Seafood lovers rejoice! This Instant Pot Seafood Chowder recipe is here to make your day. It's made with cod fish, shrimp, and canned smoked oysters (instead of the bacon found in some traditional chowders). This creamy, delicious Instant Pot chowder cooks quickly in an electric pressure cooker. Get directions and nutrition info on this seafood dinner recipe that makes a fast weekday meal.
You're going to love this seafood chowder Instant Pot recipe because it's made with simple ingredients, it’s easy, and it’s tasty. If you've been trying to eat more seafood but don't know where to start, seafood chowder is a good place.
You get flavorful chunks of seafood and vegetables in a thick and creamy broth. If you wanted an Instant Pot seafood bisque instead, you could puree the chowder until smooth.
But why mess with perfection? This Instant Pot fish chowder is perfect as it is. I could eat a variation of this seafood soup for dinner every night without getting bored.
New England seafood chowder is the type of dinner that works at any time of the year. It’s a great way to enjoy your fishing and shell fishing catches in the summer. And in the autumn and winter, chowder is a wonderful comfort food to welcome you in from the cold.
- ⭐ Instant Pot Seafood Chowder Benefits
- 🥘 Instant Pot Seafood Chowder Ingredients
- 🍽 Equipment
- 🔪 How to Make Seafood Chowder in the Instant Pot
- ️⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
- 🌡️ Leftovers
- 🥣 What goes with seafood chowder?
- 📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 More Instant Pot Recipes
- 🦐 Other Seafood Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
⭐ Instant Pot Seafood Chowder Benefits
Why make seafood chowder in the Instant Pot? Here are some benefits of this easy Instant Pot recipe:
- Helps you eat more seafood: Looking to incorporate more fish into your diet? This easy seafood chowder will help you get the recommended two servings of seafood per week.
- Protein packed: All the seafood in this chowder means you’re getting a meal that’s packed with protein. Shrimp and cod are both low calorie lean protein foods.
- Seafood chowder without bacon: Chopped smoked oysters are delicious, with a complex flavor that can stand in for bacon. The oyster also provides more protein, zinc, and iron than you’ll get with the bacon.
- Healthy dietary variety: Experimenting with recipes like this easy Instant Pot seafood chowder is a great way to get more variety in your diet. You’ll discover new flavor combinations to love and increase the nutrient-density of your dishes.
- One-pot meal: This chowder comes together fast enough for a weeknight entrée, with little to no clean up afterward. It’s perfect for those of us that like cooking but hate doing dishes! When you cook in the Instant Pot, you don’t even have to watch a pot on the stovetop.
- Instant Pot vegetable seafood chowder: Aside from the seafood, you’re getting a ton of veggies in this chowder. The fiber and fluid volume in veggies will help your chowder feel more satisfying. They add color and flavor to your meal as well.
🥘 Instant Pot Seafood Chowder Ingredients
What do you need to make seafood chowder in an Instant Pot? Here's the shopping list:
- Olive oil (or your favorite cooking oil)
- Chopped onion
- Chopped carrot
- Diced celery
- Chopped Yukon gold potatoes (or other thin-skinned potatoes)
- Garlic cloves
- Spelt flour (whole wheat flour may be used instead)
- Frozen corn
- Fresh cod (or thawed from frozen)
- Raw shrimp (peeled, tail off)
- Canned oysters (packed in oil, drained)
- Heavy cream
- Clam juice
- Chicken broth (homemade bone broth for lower sodium, or buy it from a store)
- Old Bay seasoning
- Dried thyme
- Fresh parsley, fresh thyme, and/or black pepper (for garnish)
You can find specific quantities of all ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of the article.
I used cod here, but you could substitute with other white fish like haddock. You could also use lobster or scallops in place of the shrimp if you’re feeling spendy. Mussels, squid, clams, octopus, or a thawed from frozen seafood mix could also be used here.
The starch in the potatoes helps to thicken the chowder without having to add a lot of flour. If you leave the potatoes out or substitute with another veggie, your chowder may not be as thick. It may be more like an Instant Pot seafood stew.
I prefer cream to milk in this recipe because there’s a higher risk the milk will curdle. (Plus, cream makes chowder SUPER delish and creamy.) If you want a lower fat chowder, add the milk at the end of cooking and heat it very gently.
You only need a few pieces of kitchen equipment to make fish chowder in the Instant Pot:
- Instant Pot
- Wooden spoon
I develop Instant Pot recipes using a Crock-Pot Express 6-Quart Pressure Cooker. You're welcome to use a Ninja Foodi or whatever electric pressure cooker you have. If your Instant Pot is small, you might have to cook the chowder in more than one batch.
Don’t use a metal spoon to stir the chowder, it can scratch up your Instant Pot. My Instant Pot is really scratched up because it seems I have a hard time following my own rules.
🔪 How to Make Seafood Chowder in the Instant Pot
Begin the recipe by prepping the ingredients (practicing mise en place). Cut the cod into 1-inch pieces (2.54 cm) and cut the shrimp and oysters in half.
Chop the onion and potatoes into ½-inch dice (1.27 cm). You don’t have to peel the potatoes if you choose a variety with a thin skin.
Dice the carrot into ¼-½ inch pieces (0.6-1.27 cm) and chop the celery into ¼-inch pieces (0.6 cm). Mince the garlic cloves.
Set the Instant Pot to high sauté. Heat the oil in the pot and sauté the onion, carrot, and celery (AKA mirepoix mix) for 5-10 minutes. You want the veggies to soften, not brown.
Add the potatoes, garlic, and flour to the pot. Stir for 30 seconds.
Pour in the clam juice and chicken broth, and sprinkle in the Old Bay and dried thyme. Put the lid on the pot and close the valve.
️⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
How long do you cook seafood chowder in Instant Pot? Pressure cook seafood chowder for 5 minutes using the “beans/chili” setting under high pressure. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before carefully opening the vent on the lid.
Notice that we didn’t add the seafood yet to this seafood chowder! That’s because it has a short cooking time and pressure cooking would overcook it. So, now’s the time to add the cod, chopped shrimp, drained chopped oysters, corn, and cream to the pot.
Simmer the chowder on high sauté for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. The fish should reach a safe internal temp of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63C). You can check a few pieces with a meat thermometer if you’d like to be extra cautious.
Canned oysters are already cooked, so no worries about having them reach a certain temp.
After cooking, all that’s left is to ladle the chowder into soup bowls and garnish with fresh chopped parsley or thyme. You can also add a sprinkle of black pepper. Eat up!
This seafood chowder with potatoes does not freeze well. However, you can keep it in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Reheat single servings of chowder in the microwave for 3-5 minutes on high. Put the chowder in a microwave-safe bowl that’s covered with a paper towel. Stir the chowder halfway through the cooking time.
🥣 What goes with seafood chowder?
Oyster crackers or saltine crackers are common sides for seafood chowder. Here are a few more ideas for what to serve with seafood chowder:
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of this seafood chowder InstantPot recipe has 655 calories, 30.1 grams net carbs, and 56.8 grams protein. It’s an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and iron. (Talk about a superfood!)
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). Normally I bump recipes with flour up to level 3. This Instant Pot seafood corn chowder only has 1 tablespoon of flour per serving for thickening. It makes a hearty and satisfying one pot meal under 700 calories, so I’m placing it in level 2 (moderate calorie dinner).
Something to know about this recipe is that the heavy cream adds 200 calories per serving. That’s because cream has 50 calories per tablespoon and you’re getting ¼ cup cream (4 tablespoons) per serving. If you want to know how to make low calorie chowder, I’d cut back on the cream.
There are a number of ways to thicken chowder without cream. Obviously, skim milk, 1% milk, and 2% milk will not make a thick and creamy seafood chowder by themselves.
One very common way to make a thicker chowder is to use a roux of flour and butter. This may contribute fewer calories to your chowder than cream, but it’s not exactly a light option. Using a cornstarch slurry (mixture of cornstarch and water) is a lighter way to thicken chowder.
As mentioned, high starch potatoes do help to make chowder thick. However, I find the chopped potatoes aren’t enough on their own to get the chowder super thick.
If you don’t want to use flour or cornstarch, you could puree some cooked potatoes and add them back to the chowder. You could also experiment with stirring mashed potato flakes into the chowder to thicken it. These additions and substitutions will all alter the nutrition information provided.
Low carb Instant Pot seafood chowder can be had by substituting the potatoes and corn for non-starchy veggies. You’ll also need to swap out the spelt flour for a keto friendly thickener. Xanthan gum tends to be my low carb thickener of choice. Add it at the end; you should only need a little to thicken this whole pot of chowder.
To make Instant Pot seafood chowder Paleo, you’d need to substitute for the flour, potatoes, heavy cream, and (maybe) the corn. Making these changes would lead to very different recipe results.
For a low fat seafood chowder recipe, substitute the whipping cream for low-fat milk. This change will result in a thinner and less creamy chowder. Pureeing some of the cooked potatoes and adding them back to the soup may help thicken things up.
For Instant Pot seafood chowder that is gluten free, you will need to find a substitution for the spelt flour. Some gluten free ways to thicken chowder include using a corn starch slurry, potato flakes, or xanthan gum.
You can make this seafood chowder in a crock pot instead! Cook the veggies, clam broth, chicken broth, and seasonings on low for 6-8 hours. Then add the seafood and cream, and cook on high for an additional 30 minutes.
👩🏻🍳 More Instant Pot Recipes
Want more ideas for things to make in an Instant Pot? After you make this seafood chowder, here are some other recipes for the Instant Pot to try:
- Instant Pot Beef Vegetable Soup
- Instant Pot Italian Sausage Soup
- London Broil Instant Pot Recipe
- Instant Pot Stir Fry
🦐 Other Seafood Recipes
Love seafood? Me too! Here are some more recipes for seafood you may enjoy:
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Instant Pot Seafood Chowder Recipe (Fish Chowder)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion (7 ounces/198 grams)
- 1 large carrot (2.5 ounces/71 grams)
- 1 stalk celery
- ¼ cup spelt flour
- 2 cups baby gold potatoes (12 ounces/340 grams; use thin-skinned potatoes)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup frozen roasted corn
- 1 lb. cod (454 grams; boneless and skinless)
- 1 lb. large shrimp, raw, peeled, tail-off (454 grams; use 70/90 size shrimp)
- 6 ounces smoked oysters packed in olive oil, drained (170 grams)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup clam juice
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- fresh thyme leaves, parsley, black pepper (for garnish, optional)
- Cut the cod into 1-inch pieces (2.54 cm) and cut the shrimp and oysters in half. Chop the onion and potatoes into ½-inch dice (1.27 cm). Dice the carrot into ¼-½ inch pieces (0.6-1.27 cm) and chop the celery into ¼-inch pieces (0.6 cm). Mince the garlic cloves.
- Set the Instant Pot to high sauté. Heat the oil in the pot and sauté the onion, carrot, and celery for 5-10 minutes. You want the veggies to soften, not brown.
- Add the potatoes, garlic, and flour to the pot. Stir for 30 seconds.
- Pour in the clam juice and chicken broth, and sprinkle in the Old Bay and dried thyme. Put the lid on the pot and close the valve.
- Pressure cook or 5 minutes using the “beans/chili” setting under high pressure. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before carefully opening the vent on the lid.
- Add the cod, chopped shrimp, drained chopped oysters, corn, and cream to the pot. Simmer the chowder on high sauté for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
- The fish should reach a safe internal temp of 145°F (63°C). You can check a few pieces with a meat thermometer if you’d like to be extra cautious.
- Ladle the chowder into soup bowls and garnish (if desired) with fresh herbs and black pepper. Enjoy!