This deliciously creamy Queso Soup is the ultimate comfort food game changer! It’s the perfect keto soup to warm you up on a cold weeknight.
Cheesy Beef Soup
You are going to love this cheesy, low-carb Queso Soup. If it were socially acceptable to eat beef queso dip by the spoonful, I would still be welcome at the Mexican restaurant down the street. But it’s not, and I’m not, so I put my efforts into making this AMAZING queso soup instead!
This easy soup is quick enough for a weeknight, and any leftovers quickly become your new favorite leftover lunch! We’ve loved it with ground beef and ground sausage, but you could easily make this with any of your preferred proteins. The creamy, cheesy soup is kid-friendly and very mild when it comes to spice. To heat it up, feel free to add a couple jalapenos!
Queso Cheese Soup Ingredients
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need for this recipe. You’ll find exact measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Ground beef or sausage – These provide a ton of flavor, but you could use chicken or turkey if you prefer. If you have leftover cooked meat, skip the first step and toss that in later for a quicker soup!
- Chopped onion and green bell pepper, minced garlic, and canned mild green chilis – Onions and bell peppers can be chopped a few days ahead of time and stored in the fridge for an even quicker weeknight dinner. Jarred minced garlic can save time, too. They do make spicier cans of green chilis; feel free to try a hotter one if you enjoy the heat!
- Broth – Beef or vegetable broth are best if cooking as written, but feel free to use chicken broth (or a homemade stock) if you’re using ground chicken or turkey instead.
- Softened cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese – Room-temperature full-fat cream cheese and freshly grated cheese will result in the creamiest soup. If freezing this soup, you can leave this out, then add it in when you reheat the soup.
- Onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin – Simple flavor boosters that give this soup it’s savory, delicious taste.
- Optional: Cornstarch and cold water to create a slurry to thicken the soup. It’s an optional step that adds carbs, but some people prefer a thicker texture.
How to Make Queso Soup
This easy keto soup requires no fancy equipment, expensive ingredients, or complicated steps. You just need a Dutch oven or a large pot with a lid and a stovetop or hot plate! Here’s a step-by-step guide for your new favorite meal!
Brown the meat
Heat a Dutch oven or stock pot (at least 4-quart) over medium heat. Add in your ground beef or sausage, breaking it up and turning it as it cooks. Once the meat is browned, drain off the grease.
No matter the protein you choose (even if you chose to replace the meat with mushrooms), you want to brown or cook your protein first. This reduces the grease, adds tons of flavor, and gives a better texture. If you’re using leftover, cooked protein (like shredded chicken), skip this step and add in the meat when you add in the broth. If doing that, your veggies in step #2 will need a tablespoon or so of oil.
Add the onion, bell pepper, and minced garlic to the pot and saute for 5-6 minutes. You want the onions nice and soft and the garlic fragrant but not brown.
Once the onion has softened, add the spices and broth. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes.
Make it creamy
Remove the lid from the pot, then add in your softened cream cheese, green chilis, and shredded cheese. Whisk the soup vigorously until the cheese and cream cheese have completely melted and incorporated into the soup.
If you like a thicker soup, you can mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water to create a slurry. Stir this slurry into the soup, then continue stirring for a few minutes as it thickens. This does add carbs and doesn’t affect the flavor, so it’s up to your preferences.
How to serve Queso Soup
Ladle this delicious soup into bowls and top with additional cheese, some fresh chopped tomatoes, green onions, or even diced avocado. A drizzle of enchilada sauce could be a pretty addition if you want to fancy it up for a party! If you need a crunchy topping, toast up some keto chips and crush them on top!
We love starting with a chip-and-dip appetizer with salsa, salsa verde, or this avocado bacon dip while the soup simmers. To stretch it further, you could add some Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice, Fajita Veggies, or a side of these easy Zucchini Fritters. These Jalapeno Cheddar Chaffles or Jalapeno Chicken Fritters would be great dipped in the soup, too.
Allow the soup is cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for 3-4 days, just keep it airtight and cold. This reheats easily, so you could go ahead and portion into individual containers for easy grab-and-go lunches! You can even freeze this soup up to 3 months if you follow the steps below.
Soup Freezing Tips:
- Leave out the cream cheese + shredded cheese – The only issue with freezing this soup is that sometimes when these two ingredients are melted and frozen, then become grainy when you reheat them. You’ll get the best texture from freezing this soup WITHOUT the cream cheese and cheddar, then adding those two ingredients in when reheating. If freezing 6 individual portions, you would add just over 1 ounce of cream cheese and about 1/3rd cup of shredded cheese when reheating.
- Leave room in the container – Liquid expands when it freezes, so you cannot fill the container up entirely before freezing. Whether using a mason jar or a freezer bag, I try to leave a full inch of space up at the top so the soup can expand without breaking the container.
- Allow to cool completely first – Residual heat in the food turns into condensation trapped inside the container which can lead to freezer burn on the food. Prevent this by making sure the food has cooled to room temperature before closing it up inside the container.
- Freeze flat – This isn’t necessary, but it saves time and space! If freezing in bags, freeze flat on the shelf. Once frozen, store upright to save space. When ready to eat, the soup will be able to thaw much quicker due to the shape.
- Thaw overnight in the fridge – You’ll get the best texture from frozen soups, sauces, and meats when you thaw them slowly in the fridge. This slow process allows the cells of the food to gradually handle the changing pressures, leading to smoother soups, less mushy vegetables, and more tender meat.
Best ways to reheat soup:
You can easily reheat this soup in the microwave or in a pot on the stove.
- Microwave – Reheat in 1-minute increments at 50% power, then stir between each blast. Consider covering with a paper towel to prevent splatters.
- Stovetop – Pour soup into a pot over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed throughout.
Soup may thicken up in the fridge. You can always thin out the soup a bit with a splash of broth.
If you like this cheesy soup, you are going to LOVE these easy queso recipes!
- Pollo Con Queso – Our go-to 20-minute low-carb dinner! This one-pan recipe has been a lifesaver on some of our busier days! If you love this, you’ve got to try it in a zucchini boat!
- Smoked Queso Dip – It’s an easy poolside or tailgating snack because it requires no work and just a warm grill! The cheesy appetizer gets tons of smoky flavor.
- Shrimp Con Queso – Shrimp, peppers, and mushrooms are cooked until perfectly tender and then covered with the cheesy sauce! Make great fajitas with these zucchini tortillas.
- Chorizo Queso Skillet – You will LOVE this! Spicy chorizo is perfectly balanced with this creamy queso dip. It’s a keto staple that feels like anything but diet food!
- Smashed Brussels Sprouts with Queso Dip – Use your love of queso to help you eat more veggies! These tender, crispy brussels sprouts are the perfect vehicle for more cheesy goodness.
- 1.5 pounds ground beef or sausage
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon EACH onion powder, garlic powder, cumin
- 32 ounces beef or vegetable broth
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 (4 ounce) cans mild green chiles
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- OPTIONAL THICKENER: 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon cold water
- Brown the ground beef or sausage in a 4-quart Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Drain off the grease.
- Add the onion, bell pepper, and minced garlic and saute for 5-6 minutes until the onion has softened.
- Add the spices and broth and bring to a simmer. Cover the soup and reduce the heat to low; cook 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid from the pot and add the softened cream cheese, green chiles, and shredded cheese. Whisk the soup vigorously until the cream cheese and cheese has softened completely.
- If desired, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon of cold water to the pot and stir until the soup has thickened.
- Serve with additional cheese, fresh tomatoes, green onions or chopped avocado.
Serving Size:1 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 422Total Fat: 28.5gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 924mgCarbohydrates: 9.6gNet Carbohydrates: 6.9gFiber: 2.7gSugar: 3.9gProtein: 30g