Dairy-free Cream of Chicken Soup

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As I’ve maneuvered my way through creating healthy, delicious, dairy-free dinners for our family, I often grieved the thought of not having quick meals (a la casseroles) to prep in advance. You know the kind. The ones you can prepare ahead of time, throw in the oven and forget it.

The biggest missing link for us was the “cream of chicken.” Not only are the cream of chicken cans at the store dairy-filled, they are also filled with lots of I-can’t-read-these-big-words ingredients. (Click the image to enlarge and read label.)

COC Duo

As such, I’ve been on the hunt for awhile for a super simple solution. And thanks to this dairy-free version, the options have now opened as far as casseroles and bakes and other creamy, yummy, comfort foods.

This recipe has the thickness of what you remember from the can and a great flavor, but it does away with the dairy and un-pronounceable ingredients! Plus, it’s simple. Lots-o-wins!

The spices used include salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, basil and oregano. This is 100% customizable. If you like a little more or less of something, mix it up.

In the recipe, I just indicate “flour.”  I have tried 3 variations and thought all tasted similar when put into a bigger recipe. I’ve used unbleached white, white whole wheat and fine stone whole wheat. The whole wheat is a bit thicker, but it didn’t change the flavor of the recipe. Use what you prefer.

Look how quickly the broth goes from, well, a milky broth…

… to what you remember of cream of chicken soup once the flour mixture is added. Keep whisking while it thickens and simmers on low heat to avoid any lumps.

As is, this recipe makes about 4 cups which is about the equivalent to 2 cans of store-bought condensed cream of chicken soup. Half, if necessary.

I made this the night before I made a chicken and rice casserole (recipe coming tomorrow), so this can easily be made ahead of time.

Voila! Do you have a casserole you loved growing up? We always had tuna casserole. What is it about a casserole that just screams COMFORT!?!?!

 

Dairy-free Cream of Chicken Soup

by My Wise Mom

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: base dairy-free egg-free soy-free peanut-free gluten-free flour chicken broth

Ingredients (4 cups, approx 2 cans)

  • 2-1/2 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cups flour (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon real salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 cup cooked mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cooked celery (optional)

Instructions

Combine the chicken broth with 1/2 cup of the almond milk in a large saucepan. Bring to a low boil.

Whisk the flour and seasonings into the remaining cup milk until smooth. The mixture will be thick.

Pour the milk/flour/seasoning mixture into the broth mixture in the saucepan and reduce heat to low. Stir/whisk continuously as it simmers to avoid lumps.

Continue whisking 5-10 minutes until the mixture is smooth and thick.

For cream of mushroom, add 1/4 cup cooked mushrooms after the mixture is taken off the stove, before it thickens.For cream of celery, add 1/4 cup diced, cooked celery pieces after the mixture is taken off the stove, before it thickens.

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Comments

    • says

      I’m not sure, Beth. I don’t use corn starch often, so you’d have to look up a conversion. If you are gluten-free, you can use a gluten-free all purpose flour as a replacement.

  1. Sharon says

    Hi. Thanks for the recipe. My son is df and I’m trying to make a chicken pot pie in my slow cooker. The recipe calls for cream of chicken soup and I want to replace it with this. Will this work for a slowcooker recipe?

  2. says

    My doctor has just recently had me go gluten free and dairy free and I thought my beloved chicken and rice days were over! But thanks to you and this recipe I ate chicken and rice tonight!

    It is yummy and my family thanks you too, lol!

  3. Katie J says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for posting this! I just made tater to hotdish with this as the cream soup sub and my lactose free fiancé And he said it was amazing in there! We plan on using this in many of his favorite recipes in the future. Thanks again!

  4. says

    You have no idea how EXCITED I am to try this. One of the things I don’t like about having to be gluten free is that I can’t use the creamed soups as I can’t have the wheat.

    I will be using Rice Milk instead of the almond milk (as I have to be careful with the almonds) and gluten free flour. But am just excited to this this with your chicken and rice casserole! Thank you!!!!!

  5. Jeff Huntzinger says

    Have you ever tried canning this? I don’t have a lot of freezer room and I have a bad/good habit of making things in bulk. Usually like to hot water bath can method. Thank you so much for the recipe.
    Jeff

    • says

      I haven’t tried canning this and I am not a canning expert, so I don’t have much wisdom to offer – - – sorry!! Please keep me posted if you try.

  6. tiara kaiser says

    I make this with smart balance lactose free milk. It works out wonderfully and tests great. Thank you so much for this recipe, I can make chicken and rice with peas again.

  7. Robin says

    I just made this and I am pleased with the results. Tonight I am making smothered chicken! Something I haven’t had in 3 years! My whole family has some kind of dairy issue, we don’t know what and all have different opinions as to the cause. I finally decided dairy was not worth it at all with the irritation I get. My boys don’t remember/haven’t had dairy every. So it is nice to be able to bring back my childhood favorite for them. I made enough to attempt to freeze it (using my left over breastmilk storage bags that were just sitting there!) I’ll let you know how it all goes!

  8. Tamara says

    I’ve recently had to cut ALL dairy out of my diet. Discovering healthy alternatives is always a delight….. I never understood the ingredient labels either, but I know I feel better, am healthier, and enjoy your recipe. I’m glad I don’t have to give up all the foods I enjoy. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Sara says

    I made this tonight and it’s seriously wonderful. Not all dairy-free substitutes are actually ‘like’ the real thing– this one certainly is! Better in fact. I love that I can bring casseroles back into our lives. Thank you so much!

  10. Kristin says

    Thank you so, so, so much for this recipe! Both of my toddler boys are allergic to all dairy and it has made us rethink our way of cooking/living. (I’m actually thankful for that) This is by far the BEST cream of soup recipe I have found. I just wonder how well it saves? Could it be frozen for spur of the moment cream of soup needs? We are expecting another little boy in a few days and it’d be nice to have on hand if possible.

    • says

      You are so welcome – I’m glad it’s helpful! I know how excited I was when it turned out… opened so many doors.

      I haven’t tried to freeze it, but I know alot of people have mentioned it. I don’t see why it wouldn’t, but I’m not speaking from experience. If you try, let me know!

      Congratulations on your soon-to-be-here bundle!!

    • says

      Hi, Jane!
      I haven’t heard of anyone using coconut milk, but I’m sure it would work. Or rice milk. There really just needs to be a thicker base. I sub almond milk in nearly all recipes that call for cow’s milk. I don’t see why coconut milk would not work. Please let me know if you try it!

      • brittney says

        I have used this recipe using rice milk and it turned out fine. My fiance has a nut allergy and a dairy allergy so I do this often and have yet to have any problems! I choose rice milk over coconut because I feel the coconut flavor can sometimes negatively effect the flavor of the overall recipe.

        • says

          Great feedback! I’m with you on coconut milk. Sometimes – especially for these dishes – that flavor just doesn’t work. Have you tried making it in bulk to freeze?

  11. says

    I tried and LOVED your recipe…. it makes an awesome chicken and rice casserole! I posted your recipe, complete with links back to your site. I hope you don’t mind, but I thought it was too good not to share :-)

  12. Amanda says

    Oh my, this looks SOOOO good! I’ve been dairy free for almost 9 years now and have been looking all over for a way to make my mom’s lemon orzo cream of chicken soup. It was my favorite meal, but I haven’t had it forever! I was just wondering if this recipe is similar to a condensed can of soup or un-condensed ready to eat soup? Thanks!

  13. Pat says

    Thank-you ! I “became” lactose sensitive 2 years ago at the age of 64. I am learning how to cook…again. I also can’t have seeds,nuts,legumes and some red meats.I have a favorite pork chop recipe from my Mom and I make it in her ancient cast iron skillet. You helped me bring back the memories !

  14. Marisa says

    Just wanted to thank you for this recipe. I used goats milk instead of the almond and it turned out marvelous. mine was a little clumpy and being my lazy self, i plopped it all into my Vitamix (the soup setting) and blended away. The result was perfect!. I also froze mine in pint sized jars and it seems to have worked out just fine. Anyway, thanks again!

  15. Ashley says

    I’m DF & Soy free right now for my nursing daughter who has a milk allergy, and this just might change my life! I have so many “cream of” casseroles that I haven’t made for months. And so excited to use this even after I can add dairy back in, because I’d love to stick with some of these healthier options! One question…when you say 4 cups or 2 cans, is that 2 cans diluted or undiluted? And if it’s diluted, have you used it in casseroles that just call for a can of undiluted?

  16. Ashley says

    Thank you so much! My son and I both have multiple food allergies, and I have a terrible time trying to feed us and my husband and daughter who don’t! This sounds like is will be a hit for all of us! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Kim says

    I used this cream of chicken soup last night in one of our favorite casseroles. It was DELICIOUS!! We haven’t eaten this casserole since going dairy free over a year ago. We are also gluten free and used Trader Joes GF flour. It turned out just fine. Can’t thank you enough for posting this recipe.

  18. Kim says

    So super excited to give this a try Kerry! Thank you so much for posting this! One of my kids’ favorite things to eat was tater tot casserole. While it is not the healthiest thing in the world it sure is nice to have something easy to prepare for dinner once in a while. We tried making it with a vegan cream of mushroom recipe and it just tasted funny. Our family has also gone GF so I’m going to sub the flour with Trader Joe’s GF blend. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    • says

      It’s those “feel good comfort” recipes! Another commenter below (Krystal) said she’s used a similar recipe with Domata Living GF flour and it’s worked well. I’m sure the TJ brand will work great, too. Please do let me know!

  19. Emily says

    OMGosh, thank you SO MUCH for this!! I am dairy free for my nursing boy and though it is much easier now than at first, I sincerely miss some of my easy casseroles and crock pot meals! And since I am watching what we eat so much more closely, I am happy to toss the scary unpronounceable stuff from our lives!

    • says

      Yes – this will help TONS! It takes me back to my pre-DF days of prep-and-go. I’m so glad this will be helpful to you… and indirectly your little guy :)

  20. Kirsten says

    Unrelated question- I was wondering if you made any intentional changes so that your posts don’t show up in Google Reader in their entirety anymore. They always did until the last week or so, and now just the beginning shows up in Reader and requires clicking through to the website in order to see the rest. I guess it’s not a huge tragedy, but does make me more likely to skip posts if I’m on a slow connection, or in a rush and skimming articles, etc. Of course, maybe there’s an advantage to doing it that way that I’m just not aware of! :)

    • says

      Hi, Kirsten! You’re right… I did swap it to come to the page. I had feedback both ways, so if lots of folks share what you just did, I might switch it back, too. Thanks for letting me know your thoughts!

  21. says

    I just found you…and I’m so glad I did! My son is allergic to milk, egg, and peanuts. I have made a version of this, but I don’t think it was as good. And I sure as heck don’t remember what I did!! ;)

  22. Amber says

    Wow, this is amazing! Now I’m off to find all of the casseroles I shunned on Pinterest for having cream of chicken soup as an ingredient!

  23. Cheryl says

    Hi Kerry: Met you at the GF expo in Des Moines, helping out my sister KG at their booth! Thanks for this recipe. Since we talked my husband has gone Dairy Free. Did you happen to run across instructions for how to make this Gluten Free? Just wondering what kind of flour I could use. Also, have you ever made a few batches of this and frozen it? How did that work out when thawed? Thanks!

    • says

      Of course I remember you!!

      I haven’t tried freezing it, but I don’t see why you couldn’t. I’m going to try next time I make it!

      Since we aren’t 100% GF in our house, I’m not totally sure on the conversions, but I know most people use a combo of GF flour with xantham gum to replace gluten flour. I’m sure you could easily look it up. Good luck!!

    • says

      Hmmmmm…. That’s a great question. I haven’t yet, but I don’t see why you couldn’t. I don’t see the consistency changing from the freezer, especially if its going in something else. If you try, let us know the results!

  24. Heather says

    This is great! I love to make casseroles but never do because I don’t want to use those cream of ‘anything’ soups. Can I freeze this in small containers?

    • says

      So many are asking this. I don’t see why you couldn’t, but I haven’t tried it. It’s definitely on my list now that so many of you have asked!

  25. says

    I love this. I just made something with cream of chicken last night and was wondering if there was something better out there. Thank you!

  26. says

    Thank you so, so much for this!

    My favorite casserole is a chicken, broccoli, and cheese one that my mom makes. She puts crushed crackers on top and it’s so delicious. She makes fun of me for loving it so much because it’s so easy ;)

    This is kind of weird, but I also used to eat cream of asparagus as a soup. I know of no one else who ever did that!

    • says

      Yah!! I think it’s bc your mom makes it. COMFORT!! I’m telling you! Casseroles = mom food = comfort!

      Cream of asparagus… that sounds so good!!!

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