Vegan New England Clam Chowder is Also Gluten-Free (Instant Pot and Stovetop)

vegan new england clam chowder
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Here is a vegan and gluten-free New England Clam chowder recipe to make in the Instant Pot, just in time for Super Bowl 52 (or LII, if you prefer the more proper Roman numerals) or for National Clam Chowder Day! Bring this to that Super Bowl party, and when the New England Patriots face off against the Los Angeles Rams, this vegan, Instant Pot New England clam chowder will wow the fans of both teams!

This vegan New England clam chowder recipe is the Instant Pot variation of our regular vegan, gluten-free New England Clam chowder, which in turn is a riff on Isa Chandra’s recipe, simplified and now converted for (and tested in) the Instant Pot!

We never peel anything (carrots, potatoes, etc.), but you can if you want to.

Vegan, Gluten-Free New England Clam Chowder

NOTE: If you do not have access to commercial unflavored, unsweetened cashew milk, make the homemade version (instructions below at the *) which is easy to do. You will need to start the cashews soaking 2 to 3 hours before you are going to start making the chowder).


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And now back to our recipe!

1 tablespoon olive or sunflower oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled or unpeeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
3 stalks celery, sliced into 1/4-inch
4 ounces of shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced – these give the chowder its chewy, clam-like bits
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced whole into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 medium potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, and diced
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1 to 2 nori sheets, chopped very fine or crumbled up into tiny pieces (this gives your chowder that ‘taste-o-the-sea’ flavor)
1 1/4 cups unsweetened, unflavored cashew milk (either store-bought or *see below for making your own)
2 more cups vegetable stock
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)


Before you begin cooking, chop and stage all of the ingredients, because once you start cooking this goes fast!

vegan instant pot new england clam chowder

Put the oil in the Instant Pot and press the saute button, adjusting it to “less” (‘less’ equals a temperature range of 275°F to 302°F, while ‘more’ equals a temperature range of 347°F to 410°F, and ‘normal’ equals a range of 320°F to 349°F).

When the Instant Pot display switches to ‘Hot’ add the onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

vegan instant pot new england clam chowder-1

Now add the potatoes, the 3 cups of vegetable stock, the nori, and salt and pepper. Lock on the Instant Pot lid, and set to manual, high pressure, for 3 minutes.

After the 3 minutes, quick release.

During the 3 minutes of pressure cooking, put cashew milk*, the 2 cups of vegetable stock, and the cornstarch in your blender, and blend until smooth and very well blended.

*If you are making your own cashew milk, first drain the cashews, then add them to the blender with the 2 cups of vegetable stock and the cornstarch, and blend until smooth and very well blended.

After you have quick released your Instant Pot, remove the lid and stir the cashew milk mixture into the soup. Press the saute function again, set to ‘less’, and simmer uncovered for another 5 to 10 minutes, until thickened to where you want it (which will be accomplished by the cornstarch).

At this point, if you want to add the tomato paste (it adds tang and brightness, but we found it a bit odd for our taste) and the lemon juice, do so.

Serve with salad and some crusty gluten-free bread and vegan butter!

If you bring this to a Super Bowl party, please let us know how it went over!

*Instructions for Making Cashew Milk at Home

Soak 1 cup of raw cashews in water to cover for 2-3 hours. Drain and put in blender with the 2 cups vegetable stock and 4 teaspoons cornstarch and blend the heck out of it until very smooth.

vegan new england clam chowder

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