Cheeseburger Soup

bowls of cheeseburger soup with bacon
The Spruce / Diana Rattray
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Yield: 10 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
459 Calories
30g Fat
23g Carbs
25g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 459
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 15g 76%
Cholesterol 105mg 35%
Sodium 852mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 9mg 46%
Calcium 335mg 26%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 727mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This hearty cheeseburger soup is perfect as a dinner entree or served as a cup with half a sandwich for a satisfying lunch. You'll avoid the fast-food drive-thru, but get the nostalgic taste with this recipe. Serve the soup with soft rolls and some lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and pickles on the side with a drizzle of that secret special sauce or your favorite dressing.

This soup appeals to all ages and can be doubled or tripled for large family get-togethers as an alternative to other stock pot dishes such as chili or pasta. The soup is loaded with lean ground beef, cheese, and a variety of chopped vegetables and makes a fabulous meal that's filling on a cold night or a rainy day.

Since mild cheddar melts nicely, it's a good choice for this soup, or you might prefer American cheese or Velveeta if that's what you usually put on a cheeseburger. You might also experiment with other cheeses, such as pepper jack, cheddar jack, or bacon cheddar. Cheeseburger soup is sure to become a family favorite!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 1 cup diced carrots

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

  • 3 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour

  • 2 cups half and half (or whole milk)

  • 8 to 12 ounces cheddar cheese (or American cheese; shredded or cut into cubes)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons bacon (cooked and crumbled)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for cheeseburger soup
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Heat about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the ground beef and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink. Remove the ground beef to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside.

    browning the ground beef
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and dried basil to the pan, adding more vegetable oil if necessary—cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

    cooking the vegetable mirepoix
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. Add the cooked ground beef back to the pan along with the potatoes, basil, and chicken broth. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

    making cheeseburger soup
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour and butter roux mixture to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

    making cheeseburger soup
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. Add the cheese and half-and-half or milk to the soup and reduce the heat to low. Taste and add salt and pepper along with the parsley. Continue to cook for a few minutes, or until the cheese melts and the soup is hot.

    Dutch oven with cheeseburger soup
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cooked crumbled bacon. Enjoy!

    bowl of cheeseburger soup
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Can You Put Raw Ground Beef In Soup?

You can put it right in the soup without browning, but the flavor, texture, and color will not be as good. The 5 minutes or so that it takes to brown the ground beef is well worth it.

What Cheeses are Best for Soup?

Mild or sharp cheddar and American cheeses melt nicely in soups, but there are alternatives. Other soups that melt smoothly include pepper jack, cheddar jack, Mexican blends, and colby cheese.

How To Store

  • Refrigerate cooled leftover soup in covered containers for up to 4 days.
  • Cheeseburger soup is not a good choice for the freezer because cheese and cream tend to separate, and potatoes can become mushy.
  • To freeze the soup partially made, follow steps 2 and 3, then add the beef back to the pan along with the chicken broth. Freeze in an airtight container. When it's time to cook, bring the soup to a boil on the stovetop, add the potatoes and basil, and continue with the recipe.
  • To reheat the leftover soup, transfer it to a saucepan and cook over low heat until it reaches at least 165 F, the minimum safe temperature for leftovers (USDA).

Recipe Variations

  • Add about 1/2 cup of sour cream to the soup just before serving, or serve sour cream as a garnish for individual bowls.
  • Along with the bacon, garnish servings with extra shredded cheddar, American, or a flavored cheese, such as pepper jack.
  • Make the soup with ground turkey instead of ground beef.