Chicken Corn Chowder in Instant Pot (Gluten-Free )

October 14, 2019 By Aneesha |

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This gluten-free Chicken Corn Chowder recipe is my lower-calorie and gluten-free variation of a classic chowder. With fall-apart tender chicken and earthy sweet flavors from the corn and vegetables, this chowder is creamy, hearty and pure deliciousness in a bowl.

A bowl of gluten free chicken corn chowder served on a denim napkin

My family loves chowder.  We make it at home often, especially during fall and winter, but a healthier, lighter version, that we can all enjoy without slipping into a food coma later.

Healthy Chicken Corn Chowder- Lower Calorie and Gluten-Free

For quite sometime now, hubby and I have been watching our calorie intake and avoiding foods with gluten. So, it was time to revisit my trusty old recipe for Summer Corn Chowder, which we all adore, and customize it.

Chowder is typically thickened with a roux made with flour, or some sort of starch, and a few tablespoons of butter.  I skipped that altogether, and instead used corn blended with half and half to thicken the chowder. That reduced some calories, and, eliminated gluten from this chowder.

I also replaced heavy cream, which is typically used in a traditional recipe for chowder, with half & half.   That cut down calories further.

I added chicken to my original corn chowder recipe and bumped up the protein in the dish.  Adding a lean protein like chicken breast, makes me fill up with a smaller portion, so I end up consuming fewer calories in a meal.

Many times I make an even lower-calorie version of this recipe by using full-fat or even 2% fat milk instead of half & half. The result is not as thick as this one, but the taste is still amazing.  So, if you’re watching your calories, here is another alternative for you.

You May Also Like: Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup

Chunks of chicken, carrots, potatoes and corn in two bowls of chicken corn chowder

Easy Weeknight Instant Pot Recipe

This gluten-free Chicken Corn Chowder comes together real easy. All you have to do is saute the aromatics, blend some corn with half and half, then add everything to your pressure cooker and set it for 6-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of chicken breast.  That easy!

The best part about this recipe is that you can make it year round using fresh or frozen corn, and I promise you that the flavors will always be amazing.

Simple recipes like this chowder are on my repeat weeknight menu, as I can count on dinner being on the table in 30 minutes or so!

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Corn Chowder

Here are step by step instructions and pictures showing how to make this chowder in an Instant Pot. This recipe will also work with any comparable electric pressure cooker like Mealthy. Here is how I make it:

Saute: Turn instant pot on SAUTE mode (high). Wait till it displays “hot’. Melt butter (or oil) and add potatoes and mushrooms. Saute for 30 seconds. Add remaining chopped vegetables, including the white roots of spring onions, and saute for a minute.

Make Creamed Corn: While the vegetables are sautéing, blend 1.5 cups of corn kernels with 1 cup half and half to a semi-smooth consistency.

Sauteing vegetables and blending the corn with half and half
Saute the Vegetables. Blend 1.5 cups of corn with 1 cup half and half

Pressure Cook: Add creamed corn to the pot. Then add chicken stock and all spices. Add chicken and remaining corn kernels. Stir well. Close the lid.

Hit cancel and set Pressure cook or Manual for 6 mins at high pressure for breast halves, or 8 mins for regular chicken breast.  Set the pressure valve to sealing position (in duo models). 

Adding chicken stock and creamed corn to the Instant pot
Add creamed corn, chicken stock and spices
Adding raw chicken and corn to the Instant pot
Add chicken and remaining corn. Pressure cook for 6-8 mins (see details).

NPR after 5 mins: After the cooking time is over, wait 5 minutes for pressure to release naturally (NPR).  After that manually release the remaining pressure by either turning the sealing vent to ‘Venting’ position in an Instant pot DUO, or, by pushing down the pressure release in ULTRA model. 

If you’re not in a rush, you can also wait till the pressure releases on its own, which normally takes anywhere from 10-15 minutes.

Removing chicken from the bowl and adding half and half to the Instant Pot
Wait for 5mins, then QR. Remove chicken for shredding, add remaining half & half

Saute: Open lid. Turn on SAUTE and remove chicken for shredding. If at this point, the soup looks curdled, don’t worry. It hasn’t curdled, the blended corn pieces have just risen to the top. When you simmer it on SAUTE mode, it blends back in. Add the shredded chicken and the remaining half & half and stir.

Thicken Chowder: This is an optional step.  Using a hand blender, blend the chowder for few seconds. That mashes up a few potatoes and vegetables and thickens the soup naturally.

Alternatively, you can make a cornstarch slurry and add it slowly to the chowder while stirring. This thickens the chowder almost instantly. In the recipe video, I skipped both and I prefer a thinner chowder.

Adding shredded chicken and thickening the chowder with cornstarch slurry
Add back the chicken. Optional step: thicken chowder with cornstarch slurry.

More Instant Pot SOUP Recipes

How to Make Vegetarian Corn Chowder in Instant Pot Using this Recipe

For a vegetarian corn chowder, simply skip the chicken, and use vegetable broth, and follow the remaining instructions.

Reduce the pressure cooking time to 4 mins, followed by a manual pressure release. Enjoy a delicious bowl of yummy gluten-free vegetarian corn chowder soup in less than 30 minutes.

Gluten-Free Corn and Chicken Chowder in instant pot served in a blue bowl

How to Thicken Soup or Chowder ‘Without’ Flour

In order to make this chowder healthier, I skipped the flour in the beginning. Without the flour, the real challenge was how to thicken the chowder.  After a few batches, I figured two things that helped me thicken the chowder.

First, I blended some corn with half & half.  That not only helped in thickening the broth, it also gave a big corn flavor boost to the chowder, that you would otherwise get by using corn broth.

Second, once it was done cooking, I used my hand blender for 5 seconds and it thickened the chowder just enough for me.  In the video recipe, I skipped this step too and my family liked that result as well.

Alternatively, you can use a tablespoon of rice flour during the saute process, or, use a corn starch slurry in the end, to thicken the chowder before serving.

How to Make Cornflour Slurry

Cornflour Slurry: Making a corn-flour slurry is super easy. Simply dissolve 2 tablespoons of corn starch in 3-4 tablespoons of room temperature broth/milk/water.

While the chowder is simmering on ‘Saute mode’, add it to the chowder, a little at a time.  Stir for a few seconds and add more if you like it thicker.  It thickens the chowder almost immediately.

How to Make Chicken Corn Chowder Recipe on the Stove

Making corn chowder on the stove-top is a super simple process too. Here’s how you can make it:

  • Heat a Dutch-oven or a stock pot in medium-high heat.
  • Melt butter (or oil) and add potatoes and mushrooms. Saute for 30 seconds. Add remaining chopped vegetables, including the white roots of spring onions, and saute for a minute.
  • Add creamed corn to the pot. Then add chicken stock and all spices. Add chicken and remaining corn kernels. Stir well and let the liquid come to a simmer. Cover the pot.
  • Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is fall-apart tender. 
  • Open the lid, remove the chicken, shred it and add it back to the chowder. Add half & half and stir.
  • If you want to thicken the chowder, use the blender method or corn starch slurry. Detailed instructions for both are mentioned in the Instant Pot Recipe section. Enjoy!
Two bowls of thick and chunky chicken corn chowder

Tips to Customize this Delicious Chicken Corn Chowder

  1. Heavy Cream: In this recipe, I have used a total of 2 cups of half & half, you can use 1 cup of heavy cream instead to make a creamier and richer chowder. 
  2. To further reduce calories, use full-fat milk instead of half & half. The result won’t be as thick as this one, but the taste will still be amazing.  
  3. After pressure cooking, if the soup looks curdled, don’t worry. It hasn’t curdled, the blended corn pieces have just risen to the top. When you simmer it on SAUTE mode, it blends back in.
  4. To thicken the chowder as per your taste, you can either use a hand blender, and blend the chowder for few seconds. That mashes up a few potatoes and vegetables and thickens the soup naturally. Alternatively, you can make a cornstarch slurry and add it slowly to the chowder while stirring. This thickens the chowder almost instantly. 
  5. This chowder can be frozen in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks.  If freezing, don’t thicken it or add cornflour slurry to it.  Whenever you want to eat it, thaw it, re-heat it and then thicken the soup following your preferred way.
  6. For a vegetarian corn chowder, simply skip the chicken, and use vegetable broth, and reduce the pressure cooking time to 4 mins, followed by a manual pressure release.

More Gluten-Free Soup & Chili Recipes from My Kitchen

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A bowl of gluten free chicken corn chowder served on a denim napkin

Gluten-Free Chicken Corn Chowder in Instant Pot

This gluten-free Chicken Corn Chowder recipe is my lower-calorie and gluten-free variation of a classic chowder. With fall-apart tender chicken and earthy sweet flavors from the corn and vegetables, this chowder is creamy, hearty and pure deliciousness in a bowl.
4.25 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
NPR: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 412kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups Yukon gold potatoes cut in 1/2 inch cubes (about 2-3 medium potatoes)
  • 6 Crimini mushrooms cleaned and sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 2 stalks spring onions sliced, and white roots separated from the green stem (see instructions)
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped, or, 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 green pepper diced (same size as onions)
  • 1 cup chopped celery around 1-2 ribs
  • 1 cup chopped carrots around 1 large carrot
  • 3 cups Chicken Stock veg stock for vegetarian
  • 3.5 cups corn kernels (reserve 1.5 cups for making creamed corn)
  • 1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast halves, tenders or regular (Skip for vegetarian)
  • 2 cups Half & Half (reserve 1 cup for making creamed corn)
  • Chopped spring onions for garnish

Spices

Optional Cornstarch Slurry

  • 2 tablespoons Corn Starch dissolved in 3-4 tbsp water/milk/broth- for thickening the soup

Equipment

Instructions

  • Prep: Chop all vegetables and keep aside. Slice spring onions and separate the white roots from the green stem. The white roots will be sautéed with other vegetables and reserve the green stems for garnish. 
  • Make Creamed Corn: Blend 1.5 cups of corn kernels with 1 cup half and half, it should be blended well.
  • Saute: Turn instant pot on SAUTE mode (high). Wait till it displays “hot’. Melt butter and add potatoes and mushrooms. Saute for 30 seconds. Add remaining chopped vegetables, including the white roots of spring onions, and saute for a minute.
  • Pressure Cook: Add creamed corn to the pot. Then add chicken stock and all spices. Add chicken and remaining corn kernels. Stir well. Close the lid. Hit cancel and set Pressure cook or Manual for 6-8 minutes at high pressure.  Set the pressure valve to sealing. 
  • NPR 5 mins: After cooking time is over, wait 5 minutes for natural pressure release (NPR).  After that manually release the remaining pressure.  You can do that by turning the sealing vent to ‘Venting’ position in an Instant pot DUO, or, by pushing down the pressure release in ULTRA model. 
  • Saute: Open lid. Turn on SAUTE and remove chicken for shredding. If at this point, the soup looks curdled, don’t worry. It hasn’t curdled, the blended corn pieces have just risen to the top. When you simmer it on SAUTE mode, it blends back in. Add the shredded chicken and the remaining Half & Half and stir.
  • Thicken Chowder: This is an optional step.  Using a hand blender, blend the chowder for few seconds. That mashes up a few potatoes and vegetables and thickens the soup naturally. Alternatively, you can make a cornstarch slurry and add it slowly to the chowder while stirring. This thickens the chowder almost instantly. In this recipe, I skipped both and I prefer a thinner chowder.

Video

Notes

Estimated Time: Prep: 10 mins, Saute: 2 mins, Pressure build-up: 10 mins, Pressure cook: 6 mins, NPR: 5mins, Saute: 2 mins, Total estimated time: 35 mins
Tips to Customize this delicious Chicken Corn Chowder
  1. Heavy Cream: In this recipe, I have used a total of 2 cups of half & half, you can use 1 cup of heavy cream instead to make a creamier and richer chowder. 
  2. To further reduce calories, use full-fat milk instead of half & half. The result won’t be as thick as this one, but the taste will still be amazing.  
  3. After pressure cooking, if the soup looks curdled, don’t worry. It hasn’t curdled, the blended corn pieces have just risen to the top. When you simmer it on SAUTE mode, it blends back in.
  4. To thicken the chowder as per your taste, you can either use a hand blender, and blend the chowder for few seconds. That mashes up a few potatoes and vegetables and thickens the soup naturally. Alternatively, you can make a cornstarch slurry and add it slowly to the chowder while stirring. This thickens the chowder almost instantly. 
  5. This chowder can be frozen in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks.  If freezing, don’t thicken it or add cornflour slurry to it.  Whenever you want to eat it, thaw it, re-heat it and then thicken the soup following your preferred way.
  6. For a vegetarian corn chowder, simply skip the chicken, and use vegetable broth, and reduce the pressure cooking time to 4 mins, followed by a manual pressure release.
  7. This recipe video shows the Instant Pot method.  If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 992mg | Potassium: 1120mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4220IU | Vitamin C: 21.4mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 3.4mg
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Soup, Corn chowder, instant pot soup recipes
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This recipe was was updated in 2019 with new photos, helpful information, tips, and step-by-step photos.

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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