5-Minute Gluten-Free Cream of Chicken Soup Recipe: Satisfies Everyone

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Sneak Preview: This Gluten-Free Cream of Chicken Soup recipe is a delicious substitute for the red can. Save time and dirty dishes—use the microwave instructions. Customize the ingredients for your own dietary needs or preferences.

cream of chicken soup with a pencil and paper shopping listPin

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Are you tired of “salt pills” packaged as condensed cream soups? Maybe they aren’t available where you live. Or perhaps it’s Thanksgiving eve, and you can’t find any in the pantry to make Aunt Bertha’s casserole.

Three Reasons Why This Recipe Should Be in Your Collection

  1. Avoid an unplanned trip to the store, especially at holiday time.
  2. Making this soup yourself allows you to control the salt and seasonings.
  3. It cooks quickly in the microwave (instructions included for stove-top, too).
  4. Make it fresh or freeze for an emergency.

Happy Cooks Speak Up

“This was so good! I may never buy canned cream of soup again…”NP

Add This One to Your Soup Collection

So far, I’ve tackled condensed cream of mushroom, cream of celery, and now, this chicken soup. If you care about such things, they are all gluten-free. But, of course, you will want to check the labels of the brands you use.

This recipe is the simplest yet. Whisk all ingredients together and microwave for 3 minutes or longer if you have a slow or older microwave.

For those who don’t do microwaves, cook it gently on the stove, frequently stirring until it thickens.

The Better Than Bouillon chicken base pictured below is the primary source of chicken flavor. I prefer it over bouillon cubes or store-bought chicken broth.

Homemade chicken stock would taste better. Unfortunately, reducing the volume to get enough flavor would be best, causing this recipe to take way longer than 5 minutes. That makes the chicken base my first choice.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • EVAPORATED MILK: The original goal of this recipe was to imitate Campbells. The cooked taste of evaporated milk comes closest. Also, evaporated milk is more stable with higher temperatures that may be present in casseroles.
  • VEGETABLE OIL: My vegetable oil of choice is avocado oil. You can substitute any light vegetable oil for avocado oil.
  • CORNSTARCH: Using cornstarch to thicken this soup makes it gluten-free as opposed to using flour. Always check the label to be sure.
  • ONION POWDER: Onion powder is easy. Like evaporated milk, if you want a fresher taste, use fresh or frozen onions instead. You will only need about a tablespoon.
  • WHITE PEPPER: Substitute black pepper or freshly ground pepper.
  • SALT: Leave the salt out completely for a sodium-free version of this recipe.
  • CHICKEN: Rotisserie chicken is my favorite. Plain leftover chicken is always a good choice. Nothing says you can’t use ground beef, leftover roast, or pulled pork if you want to make a cream sauce for biscuits.
  • CHICKEN BASE: Using a base or bouillon gives a more concentrated chicken flavor. I like the reduced-sodium “Better than Bouillon” brand.

mixing soup with a whiskPin

FAQ: 5-Minute Gluten-Free Cream of Chicken Soup Recipe

Can I substitute regular milk for evaporated milk?

Various kinds of fresh milk, from non-fat to half-and-half or heavy cream, will work. However, they won’t stand up to the prolonged cooking many recipes require. For example, if you accidentally let the soup or casserole boil, it may break and curdle.

Can I freeze this soup after I make it?

The most frequently asked question about the other cream soups was regarding freezing the prepared soup. In my experience, yes. It will separate slightly, but a quick warm-up in the microwave followed by vigorous whisking will restore the original creamy texture.thawed chicken soupPin

Will this replace the red can of condensed cream of chicken soup?

Yes, this recipe will yield the same amount. However, if you need two cans, double the recipe.

Do you have recipe ideas for using this soup?

Here are some ideas: Easy Rotisserie Chicken Curry, Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Soup, and Easy Shrimp Etouffee Recipe.

Parting thoughts: This quick and easy 5-minute Gluten-Free Cream of Chicken Soup recipe is perfect for those seeking a healthier, homemade alternative to store-bought versions. This recipe is adaptable for various dietary needs and allows you to control the ingredients for a fresh and flavorful soup. Happy cooking!

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

Yield: 5 1/3 cup-servings (Equal to 1 10-3/4 ounce can)

Gluten-Free Cream of Chicken Soup Recipe

Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup can substitute for the commercial soup sold in the red can.  This allows you to customize for your own taste and dietary needs. Gluten-free.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 12 votes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 minutes
Total time: 13 minutes


  • 1-1/4 cup (284 g) 2% evaporated milk see the notes about evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons chicken base
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • teaspoon white pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons cooked chicken finely chopped


  • Whisk 1-1/4 cup (284 g) 2% evaporated milk, 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons chicken base, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, and 1/8 teaspoon white pepper together in a microwave-safe glass container no less than 1 qt in size. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes until very thick, stopping to whisk mixture after each minute. Microwave ovens vary wildly so, it may be different in yours. Keep cooking and whisking until it gets thick.
  • Alternatively, you may pour the whisked mixture (see notes) into a saucepan or skillet and cook on medium-low on top of the stove until thickened.
  • If you find lumps in the soup, pour it through a strainer. Add 1-2 tablespoons cooked chicken, finely chopped.


1.Use fresh milk instead of evaporated (never sweetened condensed milk), but it will not hold up to prolonged cooking or freezing like the evaporated milk does.
2. If you decide to make this on the stove, I recommend you mix it in a blender first, OR plan to push it through a strainer when it has been cooked. The chicken base doesn’t seem to dissolve as readily as it does in the microwave, so blending it first results in a creamier product.
3. Be advised that microwave ovens vary wildly. If your soup doesn’t thicken after 3 minutes, keep cooking and stirring every minute until it does. (You did add the cornstarch, right?)


Serving: 1 | Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was so good! I may never buy canned cream of soup again…

    1. Hi NP,
      I’m with you on that. None of us need all that salt.

  2. Hi Paula,
    Can you please share how you would make a chicken base by boiling chicken pieces? I am assuming I would not use as much milk if I use the broth from boiling the chicken?

    1. Hi Angie, There are many ways to do it. My favorite method is to use a slow cooker. I put all the chicken, bones, and other flavorings like onions, carrots, celery, peppercorns, and bay leaves in the slow cooker. Set it on LOW for 20 hours. Pour it all through a fine strainer. This really makes bone broth since it cooks long enough to dissolve the gelatin inside the bones. So good!

  3. 5 stars
    I just made this and was very impressed! I will never buy condensed again! Thank you very much for making this recipe and publishing it for all to see!

  4. This is great! Thank you so much! Also if you want a salt free bullion
    I use Herb-ox chicken. It isn’t as strong as the others but does the job and forgoes the sodium! Thanks again

    1. Hi Tiana,

      I’ve heard of that brand. That’s helpful to know about because many people who make this recipe are looking to cut back on salt. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. 5 stars
    I hate it when I want to cook something and have no cream of…soup on hand. I tried your recipe for cream od chicken soup and I will never, never, buy store bought cream of…soup. My recipe turned out better tasting with the home made than store bought. My husband questioned how better it tasted and asked me why and I told him…he agreed it was so much tastier than store bought

  6. 5 stars
    I hate it when I want to cook something and have no cream of…soup on hand. I tried your recipe for cream od chicken soup and I will never, never, buy store bought cream of…soup. My recipe turned out better tasting with the home made than store bought. My husband questioned how better it tasted and asked me why and I told him…he agreed it was so much tastier than store bought

    1. Thanks for the “thumbs-up” Trish!

  7. I use full fat canned coconut milk instead of regular milk due to an allergy… Tastes wonderful.

    1. Glad to hear. I just tried cashew milk in my cream of mushroom recipe and it also turned out just fine. Thanks for writing. paula

  8. I do not have a microwave oven.Can I use a regular oven and what temp,and how long cook.
    Thank You Bruce

    1. Bruce,
      I would not use an oven. See step #2 under instructions and notes for how to make it on top of the stove.

  9. So glad you posted this and can hardly wait to make it. I will keep evaporated milk on hand and have used the Better Than for years. Thank you!

  10. I have a similar recipe using fat free powdered milk, constarch, seasonings and low sodium chicken bouillon flavoring. The recipe makes equivalent to 8 cans of soup and keeps for several months in the refrigerator. I’ ve been using this for several years and use it in stew, casseroles, and so many more dishes. There are so many ways to improve our diets making homemade recipes. I especially love my recipe for instant chocolate pudding. Yum.

  11. Brenda Stuebe says:

    Where do i find the chicken base ingredient ??

  12. Hello, I use cream of ______ soups all the time in my cooking. I am looking very forward to using these instead of the store bought, thank you for posting them. However, I have a question. My sister is having to eat gluten free and she is coming for a visit. Is the mushroom & chicken cream soups gluten free? I am very unfamiliar with gluten free cooking.

  13. susan monk says:

    I am so thankful I found this site – I miss the condensed soups cause I won’t use the canned ones – thanks so much!!!!!

  14. This was my favorite as a kid (many decades ago). Tried it a few years ago, not only was it too salty, now they put MSG, soy and yeast extracts, and something that makes it sweet in in it now. T’was nasty. Thanks for this recipe. Ans yes, the Better than Bouillon is awesome.

  15. Cornstarch is gluten free so this is a great alternative for those of us who try to avoid it! Also, it tastes so much better than the canned variety. Thanks for the recipe. I tried it first this past thanksgiving and it has been a staple ever since.

  16. And another tip to lump proof your recipe (I am a stove top cooker myself) put your main ingredient in the pan first with the dry corn starh or flour to coat the main ingredient (can be the chicken or mushrooms, celery, or onion) and THEN stir the tea to the wet ingredients into that. The cornstarch (or flour) won’t clump!

  17. For Maddie: I did this for years or my son who couldn’t have dairy…I made cream of onion or celery and I always used almond or soy milk. I’d try the rice if you like, it is sweeter, so it may change the flavor a bit.

    Paula: my recipe was from the Better homes and gardens cookbook I got for a wedding present (awesome gift, btw) and it adds a dash of ground mustard. I love it. Worth a try? 🙂

  18. FYI- not gluten free because of the cornstarch, but that can be swapped out for another thickening agent. I’m trying it out today with Potato Statch as the substitute. I’m using it for Potato Soup, so it should sub nicely.

    1. I use Argo brand cornstarch and it says right on the label that it is gluten free. I plan on trying this for my daughter that has Celiacs. She misses the tuna hotdish I used to make.

      1. Hi Becky,
        Yes, Thanks for pointing that out. Some still do not believe. 🙂

  19. If making a crock pot recipe that calls for cream of chicken soup, can I just throw all the ingredients in the crock pot along with the recipe ingredients?

    1. Lisa, I have not tried it. It doesn’t seem like a good idea but can’t say for sure. Paula

  20. Genius!!! As for the canning question. I believe it is not advised to home can anything containing milk, eggs, cornstarch or flour. There is a canning website called sbcanning.com the lady that runs it is a wealth of knowledge about canning. I can’t wait to give this recipe a try. A lot of our faves require that stuff in the red can 🙂

    1. Thanks for pitching in regarding canning this stuff. I don’t do it and wouldn’t consider it but many have asked.

  21. Unfortunately the Better than Bouillon chicken base contains yeast extract otherwise known as MSG. This ingredient causes a significant allergic reaction in many, and avoiding it is the reason I need to make my own cream of chicken soup. How disappointing to find this ingredient in an organic product.

    1. Why? Yeast is organic. Some of us have to avoid peanuts, or eggs, or a wide variety of other things, and some of us have to avoid MSG, which occurs naturally in a wide variety of food. For instance, tomatoes, cheese, papaya and many seaweeds if you’re a sushi lover.

      1. Unfortunately, this is inaccurate. MSG does not ever, ever occur naturally – glutamates do. MSG is a chemically processed version of these, meant as a preservative and artificial ‘savory’ taste. L type glutamates are found naturally, whereas MSG contains D type, as well as chemically tweaked ratios that tip into the toxic realm. To compare the two types would be similar to comparing a freshly cut stalk of cane sugar from your backyard to a storebought bag of bleached, processed white granulated sugar. In fact, MSG kills brain cells so definitely that scientists use it when that’s their aim in research or experiments. …I’d recommend avoiding it.

        1. I don’t know where you got that idea, because it is very much not the case. Google ‘Foods that naturally contain MSG’ and you will find the shock of your life. Like this for instance…

          ‘Glutamate occurs naturally in protein-containing foods such as cheese, milk, mushrooms, meat, fish, and many vegetables. Glutamate is also produced by the human body and is vital for metabolism and brain function. Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is the sodium salt of glutamate.’

          1. All of that is correct. “Glutamate” is natural, even found in breast milk. “MSG” is made :into: he “sodium salt” by manual chemical process. It is the :type: of glutamates that is important here. MSG does not occur naturally, it is made.

  22. Love it!! Thanks. We just made my son’s favorite ‘chicken and cheese’ recipe for his birthday last week and I had a fleeting thought “it is so nice, I wonder if we could make it healthier by doing my own cream soup?” and then quickly dismissed the thought since it is cream of chicken and cream of cheese. Well, thanks to you, I am half way there and –at least- already tracking less salt!

  23. Can you make batches of this and freeze it freezer bags for later use?

  24. Is there a way to make this dairy free? I may try rice milk… Anyone tried it before?

    (My son can’t have dairy or soy and is nursing – so none for me either!)

  25. Are you able to can this? Bell/mason jar if so how??? 🙂

    1. Good question…..but, I don’t know the answer. I am not an expert in home canning nor have I tried it. Perhaps somebody else can answer from experience.

  26. Saver Mom says:

    This is a much easier to make than I thought it would be! I love that you’ve used a lower sodium bouillon too. Now that I’m looking for it, too much sodium seems to be everywhere in the grocery stores. I’d like to make a big batch of this for my freezer. Any idea how long it will keep?

    1. Mom,
      I can’t say for sure. I like it best fresh but if I do freeze it, seems like I use it quickly. Maybe 6 mos? maybe even longer but haven’t tried it myself.

  27. Paula, you’re my new heroine! I’ve been looking for Cream of… recipes forever!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  28. Thanks so much for this! You have just blessed my day! 🙂

  29. Paula it’s just awesome that you created your own condensed creamed soups, I must try this. I always love your recipes!

  30. This recipe is a gem! I used it tonight in a new recipe for taco soup, and it worked like a charm. I am thrilled never to need store bought cream of chicken soup again. Thanks so much!

    1. Love to hear from people who actually try the recipe. Thanks so much Jocelyn.

  31. Just in time for the holidays. Sounds delish! Thanks for the recipe:)

  32. I have stopped using the condensed soups because of the high sodium and will definitely try this in my favorite chicken enchilada recipe. I love the Better than Bouillon, and have some in my refrigerator. 🙂