You may need a cream of mushroom substitute if you’ve run out and require it as a base for your favorite casserole recipe. Luckily, there are some cream of mushroom alternatives that might do the trick.
What Is Cream of Mushroom Soup?
Cream of mushroom soup is a basic soup with a roux base. The soup has mushroom stock or pieces added with the option of thinning it out with cream or milk.
Many grocery stores sell dry soup mix packets of cream of mushroom soup. So, you can easily reconstitute it with milk, cream, or water. Or you can find a condensed soup in a can and use that as is or dilute it.
Common Uses for Cream of Mushroom
- Soups, casseroles, and stews – it is often used as the base for soups, casseroles, or stews to add a deep rich flavor.
- Sauces and gravies – since it has a roux base, cream of mushroom can be used as a base for sauces and gravies, adding richness and flavor.
- Dips or spreads – cream of mushroom can be combined with cream cheese or sour cream to create delicious dips and spreads.
- Fillings for pies and quiches – cream of mushroom can be used as a filling or base of the sauce for savory pies and quiches.
Why You May Need a Cream of Mushroom Substitute
Cream of mushrooms contains dairy in the form of milk or cream. The lactose in dairy is a common allergen and should thus be avoided. The same is applicable for gluten-intolerant people since it contains thickeners such as flour which contains gluten.
Due to the dairy products in cream of mushroom, it is not suitable for vegans to eat. So you will need a vegan-friendly alternative.
You’ve Run Out
If you need to use cream of mushroom as a base for your dish but you’ve run out, you will need an alternative.
If you or your guests dislike the taste of mushrooms, you would need an alternative to the cream of mushrooms to use in your recipe.
How to Choose a Substitute for Cream of Mushrooms
- Flavor – if you are using the cream of mushroom to add a rich earthy flavor, you should consider using an alternative that will add a similar taste profile to achieve similar end results.
- As a base – if you are using cream of mushroom as the base of a sauce, gravy, or casserole, you will need an alternative that can add the same creaminess and thickness to the recipe.
- Dietary restrictions – if you cannot use cream of mushroom due to allergies, or other dietary restrictions, you will need to choose a substitute that adheres to these limitations.
10 Best Cream of Mushroom Substitute Options
1. Cream of Chicken
Cream of chicken is one of the easiest alternatives to use for cream of mushroom. It will add a richness to your dish, just without the taste of mushrooms or their earthiness.
Use it in a 1:1 ratio. This Vivacious Life notes that the cream of chicken works well in many recipes and can be used to replace the cream of mushroom.
2. Cream of Celery
Cream of celery is a great vegetable-based soup that can be used to replace the cream of mushroom. It has a different flavor profile and is overall lighter in flavor than other alternatives.
Campbell’s has several recipes using the cream of celery if you want to give it a try.
3. Cream of Broccoli
Cream of broccoli will maintain a rich and savory flavor in your dish if you use it to replace cream of mushroom. Yummly has a great casserole recipe using the cream of broccoli soup.
4. Cream of Potato
Cream of potato is a lesser-known soup, but it can be great if you need a base for a sauce, soup, or casserole.
In addition, if you or your guests dislike the flavors of mushrooms or other alternatives, potato is a fairly neutral taste. Delish has an easy-to-follow recipe if you want to make your own.
5. Heavy Cream
If you need to add creaminess to your dish without any mushroom flavor, you can add heavy cream. It will thicken as it heats up, making it ideal if you need the thickening qualities from the cream of mushroom.
Baking Kneads shows you how to thicken heavy cream even more if you need a thicker consistency.
6. Sour Cream
It is best to use full-fat sour cream if you need to use it as a thickener. Although it is much tangier than heavy cream or cream of mushroom, the tanginess often complements the other flavors in casseroles, soups, and stews.
State of Dinner shows you how to use sour cream in their enchilada casserole.
7. Cream Cheese
If you thin out cream cheese with a splash of milk or cream, you can easily add this to soups, sauces, and stews as a creamy alternative to cream of mushroom soup. Also, if you have fresh mushrooms on hand, sauteeing them and adding them to the thinned-out cream cheese will give you the mushroom flavor you need.
Make Build your Bite’s creamy mushrooms before adding them to your casserole for a rich and earthy flavor.
8. Gluten-Free Cream of Mushroom
You can buy gluten-free cream of mushroom soups in the store. Or, if you have some time, you can make Minimalist Baker’s gluten-free version of the soup and use it as you would normally.
9. Vegan Cream of Mushroom
Creamy vegan sauces are often made using cashews, which is how Holy Cow Vegan made their vegan version of cream of mushroom soup. This won’t be allergen friendly to those sensitive to nuts or gluten. However, it will work if you are following a vegan diet.
10. Mushroom Broth or Stock
If you want to add the flavor of mushrooms without having a canned soup or powder mix on hand, you can make a basic roux and add some mushroom broth or stock to add the mushroom flavor back into your dish. Or use the stock or broth as is if you don’t need the creaminess of the roux.
You can make your own following Veggie Dessert’s recipe.
Tips for Cream of Mushroom Substitution
- Consider the use – if you need to use the cream of mushroom as a base or thickener for your dish, you should use an alternative that will do the same. Similarly, if you only want the flavor of mushrooms, mushroom stock or fresh mushrooms will do the trick.
- Check for allergens – if you are using an alternative due to allergens, it’s important to check the labels for hidden ingredients with the same allergens.
- Taste – many other ‘cream of’ soups are suitable to use as a 1:1 replacement and will serve the same purpose as cream of mushroom, without the taste of mushrooms.