This loaded potato soup is made entirely in the slow cooker and tastes just like a loaded baked potato, yet is lightened up so you can have a guilt-free bowl!
Loaded potato soup is one of the most ultimate comfort foods, yet is notorious for being loaded with calories. A few easy swaps make this version lightened up, so you can enjoy the creaminess without the guilt!
Loaded potato soup is one of those soups that just screams comfort. On a bad day, not much hits the spot more than a big bowl of thick and creamy potato soup! Unfortunately, it also tends to be really unhealthy. Over the years I’ve been experimenting with different ways to lighten up my favorite soup, without sacrificing any of the rich and creamy texture!
HOW CAN YOU MAKE POTATO SOUP HEALTHIER?
There are a few ways that I lightened up this soup. First, I didn’t use any cream… and instead, used reduced fat evaporated milk. Evaporated milk is less fatty and lower in calories than heavy cream, yet still gives you a luxuriously creamy soup. I use evaporated milk in my lightened up cheese sauce in these nachos too! Secondly, I used reduced fat cheese and cream cheese. Lastly, I used turkey bacon instead of regular bacon.
This time of year a lot of people are watching what they’re eating, yet we all still crave comfort food… especially easy slow cooker meals that don’t require a lot of effort in the kitchen.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR MAKING SKINNY SLOW COOKER LOADED POTATO SOUP:
- Don’t dice your potatoes too large. Big pieces take longer to cook, and can be difficult to get onto a spoon when eating. I find that a 1/2 inch dice (roughly) is a good size that is easy to eat, yet doesn’t take forever to cook until tender.
- For a really thick soup, mash 1/2 of the potatoes in the soup.
- For a thinner soup, don’t mash any of the potatoes (or less of them), and just rely on the cornstarch and evaporated milk to thicken it slightly.
- If you prefer, use reduced fat sour cream instead of the cream cheese.
- Yukon gold potatoes are my favorite to use in this soup, as they have such a rich, buttery texture. Red potatoes would be a good substitute. Russets can be used, but they can get a bit grainer in texture when mashed.
- To peel or not to peel? I prefer using peeled potatoes, but if you’d rather not hassle with it, go ahead and leave them on.
HOW CAN I MAKE MY POTATO SOUP MORE FLAVORFUL?
This soup hits all the flavor notes of a classic loaded potato soup… but if you’re looking to add some extra flavors, adding some diced carrots and celery would be a great way to add flavor, but stay healthy. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, or a pinch of thyme for some extra seasoning.
- 4 quart slow cooker – yes it’s expensive, but it’s my favorite slow cooker, and if you have an open budget, I highly recommend it!!
- Economical slow cooker – don’t let the low price fool you, this slow cooker is great!
- Vegetable peeler – you probably already have a peeler, but in case you don’t, this is a great one!
Recipe originally created and published on Cafe Delites (where I contribute recipes monthly).
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- 6 - 8 slices cooked turkey bacon, diced
- 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 4 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
- 12 oz can low fat evaporated milk
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- pinch ground celery seed
- sliced green onions or chives, for garnish
- additional shredded cheese, for garnish
- additional bacon, for garnish
- To a 4 quart or larger slow cooker, add bacon, potatoes, onion and chicken stock and stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, or HIGH for 3-4 hours, until potatoes are very tender.
- Combine evaporated milk and cornstarch, whisking to combine until no lumps remain. The last 30 minutes of cooking, add cream cheese, cornstarch/milk mixture, shredded cheddar, salt, pepper and celery seed. Stir to combine, cover and continue cooking 30 minutes.
- Remove lid and mash about half of the potatoes with a potato masher to thicken the soup up even more.
- Serve garnished with any of the toppings. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- Add a slight drizzle of olive oil or butter to a dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pot. Add onions and cook 2-4 minutes. Add in diced bacon, diced potatoes and pour in chicken stock.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a high simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Whisk cornstarch into evaporated milk until no lumps remain.
- Add mixture to pot along with the cream cheese, shredded cheddar, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Stir to combine and simmer 5 minutes or so, until slightly thickened.
- Mash about half the potatoes with a potato masher, then serve with desired garnishes.
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The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
Calories: 299 | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 1040mg | Potassium: 1089mg | Sugar: 8g | Fiber: 4g | Vitamin A: 7.3% | Vitamin C: 23.4% | Calcium: 32.6% | Iron: 0%
I’m not a nutritionist, and nutritional values here on my recipes should be used for general information purposes only. This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before starting a new diet and fitness regimen.