Instant Pot Manhattan Clam Chowder

With my New England Clam Chowder being one of my most popular soups adapted for the Instant Pot with raves literally across the world, I figured it was time to give it’s brother a fair shot – especially since I live in NYC! Yes folks, I’m talking a Manhattan Clam Chowder!

And while this classic soup is a bit healthier than its rich and fabulous New England sister, the flavor is JUST as spectacular with a rich and hearty tomato/clam flavor in every bite.

It’s as if a tomato vegetable soup met clam chowder and not only is it top-notch, but it’s so easy to make, you’ll be doing a kickline with the Rockettes when done!

Here’s How I Made It!: 

Take an onion…

…and finely mince it up (do this with a food processor or a grater for ease).

Now take a bunch of celery and rip off and reserve all the leafy tops…

…and set aside in a bowl.

As for the celery itself, we only want to focus on 2 stalks/ribs…

…and dice ’em up real finely.

And finish off the prep with some potatoes…

…and cut ’em into bite-sized chunks

Now this wouldn’t be a clam chowder without clams! Take a few cans of chopped clams in their juices…

…and place a strainer over a bowl and separate the clams from the juice, saving both.

See? The clam juice will have strained into the bowl and we’ll get back to that in a bit.

Now, head on over to that Instant Pot and toss in some butter and give it some heat.

Once the butter’s melted and sizzling…

…add in the onion…

…and the celery.

Stir together and cook into the butter for a few minutes.

Now this step is totally optional, but if you want the soup to have a bit of a meaty flavor, add in some diced pancetta.

…and stir it around in the pot for a few moments, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

You know my and my love for Better Than Bouillon’s bases. They make a clam base too! So let’s mix some with some water…

…and add it to the pot.

Deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot once the broth is stirred in.

And we’ll also add in a can of crushed tomatoes…

…and the clam juice from the canned clams (but DO NOT add the clams yet)!

Give everything a good stir.

Now season it up with some seasoned salt…

…black pepper…

…Old Bay seasoning…

…and a splash of Zatarain’s.

Finish it off by adding in the potatoes…

…and leafy green tops of the celery.

Give it a final stir, secure the lid and cook at high pressure.

When done cooking and when the lid comes off, add in the reserved chopped clams.

Stir them up for about 2 minutes in the pot while the heat of the soup heats the clams up nicely.

Now we’re ready to ladle this wonderful soup into bowls…

…add in some oyster crackers if you desire…

…and taste one of THE FINEST Manhattan Clam Chowders you’ve ever savored!

It’s gonna make you want to sing that “I ❤️ New York” song from the 80s!


Instant Pot Manhattan Clam Chowder
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Manhattan Clam Chowder

Instant Pot Manhattan Clam Chowder

Manhattan Clam Chowder is the lighter sister of her creamy, New English brother. The only different is that this one is tomato based.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes


  • 2 tbsp of salted butter
  • 1 medium onion, minced (a food processor or blender will help with this)
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced and finely chopped (with leafy tops reserved)
  • 1 lb of Idaho/Russet potatoes (about 2 of them), peeled and diced
  • 4 oz of diced pancetta (optional)
  • 1 cup of clam (or vegetable or chicken) broth (I used 1 tsp of Clam Better Than Bouillon + 1 cup of water)
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 3 (6.5 oz) cans of chopped clams, separating and reserving the juice from the clams
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp of Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/8 – 1/2 tsp of Zatarain’s Concentrated Crab & Shrimp Boil (optional and a little goes a long way so don’t go above a 1/2 tsp)
  • Oyster Crackers, for topping


  1. Add the butter to the Instant Pot and hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting.  When melted and sizzling, add the onions and celery and stir constantly for about 2-3 minutes until slightly softened
  2. Then, add in the diced pancetta (if using) and stir for another 2-3 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot often so the pancetta doesn’t stick
  3. Next, add the clam (or vegetable or chicken) broth and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot to make it’s nice and smooth. Then add in the crushed tomatoes, all of the clam juice (but NOT the clams!), seasoned salt, Old Bay, black pepper, Zatarain’s, leafy tops from the celery and potatoes. Stir very well deglazing the bottom of the pot once more
  4. Secure the lid and hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 5 minutes. Quick release when done
  5. When the lid comes off, stir in the reserved clams and let them heat up for about 2 minutes as the soup will also slightly thicken
  6. Serve in bowls and top with some oyster crackers, if desired
  7. Enjoy!

Jeffrey's Tips

Vegetarian (who eats seafood) or Pescatarian? Leave out the pancetta and you can absolutely sub vegetable broth if you can’t find the clam broth by using Vegetable Better Than Bouillon!

Prefer a creamy New England Clam Chowder instead? You’re in luck! I have the best recipe ever right here!

Want to use fresh clams? Go for it! Just make sure you rinse them very well to remove any sand remnants and chop them up small. You’ll still need about 1.5 cups of clam juice separately for the broth!

If you want it spicier, add more Zatarain’s Concentrated Crab & Shrimp Boil – but do it at the end to taste as it’s a concentrate, is spicy and a little goes a long way!

Also a GREAT complement to my Lobster Rolls!

Reader Interactions


    • Andy

      I’ve substituted cooked, well drained chopped bacon if there’s no pancetta around. Works well. I also add two chopped carrots to the veggies for the color and nutrition boost. This is my go-to clam chowder at least once a month. Love this technique!

  1. Carrie Baragwanath

    I no longer can get the BTB clam base… what?
    I use your chowder recipes all the time!
    Thank You!

  2. Kay

    I have made this recipe for years … thanks to you. I make minor adjustments like vegetable base instead of the clam from bouillon. I also add a dab of homemade sofrito. This soup never fails to please. It’s a classic! Thank you!

  3. Karen S

    This has become my long-time go-to for cold, oogy days! I use center cut bacon (if I have it on hand), two red potatoes with the peels left on, a 10oz can of whole baby clams, two 14oz cans of diced tomatoes (usually Kirkland’s organic), an 8oz bottle of clam juice, and sometimes add a chopped carrot or two. And/or, once in awhile half a bell pepper, chopped. Also, sometimes I sub in a tsp or more of Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning for the other spices. (Which, yeah, moves the chowder out of Manhattan. But is pretty danged tasty!)

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