Instant Pot Apple Bacon Cheddar Chowder

Get ready for one of the most memorable and out-of-the-box soups you’ve ever made. This idea was lit on a recent trip to Amsterdam as I ate some cheese fondue with apples, which go together beautifully. While scraping the pot for the last lick of cheese, I thought of devising a chowder featuring said apples and cheddar along with bacon and a combo of sweet and savory seasonings. Not only is it rustic and hearty, it’s as simple as ABC to make (which is fitting as a double entendre for the soup’s name)! Apple Bacon Cheddar (ABC) Chowder, welcome to the world.

Apple Bacon Cheddar Chowder

Before Pressure Cooking:

6 apples, 2 potatoes and a sweet onion
The key to this soups flavor base and consistency are apples, potatoes and a sweet onion.
Apples, potatoes and onions peeled and diced
Peel and dice ’em up!


Adding butter to Instant Pot
Now to the pot, add some butter and heat it up so it melts.
Adding diced bacon to pot
Once melted, add bacon that’s been diced.
Sautéing bacon
Sauté the bacon in the butter for a bit. Let it rest and stir occasionally. It will begin to release bacon fat and cook itself in it.
Using slotted spoon to remove cooked bacon from pot
The bacon fat and butter will begin to foam. At this stage, the bacon should be darkened and crispy. Use a slotted spoon…
Cooked bacon in paper towel-lined bowl.
…and place the crispy bacon in a paper towel-lined bowl to rest (and keep the bacon grease in the pot).
Adding diced onion to pot
It’s time to add the onion.
Onions simmering in pot
Let it simmer in all the bacon grease leftover in the pot.
Adding beer to pot
Since this dish was inspired by a dutch fondue, I decided a little beer was a nice touch! Be sure to deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot to get up any browned bits from the bacon (Don’t do beer? See the recipe card to keep it beer-free).
Adding broth to pot
Follow it with some broth of your choice…
Adding apple juice to pot
…apple juice…
Adding dried sage to pot
…and dried or rubbed sage.
Stirring pot.
Stir well!
Adding diced apples and potatoes to pot
Time to add those apples and potatoes 😉

Pressure Cook:

Smoothing out apples and potatoes in pot.
Smooth them out so they’re submerged in the liquid. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.

The Finishing Touches:

Soup after pressure cooking
When done, it’ll look like this. Not quite the soup we want yet, but nearly there!
Removing some potatoes and apples with a slotted spoon
Use a slotted spoon to reserve a few cups of the apples, potato and onion.
Adding immersion blender to pot
Take an immersion blender (or in batches, transfer to a blender – making everything more annoying and messier – so stick to the immersion blender)…
Blending soup until puréed
…and blend until puréed.
Now it’s time to give this soup it’s finishing touches. Add some cream…
…and shredded Cheddar.
Stir until combined.
And now we’re going to season it up. Add some celery salt…
…nutmeg, apple pie spice…
…and Tony Chachere’s or seasoned salt.
Stir until all the dairy and seasonings are combined.
Return the reserved apples, potato and onion…
…and most of the reserved bacon.
Give it all a final stir!


Ladle into a bowl, topping with additional bacon, shredded cheese and a sprinkling of nutmeg and apple pie spice.
For an extra special touch, add a dollop of apple butter to your bowl and stir it in!
And just look at this unique masterpiece of a chowder!
Give it a taste…
…and marvel at the brilliance of food pairings made into a union of joy. Apple Bacon Cheddar Chowder isn’t only grand, it’s as simple as ABC! (Side Note: if you love all-things cheese, give my Queso a shot as well)
Instant Pot Apple Bacon Cheddar Chowder (ABC Chowder)
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Apple Bacon Cheddar (ABC) Chowder

Instant Pot Apple Bacon Cheddar (ABC) Chowder
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) salted butter
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon, diced (this is easily done when immediately removed from the fridge since the bacon will be a bit firm and sliced together).
  • 1 Vidalia/sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup beer (I use Budweiser - see Step 2's note)
  • 3 cups chicken, ham, or garlic broth (I use 3 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon base + 3 cups water)
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 6 apples (I use 3 Gala and 3 Fuji), peeled, cored and diced into bite-size chunks
  • 2 pounds Idaho/russet potatoes, peeled and diced into bite-size chunks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried or rubbed sage
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 2-4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (see Jeff's Tips)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning OR seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • Apple butter, approx 1 tablespoon dollops per bowl when serving (optional - See Jeff's Tips)


  1. Add the butter to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté and Adjust to the More or High setting. Once melted, add the bacon and sauté for 10-15 minutes, until the bacon is a nice reddish-brown and crispy (let it rest and stir occasionally during this time - it will become foamy in the pot). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a paper towel-lined bowl as it will continue to crisp.
  2. With the bacon grease remaining in the pot, add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes longer. Add the beer and deglaze the browned bottom of the pot until smooth (NOTE: if you don’t do beer, use an additional 1/2 cup of broth and add it now to deglaze the bottom of the pot). 
  3. Add the broth, apple juice and sage. Stir well. Add the apples and potatoes and smooth out until submerged in the liquid. Secure the lid and move the valve to the sealing position. Hit Cancel followed by Manual or Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 8 minutes. Quick release when done.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove 2 cups worth of potatoes, apples and onion to a Pyrex measuring cup and set aside. Take an immersion blender (or, in batches, transfer to a blender) and blend the soup in the pot until puréed.
  5. Once blended, add the cream and shredded cheese to the pot (start with 2 cups and work your way up to 4, if desired) and stir until combined. Add the celery salt, nutmeg, apple pie spice, and Tony's or seasoned salt (start with 1 tablespoon and add more to taste) and stir. Return the bacon (leaving some aside for garnish - see Jeff's Tips) and reserved potatoes, apples and onion to the pot and stir well until incorporated.
  6. Ladle into bowls and top with a sprinkle of additional bacon, cheese and a light dusting of sage, nutmeg, apple pie spice, and a dollop of apple butter to stir in, if desired (see Jeff's Tips).

Jeffrey's Tips

As for which apples to use, try and stick with sweeter ones over tart ones (i.e. avoid Granny Smith for this).

If you prefer this soup with the bacon really infused into it, add most of the bacon in Step 4 when using the immersion blender, only reserving some for topping once served. Or you can add some in Step 4, some in Step 5 and reserve some for topping. (And yes, you can also use turkey bacon if your prefer).

The dollop of apple butter is a REALLY nice finishing touch and I suggest adding it and swirling it into your bowl before diving in!

You can use any melty cheese you wish. I just think Cheddar is best for this as it really complements the apple!

Reader Interactions


  1. Jen

    I was so excited to try this that I didn’t stop to think how much it would make. I now have over 6 quarts of ABC Chowder at 10:30 on Christmas Eve. And I have no idea what I am going to do with it. I’d gift it to my family but it’s so good I don’t want to share it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to Recipe