Instant Pot Corn Chowder (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free)

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This creamy, vegetarian corn chowder is perfect for lazy summer nights. It’s effortless to make, and really highlights the sweetness of fresh summer corn. Make it right in your Instant Pot for loads of flavor without heating up your kitchen. This is truly the perfect soup for summer!

Close up overhead view of a bowl of creamy corn chowder topped with fresh corn and thyme.

Summer Corn Chowder: The Perfect Vegetarian Soup for the Season

Summer corn is so sweet and juicy and is fantastic grilled simply with butter and salt, cut off the cob onto a salad, or transformed into a silky-smooth soup like this one. 

If you’re looking for a new way to use it, you have to try this chowder!

It has a bright and fresh flavor with a creamy sweetness that’s peppered by fresh herbs. It’s rich and cozy, but won’t weight you down in the summer heat. Plus, it’s made right in your Instant Pot, so it doesn’t heat your kitchen up at all.

It’s so delicious served either piping hot or chilled — you’re going to love it! 


  • 40-Minute Recipe. An electric pressure cooker makes this recipe super fast, and almost entirely hands-off. 
  • Perfect for Meal Prep. Pack up your leftovers for weekday lunches (you don’t even need to reheat it!) or freeze it for a dose of summer flavor in the colder winter months. 
  • Vegetarian and Gluten-Free. 
Ingredients needed to make Instant Pot corn chowder with fresh corn and potatoes.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder

This creamy chowder recipe is a great way to highlight fresh sweet corn that’s always so great this time of year,

  • Fresh Corn. Fresh corn on the cob is the key to this 
  • Onion. Onion sautéed in butter gives this soup a delicious foundation. You can also substitute shallot for an even more luxurious flavor. 
  • Potatoes. This broth is thickened with tender potatoes, giving the chowder its creamy base and a silky texture without adding additional starch or flour. 
  • Vegetable Broth. I always like to use a low-sodium vegetable stock made without tomatoes. There’s a great recipe for it in my cookbook, but I also really enjoy College Inn garden vegetable broth. 
  • Pepper Jack Cheese. For a subtle spiciness that pairs so well with the sweet corn. As always, I recommend shredding your own cheese rather than buying it pre-shredded. 
  • Sour Cream. For even more richness and a bright, tangy flavor. 
  • Fresh Thyme.
  • Fresh Chives.

How to Make Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili

Start by sautéing your aromatics. Corn and butter is such a classic pairing, but you can use olive oil or avocado oil if you prefer. 

Next, add your corn, and cook it for a few minutes to get it a little toasty and browned.

Add the potatoes, broth, and herbs and cook under high pressure until soft. 

Stir in the sour cream and cheese, then blend the soup until smooth. You can use an immersion blender right in the pot or use a high-speed blender. 

If you soup is too thick, you can add more broth.

If it’s too thin, turn on the Saute Function and simmer the soup for a few minutes with the lid off.

Stirring sour cream and cheese into the cooked soup before blending.

Substitutions and Variations

Sprinkle with Trader Joe’s Everything But The Elote seasoning

Top with crumbled smoky bacon (or veggie bacon).

Don’t like spicy? Use mozzarella cheese instead of pepper Jack. 

If you don’t need this soup to be vegetarian, you can use low-sodium chicken broth instead of vegetable stock. 

Top the soup with extra corn, chopped herbs, green onions, or cheese. 

No sour cream? You can substitute heavy cream, coconut milk, or fat free half and half.

Frequently Asked Questions About Corn Chowder

Can I use Frozen Corn?

Sure! You’ll need about 4 cups of frozen sweet corn. You do not need to thaw it first.  

How long will this soup keep?

You can keep this chowder in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months. To reheat this chowder, simmer it on the stove over low heat.

What are the best potatoes to thicken soup? 

Waxy potatoes, like Yukon Gold, are great because they’re so tender and don’t get grainy when they’re blended, like Russets can. 

Can I make this recipe in a crock pot? 

Absolutely! Cook it on low for 8 hours. 

What should I serve with this chowder?

This is a pretty hearty soup, and I find that’s it’s usually enough on it’s own. If you’re looking for more, try pairing it with garlic bread, grilled cheese, or a soft pretzel.

More vegetarian Instant Pot recipes you’ll love

More delicious soup recipes

Overhead view of two bowls of corn chowder.
Landscape image of vegetarian corn chowder made in a pressure cooker.

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ onion minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes about 3 cups
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels from 4 corn cobs
  • 2 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon chopped chives
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • Melt the butter using the Sauté function of the pressure cooker. When melted, add the butter. Stir in the garlic and onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, until the onion is soften and translucent.

  • Stir in the corn; let cook another 2 minutes.

  • Add in the potatoes, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and herbs, scraping any browned bits form the bottom of the pot.

  • Place the lid on the pot and lock into place. Set the pressure valve to sealing. Cook on HIGH pressure for 15 minutes.

  • Quick release the pressure and carefully remove the lid. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the sour cream and cheese.

  • Blend the soup, using either an immersion blender in the pot or in a traditional blender, until smooth.

Nutrition Facts

Instant Pot Corn Chowder Recipe

Amount Per Serving (1 serving)

Calories 374
Calories from Fat 162

% Daily Value*

Fat 18g28%

Saturated Fat 10g63%

Trans Fat 0.2g

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 5g

Cholesterol 45mg15%

Sodium 705mg31%

Potassium 848mg24%

Carbohydrates 49g16%

Fiber 6g25%

Sugar 13g14%

Protein 12g24%

Vitamin A 761IU15%

Vitamin C 29mg35%

Calcium 156mg16%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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