Slow cooker cheeseburger soup, originally from Taste of Home, is a rich and creamy, cheesy soup made with ground beef, potatoes, onions, and carrots in a Velveeta base with a mildly spicy kick. This 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 cheeseburger soup recipe goes together pretty quickly, but it still takes most of 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 Crockpot.
I knew that I couldn't just plop all the ingredients into the slow cooker - the cheese and milk would curdle and make the soup gross. We've tried to make milky soups in the slow cooker before, and it never works out.
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 so rich and delicious, and this Crockpot version is just as good - and maybe better because it's easier and more hands-off to make.
What you'll need to make Taste of Home Cheeseburger Soup in the Slow Cooker
- Ground beef - I doubled the original recipe and use one pound of 93% lean ground beef. It makes the soup heartier.
- Chopped onion - I think the onion lends a wonderful sweetness to the soup.
- Shredded carrots - I don't know what carrots have to do with cheeseburgers, but I love them in this soup. They get soft, but they keep their shape and bite.
- Diced celery - I personally hate celery and cut it so small that it disappears into the soup, but it adds to the flavor, so I don't leave it out.
- Dried basil
- Dried parsley flakes
- Garlic - This is not in the original Taste of Home recipe, but it adds a spicy note to the soup which is magnificent.
- Butter - You can use salted or unsalted. It won't matter.
- 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 1-¾ pounds. The potatoes bulk up the soup and give it a nice bite beyond just the ground beef.
- All-purpose flour - This helps to thicken the broth. You can use gluten-free flour or wheat flour.
- Pepper jack Velveeta, cut into cubes - This may be labeled as Mexican Velveeta Cheese. I have only ever used this exact cheese in my cheeseburger soup, but there are literally hundreds of comments on Pinterest where home cooks have used shredded cheddar, shredded pepper jack, shredded Monterey jack, and regular Velveeta, and every single person has said their soup came out awesome. So I don't think the exact type of cheese is all that important. What is important is the amount of cheese. Remember that the 12 ounces is a weight, and is not the same as a cup and half of shredded cheese.
- Milk - This adds to the broth to make the liquid in the soup. You can use dairy or non-dairy milk, but make sure not to use a flavored milk like vanilla. Use the plain unflavored milk or even cream. Heavy cream would make this soup even more amazing.
- Cream cheese - This works with the cheese to make the soup thick and rich. The original on the stove version uses sour cream at the end, but sour cream, when heated in the slow cooker, sometimes curdles, so it's better to use cream cheese in this version.
How to make this Crockpot cheeseburger soup recipe
- Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat; remove cooked beef from pan, drain, and add to slow cooker.
- Add onion, carrots, celery, basil, parsley flakes, broth, and potatoes into the slow cooker. Press garlic into crock.
- Cook soup on low for 6-8 hours or on low for 3-4 hours, or until potatoes and veggies are tender.
- About an hour before you intend to serve the cheeseburger soup, make a roux in a small skillet by melting 3 tablespoons butter. Add flour; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add salt, pepper, milk, and cream cheese and mix well. Add roux to soup.
- Add roux and cheese to the soup. Turn slow cooker to high and cook for an additional 30 minutes, stirring a few times until the cheese melts.
- Serve with optional toppings immediately.
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%). Make sure you drain the grease off after you brown it.
My favorite potatoes are Yukon golds, but they can get a little mushy in the slow cooker. 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.
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.
- Add crumbled bacon 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, I have only ever used pepper jack or Mexican Velveeta in my cheeseburger soup, but you could 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. Some Pinterest commenters have added mushrooms, bell peppers, or canned tomatoes.
- 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.
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
- Dill pickles or dill pickle relish
- 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 it 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.
I would not recommend freezing cheeseburger 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!