If you are in the mood for a delicious, thick, creamy chowder and when you want one that is quick, easy, economical, and delicious, this sausage chowder recipe is a winner!
Your family and friends will definitely be impressed if you serve them a bowl of this chowder with a loaf of crusty bread and finish off the perfect meal with an individual serving of chocolate pot de crème, which sounds fancy, but is super easy to make!
I use my pressure cooker in this recipe because it helps to infuse the flavors in a shorter period of time than cooking it on the stove, but you can make this chowder on the stove or in a crock pot if you don't have a pressure cooker.
The ingredients are straightforward, easy to find, and won't break the bank which is a huge plus in my book!
If you are looking for a clam chowder recipe that is also pressure-cooked, try this one out: New England Clam Chowder Recipe
Suggested Kitchen Tools for Chowder
- Electric Pressure Cooker
- Aluminum Foil or pressure-safe container*
- Rack or Trivet for Pressure Cooker
- Sharp Knife
- Cutting Board
- Wooden or Silicone Spoon
*see How to Make a Cheater Roux section for details
Ingredients & Substitutions
The base of the chowder is made from onions, celery, garlic, bay leaf, chicken broth or chicken stock, salt and pepper. These simple ingredients bring tons of flavor into the chowder; however, they can be modified or substituted based on personal preferences. If you don't want to add the onion, skip it and double the celery. If you don't want to add celery, skip it. You can even make it without either onion or celery and it will be fine.
I don't recommend using green bell pepper in this recipe unless you want to change the flavor profile and pair it with some cajun spices and andouille sausage for a Cajun-inspired chowder. The green pepper will impart a completely different flavor in the chowder base and will definitely change the flavor of the sausage corn chowder.
The bay leaf can be omitted if you don't have any on hand.
The garlic is only smashed and peeled and this gives a nice garlic flavor without it being too pungent. If you want to use minced garlic instead, just use 1-2 cloves.
If you don't want to use chicken broth or stock, you can use vegetable stock or plain water. These changes may require more seasonings so adjust as needed.
I use (affiliate link)Hillshire Farm smoked sausage in this recipe. The kind I use is a combination of beef, turkey, and pork; however, any fully-cooked smoked sausage that you like will work great in this recipe. There are tons of different varieties such as: chicken sausage, beef sausage, pork sausage, and kielbasa.
You can also use uncooked sausage that is in a casing, like a mild or hot Italian sausage. Just slice it and sauté it with the onions and celery until it browns. It will cook fully while under pressure. Ground sausage will also work, but I would sauté it to brown and drain any excess grease or use the sausage drippings to make the roux in place of some of the butter. You would want to use about a pound of ground sausage.
Keep in mind: the kind of sausage you use will absolutely affect the flavor of the chowder, so you will have very different outcomes if you choose to use something besides a fully-cooked smoked sausage.
If you want to omit the sausage to make a potato and corn chowder, you absolutely can and no other changes are needed in the recipe except you may find you want a little more seasoning.
If you are skipping the sausage and want to infuse some smokey flavor, you can add a few slices of uncooked thick-cut bacon and remove it after pressure cooking. If you are skipping the sausage for vegetarian/vegan reasons, you can add in a drop or two of liquid smoke.
This recipe can also be adapted to make a chicken corn chowder by omitting the sausage and using cubes of chicken breast or chicken thighs instead. You will want to sauté about 1 pound of chicken cubes with the onions and celery, but no other changes are needed except you may find you want to add more seasonings.
Potatoes & Corn
I used Yukon gold potatoes (sometimes just called golden potatoes) in this recipe because they tend to hold together better under pressure. Russet potatoes can also be used, but I would cut them bigger because they will fall apart more in the chowder. Red potatoes or new potatoes are another good option and they hold their shape nicely.
Sweet potato is another option to replace yellow potatoes and as long as you make the chunks about 1½" they should cook just fine in the short PC time.
You can also use butternut squash in place of the potatoes and, while it will impart a slightly different flavor, I'd bet it will be delicious. I use butternut squash as the base for my Mexican soup recipe.
You can use canned (and drained) whole-kernel corn, fresh corn off the cob, or frozen sweet corn without any other changes to the recipe.
Cream-style corn will also work, but your chowder will have less whole corn in it and you either want to add the cream corn after pressure cooking or add it on top without stirring before pressure cooking or the liquid may become too thick to produce the steam needed to go under pressure before scorching to the bottom and triggering the water/burn notice.
Cream & Butter
Heavy Cream is the best thing to use in your chowder for the thick and silky texture that chowder is known for. You can cut down on the amount if you like and try just adding ½ cup to cut some of the calories and fat.
You can use whole milk or even skim milk, but you are going to lose the texture and flavor that heavy creams gives the chowder. If you do use milk instead, only add ½ cup until you see the thickness of the chowder and you can add more until you reach your desired thickness.
Butter is used to sauté the onions and celery, and I love the flavor it gives. You can also use ghee or clarified butter which I love to use when sautéing because the pure butter fat doesn't burn! Olive oil is another choice if you don't want to use butter.
Additional Seasonings and Garnishes
Besides salt, pepper, and a bay leaf, the only other seasoning I use is (affiliate link)Cholula hot sauce. It is simply amazing how much flavor and just a touch of spiciness this brings to the chowder. If you haven't tried Cholula before, I highly recommend it!
Some other options are a bit of cayenne pepper or chipotle powder for a touch of spiciness.
You can also use other dried or fresh herbs that you like. I would add them after pressure cooking so you can start off with small amounts and increase based on taste. Remember, it takes at least 10-15 minutes for the flavors to infuse after adding the spices.
As far as garnishes go, the only thing I usually add is the leafy part of the celery that I chop up. It adds such a nice color to the chowder and pairs with all of the other ingredients perfectly.
You could also use fresh parsley or chopped green onions.
Shredded cheese is another option.
How to Make a Cheater Roux when Pressure Cooking
When pressure cooking, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the thickness of the liquid. If it's too thick, it can burn before producing the steam required to go under pressure. For more information on pressure cooking, please read this article I wrote: Pressure Cooking 101
Many times we use what is called a roux to thicken sauces, soups, and stews. A roux is a combination of fat and flour that is cooked for different amounts of time depending on what kind of roux you are making.
Chowders and light-colored sauces use a blonde roux, meaning it is only cooked long enough to remove the flour taste and the color stays pale.
Usually a roux is made in the pot or pan before other ingredients are added, but this can cause some issues when pressure cooking. In order to keep the liquid thin enough, the roux needs to be added after pressure cooking.
Of course, you can make the roux on the stove and then add it in, but why bother when you can use this workaround and pressure cook the roux!
In this recipe you will need 3 Tablespoons of melted butter and 3 Tablespoons of all purpose flour. You can substitute the butter for another fat if you prefer. Bacon grease works great!
Mix them together until the lumps are gone and you have a thin paste.
You can use a metal container, like a (affiliate link)2" x 6" Fat Daddio pan that will fit on the rack above the chowder in your pressure cooker.
I use the Ninja Foodi Smart Lid pressure cooker and don't have the clearance with the one lid that I have with the two-lid model, so I used a piece of aluminum foil that put the butter/flour paste in the middle and seal it up into a packet.
Set the packet to the side and you will place it on the rack above the chowder just before pressure cooking.
How to Make Sausage Corn Chowder
Once you start cooking, this recipe moves fast so you want to have everything prepped and measured out prior to starting.
The only prep you won't do is peel and dice the potatoes. That is done just before adding to avoid discoloration.
Mise En Place (Prep)
The first thing you want to do is decide if you are going to make the cheater roux in the above section or if you want to make it on the stove. Either way is fine, but if you want to do it my way, go ahead and make up the packet as part of the prep work.
The rest of the prep is super easy.
- Slice the celery into ½" slices
- Dice the onion into ¼-½" dice
- Slice the sausage either into round coins about ¼-½" thick or slice them on the diagonal for a bit more interest.
- Smash and peel the garlic cloves
- Measure out the chicken broth and seasonings
Turn the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot on high sear/sauté and add the butter. If you are using a stainless steel pot, you may want to decrease it to medium-high or medium heat so the butter doesn't burn.
Add in the celery and onion and sauté for about 3-5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper and stir. I recommend starting out with ½-1 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt and only ½ teaspoon of black pepper.
You can always add more salt and pepper to taste at the end of cooking.
Next add in the smashed garlic cloves, the bay leaf, and the sliced sausage. Stir and try to get the sausage on the bottom so it gets slightly browned which adds more flavor to the chowder.
You can turn the sear/sauté down at any time and if you are slower at chopping, you probably want to turn it down to medium or even low.
Now it's time to chop up those potatoes. Remember, the smaller you cut them, the softer they will be. Try to keep the chunks bite-sized but on the bigger end of what could be considered bite-size. I like them to be between 1½-2".
As you chop the potatoes, add them directly to the pot until they are all in and then we deglaze with the chicken broth and stir. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any fond (browned bits) that may be stuck and can impede pressure cooking.
Next add in the corn and the Cholula or your favorite hot sauce. The timing doesn't change if you are using drained canned corn or frozen corn. Give it all a good stir.
You may wonder why we don't add in the cream now. It's because it will split during pressure cooking and, while it's edible, it doesn't look so great!
Place the rack in the high position in the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot. Place the foil packet on top and close the pressure lid.
Make sure the valve is in the sealed position. Select high pressure and the time for 2 minutes.
It will take about 7 minutes for the pot to come to pressure and when the 2 minutes of pressure cooking is complete, do an immediate release of pressure.
What this means is move the valve to the vent position and let all the steam out to depressurize the pot so you can open the lid. If you allow the pot to naturally release the pressure, even for a short period of time, you can (and most likely will) over cook your potatoes.
There is no disadvantage to doing an immediate release UNLESS you are doubling the recipe and in that case, you would pressure cook for zero minutes and do a natural release for 5-10 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure.
Remove the foil packet and the rack. Open the foil packet.
Scrape the roux into the pot and stir. Add in the cream and stir.
Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.
Chop up fresh parsley or celery leaves from the inner ribs (stalks).
If you add seasonings, stir and let the chowder sit for at least 10 minutes on keep warm before tasting and adding more seasonings. It is really easy to over-season after cooking if you don't give the seasonings enough time to infuse into the food.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve!
Keto Sausage Chowder
To make this chowder keto-friendly you would omit the roux, the potatoes, and the corn or add less corn if you aren't that strict with macros.
You can replace the potatoes with butternut squash or another type of vegetable that is hearty and will hold up to pressure cooking.
If you want to use something like cauliflower instead of potatoes, I would either cut the cauliflower into really big pieces (like just quarter the head of cauliflower) if you want to pressure cook and then break it up some after it is done pressure cooker or steam them separately just until they are soft, but not too soft, and then add them to the finished chowder.
To thicken the chowder, I would use a combination of melted butter and xanthan gum or guar gum. This can be done after pressure cooking and, unlike other thickeners like cornstarch, both xanthan gum and guar gum thicken as soon as they hit the liquid. This is why it's important to blend them with fat before adding to the chowder. You don't want clumps of thickening gum in the chowder!
A little of these thickeners go a long way, so start off with ½ teaspoon mixed in ½ Tablespoon melted butter or oil. Mix until smooth and then add to the chowder and stir. This should be done after the cream is added so you are sure to get it to the desired thickeness.
It will thicken more as it sits, so take that into consideration when deciding on how much thickener you need. You can repeat the ½ teaspoon xanthan or guar gum mixed with ½ Tablespoon cream as many times as you need to.
If your chowder becomes too thick, you can thin it out with water, broth, or more cream.
Stovetop Sausage & Corn Chowder
I tested this recipe using a large stockpot on the stove and found that I needed more roux and it had to simmer for at least 30-45 minutes to develop the flavor I got from pressure cooking.
The changes you want to make is to use 6 Tablespoons of flour and 8 Tablespoons of butter. The way I did it was to sauté the onions, celery, salt, pepper, and sausage slices in the butter for about 5 minutes, then add the smashed garlic and sauté another few minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir until all the butter is mixed in with the flour and then cook for another 2-3 minutes to cook off the flour taste.
Add in 4 cups of chicken broth and stir. Cut and add the potatoes, bay leaf, and Cholula. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
Add the cream and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve & Enjoy!
Storage & Reheating Instructions
How to Store Leftover Sausage Corn Chowder
While you can freeze leftover Chowder and my mom does it all the time. Cream and potatoes do change texture when frozen and I've found that adding a bit of cream and gently thawing and heating is the best approach.
Store any leftover chowder in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The amount of time it will stay good does depend on how fresh your cream was when you used it. The fresher the cream, the longer it will stay good in the fridge.
If you want to freeze the chowder, let it cool all the way and it's best to refrigerate overnight before packaging for the freezer.
You can store the chowder in any freezer container, but you want a container that just fits the amount of chowder you have. If your container is much bigger than the amount of chowder, air gets trapped and causes what we call freezer burn.
My preferred method for freezing is using a vacuum sealer which eliminates this issue.
Vacuum Sealing Chowder
Fill your vacuum sealer bag ¾ of the way and fold over the top. Place the bag in the freezer and let it freeze overnight. Place the top of the bag into the vacuum sealer and seal. Place in the freezer.
How to Reheat Sausage & Corn Chowder
I recommend either thawing in the refrigerator or slow cooking on low from frozen. Sous vide is also a nice option especially if you vacuum sealed the chowder.
To sous vide from frozen, place the bag in a water bath set to 165℉ and sous vide until thawed and warmed through. The time will depend on how much chowder you are reheating.
After sous vide, you will want to mix the chowder and add a little cream, if needed, to improve the texture.
Slow cooking or stove top on low is the easiest way to gently reheat the chowder. Stir frequently and add a little cream if needed to bring the chowder back together if it splits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Certainly! As written, this recipe makes about 10 cups of chowder. If you want to make 20 cups in your pressure cooker, you will want to have an 8 quart or larger.
You would double all of the ingredients and the stovetop directions stay the same, except I might cut back on the chicken broth by a cup or two and add more if needed.
When pressure cooking, you would double the ingredients but also make adjustments in the time. Contrary to what you may think, you will actually decrease the pressure cook time when doubling the recipe.
This is because there is more volume in the pot which will take longer to come to pressure and that time to pressure is cook time AND, you don't want to do an immediate release with the pot that full or you will have the contents spewing from the valve.
When doubling the recipe, set the pressure cook time to zero minutes on the Ninja Foodi and do a 5-minute Natural Release. If your pressure cooker doesn't let you set it for zero minutes then set it for 1 minute and try to do a 3-minute natural release.
Absolutely. Just cut the ingredients in half and no changes are needed when pressure cooking or cooking on the stove.
Chowder is a hearty meal that goes perfectly with a side salad and a crusty loaf of bread.
Easy Fall & Winter Soup Recipes!
Fall & Winter is definitely soup lover season and these easy, yet flavorful soups definitely make the must make list!
- Vegetable Lentil Soup
- Greek Meatball Soup ~ Pressure Cooker or Stovetop Recipe
- Colcannon Soup (Irish Potato Soup)
- Homemade Hot & Sour Soup
- Ham and Lima Bean Soup in the Ninja Foodi
- Cheeseburger Soup (Ninja Foodi or Stovetop)
- Vegetable Beef Soup ~ Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot Recipe
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup in the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot
Sausage & Corn Chowder Recipe
- Electric Pressure Cooker
- 3 Tablespoons melted butter salted or unsalted
- 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 medium yellow onion about 1 cup diced into ½" dice
- 4 stalks celery about ¾ cup sliced into ½" slices
- 14 ounces smoked sausage I use Hillshire Farms
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon fine grind sea salt or kosher salt
- ½-1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons butter salted or unsalted
- 1 bay leaf
- 1½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes or yellow potatoes (about 4 potatoes)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups corn can be canned and drained or frozen or fresh.
- 1 Tablespoon Cholula or your favorite hot sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- chopped celery leaves or parsley
- Melt the butter and mix it with the flour until a smooth paste is formed. Place the paste in the center of a piece of aluminum foil and gather the sides to make a sealed pouch. Flatten and set aside.3 Tablespoons melted butter, 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
Prep for Recipe
- Dice the onion in ½" dice, slice the celery into ½" slices, slice the smoked sausage into ¼-½" slices. Cut the root end off of the cloves of garlic and smash with the back of a knife. Peel the paper off.1 medium yellow onion, 4 stalks celery, 14 ounces smoked sausage, 4 cloves garlic
- In the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot, turn the sear/sauté on high. If using a stainless steel pot, reduce heat to medium-high. Melt butter and add in diced onions and celery. Add salt and pepper and stir. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.1 teaspoon fine grind sea salt or kosher salt, ½-1 teaspoon black pepper, 3 Tablespoons butter
- Add in sausage, garlic cloves, and bay leaf. Sauté another 2-3 minutes while you chop the potatoes.1 bay leaf
- Dice the potatoes into 1½-2" pieces and put into the pot. When all the potatoes are in the pot give everything a stir and deglaze the pot with chicken broth. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to release and browned bits that may be stuck on the bottom.1½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, 2 cups chicken broth
- Add the corn and the Cholula or other hot sauce. Stir to combine.2 cups corn, 1 Tablespoon Cholula
- Place the rack in the high position above the chowder and place the foil packet on top. If you don't have a rack, you can just sit the foil packet right on top of the chowder if you like. Turn the valve to seal and set the pressure on high for 2 minutes.
- When the time is up turn the valve to the vent position to immediately release the pressure. Remove the lid.
- Remove the foil packet and the rack. Scrape the roux into the pot and add the cream. Stir to combine.1 cup heavy cream
- Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. Garnish with chopped celery leaves or parsley. Serve & Enjoy!Salt and Pepper to taste, chopped celery leaves or parsley
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
She published her first cookbook in the Fall of 2018 and is very interested in writing several more.
Louise is also the creator of an online Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Course with over 100 instructional step-by-step videos. People absolutely rave about the course and all the value they have received from it.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can. Get more Information about Louise & contact information
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