Slow Cooker Potato Soup

It’s a new year and many of us are looking for ways to lighten up our meals and incorporate more whole, nutritious ingredients into our recipes. While this is a positive thing, it’s important not to go overboard and restrict ourselves just because it’s January.

One of my favorite tips when making lifestyle changes is to focus on small, sustainable changes rather than depriving yourself of the foods you love. You CAN enjoy what you eat AND live a healthy lifestyle! One way to start small is by making simple changes to your recipes to make them more nutritious.

This potato soup is the perfect example of a delicious, nutritious and comforting dish that provides potassium, fiber and vitamins while being uber satisfying.

Here are a few suggestions for lightening up your favorite comfort foods:

  • Add vegetables. Potato soup doesn’t always have carrots, but why not add them? They are packed with beta carotene and fiber and add a bit of sweetness to many recipes. You can also add vegetables to other soups, stews, sauces, casseroles, egg bakes, skillets, pasta and more! Keep a few bags of frozen veggies and a few fresh options and toss them into whatever you’re cooking.
  • Swap out ingredients high in saturated fat. Use olive or avocado oil instead of butter if it makes sense. Use cheese but add half as much. Use low fat or fat free dairy instead of whole fat dairy. In this recipe, I used low fat evaporated milk instead of cream and it’s still SO creamy and delicious.
  • Amplify the flavor with spices, herbs and acidic ingredients. Yes, spices and herbs add a ton of flavor and uniqueness to recipes and are crucial in good cooking, but they aren’t a substitute for salt. Acidic ingredients like lemon or lime juice and vinegars can provide a bit of “salty” flavor to your dish, so cut the salt in half and add a squeeze of acid instead. In this potato soup, I finished it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and it just brightens the dish (without a ton of salt).
  • Swap refined grains for whole. Refined grains have the bran and germ removed, which are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and heart-healthy fats. Choose bread, pasta and other grain foods that are made with 100% whole grains.
  • Balance your meal. Aim to include protein, fiber and heart-healthy fats in each meal. This will help you stay full and satisfied and stabilize your blood sugar.

There are so many other ways to boost the nutrition in your recipes!

What are your favorite recipe substitutions?


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Slow Cooker Potato Soup

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15-20 mins
  • Total Time: 20-30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


Creamy lightened-up potato soup made in the slow cooker or Instant Pot.


  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 34 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 ½ pounds red potatoes, skins on, diced
  • 2 cups unsalted vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12-ounce can low fat evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • Splash fresh lemon juice
  • Shredded cheddar cheese and sliced green onion, for garnish


Directions for Slow Cooker:

  1. Add the carrots, onion, garlic, potatoes, potatoes, stock, salt, mustard powder, celery salt and black pepper to the crock pot. Cook on low 2-3 hours or high 1-2 hours or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk and the cornstarch until dissolved. Stir into the potato soup and let cook another 15-20 minutes or until thickened. Stir in a splash of lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  3. Serve potato soup in bowls topped with cheddar cheese and green onion.

Directions for Instant Pot:

  1. Set the Instant Pot to sauté. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pot. Add the carrots and onion and sauté 2-3 minutes or until slightly soft. Stir in the garlic and sauté 30-60 seconds or until fragrant.
  2. Add the potatoes, stock, salt, mustard powder, celery salt and black pepper. Secure the lid and set the toggle to sealed. Set on manual high pressure for 3 minutes. When the timer goes off, use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the toggle to release and let the steam release. Once the steam is released, remove the lid.
  3. Set the Instant Pot on sauté. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and cornstarch until dissolved. Stir the mixture into the potato soup and simmer until thickened. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  4. Serve potato soup in bowls topped with cheddar cheese and green onion.


Cooking Tip: You can also use Yukon gold potatoes, skins on or Russet potatoes, peeled.

Substitution Tip: Swap with 1 ½ pounds cauliflower florets for a lower carb option.


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 169
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 488mg
  • Fat: 1g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 36mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg

Keywords: soup, stew, potato, potatoes, vegetarian, side dish


  1. Jill Turner on February 1, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    Awesome recipe! Will be making a lot this winter.

    • Julie Andrews on February 1, 2021 at 8:30 pm

      Yay! Excited you like it, Jill!

  2. Veronica O on February 1, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    Thank you, Julie. One of my favorite substitutions is unsweetened applesauce for oil in baked goods. I would have never thought of doing that on my own. I look forward to reading about other substitution ideas.

    • Julie Andrews on February 1, 2021 at 8:31 pm

      Yeah! That’s a great one!

  3. Katherine on February 2, 2021 at 9:03 am

    Hi Julie, this soup looks delicious, but I’m vegan – would swapping out the evaporated milk for a can of coconut milk work? Or maybe unsweetened almond milk?

    • Heather on February 3, 2021 at 5:33 pm

      They sell evaporated coconut milk at Sprouts! and it is delicious

      • Julie Andrews on February 8, 2021 at 11:00 am


    • Jennifer Sinkula on February 5, 2021 at 7:52 am

      I didn’t use any evap milk (vegan also) and just cooked it down a bit more.
      I did find on the internet that you can simply boil down your plant based milk (meaning YOU are evaporating it) to 60% and tada! I would think that Cashew milk being already a thicker/creamier milk and may work better than almond/coconut milks which are typically more watery.

      • Julie Andrews on February 8, 2021 at 2:18 pm

        Yes, you can make evaporated milk yourself with any kind of milk and that would work for this recipe!

    • Julie Andrews on February 8, 2021 at 10:59 am

      Hi Katherine! I would try for unsweetened almond milk rather than coconut. The cans of coconut milk are very coconuty and I don’t think that flavor would go well with the other flavors in the potato soup (although it’s amazing with a Thai-style sweet potato soup!). Or you could skip the milk altogether and go for a broth-based soup. Simply add more broth/stock and skip the cornstarch.

  4. Jennifer Sinkula on February 5, 2021 at 7:48 am

    I made this soup and was reminded how easy it was to use the crockpot for a meal 🙂 I used frozen carrots since I had them and they worked great. I did not have evaporated milk or some of the spices but was able to make it my own anyway (which made this a vegan recipe as we are plant based).

  5. Jennifer on February 5, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Thank you for sharing! I am excited to try it. I love that there is a low carb option with the cauliflower suggestion.

    • Julie Andrews on February 8, 2021 at 2:18 pm

      You’re welcome, Jennifer! Enjoy!

  6. MaryJane on March 4, 2021 at 9:55 am

    I am not vegan, added diced ham….delish

    • Julie Andrews on March 4, 2021 at 12:31 pm

      Sounds delish, MaryJane!

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