Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup

No one does Baked Potato Soup like Houlihans. They use instant mashed potato flakes for a special flare.

two bowls of baked potato soup with toppings of cheese and bacon

Make Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup Today

No one does baked potato soup quite like Houlihan’s. Their baked potato soup is rich and creamy and hands down one of the best around. The secret to Houlihan’s soup is combining baked potatoes with instant potato flakes to create a perfect texture.

baked potato soup ingredients

About Houlihan’s

The original Houlihan’s opened up in Kansas City in 1972. It took over a site that was previously Tom Houlihan’s Men’s Wear. This is why the name Houlihan’s Old Place became the new restaurant’s name. In time the words Old Place were dropped and the restaurant became simply Houlihan’s.

Tom Houlihan, whose motto was there is no substitute for style, valued high quality above everything else. Houlihan’s has stayed true to those roots. The chain is known for its quality food and beverages, prepared on-site with fresh ingredients and served up with a style that’s uniquely Houlihan’s.

Two bowls of baked potato soup

What is Chicken Base?

This Houlihan’s potato soup recipe uses chicken base. Chicken base is a highly concentrated stock with a deep rich taste. Most supermarkets sell the chicken base (sometimes labeled chicken soup base) in the form of cubes or powder. You can generally find it in the same location as chicken bouillon cubes.

A popular brand is Better Than Boullion. You can even make your own and keep a supply in your freezer. Chicken base takes much longer to make than chicken stock, but the rich result is definitely worth your patience.

To Make Your Own Chicken Base

Start with combining the basics for making chicken stock (whole chicken, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, water, salt, and pepper). Just let it all simmer away for several hours until the liquid is greatly reduced and the veggies have melted into the rich sauce. You can choose to strain it before use or placing it in your freezer.

Can’t Get Enough of Potato Soup? Try these copycat potato soup recipes. Some of my favorite potato soup recipes include: Bennigan’s Ultimate Baked Potato Soup, Hard Rock Cafe Potato Soup, Houston’s Baked Potato Soup, and Panera’s Baked Potato Soup

And, click here for some other interesting things you can do with potato flakes.

Two bowls of homemade baked potato soup recipe.

two bowls of baked potato soup with toppings of cheese and bacon

Houlihan’s Baked Potato Soup

This take on Houlihan's potato soup recipe makes a wonderful, pleasing, and filling meal that your family will eagerly spoon up. Serve with a sandwich for lunch or with crusty bread and a salad for dinner. It’s easy to make.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Houlihan's Baked Potato Soup
Servings: 8
Calories: 348kcal


  • 1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes
  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken base
  • 1 cup instant potato flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt to taste
  • white pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400. Prick washed potatoes & bake until a fork pierces to the center easily. Remove potatoes from oven & allow to fully cool. Remove skin & cut potatoes into 1/2" cubes. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onions and sauté over low heat for about 10 minutes or until onions become translucent. Don't let the onions burn. Add flour and simmer 4-5 minutes stirring continuously until the flour is thoroughly absorbed.
  • In a bowl, combine chicken base, water, potato flakes, and seasonings. Stir or whisk thoroughly to get rid of lumps. Add gradually to onion mixture, constantly stirring so no lumps form. Increase to medium heat and continue cooking until the soup begins to simmer gently. 
  • Add the cubed potatoes to the soup.
  • Add milk and cream, stirring until smooth and slightly thickened. Simmer lightly for 15 minutes – DO NOT BOIL.
  • Top each serving with grated Cheddar cheese, sliced scallions & bacon pieces.

Recipe Tips for the Cook

  • Substitute two of the 5 cups of water for 2 cups chicken broth for more flavor.
  • Use 2 cans of carnation milk instead of heavy cream and regular milk (cuts down on calories from the heavy cream.)
  • Choose flavored instant potato flakes for a different depth of flavor.
  • For a spicier soup, double the spice contents.
  • Add some ham.


Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 185mg | Potassium: 552mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 840IU | Vitamin C: 13.2mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CopyKatRecipes or tag #CopyKatRecipes!

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Karen

    5 stars
    I love this soup but found baking the potatoes, cooling them down, peeling and cubing them…a messy and tedious process! Wouldn’t they cook fine by peeling them raw and cubing them…… toss them in the soup while it’s in the simmering stage, before the addition of the milk and cream?

    • Stephanie

      That could work, my guess is the restaurant uses their leftover baked potatoes this way. The flavor of the potatoes most likely are a bit different when you bake them. Should this work? Yes.

  2. Nancy Manion

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner last night, my family LOVED it. Fixed salad to go with it. Cooked a pack of maple bacon and then ran it through my Magic Bullet chopper for a garnish on top, sprinkle of cheese and voila a wonderful, pleasing, filling meal that my husband and kids gobbled up. Six hours and 2 bowls later my husband was still pleasantly full. I added parsley, chives, and garlic to the seasonings. Used 3 cups of water and the other 2 cups chicken broth for more flavor. Also used 2 cans of carnation milk instead of heavy cream and regular milk….did not have any heavy cream, plus did not need the extra calories from heavy cream.

    • Stephanie

      Thank you for all of your great suggestions. Your additions were well thought out, I have never thought about using canned milk for heavy cream. I will have to give that a try sometime.

  3. ediven

    I used flavored instant potato flakes and it was delicious. It added a depth of flavor. I also cooked the onion in the bacon fat. Good stuff.

  4. Justin

    Was very easy to make. Too bland to be a stand-alone meal – would have been nice with a sandwich. Ended up adding some ham and doubling the spice contents.

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