Mac And Beer Cheese Soup


I have a confession to make. Before starting this blog, I tried to make beer cheese soup and failed. I was baffled, at first, but figured out that a combination of my lack of patience (manifesting itself in my cheese dumping rather than slow adding) and a furious boil, resulted in a sloppy mess.

Second confession of the day (just call yourself a priest, and I’ll say a few Hail Mary’s on my way out) is that even though I love this recipe, I think I may love the photos more. Because right after I took them I was reminded via ping of my first post and how on their best day, those photos are hideously below average. I’ve worked really hard to bring my photography up to an acceptable standard and these photos reminded me of how my work is paying off.

Third confession, I won a state-wide Cook-Off on Friday. Ok, not really a confession, but I’m excited, so I thought I would share.

Fourth confession, I still have  a crush on Luke Perry. And Val Kilmer’s character in Real Genius. Looks like I went one confession too far.

Mac And Beer Cheese Soup

Note: Cheese sauce separates easily if the mixture is brought to a boil, or if pre shredded cheese is used. If the mixture does separates, try to puree the cheese sauce with a hand blender before you add the noodles.


  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 12 ounces Hefeweizen
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (thinly grated, don't use pre shredded)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni noodles


  • In a large pot heat the olive oil. Add the onions and jalapenos, cook until softened, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the butter stir until melted.
  • Sprinkle the flour and corn starch on top of the melted butter and whisk until combined.
  • Add the beer, broth and cream bring to a low simmer.
  • 1/4 a cup at at time, add the cheese and stir until completely melted before adding more (do not boil or cheese will separate). Repeat until all the cheese is incorporated into the soup.
  • Add the salt, pepper, smoked paprika and stir to combine.
  • Add the macaroni noodles and cook until noodles are al dente.
  • Add additional beer or broth to thin to desired consistency.

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42 Responses to Mac And Beer Cheese Soup

  1. kjpugs September 11, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    Oh, be still my noodle, beer, and cheese loving heart.

  2. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie September 11, 2012 at 7:13 am #

    I somehow have never made a beer and cheese soup. I need to fix that. I need to work on my photography skills, but first I need to be able to afford a better camera (stupid grad student money restraints). And congrats on the win!!

  3. claire @ the realistic nutritionist September 11, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    If you can’t find me, it’s b/c I face planted into that soup.

  4. Michelle Collins September 11, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    This looks so comforting and delicious!

  5. Eileen September 11, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    OH MY. This may need to happen in the near to immediate future at our house. Thanks!

  6. Cassie September 11, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    These are stunning photos. We all started somewhere! :) I hate looking back at old ones! And this sou – oh my goodness. I must have some!

    • Jackie September 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

      I know! I want to back and reshoot the first half of my blog, they make me cringe!

  7. Katie @ Blonde Ambition September 11, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Lol, even your “worst” photos look a lot better than mine do now! I am in serious need of a camera upgrade (I got mine on my 17th birthday…I will be 24 soon…)

    I love the addition of jalapeno and paprika in this! Sounds like a perfect smoky and spicy soup!

    • Jackie September 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      I am super hard on myself about everything, but my photos are the top of my hit list. For some reason, I never feel like they are quite good enough. A good camera helps, but there is a lot that can be done with a point and shoot. Greg from has taken the vast majority of the pictures on his blog with a point and shot. Read plate to pixel for some tips for food shots, it helped me a lot!

  8. Averie @ Averie Cooks September 11, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    mac ‘n cheese and beer? You’d be the most popular person at the tailgaiting party, for sure!

    • Jackie September 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

      Tailgating is a must in the near future!

  9. Nichole September 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Hi Jackie – just wondering why you choose Hefeweisen? I’m always curious to the reasoning behind which beer people choose for their soups! Have you tried any others?

    • Jackie September 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

      I’m very thoughtful when I choose beers for my recipes, but several beers will work with this one. You can go with a standard pale ale or blonde, that would work fine. An IPA will give you more a beer punch, but it could be too strong for a lot of people. I like the honey, bread, herbal qualities of a Hef, I think it balances the smoked paprika and small notes of spice from the jalapenos.

      • Nichole September 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

        Thank you for sharing. I made this last night and it was incredible! I actually ended up adding red bell peppers and a dash of crushed red pepper (I practically add both to everything i cook!) and it was phenomenal. I totally agrre with the Hef. flavor. I’m very excited to try out all your other recipes, my boyfriend and I love love our specialty ‘craft’ ,beers. Thank you again!

        • Jackie September 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

          That’s so great! The funny thing is, I ALMOST added roasted red peppers to this. Great minds!

  10. Leah September 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    I am so glad you said young Val Kilmer and not his current incarnation (oh Batman how you have fallen)! And I am looking forward to this beery-cheesey soup, maybe with some Packers football!

  11. amy @ fearless homemaker September 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    oh wow, this looks amazing! i’ve still never attempted beer cheese soup because i’m oddly intimidated by it. this version? looks so good. and yes, these pics are fantastic!

  12. master chef September 12, 2012 at 3:12 am #

    Excellent recipe. Simple and delicious recipes. Good for you.

  13. Emily aka The Three Bite Rule September 12, 2012 at 7:04 am #

    This looks delicious. Your photos are lovely.

  14. kita September 12, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    Holy Christ, I think my boyfriend just left me for you. ;)

  15. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen September 12, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    Drooool. Beer and cheese together?! This looks delicious!

  16. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies September 12, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    I love the photos too. But I love all of your photos! My early pictures were so bad, I’ve spent the entire year working on replacing all of them.

    My first (and only) attempt at beer cheese soup was also a sloppy mess, but perhaps it’s time to try again with your recipe.

    • Jackie September 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

      I need to do that, some of my old ones make me cringe. I need to re-shoot the first half of this blog too! Proof that a good camera does not equal good pictures.

  17. Erin @ The Food Doctors September 12, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    I’m on a mission to make my husband like soup. (Who hates soup??) I think this is the perfect recipe to start with. Wish me luck!!

    • Jackie September 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

      I love soup! I believe he can convert ;)

    • nichole September 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

      My boyfriend use to hate soup too, weird I know considering its so versatile! But the good thing is you can come up with so so many creations, keep pushing im sure he will convert like mine :) best of luck to you!

  18. Carrie @ Kiss My Whisk September 12, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    This looks like heaven in a bowl.

  19. Megan {Country Cleaver} September 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    My life will never be the same.

  20. Jessica September 14, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    you have GOT to be kidding me! this is like 8000 times better than mine. omg i’m so making it.

  21. Ally @ A Girl and Her Fork September 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    My 2 favorite things in 1?!!! I have to make this immediately.

  22. Will and Sarah October 7, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    I just made this for dinner and it was the BEST mac and cheese I have ever made! Thank you!! I will be making this again and again!

  23. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) November 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Awesome gluttonous recipe. We featured it in our Friday Football Fix:


    • Jackie November 18, 2012 at 10:06 am #

      Thank you so much Jed!

  24. Kasey April 11, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    I had serious issues with this and trying to get the cheese to melt with the base of the soup. I would highly recommend doing your noodles befor adding your cheese. My chef friend told me cheese should be the last thing to add at a reduce heat. I’m on round two of trying to make it and have my fingers crossed.

    • Jackie April 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      If the cheese sauce separates, try and puree it with a hand blender, that might help. Also, make sure that it doesn’t boil. You can also try making the Foolproof Beer Cheese sauce, then thin it with broth. That always works.


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