After spending a glorious weekend in Maine with some great company and family, it was all too obvious that my next recipe just HAD to be a New England Clam Chowder. I also had to make it because this soup is a rich one and has always been one of my all-time favorites. It’s just heaven in a bowl…so let’s eat that too!
And after you try this soup, wave goodbye to the canned version forever because THIS is on another level. I’m not even kidding.
And because the Instant Pot is a maestro at cooking potatoes in a fraction of the time they’d take on the stove (not to mention melds flavors together even better), this is going to be SUPER fast and SUPER easy.
Not only is this one of the the best New England Clam Chowders you’ll ever have, but you can enjoy it while sitting on the dock of the bay in summer ☀️ or while curled up on the couch or at the ski lodge after hitting the slopes in front of a big fire in winter ❄️(If Manhattan Clam Chowder’s more your thing, click here!)
Here’s How I Made It!:
Start off with 2 Idaho potatoes. Peel ’em and chop ’em into chunks.
Then, take and onion and two celery stalks and dice ’em up nicely while reserving the leafy tops for later.
Take some canned chopped clams IN their juice and put them through a strainer so that the clam juice is separated and reserved from the clams.
Take some butter and toss it into the IP so it melts. From there, add the onions and celery and cook for a few minutes until slightly softened.
And then add some flour to coat. Mix well!
Add chicken broth, the clam juice, the leafy tops from the celery and bay leaves. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure.
Quick release, discard the bay leaves and now let’s stir it up and add the heavy cream and chopped clams. Bring to a simmer in the IP and then add some salt & pepper (and some Old Bay and/or Zatarain’s if you want to give it an extra kick!).
…and serve in a bread bowl (you may as well go all out)! ENJOY!
- 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 pound of Idaho potatoes (about 2 of them), peeled and cut into small cubes
- 3 tbsp of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of chicken broth (2 cups of water + 2 tsp of Chicken Better Than Bouillon)
- 1 tbsp of cooking Sherry
- 2 (10 oz) or 3 (6.5 oz) cans chopped clams, separating and reserving the juice from the clams
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper
- Oyster crackers, for topping
- 1/4 tsp of Old Bay seasoning, for spice
- 1/8 tsp of Zatarain’s, for a kick (do NOT use more than 1/8 tsp. This stuff is a concentrate and goes a long way!)
- Bread bowls (I suggest sourdough if possible), with the center carved out but with the bottom still left in tact (you can get these at Panera, your local bakery or you can usually find these in the deli section of your supermarket. It doesn’t HAVE to be sourdough though – any will do!)
- Add the butter to the Instant Pot and hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. When melted, add the onions and celery and stir constantly for about 2-3 minutes
- Add the flour, coat the onions and celery with it and mix well
- Add the chicken broth, sherry, all of the clam juice (but NOT the clams!), bay leaves, leafy tops from the celery and potatoes. Stir well
- Secure the lid and hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 5 minutes. Quick release when done and remove the lid
- Hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” again and then hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Add in the clams, heavy cream and salt & pepper (and the Old Bay and/or Zatarain’s ONLY if you want it a little spicy and with a kick) and bring to a simmer. Stir well for about 2 minutes and once it begins to bubble, it’s done and you can turn off the heat or keep on the “Keep Warm” setting
- Serve in either a bread bowl or top with some oyster crackers…or do both!
Vegetarian (who eats seafood) or Pescatarian? You can absolutely sub clam or vegetable broth for the chicken broth! Just use 2 cups of water + 2 tsp of either Clam Better Than Bouillon or Vegetable Better Than Bouillon!
While I think the consistency is perfect as is, some may want it even thicker. To achieve this, after you add in the cream and bring to a bubble on “Sauté,” add in a cornstarch slurry comprised of 2 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water, stir well and let bubble for 2 minutes. Then, switch to the “Keep Warm” setting and as the bubbles die down, stir and it will thicken more.
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!
Some people like theirs with bacon or pancetta. Feel free to cut up a crew strips or used diced pancetta and add in in while cooking the onions and celery!
Also a GREAT complement to my Lobster Rolls!