Light-but-Loaded Creamy Potato Soup

This loaded potato soup is so easy — it comes together with only a handful of ingredients and no heavy cream, just milk!

Now this is obviously no health food, but you’ll find it to be quite a bit lighter than most classic potato soup recipes which call for heavy cream, extra butter, and sour cream. This recipe uses the potatoes themselves to contribute to the creaminess of the soup! Russet potatoes dissolve much better than gold potatoes (or other waxy potatoes) so make sure you don’t sub those! The size of the potato chunks is also important – too small, and they will dissolve completely leaving no little chunks behind, too big, and they won’t dissolve enough, and the soup will not be as creamy.

Key Tips – Light-but-Loaded Creamy Potato Soup

Do NOT sub another kind of potato.

  • This recipe relies on the russet potatoes partially dissolving into the soup, which gives it the rich, creamy texture. Other varieties of potatoes may not dissolve in the same way, especially waxy potato varieties.

Use enough salt!

  • My biggest tip with this recipe (and really any potato based recipe) is to make sure you add enough salt! Potatoes absorb huge amounts of salt, so they are frequently under-salted. Don’t forget to taste the soup before serving and add more salt if needed!

Potato chunk size is important.

  • Because we are relying on the potatoes partially dissolving, the size of each potato piece is important in this recipe. Pieces that are small will dissolve quicker than large pieces, so keeping a consistent size will help. The larger your pieces, the longer the soup will need to simmer, so I suggest ~1 cm cubes.

Control the richness with toppings.

  • Each person can control how indulgent they want their serving to be when topping their own bowl! Add more or less cheese and bacon bits to suit your personal preference.

Variations – Light-but-Loaded Creamy Potato Soup

Ideas of how to adapt this recipe for various dietary restrictions – suggestions on this list may not have been tested.

Make it Vegetarian

  • Omit the bacon. Instead, cook the onions in 2 tbsp of vegetable oil.
  • Consider adding some MSG or nutritional yeast to give the recipe some extra savoriness.
  • (I’ve made it this way a number of times!)

Make it Vegan

  • Omit the bacon. Instead, cook the onions in 2 tbsp of vegetable oil.
  • Substitute the milk with a non-dairy milk, such as soy milk.
  • Substitute the cheese with a non-dairy cheese, such as Daiya brand non-dairy cheddar cheese shreds.
  • Consider adding some MSG or nutritional yeast to give the recipe some extra savoriness.

Make it Dairy-Free

  • Substitute the milk with a non-dairy milk, such as soy milk.
  • Substitute the cheese with a non-dairy cheese, such as Daiya brand non-dairy cheddar cheese shreds.

Make it Gluten-Free

  • Substitute the all-purpose flour with gluten-free all-purpose flour.

A Note On Serving Sizes

Serving sizes are a very personal thing, making it very difficult for me to select a serving size that suits everyone. While this is listed as 4 servings, most people would prefer to have more than one serving. I typically serve this dish as 2-3 large dinner servings or 4 small lunch/side servings.

Light-but-Loaded Creamy Potato Soup

Jacqueline Schell
Easy and quick potato soup that uses no heavy cream (just milk)! Top with cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and chives – controlling the quantity for a more or less loaded dish.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Simmer time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 4 cups



  • Heat a large, wide pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook it until it reaches your desired level of doneness (choose bacon quantity based on desired amount for topping later). Remove to a paper towel lined plate and leave the drippings in the pan.
  • Evaluate how much bacon grease is left in the pot (this will vary). You want about 2-3 tbsp, enough to thinly coat the bottom of the pot. If you have too much, spoon some out before proceeding. If you have too little, supplement with some veggie oil. Cook the onions in the bacon drippings until they soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add potatoes, garlic, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Dust the flour over the mixture in the pot and stir until the ingredients are well-mixed, ~2 minutes.
  • Add milk and water and stir until well-mixed. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer.
  • The outsides of the potatoes will dissolve into the liquid, creating the rich creamy texture with small chunks of potato remaining. The longer you simmer, the more the potatoes will dissolve into the soup, I simmer for at least 30 minutes but sometimes longer. Stir occasionally to prevent potatoes from sticking to the pan’s bottom.
  • Before serving, add more salt and pepper to taste. Potatoes absorb a ton of salt, so it may feel like you are over-salting but you aren’t. Ladle into bowls and serve topped to taste with shredded cheddar, green onion, and bacon bits.


Can be prepared without the bacon, just cook the onions in ~2 tbsp veggie oil.
Keyword Creamy Potato Soup, Creamy Soup, Light but Loaded Creamy Potato Soup, Light Potato Soup, Loaded Potato Soup, Potato Soup, soup
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  1. 5 stars
    So easy and really tasty! At first I was worried it wasn’t going to turn out because it seemed too liquidy but the potatoes dissolved as it cooked and the texture turned out great!

  2. 5 stars
    So much lighter than my old go-to! The recipe I used to follow had a lot of heavy cream in it and was super high calorie. I love that this one uses the potatoes to make the soup creamy! Will definitely be making this again!

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