Cream-of-Whatever Soup Substitute

Submitted by Debi Taylor-Hough

Basic White Sauce (thick):

  • 3 Tablespoons butter or oil
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1-1/4 cup liquid, milk or stock

Melt butter or oil in saucepan. Stir in flour and seasonings. Cook over medium heat until bubbly. Add liquid slowly, stirring with wire whisk to prevent lumps. Cook until thick. Makes 1 cup or 1 can of condensed soup.

Tomato Soup: Use tomato juice for the liquid. Add dashes of garlic, onion powder, basil and oregano.

Chicken Soup: Use chicken broth for half the liquid. Add 1/4 t. poultry seasoning or sage.

Mushroom/celery/chive soup: Saute 1/4 C chopped mushrooms, celery or chives and 1 T minced onion in butter before adding flour.

Allergy Suggestion:  If you use a gluten-free flour (rice, tapioca, etc.) or cornstarch, you can make the soup gluten-free.  And if you use a stock rather than milk, you can make it milk-free, too.

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47 responses to “Cream-of-Whatever Soup Substitute

  1. I had recently attempted this on my own with some mushrooms that needed to be used up. It’s a great way to control the sodium, especially. I sauteed the mushrooms, made the roux andI used half and half (what I had on hand) for the liquid, and added some garlic powder. It was terrific.

  2. a friend just sent me this link and it’s exactly what need to make a certain casserole from my childhood that I avoid due to too much salt in the soup.

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. If using a gluten-free flour, start with only 1/2 the amount you would use of wheat flour as many have 2x’s the thickening power of wheat!

  4. Right on! This is exactly what I do. I’ve made a white sauce base a lot the last few weeks. No cream of mushroom in my green beans! haha

  5. Has anyone tried substituting the wheat flour with almond flour?

  6. Does anyone know if this is freezable? I’d like to make mushroom and chicken ahead. Anybody tried?

  7. i think you could freeze it if it’s with broth or water, but not milk?

    this just saved our dinner tonight, and I will never use a can again – thank you so much!!

  8. you could freeze it even if it had milk in it.

  9. For gluten free, corn starch works fine, but, again, it is double strength so adjust accordingly.

  10. I just made a double-batch…so good to find this recipe….I really don’t like using canned soup as it seems to always hurt my stomach.
    Mine turned out fabulous. I added mushrooms and anaheim pepper as I was making an echilada casserole. Yum!
    Thanks for sharing!

  11. absolutely! I use a white sauce whenever I can and add extra stuff to it. some whit wine or broth instead of all milk for example.

    way healthier

  12. Thank you! I’ve hated using the can, because unless you pay for the expensive stuff, it all has msg in it! This is awesome!

  13. Congrats on your viral post! Good recipe too… xo

  14. Do you think you could use soymilk?? we need a dairy free substitute for alot of recipes.

  15. I love this recipe!!! I make several batches and freeze them, then when I’m ready to use one I pull it out in the morning and let it thaw. It works perfectly and even my picky husband approved :)

  16. Would be great to freeze this in ice trays so you can pop a few out as needed… Maybe make a few batches at a time in different flavors.

  17. Thanks so much for this recipe! I made a batch containing milk & also a dairy free cream of chicken substitute using Earth’s Balance & chicken stock so my dairy-allergic son could eat chicken pot pie. Both were delicious, so easy, & I am so glad to not have to buy cans of soup anymore!

  18. I’m so excited that I found this!!! I can’t wait to start using it. Thank you!

  19. This is great since I can’t have soup with corn starch!

  20. Thanks so much!! I made some this morning. I am thinking about making up some to put in glass jars and freeze – do you think it would work?

    • I think it’d probably work all right. I would probably freeze it in something besides glass (I’d probably worry about breakage). The soup might separate after thawing, but it should recombine as you reheat and stir it. Let us know how it turns out if you do freeze it! :-)

  21. Thank you for this awesome recipe!!! I made the chicken one with coconut milk and Earth’s Best soy-free, dairy-free “butter” because my daughter is allergic to dairy and soy, and it turned out great! I used it for a chicken and dumplings recipe, thinking I’d have leftovers, but my crockpot is empty! My family of 4 loved it, as did my in-laws that were here! This will help us add many dishes back onto our menu that had to be removed due dairy in the canned stuff, and it’s healthier too! Now I will make a big batch and try freezing it. Thank you!!!

    • Molly, thanks for sharing that it works well with soy and dairy-free “butter” … my son just now had to go dairy-free and I’d been wondering if this would work for him … sounds like it will! Very awesome. :-)

  22. I have “fried” up the flour and the butter in large batches until the paste is light brown (for better flavor). Then I cool the Roux and cut it into 1 inch cubes. I freeze these and use them for gravy base or sauce base.

  23. in other words, this a Bechamel sauce + the flavor of your choice.. easy ! I’ll try

  24. This was wonderful. I made it a gluten free mushroom & onion flavor and used as a gravy (added more liquid per my recipe) for a meatballs, potatoes and broccoli skillet dish.

  25. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing this recipe. Have some leftover chicken and decided to make a chicken stuffing bake, no cream of chicken soup in the pantry and didnt feel like going out and buying a can…well I wont be buying the canned cream soups anymore…this is great and so easy!

  26. I have been researching better alternatives to the canned (aka full of junk) stuff at the store. This sounds like a wonderful alternative, and the comments indicate that it is just that. I look forward to whipping up some larger batches of Cream of Chix and Cream of Mush and freezing. I love recipes that use this ingredient but have been avoiding them recently because they are oh-so-not good for you when those canned items come on the scene.
    Thanks for sharing! I have signed up to follow your blog and look forward to future resourceful and helpful tips. I’d be thrilled to have you stop by my blog sometime:

  27. I just made a triple recipe, and it fit perfectly in two ice cube trays. Now…if I can just figure out when/how to use the cubes. Any idea?

  28. On condensed cream of soups, it calls to add a can of milk. Do these recipe’s already include that added milk or is it equal to just the condensed without the added liquid???

  29. Sarah Lightfoot

    Are the soup substitutes freezable?

  30. Has anyone just made this a day or two ahead and left it in the frig before using it in a recipe? I would like to make this ahead on a Sunday and use it like Wednesday in the Crock Pot without the hassle of freezing and thawing.

    • Vicki, several people have told me that they’ve been able to freeze it ahead with no problems. I would assume it would work fine being made ahead for the fridge, too. You’d probably need to stir it to recombine if it separates, however.

  31. I made this with beef broth instead of milk for a cheesy hot dip calling for a can of cream soup…and it was spectacular! Thank you!

  32. Thank you for this recipe! I hope you don’t mind that I’ve shared it on my blog

  33. Simple and exactly what i needed. Thanks for the tips on making it gluten free and dairy free!

  34. If using whole wheat flour do you still use the 3T or do you use less because it is more dense?

  35. I just used this as a cream of mushroom soup, used part milk, part beef stock and whole wheat flour…it is absolutely wonderful!! Thank you, I will never buy canned again!!!

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