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Classic & Creamy Potato Chowder Recipe | Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

Creamy Potato Chowder

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: serves 8-10 1x


Classic potato chowder recipe with bacon, veggies & potatoes, made creamy with sour cream. This easy recipe can be made in the slow cooker or instant pot!


  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 34 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2.5 to 3 pounds potatoes, cubed (about 8 cups)
  • 45 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 23 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon chicken better-than-bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped green onions, additional sour cream, grated cheese, and/or hot sauce, optional for serving


  1. Cut bacon up into 1/4 inch pieces. Add to a large pot or dutch oven and cook bacon over medium high heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon leaving the drippings.
  2. Keep enough bacon drippings to cover the bottom of the pot (about 2 tablespoons), and remove the rest.
  3. Return pot to heat and add onion. Cook onions until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add potatoes, carrots, celery, water, bouillon, and salt.
  6. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook until veggies are soft, about 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked bacon and sour cream. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve hot.


  • Feel free to peel the potatoes or not, depending on your preference. This busy mama rarely peels the potatoes, and it tastes just great.
  • If you’d like to make this a cheese soup, reduce the amount of sour cream to 1/2 a cup and add 1 to 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese at the end of cook time. Stir until melted and well combined.
  • Feel free to use chicken broth instead of water and bouillon if you have it on hand.
  • You can add an additional 1 to 2 cups water to this recipe if you like; it’ll make a thinner soup. Just adjust it to your liking.
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Slow Cooker, Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American