Cullen Skink In The Instant Pot

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Cullen Skink. How to cook a delicious cullen skink in the instant pot. Known locally in Scotland as Cullen Skink, it is a delicious haddock chowder that is perfect for a quick hearty dinner in the instant pot or other electric pressure cooker.

Cullen skink is loaded with haddock, potatoes, onion and root vegetables to bring you a warming chowder that is perfect for winter days.

Instant Pot Cullen Skink
Instant Pot Cullen Skink

Cullen Skink

If you have been following along as we publish our new recipes, you will know that we are having Scottish week here on Recipe This. Though if you have just landed on our cullen skink, then let me give you the short version.

This week marks 20 years since Dominic and I started dating and 17 years since we got married.

We got married on Burns Night, which is the most important day in the year for Scottish people as it is the birthday of famous Scottish poet Robert Burns.

We decided to celebrate this with some new delicious Scottish recipes. So far this week we have shared with you how to cook Instant Pot Scotch Broth (another amazing hearty soup) as well as air fryer mars bar (yes Scottish people deep fry mars bars) and today it is the turn of cullen skink.

I am also dedicating this cullen skink in the instant pot, to a lovely lady called Jean, who passed away many years ago.

She was the first pensioner that I ever met from Scotland and was also my aunts mother in law.

I used to love listening to Jean sharing her stories of growing up Scotland and loved her Edinburgh accent.

Though on first meeting her in the late 80’s when I was about 6 I couldn’t understand a word she said.

But I soon got used to it and fell in love with the Scottish culture.

What Is Cullen Skink?

Cullen skink is a filling Scottish chowder soup, that is perfect for money saving thanks to how cheap it is to make in one pot and the fact it is often based on leftovers.

In a traditional cullen skink it uses lots of leftover mashed potatoes, as well as spare vegetables you have leftover as well as milk and smoked haddock.

If you like a classic corn chowder like our Instant Pot Cauliflower Corn Chowder, then cullen skink will appeal to you.

This is because it is similar ingredients and you can mix and match based on what leftovers you have.

I also think of cullen skink like a British fish pie filling and if you imagined transforming your favourite fish pie into a soup this would be it!

In many recipes for cullen skink (like my recipe today) smoked haddock is often switched with regular haddock or frozen haddock as some people are not into smoked food.

Though you can choose what you use in your cullen skink.

Plus, there is nothing stopping you replacing the haddock with some other white fish you have spare, after all for me getting dinner on the table is all about saving money on groceries and making homemade hearty meals.

Why Cook Cullen Skink In The Instant Pot?

Cullen skink in the instant pot is a MUST. Seriously, if you are into cullen skink I highly recommend cooking it in the instant pot, or other brand of electric pressure cooker.

I look at recipes for cullen skink and other similar homemade chowders. There is a big problem with them and that is the crazy prep they have and how long they take to cook. Then there is the amount of washing up that you do afterwards.

I want to shout out GET AN INSTANT POT. Because seriously, life is so much easier when you make dinner in the instant pot or the air fryer.

I decided to see how good a cullen skink would taste, after all these years making it in the instant pot and OMG I was in food heaven. I would even go as far as saying this is the nicest soup ever in the Instant Pot.

What Ingredients & Gadgets Go Into Instant Pot Cullen Skink?

Cullen Skink In The Instant Pot Ingredients

There are 7 main ingredients that go into instant pot cullen skink:

  • Haddock
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Neeps (Scottish for rutabaga or swede)
  • Milk
  • Seasonings

Though do note that you can mix and match depending on what ingredients you have in or what you have in your freezer.

I am using frozen haddock today, because I can’t get fresh, just like you could use smoked haddock like in a traditional cullen skink or swap the haddock for catfish or cod.

If you don’t already have an Instant Pot, then we have both the medium and the large version of the Instant Pot Duo.

You could also use a Mealthy Multipot or the British favourite is the Pressure King Pro. Though any brand of electric pressure cooker will work well in this chowder.

101 instant pot recipes bundle

How To Make Instant Pot Cullen Skink?

Instant Pot Cullen Skink step by step

Making instant pot cullen skink is EASY and it is a case of a quick sauté of ingredients and pouring in other ingredients and letting the instant pot work its magic.

I love it because you are not having to use one pan for potatoes, another pan for the haddock and a third for the chowder. Everything comes together in one pot.

  1. Clean, peel and slice your onion, leek, spuds and neeps and load into the instant pot. Sauté with some extra virgin olive oil until your onion has some colour.
  2. Add stock and seasoning. Mix well.
  3. Place your haddock on top and cook on high pressure.
  4. Remove the haddock once cooked and mix the rest of the ingredients. Use a hand blender to make into a chowder and add most of the haddock back in.
  5. Add in milk for a taste similar to a classic cullen skink.
  6. Season a little more and serve with the rest of the haddock crumbled over the top.

Instant Pot Cullen Skink FAQ

Cullen Skink

We have been asked a lot of questions about instant pot scotch broth and could go on

  • Can you freeze cullen skink? Absolutely. Wait until the cullen skink is cool and place into glass bottom freezer containers (these are the ones we use) and then label up and freeze.
  • Can cullen skink be reheated? It sure can. You can reheat it from frozen in the instant pot. Simply remove the plastic freezer lid, place on the trivet in the instant pot, with a cup of water beneath and set the time to 2 minutes.
  • What potatoes for cullen skink? You can use any type of white potatoes. You can also cook them in the skin if you don’t want to peel them.
  • How long does cullen skink keep? It can keep in the fridge for 3 days. After 2 days I recommend if you are not going to have time to eat it, that you freeze it for another time.
  • Is cullen skink healthy? Yes. There are only whole foods used in cullen skink. It is gluten free too. It is perfect for Slimming World as well. However, some might say it is unhealthy due to the whole milk and potatoes, but both are great for a balanced diet.
  • How to thicken cullen skink? Add more potatoes, blend the potatoes and you have naturally thickened it without adding in unhealthy ingredients. I always blend potatoes and carrots where I can to thicken soups and stews.
  • Where does cullen skink originate from? Cullen skink originates from the town of Cullen in Moray. Though it is popular throughout Scotland and there are many versions of cullen skink in England too.

What To Serve With Cullen Skink?

Here at Recipe This we love to make a big batch of chowder in the instant pot pressure cooker. This Scottish version is perfect, and I love it on its own or served up with extras. Here are a few serving suggestions for your cullen skink.

  • Air Fryer Rutabaga Fries – A recent addition to Recipe This, these fries are the BEST. Plus, they are a great healthier alternative to classic fries. Instead of fries slice them into cubes and serve them over your cullen skink like we did.
  • Air Fryer Pull Apart Bread – Homemade bread and chowder is like cheese and biscuits. They are meant to be together and OMG homemade bread in the air fryer is the best.
  • Air Fryer Buttermilk Biscuits – The American dumpling is also a great plan B for the top of your chowder, but can you just have the one?
  • Air Fryer Croutons – Did you know you can make delicious croutons in the air fryer to serve with your chowder? So delicious and perfect for if you have some stale bread.
Cullen Skink In The Instant Pot
Cullen Skink In The Instant Pot
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5 from 1 vote

Cullen Skink In The Instant Pot

Cullen Skink. How to cook a delicious cullen skink in the instant pot. Known locally in Scotland as Cullen Skink, it is a delicious haddock chowder that is perfect for a quick hearty dinner in the instant pot or other electric pressure cooker.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Instant Pot
Servings: 4
Calories: 223kcal


Kitchen Gadgets:

Cullen Skink Recipe Ingredients:


  • Clean, peel and dice your onion, leeks, potatoes and neeps. Making sure that the neeps and potatoes are of a similar medium cube.
  • Place in the instant pot, set it to sauté and add the extra virgin olive oil. Cook for a couple of minutes or until the onions are slightly browned.
  • Turn the sauté off.
  • Mix in the thyme, salt, pepper, along with 360ml of stock.
  • Place the haddock on top and place the lid on the instant pot. Set the valve to sealing and cook for 8 minutes on manual/pressure cook.
  • Manually release pressure (QPR) as soon as it beeps.
  • Remove the haddock with a spatula and put to one side.
  • Add in the thyme and milk and blend using a hand blender.
  • Break up the haddock in your hands and sprinkle most of it into the instant pot and mix. It will create some nice lumps and fine lumps and add to the taste and texture.
  • Finally serve in bowls with the rest of the haddock sprinkled on top and with some air fried neeps.


We used frozen haddock that had been boned and skinned from Iceland. You could use whatever you liked. Just as long as it is skinned and boned and white fish.
Note that swede, rutabaga and neeps is the same thing. It is just that neeps is what it is called in Scotland, while it is called swede in England and rutabaga in the US.
For stock, if you don’t have your own, we recommend Kettle & Fire. They provide lots of wholesome broths, stocks and soups that add great flavour when cooking. Then add in 360ml of stock to your cullen skink.
You can also add in butter if you wish, but we felt it didn’t need it and tasted just as good without it.


Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 276mg | Potassium: 886mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 971IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 4mg
Nutrition InfoPlease Note: Nutrition values are our best estimate based on the software we use at Recipe This and are meant as a guide. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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Instant Pot Cullen Skink Recipe

Recipe This

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes. Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie marker and several other kitchen gadgets. CLICKING HERE →

1 thought on “Cullen Skink In The Instant Pot”

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for this easy recipe! A Scottish friend is in hospital and I made this for the family. I did find that thyme is called for two times, so put in the parsley at the end instead of thyme. The rutabaga really boosted flavor; I also added a large carrot.
    I cannot recommend highly enough…10 stars!! Putting the frozen fish on top was a stroke of genius that simplified what others were saying about poaching in milk.


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