This deliciously creamy hamburger potato soup gets its luxurious texture from both sour cream and grated cheddar cheese melted into the broth. This creamy, cheesy soup is the ultimate in winter (or year-round!) comfort food!
Nothing hits the spot like a hot bowl of creamy, cheesy soup on a cold (or stressful!) day. So, I bet this creamy hamburger potato soup is sure to be your new go-to comfort dish.
It's got chunks of savory ground beef, tender cubes of potato, and a creamy, cheesy base that is just perfect for dunking with crusty bread. (It would be excellent with my recipe for zucchini cheese bread!)
And, like nearly all of my recipes, this delicious soup featuring potatoes and ground beef is easy to make with basic ingredients. Prep takes about 10 minutes, and much of the cook time is inactive (aside from occasional stirring!).
So, get your crusty bread ready! This creamy hamburger soup is about to make your whole day a lot more cozy (and more delicious!).
- Potatoes: for this recipe, russet potatoes work best, although you can also use gold potatoes.
- Cheese: I prefer the flavor and melting ability of medium cheddar cheese, but you can use any melting cheese you like, such as American or mozzarella. Here is a great list of the best cheeses for melting!
- Sour cream: please go with only full-fat sour cream. Low fat or fat free sour cream is more likely to curdle when added to the soup.
- Ground beef: I prefer to use lean ground beef (in the range of 10% - 5% fat). That way you don't have to drain any excess grease.
Step by step photos
Here is a breakdown of how to make the hamburger potato soup. To see a brief slideshow how-to, check out my web story for this recipe!
1. The first step to making this creamy hamburger potato soup is to prep the produce. Scrub the potatoes to remove any dirt, and then peel them (or peel them and then rinse off the potatoes).
Cut the peeled potatoes into cubes about ¾ inch (1.9 cm) in size. And, chop the onion. Set both aside for now.
2. Set a large soup pot or Dutch oven on the stove over medium high heat. Add the oil to the pot. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and ground beef. Cook, stirring frequently, until the beef is brown and the onions are translucent. This should take about 6 - 7 minutes.
When you are cooking the beef, be sure to break it up into smaller pieces using your wooden spoon.
3. Once the beef is browned, add in the potatoes, flour, and seasonings. Stir everything and continue to cook for 1 minute longer.
Then, pour in the beef broth and stir. Use your wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot!
4. Turn the heat up so the soup comes to a boil. Boil the soup for about 1 - 2 minutes; you should see the liquid thicken during this time. Then, turn the heat down to bring the soup to a simmer. (As I explained in my post for lentil turkey soup, a simmer is just when small bubbles are breaking across the surface.)
Simmer the soup uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. You can test this by seeing if a fork slides in easily into a piece of potato.
(And meanwhile, close to the end of the cook time, shred the cheddar cheese and set it aside!)
5. Now that the hamburger potato soup has finished cooking, turn the heat off the stove and move the pot off the hot burner.
In a separate small bowl, add the sour cream. Then, gradually mix in about a cup of the soup liquid to the sour cream. This tempers the sour cream, so it will be less likely to curdle when it hits the heat from the hot soup.
Go ahead and add the tempered sour cream back into the soup and mix it in.
6. Finally, to finish up this deliciously creamy hamburger potato soup, mix in that shredded cheese from earlier. It should melt right into the soup, and you'll have a smooth, creamy and cheesy soup perfect for a cold day!
Substitutions and add-ins
Like many soup recipes, this hamburger potato soup is easy to customize to your own tastes, and to what you have in your pantry! Here are some substitution and add-in ideas:
- Feel free to substitute any type of broth you have on hand. Chicken broth, vegetable broth, or even turkey broth would all work in place of the beef broth.
- To reduce the sodium in the recipe, use lower sodium broth, or homemade broth.
- If you don't have sour cream, you can substitute an equal amount of heavy cream. It won't provide that extra bit of tanginess that is so irresistible, but it will still be nice and creamy!
- Instead of ground beef, try ground turkey, ground pork, bulk sausage, or a combination of any of these! (But, if using fattier meats like sausage, you may need to drain any excess grease after browning the meat.)
- As I mentioned in the Ingredient notes section above, you can use any type of melting cheese in the soup. American, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, and provolone would all work really well!
- For add-in ideas, try mixing in crumbled bacon to the finished soup for a smoky flavor. Or, chopped green onion for a fresh flavor! You can also add chopped carrot and celery along with the onion to get more veggies in.
Storage and reheating
- The soup can be stored in an airtight food storage container in the fridge. It will keep for 3 - 4 days.
- Because this soup has cheese and sour cream, I don't recommend storing it in the freezer, as the smooth texture will be affected.
- To reheat the soup on the stove, place it in a small saucepan over the lowest heat setting. Stir the soup frequently until it's warmed through. Try not to let the soup simmer, because the thick creamy texture may start to break down.
- To reheat the soup in the microwave, place one serving of soup in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a paper towel to catch any spatter. Heat the soup in 1 minute increments at 50% power, stirring in between, until heated through. This gentle approach will help the soup heat evenly, without overheating and breaking down the creamy texture.
Tips and tricks
- This creamy hamburger soup only calls for salt to be added at the very end, if needed. That's because the broth, sour cream, and cheese are all salty. So, you may not need salt, or just a little bit, to bring out the flavor.
- I highly recommend shredding the cheese yourself for this recipe, rather than using pre-shredded cheese. That's because pre-shredded cheese has added anti-caking agents, which will prevent the cheese from melting seamlessly into the soup (instead it will be a little bit grainy!).
- As I mentioned above, I used lean beef for this soup recipe. If you use lean beef, you don't have to drain any grease after browning the beef. But, if you want to use regular, non lean beef, it will still work! Just drain any excess grease before adding in the potatoes, flour, and seasonings.
- The soup will continue to thicken as it cools. So, after you mix in the cheese, you are feeling like it's not thick enough for your tastes, let it sit for 5 minutes, then give it a stir and enjoy!
The only ingredient in this creamy hamburger soup that contains gluten is the flour (of course!). The flour is used as a thickener. So, if you prefer, you can ditch the flour and thicken the soup with a cornstarch slurry instead.
Add the cornstarch slurry during the last few minutes of cooking, before you add in the sour cream and cheese. Here is a great tutorial on how to use a cornstarch slurry.
Cornstarch is known to be about twice as strong a thickener as flour. Since this recipe uses ½ cup flour, you would likely need about ¼ cup cornstarch to thicken. But, I haven't experimented with thickening this particular soup with cornstarch, so you may need to adjust the amounts to find the texture you are aiming for.
This creamy soup tastes best when served fresh. However, leftovers can be stored in the fridge, tightly covered, for 3 - 4 days. Please use the reheating instructions above, which explain how to gently warm the leftover soup. Gentle warming is important to help preserve the creamy texture of the soup.
This soup is very hearty and filling, so in my opinion, it's perfect as a main course, with only crusty bread or crackers! Or, you can pair it with a fresh green salad. You could also serve it in a smaller cup, with a turkey wrap, tomato sandwich, or some other type of lighter sandwich for lunch.
Since this soup doesn't need many side dishes to make a full meal, feel free to run wild with topping ideas! Try croutons, more shredded cheese, green onions, chives, cracked black pepper, and/or a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a star rating and/or review in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And sign up for my weekly newsletter to get recipes delivered straight to you!Print
Creamy Hamburger Potato Soup
This creamy hamburger potato soup is easy to make with basic ingredients, and it is so cozy and comforting! Cheese and sour cream bring the creaminess big time. Plus, the slight tanginess from the sour cream adds a brightness that elevates this homey soup.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: main course, entree
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- 1 ½ pounds (680 g) russet or gold potatoes
- 1 large onion (about 12 ounces/340 g)
- 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil (avocado oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, etc.)
- 1 ½ pounds (680 g) lean ground beef (see note 1)
- ½ cup (65 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 5 cups (1.2 L) beef broth
- 6 ounces (170 g) cheddar cheese (about 1 ¾ cups when shredded) (see note 2)
- 1 cup (240 g) full-fat sour cream
- salt, to taste
- Prep the produce: Wash the potatoes to remove any dirt, then peel them and cut them into about ¾ inch (1.9 cm) cubes. Chop the onion.
- Add the oil to a large Dutch oven or soup pot set over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and ground beef. Stir and cook until the beef is browned and onions are translucent, about 6 - 7 minutes. While cooking, break the beef up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon.
- Add the potatoes, flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper to the pot. Continue to stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the beef broth. Stir the soup, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot with the spoon. Turn the heat up to bring the soup to a boil. Boil the soup for 1 - 2 minutes; the liquid in the soup should start to thicken during this time.
- Turn the heat down to bring the soup to a simmer. Simmer the soup, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce the potatoes ("fork-tender"). Stir the soup occasionally during cooking. If needed, adjust the heat to maintain the simmer.
- Towards the end of cooking, shred the cheddar cheese, set aside.
- When the potatoes are fork-tender, turn the heat off the stove and move the soup pot off the hot burner.
- Add the sour cream to a small bowl. Gradually mix in about 1 cup of hot liquid from the soup (this tempers the sour cream to help prevent it from curdling when added to the hot soup). Add the tempered sour cream into the soup and stir to combine.
- Mix the shredded cheese into the soup. Taste the soup and add salt and/or more black pepper to taste.
- I used 93% lean ground beef in this recipe. If you want to substitute regular (not lean) ground beef, just drain any excess grease after browning the beef and before adding the potatoes, flour and seasonings.
- Freshly shredded cheese works best here, rather than pre-shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese has added anti-caking ingredients that can make the soup less smooth.
- I don't recommend substituting low fat or fat free sour cream, which are more likely to curdle in the soup due to their lower fat content. If desired, you can substitute 1 cup heavy cream for the sour cream.
- Salt is only added at the very end because the broth, sour cream and cheese all contain a fair amount of salt. The amount of salt needed will vary based on the broth you are using and your own tastes!
- The nutrition information below is an estimate only; the nutrition counts of your dish will vary based on the brands and exact amounts of ingredients used. This information was provided by an online nutrition calculator, and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full nutrition disclosure policy.
- Serving Size: ⅛ recipe
- Calories: 444
- Sugar: 3 g
- Sodium: 655 mg
- Fat: 23.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 10.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 26.4 g
- Fiber: 1.8 g
- Protein: 29.7 g
- Cholesterol: 98 mg
Keywords: hamburger potato soup, creamy hamburger soup