Easy and Airy Cheese Soufflé

Basic cheese souffle recipe

The Spruce / Christine Ma

  • Total: 53 mins
  • Prep: 18 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Cool To Room Temperature: 15 mins
  • Servings: 2 servings
  • Yields: 2 soufflés
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
559 Calories
35g Fat
37g Carbs
25g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 559
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 17g 86%
Cholesterol 274mg 91%
Sodium 980mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Protein 25g
Calcium 568mg 44%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Whether a simple cheese version or something fancier involving lobster or asparagus, soufflés are the pinnacle of egg dishes. Nevertheless, a lot of people are intimidated by soufflés; there seems to be something arcane or magical about creating them, but, in fact, they're not difficult to make with some practice.

This is a basic, easy cheese soufflé recipe that can be adapted in many ways. If this is your first time making a soufflé, read through the instructions and prep all of your ingredients before starting. Follow the recipe carefully, then you can try mixing in other ingredients and putting your spin on the recipe for future meals.

A successful cheese soufflé is light, airy, and delicately savory. The whipped, folded-in egg whites give the soufflé its unique, fluffy texture. Serve cheese soufflé with roasted meat like beef, ham, or lamb, and a crisp green salad or vegetable on the side.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (finely grated)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus extra for greasing ramekins)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs (separated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup cheese (any type, grated)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

    Ingredients for cheese souffle
    The Spruce / Christine Ma
  2. Grease 2 (1-cup) soufflé dishes/ramekins with butter and dust with Parmesan cheese.

    Ramekins buttered and dusted with cheese
    The Spruce / Christine Ma
  3. Melt the butter over medium-low heat, then add flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

    Butter and flour cooking in pan
    The Spruce / Christine Ma
  4. In the meantime, heat the milk in the microwave at medium power for 30 seconds just to warm.

    Warmed milk in measuring cup
    The Spruce / Christine Ma
  5. Whisk warmed milk into the flour and butter mixture and continue to cook, stirring, until thickened.

    Milk whisked into butter and flour in pan
    The Spruce / Christine Ma
  6. Whisk together the egg yolks, ground mustard, salt, and white pepper, then add to sauce mixture, whisking quickly to avoid scrambling the eggs.

    Egg yolks mixed with seasonings in a bowl
    The Spruce / Christine Ma
  7. Stir in the grated cheese, melt and mix thoroughly.

    Cheese stirred into batter in pan
    The Spruce / Christine Ma
  8. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

    Batter cooling in pan
    The Spruce / Christine Ma
  9. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar to medium-stiff peaks using a hand mixer or standing mixer.

    Beat egg whites
    The Spruce / Christine Ma
  10. Once medium-stiff peaks form, fold 1/3 of the whites into the room-temperature sauce mixture.

    Fold some egg whites into cooled cheese mixture
    The Spruce / Christine Ma
  11. Carefully and delicately fold this mixture back into the remaining whites until just combined.

    Egg whites folded into soufflé mixture in a bowl
    The Spruce / Christine Ma
  12. Divide between the prepared soufflé dishes, place in the oven, reduce the heat to 375 F, and bake 30 to 35 minutes depending on how well done you like your soufflés. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out mostly clean, with no wet batter attached. Don’t open the oven within the first 20 minutes or the soufflés will deflate.

    Soufflés in ramekins ready to be baked
    The Spruce / Christine Ma
  13. Serve the soufflé immediately while hot. Enjoy.

Is Cream of Tartar Necessary?

Cream of tartar is an acidic ingredient that is most commonly used in combination with baking soda to leaven baked goods. Cream of tartar is added to egg whites to strengthen the individual tiny bubbles. If you don't have cream of tartar, lemon juice or white vinegar may be used. Replace 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar.

Tip

  • If you don't have mini soufflé dishes or ramekins, appropriately sized, ovenproof mugs will work. Don't forget to butter and coat them in Parmesan.
  • When combining the egg whites and sauce mixture, fold gently with a rubber spatula until there are no white streaks.
  • Beat the egg whites just before you are ready to combine them with the cooled sauce mixture. If you beat them ahead of time, they will lose some of their stability by the time the sauce has cooled.
  • Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the sauce mixture quickly to avoid lumpy, scrambled eggs.
  • The initial sauce mixture (butter, flour, and milk) may be made a day in advance and refrigerated. When you are ready to make the soufflés, bring the mixture back to a simmer, remove it from the heat, and whisk in the egg yolk and seasoning mixture. Proceed with the remaining recipe steps.

Recipe Variations

  • Cheese possibilities include GruyèreEmmenthal, Comté, chèvre, brie, cheddar, manchego, and blue.
  • A variety of mix-ins work with this recipe. Whatever you add should be finely chopped so that it is both evenly distributed throughout the dish and so that the expanding eggs can lift it, or chunks will fall to the bottom.
  • Don’t add more than about a half cup of any additional ingredient to the cheese mixture, and make sure whatever you add is well drained to avoid thinning the sauce. Additional ingredients should generally be cooked in advance.
  • Some mix-in options include: cooked and finely crumbled bacon, chives, thinly sliced green onions, grated garlic, a dash of cayenne pepper, flaked crabmeat, and finely chopped ham.