This delicious Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder is the ultimate allergy friendly comfort food! It can be cooked in both the Instant Pot and the slow cooker/CrockPot, plus it’s dairy free and gluten free.
One thing I haven’t posted very much of on The Fit Cookie is soup recipes. I’m not one for thin, brothy soups: I really love thick, creamy, and chunky soups and stews. Something that has substance!
I’ve been working on this amazing Creamy Chicken Chowder recipe for a couple of weeks, and this ticks all of my boxes for a good soup: it’s creamy, thick, filled with chunky ingredients like potatoes, corn, and bacon, and is pretty easy to make.
Our chowder recipe can be made in either the slow cooker or the pressure cooker, we included instructions for both methods. Plus this creamy chowder recipe is dairy free, gluten free, peanut free, and has no added sugars, so it fits many special diets.
How to make dairy free chicken chowder
Our Creamy Chicken Chowder is pretty easy to make, there are only a few steps to follow. For both the slow cooker and Instant Pot cooking methods, you’ll cook the ground chicken first, then dump all the ingredients into the pot and cook. Pretty simple!
In this recipe, I noted that the salt is optional. I added smoked salt to our recipe to add a great smoky flavor, but don’t add the salt until you’ve test tasted the soup first. Chicken broth has sodium in it, as well as the Creole spice, so make sure you test taste this chowder before adding the salt so it’s not too salty.
Instead of heavy cream in this chicken chowder, we used canned coconut cream to make this dairy free. It works great! And don’t worry: you can’t taste any coconut flavors in this recipe.
Please note that canned coconut cream is not the same as cream of coconut. Canned coconut cream is unsweetened and good for all recipes, while cream of coconut is sweetened, it comes in a squeeze container, and is created for sweet drinks like pina coladas.
If you choose not to use canned coconut milk or coconut cream in this recipe, you can try using another thick non-dairy milk, but it won’t be quite as creamy.
Whether you’re cooking this in the Instant Pot or the slow cooker, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t add the coconut milk or coconut cream until the very end before serving.
Canned coconut milk does some funny things in the slow cooker (speaking from experience…) so to keep your soup from looking curdled, make sure that you don’t add the coconut milk/cream until after cooking.
To thicken this soup, we chose instant mashed potato flakes so we didn’t have to worry about creating a cornstarch slurry. The mashed potato flakes work perfectly to help thicken this recipe easily, and you can add as much or as little as you like depending on how thick you’d like your chowder.
How to cook chowder in the slow cooker
Our Creamy Chicken Chowder cooks up great in both the slow cooker and pressure cooker/Instant Pot, so you can choose which method works best for you. If you need to start this recipe in the morning for dinner, then the slow cooker method works best!
I tested this chicken corn chowder recipe with the shorter cooking time (cooking on high for 3-4 hours), but if you need to cook it on low for 6-8 hours, you can do that, just make sure that to check your potatoes at around 6 hours to make sure that they are soft but not mushy.
How to cook chowder in the Instant Pot
Cooking this chowder in the Instant Pot/pressure cooker eliminates an extra cooking pan (you don’t have to cook the chicken in a separate skillet before adding the other ingredients), so this is my favorite way to cook this creamy chowder!
You might notice in the video that for this recipe I actually used the CrockPot Express pressure cooker for this recipe, instead of the Instant Pot brand name pressure cooker. Both will work the same way using the soup function/mode. So this recipe will work regardless of which brand of pressure cooker you have.
Since this has a lot of liquid, make sure to allow the pressure to release naturally for 30 minutes before doing a quick release. Don’t use the quick release method until after the majority of pressure has dissipated naturally, or your soup will try to come out of your pressure valve.
Variations of our Chicken Corn Chowder
Want to make this recipe even better? After I posted this recipe I made a few other versions for dinner and we hit on an awesome variation of this chowder recipe!
My husband had his gallbladder removed last month, so I worked on making this soup recipe with less fat. I found the new Silk half and half at my local Walmart (it has less fat and calories than canned coconut milk but is still super creamy). It was delicious in the recipe!
I also ran out of potato flakes, so I used 3 Tablespoons of corn starch instead of potato flakes to thicken this and it turned out really well. My family loved the combo of the Silk half and half and the corn starch better than the original recipe!
If you’d like to make this with corn starch instead of the instant potato flakes, once the soup was cooked in the pressure cooker, scoop out about 1/4 cup of the broth and whisked in 2-3 Tablespoons corn starch (depending on how thick you’d like it), add it back to the soup, then turn the pressure cooker on to sauté/brown setting and heat it up a bit and stir it regularly until it is thickened (about 5 minutes).
Serve this chowder with these great sides:
- Gluten Free Drop Biscuits (Dairy Free)
- Garlic Roasted Rainbow Carrots (Paleo)
- Gluten Free Cornbread (Dairy Free)
- Yeast Free Gluten Free Sandwich Bread
Creamy Chicken Chowder (Slow Cooker and Instant Pot)
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 can (4 ounces) canned green chiles
- 2 Tablespoons chopped dried green onions (or fresh green onions added after cooking)
- 1 teaspoon all purpose Creole spice
- ½ teaspoon chili powder (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups chopped potatoes, unpeeled
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 can (14 ounces) canned corn, drained
- 1 can (14 ounces) coconut cream or coconut milk (OR 1-1/2 cups of Silk dairy free half and half)
- 8 ounces bacon, cooked and chopped
- ½ cup to 1 cup instant mashed potato flakes (to add thickness to the chowder, use more or less depending on how thick you'd like your chowder. We used 1 cup)
- ½ teaspoon smoked salt (optional, only if your soup needs additional salt)
- Slow cooker
CrockPot/slow cooker instructions:
- Heat a skillet on the stove over medium heat, and cook the ground chicken and the fresh garlic until cooked through.
- Add the cooked chicken and garlic to the slow cooker, and stir in the green chiles, green onions, spices, potatoes, and bone broth.
- Stir to mix, put the lid on, and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.
- About 30 minutes from the end of cooking, prepare the bacon: preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and arrange 8 ounces of bacon slices onto the prepared pan.
- Cook the bacon 12-15 minutes or until it's as crisp as you like (exact cook time will depend on how thick your bacon is, thicker bacon will take longer).
- Allow the bacon to cool a bit, blot the excess bacon grease off the bacon, and chop it. Set aside.
- When the soup is done cooking and the potatoes are soft but not mushy, stir into the hot soup the canned corn, coconut cream, chopped bacon, and instant mashed potatoes.
- Stir to mix well and serve garnished with sliced fresh green onions and additional bacon pieces. Enjoy!
Instant Pot/pressure cooker instructions:
- Plug in your electric pressure cooker and turn it on to "brown" or "saute" mode. Once it's hot, cook the ground chicken and garlic until cooked through.
- Turn off saute mode, and stir in the green chiles, green onions, spices, potatoes, and bone broth.
- Close the lid, lock, and turn the valve to closed. Cook on "soup" setting for 8 minutes.
- Once the soup is cooked, turn off the warming feature (if it automatically turns on), and allow the pressure to naturally release for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, open the valve to release any residual pressure.
- Open the pressure cooker and stir in the canned corn, coconut cream, chopped bacon, and instant mashed potatoes.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
8 thoughts on “Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder (Instant Pot & Slow Cooker)”
Hi! Have you tried freezing this? If so, any tips? I’m cooking just for myself so I want to make recipes I can freeze and save for another day.
Hi Noelle! I haven’t tried freezing this yet, I’m not sure how the coconut milk would freeze, sometimes coconut milk separates when frozen and thawed. You can try freezing this to see how it holds up, or you make it and freeze portions before adding the coconut milk and thickener (whether potato flakes or corn starch), and then thaw it and finish the recipe while you’re heating it up. So cooking it again on the stove to heat it through and adding the coconut milk and thickener during this part of the process vs before freezing it in case the coconut milk does try to separate in the freezer.
Can I use chicken breast instead of ground chicken? Would I need to do anything different?
Hi Katherine! I think chicken breast would be fine, I’d probably cut it into cubes and brown it in the pot first before cooking everything else. But I bet that would work! Keep me posted if you try that 🙂
I am making this tomorrow and am using a slow cooker. I am going the half and half corn starch route.
I am curious, do I add the half and half at the end like I would for the canned coconut?
Also, do I take some broth out and mix it with cornstarch for the slow cooker like you’ve noted for the pressure?
Thanks in advance! Excited to have this!
Hi Samantha! Yep you’ll add the half and half at the end. With the Instant Pot I put it on brown/saute and cook it until it thickens, so with the slow cooker you might have to leave the heat on high for a bit to thicken the cornstarch in the soup. You can scoop out a bit of the hot broth and mix it with the cornstarch before adding the corn and half and half, or you can just mix the cornstarch with the half and half and then add it in. I usually just mix cornstarch with my coconut milk, but I’m also heating it up again. If you’re using the slow cooker, I’d mix the cornstarch in with the hot broth to help it thicken faster since you’re not heating it again like you’d do in the Instant Pot.
What portion size are the calories based on?
This recipe makes about 10 cups, so the nutrition is based on a serving size of 1 cup of chowder. I’ve tried this recipe with the new Silk dairy free half & half and it reduced some of the calories and bit and it still tastes amazing!