This cheeseburger soup has all the flavors of a cheeseburger in a bowl! It's a creamy soup that screams comfort food, while being low carb and incredibly easy to make! You don't need any special equipment to make it and it's ready in under 30 minutes!
Jeff took some of this soup to work and his co-workers were amazed that it tasted like an actual cheeseburger! I must admit that I was amazed, as well!
When creating the recipe, I thought about all the ingredients that I enjoy on my cheeseburger and threw them in a pot. That's the beauty of making soup, you can add or omit just about anything and make a comforting soup that will be a family favorite!
This cheeseburger soup recipe is so much fun because you can whip up a large soup pot full of the soup and have all kinds of toppings available to add as garnishes. Kind of like a burger bar, but with soup!
It's perfect for a cold winter day and something that the whole family will love. I'll give you some great topping ideas below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! You can make as much or as little of this easy cheeseburger soup recipe as you want. The instructions are the same no matter how large or small of a batch you want to make, the cook time will increase a bit for larger batches.
Yes! Just let it cool completely and put into an airtight container or a freezer bag and it will stay good in the freezer for 3-6 months or longer.
To reheat, you can either let it thaw in the refrigerator and warm it up on the stove or in the Ninja Foodi using sear/sauté or put in a container that is safe for pressure cooking and pressure cook it (pot in pot) with 1 cup of water in the bottom of the pot for about 5-7 minutes.
You can also use your crockpot or slow cooker on high for 1-2 hours from frozen. This is what I did and it worked perfectly.
It's close to being Keto, but, because I use commercially prepared ketchup and American cheese, I would not consider this cheeseburger soup recipe Keto.
However, you can certainly make it keto by using a different cheese and buying or making a keto ketchup. American cheese has about 1 gm of carbs per ounce compared to cheddar that comes in at about 0.4 gm of carbs per ounce.
The reason I use the American cheese is because it melts so nicely (due to being processed) and eliminates the need for a flour/butter roux to keep a creamy cheese soup base from splitting.
Plus, my go-to cheese on a cheeseburger is always white American cheese; however, you can use any cheese you like!
Ingredients & Substitutions
I used 80/20 blend of ground beef to make the soup, but you can certainly use a lean ground beef, if you prefer.
You can also use ground turkey or ground chicken.
Or, if you want to try a vegetarian version, try dicing up mushrooms and using them in place of the ground beef.
Cheese & Cream
I chose to use white American cheese & Monterey Jack cheeses for the soup base because of their melting qualities. The American cheese I used is from the deli and not the kind in the individual plastic wraps. Both are considered processed cheeses, but I have found the deli style white American has a much better flavor (brand does make a difference).
You can use yellow American or even Velveeta cheese, if you prefer. Your cheeseburger soup will just be a brighter yellow.
Quick Tip: When I want to make something with American shredded cheese, I ask the deli for a block of it unsliced to make it easier to shred.
If you wanted to add a little spice to your cheeseburger soup, try substituting the monterey jack cheese for pepper jack.
Other types of cheeses can also be used for the soup base, so feel free to use what you like or have on hand. In my experience, it is best to use a roux when using cheeses that tend to clump or split when melted. You can follow the directions below for making a roux before making the cheeseburger soup and then continue on with the rest of the recipe.
I used heavy cream in this recipe to add a richness and also to thicken the soup, but you can use whole milk if you prefer. Your soup will be thinner, though.
Since I used ground beef in the recipe, using beef broth (or stock) was a natural fit, but if you didn't have any beef broth, use chicken stock or chicken broth instead and it will be just fine. You can probably even use water in place of broth, but I recommend adjusting your seasonings if you do that.
Condiments & Seasonings
I kept it very simple and used ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper, and a touch of Worcestershire sauce to add that umami flavor to this great soup!
If you don't like mustard, skip it. If you don't like ketchup, skip it. You might find you need to add some extra seasonings and maybe even a touch of vinegar (especially if you are skipping the pickles, too)
The bottom line is always to make food that you and your family love. So, get creative, have fun, and don't forget to taste along the way!
This is where the fun begins. Simply think of your favorite burger toppings and add them in or on to your soup.
I like a classic cheeseburger with minimal toppings of lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles. For the life of me I don't know why I didn't add in a can of fire roasted tomatoes, but I didn't. Feel free to add those in if you want tomato chunks in your cheeseburger soup. I skipped the lettuce, because that would be too weird in my opinion, but hey, if you want to add it in, go right ahead! I would definitely add it after cooking as a cold garnish.
In my opinion, the dill pickles make the soup and I really urge you to try them! It's such a unique and wonderful flavor when the simple ingredients come together and make the best soup! You can leave the pickles out if you must or, if you like a sweeter soup, you can use bread & butter or even sweet pickles instead. If you do that, I would add a little vinegar (white or apple cider) to the ground beef when sautéing to bring in the acid needed to balance the sweetness of the sweet pickles.
I used a sweet onion that I diced and sautéed in the soup, but you can use any type of onion you like or simply omit it. If you want the flavor of the onion, but not the texture of the onion, use ¼-½ teaspoon of onion powder instead.
If you love bacon, then fry up some bacon and make a bacon cheeseburger soup. I would add the bacon after cooking for a crunchy topping, but you could also sauté some with the ground beef for extra flavor. The higher fat content of the bacon, might require draining the meat after cooking.
If you want to make a hearty soup, add in some diced russet potatoes or yukon gold potatoes.
How to Thicken Cheeseburger Soup
This recipe isn't a thick, chowder-like soup, but it certainly can be, if that is your preference. There are several ways to thicken it and I'll go over some of them here.
You can simply add more cheese until it becomes the thickness you like.
To make a thick chowder like cheeseburger soup from the start. Sauté the onions and ground beef until almost done, then add in 1-2 Tablespoons of flour. Only add in enough flour to bind with the grease from the ground beef. If you are using a lean ground beef and don't have a lot of fat, then add in some butter or oil. I would use 1 Tablespoon of butter/oil to 1 Tablespoon of flour in this case. Stir the mixture and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Then proceed with the recipe.
To thicken the soup AFTER you have made it, you will want to make a roux in a small saucepan. Melt 1 Tablespoon of the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat, sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of flour over the butter and stir to create a paste of sorts. All of the butter should be absorbed by the flour and you shouldn't see any white flour. If you see flour, then add a touch more butter. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. The idea is to cook the flour taste out, but not brown or burn the roux. Then simply mix the roux into your soup and stir. Heat on low until it thickens.
You can also thicken your soup after making it with a cornstarch slurry. Simply combine 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 1 Tablespoon of water or broth and mix until smooth. Add to the soup and simmer until thickened.
If you don't want to use flour, cornstarch, or cheese, you can also use xanthan gum to thicken the soup. Combine about 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum with 1 Tablespoon of oil or melted butter and mix until smooth. Add to the soup and stir. Let sit for about 5 minutes and it will thicken.
If you thicken your soup too much, no worries, just add in broth or stock or even cream until it is the consistency you want.
How to Make the Recipe
Whether you want to use your Ninja Foodi, Instant Pot, or a pot on the stove, the directions will be the same. There isn't any need or benefit to pressure cooking or slow cooking, but you can certainly make the soup and use a keep warm setting on the Ninja Foodi or your slow cooker to keep the soup warm until serving.
This soup comes together so quickly and it's so easy to make that I suggest measuring out all of your ingredients and doing the prep before you get started.
Measure out your seasonings, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, cream. Grate the cheeses and chop the onion. Slice and quarter the pickles.
Combine the seasonings in a medium size mixing bowl with the ground beef. Mix well. The reason I season the ground beef before adding it to the pot is to get the seasonings throughout the meat. This ground beef won't be broken up like you would taco meat, so it helps to have the seasonings throughout the meat and not just on the surface.
Turn the Ninja Foodi on high sear/sauté or if you are using a pot on the stove, use medium high heat.
Add the seasoned ground beef and the diced onions to the pot.
Once the ground beef starts to brown, begin breaking it up into large chunks. You don't want to break it up like you would taco meat because having chunks of the "burger" is key to a delicious cheeseburger soup. Cook the ground beef until it is at least 75% done.
*** If you are using a fattier cut of ground beef and see a lot of grease in your pan, you might want to cook the beef all the way and drain the grease before adding the remaining ingredients.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and mustard. Stir and continue to brown the beef.
Add the beef stock and make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to get any brown bits off the bottom and into the soup. That will give the soup so much flavor. If you haven't already shredded the cheese, do that over the pot like I did. Or just add it and stir until it melts.
Once the cheese has almost completely melted, add in the pickles and cream. Stir and heat on medium low until warmed through.
Add whatever toppings you want! Serve & Enjoy!
Fun Toppings for your Cheeseburger Soup
There are so many various toppings you can put on your cheeseburger soup, but here are a few of my favorites!
- Crispy Bacon
- Crispy shoestring french fries
- Raw onions
- Air Fryer Croutons made from hamburger rolls
- Shredded cheddar cheese or a cheese crisp
- Thinly sliced jalapeno peppers
- Fried onions
Cheeseburger Soup Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon fine grind sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 onion diced
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 cups beef broth
- 6 ounces American Cheese grated
- 2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese grated
- 2 medium dill pickles sliced and quartered
- 1 cup heavy cream
- shredded cheddar cheese
- crispy bacon
- crispy cheese crisp
- extra ketchup, mustard, and pickle
- Mix the ground beef with salt, pepper, garlic powder. Turn the Ninja Foodi on high sear/sauté or put a large pot on the stove and turn the heat to high. Add the ground beef and onions and begin to brown.
- As the beef begins to brown, break it up into chunks. You don't want the meat to be as fine as taco meat, having bite size chunks in the soup will give it that "burger" feel.
- When the ground beef is about 75% cooked, you can drain the ground beef if you are using a fattier cut and don't want the extra fat in the soup. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and mustard. Stir to combine and finish cooking the ground beef.
- Add in the beef broth and the shredded cheese. Stir and reduce the heat to medium or medium low. You only want the soup at a simmer, not boiling.
- When the cheese has almost completely melted, add in the sliced and quartered pickles and the heavy cream. Stir and warm through.
- Ladle into bowls and add toppings of choice. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
She published her first cookbook in the Fall of 2018 and is very interested in writing several more.
Louise is also the creator of an online Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Course with over 100 instructional step-by-step videos. People absolutely rave about the course and all the value they have received from it.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can. Get more Information about Louise & contact information
I WOULD LOVE TO SEE WHAT YOU ARE COOKING UP IN YOUR KITCHEN! TAG ME @THESALTEDPEPPER ON YOUR FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM WHEN YOU MAKE A DISH!
BE SURE TO FOLLOW THE SALTED PEPPER RIGHT HERE ⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓