This Caldo de Queso is a favorite comforting soup, made easier in the Instant Pot. Potatoes and cheese are perfectly matched with green chiles.
In Sonora, in the north region of Mexico, this Caldo (meaning “soup” in Spanish) is made with water, potatoes, a little tomato and green chiles, seasoned with oregano. Once prepared, you add generous chunks of Mexican cheese. My variation includes canned vegetables for easier accessiblity, especially in winter.
- Is Queso Fresco a Melting Cheese?
- Do You Add Milk to Caldo de Queso?
- How Long Do You Heat Queso Fresco?
Caldo de queso is a great recipe for the winter months. And, this variation using the Instant Pot, makes it perfect any time of the year.
Potatoes. I’ve used 1 ½ pounds of potatoes. These potatoes were really small so it took five potatoes. Other times of the year, I may only need two potatoes to reach that weight.
Tomatoes and Green Chiles. I’ve used canned vegetables. Not only is it easier, but, if you have a hard time finding good fresh vegetables during the winter, canned is the way to go. To use fresh, you’ll need about 3 Roma tomatoes and one roasted poblano chile or two roasted Anaheim chiles.
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Queso Fresco. You can use either queso fresco or Panela cheese. They are both Mexican crumbling cheeses. I like to break off pieces to include in the soup, but you can cut it into cubes, if you prefer.
Is Queso Fresco a Melting Cheese?
Queso fresco crumbles but it doesn’t have a smooth melt like other cheeses. You can easily break it off into pieces.
Because it doesn’t melt the same way as other cheeses, it’s perfect for garnishing this soup. It will get softer but will hold together so you can get every bit of it in the spoon.
Do You Add Milk to Caldo de Queso?
I like a creamier soup so I always add some form of milk. I’ve used half n half, heavy cream and sometimes milk or even canned milk, if I don’t have fresh.
The milk gives the soup a lighter, more creamy appearance. If you prefer a more golden broth, you can omit the half n half in the recipe.
How Long Do You Heat Queso Fresco?
I prefer to keep the pieces of queso fresco on the side when serving. I know that it’s typical to add the queso into the pan and allow it to heat up a little but, I always have a lot of leftovers with only me and mom here.
Since I plan on storing the leftovers, possibly even freezing some of it, I don’t add the queso until I’ve reheated the soup and I’m ready to eat it. It seems fresher that way.
Try These Recipes Too
This soup is great by itself. You can add diced chicken to it, if you would like it more hearty. Or, try serving it with any of these recipes.
- Chili’s Salsa Copycat
- Spinach Mushroom Enchiladas
- Tortilla Chips from Scratch
- Baked Chicken Rolled Tacos
- Takis Taco Salad
Instant Pot Caldo de QuesoTap to leave a star rating
For more information, be sure to check the recipe details in the attached 24Bite® post.
- 6-quart Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
- 10 ounces Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
- 4.5 ounces Diced Green Chiles
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 medium Onion, chopped
- 4 cups Water
- 1 ½ pounds Potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½" pieces
- 1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- ½ cup Half n Half
- 10 ounces Queso Fresco, or Panela cheese
- Open the cans of tomatoes and chiles and pour into a strainer. Set aside to allow to drain out the liquids.
- Press Saute button on Instant Pot to begin heating. Add olive oil and chopped onion. Saute 3-4 minutes until fragrant. If you're using fresh garlic, add it in the last minute and saute with the onion. If using jarred or bottled garlic, add in the next step.
- Add water, potatoes, garlic, bouillon, salt, pepper and oregano to Instant Pot. Stir to incorporate and continue heating for 1-2 minutes.
- Press the Cancel button on the Instant Pot to reset.
- Check the Instant Pot lid to ensure the seal is in place and nothing is blocking the vent. Place lid on top and set lever to Sealing. Press the Manual button on the Instant Pot and set to high for 3 minutes, then fully natural release. The entire cook time will be about 25-30 minutes.
- Remove lid. Press the Cancel button to reset then hit the Saute button. Add drained tomatoes and chiles. Stir gently so you don't mash the potatoes. Allow to heat about 2-3 minutes.
- Press the Cancel button. Stir in the half n half gently.
- Break up the queso fresco into about 1" pieces. When serving, add pieces of queso fresco to the top.
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Can I Cook This on the Stove Top?Yes! Follow all the same instructions in the same order and cook until the potatoes are tender.
Can I Cook This on the Crockpot?Yes! Add everything except the dairy and cook until the potatoes are tender. Add the dairy and cook until heated through.
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