Instant Pot Chicken Corn Chowder
Flavorful and super nourishing, this Instant Pot chicken corn chowder is a simple one-pot meal everyone will love. It’s naturally dairy-free, and can easily be made vegetarian and vegan, too!
About this Instant Pot Chicken Corn Chowder Recipe
I love making healthy instant pot recipes, for so many reasons, not the least of which is how ridiculously simple they are to throw together.
And this delicious dairy free chicken corn chowder recipe lives up to that easy-prep promise (plus, you likely have most of the ingredients on hand for it already!).
It’s filled with lots of nourishing, good-for-you ingredients and is creamy without a drop of cream, but still tastes like total comfort food.
The natural sweetness from the corn and sweet potatoes makes this one a big hit with kids too, and you can always balance out the sweet with a good dose of hot sauce to top things off for yourself.
Since you can make it using either fresh or frozen corn, it’s the perfect easy meal prep recipe to enjoy anytime of year.
In the warmer months, it makes for a lovely summer supper that doesn’t heat up the kitchen, and in the cooler months is just the thing you want to curl up with on a chilly winter evening!
Process & Tips
This recipe is easy enough to throw together any night of the week.
After a quick saute of your onions, you add all your veggies & chicken, set to pressure cook and let the instant pot work its magic!
Once it’s done cooking, you briefly blend it (using a hand immersion blender or regular blender) and it gives you that signature velvety chowder texture without any added thickeners or flour.
Finally add some coconut milk and a splash of vinegar to really round out all the flavors, and just like that dinner is done!
The full-fat coconut milk (the kind in the can) is the hero ingredient of this dairy free chowder – it adds a luscious creaminess without the need for any heavy cream.
Note that your pressure cooker may take anywhere from 20-25 minutes to come to pressure before the cook time starts. This has been included in the estimated cook time below but always worth mentioning!
Since this chicken chowder is already loaded with vegetables, a nourishing broth, and protein-packed thanks to the chicken – it’s a delicious meal all in itself.
But it would make for a great soup and salad night too!
Or even just add a hunk of warm crusty bread or crackers on the side for dipping.
While the fresh basil and hot sauce are technically optional ingredients, I highly recommend adding them! Those two additions really take this creamy chowder recipe to a whole new flavor level.
Fun Variations for Instant Pot Chicken Corn Chowder
Make it vegetarian by skipping the chicken and using vegetable stock instead of chicken.
Double the chicken if you like a super hearty chowder.
If you prefer a chunkier chowder, only puree half of the vegetables & broth.
This crockpot version is another favorite! This slow cooker potato corn chowder recipe is so easy to make & a vegetarian meal everyone can enjoy.
Ingredients & Modifications
Chicken: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts but you could also use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer. Both work great in this recipe.
Potatoes: I used Yukon gold potatoes for this recipe but you could also use another waxy yellow potato in its place.
Sweet potatoes: I love the flavor and color that the sweet potatoes add to this chowder. But if you prefer, you could also just use all Yukon gold potatoes in their place.
Sweet corn kernels: Fresh corn really shines here, so if you have it in abundance I highly recommend putting it to use in this recipe. Frozen works just as well, though, so if you don’t have fresh or just don’t want to deal with cutting off the kernels it’s a great option–just avoid the canned stuff, as the consistency won’t hold up well during the cooking process.
Garlic: Since we’re using so few ingredients, I opted to use fresh garlic cloves for this recipe and it adds beautiful flavor to this homemade corn chowder. But you could also use granulated garlic powder in its place if you prefer.
Onion: I love the aromatic & savory depth of flavor that onions add to homemade soups, stews and chowders. You could also use shallot in its place. If you don’t like or can’t have onions, feel free to omit them.
Chicken stock: I used homemade chicken stock for this recipe but you could also use storebought or vegetable broth in its place.
Canned coconut milk: To make this a truly creamy & also dairy-free chicken chowder, I recommend using full-fat coconut milk from a can (note that this will not work with “coconut beverage” from a box). It imparts some creaminess without much (if any) noticeable coconut flavor. You can also use an equal amount of heavy cream in place of coconut milk.
White wine vinegar: My trick to lifting up the flavors from a pressure cooker soup is to add a bit of vinegar just at the end of cooking. I used white wine vinegar but you could also substitute fresh lemon juice in its place.
Olive oil: I like the subtle flavor from the olive oil but you can also use any other neutral oil you like – such as avocado, canola or vegetable oil.
Turmeric powder: I love the golden color and added health benefits that the turmeric brings to this recipe. Together with the garlic and onions, it helps to create the most delicious, warming broth.
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
Tips for Storing & Freezing Leftovers
This homemade chicken chowder will keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
This recipe also freezes well, store in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
Instant Pot Chicken Corn Chowder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 4 cups chopped Yukon Gold potatoes, (or other waxy yellow potato)
- 4 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes
- 3 cups fresh or frozen defrosted sweet corn kernels
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk, (or heavy cream)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, (or fresh lemon juice)
- Chopped basil and scallions, optional
- Hot sauce, optional
- Add the olive oil to an electric pressure cooker. Turn to saute, add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt and saute for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the turmeric, potatoes, sweet potatoes, 1 cup corn, garlic, ¾ teaspoons salt, chicken, and broth, stirring to combine.
- Secure the lid, select the manual setting, and set it to high pressure for 15 minutes.
- When the pressure cooker timer is done, quick release the pressure.
- Carefully remove the chicken and shred with two forks or chop into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
- With an immersion blender, blend the chowder in the pressure cooker until creamy. If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully ladle the soup, in batches, into a blender and blend until smooth. Return the blended mixture back to the pressure cooker.
- Add the coconut milk, vinegar, remaining 2 cups corn, and shredded chicken, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional salt or vinegar to taste.
- Serve with basil, scallion, and hot sauce if you like.