Gluten-Free Cream of Celery Soup Recipe: Easy to Customize

Sneak Preview: This Gluten-Free Cream of Celery Soup recipe is easily customizable for your dietary needs. Easy directions are included for both microwave and stove-top users.

cream of celery soup in a glass jarPin

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How long has it been since you made your favorite casserole because you need it to be salt or gluten-free? If that recipe calls for condensed cream of celery soup, try making it yourself with this recipe. Cornstarch is the thickening agent and is generally gluten-free. Salt is easy to leave out or use a salt substitute.

Cooks who liked my homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup and Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup have requested other varieties of condensed cream soups.

In time for Thanksgiving, I revisited the idea. Condensed cream of celery soup is the result. Customize this soup with herbs and other vegetables if you desire.

Happy Cooks Speak Up

“This recipe was so easy! I really appreciate the microwave directions. Worked so well.” SARAH

What Variations Can I Use With This Recipe?

Try different herbs such as thyme, oregano, or parsley. Add some chopped carrots, broccoli, red peppers, or shallots. Get creative.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • CELERY: Opt for fresh celery whenever possible. If you find yourself with excess, consider freezing chopped celery for future use. It works perfectly in this recipe.
  • VEGETABLE OIL: I prefer using avocado oil, but any light vegetable oil will do as a substitute.
  • EVAPORATED MILK: Originally designed to mimic Campbell’s, this recipe leans on evaporated milk for its cooked flavor, and its stability under higher casserole temperatures.
  • CORNSTARCH: Using cornstarch to thicken this soup makes it gluten-free as opposed to using flour. Always check the label for any hidden gluten content.
  • ONION POWDER: For convenience, onion powder is a go-to choice. However, for a fresher taste, feel free to use fresh or frozen onions, roughly about a tablespoon.
  • WHITE PEPPER: Substitute black pepper or freshly ground pepper.
  • CELERY SALT: If you’re looking to enhance flavor, celery salt does the job. You can swap it with regular salt or omit it entirely for a sodium-free version of this 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. If you accidentally let the soup or casserole boil, it may break and curdle.

frozen celery and vacuum-packed celeryPin

Kitchen Tip: How To Freeze Celery

Speaking of celery, here’s a nifty kitchen tip you might not know: you can freeze it! Freezing is the ultimate rescue mission for that leftover celery that often languishes in the produce drawer, becoming brown and slimy.

Now, you might not want to use frozen celery in your crisp chicken salad, but when your recipe calls for cooked celery, it’s an absolute champ. Simply chop up the fresh celery, toss it into a plastic bag, and treat it like your trusty stash of frozen chopped onions or peppers.

For an even cooler trick, consider vacuum-sealing those celery stalks in a glass jar, just like how I vacuum-pack my cut lettuce. Both will stay fresh longer in the fridge, giving you extra days to enjoy their crisp goodness.

How To Make Gluten-Free “Cream of Celery” Soup in a Microwave

showing how to make celery soup in the microwavePin
  1. Place celery in a microwave-safe glass bowl and add oil.
  2. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 3-4 minutes until celery is soft.
  3. Add 1 cup evaporated milk.
  4. Add seasonings and cornstarch.
  5. Whisk well until you don’t see any lumps.
  6. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes or until thick, whisking after 1 minute.

How To Make Celery Soup on the Stove

storyboard showing how to make celery soup on the stovePin
  1. Saute celery (and onions if substituting for onion powder) in oil.
  2. Add milk.
  3. Add spices and cornstarch. Whisk well.
  4. Cook gently and whisk constantly until thickened.

What About Freezing?

Freezing soup made with fresh milk may result in some separation when it thaws. You may or may not care, depending on how you use it. Evaporated milk is more stable and, in my opinion, results in a product closest to that found in the can.

Parting Thoughts: Be sure to bookmark or pin this link to all three of my condensed soup recipes.

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at 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.

condensed cream of celery soup made from scratch in a glass jar with a spatula on the side.Pin
Yield: 3 servings

Gluten-Free Cream of Celery Soup Recipe

Make your very own customized condensed cream of celery soup using a whisk and a microwave. Tailor it to your taste preferences and dietary needs for a delightful homemade experience! Stove-top instructions included.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 27 votes
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes
Total time: 12 minutes


  • ¾ cup (75 g) finely chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) vegetable or avocado oil
  • 1 cup (252 g) 2% evaporated milk 8-ounces
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder or substitute 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt or table salt
  • pinch (Pinch) of sugar


Microwave Method

  • Place 3/4 cup (75 g) finely chopped celery and 1 tablespoon (14 g) vegetable or avocado oil into a 2 quart glass microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 minutes. (If substituting onion for onion powder, add the onion to the celery to knock off the crunchiness.)
  • Add 1 cup (252 g) 2% evaporated milk, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/8 teaspoon ( teaspoon) white pepper, 1/4 teaspoon (¼ teaspoon) celery salt or table salt, and pinch (Pinch) of sugar and whisk until smooth.
  • Microwave for 2 minutes, stopping to whisk after 1 minute and again when finished.

Stove-Top Method

  • Saute celery (and onion if substituting for powder) in hot oil in skillet over medium heat.
  • When vegetables are softened, add milk, then whisk in remaining ingredients. Stir constantly and cook gently until thickened.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 315mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 119IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Amazing taste and so simple to make. Thank you for this recipe!

    1. You’re most welcome, Sandie. So glad it worked for you.

  2. This recipe was so easy! I really appreciate the microwave directions. Worked so well.

    1. Glad you liked it, Sarah. I like to use my microwave anytime I can.

  3. Sharon Williams says:

    Hi! I will be using this recipe to make green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. I need it to be gluten free and am wondering if I could use gluten free flour instead of corn starch and could I substitute butter for the oil? Thanks! I realize I am cutting this close to the holiday so if I don’t hear back from you in time I will just experiment!

    1. Hi Sharon,
      I have not tried gluten-free flour myself. Would think that butter would work fine although I haven’t tried that either. Hope it works for you. Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. How long can you keep it in the refrigerator?

  5. So I just prepared this using the microwave. I plan on using it in a tuna rice casserole that I have always used the canned soup in. I can’t seem to figure out if this makes an amount equal to one can, and is it truly condensed? As in, am I supposed to add an equal amount of water if the recipe says to add one can of water? It looks really good, but mostly all I tasted was the cornstarch. Maybe I need more salt or to cook it longer? Thank you! I love how easy this was!

    1. Hi Wendy,
      I use this soup exactly the way I would a can of soup from the store. It is truly condensed. I can’t imagine eating it straight up without adding water or milk–way too thick and rich. I’m not sure about the cornstarch taste. I do not detect it myself. This soup has considerably less salt than what you get at the store. You might try adding more salt if that’s what you are use to.

      You should cook it until it is very thick–however long that takes. Of course, it will become a lot thicker as it cools.

  6. I made this for my Funeral Potatoes recipe and it worked great. Fantastic flavor and I know exactly what ingredients used were. Thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      Love this!!!! Made it for a casserole – perfect taste and so easy!! Do you have a recipe for the store canned cream of chicken? Thanks a million times!!!!

  7. Do you need to add the oil if you are using the microwave version?

    1. Amber,
      Oil adds flavor, improves the texture, and gives you a product closer to what most people are used to out of the can. But you can leave it out if you like.

  8. Leah Scholten says:

    Is this recipe equivalent to one can of the name brand stuff or is it more?

    1. Hi Leah, Yes. Same amount as a regular can of Campbells soup.

  9. Can this be frozen or canned for later use? I need to restock my pantry and might just make rather than buy!

    1. Yes, it can be frozen. Have not tried to can it so can’t say about that. It may separate slightly when thawed but if you nuke it a bit and give it a good whisk, it will be smooth again.

  10. Thank you for all your condensed cream soup recipes! We have a gluten allergy in our home, and all cream soups on the shelf have gluten! Your recipes have given us some of our favorite dishes back!! Thank you!

  11. I am so happy to find this relatively easy-looking recipe, since the commercial maker of the gluten-free cream of celery soup I have been using stopped making it. I always keep some on hand, as I use it instead of cream of mushroom soup in a LOT of recipes. Can you freeze this?

  12. This was as easy as you made it look. I made on the stove and it wrked perfectly in the dish it was for. Thank you.

  13. Is there a way to make a vegan version of this condensed soup? I see that when you talk about using evaporated instead of cow milk, you talk about the curdling, etc. Would that be handled better by almond, coconut, or soy milks?

  14. have tried several different recipes for gluten free “cream of ..soup” this is by far the best perfect consistency the evaporated milk makes all the difference

  15. Thanks.
    I need this to make Reuben Chowder for relative who has celiac’s disease and need everything gluten free. This should do it.

  16. I like to use the cream of mushroom soup in beef stew, especially if I have no fresh mushrooms and no time to run to store. This is great, so now I know exactly what we are ingesting.
    Love your web site. Have used so many of your recipes and tips.

    1. Thank-you Marilou. Your comment made my day!

  17. love the homemade versions for cream of any soup. do use cornstarch rather than flour–cooks up much nicer

  18. Nice recipe Paula, I do like how you take the high salt and preservative canned soups that work so great in recipes and make it homemade and it really looks pretty easy too.

  19. This is brilliant. I cringe to use canned soups. I’ll have to try this.

  20. The Café Sucré Farine says:

    Wow, I would have never thought about making this at home but it certainly sounds a lot healthier and tastier!

  21. Do you have a recipe for cream of chicken soup? It is the one that I use most often.Thanks and love your blog.

    1. Donna,
      Great suggestion. It is on my (long) list.

  22. Mmm….mmmm…mmmm! Looks healthy and hearty and I can see switching out the celery for broccoli at some point too. Have you ever done that?

  23. Thank you – can’t wait to try it.

  24. Paula, I may be the last cook in America to admit this, but I haven’t used cream of (anything) soup in recipes, LOL. Could you give a few examples where you would use this? The only one I ever knew of is when my mother in law would use cream of mushroom over a roast to make a gravy.

    1. Hi Vicki,
      I love to make pot roast with cream of mushroom soup. If you look in any community cookbook, I suspect you’ll find several recipes calling for condensed cream soups.

  25. Amanda Rhodes says:

    I love the new recipe cards! Very cool.

  26. Oh thank you! I was just thinking about how I’d like to convert some recipes that call for this to fully home made. Fantastic!

  27. It’s good to have an option other than the canned stuff! Why haven’t I ever thought of freezing celery? Great idea!

  28. Love to try this! I usually use cream of chicken soup but I could try this substitute.

    Great stopping by, Paula!

    1. How much does this make. My recipe calls for 2 cans of soup. Is this equal to one can of soup?

      1. This recipe equals 1 can. Double it for 2 cans.