This lusciously creamy Potato Cheese Soup is here to feed your body, comfort your soul, and please the part of you that secretly wishes we could eat cheese for dinner every night.

A bowl of Wisconsin potato cheese soup topped with bacon and chives

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With their flexible ingredients, ease of prep, leftover prowess, and all-around comfort factor, soups are one of the most important genres in my healthy dinner collection.

From creative Curried Carrot Soup, to Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup or Chicken Gnocchi Soup, to fancy-feeling Mushroom Soup, there is a soup for any mood and occassion.

When it comes to ultimate comfort, however, cheese and potatoes have magical powers (I love you Cream of Asparagus Soup, but it’s just not the same.)

Even within the potato soup family, we have options:

But when you want a soup recipe that will envelop you in a warm hug, make your tummy happy, and your cheeks glow?

This potato cheese soup recipe is the one you choose.

A dutch oven filled with Potato cheese soup velvet texture

5 Star Review

“Just like all of Erin’s other recipes I’ve tried, this one turned out amazing and was a huge hit with the whole family!”

— Barb —

This thick and creamy potato cheddar cheese soup is everything a soul-soothing soup should be.

  • It’s creamy. Buttery Yukon gold potatoes are blended perfectly smooth to a velvet-like consistency.
  • It’s cheesy. Made with plenty of sharp cheddar cheese (like this Slow Cooker Broccoli and Cheese Soup) that melts smoothly and contributes not only color but richness and flavor too.
  • And it’s healthy. Unlike other cheesy potato soups, this recipe contains ZERO heavy cream (neither does this Cauliflower Chowder). Instead, a simple flour-based rue and nonfat milk thicken the soup fabulously without adding excess fat or calories.
Rich and creamy Easy potato cheese soup loaded with toppings in a bowl

How to Make Potato Cheese Soup

Healthy, comforting, and cheesy. Need I say more?

This easy potato cheese soup topped with bacon and chives is the perfect soup recipe for a cozy night, and you’ll feel good about its ingredient line-up too.


The Ingredients

  • Potatoes. Yukon golds are my favorite type of potato for this soup (and Crockpot Mashed Potatoes). Their buttery flavor gives the soup inherent richness, and they puree velvety smooth while still adding plenty of thickness and body to the soup.
  • Broth. Chicken broth enriches with more flavor and taste than water can.

Dietary Note

For a vegetarian potato cheese soup, use vegetable broth instead (and skip the bacon topping at the end).

  • Nonfat Milk. Keeps this cheesy soup lower in fat, cholesterol, and calories (I also use nonfat milk for this creamy Broccoli Cauliflower Soup).
  • All-Purpose Flour. Creates a roux when stirred into the butter used to saute the vegetables. It thickens the soup without needing to use heavy cream, half-and-half, or whole milk.
  • Cheddar Cheese. The classic! Use sharp cheddar for max flavor; you can get away with adding less without sacrificing flavor.
  • Onions + Garlic. Like many fantastic soup recipes, this potato cheese soup begins with a traditional base of onions sautéed with butter and cloves garlic.
  • Carrots. For hidden veggies, a lovely “cheesy” color, and a subtle sweetness. (If you enjoy carrots in your soup, give this Roasted Carrot Soup a try.)

Market Swap

This soup is adaptable. You can swap the carrots for an equal amount of other seasonal root vegetables like parsnips, rutabagas, or turnips. It’s a great way to sneak in other nutritious vegetables to picky eaters under the friendly guise of cheese.

  • Cayenne. For just a little kick that adds the right amount of spice.
  • Jalapeno. An optional addition for those who like extra heat.
  • Toppings. Crisp crumbled bacon, diced green onions or fresh chives and extra cheddar cheese take this soup to next-level delicious.

The Directions

a dutch oven filled with sautéed onions, carrots, and celery
  1. Saute the vegetables and spices in melted butter in large saucepan or dutch oven.
Combining ingredients together into a dutch oven for cheddar potato cheese soup
  1. Add the flour, cook until golden, then slowly stir in the milk.
A dutch oven with potato cheese soup ready to be blended smooth like velvet
  1. Once the mixture has thickened, stir in the broth, add the potatoes, and bring to a boil on medium heat. Simmer until the vegetables are tender.
pureeing chunky potato cheese soup in a blender until smooth
  1. Blend the soup until smooth.

TIP!

You can either puree the soup in a high-powered blender or food processor. You can also use an immersion blender to blend the soup right in your pot for easier clean-up.

a dutch oven filled with easy potato cheese soup with a wooden spoon
  1. Stir in the cheese until melted then garnish with chives, bacon, and additional cheddar cheese. Ladle into bowls and ENJOY!

Slow Cooker Option

Transfer the vegetable mixture to a 5-quart or larger crockpot before adding the chicken stock and potato. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 6 hours on low. Proceed with the recipe as directed.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Leftover potato cheese soup may be refrigerated for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
  • To Reheat. Warm gently on the stovetop or in the microwave (at a reduced power level) until steaming. Do not warm too quickly or the soup may separate.
  • To Freeze. Potato cheese soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. For best results, allow the soup to cool completely before putting it in the freezer and defrost overnight in the fridge before warming. Note that dairy-based soups and potato soups do tend to curdle and separate when frozen and thawed. If this bothers you, then I would not recommend freezing this soup.
potato cheese soup no cream in a bowl with bacon and chives on top

What to Serve with Potato Cheese Soup

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Dutch Oven. A soup lover’s perfect partner for stovetop soup recipes like this one.
  • Blender. A high-powered blender is the secret to getting pureed soups perfectly silky smooth.
  • Immersion Blender. A great option for pureeing soups without having to make a messy transfer to a blender or food processor.

The Best Dutch Oven

Le Creuset’s enameled cast iron delivers superior heat distribution and retention. Plus there are so many fun colors!

A bowl of Wisconsin potato cheese soup topped with bacon and chives

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Thanks for the hug, potato cheese soup. I’m always happy to have one.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Cheese to Use in Soup?

The best cheese to use in soup is a good-quality melting cheese with some sharpness. Cheese varieties like cheddar, gruyere, and swiss will melt smoothly and contribute the most flavor to cheesy soup recipes like this one. I also recommend freshly grating cheese from the block for soups rather than buying preshedded cheese which often contains additives that prevent it from melting smoothly. No need for cream cheese here!

Can I Make a Vegan Potato Soup?

I have not experimented with making this particular potato cheese soup vegan. However, I do have this awesome Vegan Potato Soup if that’s more your style.

How Can I Thin or Thicken Potato Cheese Soup?

If you would like your soup to be a little thicker, you can make a simple slurry with a few tablespoons of cornstarch and water (or chicken broth) and mix it in the soup while it simmers. Within a few minutes, it should thicken up. For a thinner soup, you can gradually add extra chicken broth or nonfat milk to the soup until it reaches your desired thickness.

What to Serve with Potato Cheese Soup?

While this potato soup is perfect all by itself, you could always go for a sandwich or wrap on the side! For some protein you could go with this chicken caesar wrap or try something as simple as avocado egg salad!

A bowl of Wisconsin potato cheese soup topped with bacon and chives

Potato Cheese Soup

5 from 11 votes
A healthy and easy potato cheese soup with cheddar, nonfat milk, and no heavy cream. This creamy LOADED potato soup is the best comfort food.

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 5 hrs
Total: 5 hrs 20 mins

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium jalapeño seeded and diced, optional for a little heat
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese plus additional for serving
  • Chopped fresh chives or green onions for serving
  • Cooked and crumbled bacon for serving (use Oven Baked Bacon or Air Fryer Bacon for easy cooking methods)

Instructions
 

  • Melt the butter in a large, deep stockpot or Dutch over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots and sauté until just beginning to soften; about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeno, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper and cook the garlic is fragrant; about 30 seconds.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the top of the vegetables, then cook for an additional minute until lightly golden and no white bits remain. Slowly stir in the milk and cook until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the broth, then add the chopped potato. Bring to boil, then partially cover and let simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir from time to time and adjust the heat as needed so that you maintain a steady simmer (but not a full-on boil).
  • Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree in batches until smooth (alternatively, you can use an immersion blender directly in the pot).
  • Stir in the cheese a half-cup at a time, allowing it to melt completely before stirring in the next half cup. Serve garnished with chives, bacon, and additional cheddar cheese.

Notes

  • TO MAKE IN A SLOW COOKER: After Step 2, transfer the vegetable mixture to a 5-quart or larger crockpot. Add the chicken stock and potato. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 6 hours on low. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
  • TO STORE: Leftover potato cheese soup may be refrigerated for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
  • TO REHEAT: Warm gently on the stovetop or in the microwave (at a reduced power level) until steaming. Do not warm too quickly or the soup may separate.
  • TO FREEZE: Potato cheese soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. For best results, allow the soup to cool completely before putting it in the freezer and defrost overnight in the fridge before warming. Note that dairy-based soups do tend to curdle and separate when frozen and thawed. If this bothers you, then I would not recommend freezing this soup.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 310kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 16gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 45mgPotassium: 706mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 3972IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 320mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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32 Comments

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  1. This is so yummy. We’ve had it twice in two weeks already. It was perfect to use up some of the jalapenos from the garden. Thank you for sharing it!5 stars

    1. Kimmy, that is fantastic, and I especially love that you used your own garden peppers to make it. Thank you so much for letting me know how it turned out!

  2. We made this tonight, followed the recipe exactly, and it tastes really good! This was a nice easy recipe that we look forward to making again!5 stars

    1. James, I am SO happy to hear this! Thanks for taking time to let me know how it turned out for you and for trying it too!

  3. Found this recipe on imgur a while back and I made it for a family get together. It was just supposed to be a warm-up appetizer but it was so good some of us, after seconds and thirds, had no room for anything else. Thank you for your lovely website. I want to eat better, healthier, and save some money by cooking at home.  This is going to be a big help getting me more comfortable  and confident in the kitchen. I’ve bookmarked a folder full of your recipes that I’m excited to try!5 stars

    1. Alex, I am so incredibly excited to hear that you loved this soup and are being inspired to make other recipes too! It makes my day. I can’t thank you enough for letting me know. Enjoy every bite!

  4. So I’ve found this amazing-looking recipe a bit late in the game, but as someone who’s really just starting to cook things seriously, would it ruin the recipe to let it cook longer? My problem is that I’m away nine hours during the day for work, and don’t want it to turn to inedible mush… Really looking forward to trying out my instant pot, though, so I hope it would work!

    1. Hi Nerni! If you have a slow cooker that will automatically switch over to “keep warm” instead of staying on full heat, I think it will work fine. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

    1. Hi Kim! I’ve never tried, but I see no reason why it wouldn’t. I’d suggesting letting the leftovers thaw overnight in the fridge. If they are too thick, reheat gently with a bit of milk or chicken stock to thin the soup back out. I hope you enjoy!

  5. Omg…..yumminess!! I have made this multiple times now and always double the recipe! So easy and so tasty!  I cook some bacon and crumble it on the soup before serving……mmmmm another level of tasty!5 stars

  6. Erin….question for you just so I know I’m not losing my mind. When you say 1 3/4 cup of cheese, that would be 14 oz correct? A block of 8oz cheese and 3/4 of another?

    1. Hi Darlene! Cup measurements are actually by volume, not by weight. 1 cup of coarsely grated cheese weights about 3.5 ounces, so you’d need something more along the lines of 6 ounces. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  7. I loved this soup. I made a couple tweaks by switching 12 oz of dark beer in for some of the chicken broth, adding a rib of celery, one more jalapeño, adding 1/4t of paprika instead of cayenne, and using 1/2 +1/2 instead of milk.5 stars

    1. Rob, your tweaks sound DELICIOUS! Thanks so much for leaving this wonderful review. I really appreciate it, and it is so helpful for others considering the recipe too!

  8. Had something like this and looked on the internet for a recipe. Tried this one and loved it! Passed it on to two restaurants and a friend who enters soup competitions as well as a number of other friends. Great flavour and not too spicy. I didn’t use any of the “additional” items.5 stars

    1. I’m so happy this recipe was a hit, Gordon! Thank you for taking the time to share your success with this reicpe!

  9. I am soup obsessed and could eat soup everyday, and this is one of the very best soups I’ve ever had. Perfectly spicy, cheesy, but not thick and goopy. I could live on this soup.5 stars

  10. Just like all of Erin’s other recipes I’ve tried, this one turned out amazing and was a huge hit with the whole family!5 stars

  11. This soup was amazing! The picture showed a slightly thicker soup, however, mine turned out great! I would make this again. Flavour was amazing and it packed a little punch of heat. Great soup for people who are just starting out with heat. Love this!!5 stars

    1. Hi Sally! I’ve only tested this recipe as written so I wouldn’t be able advise on how to make this on the stove top. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  12. Made this for lunch on a cool fall day, it was just what my family needed! Delicious in every aspect. We didn’t add the jalapeño since I have 2 toddlers, but it was still so good. Even my fussy 5 year old enjoyed it!5 stars