It’s thick, cheesy, and decadent if you’re on a restricted diet, yet it’s one of our favorite menu items at Marie Calender’s Restaurants. Because my wallet is on a restricted diet, I tried making my own M.C. potato cheese soup at home. Here’s the results, tried, tested, and according to everyone that I’ve served it to, this recipe comes pretty darn close to the one we have loved for over thirty years in Marie’s restaurants.

This recipe serves 4 and can easily be doubled.

My version of Marie Calender's Potato Cheese Soup

Ingredients List:

  • 1 medium white onion chopped into 1/2″ chunks
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil (or Canola oil)
  • Instant mashed potatoes (one 4 servings pouch or 1 cup of boxed)
  • 4 oz shredded medium cheddar cheese (mild is okay too)
  • 1 tsp quality onion powder
  • 1 Cup whole milk
  • 1 Cup very hot water
  • 2 Tbsp butter (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Generously cover the bottom of a medium-sized heavy sauce pan with the olive oil.
  2. Over very low heat, gently cook onions with 1/2 tsp of the salt until they become soft and nearly clear (see photo below) Stir the onions often making sure they don’t brown and caramelize.
  3. Add hot water and onion powder, turn heat to med-high and bring to boil.
  4. Remove sauce pan from heat, add potatoes slowly, stirring in about 1/4 cup at a time. When all potatoes are thoroughly mixed in, add 1/2 cup of cold milk and stir until blended. (Mixture will be very thick)
  5. Return sauce pan to medium heat and add cheese (reserve a bit of shredded cheese to use as a garnish, if desired), stir continuously and the rest of the milk, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  6. Add the 1/2 tsp salt and 2 Tbsp butter (if desired), stirring constantly and cooking just until soup comes to a boil, lower heat and gently simmer for at least 20 minutes.
  7. One option is to add a dash (or more) of cayenne pepper to kick it up a notch, or Turmeric to taste for persons who are battling cancer.
  8. Serves 4; garnish with cheese, paprika, parsley, or croûtons.
Sautéed onions
Onions sautéed just until they are soft, barely starting to become clear.

The soup can be eaten right after adding the butter in step 6, but it’s much better if it cooks a bit longer because the potatoes and cheese will become creamy and the flavors will meld together beautifully.

Please let me know you were here and leave a comment below, thanks.

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