When you need a quick solution, a can of cream of mushroom soup can go a long way.
Some people add it to their beef stroganoff, others use it as a base for chicken and mushroom casseroles, and maybe even in a creamy dip. However, this ingredient isn’t the healthiest and could be too salty at times.
While a can of cream of mushroom soup can be a life-saving food, it is high in preservatives, calories, and sodium. It isn’t easy to know what to use instead, though, but there are plenty of options out there to get tasty flavors.
What Is Cream of Mushroom Soup?
This soup consists of a simple roux mixed with milk or cream and mushrooms or mushroom broth.
In the U.S. and other countries, this soup has become incredibly popular thanks to its ease of use. Cream of mushroom soup often comes as a condensed soup in a can or box, ready to be used immediately.
To make this soup shelf-stable, most manufacturers add a lot of sodium, monosodium glutamate (MSG), starch, and flavoring. This means that your canned soup is not exactly healthy and could result in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or just weight gain. Still, you can surely imitate the flavors with other alternatives.
What Can I Replace Cream of Mushroom Soup With?
If you are looking to be healthier, or need a better option, then these cream of mushroom soup substitutes are just what you’re looking for:
For Green Bean Casserole, Tuna Casserole, and Pasta Sauce
#1. Milk + Mushroom Broth
Since this soup contains dairy and mushroom flavoring, it makes sense to use milk and mushroom broth together. You can add ½ cup of milk and ½ cup of mushroom broth for every cup of cream of mushroom soup. This works great when you need to come up with something quickly, as you most likely will find these ingredients everywhere.
For better flavoring and texture, you can add some butter, a bit of flour, and spices like dill, rosemary, and pepper. If you want to, you can also add fresh or dried mushrooms, but it isn’t essential.
Use this choice when you are cooking your green beans or tuna for a casserole or as a base for pasta.
#2. Heavy Cream + Mushrooms + Broth
This option is a bit more complicated because it implies a little more cooking. However, this may be the best way to imitate the flavors of condensed cream of mushroom soup.
All you need is one cup of heavy cream, one cup of mushroom or vegetable broth, and about one cup of chopped mushrooms.
Pick any mushrooms you like, though, cremini or shiitake are great because of their umami properties. For better texture and flavor, add two tablespoons of butter, chopped or dried parsley, and salt and pepper.
This can also be made into an actual soup, all you need to do is increase the broth ratio for less thickness.
See More: Heavy Cream Substitutes
#3. Whole Wheat Flour + Cream + Broth
In this case, the idea is to make more of a tasty roux than cream of soup, but the flavors are all there. We recommend you stick to whole wheat flour because it makes the roux thicker and is healthier, but regular all-purpose or gluten-free flour works too.
Mix ¼ cup of whole wheat flour, one cup of broth, and ¼ cup of cream.
For added flavor, use butter, parsley, salt, pepper, and chopped mushrooms. The idea of this option is to first cook the flour with the butter and broth, then slowly add the cream, which creates a nice and thick slurry that you can add to any casserole or turn into pasta sauce.
See More: Wheat Flour Replacements
For Beef Stroganoff, Dairy-Free, and Baking
#4. Sour Cream + Mushrooms + Broth
While this option may sound weird, the reality is that sour cream is a great option to use in place of cream of mushroom soup. Add ½ cup of sour cream, about one cup of chopped mushrooms, and one cup of vegetable or mushroom broth. If you want a thicker sauce for beef stroganoff or in baking, add one egg white too.
If you want to make this soup replacement, first add the mushrooms to a pan with a little bit of butter, then add the broth when the mushrooms are turning brown. Finally, add the sour cream and mix well. You can season with garlic, salt, and pepper for a more wholesome flavor.
See More: Sour Cream Substitution
#5. Coconut Milk + Mushrooms + Broth
This is a dairy-free option, which is safe for lactose intolerance and vegan diets. You should go with unsweetened coconut milk, as the other kind is a bit too sweet. Mix ½ cup of coconut milk with ½ cup of mushroom or vegetable broth, and ½ cup of chopped or dry mushrooms.
You can thicken this soup to turn into a sauce for baking, casseroles, or beef stroganoff. To make it thicker, add three tablespoons of gluten-free or regular flour. You can also add seasonings, like dry parsley, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.
See More: Does Coconut Milk Go Bad?
#6. Dry Mushrooms + Dry Herbs + Water
When we talk about dry mushrooms and dry herbs, we are referring to a dry soup mix. You can buy these types of mixes in most grocery stores, or you can make it at home yourself. Make sure you use dry mushrooms, dry herbs, such as marjoram, parsley, basil, thyme, and oregano.
If you choose to use water, this option is dairy-free and vegan, but to make things thicker, you could use dairy, like milk, cream, or sour cream.
Add about two tablespoons of each dry herb, ½ cup of dry mushrooms, ¼ cup of mushroom or vegetable broth, and mix before adding to your cooking. This choice is very easy to use and works well in casseroles, sauces, soups, and pasta.
See More: Can Mushrooms Go Bad?
All of these options work great in a green bean casserole, but for very similar flavors, consider using heavy cream mixed with butter, flour, mushrooms, and broth. You can also use a dairy-free option instead, and simply replace the cream with coconut milk or a touch of almond milk.
In some cases, you can certainly use cream of chicken instead of cream of mushroom soup. This works well when you make chicken casseroles, chicken stroganoff, beef stroganoff, or even green bean casserole.
These two soups are very similar, they both start with a roux, cream, and seasoning. However, the main difference is that in cream of mushroom soup, mushrooms are added right after instead of chicken pieces.
Using cream of mushroom soup for cooking is essential in many households. Lately, though, this soup has gained a bad reputation because of its artificial ingredients and preservatives. You can instead try any of these 6 substitutes to achieve the same flavor but in a healthier way.
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