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This is a great substitute for canned cream of “whatever” soup (cream of mushroom or chicken) and perfect for any recipe that calls for cream soups. It only takes minutes to make!
Any time I am perusing Pinterest (are you following me yet?), I always come across a bazillion different recipes that call for cream of whatever soup… cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, etc. And finally, I realized why. Cream soups tend to be involved in quick recipes, and most people I know don’t have an hour to spend making dinner. They’ve got about 30 minutes, and recipes that call for cream of whatever soup tend to come together quickly. Usually, they’re casseroles where the oven does most of the work for you.
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There’s only one problem though, well, actually two problems. Either you’re like me and you don’t like the gloppy gloop (is glop a word?) creamy mess that comes out of the can of cream of chicken soup, or, you don’t mind the stuff, you just don’t have a can on hand and don’t feel like running to the store.
The solution to both of these problems? Make this easy cream soup substitute. It literally comes together in about 5 minutes and takes minimal effort! The ingredients are simple and probably things you keep in your pantry. And, to boot, it can be frozen and stored in the freezer for about 3 months which means you can make a big batch and divide it up into single-use servings.
Why Make Your Own Ingredients
I am a big fan of making your own ingredients when you can. While it may be more convenient to grab a can of soup or a packet of taco seasoning from the store, making your own is so simple. Not only do they taste better than store-bought, they have fewer preservatives and additives. You can control exactly what is in them which is beneficial if you are cooking for someone with dietary restrictions or who needs to control their sodium intake.
This soup comes together in just five minutes and requires only four simple ingredients. From salad dressings to condiments (hello, homemade ranch), to sauces like spaghetti sauce, I highly encourage you to give making your own a try!
How to Make Cream Soup Substitute
Here is a brief overview of how quickly this cream soup substitute comes together. You can make it while your oven is preheating! For the full recipe, including all ingredients and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Combine the butter and flour. Melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Let it cook for a minute or two.
- Add the chicken broth. Very slowly add the chicken broth, whisking it in. Then add the milk.
- Simmer. The soup will thicken. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Making a Roux
The key to this recipe thickening and working is making a roux. A roux is the combination of flour and fat (butter in this case). This makes the soup very creamy and prevents it from separating. It is important to add the chicken broth very slowly, letting the roux fully absorb it before adding more. This process doesn’t take long but does require some patience.
How to Use Substitute For Cream Soup in a Recipe
This recipe is the equivalent of one 10.75 ounce can of cream soup. Just a warning, it will be thick, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Using a substitute for cream soup in a recipe is a good way to eliminate extra preservatives that come in the canned version.
You can use it in so many different ways. I love to use this substitute for cream soup in casserole recipes. One of my favorites is in my recipe for Hash Brown Casserole. It is also delicious as a cream of mushroom soup substitute in my Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole.
Cream Soup Variations
While the recipe as written can be used in any recipe that calls for any cream soup, here are a few cream of substitute variations you can make to give it a specific flavor.
- Cream of mushroom soup substitute: Add finely diced canned mushrooms after adding all of the milk.
- Cream of celery soup substitute: Add finely diced pieces of celery after adding the milk and allow to simmer.
- Substitute for cream of potato soup: Add finely diced cooked potatoes to the soup and allow to simmer for a minute or two.
- Other additions: Add diced onion or small pieces of chicken.
This recipe is the equivalent of one 10.75 ounce can of cream soup.
No, due to the flour. This recipe has not been tested with gluten-free flour.
This cream soup can be used in a recipe right away. If you prefer to make it ahead of time, store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container (a mason jar would work well) for up to three days.
Freezing Cream Soup Substitute
Make a double or triple batch of cream of soup substitute and freeze some for easy weeknight dinners. Prepare the recipe and allow it to cool. Put in freezer-safe containers (I recommend plastic) or bags with a little room at the top for it to expand. I like to measure it out in increments so that it is already measured and ready when I need it for a recipe that calls for a can of cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken soup.
Store in the freezer for up to three months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator.
If you make this cream soup substitute or any of my other recipes, please leave a comment and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!
Cream Soup Substitute
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup milk I used 1%
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Slowly stir in chicken broth, then milk. Whisk until it begins to thicken. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.