How to Make Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom Soup

So many of the favorite dishes from my childhood started with a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup. Poppy Seed Chicken, Chicken Rollups, Chicken Spaghetti Casserole, my Grandmother’s gravy….all unattainable on a gluten free diet until you learn how to make a white sauce.

For more great gluten free recipes like this one, make sure to check out my ebook, The Gluten Free Survival Guide. It’s full of all of my favorite GF recipes, like sandwich bread, waffles and tortillas, plus I cover how to make great soups, sauces and gravy. I know you’ll enjoy the recipes as much as my family does!

Cream of Mushroom Soup

I first discovered white sauce in my great-grandmother’s cookbook. My grandmother gave it to me when she was cleaning out her house and there were so many recipes that I had never heard of. The book got packed away in my hope chest until John started eating gluten free during our last year of college. I pulled it out and began making white sauces, otherwise known as Bechamel. We had a lot of fun trying different variations and ended up eating a lot of casseroles and pastas. If you’re trying this for the first time, I highly recommend a bottle of wine, good music, and a relaxed evening.

P.S. The picture from the Gluten Free Contest is a close-up of this Cream of Mushroom Soup. Three people guessed correctly, but Natalie at Gluten Free Mommy is the winner and gets to pick the topic of my next post.

How to Make Cream of Mushroom Soup

This post is really about learning technique, so I’m going to post the recipe separately. There are a lots of different bechamel sauces, but the process of making them all is the same. The following is the basic structure – the bones – of making a good sauce. Once you’ve gotten this down you’ll be able to improvise to your heart’s content.

Sauté the Mushrooms
Sauteed Mushrooms
First, dice about 8 oz. of portabella mushrooms and sauté them in a little bit of olive oil until they release their juices. Set the mushrooms aside, we’re going to stir them in at the end.

Melt the Unsalted Butter
Melt Unsalted Butter
Over medium-low heat, melt 4 tbsp. of unsalted butter. Go ahead and splurge and use the really good stuff =)

Whisk in the Gluten Free Flour
Once you’ve started whisking in the flour, you’re officially making a roux. This is the same stuff that Louisianians’ use to make gumbo, but we’re not going to let ours get that dark.

The traditional recipe for bechamel sauce uses equal measurements of flour and butter. The recipe that I followed here called for quite a bit more, so your roux may not get as thick.

I’ve used brown rice flour, but feel free to use your favorite gluten free flour. Just be sure that you like the taste of it because it will come through in the sauce.

So now, just add a little flour to the butter and whisk it in. Once that flour is mixed in, add a little bit more and whisk again. At first it will look like this:
Whisk Flour into Butter but it will eventually form a paste that is somewhat like the consistency of cake icing. Start Adding Liquid to the Roux. Keep whisking the roux over the heat and allow it to cook until the floury taste has lessened.

Now Start Adding the Liquid
Once you’ve added all of the flour, you can start adding the liquids. In fact, I think that I had already started adding vegetable stock in the picture above and the roux had started to expand a bit. When you’re making a bechamel sauce you should either add cold liquid to a hot roux, or cold roux to a hot liquid. In this case our roux is hot, so the liquids should be cold.

In the recipe that I’m making in the picture, I added vegetable stock and then cream. Many bechamel sauces will only call for cream. After I had whisked in all of the stock my sauce looked like this:Bechamel after adding stock. After adding the cream it looked like this:Bechamel After Adding Cream

When you add the liquids it’s important to just add a little bit and then whisk it in. Once that liquid is incorporated, add a little bit more. At first the roux will absorb all of the liquid and it will seem to be making something almost like dough. Just keep adding liquid a little at a time, and keep whisking. If you think you’ve added too much liquid, keep whisking. Roux is an amazing thickener and it will keep thickening as you cook. The only times I’ve gotten in trouble with a Bechamel sauce is when I’ve added more flour at this point – don’t do that unless it’s been cooking for a really long time and is just not getting thick again.

Add the Mushrooms Back to the Soup
Once you’ve finished adding the liquids, you can stir the mushrooms back into the soup.
Cream of Mushroom SoupFeel free to let the soup sit over low heat while you finish the other parts of your meal. A thick skin may form on the surface of the soup, but you can easily reincorporate it by whisking the sauce.

Proceed with Dinner
If you were planning on having the soup as soup, then serve up some bowls and enjoy! Otherwise, go ahead and add it to any recipe that calls for cream of mushroom soup and continue that recipe according to its instructions.


  1. I am going to try to make this. I hope I do it right. I am used to just opening a can of Campbell cream of mushroom soup. I hope it does not have a floury aftertaste. How do I make it fatfree like campbells.

    Cream of Mushroom is one of my favorite soups. Yum


  2. Hey mary frances!
    I love homemade cream soups! I had make them before going gluten-free, but I LOVE making them now! That was acutally one of the first things i learned to make, after going GF! Great instructional photos! Wow, blueberry muffins were sure wrong! haha!

  3. JoyAngel,
    Good for you! I’d love to hear how it turns out. I didn’t have any floury tasted with the brown rice flour, but I imagine you would with something like chickpea or soy flour.
    I don’t think it’s possible to make it fat-free. I just checked the nutrition data on the Campbell’s and almost 50% of the calories come from fat. But, to decrease the fat use light cream or half and half instead of heavy cream. Regular milk will not work well because it doesn’t have enough fat to prevent it from curdling.

  4. Hi Carrie!
    It is fun, isn’t it! I really felt like I could cook once I learned to make a cream sauce =)
    I was relieved to get your guess of blueberry muffins – I was afraid that I’d made it too easy and that it wouldn’t be any fun. I’m still not sure how John came up with cabbage though!
    Natalie has already made her pick, and we’ll be having a post on homemade french fries or hush puppies in the next few days.

  5. Quick question: I would like to do something like this dairy free as well as gluten free. Is there any suitable substitutions that I can use? My wife is Ciliac, plus she’s allergic to cow milk products. She can do goat milk, but anything would help. Thanks in advance.

  6. Hi Scot,
    We’re actually mostly dairy free and I use a combination of soy milk and canola oil as a substitution for the cream that would usually be in a bechamel sauce.

    In Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe No. 1 I used a 3:1 ratio of soy milk to canola oil. So for that recipe, which calls for 1.5 cups cream, I use 1 1/8 c. soy milk (or whatever milk you use) and 3/8 c. oil.

    I’ve been whisking the milk and oil together right before and as I add them to the other ingredients. I don’t know if this is necessary, but I thought it would probably recreate “cream” as much as possible. So far the results have been good, which means no one has noticed that there’s been a substitution =)

  7. Thanks for the reply! In addition, I have to agree, that if no one notices the substitution, then its a good sub ;)

  8. Hi, I just finished making this, its really good, I added about 5 TBLS of garlic powder. I was wondering if I can freeze it? If not do you know how long it would stay good in the fridge?
    thanks for the recipe….your website is great!!

  9. Betty, If you want to freeze it do so before you add the milk. If I’m remembering correctly, freezing milk damages its molecular structure and the end product would not be as good. I’ve kept the soup in my refrigerator for about 5 days and it was fine. However I did use soy milk which doesn’t seem to spoil as quickly as cow milk.

  10. Thank you for the reply, I’m using it tomorrow to make Ham and potato bake. It was one of our favorite before going GF, it will be nice to have it again

  11. Hi am doing a GCSE dida Coursework and I need your permission for the mushroom soup

    Thanks =]

  12. Jamie, You’re welcome to use it in your school work.

  13. Oh thank goodness for you :) I just found out I am allergic to many things that you are using to subsitute for the milk, pardon my question but I still haven’t gotten the GF, CF…. lingo down. I can’t have soy either, do you think that Rice Dream would be alright in the soup with the oil to soy milk ratio you expained earlier? Thanks for help, I sure could use it!

  14. Anna,
    Please be aware that Rice Dream is NOT gluten Free! It’s not listed in the ing. list but on the box it does say it contains Barley – so beware!

  15. Anna,
    My son is GF CF. We use Almond Milk and we use a product called DariFree. DariFree is hard to find but made from potatoes. It is a dry mix that you mix up. Website to find it is

    Hope this helps. (No clue how either would taste with the mushroom soup though)

  16. I am bit confused about Lactic acid. It is in lunch meat like salami and my casiene free, wheat free, not gluten free, child breaks out with it. The doctor says it is because of the milk in it, I figured that was the lactic acid. Well, I noticed that the Darifree dry milk, all lunch meats, all hotdogs and alot of other foods have lactic acid in it. I also know that if it says veagan it is ok because they eat nothing from any animal not even their milk. I don’t know if other milks (ie…goats milk) will have casiene in it, either. Does anyone else know the answers to these questions?

  17. If I wanted to make Cream of Chicken also, instead of adding the mushrooms, would I just add cooked chicken? I figured the base would be the same. Pretty much the only Campbell’s soups we eat are Cream of Chicken, Mushroom and Cheese. I just recently looked at the back of the can and saw how much other junk was in there. It motivated me to find an alternative. Thanks for your help.

  18. I was wondering how to use it in certair recipes that call for a can of cream of mushroom soup, and how to compensate for the extra liquid that is in homemade cream soups. Canned cream soups are condensed, so would you take some of the other added liquid out of the recipe or ??? If not, wouldn’t it be too runny/liquidy? This is the one thing that has kept me from making some of my son’s favorite recipes that call for a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, and I would love to be able to surprise him with some of his old favorites.


  19. @Raegan: Great question. If the recipe calls for other liquids, then I would add the cream of mushroom soup first and then add enough of the other liquids to get to the consistency that you want. Alternatively, you could add less liquids to the cream of mushroom soup so that it starts out thicker.

  20. I can never find the good GF sites like I hear about. I came upon this one by accident! I’ve been GF for 7 years and only found a support group a year ago. Soooo much information I needed and so many people to help with the details… like, my daily migraine med contained gluten!!! Once off that I could see better….. crazy stuff! I can’t eat lactose either so I do improvise some things but lots of things just aren’t worth eating when flavor AND texture are wrong. I’ve lost weight since going GF and I’m sure not starving but adding one food or one sauce or one new thing sure improves life since so many things fall under “I can’t eat that” category. Thanks for the soup info. I’ll try it. I eat mushrooms a lot.

    • @ Linda: You’ve come to the right place then. We don’t use cow’s milk either, and very little cheese. And food with bad texture or flavor is not allowed in my kitchen =) It may take several rounds of testing to get a recipe right, but by golly it will be right by the time I’m done with it!

  21. Phyllis Alford says:

    I’m 62 years old and I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 12/03. I’ve never had any follow up since the original diagnosis. I’ve never knowingly eaten anything with gluten. I thought that I was doing everything right. Imagine my shock when I had multiple health problems following the flu, which required EGD and Colonoscopy. The doctor said it was the worst case of Celiac she’d ever seen. It was everywhere, Esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon. I’ve been getting some hidden glutens. I’m working closely with a dietition and the physician (one knowledgable about Celiac Dz), and hope to be on the road to good health soon. I’ve never had any symptoms, therefore, I don’t know what’s going on inside. I was diagnosed due to fractures and decreased Dexa scans.
    I really appreciate this website. I stumbled on accidently while having a pity party. That’s behind me now. I’d appreciate any help.

  22. Pamela Coney says:

    I think this sounds simple. It reminds me of making gravy.

  23. wanted to see if u could give some amts on cream and broth? i am pretty much a novice cook so i am one of those needy for lots of specifics. just diagnosed w/celiac so am thankful for ideas of how to cook. pics r great!

  24. @Page: Here’s the link to the recipe for gluten free cream of mushroom soup recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

  25. Deana Truman says:

    I have always substituted sweet rice flour (i think also called mochiko or something like that…I’m not at home to check) for thickening flour in soups, stews, etc. even if i wasn’t celiac I think I would prefer it…use it just like regular flour when making a roux

  26. Is there a dairy-free version? Could I just add plain rice milk, or plain almond mild to this instead of the milk/cream? And I too would like to try variations of this with chicpea flour, chicken, etc.

  27. Thank you for this recipe. I have a gluten free recipe book etal, but I just can’t seem to get off the ground with the new learnings since realizing that wheat, barley and rye are absolutely off the menu. But this is simple. One simple thing at a time, and we’re re-adjusting the old family favorites and finding new ones. I needed the bechamel recipe for ham gravy (or dried chipped beef) and googled. Voila! And now I bookmark. Thank you for pioneering and posting for all of us. I am going to try the portabella soup at some point, too…

  28. I have made roux for a long time. One way I made it was to add powdered milk to the flour and butter/margarine then add the chicken stock. It worked really well. The milk I used was skim. Currently I am wheat and dairy intolerant so that method doesn’t work any more. I made a really great chicken stew that way.

  29. I make my own cream of mushroom soup.I chop up 1/2
    mushrooms saute in a little olive oil add about 2cups of Trader Joe’s Low Sodium,Fat free,Gluten free Broth.I simmer it for about 10min.I then add 1Tab of cornstarch or
    potato starch to some of the cold broth mix it well.Add it slowly to the hot broth and stir until it gets to the consistancy that you need.If you want it thicker just repeat the last process.Taste it to adjust seasoning.Add seasoning to you taste.At the
    last moment add some plain rice milk to it makes it a little creamer and also looks
    more like cream of mushroom
    soup.You could probably do the same thing with celery.I’ve never done it but it probably
    will work.

  30. Where is the actual receipe for the soup?

  31. Can you tell me where the actual recipe for “Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom Soup” is posted? I read the above technique, but can’t find the recipe. I want to make this for my Grandson when he comes to visit us for the holiday, as he loves cream of mushroom soup, but no longer can have it because of his gluten allergy.



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