Pot.
    • You just need a buttery, crispy dipping element when eating chowder and soup. I like to simply slice a baguette about an inch thick and crisp it in a grill pan with some salted butter!
    • Prep Time: 15 minutes
    • Cook Time: 25 minutes
    • Category: Instant Pot Recipes, Main Dishes, Soups
    • Method: Pressure Cooker
    • Cuisine: American
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