A bowl of this mac and cheese soup is the perfect combination of mac and cheese and cheddar cheese soup. Enjoy as a side or a cheesy main!
The BEST Mac and Cheese Soup
We are big mac and cheese people over here at The Cheese Knees, but this is our very first mac and cheese SOUP. It’s everything you love about mac and cheese and cheese soup together at last!
why you’ll love it!
Extra cheesy: we aren’t skimping on the cheese here, people. You need about 6.5 full cups of shredded cheddar.
Unique twist on classic mac and cheese: is it soup? Is it mac and cheese? Is it the best of both worlds?!
Family friendly: the whole dang fam will enjoy this mac and cheese soup served as a main dish or a side to any meal.
Mac and Cheese Soup Ingredients
- Unsalted butter: every delicious cheese sauce begins with butter. All the butter.
- ¼ small yellow onion, minced
- All-purpose flour: Flour is used to help create the roux. You can use either all-purpose flour or white whole wheat.
- Chicken broth: the broth is what differentiates this mac and cheese soup from a traditional mac and cheese! We love the flavor of chicken broth, but any broth will do.
- Heavy cream: heavy cream is used to help make the cheddar cheese soup super duper creamy.
- Hot sauce: shhh, hot sauce is the secret ingredient in this mac and cheese soup that gives it a bit of a flavor kick without overpowering the star of the show (CHEESE, of course).
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese: shredded cheddar cheese is the star of the show! Feel free to shred your own or use pre-shredded.
- Salt & pepper: every mac and cheese needs a little s&p and this mac and cheese soup is no exception!
- Elbow macaroni noodles: we used a classic elbow macaroni for this recipe, but feel free to use any kind of shell or any kind of noodle for that matter.
- Garnishes: we’re using crumbled bacon and sliced green onions for garnishes on this mac and cheese soup, but feel free to garnish with whatever you’d like!
Best Ever Mac and Cheese
If you love this mac and cheese soup, you have to try our 5-star best ever mac and cheese recipe!
How to Make Mac and Cheese Soup
Heat a Dutch oven over low/medium heat, and add 1 tablespoon of butter and the minced yellow onion. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and golden.
make the roux
To make the roux, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and flour to the cooked onions. Whisk often for 1 to 2 minutes. The roux should be a blond color.
Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and heavy cream, and continue whisking until all of the lumps are gone. Then stir in the hot sauce, kosher salt and cracked pepper.
fold in the cheese
Next, fold in 6 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese, and continue to cook on low for 10 minutes.
prepare macaroni noodles
While the soup is simmering, prepare the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain the noodles, and add them to the soup.
Garnish & Enjoy
Garnish with bacon crumbles, shredded cheddar cheese and green onion. Enjoy!
don’t have shredded cheese?
Don’t have shredded cheese, but have a block of cheese? Check out our post on how to grate cheese WITHOUT a cheese grater!
Top Tips for Mac and Cheese Soup
- Choosing cheese: There is a lot of cheese in this soup. Cheddar is more traditional for mac and cheese, but there is room to switch it up if you’d like! Gruyere, Monterey jack, or pepper jack could all be added in with a decrease of the cheddar.
- Soup on day 1 –> mac & cheese on day 2: This mac and cheese soup will have an amazing soupy consistency when you serve it the first time, but the noodles will continue to absorb liquid the longer it’s stored. This will give you a delish mac and cheese as leftovers! If you want to return it to its soupy state, follow the reheating instructions below 😀
What cheese melts well in soup?
The best cheese for soups are high in moisture with a lower melting point, such as cheddar cheese, which we’re using in this mac and cheese soup.
Can you melt cheese into soup?
Yes! It’s best to melt cheese into soup over low heat and in a form that melts easily like shredded or cubed cheese.
How to Store Mac and Cheese Soup
Store this mac and cheese soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
When Reheating Mac and Cheese Soup: we recommend reheating just like it’s cooked — LOW AND SLOW! Reheat on the stovetop on low, stirring frequently. This will help prevent any separating or uneven reheating.
You may need to add broth when reheating if your soup is too thick (aka more like a mac and cheese). Start with a tablespoon and increase from there.
Freezing Mac and Cheese Soup: because cheese has a difficult time with drastic temperature changes, we do NOT recommend freezing this soup.
Mac and Cheese Soup
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- ¼ small yellow onion minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 28 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided (~6.5 cups)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni noodles
- ½ cup crumbled bacon
- 2 green onions sliced thinly
- Heat a Dutch oven over low/medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and the minced yellow onion. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and golden.
- To make the roux, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and flour to the cooked onions. Whisk often for 1 to 2 minutes. The roux should be a blond color.
- Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and heavy cream. Continue whisking until all of the lumps are gone. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the hot sauce, kosher salt, and cracked pepper.
- Next, fold in 6 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese. Continue to cook on low for 10 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, prepare the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain the noodles and add them to the soup.
- Garnish with bacon crumbles, shredded cheddar cheese, and green onion.
Tips & Notes
- There is a lot of cheese in this soup. Cheddar is more traditional for mac and cheese, but there is room to switch it up. Gruyere, Monterey jack, or pepper jack could all be added in with a decrease of the cheddar.