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This Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe is the ULTIMATE comfort soup! Loaded with crispy bacon, sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese, and green onions, this soup is quicker to make than a baked potato and is perfect for a crowd or leftovers throughout the week!
We love recreating our favorite meals from restaurants, and Panera Bread’s soups like this Loaded Baked Potato Soup are just hard to beat! Our Better-Than-Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup is hands down better than the real deal, and when you serve it in our Homemade Bread Bowls, it’s like you’re eating out without leaving the house!
Loaded Baked Potato Soup Recipe
Do you remember when Panera had that amazing Loaded Baked Potato Soup on their menu? Do you also remember when they took it away last year?! Why they would do that is beyond me, but have no fear, I’ve recreated it so we can all make it at home!
This Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe is the ultimate comforting soup. Loaded Baked Potatoes themselves are ridiculously comforting, loaded with sour cream, cheese, bacon, and spring onions, but making a loaded baked potato is soup form takes it to a whole new level.
Ready in just 45 minutes which is much quicker than an oven-baked potato, and made in one pot, this Loaded Baked Potato Soup is creamy, rich, and tangy with an added bacon crunch. It makes plenty of servings to feed a crowd or to save as leftovers for the week, and it’s definitely a recipe you’ll want to bookmark and make all fall, winter and early spring.
Ingredients for Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- Potatoes: I used waxy potatoes (like Gold Potatoes) as they have the best consistency for this recipe, but if you have other potatoes to use on hand they will be fine!
- Bacon: Bacon is cooked to crispy perfection and added to the soup at the end as well as on top as a garnish.
- Onion & garlic: These two classic soup ingredients add so much flavor to this Loaded Baked Potato Soup!
- Flour: All-purpose flour thickens the soup up perfectly.
- Broth: I used chicken broth to add volume without compromising on the taste.
- Cream, milk, and sour cream: Regular cream (which can be substituted for half and half) and milk make the soup deliciously rich and at the end, I mixed in some sour cream to add a little tanginess.
- Cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese melts into the loaded baked potato soup at the end making it thicker and super cheesy. It’s delicious!
- Toppings: To garnish at the end, I topped this potato soup with diced green onion (chives will work too!), the remaining bacon, shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream, just like a regular loaded baked potato!
How to Make The Best Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- Make crispy bacon. Firstly, cook the bacon in a large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel using a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Drain & sauté. Secondly, drain all but 2-3 tablespoons of the bacon, and then add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until softened, adding the garlic in the last 30 seconds.
3. Sprinkle flour. Next, sprinkle the flour over the onions and garlic. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes until the flour is absorbed.
4. Slowly add liquids and potatoes. Gradually add the chicken broth while stirring. Add the milk and cream along with the potatoes, salt, and pepper.
5. Simmer & blend! Bring the loaded baked potato soup to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender. Transfer 2-3 cups of the soup to a blender and cover it with a dishtowel. Blend until smooth, then return to the pot. If you prefer a creamier, smoother soup with fewer chunks, you can blend more, or even all, of the soup. Don’t put the lid on the blender or pressure will build up from the heat while blending.
6. Add sour cream, cheese, and bacon. Next, remove the soup from the heat then stir in the sour cream, cheddar cheese, and half of the reserved bacon.
7. Garnish and serve! Finally, serve with the remaining bacon, green onions, additional cheese, and sour cream on top.
How to store Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Store this potato soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat it on the stove or in the microwave until the soup is piping hot, and garnish as before.
How do you thicken Loaded Potato Soup?
I thickened this loaded potato soup recipe by adding a little flour, plus cream, sour cream and cheese. The combination of all of these ingredients makes a comforting, thick soup!
Should I boil the potatoes before adding them to the soup?
No, you don’t have to boil the potatoes in water. I’ve even read of people microwaving the potatoes beforehand to cut down on the cooking time, but I added the potatoes in raw so that they could absorb ALL the flavors of the chicken broth, onions, garlic, and bacon. The result is so much tastier than pre-boiling or microwaving the potatoes!
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- 12 slices of bacon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup cream or half and half
- 3 pounds of potatoes peeled and diced to 1 inch size cubes (use waxy potato like Gold Potatoes)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- diced green onion or chives
- cooked bacon
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
- Cook the bacon in a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towel using a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Drain all but 2-3 tablespoons of the bacon. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes until softened, adding the garlic in the last 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle the flour over the onions and garlic. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes until the flour is absorbed.
- Gradually add the chicken broth while stirring. Add the milk and cream along with the potatoes, salt, and pepper.
- Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender. Transfer 2-3 cups of the soup to a blender and cover it with a dish towel. Blend until smooth, then return to the pot. If you prefer a creamier, smoother soup with fewer chunks, you can blend more, or even all, of the soup. Don't put the lid on the blender or pressure will build up from the heat while blending.
- Remove the soup from the heat then stir in the sour cream, cheddar cheese, and half of the reserved bacon.
- Serve with the remaining bacon, green onions, additional cheese, and sour cream on top.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 811Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 151mgSodium: 1650mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 31g
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Recipe adapted from House of Yumm.