Instant Pot cheeseburger soup is a rich and creamy, cheesy soup made with ground beef, potatoes, onions, and carrots in a cheese soup base. This Instapot soup is a huge hit and makes enough for a crowd.
My original cheeseburger soup recipe, based on an old Taste of Home recipe, has been the #1 recipe on my blog since 2017. It has been viewed 5 million times since I published it in 2009 and shared over 65,000 times on Pinterest.
The original cheese burger soup recipe goes together pretty easily, but it takes at least an hour to prepare.
I wanted to come up with a way to make cheeseburger soup take less time without sacrificing the flavors and texture that we all love so much.
The answer for me was the Instant Pot.
I made some adjustments to the recipe, changing the order of certain steps, so that the roux, milk, and cheese all get added in the end.
The original cheeseburger soup recipe is the ultimate comfort food - incredibly rich and delicious. This Instant Pot version is just as good - and maybe better because it's quicker and easier to make.
What you'll need to make Cheeseburger Soup in the Instant Pot
- Ground beef - I use one pound of 93% lean ground beef or ground sirloin. It makes the soup hearty and delicious.
- Chopped white onion - I think the onion lends a wonderful sweetness to the soup.
- Low sodium chicken broth - This is what makes the liquid in your soup. I suppose you could try low sodium beef broth; I never have, but it would taste good.
- Diced potatoes - This is about 1 pound. The potatoes bulk up the soup and give it a nice bite beyond just the ground beef. I often use frozen hash brown potatoes because they're already peeled and cut into cubes. Easy peasy. There's no need to thaw them before adding to the soup.
- Condensed cheddar cheese soup - This is 2 regular size cans. I mention this below in the variations section, but you could use regular or Mexican Velveeta in place of the soup. You could even leave out the cheese soup and use more shredded cheese at the end. If you skip the soup/Velveeta, you may need to add additional chicken or beef broth to keep the Instant Pot from giving you a burn warning. You'll also need to use some flour or cornstarch to thicken the soup after cooking.
- Onion powder - Why use onion powder with real onion? I don't know, but it tastes good so I do it. My favorite onion powder is Three Onion Rub from The Pampered Chef. It's a little pricey, but it's so delicious.
- Garlic - This is not in the original Taste of Home recipe, but it adds a spicy note to the soup which is magnificent.
- Heavy cream - This adds to the broth to make the liquid in the soup. My original Taste of Home recipe uses butter and regular milk. You could do that here if you were so inclined, but I went the easier route and used cream instead.
- Shredded cheddar cheese - So many people commented on Pinterest and the original blog post that they used shredded cheese that I wanted to try it out. It's good this way. It's different from the original Velveeta soup, but it's still really good. So try it both ways and see what you like better. You can use any shredded cheese; I prefer sharp cheddar but you could use pepper jack or Monterey jack or anything really.
- Chopped green onions - These go in the soup at the end and also on top of the soup for garnish.
How to make this Instant Pot cheeseburger soup recipe in the pressure cooker
- Turn the Instant Pot on to sauté mode. Add the ground beef and onion. Saute until the meat is slightly pink (don’t completely cook the meat as it will continue cooking under pressure) and the onion is translucent. It should take about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the excess grease before proceeding.
- Add the broth and potatoes to the Instant Pot, making sure that the potatoes are evenly spread out in the pot.
- Add in the soup, onion powder, garlic, and salt and pepper. Do not mix.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and twist to lock the seal. Close the pressure valve on top by pushing it away from you. Set the pressure cooker to high pressure for one minute. Once it has finished cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release on the pressure by releasing the pressure valve manually.
- Set the Instant pot to cancel, and then turn on sauté mode. Once the ingredients to start to simmer, slowly add in the cream.
- Stir to fully incorporate, then add in the green onions. Mix.
- Stirring slowly with a large spoon, fold in the shredded cheese. Mix until melted and well incorporated.
- You can top with chopped bacon, more cheese, and green onions. Season with additional salt and pepper to your taste.
- Spoon into bowls and serve hot.
Tips for the best cheeseburger soup
Get the leanest ground beef you can. I buy 90% or 93% lean, depending on the store I'm shopping at (they don't all carry 93%). It's important to drain the excess grease off after browning so that your soup isn't greasy.
Make sure you brown the meat before adding the rest of the ingredients. Browning meat gives it a better flavor than pressure cooking alone.
My favorite potatoes are Yukon golds, but they can get a little mushy in the Instant Pot. I recommend that you use Russets instead, as those are a bit more firm. I would not recommend red potatoes in this recipe.
Velveeta makes all the difference. Velveeta makes this soup thick and creamy. As I have said above, it is possible to use shredded cheese, and the soup will still taste great, but it will have a thinner, runnier consistency.
Can you make cheeseburger soup on the stove?
You sure can! Head over here for stove top cheeseburger soup instructions.
Can you make cheeseburger soup in Crock Pot?
You sure can! Head over here for Crockpot cheeseburger soup instructions.
Cheeseburger soup variations
It's hard for me to imagine this soup being any better than it is - it is already superlative!!! - but there are some adjustments that people have tried and discussed on Pinterest.
- Vegetarian cheeseburger soup - Believe it or not, it's easy to make vegetarian cheeseburger soup! All you have to do is use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth and TVP or veggie crumbles in place of the beef. Easy!
- Keto cheeseburger soup - This soup is easy to make low carb! Simply replace the potatoes with an equal amount of chopped cauliflower. It will still be delicious!
- Bacon cheeseburger soup - Add crumbled bacon or bacon bits when you add the cooked ground beef into the soup.
- Change the meat. You could substitute a different meat for the ground beef. Try ground turkey, Italian sausage, ground pork, or even ground chicken.
- Change the cheese. As I mentioned above in the ingredients section, the original Taste of Home recipe uses pepper jack or Mexican Velveeta, but I changed it up in this recipe. If you prefer the original flavor, you could substitute the cheese soup with Mexican Velveeta (about 12 ounces, cut into cubes). You could also try shredded sharp cheddar cheese, shredded pepper jack cheese, shredded Monterey jack cheese, some combination of the three, or regular Velveeta. As long as you use the right amount (12 ounces by weight), I think the soup will be great.
- Add vegetables. The original recipe calls for shredded carrots and diced celery. Some Pinterest commenters have also added mushrooms, bell peppers, or canned tomatoes.
- Use different soup - I prefer a super cheesy cheeseburger soup, but if you want to cut the cheese a bit, you could use cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup.
- Add spices - 1½ teaspoons of Italian seasoning and/or 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika make this awesome soup even better.
- Use beef broth. The original Taste of Home recipe called for chicken broth, and I'm not really sure why because beef broth would probably taste better. I'm going to try beef myself the next time I make it.
- Stovetop cheeseburger soup - This soup is really simple to make on the stove. Click over here for stovetop cheeseburger soup instructions.
- Crockpot cheeseburger soup - This soup is really simple to make in the Crockpot. Click over here for Crockpot cheeseburger soup instructions.
Garnish your cheeseburger soup!
Add toppings to your soup just before serving. There are some suggestions below, and it would be awesome to try one or a combination.
- Crumbled bacon
- Sour cream
- Shredded pepper jack
- Sliced green onions
- Diced red onion
- Fresh parsley
- Diced tomato
- Dill pickles or dill pickle relish
- Red pepper flakes
- Croutons - try bun croutons by dicing a hamburger roll, spritzing it with some butter-flavored cooking spray, and toasting the cubes in the oven at 375ºF for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown, turning once or twice during cooking.
Storing cheeseburger soup
Cheeseburger soup reheats beautifully. Once it's totally cool, you can store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. When you want to eat it, you may need to thin it with a tiny bit of broth.
To freeze, let the soup cool to room temperature and then spoon it into zippered freezer bags. Squeeze out the excess air and lay flat in the freezer. It will keep up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator prior to heating in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Potato-based soups get a little weird after freezing and then thawing, so be aware of that. I do freeze it though if I've made too much. I'd rather deal with mushy potatoes than throwing out spoiled soup.
More easy soup recipes
Check out these other delicious soups, stews, and chowders while you're here:
- Cheesy Vegetable Soup
- Slow Cooker Potato Chowder
- Crockpot Corn Chowder
- The Best Simple & Easy Cheesy Cauliflower Soup
- How to Make Hot and Sour Soup
- Crockpot Beef Stew
- Black Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
This cheeseburger soup is the best soup you will ever eat, bar none. It is cheesy and hearty and thick and rich. Your whole family will love it!