10 Best Substitutes For Cream Of Mushroom Soup

Did you know that there are over 60 recipes on the Campbell's Soup website that offer ways to cook with their famous cream of mushroom soup? Who knows if anyone ever opens a can just to have a bowl of soup, but there's no doubt that it makes for a classic cooking shortcut. Artist Andy Warhol even included cream of mushroom in his series of Campbell's soups paintings (according to the Museum of Modern Art). From a mushroom chicken bake to various riffs on beef stroganoff, to the green bean casserole — the most famous Thanksgiving side dish of all? — this canned soup can seemingly do everything.

Condensed soups like cream of mushroom are made by creating a thick, sauce-like mixture without the water that soup normally contains, according to MadeHow. The flavors in the mixture are concentrated, salty, and strong, so that when water is added by the home cook, the soup is rich and full of flavor. Campbell's was the first company to perfect canned, condensed soups in the early 1900s, a process that made them shelf-stable and cheap to buy. Cream of mushroom made with garlic, mushrooms, and cream was introduced in 1934 according to the Campbell's website, and homemakers quickly discovered ways to use the soups in their cooking.

It's worth stocking a can or two of cream of mushroom soup in your pantry for recipe emergencies. However, if you don't have — or don't like — cream of mushroom soup, there are great options you can substitute in your recipe. 

Cream of chicken soup

Canned cream of chicken soup can work well in a recipe calling for cream of mushroom soup, because the two soups have a similar texture. As you might expect from the name, cream of chicken soup is made with chicken and chicken stock, according to the Campbell's soup website. To compare, cream of mushroom is made with mushrooms and garlic, so the flavors of the two soups are a bit different. Although cream of chicken has strong savory flavor it won't have the umami notes that you get from mushrooms. 

Both soups are made with cream and have similar levels of sodium, so if what your recipe needs is a creamy, savory sauce, then cream of chicken soup will work well. The pieces of chicken in the condensed cream soup are small enough that they won't get in the way of the other ingredients and textures in your dish. Try it in dishes like casseroles.

Cream of celery soup

Cream of celery soup can make a terrific stand-in when there's no cream of mushroom to be found, because it will contribute a similar creamy texture. Cream of celery soup is made with celery, onion powder, and cream along with thickeners and other seasonings (via Instacart.) Cream of celery won't give your dish any mushroom or umami flavor, but rather brings a taste that's bright and vegetal. It also has the benefit of being a common soup flavor made by Campbell's and stocked in stores, and groceries often have a cream of celery variation under their own brand name, too. If there are no cans of cream of mushroom in your pantry, you may just find a forgotten can of cream of celery instead. 

Some cooks like using cream of celery as a substitute for cream of mushroom in dishes like tater tot casseroles, where the flavor will lighten the heavier ingredients like cheese and potato. Produce Made Simple notes that the flavor of celery pairs very well with chicken and tuna, in dishes with grains like rice and barley, and with pasta dishes. This opens up several creamy, savory recipes where cream of celery soup will be a delicious replacement for cream of mushroom. Use the same amount as called for in your recipe for cream of mushroom soup, as long as the celery flavor won't overwhelm your other ingredients. 

Cream of potato soup

Your recipe may call for cream of mushroom soup as a way to thicken a dish or bind ingredients together, and to add a creamy texture. For these dishes, substituting condensed cream of potato soup can achieve the same results. The ingredients list for Campbell's brand of cream of potato soup includes potatoes and thickeners. It's also flavored with butter, dried onions, and celery extract, although the overall flavor profile of cream of potato is fairly mild. That makes it a fantastic choice in a dish where you don't want to take any attention away from the main ingredients.

Use the same amount of cream of potato soup in your recipe as it calls for of cream of mushroom, although for lighter dishes you may want to use a little less, so that more delicate flavors aren't overwhelmed. It works well in beef stroganoff recipes, to make a rich and creamy sauce that complements the meat. Of course, as the New York Times notes, a classic beef stroganoff definitely includes mushrooms, so if you're not willing to sacrifice them you can cook sliced, fresh mushrooms to add to the recipe along with the cream of potato soup.   

Sour cream

Cream of mushroom soup helps create a thick and creamy texture when added to recipes like sauces, or to bring a whole dish together as with a casserole. When cream of mushroom isn't available, you can replicate that creaminess with a couple of dollops of sour cream. Sour cream also has a tang that will work nicely in the background with the other flavors in your dish. It's best to use full-fat sour cream since low and fat-free versions tend to be more watery. Note that sour cream won't have the flavor of cream of mushroom soup — which includes garlic along with the mushrooms, according to the Campbell's Soup website. However, you can always add these ingredients in fresh or dehydrated forms to your dish if you want them. The soup also contains much more sodium: 860mg compared to only 3.7mg in sour cream, according to Nutritionix. Given this, you will likely need to taste your dish and add your own salt as needed (you may even get away with using less than you would have had with the soup!) 

One can holds about 1-1/2 cups of cream of mushroom soup, and since sour cream is thicker in consistency than the condensed soup, start by substituting 1 cup of it in your recipe. You can always add more if need be.

Homemade white sauce

My Recipes says that if you need a substitute for cream of mushroom soup, you should just make a quick white sauce to use in its place. Best of all, white sauce is very easy to make. 

If you're not familiar with white sauce, also known as béchamel, Bon Appétit explains that in French cuisine it is one of the five mother sauces, aka, sauces that serve as a building blocks for countless dishes and other sauces. Equal parts of butter and flour are whisked together over medium heat to create a roux. Then, milk is slowly whisked into the roux to create a sauce, and the amount of milk you add can be adjusted to achieve a thick or thin sauce. To this blank, béchamel canvas, you can add any spices or aromatics you want to create a white sauce perfectly suited to your recipe. 

To use white sauce as a substitute, you'll need about one cup to equal one can of cream of mushroom soup. 

Cream of broccoli soup

Here's yet another "cream of" soup that you may just find in the back of your pantry, and it can serve as a stand-in for cream of mushroom soup in your recipe. According to the ingredient list available on the Campbell's Soup website, this soup is made with sugar, dried onions, and mustard flour: it results in a savory, creamy base, with flecks of broccoli pieces.  

When looking at your recipe and considering whether cream of broccoli soup will work well, keep in mind that Produce Made Simple says broccoli pairs especially well with other veggies like bell peppers, potatoes, onions, and spinach. It's also delicious with cheddar and parmesan cheeses, in egg dishes, and in stews and pasta dishes. It also adds a little dash of green to the dish! As far as measurements go, use an equal amount of cream of broccoli soup as your recipe calls for of cream of mushroom. 

Dry cream soup mix

Believe or not, stashing cans of cream of mushroom soup in your cupboard isn't the only way to ensure you'll always have this recipe staple on hand! Taste Of Home has a recipe to make a dry "cream of" soup mix that's also shelf-stable. Best of all, you can keep the flavors of the dry mix neutral to use in place of any kind of creamy condensed soup.

The mixture contains milk powder to create the creamy base, corn starch to help thicken it, and chicken bouillon granules to give the mixture a salty and savory flavor.  Taste Of Home's recipe also has onion powder, thyme, basil, and pepper, but you can omit these or use any other spices you'd like instead. When you need some "cream of" soup, whisk 1/3 cup of the mixture with a little over a cup of water in a saucepan until it's smooth and thick. This will make enough soup to equal what you'd get in one 10-3/4-ounce can of cream of mushroom. Add dried or fresh mushrooms to the sauce, if desired.

Cream cheese

To make a creamy sauce or add creaminess to casseroles and pasta dishes, cream cheese is a fantastic choice and one that can help take the place of canned cream of mushroom soup. While you may only think of cream cheese when reaching for a bagel, or to make cheesecakes and other sweet dishes, it's a great ingredient to have on hand for savory dishes, too. Cream cheese helps make soups rich and creamy, while adding a slight tang to the flavor. It also lends a similar creaminess and tang to pasta sauces and pasta recipes. Momables uses cream cheese in their recipe for homemade cream of mushroom soup: Sautéed mushrooms with milk and cream cheese blended in, and the whole thing takes only 15 minutes. This would be a perfect way to replace canned cream of mushroom soup, and tastier too. 

Add a few chunks of cream cheese at a time to liquids when creating a sauce, until you reach the creaminess and thickness you need. For pasta dishes and casseroles, scatter cubes of cream cheese throughout as you layer ingredients in the pan.

Dairy-free homemade version

This substitution works well on two levels: It's a terrific option when you need a dairy-free version of canned cream of mushroom soup, plus almond, rice, soy, or other plant-based milks may already be in your fridge which makes it easy to whip up this homemade version. According to Go Dairy Free, you can easily make a milk-free, homemade cream of mushroom to use in place of canned condensed soup. The recipe includes a dairy-free milk of your choice, flour, starch, and seasonings. It also calls for canned mushrooms, to replicate the texture and flavor of canned mushroom soup — however, if the mushroom flavor isn't all that important to you, they can always be left out. 

The recipe only takes 15 minutes to prepare, by blending together the alternative milk with the flour, cornstarch, and seasonings and then simmering the mixture on the stovetop until it's thickened. The mushrooms get stirred at the end. The recipe notes that once thickened you'll have the same amount of soup that you'd get from a can, and it can be stored in your fridge for up to two days.