This is the type of gluten-free cream of chicken soup that you can enjoy in a bowl, not just as a condensed replacement for your usual can. Even though the recipe is dairy-free, the soup is creamy and thick, without being heavy or gluey thanks to being made with only whole foods (no flour or cornstarch!). Plus, there are big, juicy chunks of chicken and real herbs, which we can’t say for the canned version! It can also be modified for use in low FODMAP casseroles!
I know I’m in the minority here, but I had a thing growing up with eating Campbell’s cream of chicken soup…in a bowl…as an actual soup and not the basis for some rice casserole.
This may come as somewhat of a surprise, since those of you who have read my book know that my origin story involved a lot of quinoa and carob, and not a whole lot of packaged foods.
But as a sick day treat, my mom would crack open a can of cream of whatever soup (chicken being a close favorite to mushroom) and I’d get to watch the Price is Right and guess the cost of the dishwasher where I’d eventually put my bowl.
These days (and perhaps back then too), cream of chicken soup is mostly used as the base for chicken and rice casseroles. One reason why so few people enjoy it as a soup rather than as a premade sauce is that there is rarely even a piece of chicken to be found in it. And yet, whatever crack-like mix of bouillon and “natural” flavorings makes it the perfect add-in to whatever you’re making that needs body and heft. At least, for those who are not gluten-free or dairy-free, that is. For us, it is not an option!
To avoid the canned stuff, I usually make a homemade gluten-free bechamel as part of dishes like tuna noodle casserole or dairy-free fish pie. But recently I had a craving for a real deal cream of chicken soup that you could enjoy in bowl, like I did in the old days, or make ahead and freeze to replace the canned version as a concentrate.
Unlike most gluten-free cream of chicken soup recipes, which just replace the flour in the bechamel with all-purpose gluten-free flour (real inventive guys…), this easy version uses only whole, real foods – no roux, starch or flour needed – and the power of a blender to become creamy. No shade to flour (I use some in my gluten-free gravy) but it makes the soup healthier and more drinkable without it.
Our dairy-free, gluten-free thickener of choice is good old fashioned potatoes! Simply bring the potatoes to a simmer with gluten-free chicken stock, shallots, garlic, thyme or rosemary and a whole chicken breast. The chicken poaches in roughly the same amount of time that the cubed potatoes become tender, and it adds even more rich, homemade chicken flavor to your stock, especially if using store-bought (I like this base).
Once fork tender, simply remove the chicken to rest on a cutting board. Meanwhile, transfer the soup mixture – potatoes, stock, aromatics – to a blender and puree until smooth. The texture will end up being slightly looser than the can, which makes it ideal for enjoying in a bowl. But it will still work perfectly in your casseroles in place of a concentrate.
Then, just shred or cube the chicken and add it back to the soup for plenty of hearty, rustic chunks in every bite. Alternatively, you can omit the chicken if you’re going to use it as the base for something with another protein.
How to use this gluten-free cream of chicken soup
Like I mentioned, this soup is delicious enough to enjoy in a bowl on it’s own like a chicken-forward potato leek soup. For more vegetables, you can stir in frozen peas and carrots at the end or add fresh chopped carrots or celery at the beginning.
This soup also makes a beautiful basis for gluten-free chicken pot pie! You can always add a second or third chicken breast to the pot for dishes where chicken is the main ingredient.
Alternatively, if you’re making a chicken and rice casserole with whole chicken thighs, you can omit the poached chicken breast and save it for another use (it’s delicious in salads). Just store the cream of chicken soup without the added shredded chicken.
Gluten-Free Cream of Chicken Soup Substitutions and Variations
- To make this cream of chicken soup low FODMAP, simply omit the shallot and garlic. Use plant-based milk (butter is fine!). Click here for more low FODMAP dinner ideas.
- The soup is already paleo, but to make it low carb or keto, simply substitute 1 cup of cauliflower florets for the potato.
- To make dairy-free cream of chicken soup, use plant-based butter, coconut oil or olive oil. Oat milk is the most neutral option for plant-based milk, but almond also works well.
More gluten-free chicken recipes you’ll love!
- Gluten-free Italian chicken meatballs
- Gluten-free chicken stock
- Gluten-free fried chicken
- Gluten-free sesame chicken
- Gluten-free chicken parmesan
- Gluten-free chicken tenders
Read on for this gluten-free cream of chicken soup recipe! And if you’re looking for a non-creamy option, try this gluten-free Jewish chicken soup!
With health and hedonism,
Blender Gluten-Free Cream of Chicken Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter ghee or dairy-free alternative
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 small russet potato 1/2 pound, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 small chicken breast 1/2 pound
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary
- 1 cup non-dairy milk almond or oat
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- In a medium Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed stockpot, heat the butter or dairy-free alternative over a medium flame. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, chicken breast, stock, salt, and herbs. Stir once to combine and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and allow to gently simmer uncovered until the potatoes are fork tender and the chicken is cooked through, flipping the breast once halfway through, 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of your chicken.
- Remove the chicken from the broth and transfer to a cutting board to cool. Discard the herb sprigs.
- Meanwhile, transfer the contents of the pot to a stand blender (or alternatively, use an immersion blender directly in the pot). Add the milk or dairy-free alternative and puree until thick and smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt as needed.
- Once the chicken is cool enough to touch, roughly chop or shred the breast into bite-sized pieces. Stir the chicken pieces into the soup base. Transfer the gluten-free cream of chicken soup to bowls and garnish with fresh pepper, or alternative, store in jars for latter or use it in a gluten-free chicken pot pie or casserole recipe.