Crockpot Potato Soup
There are some recipes that just hit the spot every single time. For me, this Crockpot Potato Soup is always a winner! The soup gets its creamy texture from Yukon gold potatoes and cheesy flavor from delicious sharp cheddar cheese. This soup has all the flavors that you’d find in a typical potato soup, but this lightened-up version is so much better for you.
When the weather starts to get chilly, I turn to my plethora of healthy soup and stew recipes for inspiration. While I always love a heaping bowl of Potato Leek Soup, 15 Bean Soup, Slow Cooker Turkey Quinoa Chili, Crock Pot Hamburger Soup, or Shrimp Corn Chowder, this healthy slow cooker potato soup is truly something special.
This recipe only takes 15 minutes to prep (!!), and then lets the crockpot do the cooking. It’s deeply rewarding to come home to it, like a warm and cozy soup welcome at the end of a long day.
In addition to the personal satisfaction that comes along with prepping dinner ahead (walk into your kitchen to a done-deal dinner and give yourself a hearty pat on the back, you organizational god/goddess!), everyone at your dinner table will be pleased with this recipe.
Along with its intrinsic appeal (creamy, cheesy potatoes are disliked by exactly no one), this potato soup comes with a wide array of topping options to customize each bowl. It’s an easy way to please everyone’s tastebuds. (Crockpot loaded potato soup is the house favorite around here.)
How to Make Crockpot Potato Soup Without Heavy Cream
While this recipe tastes like a crockpot potato soup with heavy cream or crockpot potato soup with cream of chicken soup (or similar), in keeping with my approach of lightening up recipes without skimping on flavor, I used a few sneaky swaps. This soup a rich, creamy texture without any heavy cream at all. You’ll be fooled!
This simple potato soup is primarily veggie based, and I added a few helpful shortcuts that make this crockpot potato soup weeknight meal friendly too.
Here are my tricks to a healthy slow cooker potato soup that tastes cheesy, creamy, and rich but stays comparably light!
- Yukon Gold Potatoes. If butter had a potato cousin, it would be Yukon golds. They’re creamier than russets, making them my top choice for this recipe. While I recommend making this crockpot potato soup with Yukon gold potatoes, you could try crockpot potato soup with russet potatoes. (Heads up: this swap may affect the soup’s flavor and creaminess.)
- Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt. Thick, protein-packed, and creamy, Greek yogurt is an easy way to give the soup velvety texture and make it better for you. It’s particularly delicious here since it has a similar tang to sour cream, a classic potato pairing.
- Good Quality Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Using fully flavored cheese means that you can add less to the recipe and still have the same taste oomph. I recommend grating the cheese directly off the block for the maximum melt-factor. Pre-shredded cheeses are usually coated with a powder meant to keep the shreds from sticking together, so they don’t melt as smoothly.
- Evaporated Milk + Cornstarch. Forget crockpot potato soup with heavy cream. Instead, stir a slurry of cornstarch and evaporated milk directly into the slow cooker. Add it about 30 minutes before the soup is done cooking, and it will thicken into the creamy potato soup of your dreams. If you want to make this crockpot potato soup without evaporated milk, you can swap in regular milk (it may result in a thinner soup; if doing this, I suggest whole milk).
- Grab a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker, and lightly coat the inside with nonstick spray. Then, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and add your onion (adjust heat as needed to keep your onion from turning dark brown). Once your onion is softened, add it to the slow cooker. I know this is an extra step, but it’s worth it for the softened, caramelized notes of a cooked (versus raw) onion. If you add the onion raw, its flavor will overtake the other ingredients.
- Now, you’ll add your carrots, potatoes, spices, and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Stir the ingredients until combined. Turn your slow cooker to low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours (the vegetables should be completely tender at the end).
- While the veggies are cooking, grab a medium-sized mixing bowl, and whisk together the evaporated milk and cornstarch until no lumps remain. Once your veggies have about 30 minutes left, add the cornstarch/milk mixture for the remaining cooking time.
- When you’re ready to serve the soup, bring on the cheese. Stir in cheddar (feel free to add a gratuitous handful) and Greek yogurt.
- Thicken it up: mash about half of the potatoes directly in the slow cooker. The mashing makes the soup nice and thick, and the soup will continue to thicken even more as it cools. Give everything a big stair, taste it little bite (be careful, it’s hot!) and add a dash of extra salt and pepper if you like. Serve the soup with a few (or maybe a lot) of tasty toppings (more cheese anyone?), grab your spoon, and DIG IN!
How to Store Crockpot Potato Soup
- To Store. Keep your leftover soup in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freezing Crockpot Potato Soup
To ensure this soup freezes well (potatoes can become mealy when frozen), I recommend making a few adjustments before sticking your leftovers in the freezer.
- To Freeze. Instead of mashing about half the potatoes in the slow cooker, you should mash almost all of them, which will help to deter the potatoes from becoming mealy (you may need to add more broth to thin the soup). Let the soup cool completely. Then, place leftover soup in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and reheat in the microwave or on the stove with a splash of milk or chicken broth as needed.
- Tip: If you want to enjoy your leftovers a little at a time, freeze portion-sized amounts of soup in multiple small containers.
What to Serve with Crockpot Potato Soup
While this soup is delicious on its own, here are some ideas for what to serve with it. If you’re making crockpot potato soup for a crowd, you may want to have a few of these ideas on hand to round out the meal.
- The Fixin’s. For a tasty slow cooker LOADED potato soup effect, top it off just like a baked potato: plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream), fresh chives, a sprinkle of bacon (this Baked Bacon is the easiest way to cook it), and (surprise!) extra cheese.
- Bread. I splurged on a loaf of ciabatta at our neighborhood Italian market and it was perfect for mopping up every last morsel. For homemade bread options, I love pairing it with this Crock Pot Bread or Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread.
- Crackers. A good stand-in for bread, they add a nice crunch. Try these delicious Ranch Crackers.
- More Potatoes. Instead of serving this easy crockpot potato soup with frozen hashbrowns, try it with these Homemade Tater Tots.
- Big Green Salad. For a light and fresh side, try pairing this soup with Anytime Arugula Salad or Caesar Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad.
- Roasted Vegetables. Roasted Zucchini and Roasted Brussels Sprouts would pair nicely.
Recommended Tools to Make Crockpot Potato Soup
- Programmable Slow Cooker. I love that this one switches to “keep warm” once the cooking time ends, so food runs less of a risk of overcooking.
- Vegetable Peeler. I love this Y-shaped peeler or a regular vegetable peeler will work great.
This tasty crockpot potato soup also makes fantastic leftovers. We enjoyed ours two nights in a row for dinner and both reheated leftovers to work for lunch. It tasted better and better as the week went on. True soup success!
Crockpot Potato Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter*
- 1 small yellow onion - diced
- 3 large carrots - scrubbed and diced
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes - peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt - plus additional to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3–4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (12-ounce) can 2% evaporated milk
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese - plus additional for serving
- 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt - plus additional for serving
- Cooked crumbled bacon
- Chopped fresh chives
- Lightly coat a 6-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick spray. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat so that the onion does not crisp or turn dark brown. Add to the slow cooker.
- To the slow cooker, add the carrots, potatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, cayenne, and 3 cups chicken broth. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours, until the potatoes and carrots are completely tender.
- While the vegetables cook, in a medium bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk and cornstarch until no lumps remain. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the cornstarch/milk mixture. Continue cooking for 30 additional minutes.
- Just before serving, stir in the shredded cheddar and Greek yogurt. With a potato masher or large spoon, mash half of the potatoes directly in the slow cooker. The soup will continue to thicken as it cools. If you would like the soup to be thinner, add the remaining 1 cup chicken broth until you reach your desired consistency (warm up the broth first). Stir to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, topped with bacon, chives, and additional cheese/Greek yogurt as desired.
- *If you plan to serve the soup with bacon, I suggest chopping it into bite-size pieces, then sautéing it in a large skillet over medium-low heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain out all but 2 tablespoons bacon drippings, then use it to sauté in the onions in place of the unsalted butter.
- TO STORE: Place leftover soup in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- TO FREEZE: Instead of mashing about half the potatoes in the slow cooker during Step 4, you should mash almost all of them (you may need to add more broth to thin the soup). Let the soup cool completely. Then, place leftover soup in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and reheat in the microwave or on the stove with a splash of milk or chicken broth as needed.
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