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Low Carb Cheesy Ham Chowder (instant pot, crock pot)

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Have leftover holiday ham to use? This easy and budget friendly low carb ham chowder is just what you need! Less than 7 net carbs per cup and crazy delicious! 

Have leftover holiday ham to use? This easy and budget friendly low carb ham chowder is just what you need! Less than 7 net carbs per cup and crazy delicious! 

This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council. All opinions, photos, and content are my own.

Are you a “soup person”? I would classify myself in that category. 

Soups are especially fantastic because they’re incredibly easy to make and pretty hard to mess up.

The only thing about soups is that they’re kind of “girly food”, right? Men never seem to get as excited over a big bowl of soup as us ladies. 

I’ve learned that if I want my husband to actually enjoy the soups I prepare, then I have to bulk them up with the good stuff. Many of you ladies can relate, I’m sure.

After Thanksgiving, I had a ton of leftover ham to use up. Some I save in the freezer, sometimes I make a pot of green beans with it, but this time I had a different idea in mind. 

A hearty, cheesy, ham chowder was calling my name! 

My mom used to make a fabulous ham and corn chowder, it was probably a Southern Living recipe (if you were raised in the South in the 90s then you know what I’m talking about), and it was so yummy!

I tried to replicate those flavors from memory in this low carb, no corn, keto ham chowder recipe! 

Have leftover holiday ham to use? This easy and budget friendly low carb ham chowder is just what you need! Less than 7 net carbs per cup and crazy delicious! 

You’re Going To Love This Low Carb Chowder

And here’s why:

  • Great way to use leftover Christmas ham
  • Minimal prep work
  • Ready in 10 minutes (when you use an Instant Pot)
  • Delicious and kid friendly
  • Perfect for meal prep and/or lunches
  • Budget friendly keto recipe

Making Your Own Keto Ham Chowder

Soups are always easy to make but, in my humble opinion, keto and low carb soups are even easier because they don’t require a roux. 

This recipe for low carb ham chowder comes together extremely quickly.

Aside from peeling and chopping a parsnip, dicing a bit of onion, and measuring a few basic ingredients, you can easily have this keto ham soup ready to eat in way under 30 minutes! 

Not familiar with the parsnip? It’s basically a white carrot that tastes just like a potato. You can read more about it in this post!

Y’all know I am a huge fan of the Instant Pot! It makes kitchen life so much more efficient. 

Using your Instant Pot in this low carb cheesy ham chowder recipe will get you eating in no time at all. 

Of course, if you’re not on the IP bandwagon yet, or it’s still sitting in the box from last Christmas, you can use your trusty ‘ol crock pot too!

Side note: if you’re still afraid of your Instant Pot, don’t be! I have a fantastic cookbook with easy and family friendly recipes to get you well acquainted with this amazing kitchen appliance! Click here to learn more!

As I mentioned above, I used leftover spiral ham the first time I made this but, you don’t have to! 

All major grocery stores carry packages of cubed or diced ham that are perfect for recipes like this one. They’re typically in the same area as hot dogs! 

A Low Budget Keto Recipe

One more reason you need to make this low carb ham chowder is that it is incredibly budget friendly! And after the holidays, who doesn’t want to reign in the spending just a bit?

The transition to a ketogenic diet can be a bit of a stretch on the budget, especially if you’re not used to buying a lot of fresh produce and premium ingredients. 

As a family of 5, soon to be 6, I know the importance of making every dollar stretch. 

I love using ham, and many cuts of pork, in my recipes because it’s really inexpensive. 

Find more pork recipe inspiration from my partners at Ohio Pork

In fact, this entire recipe is very affordable! For about $10, you can feed your entire family dinner. 

So really, there’s no excuse why you couldn’t make this yummy keto ham chowder for yourself! 

Have leftover holiday ham to use? This easy and budget friendly low carb ham chowder is just what you need! Less than 7 net carbs per cup and crazy delicious! 

Serving Your Low Carb Chowder

Let’s talk about the best part of this recipe…eating it!

While your soup is cooking, fry up a few pieces of bacon to crumble on top. It takes an extra second but makes a big impact. Plus, BACON!

I also liked to garnish mine with some green onion (scallion) for color and fancy feelings but you don’t have to.

Since this soup is a bit on the heavy side, a nice light salad pairs wonderfully. 

For your non-keto folk, give them a piece of crusty bread for dipping. They’ll thank you by doing the dishes. 😉

Low Carb Cheesy Ham Chowder

Low Carb Cheesy Ham Chowder

Anna Hunley | Keto In Pearls
This hearty low carb ham chowder is budget friendly and super easy!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Soups
Calories 394 kcal


  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 16 ounces cubed or diced ham
  • 1 large parsnip peeled and cubed
  • 3 ounces diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese save a tiny bit for garnish
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 or 2 slices fried bacon optional, for garnish
  • green onion optional, for garnish


  • Add the broth, ham, parsnip, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Close the lid and seal the vent. Cook on low pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Quick release the steam.
  • Add the heavy cream and stir to combine.
  • Add the shredded cheddar cheese and stir until melted.
  • Garnish with fresh fried bacon and green onion, if desired.



If you want to thicken the soup, you can add a slurry of xanthan gum or arrowroot to the soup after cooking (before adding the cheese).
Serving size will vary depending on volume of cup measurement (broth, meat, veggie). For the most accurate measurement, weigh on a food scale while portioning.
To make in the crockpot, add all ingredients (except heavy cream and cheese) to the bowl. Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours. Follow steps above to complete.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 394kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 26.9gFat: 27.6gFiber: 1.4g
Keyword kept chowder, keto ham chowder, keto ham chowder recipes, keto ham soup recipe, keto instant pot soup recipes, keto soup, keto soup recipes, low carb chowder, low carb soup
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Friday 9th of June 2023

Hi What is parsnip? Does it have the same texture as potatoes? I’m looking for a ‘keto’ ham chowder that’s close to the real thing. Can I use cauliflower instead also? Thanks


Monday 19th of June 2023

Hi Will, parsnip looks like a carrot and tastes like a potato. You can read more about it here:

Cauliflower is great for keto, it is a fantastic low carb vegetable.