Pesto Potato Soup

No cream is needed for this lusciously creamy pesto potato soup! Light and gluten-free, you’re free to splurge a little on your choice of toppings! Keep it vegetarian with chopped green onion, red pepper flakes, and melted cheese, or channel your inner T-rex with a little crispy bacon.

Pesto Potato Soup :: No cream is needed for this lusciously creamy potato soup swirled with pesto for extra oomph! Light and gluten-free, you're free to splurge a little on your choice of toppings!

Last time we spoke I promised you nothing but gloriously green recipes from now until St. Patrick’s Day. Naturally green, I might add, since the only food coloring we need here is the vibrant color from fruits and veggies. How super crunchy of me, I know. You may come here the food, but I have it on good authority that quite a few of you stick around so I can sass you over ditching the sketch and eating your veggies.

So far I’ve served up some serious green with a Three-Cheese Spinach + Pesto Flatbread Pizza and a Cilantro, Sweet Pea, + Pistachio Hummus.

Ready for round three? 

Feel like breaking out the crock-pot?

You can easily whip this up in the slow cooker using [this] method. Easy peasy!

Pesto Potato Soup

This soup is dreamy I nearly ate my spoon in the process! It’s great loaded with toppings and simply stellar all on it’s own!

The recipe that inspired me to pesto-fy my potatoes was loaded in every sense of the word. The soup was not only packed with oodles of pasta but served with a hefty serving of buttery garlic bread. Let me reiterate that. Potato soup. With pasta. AND BREAD. What the what!?  Now while a coma of the carbohydrate variety does sound lovely ever now and again, it’s just too much.

I made the base bacon-free so that the flavor of the soup could shine all on it’s own, even without a smorgasbord of toppings [it so is!] but can hardly resist the temptation to jazz up a bowl or two loaded baked potato style. This way, no matter how you spoon it – this soup rocks!

Serve it up as a side dish or starter to your favorite dinner or warm it up for a stand alone lunch! Just whatever you do, you’ve got to make this!

Pesto Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Pesto Potato Soup

No cream is needed for this lusciously creamy Pesto Potato Soup. Light and gluten-free, you're free to splurge a little on your choice of toppings!
4.91 from 10 votes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pesto Potato Soup
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons


  • 3.5 lbs russet potatoes
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 TBSP pesto plus extra for topping
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

TASTY TOPPINGS: choose your favorites

  • red peper flakes
  • chopped green onion
  • fresh parsley or basil
  • gouda, mozzarella, or parm cheese
  • sour cream or greek yogurt
  • crispy bacon
  • extra pesto


  • Peel and dice potatoes into even cubes. Set aside.
  • Dice your onion, then add to a large pot [or dutch oven] heated to medium-high heat with 1 TBSP butter. Sauté until tender, adding garlic towards the end.
  • Next add your potatoes and broth and bring to a boil on high.
  • Reduce to heat slightly and allow the soup to vigorously simmer.
  • Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar and cook for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.
  • Using an immersion blender, blend soup to desired consistency.
  • Partially blend for a chunky soup or blend fully for a smooth, silky potato soup.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  • Add milk, parmesan cheese, and pesto.
  • Stir then season with salt and pepper to taste. Swirl with additional pesto as needed.
  • Pile high with toppings or dig in as is - it's great every which way!


Recipe yields 8 cups of soup or 4 larger bowls.
No immersion blender? No problem! You can set the soup aside to cool when you're ready to puree it and blend in batches using your food processor in blenders. Always under-fill your appliance and use cooler soup to avoid soup expansion explosions.
Nutrition Facts are an estimate gathered using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Calculated before toppings; adjust as needed.


Calories: 245kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 785mg, Potassium: 909mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 475IU, Vitamin C: 13.1mg, Calcium: 142mg, Iron: 1.8mg

If you get a chance to try this tasty pesto potato soup, let me know! Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation!

Jenn Laughlin Headshot Photo - About the Author
About The Author:

Jenn Laughlin

Jenn Laughlin founded Peas and Crayons in 2009 after graduating with B.S. in Dietetics from Florida State University and working as a Nutrition Educator for WIC. The goal was simple: create and share delicious tested and perfected recipes with vegetables as the star! Peas and Crayons is know for veggie forward recipes that are colorful and crave-able.

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Recipe Rating

Questions & Reviews

    1. If you weighed them it should be a-ok! If you think they’re maybe over 3.5 lbs then feel free to add a smidge more broth as needed! My broth never fully covers the potatoes and then as they cook they soften and sink down to combine with the broth. Hope you adore the soup Anikka! <3

      1. That’s what happened so it worked out just fine. I worry a lot because I’m an amateur in the kitchen 🙂

        The soup was great. My food processor decided it didn’t want to work last night and I don’t have an immersion blender so I had to hand mash the potatoes. Not ideal and I was impatient so it’s chunky BUT still delicious. My husband even ate some which surprised me. His only complaint was not to put pesto on top in addition to in the soup. (I was trying to be fun and fancy.

        I love that it uses milk instead of cream. I LOVE creamy soups but whenever I see cream in a recipe I hesitate to make it because of the calories. We don’t normally buy whole milk but it was worth grabbing some for this!

        1. You’re too sweet – thanks for stopping back over with an update Anikka! I’m glad ya’ll liked the soup! We totally need to tell Santa to get you an immersion blender this year! It’s hands down my favorite kitchen gift I’ve ever gotten and they’re much less expensive than an actual blender or processor which is awesome all on it’s own. And heck yes on the cream! I made a version of the soup with heavy cream one time thinking maybe it would be extra good and oh boy it was good but too too rich. Regular milk was totally the way to go and the spuds themselves are so filling we end up eating less too so win-win right? 🙂 Hope you get to try a few more things from the blog! <3

  1. 5 stars
    As I am typing this up right now, it is 80 degrees out, and I still want this soup. That’s how good it looks!

  2. 5 stars
    Yum yum yum!!! My husband is probably the only person in all of Netherlands that dislikes potatoes (they eat them every day), but he adores pesto and bacon and cheese. I’m pretty sure that this recipe is probably the only way I’ll be able to get him to enjoy potatoes – with a bunch of additional deliciousness. Our toddler on the other hand would be more than happy if his diet consisted exclusively of potatoes. Haha.


  3. That looks so yummy! Interesting twist with the pesto. And PS, immersion blenders are the cooled kitchen toy.

  4. This is why you’re a culinary jennious. Ha, see what I did.

    Pesto/cheese/potato. And your photos make me want to eat my screen. Now.

  5. Never thought to add pesto to potato soup! But why not? This sounds dreamy. And I never purée my potato soup either, but that silkiness is killing me.

  6. You know my feelings about spuds and pesto. Match. Made. In. Heaven.

    Love this, even the bacon. I had a dream I inhaled a plate of bacon last week. It was good. Dream Meghan has no regrets.

  7. This looks and sounds amazing and I have actually never had potato soup before! Can’t wait to make it 🙂

  8. Jenn,
    This soup looks terrific! I’m down to arugula pesto and garlic scape pesto in my freezer, and I think either one would do nicely in your soup. Thank goodness I’m out of mustard greens pesto. It was great fresh on pasta but frozen & then thawed . . . not so much.
    My kids would adore the bacon–great idea!

  9. I totally need to put potato soup in my meal plan for next week! I haven’t made it in forever – chicken has been dominating my crockpot lately!

  10. this looks so beautiful and hearty and wonderful! you also really have me wanting to make pesto now too 🙂 i think i will be adding this to my meal plan for the coming weeks!

  11. Your teaser photo on IG got me over here. The soup was sooo thick and luscious looking. I always forget potatoes as a natural thickener give such an amazing texture to soups! … oh right, because I can’t keep potatoes in my house (I go through them in a snap, and will overindulge on them — despite my rallying for how healthy the potato is, the number I eat isn’t). Aaanyway, thanks for sharing this — I will definitely give this a try at some point. The thickness on that spoon was just so enticing…

  12. 5 stars
    Oh my…this looks so delicious!! Thank you for sharing!! Have a fantastic day as well!