Cheeseburger Soup is a creamy, comforting bowl of delicious burger flavors topped with plenty of garnishes you would see on a classic cheeseburger like cheese, tomatoes, pickles, bacon, and even a bun (in the form of croutons)!
When the weather is chilly, nothing sounds better to me than a bowl of soup with a big slice of sweet cornbread! There is nothing like being inside a cozy house while it's cold outside and making a pot of soup for dinner. Zuppa Toscana and Broccoli Cheddar Soup are always a hit at our house. So I knew they would love another favorite food twist in soup form: cheeseburger soup!
This cheeseburger soup is a savory, loaded creamy, cheesy soup that combines the flavors and ingredients normally found inside of a cheeseburger!
It's an easy and delicious soup to prepare, but my favorite part are all the garnishes on top. For anyone who picks their pickles off their cheeseburgers, I really recommend you give them a try in this soup! It really gives it that something extra that makes you think, "wow! this soup really DOES taste like a cheeseburger!" Even my pickle-hating kids and husband preferred this soup with the pickle garnish on top.
I prefer to use sharp cheddar cheese for this soup, although many other recipes call for Velveeta. I prefer the taste of cheddar and think the soup is plenty creamy as is, but you could do a combination of both, or use just Velveeta cheese if you prefer.
How to make cheeseburger soup
- Start by cutting hamburger buns into small cubes and drizzling with a little olive oil and salt. Toast in a 400 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes until golden and crisp, then set aside.
- In a large dutch oven, cook the chopped bacon until crispy, then remove and drain the bacon fat.
- In the same dutch oven, brown the ground beef over medium heat by breaking it up with a wooden spoon until no pink remains. Transfer the browned ground beef to a plate and drain the grease.
- Melt the butter in the same dutch oven over medium heat, and add in the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook the veggies until they are soften slightly, around 4-5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle the flour over the softened vegetables and stir in. Cook for another minute longer, then stir in the Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar.
- Gradually whisk in the beef broth and milk, then add in the potatoes and and return the cooked ground beef to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
- Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook just until the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in the cheese until melted, then remove from the heat.
- Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with hamburger bun croutons, diced pickles, chopped tomatoes, the cooked bacon, green onions, and more shredded cheese just before serving.
Can you freeze cheeseburger soup?
You can freeze this soup in a gallon-sized zipper topped bag, just make sure that you press the air out of it so that it takes up less space in the freezer. You may also wish to freeze it flat on a baking sheet and then turn it on its side for a more convenient storage solution.
Thaw the soup in the fridge overnight and reheat, or take it from the freezer and place it in a slow cooker on low all day for a low maintenance dinner.
How to thicken cheeseburger soup?
I like to thicken this soup with a little flour that gets sprinkled over softened vegetables. Once you whisk in the broth and let everything simmer, you won't even notice the vegetables or flour in the soup, but they create an incredibly flavorful base. The potatoes also release starch while they cook, which contributes to the creamy, silky texture of the soup.
If you find that your soup isn’t as thick as you’d like, you can make a cornstarch slurry by combining equal parts cornstarch and water and add it to the soup while it’s simmering. Or if you prefer your soup on the thinner side, you can add in a little more broth or milk to thin it out.
But obviously I think it's just the right consistency as written, thickened with just the flour and starch released from the potatoes.
- 3 hamburger buns,
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 3-4 cups)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Diced tomatoes
- Chopped dill pickles
- Chopped green onions
- Additional cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the hamburger buns into small bite-size cubes then arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, to taste, then toss to coat evenly. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and crisp, then set aside.
- In a large dutch oven, cook the bacon until crispy, then remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and drain the bacon fat. Set the bacon aside.
- In the same pot, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go until the meat is cooked and no longer pink. Transfer to a separate bowl and set aside. Drain any excess grease.
- Melt the butter in the same pot over medium-high heat, then add the onion, celery, and carrots, cooking and stirring for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle the flour over the softened vegetables and stir it in, cooking for 1 minute. Add dried basil, parsley, and red pepper flakes.
- Gradually whisk in the broth and milk, stirring to make sure there are no clumps of flour. Add the Worcestershire sauce, potatoes, and browned ground beef to the broth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, just until the potatoes have softened and are tender.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the soup, stirring until it melts and combines with the broth, then remove from the heat.
- Serve the soup in individual bowls, topped with the cooked bacon, hamburger bun croutons, chopped tomatoes, pickles, green onions, and additional cheese.