Caldo de Queso (Mexican Potato and Cheese Soup)

Two white bowls filled with Caldo de Queso Soup. Cilantro, black pepper, lime wedges and cubed cheese are next to the bowls.

This creamy Caldo de Queso recipe is a hearty Mexican soup loaded with soft potatoes, salty queso fresco, flavorful broth and healthy vegetables. Caldo de Queso Con Papas is perfect for those who love a classic potato and cheese soup.

This Sopa de Queso recipe is ready in just 45 minutes. Make a batch of Arepa Con Queso to serve alongside the soup!

Looking for more soup recipes? Check out our favorites: Clam Chowder, Zuppa ToscanaPasta e Fagioli, Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup and Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup.

What is Caldo de Queso?

Caldo de Queso is a Mexican soup that originated in the state of Sonora. It has a variety of names, including caldo de papa, caldo de queso y papa, caldo de papas y queso and sopa de queso. It similar to smoked queso, in soup form!

White bowl filled with mexican soup. Cilantro and a lime wedge are next to the bowl.

Caldo de Papas Con Queso

This Mexican potato and cheese soup recipe is ridiculously creamy and flavorful. Each ingredient really adds to the final product. Of course there’s room to doctor it a bit depending on your cravings. Like corn? Throw it in. Only have heavy cream on hand instead of milk? Use it. Here are the main ingredients we use to make our favorite version of cheese soup:

  • Peppers – Roast poblano peppers in the manner in which you prefer. You can also sub in canned green chilis if you don’t want to roast your own peppers.
  • Potatoes – Any variety will work, but we tend to use russet or yukon.
  • Queso Fresco – Queso Fresco doesn’t fully melt so it stays in a nice chunky shape with amazing texture.
  • Milk – You absolutely MUST warm the milk before adding it to the broth. If you don’t, the milk will curdle.
  • Vegetables and Spices – Roma tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, oregano, chicken bouillon cube, and salt and pepper.
Caldo de Queso 8 Caldo de Queso (Mexican Potato and Cheese Soup)

Recipe Variations

Cheese Options

The traditional cheese used in Caldo de Queso is called queso de rancho sonorense and it’s not available stateside. As such, here are some good options to consider. 

  • Queso Fresco – The texture and saltiness of queso fresco makes it our absolute favorite.
  • Queso Panela – Easy to find and has a similar texture to queso fresco.
  • Paneer – An Indian cheese, very similar to Queso Panela. 
  • Halloumi – Great firm cheese from Cyprus. Getting easier to find a local supermarkets. We’ve spotted it at Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s in the past.

Avoid high-fat cheeses, such as cheddar, gouda, etc. as the cheese melts into the soup so you’re not getting the firm cheesy bite of salty cheese. 

Black cutting board with chunks of mexican cheese. A chef's knife is next to the cutting board.

Pepper Options

Anaheim green chilis (also called California peppers) are traditional, however not all regions in the U.S. carry them. Almost all green chilis can be substituted in with success. In fact we often use poblano or Cubanelle peppers. 

As the chilis need to be roasted, you may find yourself grabbing a can of roasted poblano peppers or green chilis at the grocery store to cut back on the prep work. That’s perfectly fine. 

Two roasted poblano peppers on a white plate.

Garnish Ideas

While Caldo de Queso can stand on its own, without a garnish, there is no harm in loading your bowl up with these bad boys:

Caldo de Queso 7 Caldo de Queso (Mexican Potato and Cheese Soup)

Sopa de Queso Recipe Tips

  • It’s mentioned above, but it deserves a repeat. Make sure you warm the milk before adding it to the soup. Nobody wants to eat curdled milk.
  • You can use chicken stock in place of a Chicken bouillon cube and warm water. Just use 6 cups of broth. We use Instant Pot Bone Broth when we can.
  • Wait until you taste the final product to add more salt. If you’re using a salty cheese you’ll need much less salt than a normal soup would need.
  • This makes a ton of chicken soup so use a large soup pot or dutch oven.
Overhead shot of Caldo de Queso in a white bowl with a slice of lime next to it.

What To Serve With Cheese Soup

The only thing we eat with Sopa de Papa Con Queso is bread, oyster crackers or saltines. Think one hour dinner rolls, slices of French bread or even muffaletta bread if we have some on hand. If the soup is just a starter, serve it alongside Milanesa de Pollo, vibrant pollo asado or even Birria.

How Long Does This Last In The Refrigerator

Transfer any leftover soup to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerate for up to 3 days. To re-heat, just place it in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a slow boil.

I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a recipe rating, snap a pic and use the hashtag #foodieandwine, after you’ve made the recipe, and post to social media! 

Overhead shot of Caldo de Queso in a white bowl with a slice of lime next to it.

Caldo de Queso

Creamy and cheesy Caldo de Queso recipe. Caldo de Queso Con Papas is a hearty Mexican soup recipe loaded with soft potatoes, salty queso fresco cheese, flavorful broth and healthy vegetables. This Sopa de Queso recipe is ready in just 45 minutes.
5 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 bowls
Calories: 420kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $10



  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • ½ small Onion, Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes, Cut Into Chunks
  • 1 Chicken Bouillon Cube
  • 6 cups Warm Water
  • ¼ bunch Cilantro ((*Note 1))
  • ¼ tsp Mexican Oregano ((*Note 2))
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 Potatoes, Cut Into 3/4" Chunks ((*Note 3))
  • 2 Roasted Poblano Peppers
  • 1 cup Warm Milk
  • 10 oz Queso Fresco


  • Add the avocado oil to a large saucepan or dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until soft and transparent.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minutes or so.
  • Turn up the heat to high and add the broth, cilantro, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil for about 1 minute.
  • Add the potatoes, cover the pan and cook until the potatoes are tender (about 20-25 minutes).
  • When the potatoes are soft, add the chilis and warm milk and gently stir to combine.
  • After a minute, turn off the heat, fish out the bunch of cilantro and stir in the cubes of cheese.
  • Let stand for 5 minutes before transferring to individual servings bowl. Garnish and enjoy!


Note 1 – We use about 5 full stalks of cilantro. Feel free to add more or less, depending on how much cilantro flavor you like.
Note 2 – You can use regular oregano if you don’t have Mexican oregano on hand.
Note 3 – You can use any potato you like. We usually use yukon, russet or red. 


Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 862mg | Potassium: 864mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1351IU | Vitamin C: 77mg | Calcium: 502mg | Iron: 1mg
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