Loaded Baked Potato Soup (Stovetop, Slow Cooker, or IP)

Loaded Baked Potato Soup is a smooth and creamy soup easily made on the stovetop, in the slow cooker, or in the Instant Pot and then garnished with a variety of tasty traditional baked potato toppings, from sour cream and shredded cheese to crispy bacon and green onions!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup with text overlay.


 

Oh, soup...how I love thee. We flirt in October, when other parts of the country have dropping temps while we Texans are still wearing shorts and flip-flops. You become a part of our regular rotation come November and December, because it just feels like soup season...even when the weather isn't cooperating. But in January and February? Well, it's finally legitimately chilly enough around these parts to enjoy you for your cozy, warming effects...and I frequently put this Loaded Baked Potato Soup on our menu!

I first developed this recipe as an adaptation of my quick and easy Parmesan Potato & Cauliflower Soup on an occasion when I was craving something a bit more decadent in the potato department. And what's more decadent than silky, sour-cream-and-butter-laced Baked Potato Soup, drizzled with more sour cream and generously topped with freshly grated cheddar and crispy diced bacon?!

Ingredients

So what are the simple ingredients that make this Baked Potato Soup so magical?

Labeled ingredients to make Baked Potato Soup.
  • Potatoes. I prefer using Russets. Peel 'em and cut 'em into large chunks for quicker and more even cooking.
  • Chicken broth or stock. To flavor the potatoes as they cook. Alternately, you may use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version.
  • Minced garlic, salt, and pepper. To season the broth, and thereby the potatoes.
  • Milk, sour cream, and butter. For that true baked potato decadence. Of course, you can choose how light or decadent you'd like to go with these (by opting for skim milk vs. whole milk vs. half-and-half, for example, or fat-free sour cream vs. low-fat vs. full fat). You can also choose to decrease or leave out the butter. Just keep in mind that higher fat options obviously result in a richer, more decadent soup.
  • Grated cheddar cheese. Using sharp cheddar is going to give a more noticeable cheesy undertone than mild. Or you could substitute another favorite cheese, such as creamy Monterey Jack or pepper jack, for a little kick.
Baked Potato Soup close-up in bowl.

Garnishes

This Baked Potato Soup recipe is rather simple as it. So to take it to true Loaded Baked Potato Soup status, be sure to garnish with plenty o' toppings, which transform this recipe from good to fabulous.

As you can see by the photos, I don't skimp on the toppings. 😉 Once again, think baked potato!

  • Sour cream. A dollop will do, but if you'd like to get extra fancy, spoon your sour cream into a sandwich bag, seal the top and snip off one tiny corner, and then use it like a piping bag to drizzle sour cream over the top of individual bowls of Loaded Baked Potato Soup.
  • Even more grated cheese. Because can you ever really have enough?
  • Bacon. Cooked until crispy and diced.
  • Green onions or chives. Chopped. Feel free to sprinkle some of these for a pop of green and as a finishing touch.

Anything else you would add?

Baked Potato Soup garnished with sour cream, cheese, bacon, and green onions.

How to Make Baked Potato Soup

(The below photos are intended to be helpful, but please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for FULL DIRECTIONS.)

After years of making this Baked Potato Soup recipe on the stovetop and in the slow cooker, I've decided that the crock pot method is for me! It's seriously effortless, so I'll be highlighting the slow cooker instructions in this post and in the official recipe card.

(That being said, this recipe is also easy to make in a pot on the stove or in an Instant Pot, so those directions are included as well!)

  1. Place cubed potatoes and chicken stock in a large crock pot.
Potatoes in slow cooker for baked potato soup crock pot.
Potatoes and broth in slow cooker for loaded baked potato soup crock pot.
  1. Season with garlic salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir, cover, and cook on LOW for 8 hours (or HIGH for 4 hours) until the potatoes are very tender.
Garlic and seasonings added to crock pot.
Ingredients combined for baked potato soup crock pot.
  1. Using an immersion blender, purée the potatoes and broth until completely smooth.
Pureeing crock pot loaded baked potato soup in slow cooker.
Slow cooker loaded baked potato soup pureed in crock pot.
  1. Stir in milk, sour cream, butter, and grated cheese until all ingredients are melted and incorporated.
Adding milk and butter to crockpot.
Adding grated cheddar cheese to slow cooker.
Combining pureed potatoes with other ingredients for loaded baked potato soup recipe.
The best of baked potato soup recipes in slow cooker.
  1. Taste the soup and, if necessary, season with additional salt and pepper.
  2. Finally, garnish to your heart's delight...you know, like a Loaded Baked Potato (Soup)!
Aerial view of Loaded Baked Potato Soup in bowl.
Fork Knife Plate icon in teal.

Stovetop Directions

This Baked Potato Soup recipe is easily adaptable to making on the stove rather than in the slow cooker!

• Place cubed potatoes, 7 cups chicken broth/stock (stovetop cooking requires 1 extra cup of liquid to allow for evaporation), garlic, garlic salt, and pepper in a large pot or Dutch oven set over high heat.
• Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are completely tender (cooking time will depend on how large you cut them).
• Remove pot from heat and use an immersion blender to purée potatoes and broth until smooth and creamy.
• Stir in milk/half-and-half, sour cream, butter, and grated cheese until all ingredients are melted and incorporated.
• Taste your Baked Potato Soup and, if necessary, season with additional salt and pepper. If you prefer a thinner soup, you may add a splash of extra broth or milk.

Aerial view of two bowls of Baked Potato Soup with toppings.

Instant Pot Directions

You can also easily whip up Loaded Baked Potato Soup in the Instant Pot! Please note that your Instant Pot needs to be 6 quarts or larger in order to fit this recipe as written. If you have a smaller Instant Pot, you'll need to cut the recipe in half.

• Follow the exact slow cooker directions for this recipe, instead placing the potatoes, broth, garlic, and seasonings in your Instant Pot.
• Close the lid of the Instant Pot and make sure it's set to sealed (not venting).
• Cook on Manual HIGH pressure for 12 minutes.
• Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, and then carefully switch the knob to venting to release the rest of the pressure.
• Open the lid and follow the directions for finishing the soup by puréeing it with an immersion blender and then stirring in milk, sour, cream, butter, and cheese until melted.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup garnished with cheese, bacon, and more.

Healthy (Cauliflower!) Swap

For a healthier version of this Baked Potato Soup, you can easily opt for the lighter dairy additions, such as low-fat milk and sour cream, and you can even omit the butter if you wish.

But to boost the nourishment of this recipe even more, you can swap out up to half of the potatoes for cauliflower! I do this all the time and my family is seriously none the wiser.

To make it as easy as possible, I substitute a bag (or bags) of frozen riced cauliflower for some of the potatoes, since I always have riced cauliflower in the freezer and it's as easy as cutting open the bag and dumping it out.

So if I have a 1-pound bag of riced cauliflower, I will use that in place of 1 pound of potatoes. Or I might add two bags in place of 2 pounds of potatoes for a 50/50 soup.

However much cauliflower you choose to substitute, once you blend everything together with the seasonings, it's pretty much undetectable...

...unless you leave the empty riced cauliflower bags at the top of the trash. 😉

So learn from my mistakes! Ha.

Close-up of garnishes atop Loaded Baked Potato Soup.

Immersion Blender Tip

One last note and then I'll get on with the recipe.

If you don't have an immersion blender, I highly recommend investing in one or putting one on your wish list! They're not too expensive, but they are invaluable when it comes to puréeing hot soups like today's Baked Potato Soup recipe.

Before I got an immersion blender, I used to transfer such soups to a blender in several batches...and let me tell you from experience that puréeing hot tomato soup in a blender can lead to a kitchen full of tomato soup splatters that you will continue to discover years later. Ahem.

Immersion blender recs aside, this soup can certainly be puréed in a blender or food processor if that's what you've got! Just allow it to cool down a bit first, work in small batches, and leave the top of the blender cracked so that steam can escape.

Aerial view of Loaded Baked Potato Soup.

So who's ready for an effortless, savory supper of Loaded Baked Potato Soup?

It's guaranteed to please.

It's guaranteed to warm you up.

And it's tasty enough that you'll want to enjoy it all year long!

More Cozy Soups

Aerial of Loaded Baked Potato Soup in two bowls.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup (Stovetop, Slow Cooker, or Instant Pot)

Loaded Baked Potato Soup is a smooth and creamy soup made on the stovetop, in the slow cooker, or in the Instant Pot and then garnished with a variety of tasty traditional baked potato toppings, from sour cream and shredded cheese to crispy bacon and green onions!
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Calories: 465kcal
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Ingredients

  • 4 pounds baking potatoes (such as Russets), peeled and cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
  • 6 cups chicken broth OR stock
  • 1 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup milk, OR half-and-half OR heavy cream
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup grated cheddar

GARNISHES:

  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheddar
  • 12 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled/chopped
  • Diced green onions or chives

Instructions

  • Place cubed potatoes, chicken stock, and garlic in large slow cooker. Season with garlic salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and cook for 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH (or until potatoes are completely tender).
  • Turn heat to warm and use an immersion blender to purée the potatoes until smooth and creamy. Stir in milk, sour cream, butter, and grated cheese until all ingredients are melted and incorporated. (You may add a bit more milk if you prefer the consistency of your soup to be thinner.) Taste Baked Potato Soup and, if necessary, season with additional salt and pepper. If the soup is not hot enough at this point, place lid back on slow cooker and heat on warm for 5 to 10 more minutes (but don't heat too long after the dairy is added or the soup may turn brown around the edges of the pot).
  • Ladle the Baked Potato Soup into bowls and top with your favorite baked potato toppings: a drizzle or dollop of sour cream, grated cheese, chopped bacon, and/or diced green onions.

Video

Notes

  • You may use vegetable stock and omit the bacon if you would like to make this soup vegetarian.
  • You can use skim milk, 2%, whole milk, half-and-half, heavy cream...it's up to you! But obviously, the fattier the milk product you use, the richer and creamier the final soup is going to be.
  • The type of stock or broth you use is going to dictate whether or not you need to add additional salt at the end.
  • If you don't have an immersion blender, you may purée this soup in batches using a food processor or blender. Just allow it to cool down a bit before doing so, work with small batches at a time (don't fill your blender more than half way!), and leave the top of the blender cracked so that steam can escape and Baked Potato Soup doesn't explode everywhere!
  • To drizzle sour cream, stir it until smooth, scoop into a plastic sandwich baggie, and snip off a tiny piece of one corner. Then use it like a piping bag for drizzling.
  • You may substitute frozen riced cauliflower for up to half of the potatoes in this recipe. Just look at the weight of the bag(s) and swap for that amount of potatoes.
  • INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS (6-quart or larger): Follow the exact slow cooker directions for this recipe, instead placing the potatoes, broth, garlic, and seasonings in your Instant Pot. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and make sure it's set to sealed (not venting). Cook on Manual HIGH pressure for 12 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, and then carefully switch the knob to venting to release the rest of the pressure. Open the lid and follow the directions for finishing the soup by puréeing it with an immersion blender and then stirring in milk, sour, cream, butter, and cheese until melted. (If your Instant Pot is smaller than the 6-quart size, you will need to cut this recipe in half.)
  • STOVETOP DIRECTIONS: Place cubed potatoes, 7 cups chicken broth/stock (stovetop cooking requires 1 extra cup of liquid to allow for evaporation), garlic, garlic salt, and pepper in a large pot or Dutch oven set over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are completely tender (cooking time will depend on how large you cut them). Remove pot from heat and use an immersion blender to purée the potatoes and broth until smooth and creamy. Stir in milk, sour cream, butter, and grated cheese until all ingredients are melted and incorporated. Taste your Baked Potato Soup and, if necessary, season with additional salt and pepper. If you prefer a thinner soup, you may add a splash of extra broth or milk.

Nutrition

Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 688mg | Potassium: 1589mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 565IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 263mg | Iron: 3mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Post originally published on January 4, 2015, and updated on October 16, 2020, and February 23, 2024.

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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    One of my very favorite soups!! So delicious and versatile. My kids love adding their own favorite toppings.

  2. I made this tonight for dinner and it was excellent! I'm so glad that I made a double batch so that we can enjoy it again tomorrow night and this week for lunch! Regarding freezing.....I've had great success with freezing potato and other soups in glass jars. I freeze them upside down and leave about 1" space for expansion. Defrost, reheat in the jar, and voilà you have a reheated meal. Thanks for the fab new and easy recipe!

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Ashleigh...it's one of my favorite soups ever! And thanks so much for sharing your tip about freezing soup in glass jars...what a great idea! 🙂

  3. Oh that looks sooo good! I love potato soup! Thanks for linking it up at Monday Funday. Pinning to our board!

    1. Thanks for hosting each week, Katie, and I appreciate the pin! Hope you're having a great week!

    1. Thanks, Natalia! It's so easy to make this soup in the crock pot...not to mention the fact that it's really, really tasty. 😉 Hope you have a chance to try it sometime. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. Samantha, I saw this gorgeous soup at Snap! Show and Tell, and had to come over and get a better look at it. Slow Cooker- win! Your photography is stunning. I have pinned this to make this weekend- we're supposed to get another cold front, and this will be perfect! 🙂

    1. You are too sweet, Joy! Thank you for hopping over, and I hope you enjoy this soup over the weekend. It's supposed to be colder than usual here as well...I might have to make it again! 😉 Happy Friday!

  5. I love love potato soup. I had a great potato chicken soup at a restaurant yesterday, so it put me on the hunt again. Poof here is a recipe with my friend the slow cooker. Mom and daughter loved their
    aprons by the way. I am so pleased I was lucky enough to win them. Thank you again.

    1. I hope you get to try this soup soon, Carol! I had leftovers tonight...so tasty. And I am thrilled to hear that your girls enjoyed their apron surprise...warms my heart. 🙂 I hope that you and your family had a wonderful, magical Christmas and that your 2015 is off to a great start!

  6. You have me laughing about the onions! In my house I'm the only one who likes onions so your pictures look yum. I'm sure it's great with or without. We love potato soup and I love the idea of slow cooking instead of doing it on the stove. Getting ready for 20 degree highs this week - ugh.

    1. Ha, Kristin -- I am glad your onion-haters can commiserate with my dilemma! 😉 Hope you get to try this recipe this week when it's so cold. We're actually getting hit with really chilly (for us) weather this week as well...and possibly a "wintry mix" this weekend (gasp!). Looks like I might be firing up the crock pot again for more potato soup... 😉

      1. Made this recently and it was a big hit - no leftovers!!! Loved just throwing everything in the crockpot and walking away 🙂

        1. I'm so glad to hear that, Kristin! I could seriously eat this soup every week of the winter, and I love how easy it is, too. 🙂 Hope you've been doing well...have a great weekend!