Instant Pot Salmon Chowder with Canned Salmon

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This Instant Pot Salmon Chowder with Canned Salmon is my favourite soup right now. It’s currently the middle of February, so it’s chilly outside, and I’m craving hearty comfort food. This chowder is right up my alley because it’s super hearty, really quick and easy to make, and uses canned salmon, which means I usually have all the ingredients I need on hand.

a bowl of salmon chowder.
So hearty and comforting!

Make this Instant Pot Salmon Chowder If you’re on the hunt for a comforting one-pot-wonder that’s everyone will love. It’s a real crowd pleaser!

Soup vs chowder. What’s the difference?

All chowder is soup, but not all soup is chowder. Make sense? Basically, chowder is a specific type of soup. Chowder tends to be thickened with starch and cream, and contains large pieces of vegetables—commonly potatoes and onions—and often (but not always), seafood. Here’s an article that dives a bit deeper into the history of chowder.

What you’ll need to make this recipe

  • Onions, carrots, celery (Mirepoix): This is the foundation of most great soups and chowders.
  • Garlic: I’m using fresh garlic here, but feel free to use garlic powder in a pinch!
  • Butter: Oil works too! (Olive or vegetable)
  • Potatoes: Waxy yellow potatos are best here, since they tend to hold their shape better than a baking potato (russet).
  • Tomato paste: I’m obsessed with anything rosé. There’s something about the combination of creamy and tomato-y that is just heavenly.
  • Salt: To amp up the flavour
  • Frozen corn: Because there is nothing better than biting into those sweet juicy morsels!
  • Stock concentrate: I use the seasoned vegetable Better Than Bouillon flavour, but any stock concentrate will do. Just make sure it’s not overly salty.
  • Bay leaves: They won’t make or break the soup, but if you’ve got em – use em!
  • Water: Or homemade (salt-free) stock. 
  • Canned salmon: You can use fresh cooked salmon instead if you have it lying around.
  • Sour cream: Full fat please!
  • Dill: I use fresh dill (or sometimes fresh-frozen) but dried dill works here too!

How to make this Instant Pot Salmon Chowder with Canned Salmon

  1. Turn your Instant Pot to the sauté setting. Chop the onions and add them to the pot with the butter and the salt. 
  2. While the onions start to cook, chop the celery and add that into the pot. 
  3. Do the same with the carrots, garlic, and potatoes, stirring them while they sauté so all the vegetables cook evenly.
  4. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the veggies.
  5. Add the corn, the stock concentrate, the water, and the bay leaves, and close the lid of the Instant Pot making sure it is in the sealed position.
  6. Turn the sauté function off, and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, tip the canned salmon into a bowl and break it up into small pieces. You can remove the larger bones if you like, but they are totally edible (and very nutritious).
  8. Turn the Instant Pot off, release the pressure, then remove the lid and stir in the sour cream and the dill. 
  9. Once the sour cream and dill are fully incorporated, add the canned salmon pieces, put the lid back on and leave it alone for 5 minutes. This will allow the residual heat of the soup to heat the salmon to heat through.
  10. Enjoy!

Success tips

Make sure you add the dill at the end to preserve it’s fresh flavour (even if you’re using dried dill).

Don’t stir the chowder too much after the salmon goes in. This will help preserve the chunky texture of the salmon.

What goes well with this Instant Pot Salmon Chowder

Traditionally, chowders are paired with a stack of saltine crackers, but nothing beats a cheese scone or a biscuit with a hearty chowder like this. 

A plate of corn fritters would also be great, especially if you’re a big corn fan like I am.

Storage, freezing, and reheating tips

If you’re not going to eat this whole batch of soup right away, follow these practices for storing it. 

To store soup, it’s important to cool it down as quickly as possible. So transfer it out of the pot and into a shallow storage container without a lid to allow the heat to escape. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, cover it with a tight-fitting lid and transfer it to the refrigerator. The salmon chowder can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To freeze this salmon chowder, cool it completely in the refrigerator first, then transfer it to the freezer. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month. 

To reheat the chowder, defrost it in the fridge then heat in a pot on the stovetop until it reaches 180 degrees. 

Frequently asked questions

Can I use dried dill instead of fresh dill?

Yes! Dill is one of those herbs that dries really well. Dill also freezes well, so if you find it in-season, you can always bring it home, wash it, chop it, and store it in the freezer so it’s always ready when you need it.

Can I use fresh salmon instead of canned salmon?

Absolutely. If you have leftover cooked salmon that needs to be used up, it will be perfect for this chowder. 

Can I use light sour cream or yogurt instead of full-fat sour cream?

I don’t recommend using light sour cream or yogurt in this chowder. The lower the fat content, the higher the likelihood of it curdling. Using full fat sour cream ensures that your chowder will stay super creamy. 

Still hungry?

If you’re into this salmon chowder recipe, you might also like these cozy one-pot-wonders:

a bowl of salmon chowder.

Instant Pot Salmon Chowder with Canned Salmon

This Instant Pot Salmon Chowder with Canned Salmon is so hearty and comforting, and it can be ready in under 30 minutes!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 8 bowls
Calories 255 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 ribs celery
  • 5 carrots
  • 4 yellow potatoes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 cups frozen corn
  • 1 tbsp stock concentrate
  • 1 litre water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 250 ml sour cream (full fat)
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 350 g canned salmon (2 small cans)

Instructions
 

  • Turn your Instant Pot to the sauté setting. Chop the onions and add them to the pot with the butter and the salt.
  • While the onions start to cook, chop the celery and add that into the pot.
  • Do the same with the carrots, garlic, and potatoes, stirring them while they sauté so all the vegetables cook evenly.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the veggies.
  • Add the corn, the stock concentrate, the water, and the bay leaves, and close the lid of the Instant Pot making sure it is in the sealed position.
  • Turn the sauté function off, and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • Tip the canned salmon into a bowl and break it up into small pieces. You can remove the larger bones if you like, but they are totally edible (and very nutritious).
  • Turn the Instant Pot off, release the pressure, then remove the lid and stir in the sour cream and the dill.
  • Once the sour cream and dill are fully incorporated, add the canned salmon pieces, put the lid back on and leave it alone for 5 minutes. This will allow the residual heat of the soup to heat the salmon to heat through.

Nutrition

Calories: 255kcalCarbohydrates: 23.3gProtein: 14.9gFat: 12.1gSaturated Fat: 6.1gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 984mgPotassium: 806mgFiber: 4.3gSugar: 5.4gCalcium: 211mgIron: 3mg
Keyword fish, soup
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This looks great, I don’t have an Instant pot. Could I cook this on the stove top?

    • Paula Hingley

      Certainly! Just bring the brothy/veggie mixture to a boil first, then simmer for 20 mins or so until the potatoes are tender, then add the rest of the stuff as usual. Should be great!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this and it was great!
    Thank you as well for the tip about freezing dill. I always have so much left over
    when I buy it.
    Would it also work with some frozen cod or other white fish?

    • Paula Hingley

      Awesome! I’m sure any white fish would be awesome. Just pre-cook it in a pan first, or add it in for the last 5-10 minutes of simmer time until it’s cooked through!

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