One of the most popular soups to have when you want comfort food, is a nice cream of chicken soup. However, not everyone is able to or wants to eat chicken, so when you want to have a cream soup or need a substitute for a recipe, what are your replacement options that are vegetarian?
1. Cream of Mushroom Soup
One of the best and most popular options when it comes to substituting cream of chicken soup is to use cream of mushroom soup instead. This is an easy soup to find at stores, and if you ever feel like making your own, you can do so without too much trouble.
This is a soup that you can have ready in just a few minutes, as the only ingredients that you are going to need are common button mushrooms, vegetable stock, and the other standard materials used for chicken broth (although you won’t need chicken broth). You can also easily find a cream of mushroom soup recipe online.
This is going to be the most common option that you are going to encounter when you are looking for a cream of chicken soup alternative, and you will likely already have some as many dishes call for cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken soup. The last big benefit that you are going to get is the fact that mushrooms have lots of nutrients that will help you feel healthier, including vitamin D, riboflavin, and potassium.
2. Cream of Potato Soup
Cream of potato soup is another extremely common and popular cream of chicken soup alternative that you likely will have somewhere in your pantry or cupboard. However, if you don’t already have it, because of its popularity in soups and other dishes, you can typically find it in a grocery store without too much trouble.
My favorite part about cream of potato soup is the fact that it is very delicious on its own and can provide that nice, warm comfort food feeling that cream of chicken soup usually provides because of its rich, full-bodied taste.
Cream of potato soup is also one of the thickest soup substitutes available and will be one of your best options if the dish you need the soup for is better when thick, as cream of potato soup acts as a good thickening agent.
You can use cream of potato soup as a substitute for cream of chicken soup in soups, stews, casseroles, some pasta sauces, and many more dishes. Something that is nice about cream of potato soup is that, when canned properly, it can last for 3 to 5 years before expiring, so when you can a few cans, it will last until you need it next.
When using the cream of potato soup in a dish, you will want to swap out the cream of chicken soup for the potato at a 1-to-1 ratio. This means that for every 1 can of cream of chicken soup a recipe calls for, you will use 1 can of cream of potato soup. This is going to be the ratio that you are using for any of the cream-based soups, while some of the latter options will be a bit different in their replacement ratios.
3. Cream of Celery Soup
While cream of celery is a much lighter soup that does have nearly as strong of a flavor as some of the other soups on this list, it is a good cream of chicken soup alternative. In fact, cream of celery soup acts as a great soup substitute in dishes that have more of a starchy flavor, like a potato casserole or a dirty rice dish.
And while this type of soup isn’t as popular as cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, or cream of potato soup, you will still be able to find cans of cream of celery soup at your grocery store. Cream of celery soup can usually be identified by its lighter color and smoother texture when eaten. If you are eating cream of celery soup by itself, it pairs very well with sliced bread and rice.
4. Cream of Asparagus Soup
Cream of asparagus soup is a good cream of chicken soup alternative. This soup is going to be one of the harder soups to find at the store. However, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find it. In most cases, you will have to make your own cream of asparagus soup. Fortunately, once you prepare a pot of cream of asparagus soup, it will last for about a week, so you have a bit of time to either eat it by itself or use it in a recipe that asks for cream of chicken soup.
Cream of asparagus soup works best in dishes like vegetable casseroles, rice dishes, and soups. Preparing cream of asparagus soup is pretty simple. Just like all cream soups, you just will want to swap out the chicken broth for a vegetable broth and swap out any chicken for asparagus. Let it simmer for a bit, and serve once it is ready. The longer it simmers, the thicker the soup will get.
5. Creamy Red Lentil and Carrot Soup
When you are looking to find a substitute for cream of chicken soup, you can use just about any cream-based soup. But one of the best options for a replacement that you can eat by itself is creamy red lentil and carrot soup.
Lentils are a great filler, and the flavor works very well with the carrots in order to form a delicious soup for you to eat when you want a nice creamy soup. The creamy red lentil and carrot soup is also a very flexible soup, as there are a lot of other ingredients you can add to help make its flavor profile perfect for you.
However, when using this soup as a cream of chicken soup alternative, keep in mind that it will likely change the flavor of the dish you are making because of the different ingredients.
6. Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt
One of the more unique options that you probably didn’t even realize was an option is the fact that you can use sour cream or plain greek yogurt to act as a thickener in recipes to replace cream of chicken soup. You are going to want to make sure that you put some additional seasonings into the dish after mixing in the sour cream or yogurt, but your dish will be able to get to the proper consistency using this substitute. This is going to be one of your healthiest cream of chicken substitutes, and there is a good chance that you will have one of these ingredients in your house already.
However, if you are wanting your dish to have a chicken-type flavor, you are going to want to go with a different option, as sour cream or yogurt will be unable to replicate that flavor.
When using sour cream or greek yogurt as a cream of chicken soup substitute, you are going to want to put 1/2 cup of sour cream or yogurt for every 1 cup of soup that you are replacing. If the dish still isn’t to the consistency that you want, you can add more, but you won’t want to go over the 1:1 ratio of soup to sour cream or yogurt.
7. Thickening Powders
Another option you likely won’t think about is thickening powders. Thickening powders are an extremely effective way to get your dish to the right consistency without using cream of chicken soup. You have lots of different options when it comes to thickening powders, including cornstarch, arrowroot, and tapioca flour. All of these powders can be found at grocery stores and are typically nice options that aren’t too expensive.
You can also use types of gum like guar gum and xanthan gum. They work really well when you are making things like sauce or gravy. One of the main reasons that thickening powders are a good option is because they are dairy-free and, depending on the starch, may be gluten-free as well.
When using a thickening powder, you will want to be very careful with how much you use. Put small amounts in at a time until you finally reach the consistency that you want the dish to have. You will also want to make sure that the thickening powder isn’t clipping, as this will lead to inconsistent texture throughout the dish, and someone will likely end up eating a very dry, tasteless, and gross clump of thickening powder.
You can make a roux if you don’t want to put cream of chicken soup in a recipe. Roux may sound fancy, but it is a very simple mix of some fat and flour mixed together to create a great thickening agent. It is used fairly commonly in the southern US in dishes like gumbo or gravy.
Typically, when making a roux, you will use white flour. However, another great option is brown rice flour. The fat doesn’t just have to be animal fat: it can be anything ranging from butter to lard to oil.
While a roux won’t have the exact same flavor as cream of chicken soup, it still with have a richer flavor than many other options. Roux are nice because you can make them work with any dietary need, as they can be gluten-free, dairy-free, and/or vegan, depending on the type of flour and fat you use to make it.
9. Béchamel Sauce
My favorite option out of any of these is a Béchamel sauce, also known as white sauce, which will act as a great thickening agent. While Béchamel sauce is extremely easy to make, it also is extremely tasty and can be made so that it is both vegan-friendly and gluten-free.
The sauce is extremely easy and cheap to make, as it only requires milk, butter, and flour. This means for just a few dollars, and you can have a great, rich, creamy sauce that can replace the cream of chicken soup in any sort of dish while still providing a thick, rich flavor.
When using Béchamel sauce to replace cream of chicken soup, you will want to simply replace the soup at a 1-to-1 ratio. Obviously, you can use a Béchamel sauce for pasta. However, it also works extremely well in casseroles and similar dishes.
10. Make Your Own Cream of (Not Chicken) Soup
One of your best options when looking for a replacement for cream of chicken soup is to make your own. This will allow you to know everything that is going into the soup so you can ensure that it is completely vegetarian-friendly. Fortunately, making cream of (not chicken) soup is a fairly simple process that will only take a few minutes once you have all of the ingredients.
- 3 tbsp Butter. In order to make a vegan option, you will want to use vegan butter instead of salted butter.
- 1 tbsp Flour.
- 1/2 cup 2% Milk. For vegans, I recommend using nut or plant milk.
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth. You can use bouillon if you want to, but this will determine the general flavor of the soup.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Melt the butter into the pan you plan to cook in.
- Add the milk, broth, salt, pepper, and any other ingredients you want.
- Bring the soup to a boil.
- Whisk continuously for 2 minutes.
- If you want your soup to be thicker, let the soup go to a simmer and continue whisking until it is the right consistency.
With this, you can use your own homemade cream of (not chicken) soup however you want, but it works especially well as a substitute for cream of chicken soup in casseroles. Hopefully, if you don’t feel like using any of the other options, you can make your own cream soup exactly how you want it. As you cook this soup more, you can continue to experiment and spice up the soup in new and fun ways.
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.