This Loaded Baked Potato Soup has a sweet surprise ingredient that elevates the flavors and results in a perfectly balance bowl of comforting deliciousness. Easy, economical, and ready to serve in just 30 minutes!
This Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe is fast, easy, and straightforward. Its creamy, twice-baked potato flavor, chowder-like consistency, and sweet surprise ingredient make it one of our favorite 30-minute recipes, and a perfect meal to make for last-minute company!
Oh, you'll be here in half an hour? And you're starving? No problem!
Ingredients for Loaded Baked Potato Soup
The first time I made this loaded potato soup was when my girls were young and they unexpectedly brought home a few extra friends for dinner. We never turn away a hungry kid, but I had barely enough potatoes to begin with, and so I wasn't sure we would have enough soup to go all around. I did, however, have a sweet potato, so I threw that into my baked potato soup instead.
Oh, my! What a difference that little sweet potato made! I'll never make baked potato soup without one again!
- Onion: Use a yellow or sweet onion.
- Bacon: Use good quality bacon, cut into batons.
- Potatoes: Use Idaho Russets or other high-starch potatoes for this soup. Russet have a neutral flavor and high starch content, which gives them a creamy, soft texture that breaks down easily. This all makes them the perfect choice for making a creamy soup like this one.
- Sweet Potato: We prefer to use a white sweet potato for this recipe because of its milder flavor. (And because orange potato soup is weird.)
- Broth: We usually use a boxed chicken broth to make potato soup, but you can also use vegetable broth. (If you use homemade chicken broth, thin it to the consistency of boxed soup.)
- Garlic: For all you cooks who habitually double the garlic in a recipe (I see you). You (i.e., We) are the reason this recipe recipe only calls for one clove of garlic instead of two. One large or two average-sized cloves are perfect, but if I put "2 cloves of garlic" in the ingredient list, someone is going to make this soup with four cloves instead, which is way too much - it simply overpowers everything.
- All that being said, if you like a garlicky soup, you can safely add one more clove. Or two.
- Kosher salt
- Half & half
- Hot Sauce: We usually use Tabasco or Chalula.
- Freshly ground pepper
Hint: (For real garlic lovers only) Try this making potato soup recipe with a handful mashed, roasted garlic cloves. So good!
How to Make this Easy Baked Potato Soup Recipe
Heat a cast iron Dutch oven or other heavy stockpot over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Add the chopped bacon pieces and stir with a wooden spoon to distribute in the pot.
Cook bacon pieces over medium heat until bacon pieces are crispy. Turn off heat and remove the bacon from pot using a slotted spoon. Set aside.
Turn heat up to medium-high. Add the chopped onions to the hot bacon fat and sauté until translucent. Add minced garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
Add chicken broth, chopped potatoes, salt, ground pepper, and hot sauce (optional). You should have just enough liquid to barely come to the top of the potatoes. (Add a little more broth or water if you need to.) Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender but not mushy.
Pour in the half-and-half and reserved bacon bits. Stir over low heat until soup is heated through. Remove from heat.
To thicken the soup slightly, use a potato masher to break up potatoes just a bit. (Remember, this is Baked Potato Soup, not Mashed Potato Soup, so don't get carried away!)
Serve with green onions, grated cheese, bacon bits, grated cheese, and sour cream on the side.
Potatoes: We often make this Baked Potato Soup with Yukon Gold potatoes. In this case, the soup usually requires a little more mashing than usual to achieve the desired consistency.
DO NOT USE waxy potato varieties (e.g., red potatoes, new potatoes, fingerling, etc.) for this recipe. Waxy potatoes have a low starch content and have a creamy, firm flesh that holds its shape well after cooking. They do not break down easily when cooked, resulting in a thin, bodiless soup.
Half & half: You can substitute evaporated milk, whole milk, or even heavy cream for the half & half.
Vegetarian: Make this potato soup without chicken broth recipe. Omit the bacon, and substitute 2 tablespoons butter for sautéing the onions. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
Store covered in an air-tight container, homemade potato soup will last for up to a week in the fridge. Always check refrigerated foods for signs of spoilage before eating.
The thing that makes this baked potato soup recipe unique is the added sweet potato, which gives the soup a slightly sweet undertone. We prefer to use a white sweet potato for this recipe because of its milder flavor.
Do you know the difference between orange and white sweet potatoes?
I don't know about you, but I grew up calling orange fleshed sweet potatoes "yams." However, as I have since learned, it is nearly impossible to find true yams is the United States. Most of the tubers we were fed as children and told were yams were in reality sweet potatoes. It's true.
OK, now that we've cleared that up, here's the scoop on the differences between orange and white sweet potatoes.
While sweet potatoes around the world come in many different colors - brown, red, yellow, white, even purple - in the United States, nearly all of our sweet potatoes fall into two categories:  golden skin with creamy white flesh, and  brown or copper skin with an orange flesh.
Orange sweet potatoes are the heroes of holiday side dishes everywhere. They have a sweet, smooth, soft texture. White sweet potatoes, on the other hand, have a milder flavor and crumblier texture when cooked.
FYI Classroom Teachers: While I was preparing this post, I ran across these nifty (and free) Sweet Potato related offered by the The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.
More Cozy Soup Recipes
Loaded baked potato soup is delicious served as is, but if you're feeding a crowd, you can set up an easy soup bar.
Potato Soup topping ideas include:
- bacon bits
- sliced green onions
- chopped tomatoes
- slice jalapeños
- grated cheese
- sour cream
- oyster crackers
- hot sauce
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- 1 large sweet onion chopped ¼"
- 4 ounces raw bacon chopped into ¼" pieces
- 1½ - 2 pounds russet potatoes about 3 large, peeled and cubed ½"
- 8 ounce white sweet potato peeled and cubed ½"
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- 1 cup half & half
- dash hot sauce
- freshly ground pepper
Garnish | Serve on Side
- additional bacon bits
- sliced green onions
- freshly chopped tomatoes
- grated cheddar cheese
- sour cream
- Heat a cast iron Dutch oven or other heavy stockpot over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Add the chopped bacon pieces and stir with a wooden spoon to distribute in the pot. Cook bacon pieces over medium heat until bacon pieces are crispy. Turn off heat. Remove bacon from pot using a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Turn heat up to medium-high. Add the chopped onions to the hot bacon fat and sauté until translucent. Add minced garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
- Add chicken broth, chopped potatoes, salt, ground pepper, and hot sauce (optional). You should have just enough liquid to barely come to the top of the potatoes. (Add a little more broth or water if you need to.)
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender but not mushy.
- Add half & half and reserved bacon bits. Stir over low heat until soup is heated through. Remove from heat.
- To thicken the soup slightly, use a potato masher to break up potatoes just a bit. Remember though, this is Baked Potato Soup, not Mashed Potato Soup, so don't get carried away!
- Serve with green onions, grated cheese, bacon bits, grated cheese and sour cream on the side.
- + 2 Butter (for bacon)
- + 3 cup vegetable broth (for chicken broth)
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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Originally published November 9, 2012. The post has been updated with new content, images, and recipe instructions to improve reader experience.