Cheesy, creamy, and comforting Cheeseburger Soup is easy to make with ground beef, potatoes, and cheese, all finished off with your favorite burger toppings. You’ll love the amazing flavors of a classic cheeseburger wrapped up in this warm and cozy bowl of deliciousness! A satisfying dinner option that’s popular with both kids and adults!
I absolutely LOVE a big, juicy cheeseburger (who doesn’t?) and this soup has all of the wonderful flavors of a classic American cheeseburger but in comfort-food form. And while I’ll never turn down this incredible stuffed burger recipe, I might actually choose this thick, rich hamburger soup over a burger when it’s cold outside.
A piping hot bowl of cheeseburger soup is great on its own, but (trust me) the veggie burger toppings of lettuce, tomato, red onion and dill pickles really take this soup to the next level. If you like it on your burger, you’re probably going to like it on your soup. I know the toppings aren’t for everyone, but you should at least give them a try! And as for the homemade hamburger bun croutons, they are 10/10 amazing!
Ingredients needed & substitutions
Nothing fancy or complicated in this soup! It’s made with simple, everyday ingredients, but when they come together in one pot, cheeseburger magic happens! Here is what you need:
- Ground beef. I typically use 93% or 96% lean ground beef – it’s got plenty of flavor but is not overly greasy. If you use meat with a higher fat content, be sure to drain off any excess grease before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. Feel free to sub with ground turkey, ground bison or ground chicken.
- Onion + garlic. Major flavor enhancers!
- Russet potato. Everyone loves French fries with their burger and with this soup recipe, the potatoes are cooked right in with everything else! Red potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes are also great options.
- Beef broth. I recommend using a low-sodium beef broth because then you can control the sodium in the soup. Everyone’s salt preferences are different. You can sub with chicken broth, if that’s what you have on hand.
- Butter + flour. For making the roux and thickening the soup.
- Worcestershire sauce. You can omit, but I love the depth of flavor Worcestershire adds to the soup. Fun fact: my husband always adds Worcestershire sauce to ground beef when we make burgers.
- Sour cream. To make this soup extra creamy! If you don’t have sour cream in the fridge, you can use 4 ounces of cream cheese instead.
- Sharp cheddar cheese. You can’t have cheeseburger anything without cheddar cheese! I recommend using freshly grated cheese for this recipe. The bags of pre-shredded cheese at the store are typically coated in anti-caking agents and preservatives and do not melt as smoothly.
- Croutons. Homemade croutons made from hamburger buns are the perfect finish touch for cheeseburger soup!
- Toppings. The crunch of the lettuce and pickle and the fresh tomato combined with the creamy, rich soup is SO good!! Highly recommend giving this soup a try with the added burger toppings!
How to make cheeseburger soup
Making this flavorful soup recipe is really easy! There’s just a little bit of chopping and a few different steps, but there are also lots of ways you could prep ingredients in advance to save extra time. Here’s the simple process, but for the full, printable recipe, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Brown ground beef. In a large pot, over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and ground beef, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Simmer. Add the potatoes, beef broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-12 minutes and until potatoes are soft.
- Make the roux. In a separate frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Then, add the flour and whisk together. Season with a pinch of salt. Continuously whisk until this mixture thickens and becomes paste-like (called a roux), turn off the heat and add the roux to the soup. Stir together and bring soup to a simmer. Soup will thicken.
- Finishing touches. Remove the soup from heat and stir in the Worcestershire sauce, sour cream and cheese. Season with salt & pepper, as desired.
- Toppings. I like to finely chop up the lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles. You can mix the toppings all together, like a slaw, or keep them separate.
- Serve. Ladle soup into individual bowls and let everyone add their favorite toppings. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Soup
You can totally make this soup recipe in the Crockpot, if you’d like. The method is a bit different from cooking the soup on the stovetop, but it’s still super easy. Here’s what to do:
- Add veggies to slow cooker. In your Crockpot, add diced onion, diced potato, and minced garlic along with the beef broth. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4-6 hours and until potatoes are tender.
- Brown ground beef. About 30 minutes before the soup is done, cook the ground beef in a medium skillet for about 4-5 minutes until brown. Remove and set aside.
- Make the roux. In the same pan, add the butter and melt over medium heat. Then, add the flour and whisk until thick. Stir the roux into the soup in the slow cooker.
- Combine all ingredients. Turn off the heat on the slow cooker or at least turn it to low and add Worcestershire sauce, sour cream, cheese and ground beef to the slow cooker. Stir until everything is combined and the cheese is melted. Serve with toppings and croutons and enjoy!
Homemade hamburger bun croutons
The hamburger bun croutons really are an incredible topping to this soup! I highly recommend taking the few minutes of extra time to make them yourself rather than buying store-bought croutons. I typically take the time to toast the buns while my soup is simmering.
- Cut three hamburger buns into cubes and place them onto a baking sheet.
- Drizzle cubes lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt.
- Bake at 400ºF until toasty, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Customize this soup
This soup is fabulous as-is, but you can easily swap out the ingredients to use ingredients that you have available and/or customize the flavors to your preference. Here’s some ideas:
- Protein. Instead of ground beef, you can try using ground turkey or even mild Italian sausage for a different flavor.
- Vegetables. I’ve noticed that lots of cheeseburger soup recipes call for carrot and celery. I personally don’t think that those ingredients belong in anything cheeseburger related, but this cheesy soup is a great way to sneak in extra veggies. Add about 3/4 cup shredded carrot and 1/2 cup diced celery when you add the potatoes. Some other vegetables that I think would be tasty and ones that you might actually find on a cheeseburger are mushrooms, or even bell peppers.
- Spice. Like spicy food? You can add hot sauce to taste, or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to the soup. Another option would be to use a cup of shredded pepper jack cheese along with 1 cup cheddar cheese.
- Bacon. Crispy crumbly bacon is a great topping for cheeseburger soup!
How to make vegetarian cheeseburger soup
This soup is actually really easy to make vegetarian! Simply use veggie crumbles instead of ground meat. And replace the beef broth with veggie broth. It will still be super delicious!
What to serve with this easy cheeseburger soup
Trying to decide was goes good with cheeseburger soup? I personally think the soup itself, topped with all of your favorite burger toppings and homemade croutons is plenty satisfying, but if you want a little something extra, I won’t judge.
Since this soup is so rich and decadent, I like to balance out the meal with a fresh green salad. Simply toss mixed greens with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Feel free to add toppings to your salad such as red onion, cherry tomatoes, and/or croutons. We also love this soup paired with crusty bread or chips for dipping!
MAKE AHEAD + STORAGE RECOMMENDATIONS
- Make ahead. You can save time by cooking the ground beef with onion and garlic ahead of time. You can also peel and chop the potato in advance. And feel free to grate the cheese up to 1 day ahead of time. Store cooked beef, chopped potato and grated cheese (separately) in airtight containers in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the soup.
- Leftovers. Once completely cooled, store leftover cheeseburger soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 to 5 days.
- Reheat. Warm up leftover soup on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Add additional broth or water as needed to thin the soup. You can also rewarm this soup in the microwave.
- Freeze. I wouldn’t recommend freezing this soup because of the dairy content. Dairy products can sometimes separate when frozen.
RECOMMENDED TOOLS FOR MAKING cheeseburger SOUP
- Programmable Slow Cooker – If you decide to make your soup in a slow cooker, you’ll need a reliable Crockpot and I love that this one is affordable and can be programmed. It also holds 6 quarts, which is a great size for most things that I make.
- Ladle – A good ladle is a must when you make soup as often as I do! It’s the best way to fill your bowls and storage containers with soup.
- Sharp Chef’s Knife – Great for chopping the onion and potato in this soup! One of the most important tools to have in your kitchen.
- Dutch Oven – You’ll need a large soup pot or a Dutch oven, if you’ll be cooking this soup on the stovetop. This one is a favorite of mine.
This is one of my family’s favorite soup recipes and they request it all of the time, especially in the winter season. It might even taste better than an actual cheeseburger! The soup is rich, creamy and loaded with different flavors and textures. It is definitely a must-try!
If you try this cheeseburger soup recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium/large russet potato, peeled and diced
- 6 cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste, as needed
- pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 8 ounces (2 cups) cheddar cheese, grated
Hamburger bun croutons
- 3 hamburger buns
- olive oil
- garlic salt
- iceberg lettuce, chopped
- tomato, chopped
- red onion, chopped
- pickles, chopped
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook ground beef with onion for about 3 minutes, breaking it up as it cooks, and until the beef is just about browned. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the potato, beef broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- While soup is simmering, make the croutons. Cut the hamburger buns into cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with oil, then sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake at 400° F until toasty, 5-10 minutes.
- In a separate frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Then, add the flour and whisk together. Season with a pinch of salt. Continuously whisk until this mixture thickens and becomes paste-like (called a roux), turn off the heat and add the roux to the soup. Stir together and bring soup to a simmer. Soup will thicken.
- Remove from heat and stir in the Worcestershire sauce, sour cream and cheese.
- For the toppings, I like to chop up the lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle really fine – almost like a slaw. Trust me, if you like it on your burger, you’ll like it in this soup!
- Serve soup topped with desired toppings and croutons. Enjoy!