Gluten-Free Chicken Corn Chowder in Instant Pot

January 11, 2018 (Updated: April 18, 2019) By Aneesha |

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This Gluten-Free Chicken Corn Chowder recipe is a lower-calorie and flour-less variation of the classic Corn Chowder. Packed with earthy and sweet flavors from the corn and vegetables, this chowder is creamy, hearty and pure deliciousness in a bowl.

My family loves chowder.  My kids’ and husband’s favorite is Clam Chowder, and I am a huge fan of Corn Chowder soup. We like to make it at home, but a healthier, lighter version, that we can all enjoy without slipping into a food coma later.

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

Healthy Chicken Corn Chowder- Lower Calorie and Gluten-Free

My husband and I are watching our calorie intake these days, so I had to revisit my trusty old recipe for Summer Corn Chowder and customize it.

Two bowls of Gluten free Chicken Noodle Soup
Also Try this GF Chicken Noodle Soup

Also, I’ve been wanting to make a Gluten-free easy corn chowder recipe for quite sometime now.

Chowder is typically thickened with a roux made with flour, or some sort of starch, and a few tablespoons of butter.  I skipped that step altogether. That reduced some calories, and, eliminated gluten from this chowder.

Then, I replaced the heavy cream, which is typically used in chowder, with half & half.   That cut down calories further.

I also 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.

Two bowls of thick and chunky 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 the liquid and then add everything to your pressure cooker and set it for 6-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of chicken breast.  That easy!

A spoon full of Instant Pot chicken sweet corn soup
Another favorite: Chicken Sweet Corn Soup

You can make it year round, with 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 under 30 minutes!

Here is how I make it:

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
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).
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
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 Chicken Corn Chowder in Instant Pot

For a vegetarian corn chowder, skip the chicken, use vegetable broth, and enjoy a delicious bowl of 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.

Gluten Free Corn and Chicken Chowder- instant pot, Pressure Cooker

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.

Corn-Flour 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

In this recipe, I made the gluten-free chicken corn chowder in my electric pressure cooker, the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot works great for soups and stews because the process of pressure cooking helps intensify the flavors.  This results in a chowder that tastes like it has been simmering low and slow for hours. It helps me get away by adding less half & half than a regular recipe.   See my FAQ on instant pot to learn more.

Making corn chowder on the stove-top is a super simple process too. Follow all the instructions listed in the recipe, till the pressure cooking part.

Then cover and simmer the chowder for 15-20 minutes on medium-heat, or until the chicken is fall-apart tender.  Open the lid, shred the chicken and add it back. Add half & half and follow the remaining instructions. That’s it!

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Instant Pot Chicken Chili, By Spice Cravings. This is a spicy, tasty, quick 'n' easy, and healthier chicken chili recipe. Made with ground chicken, taco seasoning and creamy pinto beans, you'll love this protein and fiber packed warm bowl of goodness, on a cold, winter night too. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty

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Gluten-Free Corn and Chicken Chowder in instant pot by Spice Cravings. Creamy, sweet, hearty and pure deliciousness in a bowl, that's how I would describe chowder. Enjoy in the summer or the winter by the fireplace on a cold winter night with a bowl of this Gluten-Free Corn & Chicken Chowder! This recipe reduces the carbs and goes gluten-free by removing the roux. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty

Gluten-Free Chicken Corn Chowder in Instant Pot

This easy Instant Pot recipe for Chicken Corn Chowder is a lower-calorie and gluten-free variation of a classic Corn Chowder. Packed with sweet flavors of corn and vegetables, this chowder is creamy, hearty and pure deliciousness in a bowl.
Print Pin Discuss Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
NPR: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 412kcal
Author: Spice Cravings

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

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. 
    Releasing the pressure manually by pushing down the pressure valve
  • 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.
    Adding a cornstarch slurry to thicken the 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
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. 
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: 84.4% | Vitamin C: 25.9% | Calcium: 14.2% | Iron: 18.8%
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Soup, Corn chowder, instant pot soup recipes
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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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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Stephanie Morris
    September 29, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Can you use frozen chicken breasts in this?

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      September 29, 2018 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Stephanie, sure you can. I haven’t used frozen chicken in this recipe, but I would set the time to 10 minutes and give it a shot. Would love to hear how it turns out with frozen chicken. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Brenda
    January 12, 2018 at 8:52 am

    This soup sounds delish. Will try soon. FYI the PRINT button did not work for me.

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      January 12, 2018 at 9:00 am

      Thank you Brenda! Would love to hear how you liked it. As for the PRINT option, I checked and just printed it from 2 different devices and it is working on my end. Try rebooting your printer maybe…

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