Homemade Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup Substitute

Ditch the canned condensed soup and make this homemade condensed cheddar cheese soup instead! It’s a perfect substitute for condensed cheese soup and uses only a few basic ingredients. Add a little extra spice to use as homemade nacho cheese sauce that will leave you reaching for extra chips!

homemade condensed cheddar cheese soup
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For years we bought condensed cheddar cheese soup because recipes called for it. One of our absolute favorite meals, Cheesy Enchilada Soup, called for it in the original recipe and we ate that at least once a month! It never even occurred to me that there would be a way to make it at home. I mean, condensed soup is magical because it’s soup that’s condensed, right? It wasn’t until a few months ago that I finally took the time to create my own version of that recipe using zero canned items. What took me so long??

Oh man, if I had known how simple it was to make this at home with basic ingredients that we always had on hand I would have never bought a can of the condensed stuff. I found this recipe on Real Fit, Real Food mom and adapted it to our food habits and it works perfectly!

I know lots of people don’t like using the canned versions because of the huge list of ingredients that are impossible to pronounce. I’m not a huge fan of that either. But the major reason we switched to homemade foods is because of the cost. We are a family of seven living on a single income – we need to wisely steward our money! Meal planning and cooking from scratch is my way of helping us live within our means. 

Now, this recipe is so stinking easy that I should really have my kids make it from now on. Four ingredients. FOUR. And it takes about five minutes start to finish. Like I said, so stinking easy! 

What ingredients are in the homemade cheddar cheese condensed soup substitute?

The ingredients are very simple and probably in your house right now!

  • butter
  • flour
  • milk
  • cheese

How do you make homemade cheddar cheese condensed soup substitute?

Like other condensed soup substitutes, the homemade version starts with flour and butter to make a roux. They provide the thickener to create an ultra-creamy cheese soup. Once the flour and butter are combined and have a chance to bubble a bit, slowly mix in the milk, making sure to whisk in all the flour clumps.

Let this mixture simmer for a few minutes and thicken before adding in your freshly shredded cheese. And that’s it! No more canned cheese soup when it’s this easy to make homemade cheddar soup.

Do you need freshly grated cheese for homemade cheese soup?

Absolutely! Pre-shredded cheese is convenient for throwing on salads or tacos but when it comes to melting, it does not do the trick. It has additives to prevent it from clumping while in the package and this can cause it to not melt as smooth. Grab yourself a brick (we really like the 2 pound bricks from Sam’s Club or Costco because it’s cheaper per ounce than anywhere else) and shred enough for the recipe. You’ll definitely notice the difference!

Homemade Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup


  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Melt butter over low heat.
  2. Whisk in flour until smooth, cook for one to two minutes.
  3. Slowly whisk in milk while bringing to a gentle boil.
  4. Mixture will thicken slightly as it bubbles. Once it begins to thicken stir in cheese until melted.
  5. Use in place of one can of condensed cheddar cheese soup in recipes.

Just this week I used this in place of the can of cheddar cheese soup in Plain Chicken’s Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole. While my kitchen helper kid shredded cheese I got the butter and flour going on the stove. By the time I had added the milk and got the soup thickening he had my cheese shredded and ready to add in. The cheese melted (and I snapped the pictures for this post!) and we mixed it in to the bowl of tots, ground beef, sour cream, and more cheese. Barely more time than opening and scraping out a can. 

I hope you enjoy it! 

What ingredients do you use substitutes for in your cooking? 

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14 thoughts on “Homemade Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup Substitute”

  1. Our 3 grocery stores in our home town were right out of Cheddar cheese soup! I promised my kids cheesy chicken for supper so was sure thrilled to see your recipe! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Worked like a charm. I didn’t want to run to the store for just one thing.
    I found this recipe. I used evaporated milk to give the soup substitute that canned taste we all love 😉. in my opinion my Mexican lasagna tasted even better than it usually does. I may never use canned cheddar soup again.

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