The Best Recipes To Make With Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is ... well, it's delicious, and adding a little cheddar to your favorite recipes can take them from ho-hum to "give me more!" in a flash. The creamy, sharp, salty, and slightly bitter flavor that cheddar is known for adds a distinct tang to recipes, and is especially good paired with vegetables and carbohydrates like pasta, rice, potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower. And it even goes nicely with proteins like steak and eggs. 

Just keep in mind, there are different "levels" of cheddar cheese, from mild to extra sharp. The flavor difference is distinct and comes down to how long the cheddar has aged, with extra sharp cheddars aging naturally for up to a year, or in some cases (depending on the brand) more than two years. That said, a little bit of sharp cheddar cheese goes a long way, flavor-wise. If you're unfamiliar with the "bite" these sharper cheeses have, give them a taste test and start with a little less cheddar than you might typically try. And if you know you can't hang with the tang of sharp cheddar, you can always substitute a mild or medium version into a recipe if sharp cheddar is called for (or vice versa). So when you're itching for a lil' extra chedda' in your life, go ahead and give one of these recipes a try. 

Broccoli cheddar soup

If broccoli cheddar soup isn't already in your regular fall and winter lunch rotation, it's time to learn how to whip up a pot of this creamy, veggie-and-cheddar-filled favorite. It takes just 35 minutes to make (including roasting extra broccoli florets to add as a tasty garnish), and it will definitely squash your cheddar cheese cravings — a pot of the soup includes more than a half-pound of the shredded, sharp version of the cheese. 

Garlic cheddar biscuits

When you're looking for the perfect, cheesy side dish for your favorite soup, stew, or chili, or you want to start your morning off with a more savory bread, look no further than these garlic cheddar biscuits. You can make them in under 20 minutes, and they feature a full cup of packed, shredded cheddar cheese, so they're guaranteed to satisfy your craving. One thing to keep in mind? It's best to use freshly shredded cheddar for this recipe, rather than pre-shredded. The cheese will melt better, and it's also free from the preservatives used in pre-shredded cheese to keep them from clumping in the bag. 

Breakfast egg muffins

Egg muffins are one of those handy, protein-packed bite-sized breakfast items that you can make ahead of time, throw in a plastic bag, and eat as you drive to work or sit at your desk. They can be personalized and customized with whatever meats, veggies, and cheeses you like, but if you're a cheddar cheese fan, you need to add this recipe to your repertoire. Technically, it provides two ways to make your egg muffins (one with cheddar cheese and tomatoes, the other with spinach, feta cheese, and parsley), but you can always make the entire batch with the first option. Plus, you can add crumbled bacon or ham to add even more flavor. 

Copycat Panera broccoli cheddar soup

Who needs just one recipe for broccoli cheddar soup in their lives? Clearly, it's a hearty, comfort food that's deserving of at least a few different versions in your recipe lineup. Plus, if you love Panera's creamy and delicious version, you definitely need to give this copycat recipe a whirl. It takes almost an hour to make, and it requires multiple steps, including blending the soup to make it especially creamy, but the result is almost exactly the same as the restaurant's fan-favorite. Plus, with the two cups of shredded, sharp cheddar cheese that's included in the recipe, it will definitely deliver your cheese fix.

Copycat Trader Joe's mac and cheese

When you're looking for cheese, cheese, and ever-more cheese in your life, look no further than this copycat Trader Joe's mac and cheese recipe. Not only does it include two full cups of freshly grated sharp cheddar (one for use in the recipe, and one for extra topping), it also includes a cup each of havarti, gouda, and Swiss. That means all your cheesy dreams will come true when you take a bite, elevating the boxed mac and cheese experience by about a thousand-fold. 

Instant Pot twice baked potatoes

Twice baked potatoes make one of those delicious meals (or sides ... or appetizers) that's easy to pass up because baking the potatoes (twice, no less) can be time-consuming. But that all changes when you use your Instant Pot to whip up a batch. The initial baking takes just 15 minutes, and while you have to allow time for prep work and the second bake, you can have a full batch of cheesy delicious potatoes (that's 12 halves when all is said and done) ready to serve in an hour. 

Copycat Red Lobster cheddar biscuits

Boosted by Beyonce's 2016 name-drop of Red Lobster in her song "Formation," the brand's Cheddar Bay (or "Bey," as the brand quipped in a tweet) biscuits have been a fan favorite for years. And it's easy to understand why — they're garlicky, cheesy, and buttery, making the perfect pairing for all your seafood favorites. That's why you should learn to make this copycat recipe at home — you'll only need 22 minutes to prep and bake them, and they make for an easy grab-and-go snack when you're craving a little bit 'o cheddar. 

Funeral potatoes

Admittedly, the name "funeral potatoes" is bound to put a few people off — it doesn't sound like something anyone would want to eat. But the idea is more simple — this cheese-filled, crunchy potato recipe is the perfect comfort food when you're feeling a little bit beat up by life. And, if you love cheddar cheese, you're going to love this dish. In addition to the two cups of shredded cheddar cheese, the recipe also calls for a can of condensed cheddar cheese soup, which you know amps up that cheese flavor by about 10 times. Make it for your family or take it to a potluck to share — either way, you're unlikely to have many leftovers. 

Bacon weave taco with mac and cheese

Good luck finding a more decadent, cheesy, borderline obscene recipe when you really want to indulge. This bacon-weave taco is filled with homemade beer mac and cheese (yes, beer mac and cheese), featuring a three-cheese blend of cheddar, mozzarella, and Monterey Jack. And of course, there's that bacon-weave taco to consider. Together, it's the pinnacle of comfort foods that should only be attempted, say, once a year, but the satisfaction you'll feel when biting into your salty, cheesy, beer-tinged meal will definitely give you a buzz (mostly a fat and salt buzz, as the actual alcohol gets cooked out). 

Zucchini enchilada boats

When you're looking for a way to sneak in extra veggies while also enjoying a healthy dose of cheddar cheese, look no further than this recipe for zucchini enchilada boats. Built in the hollowed-out halves of zucchinis, these enchiladas deliver everything you'd expect in the original version (green chilies, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, ground turkey, and of course, lots of cheddar cheese), helping you quash your need for Mexican food while ensuring you're maximizing your intake of good-for-you nutrients. 

Copycat Panera mac and cheese

There's a time and place for a box of Kraft mac and cheese ... it's fast, it's easy, and it comes with that neon orange color that can't be found in nature. Not to mention the nostalgic feelings of childhood it conjures up. But when you want indulgent, delicious, out-of-this-world mac and cheese? You need to make your version from scratch. But there's no reason to reinvent the wheel, just take this Panera copycat recipe for a spin. It features two and a half cups of medium white cheddar (you can use the orange style if you can't fathom an orange-free cheese sauce), along with butter, flour, whole milk, and heavy cream to really deliver the to-die-for saucy flavor. And if you prefer a slightly sharper taste, go ahead and use a sharper cheddar — there's no reason you need to stick to medium. 

Copycat Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole

If you've never tried a hashbrown casserole before, you're missing out. This Southern potluck staple is a crowd-pleaser, featuring frozen hashbrowns, butter, flour, sour cream, and of course, cheddar cheese and bacon for the topping. The copycat Cracker Barrel version takes about an hour to make, but you won't regret the time it takes, especially since 45 minutes is the time it takes to bake. And of course, while the recipe calls for a cheddar and Monterey jack blend of cheese, you can always skip the Monterey jack and double-down on that cheddar-y flavor. 

Copycat T.G.I. Friday's stuffed potato skins

There's something about T.G.I. Friday's stuffed potato skins that make for the perfect game day appetizer paired with a beer, and maybe some chili. But if you don't feel like ordering from T.G.I. Friday's for the authentic potato skins, you can whip up a copycat recipe at home. This 5-ingredient recipe (which includes the dipping sauce), takes about an hour and a half to make (baking potatoes is never a quick process, although you can speed it up with an Instant Pot), and delivers the crispy-on-the-outside, soft-and-creamy on the inside flavor that you expect from potato skins. Plus, one of those five ingredients is sharp cheddar cheese, so you know it's going to taste good. 

Breakfast quiche with cheddar

Who doesn't love the flavor combination of eggs, breakfast meats, and cheese, all packaged up with a crispy, flaky pie crust? Quiche is one of those breakfasts you probably don't make that often (it can feel a little overwhelming for a cooking project first thing in the morning), but this recipe for a cheddar cheese, onion, and bacon-filled quiche should make it into your monthly rotation. 

It'll take about an hour and a half to make, which may seem like a lot, but if you bake two, you can freeze one and pull it out to enjoy with company (or on your own) at a later date. Plus, you don't have to make your pie crust from scratch, so really, most of the hands-on work is just cooking the bacon and onions, and practically anyone can do that, right? 

Enchilada casserole

When taking the time to roll up enchiladas just seems like too much trouble, you don't have to ditch your Mexican food cravings. Instead, try this easy enchilada casserole recipe, which basically consists of all the regular beef enchilada fillings (beef, onions, spices, and enchilada sauce) layered with corn tortillas. So, it's like part Mexican lasagna and part enchilada, all in one handy casserole dish. Plus, you won't miss out on all the cheese you've come to love in your enchiladas — this recipe calls for 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and an additional 1/2 cup of Monterey Jack. 

20-minute breakfast tacos

Breakfast tacos don't always include cheddar cheese as an ingredient, but when they do, you know they'll be especially satisfying. This 20-minute breakfast taco recipe features potatoes, Anaheim peppers, eggs, onions, and of course, a hearty dose of cheddar cheese, to ease your morning hunger and help keep you full until lunch. And of course, if a breakfast taco isn't complete without some form of breakfast meat, you can always pan fry some bacon or sausage to round out the dish without adding more than a couple of minutes of prep time.

Sheet pan nachos

There's nothing quite like a pan full of loaded nachos to satisfy even the biggest appetite. This recipe for sheet pan nachos is perfect for feeding a group of bottomless-stomach teens because it's fast, easy, and relatively cheap to whip up. You can even keep a couple pans in rotation without much effort — serve one pan, then pop the next in the oven, and repeat until everyone appears to be full. The recipe is fully loaded, including hefty doses of cheddar and mozzarella cheese, along with tomatoes, onions, peppers, jalapeños, olives, ground beef, cilantro, and extra spices, but you can of course make changes or substitutions based on personal preference. And of course, don't forget the extra salsa, guac, and sour cream for dipping. Really, it's hard to go wrong with this recipe. 

Broccoli casserole

It's been well established that broccoli and cheddar cheese go swimmingly together in soups, but you shouldn't shy away from trying them together in casseroles, too. And technically, this broccoli casserole recipe isn't a far cry from a firmed-up soup, as the base actually calls for condensed mushroom soup. The only real difference is you mix up the soup, broccoli, and cheese with some extra milk, an egg, and a bit of mustard, then top the whole dish with butter-coated crumbled Ritz crackers. From there, it's time to bake! 

Just 30 minutes in the oven will give you the creamy, cheesy, broccoli-laced casserole you've been craving, all with a nice, crunchy topping. And if you want to turn it into a full meal? Add some pre-cooked chicken to the casserole before you add the topping. 

Loaded breakfast burrito

Another great way to add cheddar cheese to your morning meal is to whip up a loaded breakfast burrito. This breakfast burrito recipe actually makes four burritos that are filled to the brim with hashbrowns, eggs, peppers, onions, pico de gallo, cilantro, and cheese. That means you can either share with your family, or chow down on two, two days in a row. One quick tip, though — while most of the ingredients can be cooked in advance and kept over night, scrambled eggs don't typically keep well so it's best to cook half the eggs one day, and half the next, then assemble your burritos fresh each morning. It'll still take a few minutes to prepare, but you can at least cut down on the prep work the second day you build your burritos.

Copycat Taco Bell loaded nacho tacos

Who doesn't love Taco Bell's loaded nacho tacos? These tacos aren't fancy, really — they just include ground beef, nacho cheese sauce, shredded lettuce, grated cheddar cheese, and tortilla strips for added crunch — but they are addicting. And when you get a craving for the handheld treats, you can whip up a copycat version that makes six of them in about 25 minutes, which isn't much longer than it would take you to drive to Taco Bell and go through the drive-thru. Plus, you can start with the standard recipe, then add your own twist. Maybe add a spoonful of diced jalapeños, or a dollop of cream cheese to really take your tacos to the next level? And, of course, you could always add more cheese.

Copycat Domino's cheeseburger pizza

Cheddar cheese isn't a super common ingredient found on pizza; unless, of course, you're making a cheeseburger-inspired pizza like this copycat Domino's cheeseburger pizza recipe. And really, who doesn't love cheeseburgers or pizza? This means this recipe is pretty much a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. One thing that might surprise you is that the ingredients that really signal "cheeseburger!" (aside from the ground hamburger meat and cheese, of course) are the ketchup, mustard, and pickle juice that are whisked together and used as the sauce. When you bake the pizza with a pre-made crust, the entire recipe only takes 30 minutes to make, and it won't leave you wanting for more cheese. In fact, in addition to shredded cheddar cheese, it calls for American cheese slices and shredded provolone, too.