Easy Slow Cooker Potato Soup — This LOADED potato soup is reminiscent of your favorite LOADED baked potato recipe, but conveniently made in your Crock-Pot! In each bite there are tender potatoes amidst a creamy and cheesy broth, topped with crispy bacon bits, green onions, and topped with cheddar cheese for a COMFORT FOOD delight! Easy to make, great for busy weeknights, picky eater approved, and perfect for chilly weather!
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Easy Slow Cooker Potato Soup Recipe
I have other potato soup recipes but nothing says comfort food like a slow cooker potato soup. And this is what I like to call a loaded potato slow cooker soup recipe. That’s because it reminds me of a loaded baked potato, but in soup form!
In addition to tender potatoes bits, there’s a creamy and cheesy broth, crispy bacon bits, green onions, and cheddar cheese for the ultimate potato soup recipe.
This easy soup is conveniently made in your slow cooker. It does all the work for you! Simply add potatoes, onions, broth, and let everything simmer away for hours before adding the final ingredients including cooked bacon, cream cheese, cheese, and milk – about 30 minutes before you plan to serve it. It really is a cinch to make!
If you have picky eaters in your house, you won’t have to worry about them cleaning their bowls. And if you have anyone who thinks that ‘soup isn’t really a meal’, I promise no one is walking away hungry after a hearty bowl of potato bacon soup!
This is wintertime comfort food at its finest. It’s a great recipe to keep in your back pocket for busy weeknights, too, since it’s basically a set-it-and-forget-it type of recipe.
As a bonus, the recipe is naturally gluten-free but of course, always check all labels.
If you’re looking for stove top potato soup recipes, check these out, too.
Ingredients in Crockpot Potato Soup Recipe
You’ll need the following handful of common, inexpensive, and easy-to-find ingredients including:
- Potatoes – wondering what kind? See the FAQ section below.
- White or yellow onion
- Chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- Cooked real bacon bits
- Cream cheese
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Cornstarch + water (called a slurry)
- Garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Green onions or chives, for garnishing
- Sour cream, optional for garnishing
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Loaded Potato Soup in a Slow Cooker
This potato bacon slow cooker soup recipe has just 5 minutes of prep time and about 3 to 6 hrs of total time (depending if you slow cook on high or low heat). It’s a cinch to make creamy bacon potato soup in your Crockpot! Follow these straightforward steps.
- To a 6-quart slow cooker, add the potatoes, onion, chicken broth, stir to combine, cover with the lid and slow cook on LOW for about 6 hours or on HIGH for about 3 hours.
- After the potatoes are soft and fork tender, add the bacon, cream cheese, shredded cheese, milk, garlic powder, cornstarch slurry, salt, pepper, stir to combine, cover, and cook for an additional 30 min, or until everything has melted and can be stirred smooth.
- Using a potato masher (or immersion blender), mash about half the potatoes, or until desired consistency is reached. The more you mash, the thicker the soup will become.
- Taste, ladle into bowls, garnish with a few teaspoons additional bacon and cheese, green onions, and serve!
In the Refrigerator: This recipe will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
In the Freezer: This recipe will keep airtight in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: I use my microwave for quickness and ease and reheat my leftovers for about 30-60 seconds on medium-high power, or as needed. But you can use your stove. Always take care when reheating anything with dairy in it – in this case the broth – and use medium or low heat because the milk proteins could break and cause the soup to appear curdled if you overdo it.
I use Yukon gold or baby Yukon gold potatoes. They’re a nice balance between starchy potatoes (Russet or baking potatoes) and waxier potatoes (red potatoes). You can, in theory, use whatever potato you like. But for best results, I like Yukon gold potatoes.
Make sure you keep them in 1-inch chunks so that they cook in the recommended cooking times. Nothing worse than hard (raw) potatoes in soup!
I recommend it for the smoothest soup but if potato skins don’t bother you, they can be left on, provided you’re using Yukon gold potatoes. If you’re using Russet potatoes, without a doubt I would peel them!
If you are going to peel the potatoes, I recommend using regular-sized Yukon gold potatoes because baby Yukon golds are a little tricky to peel due to their smaller size.
After the soup has simmered away for hours in the slow cooker and the potatoes are tender, I recommend mashing about half of them with a potato masher right in the Crock Pot. This serves to thicken up the soup as well as create a smoother texture.
You don’t need to remove the potatoes to do this, you don’t need to use an immersion blender (although you could if you have one but just take it easy so you don’t over-blend end up with potato puree), and you don’t need to – nor should you – mash them all. You’re not making mashed potato soup after all!
I recommend a 6-quart slow cooker. You don’t need any bigger, but any smaller and the potatoes will take longer to cook through and won’t cook as evenly since everything will be more squished into it.
If you want a great stove top potato soup, make my Loaded Baked Potato Soup. Additionally, Loaded Cheesy, Bacon, Corn, and Potato Chowder or Loaded Cheesy Chicken Potato Chowder are great potato soup recipes, too.
I recommend whole milk, although 2% is fine. You don’t need to use heavy cream nor half-and-half, but I don’t recommend skim or 1% milk either as they are too thin and won’t give you the rich and creamy broth this soup is known for.
I use shredded mild cheddar cheese or sharp cheddar cheese because it’s easy to find, common, and what I associate with topping my baked potatoes. However, if you want to experiment with other shredded cheeses, you can give it a whirl. Pay attention to flavors and melting properties of whatever cheese you’re going to experiment with because you want this to end up being a super creamy slow cooker potato soup.
Yes, definitely make this slow cooker potato soup with cream cheese
because it’s what gives it a thick and creamy texture as well as flavor. Make sure to use brick-style cream cheese that’s full-fat. Do not use anything labeled as ‘spreadable’, lite, or reduced fat. It’s mostly water and will just water your soup down which isn’t the idea!
I recommend making the recipe as written with cream cheese. And if you want to add a dollop of sour cream on top of the finished soup as a garnish, that would be a great idea. I suppose you could also garnish with Greek yogurt if that’s your thing instead of sour cream.
A cornstarch slurry is a mixture of cornstarch dissolved in water. Make sure it’s smooth and doesn’t have lumps.
In this case, the serves to thicken the soup, in addition to the mashing of the potatoes and cheese. Don’t omit it. Even though it’s just a little bit, it does serve an important purpose since there is no flour in this soup.
If your soup is too thick, add more chicken broth or milk, as desired (I would start with 1/2 cup), to thin it out. I suppose in a pinch you could use a half-cup water too.
If your soup is too thin, mash more of the potatoes. Alternatively, adding more cheese will also help, and/or you could add 1 more cornstarch slurry although I would try the other two remedies first.
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Slow Cooker Potato Soup
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, diced into 1-inch pieces (peeled potatoes strongly recommended)
- 1 small white or yellow onion, diced small
- 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth, vegetable broth may be substituted
- 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled or diced small; divided
- 6 ounces cream cheese, brick-style, do NOT use lite or spreadable products
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (mild, sharp, or extra-sharp; do NOT use reduced fat)
- 1 cup whole milk, 2% may be substituted
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water, mixed to form a slurry
- t teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Kosher salt, plus more to taste if desired
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste if desired
- Green onions or chives, optional for garnishing
- Sour cream, optional for garnishing
- To a 6-quart slow cooker, add the potatoes, onion, broth, stir, cover with the lid and slow cook on HIGH for about 3-4 hours, or on LOW for about 6 hours, or until the potatoes are fork-tender and soft. Tips – Cook time will vary according to the size you cut your potatoes noting that larger chunks will take longer, the heat output of your slow cooker, and climate variances. Make sure to continue cooking until the potatoes are nice and tender. It does not matter whether you opt for high or low cooking in this recipe.
- While the mixture is simmering, make the bacon, and crumble or dice it into small pieces. Tip – To save time, energy, and for easier cleanup, I use precooked bacon. Place it on a microwave-safe plate, and zap it on high for about 1-2 minutes, or cook according to the package directions. You're just crisping it up, because it's already been fully cooked. Or you can make bacon the old-fashioned way, using your favorite type of bacon. Set aside until ready to use in the soup.
- After the potatoes are soft and tender, add about three-quarters of the bacon pieces (reserve the remainder for garnishing), all the cream cheese, 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (reserve the remainder for garnishing), milk, cornstarch slurry, garlic powder, salt, pepper, stir to combine, cover with a lid, and cook on HIGH power for about 30 minutes, or until the cream cheese and cheese have melted and can be stirred smooth.
- Using a potato masher, mash about half the potatoes, or as desired. Tips – The more you mash, the thicker the soup will seem. You can use an immersion blender if you have one but I actually prefer the coarser texture from a masher and less of the pureed texture than an immersion blender creates, but it's up to you. If your soup is too thick/too thin, see the Notes below for remedies.
- Taste the soup and if necessary, adjust the seasoning balance. Flavor Tips – If the soup tastes as all flat, boring, dull, or lackluster, it likely needs more salt. You're seasoning many pounds worth of (plain) ingredients like potatoes and salt is essential to bring out the best in these basic ingredients, especially if you used reduced sodium chicken broth, which I do so I can control and adjust the salt at the end. Additionally, add more pepper and/or garlic powder, if desired. For a touch of intensity (not so much "heat" but just depth of flavor), a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper is great and I almost always add a pinch to any soup.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, and evenly garnishing with the remaining bacon pieces, reserved shredded cheese, and optional green onions, and sour cream.
- Storage – Extra soup will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days. While I don't actively encourage freezing dairy-based recipes, because of the fat in the sour cream and shredded cheese, the soup should be fine to freeze airtight for up to 3 months. Reheat leftovers gently in the microwave or on the stovetop, taking care not to overheat them because you don't want the dairy proteins to denature (break) from using too high of heat.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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