The Soup Swap For Casserole Recipes That Still Provides Creamy Results

Cooking casseroles are one of the keys to comfort in the Southern U.S., and they typically include a protein, veggie, starch, and a creamy sauce to coat, all in one baking dish. They ease up dish duty while satisfying a crowd, and are typically so forgiving that they can be tweaked to your liking based on ingredients you have on hand. Furthermore, according to Always Foodie, most casseroles can be made ahead, are freezer friendly, can be baked in just about any type of dish you have available, and save you tons of time. One way to save time is by tossing in a bag of frozen chopped vegetables instead of cutting fresh ones up yourself, and even throwing in a can of cream of chicken soup compared to adding ten extra ingredients that achieve the same flavor.

Canned soups provide loads of flavor in a compact container and are a great shortcut when adding a creamy component to casseroles because it's only one ingredient. However, if you find yourself without a "cream of" can, there are two common ingredients that, when combined, mimic the richness of these soups. 

Mayo and sour cream

According to Southern Living, casseroles are great as-is, but better with fresh, wholesome ingredients. In their cheesy broccoli-and-rice casserole, instead of using frozen veggies and "cream of" soups, they chop their vegetables by hand and swap out the soup cans for fresh mushrooms and equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream as the creamy component. Casseroles often incorporate cream of chicken or cream of mushroom for savoriness, but if you don't have a can on hand or just want the satisfaction of creating those flavors yourself, it will achieve a comparable homemade result. 

Bake It With Love suggests a substitution for cream of mushroom soup that uses full-fat sour cream, heavy cream (or even cream cheese) to achieve a creamy base, but combinations like heavy cream or sour cream with mushroom or vegetable broth and fresh mushrooms, and milk with mushroom or vegetable broth will give both creaminess and that umami mushroom flavor. From there, simply add it to your casserole mix and continue with your recipe.