This homemade Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute is creamy, flavorful, and SO much better than what you get from a can. Best part is, it only takes 10 minutes to make!

Looking for more from-scratch cooking staples? Try my homemade Dry Onion Soup Mix, Taco Seasoning, Ketchup, or BBQ Sauce!

A bowl of Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute on the counter, ready to be used in your favorite recipe.

Why I love this recipe:

  • Quick – This cream of chicken soup substitute only takes 10 minutes. That’s faster than a trip to the grocery store!
  • Healthy – You know exactly what ingredients are added, including fresh pantry ingredients, nothing artificial, and it’s definitely lower in sodium than the canned version.
  • Delicious – The taste of this homemade cream of chicken soup is outstanding! It’s creamy, full of flavor, and will make any meal that calls for canned cream of chicken soup, taste way better.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Milk
  • Cornstarch
  • Butter
  • Chicken Bouillon Paste or Cube
  • Seasonings
All of the ingredients needed for Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute on the counter in separate bowls.

How to make Cream of Chicken Soup:

Combine Ingredients: In a small saucepan whisk together milk and cornstarch. Add butter, bouillon, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and parsley.

Two images, the first of milk and cornstarch in a saucepan, then butter and seasonings added to make Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute.

Boil: Bring to a gently boil, stirring frequently. Once boiling, simmer for 30 more seconds to thicken.

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute in a stainless steel saucepan with a whisk.

Use this cream of chicken recipe in any recipe to replace one 10.75 oz can of cream of chicken soup. For other flavors, look at the recipe variations below.

A bowl of homemade Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute ready to be used in your favorite recipe!

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: This is a great recipe to make ahead for quick dinner prep. Make the recipe as directed, and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

To Freeze: The texture may change a little bit through the freezing/thawing process. Store in a freezer safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw completely in the fridge before using in a recipe.

Recipe Variations:

  • Cream of Mushroom: Stir in one (4 oz) can of mushroom pieces to the finished recipe. Use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken, if desired.
  • Cream of Celery: Stir in ½ cup sautéed, chopped celery to the finished recipe. Use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken, if desired.
  • Cream of Broccoli: Stir in ½ cup of finely diced steamed broccoli. Use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken, if desired.
  • Add Chicken: Stir in chopped cooked chicken at the end, if desired.
  • Dairy-Free: Use dairy-free butter, and your favorite plant based milk. The flavor will be a little different depending on what milk you use.

Use Cream of Chicken Substitute In:

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A bowl of Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute on the counter.
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 10 minutes
Save Recipe



  • In a small saucepan whisk together milk and cornstarch. Add butter, bouillon, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and parsley.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Once boiling, simmer for 30 more seconds to thicken.
  • Use in recipes to replace one (10.75 oz) can of cream of (anything) soup.


*Makes the equivalent of one (10.75 oz) can.
Make Ahead Instructions: This recipe is so easy to make ahead for an even faster dinner. Make the recipe as directed, and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Freezing Instructions: The texture may change a little bit through the freezing/thawing process. Store in a freezer safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw completely in the fridge before using in a recipe.
  • Cream of Mushroom: Stir in one (4 oz) can of mushroom pieces to the finished recipe. Use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken, if desired.
  • Cream of Celery: Stir in ½ cup sautéed, chopped celery to the finished recipe. Use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken, if desired.
  • Cream of Broccoli: Stir in ½ cup of finely diced steamed broccoli. Use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken, if desired.
  • Add Chicken: Stir in chopped cooked chicken at the end, if desired.
  • Dairy-Free: Use dairy-free butter, and your favorite plant based milk. The flavor will be a little different depending on what milk you use.


Calories: 339kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 9gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 1889mgPotassium: 358mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 766IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 296mgIron: 0.2mg

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I originally shared this recipe March 2015. Updated September 2022.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I needed only 2/3 of a can for my 2 chicken enchiladas, so I made 2/3 of this recipe. It was very easy and delicious, much tastier than the can!!! Great recipe, thank you!!

  2. 5 stars
    What are your thoughts on substituting butter powder? I’m hoping to make this in bulk with instructions to add milk when ready to prepare. I’d really love to hear your thoughts. Thank you in advance.

  3. 5 stars
    My husband is dairy free. I made this soup with coconut milk. Then, I didn’t have any bouillon cubes or paste so I used 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! It came out beautifully! I’m so happy to have a dairy free cream of any kind of soup now. 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thanks a million. This recipe was a good find since countless times I exited out of a recipe due to seeing “cream of [x] soup” in the ingredients list. While I understand about cost and everything, I still want to maintain a level of quality and stay moderately healthy.

    At some point, I realised that I should swallow the pride for once. I still figured that you could make something akin to it with basic ingredients, and lo and behold! Something here that would tick the needed boxes: quick, easy, cheap, basic ingredients, plus I know what I am putting in my body.

    This page is saved into the bookmarks for sure, at a moments notice whenever it will be needed.

    1. We are absolutely thrilled to hear how much our cream of chicken soup substitute recipe has been of value to you! Our primary goal is indeed to provide easy, affordable, and most importantly, healthy alternatives that don’t compromise on taste and quality. It’s great to know that you find our recipe ticks all those boxes.

      Your words are truly heartening, and we’re grateful that you’ve taken the time to share this feedback. It’s wonderful to know that this recipe will be a part of your cooking journey. Should you have any further questions or need assistance with any other recipes, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  5. 5 stars
    I use this every time I need cream of mushroom or chicken soup. I saute onion and garlic (and mushrooms when needing cream of mushroom soup) in the butter instead of the powder ingredients. I haven’t added salt since the first time I made it, since it was too salty for my taste. The bouillon gives enough saltiness. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    This “condensed” soup is the bomb!!! Tastes better than canned Cream of Chicken, plus no preservatives!! The only thing I changed, to reduce lactose, was 3/4 Oat milk mixed with 1/4 heavy cream. Absolutely fabulous taste. I will never buy canned again!!

  7. 5 stars
    I use this recipe to substitute non-dairy milk. It tastes great in recipes as a replacement for the canned. THANK YOU

  8. 5 stars
    Made this recipe for cream of celery soup. I did sauté the celery in addition to fresh chopped celery. No salt was added. Nice flavor and very simple!

  9. 4 stars
    I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but it’s salty and I add salt to everything. I would not add the salt until it is made and you taste it. I used better than bullion. I will made this again and reduce or eliminate the salt.

  10. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! I am living in Fiji, where ingredients for recipes are not readily available. Having this recipe has allowed me to make “family favorite” recipes to remind us of home.

  11. 5 stars
    Where has this recipe/life hack been all my life? It was simple enough for me to while up mid cooking another recipe, is delicious, and now I don’t feel the need to stock up on cream of chicken soup (cause let’s be real, that’s twice the cost it should be!)

  12. I’m confused about the sodium content, if you are using only 1 tsp of bullion (Better Than Bullion chicken is 680 mg of sodium) where is all the sodium coming from? Definitely going to give this a try.

    1. 5 stars
      I made this many times during the grocery shortage in 2020 (Covid). It’s quick, adaptable, easy to make & tastes so much better. I won’t buy canned cream of soup anymore.

    2. 5 stars
      There’s a gal on Youtube (MakeItMake) that covers Amish canning for cream of mushroom soup. I encourage you to check it out and do your research.

      I’m planning on trying out making this into a dry mix (dehydrated butter and possibly milk) and giving that a go to see how it tastes.

  13. 5 stars
    So easy & delicious! I use oatmilk & it’s great. My go to cream of soup for every recipe! Thank you.

    1. I was reluctant to use only the oat milk…for fear it might be bland. I used 3/4 cup of oat milk with 1/4 cup heavy cream. Thanks for your comment/input. Next time, I’ll just use the oat milk.

  14. I like to eat clean. Is there any other way to sub the chicken bullion. Or can I skip it altogether? And..Will it affect the flavor?

  15. How much broccoli would you add to the base for cream of broccoli soup? 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup, or more? Would you steam, or cook the broccoli first?

  16. Hi Lauren, just wondering is there another way other than bouillon cube. I’m on a salt free diet and the cubes are very high in salt. Really enjoy reading all your recipes they really make my mouth water. I do have a few ideas, what I do is just eliminate or reduce the salt. But boullion cubes are all the flavour, so would stock be okay? Thanks in advance.

    Nancy Smith

    1. Hi Nancy! We haven’t tried them but you can get salt free bouillon cubes on Amazon if you want to try those.

    2. I am also on a restricted sodium diet, we order Reduced Sodium Better than Bouillon on Amazon. Sauté 1/4 cup diced or grated onion, 1 teaspoon finely grated garlic (grated on a rasp grater) and fresh parsley. Also use unsalted butter or olive/avocado oil for the fat component. This will not take the sodium to zero, but it result in a reduced sodium soup. Then you can season it to your taste.

  17. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. I started using it when I couldn’t find any “cream of” soups in the stores around here, and keep using it because it tastes so much better. It’s quick and easy to make, and tastes great. I love your blog because everything I’ve tried has worked out perfectly. It’s my go-to when I can’t decide what to make for dinner. Thank you!

    1. Home canning of dairy products is iffy at best. The 10 minutes it takes to make is 10 minutes not spent being sick from questionable dairy 🙂

    2. This is the same question I was thinking about! I have a pressure canner (All American 910) and think this recipe and it’s variations would be nice to have on hand!

      But unfortunately canning any milk/cream based soup is not recommended 🙁

  18. 5 stars
    Thank you! i have often skipped recipes once I see “cream of” as an ingredient. But this? OH MY! and I go all in and add chicken bouillion AND mushrooms, AND celery!

  19. I love all of your recipes Lauren. I especially like the homemade noodles. My family love it wnen I make these for the recipes. Thanks again for sharing.

  20. I made it for the first time I usually use powder cream of delicious just need to know what’s the lifeline on her in the fridge

  21. Thank you for this low sodium and gluten free cream of anything soup! My husband has celiac and heart issues so this recipe will be great for our family!

  22. This is fantastic! The flavor is great, and it is easy to make! I need to find chicken bouillon that has less sodium, but other than that yum, yum!

  23. I used this “anything..” recipe for my Christmas dressing last year and now I am hooked!! I didn’t even prepare any the year before because I couldn’t find the plant based alternatives.I have not been able to find any plant based condensed soups in my area. This is The best and healthiest alternative to all that sodium and preservatives from the traditional canned condensed soups. My Family thanks you 😄Blessings to You!!!

  24. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe. I never buy condensed soups because even though I know they make some recipes much simpler they’re full of sodium and just not good for you. This is the simplest and tastiest alternative I’ve seen by far! I will absolutely be using this again and again.

  25. 5 stars
    The flavor is so much better than the condensed soups! Will be using this for all my condensed soup recipes going forward!

  26. We’ve used a similar recipe for a daughter who is allergic to wheat. It is probably gluten-free, too. Now we can make recipes calling for soup as an ingredient. Great find.

  27. 5 stars
    This is amazing, simple to make and very flavorful. I use this as a base for my chicken pot pie. My family loves it!

  28. 5 stars
    I made cream of shrimp and it came out very very good. Way better than canned one that i could not find. My shrimp dressing will be good this Year. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  29. We love soup around here! I made this tonight and added celery to make a “cream of celery” soup and it was delicious! I added some water to it to make it a little less thick and I was able to add more celery. I also made a “cream of potato” soup for my husband since he can’t have a lot of celery due to allergies and it also tasted delicious! I don’t use the “better than bouillon” because it has soy in it and people in my house are allergic to soy, so I was able to find a recipe to make homemade “better than bouillon” using spices I already have and it made a small container of it. This is an absolutely amazing soup recipe! It’ll be used in our house a lot!
    Thank you Lauren!

    1. I’d be very interested in the “homemade “better than bouillon”” recipe. Any chance you can share it? I’ve tried all kinds of things to make my own bouillon cubes and have not cared for any of them yet. I appreciate your sharing.

  30. have you tried this with arrowroot instead of cornstarch? just wondering if it would turn out ok.

    1. I tried it but it tasted a bit like grain and I added a bit more salt in it for more flavours since I don’t really like arrowroot but those are the only ones I have in my house and I was lazy to go for groceries. So yeah. I think i like the taste but I think it needs more salt but I don’t know about you.

  31. 5 stars
    This is by far the BEST condensed cream of anything soup I have ever made. I need low-salt ingredients so I just left out the salt. And I used evaporated milk since I didn’t have regular. It was delish, smooth and creamy! And I loved how quick and easy it was to make! This is now my go-to when a recipe needs condensed cream of something soup!

  32. Is there is a way to make it with flour instead of cornstarch, as our family needs to stay away from corn?

  33. I have been trying to find ways to substitute food products containing dairy, as I can’t eat it. I’ll hopefully try this using lactose free milk. If it works, it will be wonderful. Thanks for your help.

  34. Super easy! I have family members who can’t eat dairy as a general rule (although they can eat butter), so I replaced the milk with almond milk and it turned out great.

    1. To make cream of potato soup, I boil diced potatoes and add when cooked. If in a hurry, I add a can of diced potatoes.

  35. 5 stars
    I have a recipe that makes up a dry mix using powdered milk but I can’t find any in the stores. I came across your recipe and it’s now my new favorite!!! It’s easy to mix up and very flavorful! Thank you for sharing!

  36. 5 stars
    This was so easy to make and a delicious base for the Easy Beef Stroganoff sauce. I’ll be using this recipe again and again. I hate the store-bought “cream of junk” soup and try to modify any recipe I use that calls for it. I often make my own, but I use flour in my base – it’s not quite as simple of a process. I like that this is gluten free since it uses corn-starch for thickening.

  37. 5 stars
    I omitted the butter, threw in a cut up baked potato, a handful of cheddar cheese and some chipotle seasoning along with a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. It was amazing! Took five minutes and lunch was done. And so welcome on this cold and snowy day.

  38. I think this is absolutely great for making cream of “anything”. I do not like using the canned cream soups – so many added unfavorable ingredients. My son is gluten free so this makes cooking for him so much easier. Thank you for posting this. I will use it again and again.
    BTW it was so easy to make!!!

    Thanks, Ginny

  39. Sure! Use a can of low sodium V-8 juice and just add some herbs and garlic! I have been doing this for 30+ years! Yum!

    1. I would replace the milk with tomato juice, leave out the chicken bullion, parsley and onion powder, and add a little tomato paste or ketchup and a pinch of sugar to balance out the acidity in the tomatoes.

      1. I’m confused. You said replace the water, but there isn’t water in the recipe.
        Did you mean the milk, as it is the only liquid?

  40. 5 stars
    perfect! I used the ‘better than bouillon’ paste, a little pepper, no salt because bouillon has enough for me. thank you for this recipe- I look forward to using many more!

  41. 5 stars
    I recently found out I am allergic to gluten and was wondering how I was going to make all of my cheater recipes that call for cream of “whatever”. I found my answer! This was sooooo easy, I already had everything on hand and it took no time at all! I feel like even if I wasn’t gluten free now I would use this recipe, mainly because I know everything that is in here!! Thank you for a great sub!

    1. I can’t recommend this recipe for canning as there are certain ph level requirements that need to be followed to make food shelf-stable. I would suggest looking into to a safe-canning website for a similar recipe or information on how to safely adapt this one.

      1. I would suggest showing this recipe in a bowl not a canning jar. When I looked at it I thought I could make a batch and can them. Do you know of any soup recipes that can be frozen or canned?

        Carol Wilcox

  42. I made cream of “plain” soup and used it with stroganoff. Worked well. I can’t eat salt so I used unsalted chicken bouillon that I got from amazon. Thanks.

    1. If you want to make soup out of it, yes. If you want to use it in a recipe to replace canned cream of chicken (or other flavored) soup, then no.

  43. 5 stars
    Used this as a substitute for cream of chicken soup in a chicken casserole. Worked perfectly and it was quick and easy to make.

    1. You could add the recipe to a skillet of pureed tomatoes and cook it all together to make a soup.

  44. 5 stars
    This is great! Thank you! I can’t have condensed soups from the grocery store because of the sodium. I made a zero-sodium version by omitting the salt and, instead of bouillon, adding the ‘syrup’ made from reducing 3 cups of homemade stock down to 1 tbsp. This is a definite keeper.

    1. There is a wonderful product in my area at Meijer-L. B. Jamison’s Soup Base that is sodium free contains 3 grams of carbs and no fat, works great anywhere you need chicken broth, including this recipe! A lot easier than cooking down 3 cups of broth!

  45. 5 stars
    I made this without and bullion just added little more salt and turned out great ! Do you have any recipes for golden mushroom ?

  46. 5 stars
    Very good and very easy to make with ingredients most of us have in the pantry. It was a bit too salty so I will omit salt next time. I used Better Than Bouillon chicken base.

  47. I’m on a strict low sodium diet. Can I leave out the bullion and the salt? I’m trying to find a replacement for canned cream of soups because they are so salty.

    1. Hi Carol, The texture would be fine, but I’m afraid leaving out the bullion would greatly reduce the flavor.

  48. Love it! I made it today for the first time Almond milk worked well. Glad to find a gluten free recipe
    Thank you!

  49. 5 stars
    Thanks for this tasty and healthy alternative to purchased creamy soups. I have mostly stopped buying them and try to substitute something healthier, so this was perfect! I linked over from your funeral potatoes recipe, and was so pleased to see this soup recipe offered! It is delicious and I will definitely be using it again.

    1. Hi Tasha,

      The base recipe is estimated to have about 1442mg of sodium. That is for the entire amount, not for an individual serving. Calories are estimated at 337 for the entire amount.

  50. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times and love the versatility of this recipe. My new fave is adding two cups of shredded cheese with about a cup of milk to thin it, and have perfect cheese sauce for macaroni. I use unsweetened almond milk and it works well, was very glad to read in the comments that it can be frozen so I can make several batches ahead. Thanks for this great, easy recipe!

  51. 5 stars
    Just made it today and absolutely loved how it tasted! I’m excited to have this under my belt for when I’m missing a can of cream of mushroom/ chicken etc. I actually prefer this over the canned stuff.

  52. I’m so happy to find this recipe. I have celiac disease and can’t use canned soups. Bovril chicken bouillon is liquid and less salty than either powders or cubes. I’m going to use 1/4 cup of instant mashed potato flakes to make cream of potato soup. Thank you so much!

  53. I am so excited!! Can’t wait to try my mom has cancer and can only have puréed food so always looking for soup etc recipes.

  54. 5 stars
    Wow this turned out great and quick! It even works well with Almond milk and flour( instead of cornstarch, roux) since butter was going in.

  55. 5 stars
    Can you water bath can this for storage? I am wanting to do a big batch and wondering if it would keep that way.

    1. Hi Amy, I honestly haven’t done any research into that, for this specific recipe. I’d suggest checking a safe-canning website for tips to do so. I’d love to hear if you try it!

  56. Hi Lauren, since this recipe is condensed, do I need to add water to make it the consistency of, say, Campbell’s Soup or do I just use it as-is (after adding whatever veggie I want to flavor it with)?


  57. 5 stars
    I just got done making this! I am on a serious diet. Wanting to make tuna noodle casserole. But can soup is bad. So I tried this. I even made this with skim milk. It is good stuff! So tomorrow I will use my zucchini noodles and this soup for a healthy version of tuna noodle casserole.

  58. 5 stars
    This is fantastic I purchase of cream soups…no more will be making them all from scratch from now on thank you for posting.

    1. 5 stars
      I used it in a crock pot, and it worked great! I never thought of making it homemade, I’m not a natural cook! I think it made the recipe better. 🙂

  59. Wow! Made this for use in two baked Mexican dishes to serve to a friend who cannot have wheat products. Used 1 chicken and 1/2 beef bouillon cube,left out salt, used fresh parsley minced, chopped mushrooms- small can made 4 recipes. Unbelievably delicious! Will make instead of purchased, and share this recipe with her and others. Thanks so much for an easy, delicious, natural alternative.

  60. My son is allergic to chicken, so can’t use chicken bullion. He’s allergic to all meats. Can I omit the bullion cube? I want to make his favorite potato soup.

    1. Hi Mary, you can omit the bullion, the flavor will just be more bland. I would taste it and use a little extra of the other seasonings at least, to make up for it! Good luck!

      1. Mary,
        I know this is WAY late in a reply, but they do make vegetable based bullion now so that might be worth a shot for a little extra concentrated flavor!

    2. My daughter also has food allergies and has become vegan. The rest of the family is vegetarian although I was raised a meat eater. My daughter and I love Not-Chik’n Cubes brand distributed by Edward & Sons ( It is a product of Switzerland. They are gluten free and vegan. I live in Ohio and buy it at the local grocery store. They remind me of the chicken noodle soup I grew up with. We enjoy it plain as a bouillon in a mug or any recipe calling for chicken broth or flavor. Can’t wait to try this soup recipe. It will also be great for my other daughter too that is allergic to soy anything which is in so many things including many canned soups.

    3. 5 stars
      Hi! So when I made mine, I didn’t have a bullion cube, so i used beef base and it was great! But what I also have Vegetable base! I’m sure it would give you the flavor you want!

  61. I made this two nights ago. My daughter has Celiac and I can’t use canned cream of… This was amazing! Could have eaten it by itself!

      1. I make and freeze this soup – it is so convienient and tastes so much better than anything out of a can every could. Plus I know exactly what is in it … no mysterious ingredients!

  62. Do you think this would work with, say, cashew milk, vegan butter, and vegetable bouillon to make it vegan?

    1. Hi Mandy, I’ve never tried any of those ingredients, so I can’t say for sure, but it’s definitely worth a shot!

    2. 4 stars
      Yes. I use homemade veggie stock not chicken Boullion. No salt issue. Store bought boullion is salted. If u want salty try miso soup mix.

  63. What a fabulous idea! I always have these ingredients on hand. Thank you for the tips and tricks to make a from scratch cream soup base. 😀

      1. I made this and I’m very sorry to say that it turned out way over salty.
        I did exactly according to your recipe and it still turned out way salty. My chicken casserole got ruined because of it.
        Next time I would only add a pinch of salt or no salt,
        because chicken bullion already has salt in it

        1. I don’t use any kind of bouillon because of the salt content, but I hear tell there are some lo salt & no salt bouillon options out there.