This Beer Cheese Soup recipe is exactly as it sounds: indulgent and delicious. Full of smoky bacon, melty cheese, and a good beer, you would be hard-pressed to find a more comforting soup!
Creamy Beer Cheese Soup
Look, I know that when it comes to comfort soup, no recipe is going to take chicken noodle soup’s crown. It’s a classic for a reason, and I respect that.
That said, this Creamy Beer Cheese Soup is one of my new favorite comfort food dinner recipes. It’s filling, it’s flavorful, and it’s downright fabulous. It’s not exactly the healthiest food you’ll ever eat, but sometimes you just have to treat yourself a little.
Beer cheese soup is made with crispy bacon, THREE kinds of cheese (regular cheddar cheese, smoked cheddar cheese, and pepper jack cheese), and a medium-bodied beer. I also like to throw in some jalapeño to give this soup a little kick! This savory and spicy meal is not to be missed, especially once the weather gets cold!
One more thing before we begin… Pro Tip: While you’re in the kitchen already, making a quick batch of Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread, or my favorite Beer Bread, to go with this soup isn’t a bad idea at all!
What is Cheese Soup?
Cheese soup is exactly what you would imagine. It starts with a chicken broth base (and beer, in this case), and then heavy cream and shredded/grated cheese are added in to thicken up the soup and provide cheesy flavor. Technically you could stop there, but adding in the bacon, veggies, and whatever other toppings you like, makes cheese soup even better!
Let’s go over beer cheese soup essential ingredients. You can find the full list of ingredients, including all of the spices you’ll need, in the recipe card at the bottom!
- Bacon – Thick and smoky bacon is best for this recipe.
- Cheddar Cheese – You can use any cheese you want, but this soup is generally made with at least one cheddar.
- Smoked Cheddar – If you can’t find smoked cheddar, try to find smoked gouda and shred it yourself. You can also use regular sharp cheddar cheese in it’s place. However, the smoked cheese really adds an amazing depth of flavor!
- Red Bell Pepper and Onion – These two veggies add a ton of flavor and ad depth to your soup!
- Heavy Cream – For the creaminess, but you can also use half and half in its place.
- Jalapeño – This is optional, but I like it to have a little bit of spice. If you want your soup to be spicy (as it is now, the heat is mild), you can double the jalapeños! And if you want it extra HOT, leave the seeds/membranes in your jalapeños while you dice them up.
- Chicken Broth – You can use vegetable broth instead if needed.
- Beer – A good German beer or a light to medium-bodied beer work best. Or, you can even use a non-alcoholic beer.
- Thyme – If you can get a fresh sprig it’s even better, but dried is fine.
How to Make Beer Cheese Soup
We’ve covered the flavor-packed nature of this soup, but I haven’t mentioned how much time this soup will save you in the kitchen! It only takes 40 minutes to make, 15 of which are prep work. It also makes 6 servings, so you’ll likely have leftovers that make for a fabulous lunch later in the week!
Cook the Bacon: In a large heavy bottomed pot, like a dutch oven, cook the bacon over
medium-high heat until crispy. Remove and chop, then set aside. Remove any extra bacon
grease, leaving about 1 tablespoon behind.
Cook the Celery and Jalapeño: Add the celery, jalapeño, onion, red bell pepper and garlic and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened.
Mix in the Flour: Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, till slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Season: Add the paprika and thyme and stir to combine.
Add Chicken Broth & Cook: Add the chicken broth and beer and stir with a whisk until there are no clumps. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the heavy cream, butter and the cheeses and stir until melted. Cook for 5 minutes more, then stir in half of the bacon right before serving.
Tips for Success
And that’s it! The hardest part is cooking the bacon and not eating it, so that you have enough to sprinkle over the soup.
Here are some tips that will help you get the best results with your beer cheese soup:
- How to Add the Bacon: Save some of the bacon to sprinkle on top of the soup, and don’t add the bacon until the end so it stays crispy.
- What Cheese to Use: Any variety of cheeses makes this a great soup. I don’t like to use stringy cheeses like mozzarella, though.
- Keep the Heat on Medium: If the soup gets too hot, the protein in the dairy can stick to the bottom of the pot (scorching). The cheese could also separate due to the high heat.
- For a Spicier Soup: If you like a spicy soup, add more jalapeños.
- Add the Cheese in Small Portions: This ensures that the cheese will melt completely into the soup, and you won’t be left with clumps here and there.
The best way to eat cheese soup is nice and hot on the day it’s made. If you’re looking for suggestions on what to enjoy it with, I’ve got some:
- Garnishes: Add some more crispy bacon and some chopped chives to the top of your soup!
- Bread: Like I mentioned earlier, I love making cornbread with beer cheese soup. This Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread is my go-to recipe.
- Croutons: Basically anything that you can crumble on top of this soup will work. Crackers, chips, pretzels, etc. I also love using these Garlic and Herb Homemade Croutons, though!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store this cheese soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. When you want to reheat, pour it back into a pot and heat it on low on the stovetop until warmed through. You can also just use the microwave if you need a super quick meal.
More SOup Recipes
Looking for more easy soup ideas to try out? Here are a few more of my favorites:
- Slow Cooker Turkey Taco Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Creamy Pumpkin Soup
- Crockpot Minestrone Soup
- Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Soup
- Crockpot Cabbage Roll Soup
- Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Soup
- Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
- 4 bacon slices
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- ½ teaspoon garlic minced
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 12-oz can beer
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 2 Tablespoons butter, cubed
- 1 Tablespoon chives
- In a large heavy bottomed pot, like a dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove and chop, then set aside. Remove any extra bacon grease, leaving about 1 tablespoon behind.
- Add the celery, jalapeño, onion, red bell pepper and garlic and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened.
- Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, till slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and thyme and stir to combine.
- Add the chicken broth and beer and stir with a whisk until there are no clumps. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the heavy cream, butter and the cheeses and stir until melted.
- Cook for 5 minutes more, then stir in half of the bacon right before serving.
- Serve with some bacon pieces and chives sprinkled on top.
Storage: Store this cheese soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. When you want to reheat, pour it back into a pot and heat it on low on the stovetop until warmed through. You can also just use the microwave if you need a super quick meal.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 338Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 610mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 10g
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