Healthy Substitutes for Cream of Mushroom Soup

Category Substitutions
This soup is listed in many recipes for casseroles, soups and sauces. This page contains healthy substitutes for cream of mushroom soup.


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This not a request as such but a question. Why do so many recipes have soup, especially mushroom added to them? I've noticed that at least one of Robin's daily recipes has it in. Canned soup contains a lot of hidden salt and other additives which, if you're on certain diets, isn't too healthy.

Jan from Grantham, UK

Editor's Note: This is a common American ingredient in many casseroles and "quick" meals. If you have suggestions for healthy alternatives, please post them here.

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I would like a recipe to use in place of canned cream soups such as mushroom, celery, and chicken that tastes like Campbell's or store brand.

They all have chemicals and preservatives that I can't have, but I pass up so many great looking recipes because I don't quite know what to substitute easily. I have tried some of the organic/natural brands from the health food store, but they taste and smell horrible to me.


By Dorothy Myers from NY


July 28, 20090 found this helpful

You could take milk and thicken it up using just a touch of flour till it gets to the consistency you want. Then flavor it according to the recipe you are making.

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July 28, 20090 found this helpful

A homemade version will not taste like Campbell's since it doesn't contain all the salt and other additives you want to avoid. Make your own cream of whatever substitute by using a basic white sauce with celery or mushrooms added.

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July 28, 20090 found this helpful

This recipe doesn't taste exactly like Campbells, but it's a good start:

2 Cups powered milk, or milk substitute
1-1/4 Cups cornstarch
1/4 Cup chicken boullion powder
2 Tablespoons dried onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper


1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
Mix all ingredients - store in air-tight container. To make sauce, add 1/3 Cup of mix to 1-1/4 Cups of water.

Add 1 teaspoon of Ranch Dressing powder to sauce for recipes such as Tuna Helper.

Add a tiny piece of beef boullion and a small can of drained mushrooms to sauce for Cream of Mushroom Soup.

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July 28, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with Olive Oyl. Why would you want a soup to taste like a canned soup? YUK! Take any potato soup recipe or chowder recipe and add a puree of whatever you want broccoli, mushroom, roasted onion, carrot, corn. The list goes on. Also add some larger pieces or whole if it peas, corn, etc. I haven't used a canned soup in years. I mean years. I've made my own since I've been married over 40 years. It's easy if you have a crock pot. Don't even have to worry about it.


Take a look on google to find a good basic soup first. I also make my own meat broths from any bones/fat trimmings etc. I save them and freeze them until I have enough. When done I chill until the fat solidifies on the top and remove it. Freeze the broth. Vegetable broth is made from the peelings and skins etc I get in the fall from drying, canning and freezing vegetables. Just make sure they are clean and have no rot or mold. Everybody loves my homemade soups and bread. It's a winter favorite.

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July 28, 20090 found this helpful

Simply make a white sauce then add chicken or beef bullion for flavoring. In case you don't know, a white sauce is made from milk, butter & flour(look online for exact directions. Basically you melt the butter then add the flour to it, then add the milk a bit at a time.). I believe you could also use any gravy recipe too.


My Mom use to make those discussing Campbell soup recipes when I was growing up. Yuck! (sorry Mom!) She'd put the cream soup over chicken legs & rice. Oh! How I hated it!

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July 29, 20090 found this helpful

I make a quickie version of cream soups if I need a can for making a recipe. I use about 1/4 c. water with a bouillon cube, 1 cup milk, garlic salt or powder (dash), salt & pepper to taste, and about 2 tbs of cornstarch(dissolve in a slight amount of hot water. Bring to a low boil until it's thick, stirring constantly. Works well in most recipes.

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July 29, 20091 found this helpful

There are so many cooking sites available that you should be able to just look up what you want - they all taste better than anything out of a can. If there are things you shouldn't have, just leave them out, or look up Substitutes in Recipes on Google, and they'll tell you what you can use instead. I never use canned soup, they're so full of preservatives and other muck. Play on Google a bit for recipe sites, and you'll get some really good ideas.


Leah from Down Under.

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July 29, 20091 found this helpful

I printed out a great one from this site. It was dated around 2007, but I can't find it now. However, this is it.

2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
dash salt
dash pepper

Put it in a blender "briefly" until smooth and pour into saucepan. Stir constantly over medium-high heat until it begins to thicken. Take off heat at first bubble of a boil.

Makes 4-6 servings


Cream of Cauliflower: To basic mixture add 1 box (10 oz.) frozen cauliflower cooked per box directions until tender and well drained, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, 3 mashed chicken bouillon cubes, pinch dry parsley and a dash of garlic salt. Stir over lowest possible heat until piping hot. Serve at once.

Cream of Celery Soup: Do just as cauliflower soup, but substitute 1 cup cooked, drained, diced celery instead. Add a pinch of celery seed and a pinch dry, canned parsley flakes.

Cream of Broccoli Soup: Add 1 box (10 oz.) frozen, chopped broccoli cooked per box directions and drained. Continue as previous recipes.

Cream of Potato Soup: Add 3 cans (1lb. ea) sliced, drained potatoes, 1/2 bottle (10 oz.) Hormel real bacon pieces and a dash of liquid smoke. Continue as previous recipes.

Cream of Mushroom Soup: To warm basic recipe, add 1 can (8oz.) drained, sliced mushrooms, dash onion salt and black pepper to taste. Heat through

Now I would use fresh veggies or potatoes. Like I said I copied this from this site and I retyped (Sandra's) recipes. For the Celery soup. I added the finely sliced celery right in the soup pot and cooked it all together and I didn't have the celery seed. Oh, so good!

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August 2, 20090 found this helpful

I am going to assume you have as many allergies to additives as I do. Perhaps also milks & white flours? When I make, per se cream of chicken soup, I trim or peel off the fat, leave on the bones, add a little water to the saucepan & a little salt (if you prefer).

Sometimes I use a little chicken bouillon beads instead of salt to give a little boost to the flavor. Simmer until so tender it falls off the bone. Remove bones & dice chicken fine. Reduce broth to make more flavorful. Return meat to the saucepan. Then I'll add a touch of homemade onion powder & homemade celery powder or just use the real thing chopped fine & added to the saucepan in the beginning.

You can whirl the entire soup in the processor if you prefer--I usually only whirl half of it as I like mine kinda chunky. Thicken with a little cornstarch dissolved in a little water, or you can use half cornstarch & half flour if the flour doesn't give you any problems.

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August 2, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you everyone for your responses. I now have plenty of choices.

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August 13, 20180 found this helpful

Although Susan is coming across as annoyingly smug, unnecessarily condescending and as a result - unhelpful, I will agree with her overall message. You may find that after you start incorporating a fix like the helpful comment that Patricia Eldridge offered, that it tastes better than the canned version! I hope you found what you were looking for and thank you for posting this question because I was looking for a healthier choice as well!

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July 8, 20190 found this helpful

Hubby has CHF. We cant used salt. Its hard! More recipes need to be salt absence friendly.

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Answer this Question...


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 25, 2008

So many recipes call for cream of mushroom/celery/chicken, etc. soup and the soups are so high in sodium I don't want to use them in recipes. Does anyone know of a good healthy substitute for the creamed soups? Thanks a lot.

Bonnie from Tuckerton, NJ


Substitute for Cream of Mushroom Soup

I make my own cream of mushroom soup, similar to the 'basic' recipe listed below. I started doing that years ago and have never gone back to canned. There is absolutely no comparison in taste. (06/27/2007)

By Carole

Substitute for Cream of Mushroom Soup

Just FYI-Campbell's does make Healthy Request versions of their cream soups-low in fat and sodium. (06/28/2007)

By Linda

Substitute for Cream of Mushroom Soup

I found that if I have to use these types of soups....I just leave out the other salt that the recipe calls for.....seems to balance things out.

Good Luck (06/29/2007)

By Barb.

Substitute for Cream of Mushroom Soup

Campbell's Co. makes soup,(cream of any kind)low in sodium.
Weezy (07/03/2007)

By Minnie Jacobs

Substitute for Cream of Mushroom Soup

I make a lot of cream soups because my husband and kids love them, but me having 5 children and pushing 30 (in 2 years:-) I can't eat things like that too often. I make all my cream of soups with the base of veggie broth and evaporated milk and a little flour to thicken it up. You'd be surprised at how good it is, I've never heard any complaints. It is a lighter cream soup not as thick as you might be used to. I also make my alfredo sauce the same way I just add some parmesan cheese. (07/03/2007)

By bambi2003.

Substitute for Cream of Mushroom Soup

Question: Does the basic "cream of anything" soup recipe substitute for a condensed can of soup? It seems like there is too much liquid for it to be a straight substitute for a can of condensed soup in a recipe. Any thoughts?

Editor's Note: I think many of the recipes make something like a can of soup with the can of water but haven't tried any of them so can't say for sure. There is one in there that uses dry milk that is supposed to be equivalent to a can of condensed soup. (09/18/2007)

By Lorrie

Substitute for Cream of Mushroom Soup

My husband is allergic to mushrooms. I need to know what I can use instead of cream of mushroom soup in most recipes to get the same results.
Editor's Note: Cream of Celery, Cream of Chicken both work well as a substitute. (10/27/2007)

By carole naeher

Substitute for Cream of Mushroom Soup

Canned soups contain M.S.G. (not a preservative, a FLAVOR ENHANCER, like a microphone for your tongue) which is not healthy and possibly quite dangerous to ones health. Homemade soup takes very little effort and contains no MSG (as long as you do not use regular bouillon, which contains mostly MSG).

Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/4 c unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 10 ounces milk

Heat butter and oil then add flour and salt, stirring to make a roux. Add mushrooms and cook about a minute, just to soften. Add milk and stir until thickened. This is a substitute (and a great one at that!) for one 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup. To make cream of chicken, simply omit mushrooms, add 1 tsp. chicken base (a paste, like bouillon but without the MSG) and substitute half the milk with chicken broth or stock. To make cream of celery, substitute celery for the mushrooms and proceed as listed above.

Happy Healthy Cooking! (10/31/2007)

By Lazy Day Gourmet

Substitute for Cream of Mushroom Soup

THANKS for the basic recipe!!! I am so excited to try it. I also worry about my sodium...there is so much in everything now that I am trying to find ways to avoid it!!! THANKS!! (02/12/2008)

By Mari

Substitute for Cream of Mushroom Soup

I have a fabulous cream of anything recipe, which I mostly use for cream of broccoli soup:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. broccoli
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chopped garlic(I use more)
  • 1/4 cup of rice, 4 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (optional)

Separate broccoli flowerettes from stems, cut into small buds, blanch for 3 minutes. Plunge into cold water, drain and set aside. Peel remaining broccoli and chop into 1/2 inch chunks. Heat oil in soup kettle,add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, without browning. Stir in chunked broccoli and add raw rice. Stir for 2 minutes, add broth, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 15 minutes or until broccoli and rice are tender. Use processor to puree or use hand-held blender. Add flowerettes to pureed soup. Heat. Serve with grated cheese. Yummy! (06/10/2008)

By Lori

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