Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cream of Chicken Soup Dry Mix ($0.23 per "can")

$0.23 per can            82% savings             save $73.44 yearly

I have found it!

And it is PERFECT!

... At least it's the best of the six "cream of chicken soup" recipes I've tested over the last year or so

A big shout-out, and major kudos to Pennies & Pancakes reader, Katie, for submitting her recipe!

I now feel completely comfortable calling this my "go-to" recipe as a substitute for the canned yellow-y goo.

Since cream of chicken soup is a staple in many homes, I even took time to do the cost breakdown and price comparison. HUGE SAVINGS!!

The canned glop contains all kinds of... well... chemical junk I can't even pronounce. 

... Plus there's the fact that when it squelches out of the can and plops into the pot, it looks like a mini Jabba the Hutt... and he's super gross. 

If you don't know who Jabba the Hutt is... Behold:

Image courtesy of
He's basically an emptied out can of cream of chicken soup with eyes.

All joking aside, the COOLEST thing about this recipe is its simplicity:

4 ingredients. 2 minutes. Done. 

I've tried my hand at a few other recipes with longer ingredient lists, but this one still comes out on top. This is one of those instances where less is more.

The mix works perfectly as a sub for the canned stuff in soups, stews, casseroles, crock-pot dishes... basically ANY recipe that calls for cream of chicken soup. 

Katie's original version calls for cornstarch. I prefer the texture/flavor/consistency of the version with all-purpose flour. It turns out great either way. 

I used this mix just yesterday to make one of my all-time favorite fall-weather soups... (which will be featured in the next few days... wink, wink... nudge, nudge... be excited!...).


NOW might be the perfect time to try your hand at this awesome mix. 

You'll never go back!

Cream of Chicken Soup Mix
Printable Version

*Makes approx. 11 servings (equivalent to 1 can)

1 1/2 C. flour (or 3/4 C. cornstarch... I like flour best)
2 C. non-fat dry milk
2 Tbsp. dried minced onions
1/4 C. chicken base (Better than Bullion or similar... I use Tone's)

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Cut in the chicken base with a fork or pastry cutter till thoroughly blended. Pour mixture into a ziplock bag. Store in the refrigerator.

Combine 1/3 cup mix with 1 1/4 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir constantly, and allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and use as desired.

~ Savings ~

Cost Breakdown
25 lb. flour - $7.20 = 94.5 C = $0.077/C = $0.116
25.6 oz. non-fat dry milk - $7.78 = 10.7 C = $0.729/C = $1.458
15 oz. dry minced onions - $12.60 = 80 T = $0.158/T = $0.316
16 oz. chicken base - $3.98 = 76 tsp = $0.52/tsp = $0.624
Total Recipe Cost = $2.51
Cost Per Serving (Can) = $0.23

The Contender
Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (10.75 oz.) = $1.25

Savings: 82%

"Over a Year" Scenario 
Use 72 cans (6/month) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup = $90.00
Use equivalent Cream of Chicken Soup Mix = $16.56

Money Saved = $73.44 


  1. Well, I'm going to have to try it. I've loved my homemade cream soup recipe but if you are saying this one is better, I'm willing to give it a go and be convinced! :) Thanks for posting it!

    1. Lydia, yours is great as well! The thing I love about this recipe is that it's only 4 ingredients, and it can be stored in bulk as a dry mix. For me personally, I found the extra ingredients in many recipes weren't necessary to the overall flavor. HOWEVER.. I don't eat cream of chicken soup plain. i'm sure there are people who do, and in that case, I'd probably season it a bit more. But for typical use as an "ingredient" in other dishes, I LOVE this!!

  2. How long does this dry mix store in the fridge?

    1. Jessica,
      Honestly... it would last at least one year if properly refrigerated in an air-tight container. Hope this helps! :)

  3. Do you use instant or non-instant dry milk in this recipe?

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Great question! I use instant non-fat milk. I believe that non-instant is cheaper, but I prefer the flavor of the instant. :)

  4. Ooh, I've been waiting for you to post something for FOREVER. How's your baby doing? You're in my prayers. Also, this recipe is going to be a total lifesaver. You wanna know how many times a recipe has called for cream of chicken soup and I clicked the back button and searched for others. Not anymore! Thanks again, Andrea, for yet another great recipe!

  5. I am excited to give this recipe a try. Do you have any idea if it can be used in a crock pot? So many crock pot recipes call for a can of cream of something.

  6. Thanks for this recipe! Im going to try it with a seafood base to see if it will compare to a creamy seafood soup I have used in recipes.
    Thanks again

  7. Where would one find chicken base? I have no idea what I'm looking for but would love to try this. Thanks!

    1. Chicken base is most commonly found in a glass jar. "Better than Bullion" is a popular brand. Most grocery stores carry it. It would be in the soup aisle. If all else fails, you can ask a store employee to point you in the right direction.

  8. This looks great! Will have to try this soon!

  9. Thanks for visiting my Pecan Pie and am so glad since I immediately came over to return the sweet visit!! I just found this very clever replacement! I am definitely pinning and sharing on my Facebook Page:))

    PS Now following via email! Don't want to miss any more of your clever money saving ideas!!

  10. I haven't looked at the ingredient list for powdered milk in a while and have never used Better Than Bouillon, but if you're ingredient-watching, be sure to look over the ingredients lists of those parts of this recipe as well. I, too, have tried several homemade "cream of" soup recipes and none tasted like what I wanted it too. I'm happy to know where this one is and will remember to try it when I need to! Most of the time when I need a can or two I'll often just whip together a simple white-sauce (butter, flour, milk) and add some of the organic chicken base I use (I forget the brand, but it's from Costco and doesn't have strange ingredients). Thanks for sharing this! Can't wait to look over more of your blog since we're also penny-pinching.

  11. This is fantastic! Thank you for sharing this recipe! I made stroganoff the other night, and had to use cream of chicken soup... and although it was quick, easy, and tasty... I still felt guilty knowing that there is so much CRAP in that canned stuff.... ugg! Haha, loving the Jabba the Hut reference! :)
    Jess (

  12. I don't think there is a chicken soup base on the market that doesn't contain some form of MSG, so this is a no go for me. I also do not use powdered milk. I happily make my cream of chicken from my own homemade broth. It doesn't taste like it came out of a can, and that makes me happy :)

    1. Hi Stacey,
      I use Tone's chicken base from sam's club. No MSG added, which is nice. :) I also have a recipe for homemade broth on this site. You're right that nothing beats the homemade version. For thsoe who don't have time, or don't roast their own chickens very often to make broth, this is a nice compromise recipe for homemade cream of chicken soup. If you have the desire, you can feel free to post your own recipe for homemade cream of chicken soup in this comments section, as I'm sure it would be beneficial to my readers. Thanks!

  13. can you use whole wheat flour instead of white flour? My family is clean eating do you know of instant milk that would be clean eating friendly?

    1. I've never tried it... I wish I could tell you for sure. Based on my prior cooking experience, I think you would end up with a pretty drastic difference in taste/consistency... of course that may not be a bad thing. If you end up trying a small batch with whole wheat, would you please let me know how things go for you?

  14. could this be frozen and do u have a cream of mushroom version

    1. I think you'd be okay freezing it... but the thawed version may result in a different texture. For a mushroom version, don't add the chicken base to the dry mix. When you want to make the cream of mushroom version, add 3-4 Tbsp finely diced mushrooms to the 1/3 cup of dry mix and the 1 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil for 1 minute, stirring continuously.

    2. I realized I forgot the salt... You'll want to add about 1/3 tsp along with the mushrooms to the 1/3 cup of dry mix.

  15. Do you have a cream of mushroom recipe? That would be wonderful if you did!!!

    1. Hi Steph! Yes, I do... I'll copy it from above, since I just barely answered the question for that reader as well... For a mushroom version, don't add the chicken base to the dry mix. When you want to make the cream of mushroom version, add 3-4 Tbsp finely diced mushrooms to the 1/3 cup of dry mix and the 1 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Good luck!

    2. Thank you soooo much!!!! you don't even know how much your site has helped me!!!!

    3. You're welcome! I'm happy to help! :)

    4. Oops! I also forgot to add that along with the mushrooms you'll want to add 1/3 tsp of salt.

  16. Hi there! I just want to say I love your website. I haven't tried this recipe yet, but I plan to, but I also just got a deep freezer and am on this 'whole food from scratch' kick. I was wondering if you had a cream of chicken soup recipe that doesn't use powdered milk or bouillon (you know, real milk, real chicken?) that is freezable (I just discovered freezer canning! Woo!) I'm still going to mix this up and give it a try. Casseroles are awesome!

    1. Thanks, Kimberly! I;ve used this recipe with success:
      I've never tried to freeze it, but the comments below the recipe say it freezes just fine. I hope it works out well for you!

  17. My stepson turned me onto chicken base several years ago...He is a professional cook. We live north of the Lake from New Orleans so seasonings are mandatory in all our foods. They also sell beef, mushroom and vegetable base in my store. This is a great recipe for around the holidays especially.


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