On Your Health

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Oklahoma Favorite Foods Made Healthier: Cheeseburger (Soup)

Without a doubt, Oklahoma City is quite a cheeseburger town. Whether you're a Tucker's Onion Burger fan, an S&B Burger Joint devotee, or a Nic's Grill aficionado (and fans of Johnnie's, Bunny's, The Garage and Irma's Burger Shack, don't worry, we hear you), great cheeseburger options abound on practically every corner of our city.

Even though no one can argue cheeseburgers aren't delicious, it's also true they aren't the  healthiest option if you're trying to eat healthy. They're loaded in calories, saturated fat and salt – many cheeseburgers with all the fixings have more than half of a person's daily recommended calories and a whole day's worth of salt.

As a service to your heart and waistline, we bring you another entry in our “Oklahoma Favorite Foods Made Healthier” series, where we tweak some of Oklahoma’s favorite comfort foods so you can enjoy them in a guilt-free, better-for-you way. You’ll still get the great flavor that made the foods favorites in the first place, but limit the parts (like grease, lard, bad fats and refined sugar) that aren’t so healthy.

Small changes like the tweaks found in these recipes can eventually produce big results and will help you build momentum to establish other healthy food habits.

So, without further ado, here is our recipe for Slow-Cooker Cheeseburger Soup, courtesy of Weight Watchers.  Although no one is going to pretend that when you eat this you'll feel like you're eating a dripping-with-fat cheeseburger from McNellie's, but we think  it is delicious and filling. Just think of it as everyone’s fast-food favorite in a bowl: rich, creamy, gooey and super-satisfying. Even better, one serving only has 208 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat. So reasonable you can even eat a second bowl.


  • 2 spray(s) cooking spray
  • 1 clove(s) garlic clove(s), minced
  • 1 medium uncooked onion(s), chopped
  • 1 rib(s) uncooked celery, chopped
  • 1 pound(s) uncooked 93% lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 cup(s) canned chicken broth, divided
  • 1 cup(s) low-fat evaporated milk
  • 8 oz low fat cheddar or colby cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 24 item(s) baked low fat tortilla chips, crumbled


Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds. Add garlic, onion and celery to skillet; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Coat a 3-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray; spoon in vegetables.

Place same skillet over medium-high heat and brown beef, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 6 minutes; pour off any liquid and add meat to slow cooker.

In a small cup, combine flour and 1/2 cup of broth; stir until lump-free. Pour flour mixture into same skillet; add remaining 2 1/2 cups of broth. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits in bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon, and then pour into slow cooker; stir in evaporated milk, cheese, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 2 hours.

Serve soup topped with crumbled chips.

Yields about 3/4 cup of soup and 3 tablespoons of chips per serving.


If the soup cooks too long, the cheese could separate. If that happens, combine 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup of soup in a cup; stir to a paste. Stir flour mixture back into soup in slow cooker; cover and cook on low setting for 10 to 15 minutes.

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