Caldo De Queso: A Delicious Cheese & Potato Soup From Sonora

Caldo de Queso is a delicious potato and cheese soup typical from the state of Sonora, in Mexico. A warm and comforting dish, perfect for a quick weeknight meal.

Even though I am not from northern Mexico, I still grew up eating this soup that my grandma Julia used to make. She will serve it with a dollop of jocoque instead of adding milk to the recipe and it was amazingly good!

Caldo de queso served on two white plates.

What is Caldo de Queso?

Caldo de Queso is a Mexican soup widespread and appreciated in the north of the country that originated in the state of Sonora. It’s known by various names such as caldo de papa, caldo de queso y papa, caldo de papas y queso, and caldo de queso estilo Sonora.

The recipe consists of a delicious and comforting soup prepared with potatoes, cheese, and northern green chilies (Anaheim, California), all simmered in a delicious light tomato and onion broth flavored with garlic, oregano, and cilantro to which is added a splash of milk to give it a very special flavor and creaminess.

Close up on caldo de papa y queso.

What type of cheese is used in Caldo de Queso?

The traditional cheese for Caldo de Queso is a cheese made in the Sonora countryside (queso de rancho sonorense), although as we know, it is not possible to find it outside the State.

Anyway, even in Mexico, this recipe is made using queso fresco or queso panela which are also easier to find.

I do not recommend using high-fat cheeses such as Gouda, Fontina, etc. Because they melt completely and the idea is that the cheese softens a bit but not that it loses its shape completely or disintegrates in the broth.

Queso panela cut into cubes on a cutting board.

In this Caldo de Queso recipe, the cheese is the last thing that is added, and only when the potatoes are well cooked and the heat is turned off, so with the heat of the broth, the cheese will soften slightly.

HOW TO SUB: If you can’t find queso panela or queso fresco where you live, you can still make this recipe. Those below are some good options:

  • Paneer (Indian cheese)
  • Primo sale (Italian cheese)
  • Halloumi (Cyprus cheese)
  • Farmer cheese (pressed cottage cheese)

What type of chillies can be used

The traditional recipe for this Mexican potato soup calls for Anaheim green chilies, also known as California peppers. That is a type of pepper very easy to find in northern Mexico, but not so much in the rest of the country; so, you’ll also find this soup made with chile poblano.

I suggest you use any type of green peppers you can find where you live, for example, Italian peppers or Moroccan peppers are both good options.

Chilies need first to be roasted, peeled, and then cut into strips.

Poblano peppers roasted, peeled, and seeded.

Ingredients needed

CHEESE – In this recipe, we used queso panela. Other types of cheese can be used, just make sure you use a cheese that holds nicely its shape.

POTATOES – Cut into cubes. Preferably the same size so that they cook evenly.

GREEN CHILLIES – The peppers that are traditionally used in this caldo de papa are called Anaheim or California, it is a very popular type of green pepper that is easy to find in the northern states of the country and the southern USA. You can replace it with any green chile, preferably those that you can roast and remove the veins and seeds.

TOMATOES – Chopped into small cubes or you can also blend them or use 1/2 cup of tomato sauce or 1 teaspoon of tomato paste.

ONIONS – Finely chopped or cut into strips, my recommendation is to cook it slowly over low heat or you can also blend it together with the tomatoes.

Ingredients for caldo de queso labeled with names and displayed on a marble surface.

STOCK – It can be chicken or vegetable to give the broth a little flavor. In Mexico, it is very common to use powdered chicken bouillon (or in cubes). Or you can also use only water as the recipe has lots of flavors anyway.

MILK – In the traditional Sonoran recipe for Caldo de papas y queso, a splash of milk is added to give it a light creamy touch. If you don’t want to add it, you can leave it out because the soup is delicious anyway without it.

CONDIMENTS – Garlic, oregano, cilantro, salt, and pepper. In the amounts you prefer, although I recommend adjusting the salt only at the end of the recipe, about two or three minutes before turning off the heat.

Caldo de Queso Recipe

  • Wash thoroughly the green chili peppers, roast them with the technique you prefer (in the oven, directly on the stove’s fire, or on a comal or pan).
  • Put them in a plastic bag or container and then wrap them in a kitchen cloth. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the skin from the peppers, cut them in half, remove all the seeds and remove the veins. Cut them into strips and set them aside.
  • In a medium stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 4 minutes over low heat until transparent and tender.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for a minute stirring constantly to release its aroma.
  • Add the tomato and cook, stirring from time to time for about 5 minutes or until the tomato has released its juices and you’ll have a thick sauce.
A four photo collage with the preparation of caldo de papas y queso.
  • Pour the broth (or hot water), add the cilantro, and season with salt and pepper (READ NOTES). Set the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Let everything simmer for 1 minute.
  • Add the potatoes and cover the pan. Cook until the potatoes are nicely tender (about 20 minutes).
  • Uncover the pot and add the roasted chilies and milk. Mix carefully and let the potato soup cook for 2 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and immediately add the cheese. Mix and let sit caldo de queso 5 minutes before serving.
A collage with 4 photos preparing caldo de queso.

How To Serve It

My favorite way of eating this Mexican potato soup is with bolillo bread, I love dipping it into the delicious broth! Other types of dinner rolls are perfect too.

Or you can simply serve it with warm homemade flour tortillas, just as many families do it in Sonora.

For drinking, either strawberry horchata or agua fresca de tamarindo are good options.

Two plates with caldo de queso and a white cast-iron pot on the background.

Useful Recipe Notes

  • When seasoning the broth, take into account the type of cheese you going to add. If it is a very salty cheese, do not add too much salt to the soup.
  • If you don’t like the onion and tomato pieces in the broth you can blend them together with the garlic and fry this sauce with a little oil.
  • You can finely chop the cilantro and add it when you add the chillies if you prefer.
  • If you want to speed up the prep times for this Mexican potato soup, you can also use a can of roasted poblano peppers, those are easy to find online and at Mexican stores.
  • You can use any kind of potatoes as long as you pay attention to the cooking time because some kinds cooks faster than others.

Making ahead, storaging and reheating instructions

You can make this delicious soup ahead and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Caldo de papa also freezes wonderfully for up to 3 months. I always make a large batch and store it for those busy nights.

Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature and reheat in a pot on the stove or in a plastic container in the microwave.

Watch How To Make This Mexican Potato Soup

Thank you for watching this, I hope you give a try to this delicious recipe because is so easy to make.

Caldo de Queso (mexican cheese and potato soup)

author Maricruz
2
Caldo de Queso is a delicious potato and cheese soup typical from the state of Sonora, in Mexico. A warm and comforting dish, perfect for a quick weeknight meal
prep 15 minutes
cook 38 minutes
resting time 5 minutes
total 58 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 200 gr (3/4 cup) fresh cheese (cut in cubes)
  • 680 gr (1.5 lb) potatoes (cut into cubes of 2cm/0.8")
  • Green chillies (Anaheim, California, Poblano, italian, etc.)
  • 200 gr (1 cup) Tomatos (diced)
  • 50 gr (2/3 cup) onions (finely sliced)
  • chicken broth or hot water
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk
  • 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 tbsp oil (olive oil, canola oil, etc.)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Wash throughly the green chilli peppers, roast them with the technique you prefer (in the oven, directly on the stove’s fire or on a comal or pan).
  • Put them in a plastic bag or container and then wrap them in a kitchen cloth. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the skin from the peppers, cut them in half, remove all the seeds and remove the veins. Cut them into strips and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 4 minutes over low heat until transparent and tender.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for a minute stirring constantly to release its aroma.
  • Add the tomato and cook, stirring from time to time for about 5 minutes or until the tomato has released its juices and you’ll have a thick sauce.
  • Pour the broth, add the cilantro and season with salt and pepper (READ NOTES). Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Let everything simmer for 1 minute.
  • Add the potatoes and cover the pan. Cook until the potatoes are tender (about 25 minutes).
  • Uncover the pan and add the chillies and milk. Mix carefully and let the potato soup cook for 2 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and immediately add the cheese. Mix and let stand 5 minutes before serving

Notes

  • When seasoning the broth, take into account the type of cheese you going to add. If it is a very salty cheese, do not add too much salt to the soup.
  • If you don’t like the onion and tomato pieces in the broth you can blend them together with the garlic and fry this sauce with a little oil.
  • You can finely chop the cilantro and add it when you add the chillies if you prefer.
  • If you want to speed up the prep times, you can also use a can of roasted poblano peppers cut into strips.
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Recipe Rating




19 Comments

  1. Just an fyi, your recipe ingredients don’t specify how much broth or water and there’s no cilantro stated except in your notes. I used 8 cups of broth/water, hope it comes out good.

    1. 5 stars
      Made this exactly as written. Turned out fabulous!!!!! Thanks for your generosity in sharing the recipe. Next on my list is your chicharrones in salsa roja. I’ve made it before but your recipe is a bit different and it sounds good. I love that you refer to your mama’s cooking as an inspiration. My MIL taught me so much about cooking Mexican food. It’s good to continue a tradition.

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing 🤩 I just saw it posted in a Mexican food group and wanted to try it right away. Thank you for the easy instructions, my caldo de queso was muy rico!

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you Mari for the recipe now we can share a plate of this caldito any time you’re back in USA 🇺🇸

    1. Hi Sara, besides from queso fresco or panela, you can use:

      Paneer (Indian cheese)
      Primo sale (Italian cheese)
      Halloumi (Cyprus cheese)
      Farmer cheese (pressed cottage cheese)

      I will edit the recipe card to make it clear because that info is in the post but not in the recipe card, thank you for bringing it up! :)

  4. 5 stars
    .This recipe is very similar to the way I make caldo de queso except I and never use milk in mine and I like to use longhorn cheese because it’s kind of stringy. I live in Southern Arizona and Sonora Mexico i.s our neighbor.

      1. Hi Laura, start with 4 cups, then adjust to your preferences. Just remember that this is a brothy soup (is not thick), for this recipe I usually add between 4 and 6 cups.

  5. 5 stars
    I’m not sure if it said in the recipe or not.. but I have found it best to add the cheese as you serve it, in case you need to freeze it. I make a huge batch of this now, (it will be my 5th or 6th time, I’m currently getting ready to make it) and I share with friends and family. The first time I made it I added the cheese to the whole pot, and it tasted funny a couple days later.
    This is now my favorite thing to cook and eat.. and my family and friends love it too!

  6. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! I heard about caldo de queso some weeks ago from a guy at work. I thought it was interesting but he didn’t know the recipe so I had to search for it and your recipe was the first one that appeared.

    It was so easy to make. I used farmer cheese because I couldn’t find panela at the grocery store near to me. Anaheim peppers are easily available where I live and I had the remaining ingredients at home.

    It was delicious!

  7. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe! My mom always made caldo de queso when it was rainy, so I just follow this tradition. We like to enjoy it with homemade flour tortillas and salsa molcajeteada…yum!

  8. 5 stars
    I discovered your recipe for caldo de queso long time ago in Pinterest and this is like the six time I made it. It never fails, it is so easy, hearty, delicious! My kids loves it, even if sometimes is a lil bit spicy for them.
    I will totally recommend using Anaheim peppers, i made it once with bell peppers and the taste was just not the same.

  9. 5 stars
    This was beyond delicious! I had a few Anaheim peppers than my neighbor gave me some days ago and couldn’t find any recipe that inspired me enough to make with them. She suggested to look for caldo de queso con papas and your recipe was the first one that came out.
    Now, I don’t usually make the first recipe I find in Google because they’re usually from big websites with lots of recipes but low quality. Anyway, I decided to give it a try because I saw he video and seemed too easy to make.

    It was a hit! My vegetarian daughter said it was the best potato soup she ever had (that’s quite a compliment, I tell you), and my teenager soon devoured it. I served it with cheesy bread ^^

  10. 5 stars
    This is one of the most simple recipes I’ve come across when looking for authentic Mexican dishes, yet, it is delicious and fulfilling.

  11. 5 stars
    I was so curious to try this caldo de queso recipe when someone posted a recipe in a Facebook group, however, this person didn’t included the exact measurements so I had to look for the recipe in google and yours was one of the first that came up.
    I gathered all my ingredients and made the soup following your directions, which btw, are so simple to follow in the video.
    I liked it so much, even though I think it missed something, maybe I’ll add chicken stock next time or serve with cheese bread. Overall, is a 5/5 stars recipe!

  12. 5 stars
    Hice tu receta y me salió a la primera! Gracias, caldo de queso con papas es uno de mis platillos favoritos y me recuerda mucho my infancia.

  13. 5 stars
    Mari esta receta no la conocía y me la recomendó una amiga, así que la busqué en Google y di con tu receta. La hice ayer para mis hijos y para mi y nos ha encantado, la serví con tortillas recién hechas y no te digo que buena me salió. Gracias!