Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

Today, on this glorious Monday, we are bypassing gourmet and going for functional. Trust me, it will be worth delaying a recipe for triple chocolate truffle cake (yep, that happened in my kitchen yesterday) for now. Promise, promise, promise.

No matter where you fall on the spectrum of love-or-hate-condensed-soups, it never hurts to have a homemade version waiting in the wings for when you need it. After getting the seasonings and final amount just right (I was really after getting a nearly exact equivalent for one can of soup so that it can be substituted easily), it’s finally time to share.

This recipe couldn’t be simpler – a handful of flavorful herbs, a bit of broth and milk and flour, five minutes of vigorous whisking (come on, I know you can do it) and you’re done. Simple, wholesome, pronounceable.

Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

How to Substitute in Other Recipes:

1) Simply make the recipe below (doubling or even tripling as needed).

2) Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week (you can also freeze the stuff if you don’t mind it being just very slightly grainy after defrosting, which doesn’t bother us but is only a fair heads up).

3) Measure out the equivalent called for in the recipe and use accordingly. Story Problem Solution: If a recipe calls for 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup and let’s say you’ve made a double batch of this, simply measure out 1 1/3 cups (the same as the 10.75 ounce cans of soup) and use it accordingly. Of course if the recipe only calls for 1 can and you made the exact recipe below, well, then, no story problem needed. It’s a one-for-one and couldn’t be easier.


Of course, I haven’t tried subbing this homemade version for every.single.recipe in the live long land that calls for cream of chicken soup so I can’t guarantee results 100% of the time (i.e. this is a disclaimer in case anyone decides to sue me) but generally speaking, this recipe has your back when it comes to subbing in a homemade version of cream of chicken soup.

In my quest to rid my pantry of processed foods and rely more on homemade foods, this cream of chicken soup recipe is a lifesaver. Can’t wait to share more recipes this week that use it for a unique and modern take on cass-cass-casseroles!

One Year Ago: Sweet Mustard Baked Chicken
Two Years Ago: Pasta al Forno {Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Mozzarella}
Three Years Ago: Cuban Street Tacos

Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

Yield: Makes the equivalent of 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup (about 1 1/3 cups)

Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

This homemade cream of chicken soup is going to be as flavorful as the broth you use so make sure it's a brand you like (or use homemade if you have it). I've made this several times using the organic chicken soup base (kind of like bouillon but in a paste form that stays refrigerated) and I like to use about 1 heaping teaspoon chicken base for the 3/4 cup water amount. For the 1/8 teaspoon amounts on the seasonings - go ahead and add more if you like (or use a heaping 1/8 teaspoon), it really is adaptable to taste. Also, when I haven't had poultry seasoning on hand, I omit it and throw in a pinch each of ground sage, marjoram, and ground thyme.

This recipe can be increased as needed. It makes the equivalent of one can of cream of chicken soup so if you need two cans, just go ahead and double. And if you really want to get wild and crazy, you can stir in some finely chopped cooked chicken in at the end to give it the texture you know and love.


  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning (see note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste if needed
  • Pinch of dried parsley
  • Pinch of paprika
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth and all the seasonings to a simmer.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, vigorously whisk the milk and flour together until smooth.
  3. While whisking the broth, slowly pour in the flour/milk mixture, whisking constantly.
  4. Continue to stir and cook until the mixture bubbles and thickens, 3-4 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and add additional salt and pepper to taste as needed. Use immediately in a recipe or cool and refrigerate for up to a week. This will thicken much more as it cools.

Recipe Source: adapted from several sources and tweaked to my liking (including making just a one can equivalent) including here and here 

78 Responses to Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup {And How to Sub in Recipes}

  1. Joyce says:

    Mel, Thank you doesn’t seem adequate enough to express my gratitute for the different recipes you have posted on your site. I do gluten free besides healthier alternatives for sugar & those other sweetners that are out there such as corn syrup, etc; not to mention all the ingredients that are unhealthy in processed food. Found your site when looking for healthier substitues for things that I’m not able to eat, that are found in canned goods & bottles, plus the things that I don’t want in my food. The homemade tastes so much better anyway! Thank you again for your hard work & time to share with all of us out there who want to eat healthier.

  2. Maria says:

    I am still waiting for the triple chocolate truffle cake recipe? Must it still be delayed???

  3. Nancy Kenny Monahan says:

    This is fantastic Mel as I have never been a fan of canned soup. What more could we ask for, ie simple ingredients, quick and healthier than canned! Much appreciated Mel!

  4. Cindy says:

    Have you tried almond or soy milk in place of dairy milk?

  5. Mary says:

    Thanks Mel, I needed this recipe to convert some of my old recipes to vegetarian. I will use the better then bouillion vegetarian chicken base. I can’t wait

  6. I linked up to this recipe on my blog. I have a child that has to be gluten free and I created my own recipe for gluten free, but used yours as a guide as I tested out my recipe. Thanks for creating this. I always know I can count on you to have a tried and true recipe.

  7. Anna Gould says:

    Do you have the nutritional information? I’m looking specifically for sodium and carbs. Store bought soups are so high in sodium and my husband and I are looking for reduced/low sodium and carbs. This recipe sounds great and I am anxious to try it. Thank you so much. Happy New Year!

  8. Wendy says:

    This is perfect! Yum!

  9. Kristi A. says:

    Thanks for working this recipe out. I have been trying to do more from scratch, but I still want to make some of the old family favourites that need cream soups. I tried this with an old turkey divan recipe and it worked beautifully! Now I am adding my vote to the requests for a good condensed cream of mushroom soup recipe 🙂

  10. Patty says:

    Mel, you are a lifesaver. I have a son allergic to milk protein. This recipe is a game changer for us because I can easily make it dairy free! I have successfully used Rice Milk and canned coconut milk in place of the milk called for in the recipe. Now all those creamy dishes he couldn’t eat before can be enjoyed safely! Thank you soooooooooo much. Life changing for us. You are my hero.

  11. April says:

    Yum, homemade is always better, thank you. For cream of mushroom, you could use Mel’s “Smothered Chicken with Mushroom Gravy” recipe as a base for the condensed soup but reduce the broth and milk.

  12. Jamie says:

    Made this tonight in a chicken divan casserole. SO good! I made an old favorite casserole a couple of weeks that uses the canned cream of chicken soup and my family wouldn’t eat it! We haven’t used it such a long time, it tasted so gross. I’m so excited to try this in other traditional family casseroles.

  13. Deb says:

    Hi my friend!! So, I am going gluten free for a little while(don’t ask) and I was wondering if you thought this might work if I replaced the regular flour for something like rice flour? Let me know your thoughts.

    Miss your guts!!

    • Mel says:

      Hey Deb! Of course I need to know details, missy. Send me an email (or maybe a phone call??). Someone up above in the comments gave great feedback on gluten-free (Heather). I’d follow her suggestions – sounds like it’s pretty foolproof.

      • Deb says:

        Thanks! Sorry, it took me a few. I guess I didn’t click the “notify me of follow ups” button. 🙂 I will go see what she says! You’re awesome and I totally need to call you.

  14. Michelle says:

    I use this recipe for making cream of mushroom soup from scratch. And if you go to this link (http://onceamonthmeals.com/homemade-cream-of-something-soup/) she has a chart for how to make it GF, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, etc.

    I like the spice combination in Mel’s recipe for cream of chicken soup though so I’ll definitely be adding that to my recipe box!

    Cream of Something Soup
    Kristi @ onceamonthmeals.com
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 small onion, diced
    1/2 cup main ingredient, diced
    1/4 cup butter or substitute
    1/4 cup flour or substitute
    1 cup milk or substitute
    3/4 cup broth

  15. Sarah says:

    Have you tried freezing this yourself? I love this recipe, but also the convenience of an always-ready ingredient.

  16. Amanda says:

    I tried the mushroom variation with beef broth and simmering mushrooms in it with my family’s beloved tater tot casserole and it was amazing! It was super easy to throw together. Thanks so much!

  17. Sheila says:

    This is soooo good! I have been using your Hawaiian Haystacks sauce recipe as a substitute for cream of chicken soup. I weighed the sauce to 10 3/4 ozs. using a scale you encourage your readers to use. So we have been “processed free” for cream of chicken soup for a while now. We really like the Hawaiian Haystacks recipe but I think I’ll switch now with this new recipe and only make the Haystack sauce when making that delicious recipe. This is such an exciting creation and once again, thank you for all the goodness you put in our life.

  18. Rachel Scott says:

    Awesome!!! Can you PLEASE do a cream of mushroom one? I use that one way more than the cream of chicken one and hate all the extra junk in it (soy protien, tons of salt, etc).

  19. Becky says:

    Thanks so much! Since becoming gluten free I have sort of made up my own based off my mom’s recipes and your hawaiian haystacks reinvented recipe, but I am super excited to try this one! All purpose gluten free flour (and even rice flour I find okay) works interchangeably with this flour (at least I think so). Thanks!

  20. Paula says:

    A few years ago, I decided I was no longer going to use cream of mystery soup. I was so excited to find your site that had a similar philosophy. I also have been using another substitute recipe that I found somewhere. I’m looking forward to trying your recipe. Have you thought about making a cream of mushroom version?

    • Mel says:

      It’s on my to-do list! I’m thinking it could be easily adapted by using part beef stock (or all) and simmering some finely diced mushrooms in the broth mixture before adding the flour/milk (and nixing the poultry seasoning).

  21. Catherine says:

    Hint for those with MSG sensitivity: If you want to keep this or any other recipe that calls for broth MSG-free like I do, use Swanson’s chicken broth that says “No added MSG” on the label. It is the only store bought broth or chicken flavoring that I have found does not have MSG. Even chicken soup bases that are kept in the refrigerator have a form of MSG in them now. (There are several strange names under which MSG hides like hydrolyzed soy protein, yeast extract, and disodium inosinate, to name a few.
    If you choose to use a store-bought condensed cream-of-something soup in your cooking, and want it MSG-free, Campbell’s Healthy Choice does not have MSG.

  22. Heather P says:

    Thank you, Mel, for figuring this out, and thanks as well to everyone who posted gluten free adaptation instructions!! Our house has been GF for almost a year, and with colder weather just around the corner I was bemoaning the lack of cream soups for making comfort food! I will jump on the bandwagon to request a mushroom version; I’ll also add a request for cream of celery 🙂

  23. Kimberly says:

    Thank you so, so much! I can’t wait to try this in my favorite casseroles. Along with cream of mushroom, I’d love the substitutions for cream of celery, ya know in case you want to do a blog post on variations on this fabulousness. 🙂

  24. Elizabeth says:

    I also wonder if you could make large amounts and can it to keep on hand in the pantry… Do you think it would work with the water bath method? Hmmmm…..

  25. Judy says:


    I can actually make this vegan by using vegetarian chicken broth and soy milk! I can’t tell you how many recipes I’ve had to ignore because they contained this ingredient of condensed cream of chicken soup!

    Now I can try them!!! You have changed my world!

    <3 🙂 Judy

  26. Jennifer says:

    This. Is. Awesome. I’ve been making up a basic white sauce to sub in for condensed soups when a recipe calls for it…this will be much bettter!

  27. Great tips and yummy on the soup!

  28. carrie says:

    Hello, I can not seem to see the note for poultry seasoning? Can I make my own?

  29. Lyndsay says:

    I am wondering if you could substitute almond milk or coconut milk for those of us who have to be dairy free for allergy sake.

  30. Melissa says:

    Thanks for all the great comments on making this gluten free! I am going to try Heather’s suggestion and sub 3 T. cornstarch for the flour. Thanks again Mel! …So much healthier and costs a fraction of buying it in the cans!

  31. Brenna says:

    You are the best!

  32. Maureen P. says:

    Thanks, Mel, for taking the time to come up with this. I had 1 recipe but very bland and I had to doctor it up seasoning-wise. This looks like it will work much better. I figure if I can make it like this, why bother with the cans. Now I can look for recipes with the canned soup instead of ignoring them. This is going to be fun…..

  33. Tiffany says:

    Thank You!!!! I have come across a couple of other of these, but I thought to myself, hold off, Mel will find a way. And here you are 🙂

  34. Connie T. says:

    This is great! I am adding this recipe to my arsenal!! Thank you soooooo much! Just made your “Best Chicken Fajitas” AGAIN yesterday. My BF just raves about them. Calls you Mel the Magician! LOL! So many great recipes, so little time… Sigh….

  35. Kim S. says:

    Thank you for doing the legwork on this! I’ve been wanting to try making something like this for a while! You’re awesome! I’m also interested to know if canning this would work…

  36. Brittany C says:

    Mel, you are the bomb! I can’t wait to try this out! I’ve just stopped making all my recipes with that nastiness in it and I can’t wait to make some of them again!

  37. Karen E says:

    Wow. You rock. I haven’t made certain casseroles for years because it calls for canned soup. Now I can introduce my kids to some casseroles from early on in our marriage.

  38. Kristi says:

    I’m putting in my vote for a perfected cream of mushroom soup next!! If you did it in time for Thanksgiving, I would love you forever!! Also, I’m wondering if I could can this in the pressure cooker…. hmmm.

  39. Suzanne says:

    Awesome! Thank you for taking the time to figure this out- it will be a great help. Can’t wait for the casserole recipes! 🙂

  40. Emily Robison says:

    Have you tried this in a crock pot recipe? Would it work just the same?

    • Mel says:

      Emily – I haven’t but I’m pretty certain it will work just the same (I have my eye on recreating the famous creamy Italian chicken in the slow cooker and am going to use this recipe).

  41. Sharon says:

    I make this recipe with brown rice flour – therefore GF – and it turns out great.

  42. Heather Smith says:

    I love love love Mel’s site I consult it all the time. My friends joke that I should get paid for how much I recommend it. I love how she uses whole fresh Infredients and spices. It makes it easy to adjust so many of her recipes to make them gluten free. I have had great success making her “funeral potatoes” GF by omitting the flour and using cornstarch instead.

    The same trick can be used with this recipe. When substituting cornstarch you will add it to the milk or broth (the cornstarch needs to be added to the cold liquid In order for it to dissolve correctly). When I go to use this recipe, and I will (chicken divan is calling my name) I will either add it to my broth or milk to thicken it as it heats. The trick is the cornstarch to flour ratio. When substituting use 3/4 cornstarch: 1 flour, so in this recipe or the potato recipe it calls for 1/4 cup which is 4 tbsp. I would use 3 tbsp cornstarch. I hope this helps. Thanks Mel keep up the good work 🙂

    (I looked again I would mix the cornstarch with the milk, it may be hard to mix but keep stirring 🙂 it will work I promise)

  43. Stacey R says:

    I wonder what your thoughts would be about making a much bigger batch and canning it. Any changes that you would recommend?

  44. Melissa says:

    Now that you have this perfected… have you tried making it gluten free? I have tried a couple recipes, but subbing with GF flour turns out grainy. Cornstarch gives the best consistency… any ideas?
    Our entire family LOVES your recipes! …and we are practically neighbors! I live near Boise too!

    • Jenni says:

      The possibility of making this GF is what drew me to this recipe… thinking about trying it with the GF AP flour I make. It would be nice to have something other than Progresso’s Cream of Mushroom to use in GF-adapted recipes that need a cream soup. Like Melissa, I’m wondering if you’ve already tried this…

    • Heather S says:

      I was replying to your comment but it didn’t link, check it out. I know how to make this GF.

  45. Lindsay says:

    I have a little guy with a mild soy allergy, and condensed soups make his mouth itchy. So my motivation is a little different but I am so excited for this recipe! I make big batches of cream of chicken soup and freeze them in “1 can” servings. But I know your recipe will be even better! Can’t wait to try it, thanks!

  46. Amanda says:

    I’m seriously excited about this Mel! Thanks!

  47. Amy W. says:

    Wonderful!! You truly are amazing!! Thanks so much for helping us out with this! Seriously- you are the best!!

  48. Susan from WA says:

    Holy cow, Mel, this is awesome. I can’t tell you how long I’ve hoped for a doable home made version, feeling guilty when I used the canned stuff. Thanks!

  49. Jackie says:

    I’ve been using a recipe similar to this for several years but I use like 10 times the dry ingredients, mix them together and just store it in a container in my pantry. Then when it comes time to make the soup I mix 1/3 c of the dry ingredients with the liquid. That makes it even easier!

  50. Andrea says:

    Wonderful! I’ve tried a homemade cream of mushroom on occasion, and the difference in flavor is amazing–not to mention the fact that I feel so much better about feeding it to my family. I’m excited to try the cream of chicken. (And thank you for making the recipe equivalent to a can of soup. I’m sure that was a lot of work on your end, and I really appreciate it. So helpful!)

  51. Lindsey says:

    I’ve made hommade cream of mushroom with great success, so I’m thrilled you did the leg work for the chicken version. Bravo!

  52. Gail says:

    I was about to ask for cream of mushroom next, but it seems someone beat me to it.

    Thanks for perfecting this one!

  53. Kim in MD says:

    You are awesome, Mel! Yeah for ridding our pantry of processed foods! I have been waiting for you to perfect this recipe that I have seen all over the internet for years. Would I sound ungrateful if I said I would love for you to perfect cream of mushroom next? 😉

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