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Tomato Bisque with Fried Cheese

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 45 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Calories: 636
Tomato Bisque with Fried Cheese

This tomato bisque with fried cheese is the perfect update to the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup— just in time for cold weather!

Creamy Tomato Bisque with Fried Cheese? Yes, Please.

Raise your hand if you would choose a grilled cheese sandwich dipped in a bowl of homemade tomato soup as your last meal on earth? Yeah, same here! On a recent trip to the Tillamook Creamery (AKA our favorite place) we discovered an elevated version of classic grilled cheese and tomato soup! The soup on the menu is a delightful creamy version of homemade tomato soup, and (best of all) it’s topped with crispy fried cheese curds! We came home from that trip with one missing in mind, create a homemade version of that delightful meal!

ingredients laid out for tomato bisque basil chicken stock onions
Creamy Tomato Bisque

Favorite Cheese, Hands Down!

Tillamook cheese has been a household staple for us long before our partnership with the brand began. Just when we thought we couldn’t love the brand more, we were given a behind the scenes look at the incredible family of farmers who makeup Tillamook. For those curious as to why we are fans for life, here is a little bit of info from behind the scenes:

  • Tillamook is a farmer-owned company. With nearly 100 family farms, it’s the individuals who make up what we know as the Tillamook County Creamery.
  • High-quality facilities and lush green acres give their cows the happy life they deserve and, thanks to some seriously high tech farming equipment, they are able to give very detailed care to the cows as individuals vs. a herd. Happy cows equals high-quality dairy!
  • A visit to Tillamook’s brand new visitor center is a magical thing indeed. Fun fact: more people visit the new facility each day than visit the Empire State building! You can even watch the production of the products themselves and sample all the cheeses!
Creamy Tomato Bisque in a soup pot with heavy cream

The Tillamook Experience + Fried Cheese!

After an entire day of touring farms, watching production, and getting excited (all over again) about a company that gives everything to have dairy done right, we celebrated by eating even more cheese. We got to dive into the full menu from Tillamook’s new cafe at the visitor center and after tasting fried oysters, bacon-beer mac and cheese, and fried cheese curds, we needed a nap! But, we were also inspired to share a little of our delicious meal with you! If you’re too far to try the creamery out for yourself, we want to at least make it possible for you to taste these delicious things at home. Enter this recipe! Our own version of the tomato bisque that was served with both fried cheese curds and grilled cheese sandwiches at Tillamook...aka our favorite meal ever.

cows in a barn
a woman feeding a cow in a barn

What is the Difference Between Soup and Bisque?

Traditionally, a bisque means it’s base is made from a seafood stock. However, we refer to a bisque as anything creamy and pureed (as does most everyone else). In simple terms, a bisque is a fast way of saying this soup has cream, i.e….they’re just better.

How Do You Make Homemade Tomato Bisque?

We like to make our tomato bisque creamy, but with a bit of texture—in other words, not totally smooth. In order to accomplish this, we only puree it enough to make it slurpable, and not so much that it’s completely smooth, but this is a matter of preference. You are more than welcome to make your bisque completely smooth if that’s what floats your boat.

Creamy Tomato Bisque With Fried Cheese

What Ingredients Go In Tomato Bisque?

We didn’t get the exact recipe from Tillamook, but we’ve done our best to replicate it based on taste. We’re relying on a few simple, easy-to-find ingredients:.

  • Butter (of course)
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken broth (or use veggie broth to make this tomato soup vegetarian)
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Cream
  • Salt and pepper
cheddar cheese cut into cubes flour and panko for frying
frozen breaded cheese on a plate
fried cheese in oil
fried cheese in a pot of oil

Fried Cheese vs. Grilled Cheese

Naturally, making a classic grilled cheese to serve with this tomato soup is easier than making fried cheese. If you’re not up for a challenge, just do that! After sampling the fried cheese curds at the Tillamook Creamery Cafe, we were sold. We just had to replicate the whole dish at home. Either works great as an accompaniment to this bisque, but fried cheese is also just really fun to serve and eat!

How Do You Make Fried Cheese?

For this fried cheese recipe, we use Tillamook award-winning medium cheddar cheese instead of curds, because you can’t currently buy their curds in stores. Either works beautifully—it’s fried cheese! There’s no “wrong” way. Here’s how do make fried cheese:

  1. Cut the cheese into one inch cubes and throw them in the freezer for a bit.
  2. Dip cubes in an egg wash, followed by seasoned bread crumbs.
  3. Carefully drop the prepared cubes a few at a time into prepared hot oil.
  4. Wait until they turn golden brown, about 3-5 minutes and then transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. Drop your hot fried cheese straight into your soup.
fried cheese squares on parchment paper

Tools You Will Need:

More To-Die-For Soups:

hand putting apart fried cheese ball with a bowl of tomato soup
creamy tomato soup with friend cheese

Cold Weather You Can Stay—We Have Creamy Tomato Bisque Topped with Fried Cheese.

If you make this tomato bisque with fried cheese, we’d love to hear about it! Be sure to snap a photo, add it to your Instagram feed or stories and tag @themodernproper and #themodernproper if you do. Also, feel free to leave a comment on the post and tell your friends where you discovered the recipe!

Creamy Tomato Bisque With Fried Cheese

This sponsored post is written by TMP on behalf of Tillamook Creamery. The opinions and text are all ours. Thank you for supporting the brands we love.

Tomato Bisque with Fried Cheese

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 45 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Calories: 636


Tomato Bisque Recipe

  • 4 tbsp Butter (tillamook unsalted)
  • 1 Large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 Large carrots, diced
  • 2 28 oz cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 2 cups Chicken stock
  • 1 cup Heavy cream
  • 5-6 Fresh basil leaves

Fried Cheese


  1. In a small bowl mix flour with salt, pepper and garlic. Add eggs to a second small bowl and finally add panko to a third small bowl.
  2. Start by prepping the fried cheese. Working with one square at a time dip the cheese into the egg mixture followed by the flour mixture, then back into the egg mixture and finally into the panko. Set cheese on a lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining cheese. Place in freezer and freeze for 30 minutes.
  3. While cheese is freezing, make the bisque.
  4. In a 5qt pot melt butter over medium heat. Add in carrots and onions and stir until onions are translucent. Add in tomatoes, olive oil, bay leaves, salt and pepper and chicken stock.
  5. Bring soup to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Add in fresh basil and remove from heat.
  6. Transfer soup to a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender for great results.
  7. Return soup to pot and add in cream. Stir until cream is fully incorporated. Set over low heat until fried cheese is ready.
  8. In a large pot bring 1 quart of oil to 375°F. Remove cheese from freezer. Working in small batches gently drop prepared cheese into hot oil. Allow to cook for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil and set on a paper lined plate. Continue with remaining cheese.
  9. Serve fried cheese with hot tomato soup or your favorite dipping sauce, ENJOY!

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 636
  • Protein 17 g
  • Carbohydrates 28 g
  • Total Fat 51 g
  • Dietary Fiber 3 g
  • Cholesterol 169 mg
  • sodium 2084 mg
  • Added Sugars 7 g

Tomato Bisque with Fried Cheese

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Corbin Roberts

    Can you prep the cheese balls ahead of time and fry them direct from freezer?

    Yes! That might even be ideal. So that the cheese doesn't ooze out when you fry it. Enjoy!

  • Lily

    Is there a slow cooker way to make this soup? Thanks! L.O.V.E. all your recipes!

    You bet! I would add the butter, carrots, onions, tomatoes, olive oil, bay leaves, salt and pepper and only 1 cup of chicken stock (crock-pots produce a lot of liquid). I've never tested it, but I would try high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. When it's done, I would ad the basil. Then blend it. Then add the cream and serve with the fried cheese.

  • Lina

    Never tried fried cheese before! Looks amazing

    Believe me when I say, it is.

  • Violet H

    That fried cheese has me sold! This would be an excellent dinner for fall days!

    I agree!

  • Elizabeth

    Can I freeze the cheese for longer then 30 minutes ?

    You definitely can! It just needs *at least* 30 minutes.

  • Jennifer

    When my husband saw the post about “fried cheese” I knew this recipe had to be made in our house.We made this last night, the soup was fantastic, I was able to make a low sodium friendly version so my son could enjoy and it still tasted amazing. (That hasn’t happened much lately with my recipe testing).The fried cheese was perfect to dip into the soup. The hubs loved it. It was perfect addition since we were out of bread for cheese sandwiches.Our family has always loved all The Modern Proper recipes. Thanks for working hard ladies and putting out fantastic meals!

    Thank you for this week comment! Love it!

  • Brooke Forrester

    Literally love these cheese balls! And love that you guys went to Tillamook! I live in Oregon and love everything tillamook cheese. Makes it even better with tomato bisque!!

    We love Tillamook too! I'm an Oregonian too! Born and raised!