We've all been there. It's time to make that green bean casserole, and oops, you're all out of cream of mushroom soup. Dang it! Don't worry, you guys. We've got a substitute for cream of mushroom soup that's way better than the canned stuff!

a pot of cream of mushroom soup with a ladle, from Shelf Cooking

Part of the art of shelf cooking is learning new ways to turn ordinary ingredients into kitchen staples. That means using what ya got instead of running to the store every time you need an ingredient. Try it for a month, and we guarantee you'll save a TON of time and money.

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Here's an easy way to practice! We'll show you how to make a homemade creamy mushroom soup recipe using ingredients you already have. The next time you need a substitute for cream of mushroom soup, you'll know what to do. Here we go!


woman grating fresh garlic, from Shelf Cooking

So, before we get to the recipe, let's talk about what happens if you don't have cream of mushroom soup (or ingredients) on hand. When you've got a recipe that calls for cream of mushroom soup, but you find your pantry is bare, don't panic. Depending on what you plan to make, one of these substitutes can work wonders:

  • Alfredo Sauce – If you're making a casserole that calls for cream of mushroom, try using Alfredo Sauce instead. The consistency is similar, and you might find a new favorite recipe in the process! Grab our homemade Alfredo sauce recipe and add some sauteed mushrooms and fresh garlic!
  • Cream of Chicken Soup – In most cases, cream of chicken works just as well! In fact, we've been known to sub it in on purpose to please mushroom-hating picky eaters. Doctor up the canned version with some freshly grated garlic.
  • Sour Cream – Three cheers for this shelf cooking MVP! You can use sour cream in just about anything — even muffins and pound cake! And yup, it makes a good cream of mushroom substitute, too. For every can your recipe calls for, swap in one cup of sour cream.
  • Cream of Celery Soup – Here's another “cream of” soup that works well in a pinch. While the flavor may taste slightly different, the consistency is similar enough to use this swap in a one to one ratio. If you have fresh mushrooms, dice them and add them to the mixture!

Any of these substitutes will work in a pinch, but you can also make a batch of your own homemade cream of mushroom soup! It's probably a lot easier than you'd think. And good news, you can modify the recipe to meet your needs.


homemade cream of mushroom soup in a pot, from Shelf Cooking

This recipe for cream of mushroom soup only requires a few basic ingredients, but if you find yourself missing an item or two, don't worry. Try one of these simple swaps:

  • Milk – Want to make this one dairy-free? Try unsweetened almond milk in place of milk!
  • Flour – Gluten-sensitive? You can make your cream of mushroom soup with almond flour or coconut flour instead. Just use a one to one ratio!
  • Onion – If you don't have fresh onion on hand, you can use onion powder. Start with about 1/8 of a teaspoon and add more to taste. You can also add in extra garlic to amp up the flavor. (We're always down for more garlic!)
  • Mushrooms – Any type will do! We typically have white on hand because they're cheapest, but you can uses portobellos, cremini, or porcini instead.

And there you have it! You're ready to use what you've got to make your own cream of mushroom soup.


So, you're wondering if you can freeze cream of mushroom soup and use it later? Well, that's a good question! We like the way you think.

The short answer is yes. Place your leftover soup in an airtight container or freezer bag and use it within six months for the best flavor. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stovetop, or defrost in the microwave for a quick fix!

If you think you'll use your leftover soup soon, just place it in the refrigerator and eat it within four days. Wondering what to do with any leftover cream of mushroom soup? We're glad you asked! And you know we've got ideas, right?!


plate of homemade beef stroganoff with sour cream on top, from Shelf Cooking

Okay, if you're looking for a few ways to use up the cream of mushroom soup, then look no further. Try one of our favorite ideas:

  • Beef Stroganoff – Make your very own batch of the ultimate comfort food! Cream of mushroom soup makes this dish a dream, and you can use a cheap cut of meat to throw it all together.
  • Italian Cream Cheese Chicken – Here's one of our favorite dinner ideas! This Italian Cream Cheese Chicken calls for cream of chicken soup, but we think cream of mushroom makes a delicious substitute.
  • Turkey Soup – Using leftover soup to make more soup? Why the heck not?! Try our crockpot turkey soup recipe!
  • Green Bean Casserole – You can't go wrong with this American classic, and it doesn't get any easier! Grab the recipe on the back of the French's Fried Onions container.
  • Pork Chop Bake – Grab a few leftover pork chops, smother them in cream of mushroom soup inside your casserole dish, add a slice of Swiss cheese to the top and bake at 350°F for around 30 minutes.

When all else fails, you can always serve cream of mushroom soup over a bed of rice with shredded chicken on top. Yum!


Okay, time for the good stuff, you guys! You're just minutes away from a creamy, yummy, homemade mushroom soup that's a heck of a lot better than the canned version. Let's get started!

cream of mushroom soup in a pot, from Shelf Cooking

20-Minute Cream of Mushroom Soup

This recipe takes no time to make and it's so much better than the stuff you buy in the can!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 3 cups


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • minced garlic, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Turn your burner on medium-high heat. While you wait for it to warm, slice mushrooms and dice the onions.
  • Over medium heat, melt butter in a saucepan, then add onions. Sautee until they begin to brown, then add mushrooms and continue cooking for around 5-minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth and garlic to the saucepan, stir, and bring to a simmer.
  • While the broth mixture simmers, mix the flour and milk in a separate bowl.
  • Add the milk and flour to the saucepan and stir frequently until the mixture begins to thicken. Season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!


Store your soup in glass jars or use it immediately. 
Keyword cream of mushroom soup

Pro Tip: If you're having trouble getting your soup to thicken, gradually add more flour. Slow and easy does it! A teaspoon at a time will go a long way. Too thick? Add a small amount of milk or water and stir.


With a little creativity, you can either use what you've got or whip up your own homemade version in just 15 minutes.

We'd love to know what tricks are up your sleeve! Drop a comment below or head over to our Shelf Cooking Facebook group to join the conversation. Tell us: what's your favorite recipe substitution hack.

how to make cream of mushroom soup, from Shelf Cooking

Looking for more easy recipe substitutes to try?

Now you're ready for anything! Happy shelf cooking!