Beer cheese soup is the perfect comforting soup for a chilly fall day. This easy homemade soup recipe flavored with beer and melty cheddar is rich, cheesy, and quick to make in one pot.
Easy One-Pot Beer Cheese Soup
Get ready to say, “Cheeeeese!” Today, we’re making cheesy, savory, deliciously creamy Beer Cheese Soup. This pub menu favorite is fast becoming one of my favorite soup recipes at home, too. It so happens that beer cheese soup is easy to make using simple ingredients. Rich, melty cheddar cheese, aromatic veggies, garlic, beer, and a touch of cream come together for the coziest bowlful you’ll have this chilly season. This one-pot recipe is perfect for weeknights, and the leftovers are even BETTER the next day.
Why You’ll Love This Soup Recipe
- Real beer. Beer adds complexity, richness, and flavor to everything from soups to beef stews and even marinades. If you’re new to cooking with beer as an ingredient, beer cheese soup is the perfect place to start.
- Full of flavor. This soup is rich and earthy from the beer, creamy from the melted cheese, and rounded out by blended veggies and garlic.
- One pot. All the soup ingredients are cooked up in a single saucepan. It’s soup-er simple and great for weeknights.
- Make-ahead-friendly. Game day, holidays, family dinners – any occasion is the best occasion for beer cheese soup! This recipe is perfect to make ahead. The flavors round out even more with time, and leftovers are delicious the following day.
How to Make Beer Cheese Soup
With the fusion of rich cheddar cheese, aromatic vegetables, and the depth of a good beer, this soup is a delicious treat you’ll come back to repeatedly. To whip up this warming classic in your kitchen, simply follow the steps below.
Ingredients For The Soup
- Olive Oil
- Onion, Carrots & Garlic: These veggies form the aromatic base for the soup.
- Butter and Flour: You’ll combine melted butter and all-purpose flour with the sauteed vegetables to create a roux. This serves as a thickener for the soup.
- Broth: You can use vegetable broth or chicken broth.
- Beer: Light beer will give the soup enough bite without overpowering the flavors. You can use dark beer, but the taste will be somewhat bitter, so I don’t recommend it.
- Cream: A splash of heavy cream adds to the soup’s richness, but you can substitute the heavy cream with milk if you’d prefer something lighter.
- Bay Leaf
- Cheese: This soup tastes best with a sharp, aged cheddar. Use good-quality cheese and, if possible, freshly shredded cheese to have those bold flavors shine through.
- Parsley: Optional, for serving.
- Saute the veggies. In a large pot, saute the onions and carrots with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Once the veggies are tender, stir in the garlic. After a minute, melt in the butter and sprinkle in flour, stirring to create a roux.
- Combine. When the roux has cooked off a bit, pour in the broth, beer, and heavy cream. Chuck in a bay leaf, bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until thickened.
- Add cheese. Slowly add in your shredded cheese, then take the pot off the heat. Cover the pot with a lid and allow the soup to sit for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
- Blend. Pluck out the bay leaf before transferring the soup to a blender (make sure that it has an open hole at the top so that the steam can escape. Alternatively, you can also use an immersion blender). Puree the soup until it’s rich and smooth.
- Serve. Finally, season to taste and then serve!
Tips for Making Beer Cheese Soup
- Choose a large pot. The carbonation in the beer causes the soup to foam up when it comes to a boil, so make sure to use a large enough pot so that it doesn’t spill over. If the broth is foaming a lot, add the beer gradually.
- Freshly grate the cheese. Pre-grated cheddar cheese, like the kind that comes in bags, often comes coated with waxy anti-caking agents that prevent the cheese from melting smoothly. For an ultra-smooth soup with the best taste, grate your cheese fresh from the block.
- Cook off the flour. Once you’ve combined the flour with the melted butter, let the roux cook off for a minute or two before adding the broth ingredients. This way, the flour doesn’t taste gritty.
- Don’t overheat the soup. Since we’re using quite a bit of dairy in this cheesy soup, make sure that you keep the pot at a gentle simmer. Overcooking can burn the cream.
- Take the soup off the heat immediately after you’ve added the cheese so that the cheese doesn’t split.
This cheese soup recipe is easy to customize. You can adapt the flavors to be as bold or as mild as you’d like!
- Different cheese flavors. For a peppery soup, try Pepper Jack cheese, or use smoked cheddar or gouda cheese for a smokier flavor. You can also use a combination of cheeses.
- Add cream cheese. For an even richer soup with a hint of tanginess, stir in a spoonful or two of cream cheese.
- Seasonings. This soup has loads of flavor as it is, so I don’t recommend getting too out of hand with seasonings. But if you’d like to give your beer cheese soup some kick, try adding a sprinkle of cayenne or crushed red pepper.
- Mustard. Stir in a teaspoon of mustard powder or yellow mustard to enhance the flavor and give the soup a hint of heat.
- Add bacon. Another way to add depth of flavor is to saute diced bacon in the pot before starting your soup. Spoon out the cooked bacon, then proceed to saute the veggies in the bacon fat and finish the recipe as written. Save your cooked bacon as a crispy garnish!
If a whole bottle of beer in one pot of soup sounds boozy, don’t worry – the alcohol evaporates in the heat while the soup simmers. Nearly all of it will have cooked off by the time your beer cheese soup is ready to serve!
If your beer cheese soup is curdled or grainy, this is likely because it was overheated. Make sure to lower the heat right as the pot comes to a boil, and take the soup off the heat after adding the cheese.
Ways to Serve Soup
Now that you have this soup hot and ready on the stove, enjoy bowlfuls on their own, or turn your beer cheese soup into a heartier meal with some easy sides. Here are some of our favorite ways to serve it:
- Toppings. Top bowls of cheesy soup with crunchy croutons, crumbled bacon, more grated cheese, or a garnish of chopped parsley.
- Bread. Beer cheese soup pairs great with a side of crusty baguette slices or hunks of homemade focaccia bread for dunking.
- Salad. Pair this beer cheese soup with a classic kale caesar salad or this crunchy broccoli apple salad. I also love the flavors of this soup with a side of Brussels sprouts salad.
- Entrees. For a hearty weekend or weeknight meal, I’ll serve this creamy soup alongside other easy one-pan dinner ideas like this one-skillet chicken and veggies or this steak and veggies sheet pan dinner.
- Appetizers. Nothing pairs better with a bowl of pub-style soup than pub-style appetizers! I love chewy pretzel bites, crispy chicken wings, and crispy thrice-baked potato skins.
- Holidays. This soup is the best way to kickstart a St. Patrick’s Day meal! Serve it with traditional corned beef and cabbage and a side of soda bread. Don’t forget to wash everything down with a Guinness or an Irish martini.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Fridge. Store leftover beer cheese soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat the soup over low heat on the stovetop, or in the microwave in increments, stirring in between.
- Freezer. This cheese soup actually freezes well enough despite the dairy (thanks to the flour). To freeze it, wait until the soup is completely cooled, and then store it airtight. Keep the soup frozen for 2 to 3 months, and thaw it in the fridge before reheating and serving.
More Cheesy Soup Recipes
- Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup with Chicken
- Cauliflower Cheese Soup
- Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Keto Cheeseburger Soup
- Crockpot French Onion Soup
Beer Cheese Soup
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large large carrot, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 12 ounces beer, do not use dark beer – the soup will be bitter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots to the heated oil and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook for 15 seconds, or until fragrant. Add butter and stir until melted. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until well blended.
- Mix in the broth, beer, and heavy cream. Add the bay leaf, increase the heat to high, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Slowly stir in the cheese. Remove from heat and cover with a lid; set aside for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Remove the lid and stir. Discard the bay leaf.
- With an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Or, you can transfer the soup to a blender and process it until completely smooth.
- Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with chopped fresh parsley, and serve.
- Soup Pot: The beer’s carbonation makes the soup foam when boiling. To prevent spillage, use a Dutch oven and add the beer slowly if there’s excessive foaming.
- Beer: I suggest using light beer, which will give the soup enough bite. Don’t use dark beer because it will make the soup bitter.
- Grate the cheese: If possible, use freshly grated cheese for the best flavor and consistency.
- Cook the roux: After mixing the flour with butter, cook it briefly before introducing the broth to avoid a gritty texture.
- Avoid overheating: Given the dairy content, maintain a soft simmer. High heat can cause the cream to scorch.
- Remove from heat after adding the cheese to prevent the cheese from separating.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.