25-Minutes Wisconsin Cheese Soup Recipe (Comforting Meal)

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Dive into the cheesy bliss of our wisconsin cheese soup recipe, a creamy concoction that’s a true tribute to cheese lovers! Rich, velvety, and brimming with a blend of Wisconsin’s finest cheeses, this soup envelops your palate with a luxurious texture and a symphony of flavors. Accents of carrots, celery, and onions add a subtle crunch, while the hint of beer lends a unique and tantalizing twist. Each spoonful is like a warm hug, promising comfort and joy in every delectable bite. Welcome to cheese heaven!

Welcome to the heartland’s culinary delight — Wisconsin Cheese Soup. Immerse in this luscious bowl, brimming with the creamy fusion of native cheddar and unique local ingredients, bringing a spoonful of Midwestern charm to your palate. 

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Marvel at the golden, velvety consistency layered with hints of aromatic vegetables and delicate spices.

Each mouthful paints a vivid tableau of Wisconsin’s cheese-making heritage, dating back to the 1800s, where generations of skillful artisans crafted the finest cheeses. 

Uncover a delectable journey woven into this heart-warming soup, a testament to the state’s love affair with dairy. Prepare to journey through the tale of this quintessential recipe, the embodiment of warmth and home in Wisconsin’s gastronomic scene. 

Dive into the love letter from the Midwest to the world, a signature dish as robust, vibrant, and inviting as the people it originates from.

What Is A Wisconsin Cheese Soup Recipe?

Wisconsin Cheese Soup is a heartwarming blend of rich cheddar cheese melted into a creamy base of milk and broth, mingled with sautéed onions, carrots, and celery, and seasoned to perfection. 

It often includes a hint of beer for a distinct depth of flavor. A dash of Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard brings the tangy undertone, harmonizing with the velvety cheese

Typically garnished with crispy bacon or popcorn, it’s a quintessential comfort food, encapsulating the robust dairy heritage of Wisconsin in every delightful spoonful.

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Can You Vary Wisconsin Cheese Soup Recipe With Other Ingredients?

  • Keto You can make a keto version by using heavy cream instead of milk and excluding any flour or starch used for thickening. Use low-carb veggies like broccoli or cauliflower.
  • Paleo Swap dairy for coconut milk, and use arrowroot powder for thickening. Ensure your broth and spices are Paleo-approved.
  • Gluten-Free Replace the traditional roux with cornstarch or a gluten-free flour blend. Be sure to use a gluten-free beer or skip it entirely.
  • Whole30 Substitute the dairy with full-fat coconut milk, use ghee for cooking, and remove any alcohol or sweetener.
  • Vegetarian Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and ensure any add-ins like bacon are left out or replaced with a vegetarian alternative.
  • Vegan Replace the dairy with plant-based milk and vegan cheese. Use vegetable broth and a vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce.
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Recipe Directions 

  • Melt butter in a large kettle.
  • Add carrots, celery, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, and ham. Cook until crisp and tender.
  • Stir in flour and cornstarch. Cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add broth. Stir until slightly thickened.
  • Add milk, paprika, cayenne, and mustard.
  • Gradually stir in cheese until melted. Avoid boiling.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve hot.
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Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

  • Variations: Mix up the cheese! Try incorporating Colby, Monterey Jack, or even blue cheese for a twist.
  • Add-Ons: Enhance the soup with diced potatoes or wild rice for extra heartiness. Roasted garlic or fresh herbs can add depth of flavor.
  • Meat Lovers: Add cooked and crumbled bacon or diced ham for a smoky undertone. Even local bratwurst can fit right in.
  • Vegetarian: Substitute ham with tofu or plant-based sausage for a vegetarian version.
  • Beer Lovers: Choose a local craft beer to imbue the soup with a nuanced flavor profile.
  • Toppings: Elevate your soup with a sprinkle of extra cheese, crispy croutons, fresh herbs, or even popcorn.
  • Heat It Up: Add a drizzle of hot sauce or some chopped jalapenos for a spicy kick.
  • Vegan: Use plant-based milk and vegan cheese, swapping ham with a vegan alternative.
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Can I Make Wisconsin Cheese Soup Recipe In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

  • Slow Cooker: Sauté your vegetables and ham in a pan first, then transfer them to the slow cooker. Add the broth, spices, and milk, but save the cheese for later. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the flour or cornstarch slurry (to thicken), followed by the cheese. Allow it to melt and blend well before serving.
  • Instant Pot: Use the sauté setting for your vegetables and ham. Add the flour, followed by the broth, stirring well. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, then perform a quick release. Switch back to the sauté setting, add the milk and cheese, stirring until it melts and the soup thickens.
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Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

  • Store-Bought Broth: This is a convenient and quick option. Opt for a high-quality, low-sodium broth to ensure you’re getting the best flavor without unnecessary additives. Remember, you can always add salt but you can’t take it away!
  • Homemade Broth: If you have the time, homemade broth will bring a depth of flavor that’s hard to match. You can control the ingredients, and it’s a great way to make use of vegetable scraps or leftover chicken bones.
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How To Serve ?

  • With Bread: A warm, crusty baguette or garlic bread on the side perfectly complements the creamy soup.
  • In a Bread Bowl: For a hearty and fun presentation, serve the soup in an edible bread bowl.
  • With Salad: A light, crisp salad can balance the rich and creamy soup, making for a complete meal.
  • As an Appetizer: Serve smaller portions as a starter to a larger meal. It’s a great way to warm up the palate.
  • Toppings: Remember to garnish with your choice of toppings like extra cheese, crumbled bacon, or fresh herbs just before serving. It adds an extra layer of flavor and makes the dish look even more appealing.
  • Paired with Beer: This is Wisconsin, after all. A local craft beer can be a great accompaniment to this hearty soup.
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Perfect Side Dishes

  • Fresh Salad: A simple green salad with a tangy vinaigrette can cut through the soup’s richness and provide a refreshing contrast.
  • Grilled Vegetables: A side of grilled vegetables can provide a smoky, flavorful counterpart to the creamy soup.
  • Bread: Crusty baguette, garlic bread, or even a sweet cornbread would pair wonderfully with the soup.
  • Roasted Potatoes: Lightly seasoned roasted potatoes can complement the soup’s creaminess without overpowering it.
  • Fruit Salad: A fruit salad can provide a sweet, refreshing contrast to the savory soup.
  • Pickled Vegetables: The acidity and crunch of pickled vegetables can contrast the rich, smooth soup.
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Storage & Make Ahead

  • Refrigeration: Store leftover Wisconsin Cheese Soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The flavors often meld and improve over time.
  • Freezing: While cheese soups can be frozen, the texture may change slightly. Freeze in airtight containers for up to 2 months, ensuring a thorough reheat to maintain consistency.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the soup base, excluding dairy components. Refrigerate this base for up to 24 hours. Before serving, reheat the base and add dairy, preventing separation during storage.
  • Dairy Additions: Freshly add milk, cream, or cheese just before serving to maintain a creamy texture and prevent curdling.
  • Enhanced Flavor: Allow the soup to rest in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving to intensify the cheese flavors.
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What Can We Do With Leftovers?

  • Casserole: Add to a casserole with cooked pasta, vegetables, and extra cheese on top for a hearty baked dish.
  • Sauce: Use it as a cheese sauce for pasta, vegetables, or meat.
  • Gratin: Drizzle over sliced potatoes or vegetables, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and bake until golden and bubbling.
  • Stuffed Peppers: Use as a filling for bell peppers or tomatoes, top with breadcrumbs, and bake.
  • Bread Bowl: Serve in a hollowed-out bread loaf for a fun and tasty lunch.
  • Quiche: Incorporate into a quiche or frittata recipe for an extra cheesy flavor.
  • Potato Soup: Mix with leftover mashed potatoes to create a cheesy potato soup.


  • Cheese Variety Extravaganza: Mix up the cheese selection. Combine sharp cheddar for a robust base, gooey mozzarella for stretch, and a touch of creamy Gouda for depth.
  • Beer Bliss: Swap water or stock for a Wisconsin beer to elevate the flavor. The malty notes complement the richness of cheese, creating a harmonious blend.
  • Bacon Bonanza: Enhance smokiness by crisping up bacon bits separately and sprinkle them generously on top. The salty crunch contrasts beautifully with the creamy soup.
  • Caramelized Onion Charm: Sauté onions until golden brown before adding. Their sweetness adds a nuanced layer, balancing the richness of the cheese.
  • Herbaceous Elegance: Fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary add a fragrant touch. Toss them in towards the end for a burst of flavor.
The Best Wisconsin Cheese Soup Recipe Variations You Need To Try

The Best Wisconsin Cheese Soup Recipe Variations You Need To Try

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Course: Soup Recipe


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Immerse yourself in the comforting allure of Wisconsin Cheese Soup, a heartwarming blend of melted cheese, finely chopped vegetables, and savory ham. Infused with delicate notes of paprika, cayenne, and mustard, each spoonful embodies a creamy harmony of flavors, making it the perfect dish to warm up any table. It’s not just a soup; it’s an invitation to experience Wisconsin’s traditional, homely culinary charm.

Ingredients list

  • 5 tablespoons 5 Margarine

  • 2 2 Carrots (chopped

  • 2 stalks 2 Celery (chopped)

  • 1 1 Green Bell Pepper (chopped)

  • 1 1 Onion (chopped)

  • 5 5 Button Mushrooms (chopped)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Ham (chopped)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 All-Purpose Flour

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Cornstarch

  • 4 cups 4 Chicken Broth

  • 4 cups 4 Milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 Ground Cayenne Pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Ground Mustard

  • 2 cups 2 Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

  • Salt (to taste)

  • Ground Black Pepper (to taste)


  • Begin by melting the butter or margarine in a large, heavy kettle over medium heat.
  • Add the carrots, celery, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, and ham to the kettle.
  • Allow these ingredients to cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until they are crisp-tender. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  • Next, stir in the flour and cornstarch, making sure to combine them thoroughly with the vegetables and ham.
  • Cook this mixture, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the broth to the kettle, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens slightly.
  • Now, pour in the milk and stir in the paprika, cayenne, and mustard.
  • It’s time for the cheese. Gradually stir in the cheese, ensuring it fully melts into the soup.
  • Important: Do not allow the soup to boil after you’ve added the cheese, as it could cause curdling.
  • Finally, season your soup to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve your Wisconsin Cheese Soup piping hot for the ultimate comfort food experience. Optional: Garnish with extra cheese or croutons for added texture and flavor.
  • Large Soup Pot or Dutch Oven
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Whisk
  • Ladle
  • Blender or Immersion Blender


  • Cheese Choice: This soup traditionally uses Wisconsin cheddar. However, you can experiment with other types or even a mix of two varieties to add depth of flavor.
  • Vegetable Selection: Feel free to add other vegetables like potatoes, leeks, or peas to this soup. Ensure they are cut finely to cook evenly and provide a smoother texture.
  • Heat Control: Adding cheese over low heat and stirring until completely melted to prevent curdling is important.
  • Flavor Enhancements: Consider adding a cup of beer or some garlic for a flavor boost.
  • Storing and Reheating: Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating over low heat on the stovetop.
  • Dietary Adjustments: You can make this soup fit different dietary requirements with a few tweaks, like using gluten-free flour, non-dairy milk, or vegan cheese substitutes.

Nutrition Table 

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