Made with simple ingredients in under 1 hour, this flavorful and cozy bowl of homemade loaded baked potato soup is easy to make and always crowd-pleasing. With cheese, bacon bits, and sour cream it’ll be a hit this fall and well into cold weather season!
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Loaded with Flavor
This easy baked potato soup is made in under 1 hour on the stove and tastes like a loaded baked potato in the form of a cozy, comforting, creamy bowl of soup. Right down to the bacon, cheese, and sour cream!
Loaded baked potato soup is one of my favorite soup recipes from my I Heart Naptime Cookbook. I have similar versions in crockpot potato soup and Instant Pot potato soup, but this one is great for those who don’t have either a slow cooker or a pressure cooker.
And there’s actually no baking at all! Unless you want to of course, but I save time by popping the potatoes in the microwave. It’s so easy and loaded with tons of flavor!
Why This Recipe Works
- Tastes like a loaded baked potato. Perfect for fall nights. You can’t forget the bacon, cheese, onions, and sour cream that take it over the top!
- Rich and satisfying. One bowl of this and your meal is complete.
- No baking required. To save on cooking time, microwave the potatoes in minutes to give them a head start.
- Customizable. Give this loaded potato soup the texture you want, the toppings you want, and even any mix-ins you’d like.
It’s made with simple wholesome potato soup ingredients and is super budget-friendly, especially since a lot of what it needs you’ve already got on hand!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Russet potatoes: I use starchy Russet potatoes to mimic a baked potato as closely as possible. They become tender and fluffy once cooked down but you can use waxier potatoes if you like.
- Bacon: I love using a bit of the bacon grease to cook the aromatics. However, if you prefer not to, you can also cook bacon in the oven.
- Unsalted butter: Cooking the onion and garlic in bacon grease AND butter is the ultimate way to add extra flavor! I use unsalted butter because there is plenty of salt in the bacon, the cheese, and the chicken stock. We’re also adding some towards the end to season the soup.
- Garlic & Onion: Used to build layers of flavor in the potato bacon soup.
- All-purpose flour: When flour gets mixed with fat (in this case bacon grease and butter) it forms a pasty roux which will help to thicken the loaded baked potato soup.
- Milk & half and half: We’re using both! We want it creamy and rich, but not overly thick. The potatoes and flour give enough of that texture already.
- Chicken stock: For a deliciously flavorful soup.
- Seasoning: Salt, garlic salt, black pepper.
- Cheese: I like to use mild and sharp cheddar cheese freshly grated from a block. The combination of both brings a nice balance.
- Sour cream: This gets mixed in towards the end, to add that finishing creamy touch with a light tangy flavor. It has a lovely cooling affect we know so well from adding it to the top of our baked potatoes!
- Minced chives: For garnish.
There are plenty of options for ingredient substitutions if you’re looking to make some swaps.
- You can use Yukon Gold potatoes instead of Russets if you prefer.
- Use vegetable broth and omit the bacon if you want a vegetarian cream of potato soup recipe.
- Add in extra vegetables like corn, peas, broccoli florets, or cauliflower.
- To make it gluten free, you can use a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour.
How to Make Baked Potato Soup
- Cook the potatoes. Scrub the unpeeled potatoes and pierce them with a fork. This is so they don’t explode in the microwave. Cook them for 12-15 minutes. If you choose to, you can make baked potatoes in a preheated oven for 45 minutes at 350°F. Carefully cut them in half and allow them to cool.
- Cook the bacon. As the potatoes are cooling, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 1 Tablespoon of the bacon grease. When the bacon is cool to the touch, crumble it into pieces.
- Sauté aromatics. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the reserved bacon grease and onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. When the onions are tender, add the garlic to cook for another minute.
- Make a roux and add broth. Slowly whisk in the flour continuing to stir for 1-2 minutes. Then, whisk in the milk and half and half, stirring until smooth. Gradually add the chicken stock and bring it to a light simmer. Finally, add the salt, garlic salt, and pepper. Keep it a light simmer until the mixture has thickened.
- Add back the potatoes. If you plan to garnish your loaded baked potato soup with cheese and bacon, save 1/4 cup of each before stirring in the cheese, sour cream, and cooked bacon. Remove the pot from the heat. Scoop out the potato flesh from the skin and add them to the pot. Break them up into small pieces, or leave them chunky, it’s up to you.
- Load it up and serve. Season to taste, top with your garnishes, and enjoy!
Expert Tips for Creamy Potato Soup
- Using an immersion blender will help you get a smooth consistency if you don’t want any potato chunks. I prefer to keep them.
- Make a double batch to feed a larger crowd, to have more leftovers, or to bring to a friend who needs some TLC.
- Use freshly grated cheese. Avoid using the pre-shredded cheese that comes in a bag. It is coated with anti-clumping agents that prevent it from melting nicely.
This is usually due to not having enough fat in the dairy you’re using. The higher the fat content the richer and thicker your base will be. Using skim milk or just milk will cause the soup to be much thinner.
There are, but as mentioned above, it will alter the consistency of the soup. You can use plain Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. Or you can use all milk instead of half and half. If you do that, I would suggest using whole milk.
You can use cornstarch or potato starch instead. Keep in mind, loaded baked potato soup will thicken as it cools and starch from the potatoes will help thicken it as well.
In a nutshell, no. The dairy and potatoes in loaded baked potato soup make it grainy once thawed. It’s definitely doable and better not to waste it if you have a lot leftover, but it’ll just have a funny consistency. It will still taste great!
Keep leftover loaded baked potato soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing this soup.
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Baked Potato Soup Recipe
- 4 large russet potatoes
- 6-8 strips bacon
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 16 ounces chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt , more to taste
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper , more to taste
- 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- Chives minced, for garnish
- Wash the potatoes and pierce with a fork. Cook potatoes in the microwave for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. Alternatively bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 45 minutes, or until fork tender. Carefully cut into halves and let cool.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon in a frying pan over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon and place on a paper towel lined plate. Reserve 1 Tablespoon of the bacon grease. Once bacon has cooled, crumble into small pieces.
- In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add bacon grease and onions. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onions are tender. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
- Slowly whisk flour into the pan and stir 1 to 2 minutes. Next, slowly whisk in the milk and half and half. Keep whisking until smooth. Gradually add in the chicken stock. Bring to a light simmer.
- Whisk in salt, garlic salt and pepper. Keep at a light simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- If you’d like to use cheese and bacon as a garnish, save 1/4 cup of each. Then stir in the cheese, sour cream and cooked bacon. Remove pan from heat.
- Scoop potato chunks into the pan and discard the skins. Break potatoes into small pieces or leave them chunky, depending on your preference. Season to taste.
- Serve while warm topped with your favorite garnishes, like cheese, bacon and chives.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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