How to Make Cream of Chicken Soup

make-your-own-cream-of-chicken-soup-1 I haven’t bought cream of cr*p soup in years.  Sorry, that’s what I call it.  This is why I don’t have my own cooking show.  I disparage packaged goods with vulgar, yet catchy monikers. Anyway, why buy when you can make?  And make without all the fillers, MSG, and odd chemicals?

Master recipe for cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup:

Put butter in a pan.  Melt it.  (Measure how much you put in)

Add an equal amount of flour.  Stir it around until the flour is absorbed and it looks like Play-doh, about 1 minute.

Add 8 times as much liquid as butter.  So if you used 2 T. butter, you’ll add 16 T. of liquid (which is a cup.)  Whisk it in and heat until smooth.  I find this goes better if you stir in a little liquid at a time, letting the flour absorb it.  If you dump in a cup of cold milk then the butter/flour makes a million little globs that you’ll have to try to delump.

Cook and stir about 3 minutes, until smooth and heated through.  The longer you cook the thicker it will get.  Salt to taste.

Note: 2T butter, 2T flour, and 1 c. milk makes about the same amount as a 10 oz. can of condensed soup.

Variations: Cream of chicken – add half milk or water, and half chicken broth.  You can add chicken bits if you like, and you can use coconut oil and almond milk if you are dairy free.

Cream of mushroom – cook up some chopped mushrooms in the butter, then sprinkle with the flour and proceed.

Cream of celery – soften finely chopped celery in the butter, then proceed.

Let’s compare homemade Cream of Chicken Soup to Campbell’s Cream of Chicken condensed soup:

MY CREAM OF CHICKEN: butter, flour, milk (or water), chicken stock.
MY COST: 1/2 c. milk, 10 cents.  Free vegetable stock or free chicken stock (I put my bones in the crock and simmer away).  2 T. butter, 20 cents.  2 T. flour, laughably cheap.  Total: 30 cents, give or take.
MY TIME: 5 minutes

CAMPBELL’S: Chicken Stock, Water, Wheat, Flour, Modified Food Starch, Cooked Chicken Meat, Cream (Milk), Contains Less Than 2% Of Chicken Fat, Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Soy Protein Concentrate, Dehydrated Cooked Chicken, Yeast Extract, Lower Sodium Nautral Sea Salt, Flavoring, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Vegetable oil, Potassium Chloride, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Huanylate, Spice Extract, Beta Carotene For Color, Soy Proetin Isolate, Sodium Phosphates, Chicken Flavor (Contains Chicken Stock, Chicken Powder Chicken Fat), Chicken Flavor, Butter Milk, Cream Powder Cream Milk, Soy Lecithin, Enzyme Modified Butter Milk Nonfat Dry Milk, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean And Cottonseed Oil, Lipolyzed Butter Oil,, Oleix Acid Butter Oil, Lactic Acid, Butter Flavor Lipolyzed Butter Oil? MSG?  Sodium Phospates?  That’s not good eats!
CAMPBELL’S COST: $1 – $1.50
CAMPBELL’S TIME: 3-5 minutes to heat on the stove, stirring until smooth. Like this post? Check out my other shortcut soup recipes, how to make Real Food Frugal Food, or follow me on Pinterest! Gotta have your Campbell’s?  Save some money on it!

Originally published August, 2010.

I love comments. Tell me what you think!

  • Joanna March 16, 2014, 10:16 am

    Has anybody tried freezing? Wondering if I can make a big batch to store in the freezer.

  • Tamber April 29, 2014, 3:10 pm

    Same here! I would like to know if I can freeze this. I bought a large quantity of mushrooms.

  • shyler luna May 7, 2014, 4:41 pm

    it would be great if you could make it in large quantities and freeze until you need it, but how?

  • Debra June 4, 2014, 11:19 am

    Thank you! I’m so glad I’m not alone in loathing this stuff. I can taste it in a dish… I don’t understand how anyone doesn’t! It doesn’t taste like food… I must try yours when I get a few minutes.

  • Kelly July 30, 2014, 11:56 am

    Thank you so much for the recipe! I really have tried to avoid using the Canned Cream of Chicken Soup recipe- it just doesn’t look right. I look forward to trying your recipe this weekend.

  • Becky August 1, 2014, 8:02 am

    Thank you for these simple and straight forward instructions! I despise buying these cans for recipes and am so happy to find a home made solution! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Marjorie August 6, 2014, 12:20 pm

    Thanks for this recipe. Is it possible to make and home can this?

  • Amber Jackson September 24, 2014, 6:37 pm

    Can you freeze leftovers?

  • kristie October 4, 2014, 2:15 pm

    Just made this-i did the cream of mushroom. Also used almond milk instead of whole milk. So so good! I dumped my mushrooms and sauce into my blender-to smooth it out and finished on the stove. I used about 4 oz mushrooms threw in some chicken came out so velvetly and smooth. Will make this again for sure!!

  • beth December 25, 2014, 11:53 am

    Thanks. So simple. We are dairy free. Too easy. Love to use in casseroles.


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Desperately thrifty mom of 10, sharing my frugal tips, easy shortcuts, recipes, and thoughts on natural living and real food.

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