Home Copycat Recipes Copycat O’Charley’s Loaded Potato Soup

Copycat O’Charley’s Loaded Potato Soup

This copycat O’Charley’s loaded potato soup recipe is the real deal.

Chock full of tender potatoes and a mountain of cheese, it’s not one to make if you’re watching your waistline.

But it’s so comforting, you won’t care.

Warm Homemade Potato Soup with Cheese and Bacon
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Copycat O’Charley’s Loaded Potato Soup Recipe

I fell in love with O’Charley’s after one meal. But it wasn’t because of their succulent steaks, colorful cocktails, or even fun ‘Free Pie Wednesdays.’

It was their loaded potato soup. I tried it once, and I was hooked.

And then, they shut our O’Charley’s down!

I was devastated. Heartbroken. Absolutely bereft. How could I ever live without my favorite silky potato soup?

I couldn’t. 

So I had to figure out how to make it at home. And fortunately for me, it’s not that difficult.

This thick, cream-based soup doesn’t take much work at all. 

It’s just a matter of boiling potatoes, mixing the broth, and finding the right toppings.

It takes a bit of time and hands-on effort, but not more than an hour. And the result is well worth it. 

Just be sure you have the toppings ready. Potato soup isn’t the same without those. 

Bowl of Homemade Potato Soup with Bacon, Cheese and Green Onions


Here’s what you’ll need to make this copycat O’Charley’s loaded potato soup recipe: 

  • Red Potatoes – I’ve seen other copycat recipes for this soup online that call for Russet potatoes or Idaho potatoes.  But I think red potatoes are the only way to go. They have the perfect texture for making soup, and they’re the ones that give it that same O’Charley’s flavor. 
  • Butter – Butter gives the broth a rich, yummy flavor that only butter can provide. I use salted butter because it cuts down on the extra salt some people add after serving.
  • All-Purpose Flour – Flour acts as a thickening agent in this recipe. It keeps the broth from being too thin and runny but adds nothing in terms of taste. I recommend all-purpose flour because it’s cheap and readily available.
  • Half & Half – Here’s the cream for your cream-based soup. Some recipes call for milk, while others use heavy cream. But I find half & half to be the happy medium between them.
  • Velveeta Cheese – You could call Velveeta the secret ingredient for this soup. That’s where all its wonderful cheesiness comes from. And it’s why this soup is so much better than other potato soup recipes
  • White Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Hot Pepper Sauce – These ingredients are your seasonings and will lift the heavy, rich flavors of the soup. The amounts listed are one tablespoon of white pepper and one teaspoon each of garlic powder and hot pepper sauce.
  • The Toppings – The four must-have toppings for a copycat O’Charley’s soup recipe are crispy, crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, fresh chopped chives, and parsley. This soup is nowhere near as tasty without them.

If you’re a vegetarian, I recommend finding tofu bacon since the dish needs that hit of meaty saltiness.

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Homemade Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon and Cheese

How to Make O’Charley’s Loaded Potato Soup 

Here’s how to make O’Charley’s loaded potato soup: 

1. PREP: Read the recipe, gather everything needed, and do any necessary chopping, measuring, etc.

2. BOIL: Place the diced potatoes into a pot of cold water and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes until slightly firm in the middle, then drain.

3. BROTH: In a separate pan, make the broth by mixing melted butter and flour, then stirring in half & half and Velveeta over low heat. Stir constantly.

4. COMBINE: Add the cooked potatoes, pepper, garlic, and hot pepper sauce to the broth. Stir gently and adjust the seasonings to taste.

5. COOK: Cover the pan and cook the soup over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. SERVE: Remove from heat, pour into serving bowls, and top with crumbled bacon, cheese, chives, and parsley.

Homemade Potato Soup with Bacon, Cheese and Onions in a Bowl

O’Charley’s Loaded Potato Soup Recipe Tips 

Here are a few final tips to ensure your soup is the best it can be: 

  • Substitute heavy cream for a thicker soup. If you like broth super thick, use heavy cream instead of half & half. 
  • Shred the cheese by hand. There’s nothing wrong with bagged shredded cheese in a pinch, but shredding from a fresh block is better (pre-shredded cheese has a coating that keeps it from melting well). 
  • Use real bacon for the topping. Some recipes encourage you to save time by using bacon bits instead of real bacon. Don’t! Real bacon is the only way to go. 
  • Puree the soup to make it creamier. I never do this, but I have friends that do. If you want the soup to be extra creamy, puree it before adding the potatoes. 
  • Don’t add the potatoes if you’re making a big batch for later or meal prepping. The potatoes will turn mushy if they sit in the soup too long. Instead, cook them as instructed and store them separately. Then add them per portion and cook before serving.
  • Only add toppings if you’re about to eat the soup. If you have to store or freeze leftovers, you want to avoid having toppings on them. They don’t freeze well. 

Speaking of toppings, let’s check out a few extra ones! 

Toppings for O’Charley’s Loaded Potato Soup

For a genuine O’Charley’s copycat recipe, you must add the four listed toppings. However, they aren’t your only options.

Here are a few others I love: 

  • Sour cream
  • Green onions
  • Croutons
  • Fried onions
  • Crackers
  • Cooked corn kernels
  • Diced white onions
  • Various shredded cheese varieties
  • Mushrooms

It’s your soup, after all. Add whatever toppings you like to make it your own! 

As for what to serve with potato soup, I think it’s best with fluffy dinner rolls to mop the bowl clean.

More Soup Recipes You’ll Love

Sweet Potato Soup
Green Chili Chicken Soup
Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup
Panera Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Copycat O’Charley’s Loaded Potato Soup

Course: SoupCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time





Filled with chunks of potatoes, plenty of cheese, and a heavenly creamy broth, this copycat O’Charley’s loaded potato soup recipe is the real deal.


  • 3 pounds red potatoes

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • 8 cups half-and-half

  • 1 (16 ounce) package Velveeta cheese, diced

  • 1 tablespoon white pepper

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

  • 1/2 pound bacon, crisply fried, for topping

  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, for topping

  • 1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped, for topping

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped, for topping


  • Dice the potatoes into half-inch cubes with the skins on. Transfer them to a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook until they’re about 3/4 cooked. They should be slightly firm in the middle – about 10 minutes.
  • While the potatoes cook, melt the melted butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle over the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then turn the heat to low and slowly pour in the half & half. Stir continuously until the mixture starts to thicken.
  • Add the diced Velveeta in 1/2 cup additions, and stir until smooth and melted. Stir in the white pepper, garlic powder, and hot pepper sauce. Taste and adjust as needed.
  • When the potatoes are ready, drain them and add them to the sauce. Cover the pan and cook on low for 30 minutes. Occasionally raise the lid to stir.
  • After 30 minutes, stir the soup once more, portion it into bowls, add the toppings, and serve.

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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