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This easy Cheeseburger Soup recipe is loaded with all our favorite burger fixings and flavors in a bowl! It’s a hearty, creamy, comforting soup that my whole family loves on cool nights!

If you love soup that has the flavors of some of your other favorite dishes, be sure not to miss my One Pot Lasagna Soup or our favorite Easy Cheesy Taco Soup!

An image of a bowl of cheeseburger soup topped with hamburger bun croutons. 

Cheeseburger Soup

If you’re looking for a rich and delicious soup that brings the flavors of summer into the winter months, this easy cheeseburger soup recipe is for you!

It’s made with lean ground beef, so it’s plenty filling, and has a creamy potato and cheese base that is pretty much the ultimate when it comes to satisfying hungry families.

Plus, it’s topped with toasted hamburger bun croutons and bacon. Who doesn’t love bacon?

An image of a bowl of cheeseburger soup with pickles as a garnish.

It’s an easy and delicious soup to prepare, but my favorite part are all the garnishes on top that not only make this a pretty and fun soup to eat!

Now before you go and turn your noses up at the pickles as a garnish, I really recommend you give them a try in this soup! It really gives it that something extra that makes you think, “wow! this soup really DOES taste like a cheeseburger!”

Even my pickle-hating husband who has always picked the pickles off his cheeseburgers preferred this soup with the pickle garnish on top.

After I made this last time I started brainstorming some of our other favorite burger toppings.

I think next time I’m going to try adding caramelized or fried onion strings and a drizzle of BBQ sauce on top. I bet sauteed mushrooms and sliced avocado would be good too!

What is cheeseburger soup?

Cheeseburger soup is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an easy beef broth soup that combines the flavors and ingredients normally found inside of a cheeseburger but in the form of a soup.

I know it sounds weird, but something about cheeseburger soup with pickles and bacon just feels right. 

An image of a bowl of creamy Cheeseburger Soup topped with lots of garnishes.

How to make cheeseburger soup

1. Start by cutting hamburger buns into small cubes and drizzling with a little olive oil and salt. Toast in a 400 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes until golden and crisp, then set aside.

An image of cubed hamburger buns on a baking sheet to be toasted and made into croutons. 

2. In a large dutch oven, cook the chopped bacon until crispy, then remove and drain the bacon fat.

An image of chopped bacon frying in a dutch oven.

3. In the same dutch oven, brown the ground beef over medium heat by breaking it up with a wooden spoon until no pink remains. Transfer the browned ground beef to a plate and drain the grease.

A collage of images showing the steps for how to make cheeseburger soup.

4. Melt the butter in the same dutch oven over medium heat, and add in the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook the veggies until they are soften slightly, around 4-5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

5. Sprinkle the flour over the softened vegetables and stir in. Cook for another minute longer, then stir in the Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar.

6. Gradually whisk in the beef broth and milk, then add in the potatoes and and return the cooked ground beef to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook just until the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

8. Stir in the cheese until melted, then remove from the heat. I prefer to use sharp cheddar cheese for this soup, although many other recipes call for Velveeta. I prefer the taste of cheddar and think the soup is plenty creamy as is, but you could do a combination of both, or use just Velveeta cheese if you prefer. 

An image of a ladleful of soup.

9. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with hamburger bun croutons, diced pickles, chopped tomatoes, the cooked bacon, green onions, and more shredded cheese just before serving.

An image of a bowl of cheeseburger soup with burger bun croutons.

Can you freeze cheeseburger soup?

You can freeze this soup in a gallon-sized zipper topped bag, just make sure that you press the air out of it so that it takes up less space in the freezer. You may also wish to freeze it flat on a baking sheet and then turn it on its side for a more convenient storage solution.

Thaw the soup in the fridge overnight and reheat, or take it from the freezer and place it in a slow cooker on low all day for a low maintenance dinner. 

How to thicken cheeseburger soup?

I like to thicken this soup with a little flour that gets sprinkled over softened vegetables. Once you whisk in the broth and let everything simmer, you won’t even notice the vegetables or flour in the soup, but they create an incredibly flavorful base. The potatoes also release starch while they cook, which contributes to the creamy, silky texture of the soup.

If you find that your soup isn’t as thick as you’d like, you can make a cornstarch slurry by combining equal parts cornstarch and water and add it to the soup while it’s simmering. Or if you prefer your soup on the thinner side, you can add in a little more broth or milk to thin it out.

But I think this cheeseburger soup recipe is just the right consistency as written, thickened with just the flour and starch released from the potatoes.

An image of a hand lifting a spoonful of cheeseburger soup from a bowl.

What goes with cheeseburger soup?

We love serving a moist, sweet cornbread with a soup like this. Or a crispy green salad with Olive Garden salad dressing is another great option to serve with almost any soup!

An image of a white bowl with cheeseburger soup.

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Cheeseburger Soup
Yield: 8 servings

Cheeseburger Soup

Cheeseburger Soup is loaded with all our favorite burger fixings and flavors in a bowl! It's a hearty, creamy, comforting soup that my whole family loves on cool nights!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Soup

  • 1 lb. ground beef or ground chuck
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 4 cups)
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Garnish

  • 3 sesame seed hamburger buns
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Diced dill pickles
  • Diced tomato
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives or green onions
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the hamburger buns into small bite-size cubes then arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, to taste, then toss to coat evenly. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and crisp, then set aside.
  2. In a large dutch oven, cook the bacon until crispy, then remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and drain the bacon fat. Set the bacon aside.
  3. In the same pot, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go until the meat is cooked and no longer pink. Transfer to a separate bowl and set aside. Drain any excess grease.
  4. Melt the butter in the same pot over medium-high heat, then add the onion, celery, and carrots, cooking and stirring for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the softened vegetables and stir it in, cooking for 1 minute. Add dried basil, parsley, and red pepper flakes.
  6. Gradually whisk in the broth and milk, stirring to make sure there are no clumps of flour. Add the Worcestershire sauce, potatoes, and browned ground beef to the broth. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, just until the potatoes have softened and are tender.
  8. Sprinkle the cheese over the soup, stirring until it melts and combines with the broth, then remove from the heat.
  9. Serve the soup in individual bowls, topped with the cooked bacon, hamburger bun croutons, chopped tomatoes, pickles, green onions, and additional cheese.

Notes

  • You can use frozen cubed hash brown potatoes instead of peeling and chopping potatoes to save on time.
  • You could go crazy and use even more of your favorite burger toppings to customize this bacon cheeseburger soup even further. Caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, a drizzle of BBQ sauce, and sliced avocados are some of our other favorite burger toppings that would taste delicious in this soup!

Adapted from Taste of Home.

This post first appeared on The Salty Marshmallow, where I am a contributor.