Can any classic side beat the deliciousness of a loaded baked potato?
When I was a kid, being lucky enough to go out to dinner was a rare thing. Mine was definitely a “you learn your manners before you go to a restaurant, or you won’t go” kind of household.
When I did master my manners and the art of using a fork and knife, my mom took me out to a steakhouse.
I still remember the experience like it was yesterday, because it was the first time I had a loaded baked potato.
To me, the steak was kind of “meh.” What I loved was that gorgeous potato…
It was soft and pillowy, with so many delightful things stuffed inside and on top. The melted cheese, bacon, sour cream, and chives all came together to explode in my mouth in the most incredible way.
I was instantly hooked. My mom still remember that for the entire week following that meal, I refused to eat anything but loaded baked potatoes for dinner at home.
If only she had this loaded baked potato soup recipe to help her change things up that week, you know?
The magic of this recipe is that it really tastes like a loaded baked potato. This is for a few different reasons:
First, it’s made with all the usual suspects. There’s cheddar cheese, sour cream, and bacon swirled into the every spoonful of the thick and hearty soup, studded with chunks of perfectly cooked potato.
Then come the toppings: extra cheddar, crispy bacon, sliced green onions, and chives.
You get the smooth creaminess that you crave when you’re in the mood for soup. We’ve all been there, grasping our bowls of filled high with comforting potage parmentier, cream of chicken, or creamy carrot.
But with this recipe, you get ALL the textures and flavors that make its baked counterpart so delicious!
Many of the recipes you’ll see out there for soups like this are completely smooth and creamy, with the exception of a few bacon bits. While I adore a creamy bowlful, I want more than chopped bacon alone for added texture and heartiness.
Finally, this recipe is magic in terms of time, because it takes only 30 minutes to make.
That’s right, only 30 minutes from start to finish.
Instead of waiting around for your root vegetables to bake through in the oven, make this soup instead and you’ll have dinner on the table in no time, no entree or additional sides required.
This dinner in a bowl is pure perfection, ideal for a gloomy night. Whether the snow is falling, the rain is pouring down, you just had a bad day, our rich and tasty recipe will warm you right up.Print
What’s the best way to describe this loaded baked potato soup? Creamy comfort in a bowl that’s oh-so-delicious and rich.
For the Soup:
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, divided
- 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 1/2 lbs total weight)
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups whole milk, divided
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground cayenne (optional)
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
For the Garnish:
- 2 Tbsp sliced green onions, green parts only
- 1 Tbsp chopped chives (optional)
- Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop and set aside.
- Return saucepan to medium-high heat, add onion, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Stir in garlic and cook for another 30-60 seconds, until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add butter to the saucepan and melt over medium heat. Whisk in flour to make a roux, and continue to cook while whisking until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
- Slowly pour in milk and chicken broth, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk over medium heat until combined. Bring to a boil and add potatoes and onion mixture. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer about half of the cooked potatoes to a small bowl. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup in the saucepan until smooth, or transfer to a countertop blender and blend in batches before returning to the pan.
- Remove from heat and stir in remaining potatoes, sour cream, salt, pepper, cayenne, half of the bacon, and 1/4 cup shredded cheese.
- Scoop into bowls and garnish with shredded cheese, bacon, green onions, and chives.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Comfort Food
Keywords: baked potato, loaded baked potato, potato soup, winter, bacon
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prepare Produce and Measure Remaining Ingredients
Peel an onion and cut it in half. Roughly chop one half until you get about ½ cup total, and save the other half for later use.
Slice the green parts of the scallions until you have about 2 tablespoons total for garnish, and save the white portions for another use.
Chop the chives until you have about 1 tablespoon total.
Step 2 – Start Base
Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the bacon and cook until it is crisp. This will take about 5 minutes.
Remove bacon from the pan and transfer it to a paper towel lined plate. When the bacon has cooled slightly, roughly chop it and set it aside.
Return the pan to medium-high heat. Do not wipe it out first – you want to use that delicious bacon fat to cook your vegetables!
Add the onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove onion and garlic from the pan and transfer to a bowl.
Place the pan back on the stove, add the butter, and melt it over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk to create a roux, cooking it for about 2 minutes until the mixture is brown and the flour no longer has a raw, uncooked flavor.
Slowly pour in the milk and then the chicken broth, whisking the whole time to prevent lumps from forming. Continue to whisk over medium heat, until thoroughly combined.
Step 3 – Add Potatoes
Bring the liquid to a boil.
Return the onion mixture to the pan. Add the potatoes and cook until they are fork tender, about 10 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer about half of the cooked potatoes to a small bowl.
Step 4 – Blend and Combine
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup in the saucepan until it is smooth.
If you don’t have one, you can also transfer the soup to your countertop blender in batches, but it’s so much easier to do right in the pan.
Remove from heat. Stir in the remaining potatoes, sour cream, salt, pepper, cayenne (if using), half of the bacon, and ¼ cup of the shredded cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Step 5 – Serve
Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with cheese, bacon, green onions, and chives as desired. Serve immediately.
Dinner on the Table in Only 30 Minutes
If you are anything like me, getting dinner on the table as quickly as possible is the goal at least five days a week. This is especially true when it’s the dead of winter, and you just want to snuggle up with something warm.
It may be hard to believe but this recipe comes together in 30 minutes, and it’s delightfully easy to make. This is one of those meals that’s warming and satisfying, and it’ll have everyone running to the table for a bowl.
For more dinner ideas that take 30 minutes or less to make, check out the recipes below:
- Vegetarian Burrito Bowls
- Crunchy Buffalo Baked Chicken Cutlets
- Pasta with Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce
- Couscous with Eggplant, Zucchini, and Shrimp
- Barbecue Chicken Soup
And if you’re looking for a soup that is just as thick and creamy, but a little on the lighter side, try our avgolemono, a lemon rice soup!
How do you prep for meals on busy weeknight, and what are some of your favorite quick dinners to make when you want to warm up on a chilly night? Tell us in the comments below, and when you try the recipe, be sure to come back and rate it!
Photos by Megan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on November 11, 2010. Last updated: July 14, 2021 at 16:18 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.