Loaded Baked Potato Soup is one of my top five favorite “30-minute Meals.” Fast, economical, and super-easy, this recipe has a sweet surprise that elevates the flavors and results in a perfectly balance bowl of comforting deliciousness.
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Loaded Baked Potato Soup is one of my top five favorite “30-minute Meals” – and this one I’ll even serve to company!
“Oh, you’ll be here in half an hour? And you’re starving? No problem!”
The first time I made this 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!
Fast, economical, and straightforward, this delicious, easy-to-make Baked Potato Soup has a chowder-like consistency and a sweet surprise on the ingredient list. Check it out!
Loaded Baked Potato Soup: Ingredient Notes
It is important to use and Idaho, Russet or other “starchy” type potatoes for this soup. The Russet has a neutral flavor and high starch content, which gives it a creamy, soft texture that breaks down easily. This all makes them the perfect choice for making a creamy soup like this one.
I have also successfully made this Baked Potato Soup with Yukon Gold potatoes, but the soup required a little more “mashing” than usual to achieve the desired consistency. (See Recipe Notes)
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.
White Sweet Potatoes
Bottom Line: Use white sweet potatoes for this recipe.
What’s the difference between orange and white sweet potatoes anyway? (And my Gramma told me the orange ones were yams. Are you contradicting my Gramma?)
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 really 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 STEM resources offered by the The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.
This is 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, for a total of two cloves of garlic.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- 1 large sweet onion chopped 1/4"
- 4 ounces raw bacon chopped into 1/4" pieces
- 1 1/2 - 2 pounds russet potatoes about 3 large, peeled and cubed 1/2"
- 8 ounce white sweet potato peeled and cubed 1/2"
- 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 too 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)
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Originally published November 9, 2012.