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All the flavor of your favorite baked potatoes in a bowl of creamy soup!

Loaded potato soup is sinfully creamy and contains plenty of gooey cheese and crispy bacon. Enjoy a comforting bowl on those blustery, cold nights!

This meal requires a little bit of time-consuming prep work — for instance, baking the potatoes and frying the bacon — but it’s worth it!

By using leftovers, though, this recipe can come together pretty quickly. I chopped up extra cooked bacon from our weekend breakfast and used the pulp I’d saved from making potato skins earlier in the week. I’m the queen of finding creative uses for leftovers!

Craving more creamy soups and stews for winter? My Instant Pot White Chicken Chili has an extra kick of spice and is ready in under 30 minutes. Or, load up on veggies with an easy Chicken Florentine Soup topped with homemade croutons.

loaded potato soup in a red soup bowl garnished with cheese, bacon, and chives.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Loaded Potato Soup

  • Potatoes — Choose baking varieties like Idaho or Russet and cook them in the oven before getting started. You could substitute a few red potatoes if you like skins in your cheddar potato soup.
  • Chicken broth — This adds an incredible amount of flavor! Grab a carton from the store or make your own from chicken bones and fresh veggies.
  • Milk — Use whatever you have in your fridge or replace some of the milk with cream for a thicker consistency.
  • Cheddar cheese — Always buy a block and shred it by hand! Bagged shreds contain extra ingredients to prevent clumping, but these prevent the cheese from melting down smoothly.
  • Sour cream — Plain Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute.
  • Bacon — Fry up the strips in a pan or cook them in the oven at the same time as the potatoes. If you make a large batch for breakfast, crumble up the extras and store them in the fridge for recipes such as these!

How to make cheddar potato soup?

a cast iron skillet with 4 baked potatoes inside; a halved baked potato with a spoon scooping out the pulp.

STEP 1 | Bake the potatoes

Wash and scrub them thoroughly, then pierce the skin several times with a fork. Bake until soft, then slice them open and scoop out the pulp.

tip

  • For crispy potato skins, place baking potatoes in a cast iron skillet and lightly spray on all sides with cooking spray. Add a sprinkle of coarse salt and bake for 1 hour at 450 degrees. After scooping out the pulp, save the skins to make tasty appetizers later!

STEP 2 | Saute the onions

Cook in melted butter until soft, then mix in the flour and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Slowly stir in the broth to avoid any lumps, then add the milk.

STEP 3 | Bring to a boil

Once the liquid is bubbling, stir in the potato pulp and sour cream.

STEP 4 | Melt in the cheese

Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Add a handful of shreds at a time, stirring constantly to help them melt evenly into the pot.

stirring crumbled bacon into a pot of loaded potato soup.

STEP 5 | Add bacon and serve

Stir in the bacon crumbles, then spoon the loaded potato soup into bowls and add your preferred toppings![1] 

tip

  • I love to make this recipe in my Staub enameled cast iron pot for a couple of reasons. One, it’s just beautiful to go from stove-to-table for serving; and two, it keeps the loaded potato soup good and hot during our meal.

a bowl of loaded potato soup sitting on a white plate with the pot of soup in the background.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make a vegetarian version of loaded potato soup?

You sure can! Simply leave out the bacon and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth instead. It will still be just as tasty, and you’ll save some calories too!

What’s the best way to reheat leftovers?

Warm leftovers over low heat on the stove, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of broth as needed if the consistency is too thick.

How do you prevent lumps in cheddar potato soup?

Lumps and curdling are often caused by rapid changes in temperature, so it helps to bring dairy ingredients to room temperature first. Measure out the milk and sour cream, then let them sit on the counter while you start the soup.

Also, slowly pour in the broth and milk while stirring constantly so the flour dissolves smoothly into the liquid.

loaded potato soup in a red soup bowl garnished with cheese, bacon, and chives.

Serving suggestions

While this cheddar potato soup is hearty enough for a meal on its own, you can’t go wrong with some crusty bread for mopping up every last drop!

If it feels a bit too heavy, pair a smaller bowl with a simple green salad or half a sandwich.

Be sure to save extra bacon, cheese, and green onions to sprinkle on top. You can even add extra toppings like some sliced avocado or a dollop of sour cream!

a spoon dipped into a bowl of loaded potato soup sitting on a plate.

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!

loaded potato soup in a red soup bowl garnished with cheese, bacon, and chives.

Loaded Potato Soup

Loaded with cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives, and bacon, just add a loaf of crusty bread and salad for a delicious meal.
4.71 from 17 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Soups & Stews
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings
Calories 335 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 large or 6 medium potatoes
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 5-6 slices bacon fried crisp and crumbled, (optional)
  • chives or green onions for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash and dry potatoes and prick 5-6 times with fork. Bake approximately 1 hour or until soft. Cool completely, then slice in half and remove pulp for the soup, leaving some pulp in chunks.
  • Melt butter in large pot over low heat; sauté onions five minutes. Add flour and cook and stir (this mixture will be very thick) about 10 minutes.
  • Slowly add chicken broth a little at a time, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly. Next, gradually add milk. Bring to a boil, then add potatoes, sour cream, and 1 cup cheese.
  • Reduce heat and stir gently until cheese melts. Add bacon (or reserve for topping) or leave out for a vegetarian soup.
  • Garnish with more cheese and chives or green onions, if desired.

Notes

For vegetarian Baked Potato Soup leave out the bacon and substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
Save the potato skins after you scoop out the pulp to make a potato skin appetizer later. Place the skins on a baking sheet and top with cheese, bacon, sliced green onions and bake at 400 degrees until warm and crispy. Serve with sour cream and hot sauce, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 335kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 14gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 459mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2g
Keyword bacon, baked potato, soup
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My family and I loved this potato soup recipe. I doubled it and also added a handful of diced celery in with the onion. Also I substituted plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. It is definitely a keeper! My children loved it and even got seconds. We love soups, especially in the winter. I will be making this potato soup recipe again!

  2. Emily, I’m so glad you liked the soup and am glad to hear that the Greek yogurt worked as a substitute…I love using Greek yogurt when I have it on hand.

  3. 5 stars
    I am so incredibly jealous that you had snow, here in Australia it is too hot at the moment! Definitely going to be saving your baked potato soup recipe for the cooler months – it looks seriously delicious!

    1. Thank you, Thalia. Don’t be too jealous–there were only snow flurries and they disappeared by morning.

  4. This is exactly what we need for dinner tonight, Sheila, a filling and warming soup! Switch out the chicken broth with vegetable broth (for veggie daughter) and this is a meal we can all enjoy! The weather has decided that winter is here and all I can think about cooking is soup! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Dewqelicious! Very flavorful and not heavy! Very easy to make. I added in diced carrots and celery and it went over great. Thank you

  6. Pingback: 11 Leftover Mashed Potato Recipes » Or Whatever You Do
  7. I love potato soup, and I’m really liking your soup bowl. I have one in white, but want one in burgundy now. PINed and Tweeted.

  8. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and it was so delicious! Everyone loved it, even my dad who isn’t an avid soup eater. I didn’t really make any fancy changes to the recipe, but I did decide too double the bacon, cheese and sour cream. Okay, so maybe I might have tripled the bacon, but lets not talk about that. The only extra ingredient I added too my own bowl was a little garlic powder because I just love garlicy potatoes. I served this with a side of warm chibata bread and a fresh garden salad. It was just the most perfect meal. I’ll have to make this again when the weather starts getting cooler.

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