Homemade Cheesy Potato Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Homemade Cheesy Potato Soup

Total Time
Prep: 10 min. Cook: 35 min.
You can make this easy, cheesy potato soup in one pot for a creamy, hearty appetizer. It’s classic, fuss-free comfort food that’s ready in less than half an hour. 

Updated: Jun. 17, 2024

This cheesy potato soup recipe is a reminder that simple ingredients can make some of the most satisfying dishes. Potatoes, a few store-cupboard essentials, processed cheese, and a can of condensed soup are all you need to muster, and less than half an hour later you’re sitting down to a velvety, unctuous winter warmer that hits all the happy buttons.

It’s a soup you can serve as an appetizer or eat with crackers or a crusty roll for a more substantial snack. There’s room too to add your own personal touches if you fancy a flash of spice, more vibrant color, or some crunch to counter the creaminess.

Ingredients for Cheesy Potato Soup Recipe

  • Butter: Unsalted butter is fine here since plenty of sodium comes from processed cheese and canned soup. Butter gives that creamy foundation that oil alone wouldn’t quite deliver.
  • Onion: Finely dice a medium-size, sweet onion. Vidalia are ideal since they lend the soup a sweet rather than strong onion flavor and almost melt away during cooking.
  • Potatoes: Starchy, low-moisture potatoes are best for making buttery, creamy soups. Choose medium-size Russet, Idaho, Yukon Gold or Maris Piper and ensure to peel and cube them. If you want a chowder-style texture rather than a puree, cut them thicker and simmer them just shy of fully boiled so that they retain their shape.
  • Milk: Use 2% milk or nut milk of your choice, but keep tabs on the sweetness. The purpose of the milk is to help the processed cheese melt, so there’s no need to force it into the foreground.
  • Condensed cream of chicken soup: Make sure you’re using the undiluted version that has a custard-like texture at room temperature. It acts similarly to stock and adds a subtle savory note without thinning out your cheesy potato soup.
  • Garlic salt: Our focus is on quick, easy prep so we’ll go for garlic salt instead of fiddling around with peeling cloves.
  • Velveeta: This processed cheese will give the soup a warm, orange color and has a mild flavor close to cheddar. Unlike full-fat, conventional cheese, it will soften into a smooth consistency without becoming stringy or separating into clumps and oil. Cut it into cubes so that it melts at a uniform speed.
  • Parsley:


Step 1: Melt the butter

Melt the butter over medium heat, then saute a medium chopped onion until it’s slightly crispy at the edges and tender, for five minutes.

Step 2: Boil the diced potatoes

Add the medium-sized potatoes and water, cover the pot and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Simmer for about 15 minutes. The tip of a knife should slide in easily, but you don’t want them breaking apart just yet.

Step 3: Stir in the liquid ingredients

Stir in milk, condensed soup, garlic salt and pepper for seasoning. Keep stirring over a lowered heat until the soup mix starts to bubble gently. Add the diced cheese and keep stirring until it has all melted. The consistency should be thick and velvety.

Step 4: Garnish with chopped parsley and serve

Serve in a bowl, or hollowed-out sourdough bread bowl if you want to enjoy peak comfort food. The soup should be thick enough not to soak through.

Editor’s Tip: Sprinkle with chopped bacon bits or garlic croutons for a flavor boost and dust with smoked paprika for color.

Cheesy Potato Soup Variations

  • Switch out the chicken soup: For a vegetarian version, either substitute cream of celery for the condensed chicken soup, or use a vegetable broth and upgrade to full-fat milk with a dash of heavy cream to thicken the consistency.
  • Crank up the cheese: Velveeta has a relatively mild flavor, so double down on the cheese by adding shredded sharp or tangy cheese on top just before serving.

How to Store Cheesy Potato Soup

As long as you let it cool before transferring it to an airtight container, you can store cheesy potato soup in the refrigerator for three to five days.

Can you freeze cheesy potato soup?

Freezing will compromise the texture and you’ll risk having a grainy, stringy cheesy potato soup. Freezing should be a last resort.

Can you make cheesy potato soup ahead of time?

You could certainly place all the ingredients in a slow cooker for three to four hours on a low setting. If you do this, save the Velveeta until you’re almost ready to serve and melt it into the soup at the end on the stovetop.

How do you reheat cheesy potato soup?

The best approach for reheating any soup containing dairy is to heat it gently over low heat on the stovetop to revive the creamy texture. Stir frequently so that nothing sticks to the pot base, but not over-vigorously or you’ll break down any remaining potato chunks.

Cheesy Potato Soup Recipe Tips

Why is my soup too thin?

If you’re looking for a soup that clings to the spoon as you drag it, increase the dairy and/or potato. Quick fixes include doubling the cream and adding more cheese or an extra potato. If these are not an option, use a cook’s go-to thickener, a little cornstarch mixed with cold water.

How do I make the flavor stronger?

Cheese and potatoes make a great combo but the flavor can be bland for some palates. Remember that the last ingredient you add is often the first you taste, so rather than putting in more salt during cooking, pick a more assertive garnish or topping. Romano cheese, crispy fried onions, red chili flakes, or chopped scallions will all bring some ‘zing’ to your cheesy potato soup.

Homemade Cheesy Potato Soup

Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 35 min
Yield 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts)


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 ounces Velveeta, cubed
  • Minced fresh parsley


  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender, 5 minutes. Add potatoes and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 minutes.
    Stir in the milk, soup, garlic salt and pepper; heat until warmed through. Add cheese; stir until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 296 calories, 15g fat (8g saturated fat), 47mg cholesterol, 803mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 11g protein.

It doesn't take long to put bowls of this comforting cheesy potato soup recipe on the table. Convenience items, such as canned soup and processed cheese, simplify the preparation. —Tammy Condit, League City, Texas
Recipe Creator