Why You Can Skip The Salt When Making Casserole With Canned Soup

Casseroles have long been a staple dish for families across the U.S. From cream of chicken to cream of mushroom, a can of soup is a typical base for most casserole dishes. While these cans of soup bring a rich, thick element to casseroles, they also bring high levels of salt. If you're not careful, your delicious casseroles can quickly become salty disasters. Most "cream of" soups have over 800 mg of sodium. Part of this is because these soups come pre-seasoned, but sodium also contributes to preserving shelf life in canned goods.

If you add extra salt during cooking, your dish can quickly end up with salt being the primary tasting note and other layers of flavor going unnoticed. Cans of soup often come with an abundance of seasoning already in them. To see what your casserole actually needs, be sure to taste the dish as you're cooking. This lets you check in on the flavor profile and quickly fix imbalances before you cook and serve the dish.

How to work with salty soups

If you are adding in meat such as chicken or beef, it may be wise to avoid salting it while cooking, especially if you are baking the meat in the casserole. Just because you're avoiding salt doesn't mean your dish has to taste bland. If you're looking for a way to add more flavor to your dish, take a peek at the soup can label. Look for additional seasonings, such as onion powder, garlic powder, herbs, and pepper, and feel free to add more of those into your dish to bring out the flavors. You can opt for salt-free or low-sodium seasoning blends that complement the other ingredients (if you're using poultry, choose a poultry seasoning blend; if you're using vegetables, try a veggie seasoning blend).

Don't panic if you taste your dish and find it to be too salty. There are a few tricks to help cut through some of that sodium. First, consider adding an acid like a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of vinegar. Tomato would also work as an acid to fight salt. Another suggestion is to put dairy, such as low-sodium cheeses or sour cream, in your dish.