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Loaded Potato Soup Recipe – Creamy Cheese & Bacon

This easy Loaded Potato Soup recipe doesn’t require any peeling, baking or even draining your potatoes. It’s incredibly simple but it’s packed with flavor!

Note: Photos updated 12/9/20

a pot of loaded potato soup with two filled bowls

Have you ever had fresh potatoes freshly plucked from the ground?

They’re delightful, in every sense of the word.

I didn’t have fresh potatoes on hand when I made this Loaded Potato Soup. But potato season will be here in just a few weeks and I plan on digging a good number of them out of the ground. Apples may have arrived as well. This means that apple dessert recipes won’t be far behind!

This loaded potato soup is rustic in the sense that I use red potatoes that I don’t bother peeling. Just simmer, mash and add a few more ingredients to make a delicious, creamy soup? This is a soup you’ll be wanting to make often.

two bowls of loaded potato soup

I really should have called it Cheesy Loaded Potato Soup because there is a fair amount of cheese melted into it.

But I figure the “loaded” part gives a pretty good indication that this soup is firing on all cylinders and there’s not much holding it back. Potatoes, whole milk, cheese, bacon…it’s a potato soup recipe that’s warm and comforting and hearty. The ultimate comfort food.

I even added a few minced jalapenos to mine – you know me, loaded isn’t loaded without some type of jalapeno, chipotle or poblano. And, of course, even more cheese.

How do you make potato soup from scratch?

Simmer your potatoes for 20-30 minutes in chicken stock until they’re very soft, then use a potato masher to crush them so they “melt” into the broth, making a thick soup. Potato soup needs quite a bit of seasoning, so season to taste then add any toppings you like.

a bowl of loaded potato soup with a beige towel and a sprig of parsley

What potatoes are best for potato soup?

All potatoes can be used for potato soup. Russet potatoes will need to be peeled first, but white or red potatoes can be cooked with their skins for a more rustic potato soup. I prefer the red or white for this recipe because I don’t have to bother peeling them!

What goes with loaded potato soup?

Serve loaded potato soup with a loaf of good crusty bread, a salad, a side of vegetables such as roasted broccoli or asparagus, or even roasted chicken. Or a good steak! This can be served as an appetizer or the main course, and if you’re making it for your dinner, you really don’t need much else.

How do you make potato soup thicker?

Most potato soups don’t need to be thickened if they have the correct ratio of chicken stock to potatoes. If you find that your soup is too thin, however, you can thicken it by mixing a tbsp of cornstarch with a little cold water and stirring it into the hot soup. I’ve never found that this recipe needed it though, and I like a thick soup.

 This rustic Loaded Potato Soup is so easy to make and has a ton of flavor!! Loaded Potato Soup is comforting, warm and you can tailor it to your tastes.

Can you freeze potato soup?

Potato soup can technically be frozen, but the texture will change enough that I don’t recommend it. It turns a bit gummy, and any potato chunks become mushy and unappetizing. It will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator, and the leftovers are even better the next day.

Suggested toppings for Loaded Potato Soup

  • Bacon. And then some more bacon.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (or try some crumbled blue!)
  • Chopped green onions or chives
  • Croutons
  • Diced jalapeños (a personal favorite)
  • Sour cream
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • A drizzle of adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers)

We eat soup all year long, like Cheesy Broccoli Soup, Navy Bean with Bacon, Zuppa Toscana, and this Loaded Potato Soup. I use my Instant Pot for this soup in the summertime so I don’t have to turn on the oven.

A closeup of a bowl of loaded potato soup

I love the texture of this loaded potato soup and that the skins on the red potatoes add a smidge of something healthy in spite of all the cheese and bacon. You can use russet potatoes that have been peeled if you prefer.

If you find that rustic-style is not your cup of tea (or bowl of potatoes, ha!) you can certainly make it with russets that you’ve peeled and cut into smaller chunks. Stirring in a few tablespoons of adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers) to make it a Chipotle Loaded Potato Soup also wouldn’t be a terrible idea.

Update: I did make the version with adobo sauce and you can get the recipe here: Chipotle Cheese Potato Soup It is SO GOOD!! The pic is below!

If you’d like to make this in the instant pot, you can find the instructions here: Instant Pot Loaded Potato Soup

Chipotle Cheese Potato Soup
A closeup of a bowl of loaded potato soup

Loaded Potato Soup

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

No boiling or baking your potatoes ahead of time! This loaded potato soup is simple with loads of flavor.


  • 1/2 pound bacon, sliced into large pieces
  • 1/2 medium-sized sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 32- ounce container low-sodium chicken broth, 4 cups
  • 3 pounds red potatoes, quartered or halved depending on size
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups whole milk, almond milk works, too
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped green onion, crumbled bacon, minced fresh jalapeno, a drizzle of adobo sauce


  1. Heat a stockpot over med-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp, remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with paper towels, leaving bacon grease in stockpot.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, add onions. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over onions and cook, stirring constantly, about a minute (this will remove the "raw" flour taste).
  3. Slowly pour in chicken stock, whisking constantly until smooth. Add potatoes, bring to a boil then simmer until potatoes are very soft (15-30 minutes, depending on size of potatoes).
  4. Using a potato masher or something similar, crush potatoes to thicken soup, leaving some chunks but allowing some to "melt" into the soup. Stir in cheese until melted and smooth. Add milk, bring back to a simmer and cook for an additional 10 minutes until very hot.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls and top each as desired.


Note: Nutritional information does not account for toppings.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 461Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 819mgCarbohydrates: 42gNet Carbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 24g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
Latest posts by Kristy Bernardo (see all)


Tuesday 28th of September 2021

I have made this original soup before and it is sooo good! But I did not have on hand enough of what was needed so I improvized. Since I had about 2 lbs of potatoes, I took a can of small, whole potatoes and smashed them, adding them to the broth, along with the juices of the can. I crumpled the bacon IN with the broth and added chopped up carrots. I used chicken bone broth, added half a block of cream cheese, 1/4 cup half&half, 4 tbl butter and a 1/2 cup of sour cream. I just dumped in the whole milk without measuring, but probably 2 cups. I then added shredded Italian style cheese and let it summer. Finally I added garlic powder, some celery salt, some cayenne, paprica, a small amount of cumin and dry mustard. Truff brand hot sauce on top and dinner done :)

Diana J Swanson

Thursday 4th of February 2021

If substituting Almond Milk in the loaded potato soup recipe, should it be regular or sweetened almond milk

Kristy Bernardo

Monday 22nd of February 2021

Hi Diana, it would be unsweetened.


Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Yum. I love red potatoes, and I love their skins! From my experience, I prefer to cook russets separately, or else they can make a soup “gloppy.” Which isn’t a good texture. Love all of the ingredients in this soup!

Kristy Bernardo

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Thanks so much, Chef Mimi!


Tuesday 22nd of October 2019

If I'm doing this in the crockpot, how do I do it? Only cook it on the stove partway, or cook it completely before transferring it over?


Friday 26th of July 2019

Delicious! Made this for the first time today and it was 85 degrees outside, it can be 100 and I still love a good soup. People were telling me I was crazy making soup on a hot day. My husband just had a total knee replacement less than a week ago. He has had no appetite and I was so excited he wanted another small bowl, thanks for the recipe you made my day! This is a keeper,


Tuesday 13th of August 2019

I'm so glad to hear this!! I just made a version of this using cauliflower from my parent's garden. It turned out really well so I'll be posting that one soon. I looove soup and I'm also crazy so I make it in the summer, too. :) I hope your husband is recuperating nicely!

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