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Vegetarian Substitute for Cream of Chicken Soup

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Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD

Cream of Chicken Soup is often used to create cozy, comforting dishes in the fall and winter. 

Of course, you can just thin it out a bit and eat it as a soup. But more often, cream of chicken soup is used in casseroles, pasta, chili, chicken and dumplings, enchiladas, risotto, pot pies, and even other soups.

However, vegetarian it is not…

You can’t just use vegetable broth or water in its place though, or you’ll end up with a watery end product, without all that comforting creamy texture.  And we need that when the temperature dips, right?

Luckily we have a few options.

Cream of (not chicken) soups

Perhaps the easiest substitution is to simply choose another condensed creamy soup base.

Vegetarian Substitutes for Cream of Chicken Soup include:

  • Cream of potato soup
  • Cream of mushroom soup
  • Cream of Celery soup
  • Cream of asparagus soup

My favorite is cream of mushroom soup, and I will totally eat this alone!

When choosing your vegetarian option, consider what flavors would fit well with the rest of your recipe.  In my own, humble opinion, cream of mushroom will almost always work.

Cream of celery and cream of asparagus will have a stronger flavor, which may compete with other ingredients. Of course, if there’s asparagus or celery in your recipe, it may fit even better!

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Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt

I almost always have a large tub of plain Greek Yogurt in my fridge. There’s often some sour cream in there as well. 

These items will definitely cover the creamy aspect of cream of chicken soup. However, you’ll likely need to add additional seasoning than the recipe calls for. Consider garlic and onion powder for sure.

There’ll be a nice tang to the final dish that may make it even better than the soup would have.

Vegan Protein Broth

This product is a bit harder to find. In fact, until recently, I’ve only seen it at Wal-Mart!

It’s made out of lentils, so retains that starchy, creamy texture. While thinner than canned cream of chicken soup, it could be a good substitute in soup, risotto, or pasta recipes.

More recently, Sprouts has started stocking another product, made from pea protein. I haven’t tried it yet, but there are 2 seasoned products that appear to be similar to the lentil-based broth I’ve tried before.

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White Sauce

Also called a Bechamel sauce. 

To make this, melt butter in a pan, then add equal part flour.  When well combined (will resemble a grainy paste) add milk until the desired consistency is achieved. The flour will give it a nice creamy texture and thicken up whatever else you are cooking.

To make this vegan, choose olive oil, vegan butter, or margarine and use an unsweetened plant-based milk substitute. 

Season with salt, pepper, and garlic and onion powder.

Make your own!

This is the most involved option on the list, but it is possible to make a vegetarian cream of “chicken” soup that is similar to what you’d find in a can. 

Here’s a quick recipe for you

Vegetarian Substitute for Cream of Chicken Soup

A vegetarian option for those family recipes with cream of chicken soup!
3.75 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 can
Calories: 393kcal
Author: Jenn

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Butter I used salted, choose vegan butter or margarine for a vegan option
  • 1 tbsp Flour All Purpose
  • ½ cup 2% milk Or choose an unflavored plant milk, if vegan
  • ½ cup Better than Bouillon's vegan chicken broth Any brand would work! Or even just plain vegetable broth.
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a small saucepan.
  • Add flour and whisk until incorporated and smooth.
  • Add milk, broth, salt, and pepper
  • Bring to a boil, and whisk continuously for 2 minutes.
  • The soup should be done, but if you want to make it thicker, reduce heat to a simmer and whisk until desired consistency is achieved.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 796mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1420IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 0.4mg

*Nutrition Facts are an estimate only. Differences are expected when making substitutions for any ingredient or when different brands are used.

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I hope this helps “vegetarian-ize” all your holiday recipes this season. Let me know if you’ve tried other options!

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