Perfect Potato Chowder

One of the things we do as a family to both save money and add a bit of adventure to our menus is to purchase from a fruit and product co-op called Bountiful Baskets. It’s really a great and completely volunteer-run organization.

Most weeks I pay $15 for a basket of 1/2 fruit and 1/2 vegetables with a value of much more. The catch is that we don’t know exactly what we’ll get from week to week – but this also adds to the adventure as my kids are always excited to see what we got this week.

Well, in the past couple of weeks, we’ve got a generous supply of red potatoes. I tend to cook more with grains/rice/beans than potatoes for starch, so I was looking for a way to use them up. Since my husband loves any kind of chowder and is limited in the amount of sodium he can have, I tweaked a weight watchers recipe for crockpot Potato Chowder and made it in the pressure cooker with just a few minutes of cooking. It came together in a flash, and once the potatoes and vegetables were cooked, I just popped my immersion blender in and pureed the soup right in the pot. This soup would also be great with some corn added, or substituting regular bacon (cooked and crumbled) instead of the bacon.

Pressure Cooker Potato Chowder

Potato chowder only needs to cook in the pressure cooker for 5 minutes!


  • Olive Oil – 1 TB
  • Leek – 1 large, white part only, diced
  • Garlic – 2 cloves, pressed
  • Carrot – 1 large, diced
  • Red Potatoes – 4 cups, 1-inch dice
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp, ground
  • Bacon – 6 oz, diced
  • Smoked Paprika – 1/2 tsp
  • Chicken Broth (reduced sodium) – 4 cups
  • Evaporated fat-free milk – 6 oz
  • Fat-free half and half – 2 oz


Heat olive oil in a pressure cooker on medium heat, add leeks, garlic, and carrot and saute for 4 minutes or until slightly softened.
Add red potatoes through the chicken broth. Stir.
Place the cover on the pressure cooker, and bring it to pressure. Reduce heat to maintain pressure, and cook for 5 minutes.
Quick-release pressure according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Add evaporated milk and half and half.
Remove the bay leaf and discard. Remove 2 cups of potato/ham/vegetable mixture. With an immersion blender, blend the rest of the soup until to desired texture. Add the reserved potato/ham/vegetable mixture. Heat the soup on low if needed to bring the temperature of the soup up, do not boil.
Top with shredded cheddar cheese (optional) and black pepper and paprika to taste.