Cream of mushroom soup is a pantry staple. Whether you buy it canned from the grocery store or make it from scratch at home, this simple, creamy soup is as versatile as it is readily available.
Commonly used in casseroles and other comfort foods, it offers a subtle mushroom flavor that complements meats and savory spices.
When you make a cream of mushroom soup recipe at home or only use half a can for your casserole, you’re going to be left wondering what to do with the leftovers. You can’t just throw the rest out, after all – that’d be a waste!
So, can you freeze cream of mushroom soup to use for later? Yes! It’s possible to freeze it to use another day.
Read on as we explore exactly how to freeze it. We’ll also look at how long you can freeze it and the best way to thaw and reheat it.
Can Cream of Mushroom Soup Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze cream of mushroom soup if you have extra.
Keep in mind, though, that the cream used can separate from the rest of the mushroom soup base. When this happens, it takes on a yellowish tint during the freezing process. This is due to the fat within the cream portion of the soup.
Upon reheating, the color and texture of the soup should return to normal.
It’s also important to note that the cream of mushroom soup ingredients play a role too. The soup freezes best without additives such as rice or pasta.
When frozen, cream of mushroom soup with rice can change texture. This is because the rice will soak up all the liquid within the soup, leaving it thick and stew-like. Additionally, the rice will be mushy upon thawing.
Always try to freeze soup separately from rice or pasta if you can.
Can You Freeze Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup?
The good news is that there’s no real difference between freezing store-bought or homemade cream of mushroom soup.
Most good soup recipes will hold up well to freezing. Just take care when you defrost as chances are you’ll use more dairy in a homemade soup recipe compared to canned soup. This means that the ingredients are more likely to separate when freezing. You’ll just need to stir after thawing to bring things back to the right consistency.
How To Freeze Cream of Mushroom Soup
Freezing cream of mushroom soup is fairly simple. There are very few required steps and no special equipment.
- Allow your mushroom soup to cool completely. This is, perhaps, the most important step. That’s because failing to cool your dish properly before freezing is actually a safety concern. Freezing a hot or warm dish can lead to the thawing of other dishes in the freezer, as well as accelerated bacteria growth on the soup being frozen.
- Based on how much soup you want to freeze, choose whether you want to freeze your soup in a hard airtight container or a sealable freezer bag. Both are great options, but when you opt for a freezer bag, be sure to lay the bag flat in the freezer to make for easier storage later on. In both cases, leave an inch or two of space at the top of the container (or bag) to allow for expansion during the freezing process.
- Seal, label, and date your bag or airtight container before placing it in the freezer.
How Long Does Cream of Mushroom Soup Last in the Freezer?
When stored properly, cream of mushroom soup will last for 6-8 months.
I should point out that this number applies only to the quality of the soup, as after this amount of time your soup may begin to lose its high-quality, potent taste and texture.
However, in terms of safety, your soup will last in the freezer indefinitely.
How to Thaw Frozen Cream of Mushroom Soup
To thaw frozen cream of mushroom soup, remove the airtight container or bag from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
You may want to place it in a bowl or on a plate before doing this, though, as the ice crystals on your bag or container will melt and result in condensation and wetness pooling around the thawing soup.
Alternatively, you could run the bag or container under cool water for a minute or two and then pour the soup into a saucepan, warming it on low heat until it has thawed.
This method works quite well and, after your soup has been under the water for long enough, it should just slide right out of the container you stored it in.
How to Reheat Cream of Mushroom Soup After Freezing
You can reheat frozen cream of mushroom soup in a variety of different ways.
On the Stove
The most traditional way of reheating frozen soup is on the stovetop.
This is done by transferring the frozen soup into a saucepan and heating the soup on low, or low-medium heat.
For this, you can use a pan or a pot. Just be sure to stir the soup occasionally so it doesn’t stick or burn and so it heats through.
In the Oven
You can reheat thawed soup in the oven, too.
This can be done by pouring the soup into an oven-safe glass baking dish and heating it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until it has warmed through.
In the Microwave
The microwave is, perhaps, the easiest method of reheating. It’s quick and easy and is the most popular. To reheat using the microwave, pour your soup into a microwave-safe glass dish, cup, or bowl and use the “reheat” button, the “defrost” button, or by simply punching in an amount of time and hitting the “start” button.
We’d recommend heating your soup in short intervals and stopping to check/ stir it frequently so that it heats thoroughly and evenly.
How To Tell If Cream of Mushroom Soup Has Gone Bad
Cream of mushroom soup spoils at different rates based on a number of factors.
These include how it was stored, whether it was homemade mushroom soup or purchased commercially, and whether it has been opened or unopened. In all cases though, the signs of spoilage are generally very similar.
Soup that has gone bad will smell bad. That is, it’ll smell sour or “off”. The soup may have also started to change color, which is an important thing to pay attention to since frozen soup may have a layer of fat that takes on a yellow tint – this tint does not mean the soup is bad! As a rule of thumb, if the discoloration goes back to normal when you mix the soup, it’s probably safe to eat.
Mold is also an indicator of bad soup. If you spot any signs of mold, toss it out.
Freezer burn may indicate that the soup has been frozen too long and may not taste quite right, but it likely doesn’t mean that the soup is unsafe to consume.
If your soup doesn’t appear to have freezer burn or hasn’t been previously frozen but doesn’t taste the way it should, your soup is likely bad. Taste is one of the best indicators.
Can You Refreeze Cream of Mushroom Soup?
It’s not really something you should even consider.
Most milk-based recipes do not react well on their first freezing (ice cream being an obvious exception), let alone a second or third.
To avoid the need to refreeze, you should freeze and thaw mushroom soup in portions that you can take out when you need them.
Additional Tips for Freezing Cream of Mushroom Soup
Use Plastic Wrap for Extra Protection.
Whether you’re storing your soup in a container or a bag, it never hurts to use another layer of protection against oxygen. Consider placing a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the container before putting the lid on or wrapping your bag in a generous layer of plastic wrap after sealing.
Store in the Correct Part of the Freezer.
To get the longest shelf life out of your frozen soup, be sure to store it on the shelf of the freezer instead of in the door.
Ideally, store it toward the back of the freezer where it’s less likely to be impacted by temperature fluctuations that come as a result of the freezer door opening and closing.
You might also choose to store your soup in a chest freezer that is opened and closed less often.