This creamy, flavorful Potato Cheddar Chowder is easy and quick to make in the Instant Pot, but tastes like it simmered all day long. A cold weather family favorite!

Bowl of potato cheddar chowder garnished with crumbled bacon and chives.

As soon as the temperatures dip, I get excited because it’s time to break out some of my favorite cozy Instant Pot soup recipes. There’s nothing better than a creamy soup to warm you up from the inside out!

You might wonder what differentiates chowder from soup. According to the Food Network, a chowder is usually creamy and has chunks of potatoes, veggies, or other ingredients. That describes this dish perfectly, so chowder it is!

Ladle serving potato cheddar chowder straight from the Instant Pot.

In addition to this being a dish we all love to eat, it’s quick and easy to make.

I’ve tried quite a few techniques for potato soups, stews, and chowders before, and I believe what sets this recipe apart is a unique method from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe–namely, blending some of the ingredients in a blender before adding them to the pressure-cooked potatoes, onions, carrots, and seasoning. Trust me, it’s worth it!

Bowls of Instant Pot potato cheddar chowder, ready to be garnished and served.

What Kind of Potatoes to Use

Use baby yellow or gold potatoes for the best results and easiest prep. They do not need to be peeled, they cook quickly, and they have a rich, buttery taste.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • I make this in a standard 6 quart Instant Pot, which fits the batch perfectly.
  • Chop potatoes into small and relatively even pieces. If using baby potatoes, I usually just halve or quarter them. Remember: no need to peel!
  • Shred your own cheese from a block if possible. This results in perfect melting. Our favorite kind in this recipe is sharp cheddar; feel free to experiment.
  • If you have any chowder left over, transfer it to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. These tall deli containers are the best for storing soups, stews, and sauces. You can pop them in the dishwasher and use over and over again. They’re also perfect for delivering food to friends and neighbors!

What To Serve With It

This chowder is perfect topped with cooked, crumbled bacon; fresh chives, green onions, or parsley; or extra shredded cheese.

Potato cheddar chowder is quite filling. If you want something small to serve on the side, a simple green salad, breadsticks, or garlic bread all hit the spot.

Bowl of potato cheddar chowder garnished with crumbled bacon and chives.

More Instant Pot Soups

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5 from 3 votes

Instant Pot Potato Cheddar Chowder

This creamy, flavorful Potato Cheddar Chowder is easy and quick to make in the Instant Pot, but tastes like it simmered all day long. A cold weather family favorite!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 30-32 ounces baby yellow potatoes chopped into small pieces, about 1/2”
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie broth divided
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8-10 cranks fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 cups milk any kind
  • 3 ounces cream cheese lowfat or regular
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • cooked crumbled bacon, chives, green onions, etc. for serving


  • Set Instant Pot to the sauté function, and add olive oil, carrots, onion, and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, until beginning to soften. Add potatoes, 1 cup of the broth, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir, cover, seal, and cook on manual/high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 cups broth, milk, cream cheese, and flour in a blender. Process until smooth.
  • When the 5 minutes is up, use the Instant Pot’s quick release function to vent steam. Open the lid, return Instant Pot to the sauté function, and stir in the mixture from the blender. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the soup simmers and thickens.
  • Add cheese and stir until melted. Serve immediately, or switch to the keep warm setting for up to an hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with extra cheese, bacon, chives, green onions, or other toppings as desired.



  • Storage: Leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Recipe: Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 366 kcal, Carbohydrates: 40 g, Protein: 15 g, Fat: 17 g, Saturated Fat: 9 g, Cholesterol: 44 mg, Sodium: 646 mg, Potassium: 952 mg, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 8 g, Vitamin A: 3908 IU, Vitamin C: 31 mg, Calcium: 280 mg, Iron: 2 mg
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!