Copycat O'Charley's Loaded Potato Soup Recipe

As a registered dietician, chef and recipe developer, Kristen Carli of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness tends to promote lighter, healthier, and vegetable-heavy dishes. But she also knows that at times, taste is what matters above all else. That, and the wonderful satisfaction that comes from a rich, filling soup like this copycat of O'Charley's beloved loaded potato soup. "This recipe is decadent," Carli allows, but it's more than worth the nearly 500 calories per serving listed on O'Charley's own site, which explains why Carli also says, "I love this as a complete lunch. You do not need much with this recipe as it is very hearty."

Not only is this soup guaranteed to satisfy your palate and sate your appetite, it's also easier to make than the Instagram-ready final product would have you believe. "There are a lot of steps, but they are all quite easy," says Carli. If you can do a bit of dicing and slicing, some measuring of ingredients, and some stirring, and if you can watch the clock, then you can make this superlative soup.

This recipe will create a batch large enough for eight servings. So call some friends or family over, and let's get cooking.

Gather the ingredients for a pot of copycat O'Charley's loaded potato soup

It's not really that much of a mystery why this is not that healthy of a soup, but on the other hand, it is downright delicious, with two types of cheese (Velveeta and shredded cheddar cheese), heavy cream, butter, and bacon.

You'll also need lots of yellow potatoes, chicken broth, flour, whole milk, salt and pepper, garlic powder, and some chopped chives for serving. Yeah, it's about to get pretty tasty in that kitchen.

Cook the potatoes and bacon

In a large stock pot, add the cubed potatoes and then pour the chicken broth over the potatoes and crank up a burner to high heat. Bring the broth to a boil and then cook the potatoes at a boil for 10 minutes, then drain them and set aside.

If you are decently comfortable in the kitchen, you can by all means cook the bacon and potatoes at the same time. (You can even prep and measure all the other ingredients while these cook, by the way.) So go ahead and, in a large nonstick or in a greased skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat for about eight minutes, until crispy, flipping once halfway thorough. Set the bacon aside on a paper towel lined plate.

Create the cream, cheese, and milk base

Returning to the stock pot that you used to cook the potatoes (no need to wash it; a bit of leftover broth is a good thing), add the butter and put the pot over medium heat, stirring a bit until the butter has mostly melted. Then add the flour to the butter. "Be sure to whisk the flour and butter together to avoid clumps," says Carli.

Now add the heavy cream, whole milk, Velveeta, and the shredded cheddar cheese, and keep the heat at medium, stirring often. Once the cheddar has melted, whisk again to combine everything — this whole step may take up to 15 minutes, FYI. "Be sure to melt the cheeses thoroughly, stirring constantly so they don't burn," Carli says.

Add the potatoes and simmer the soup, then garnish and serve

As soon as all of the cheese is melted and fully mixed into the cream and milk soup base, add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder and stir them in. Next, add the potatoes and stir to combine those, too.

Cover the pot with a lid and cook the soup on low for 30 minutes, checking now and then to make sure it's not burning. In the meantime, crumble that cooked bacon and finely chop the chives. When the soup is ready, serve bowls of it with crumbled bacon and chives for garnish, and some black or even red pepper for spice. 

Copycat O'Charley's Loaded Potato Soup Recipe
5 from 39 ratings
This Instagram-worthy copycat O'Charley's loaded potato soup recipe is rich, filling, and easy to make -- and is guaranteed to satisfy your appetite.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
56
minutes
Servings
8
Servings
A bowl of copycat O'Charley's Loaded Potato Soup
Total time: 61 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds yellow potatoes, cubed
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 8 slices bacon
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 7 cups whole milk
  • 16 ounces Velveeta cheese
  • 2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
Optional Ingredients
  • minced chives, for serving
Directions
  1. In a large stock pot, pour chicken broth over the cubed potatoes. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, add the bacon and cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes, until crispy, flipping halfway thorough. Set the bacon aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. In the stock pot you used to cook the potatoes, warm the butter over medium heat until mostly melted. Add the flour and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the heavy cream, whole milk, Velveeta, and shredded cheese and heat over medium heat. Once melted, whisk for about 15 minutes to combine.
  5. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the cheese mixture and stir, then add the cooked potatoes and stir again.
  6. Cover the pot and cook on low for 30 minutes.
  7. In the meantime, crumble the cooked bacon and finely chop the chives.
  8. Serve the soup topped with crumbled bacon and chives for garnish.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 1,278
Total Fat 101.0 g
Saturated Fat 57.2 g
Trans Fat 1.4 g
Cholesterol 316.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 52.8 g
Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
Total Sugars 17.9 g
Sodium 1,395.4 mg
Protein 42.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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