This easy Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Soup is SO delicious and sure to be a new family favorite dinner! It’s classic American comfort food, in soul-warming soup form. With directions for stovetop, slow cooker, and the pressure cooker (Instant Pot), you’re sure to find a cooking method that works for you!
This easy Cheeseburger Soup recipe is a winner when it comes to weeknight dinners! Recipes like my Copycat Zuppa Toscana and Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup are great for when you want an ultra-comforting family meal that’s ready with minimal effort. We love cooking soups and stews during the Winter, and this is one of my Soup Recipes you’ll definitely want in your recipe rotation!
Cheeseburger soup recipe
Is there anything more classically American than a gooey cheeseburger? It’s iconic, for good reason. It’s utterly delicious!
Except… can I be honest here… I don’t actually love cheeseburgers. *gasp* I know, I know… it’s just weird to not love such a classic food.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a juicy hamburger, it’s the cheese part that throws me. Technically, it’s the cheese plus condiments (like ketchup, mustard, mayo, bbq sauce etc). So I do occasionally eat a cheeseburger, but plain.
I know, I’m completely weird, and I’m sure by now you’re reading this with some raised eyebrows lol. The way I see it, embrace your weirdness 🙂
But even in all my anti-cheeseburger-ness, I’m obsessed with this soup. This soup has all the amazing flavors of a classic juicy and gooey cheeseburger (and none of the condiments lol). If your kids aren’t big soup fans, they just might love this one!
How to make cheeseburger soup in the slow cooker
- Add veggies. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes, salt, and pepper.
- Pour in liquids. Add chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.
- Cover and cook. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
- Brown beef. About 40 minutes before serving, brown beef in a skillet over MED HIGH heat, cooking for about 5-7 minutes, crumbling as it cooks. Drain well!
- Add to slow cooker.
- Make slurry. In a small mixing bowl, combine the milk and cornstarch, whisking until smooth.
- Add to slow cooker and thicken. Pour mixture into slow cooker and stir well. Cover and cook on HIGH for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
- Add dairy. With the slow cooker turned off, stir in shredded cheese and sour cream. Keep stirring until melted and smooth.
Additional cooking tips
- When to add the beef – for the original slow cooker version, you really want to add the beef towards the end of cooking. During recipe testing, I didn’t care for the texture of the beef that cooked all day.
- Types of cheese – whichever cheese you use, make sure it’s a kind that will melt well. Mild cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, etc. Velveeta can also be used. I really prefer to shred my own cheeses, since the store-bought bags have an additive added to them to prevent clumping, which can keep the cheese from melting as well, and even cause a bit of grittiness.
- Toppings – feel free to top this soup however you like, the sky is the limit! Personally, I like to add crumbled bacon, diced onion (white or red), extra cheese, and diced dill pickles.
- Dippers – as with any soup, a good crusty bread is always good to dip. I actually like to use some waffle fries to dip, since it really brings home that cheeseburger concept!
Variations of this recipe
- Actual hamburgers – a fun twist for this soup is to use actual grilled hamburgers! Really ups the whole “cheeseburger” flavor. You’ll want an equal amount, so however many burgers it takes to equal 1 lb.
- Velveeta – for a thicker, even cheesier soup, you can use 16 oz of Velveeta, cut into cubes.
- Meat – instead of beef, try this soup with ground turkey, or even a zesty sausage!
- Cream cheese – instead of the sour cream, try using 3-4 oz of cream cheese. Sometimes adding cream cheese to a hot chili/soup means it doesn’t quite mix in well enough. My trick for making it extra creamy solves that problem, but it does mean dirtying another bowl. In a mixing bowl, add softened cream cheese (basically room temp) and about 2 large ladles of the hot liquid from the soup. Use a whisk and really whisk it until smooth. Then pour that mixture back into the soup and stir.
- Stovetop – directly below the recipe, in the “recipe notes” section, I’ll detail how to make this recipe on the stovetop.
- Instant Pot – as mentioned above, check below the recipe for the Instant Pot directions.
Making cheeseburger soup ahead of time
This entire soup can be made up to 2-3 days ahead, but just know that the longer it sits, the thicker it can get, since the potatoes will absorb more liquid.
What I like to do is PREP this soup ahead of time. I do this for most of my recipes, because it makes dinner SO much easier!
- Chop veggies (minus the potatoes) and keep them refrigerated in an airtight container
- Brown beef and keep it refrigerated in an airtight container
- Not exactly prepping ahead, but for less hassle with potatoes, pick up a package of refrigerated or frozen potatoes, which are already chopped
Leftover soup should be refrigerated in an airtight container and consumed within 3-4 days.
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- Slow Cooker – this model is one of my favorites!
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- 1 large yellow or white onion diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 medium russet potatoes peeled and cubed into 1/2" cubes
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp hot sauce
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
ADD AT THE END
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- extra shredded cheddar, diced white or red onion, chopped dill pickles, crumbled bacon, fresh parsley
- waffle fries for dipping
- To slow cooker insert, add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes, salt, pepper, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6 - 8 hours.
- About 35-40 minutes before serving, heat a skillet over MED HIGH heat with a small drizzle of oil. Once hot, add ground beef and cook, 5-7 minutes, crumbling beef as it cooks. Drain really well and add to slow cooker.
- In a mixing bowl, combine milk and cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Stir into slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 20-25 minutes, until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Stir in cheese/sour cream
- Turn off the slow cooker and stir in shredded cheese and sour cream until melted and smooth.
- Serve hot, topped with any desired toppings.
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- Brown beef in large dutch oven over MED HIGH, or whatever pot you normally cook soup in. Crumble the beef as it's cooking. Once browned, drain well.
- Decrease heat to MED, add a drizzle of oil to the pot and add onion, carrots and celery and cook until soft and tender, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in salt and pepper.
- Add potatoes, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a high simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
- In a mixing bowl, combine milk and cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Stir into soup and bring to a gentle boil again.
- Cook until thickened, about 2-4 minutes.
- Turn the heat off, but leave the pot on the stove. Stir in shredded cheese and sour cream, stirring until melted and smooth.
Instant Pot Directions:
- Brown beef in the Instant Pot on the "saute" function. Crumble the beef as it cooks, then drain once browned.
- Add onion, carrots and celery, and cook for 5-8 minutes, until soft and tender, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
- Add chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce and use wooden spoon to continue scraping the bottom, until no browned bits remain.
- Add potatoes, salt and pepper.
- Press "Cancel - or Keep Warm/Cancel" to cancel out the saute function. Close lid securely and make sure the valve is set to "sealing". Select "Manual" or "Pressure Cook" and adjust the +/- button until it reads 9 minutes.
- When finished cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then carefully turn the valve to "venting" for a quick pressure release.
- In a mixing bowl, combine milk and cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Stir into soup and and select "Saute".
- Cook until thickened, about 2-4 minutes.
- Press "Cancel - or Keep Warm/Cancel". Stir in shredded cheese and sour cream, stirring until melted and smooth.
Any nutritional information shared is an estimate, and is automatically calculated through a program. If calorie count is important to you, I recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
The Chunky Chef is not a nutritionist and doesn’t provide full nutritional information for recipes as she wouldn’t want to potentially and unknowingly pass along incorrect information.