Is cream of mushroom soup fattening?

Cream of mushroom soup is a popular comfort food that can be used in many recipes. However, some people wonder if this creamy soup is high in calories and fat.

The Nutritional Profile of Cream of Mushroom Soup

The nutritional profile of cream of mushroom soup can vary greatly depending on the brand and recipe. In general, a 1 cup serving of prepared condensed cream of mushroom soup contains:

  • Around 300-400 calories
  • 10-15 grams of fat
  • 25-40 grams of carbohydrates
  • 5-10 grams of protein

So in a typical serving, around half the calories come from fat. The fat content consists of saturated fat as well as heart-healthy unsaturated fats. The carbs are a mix of natural sugars and added thickeners like wheat flour or cornstarch.

How Cream of Mushroom Soup Compares to Full Fat Dairy

To understand if cream of mushroom soup is high in fat and calories, it helps to compare it to full fat dairy products:

  • 1 cup of whole milk has about 150 calories and 8 grams of fat.
  • 1 cup of half and half has about 320 calories and 20 grams of fat.
  • 1 cup of heavy cream has about 840 calories and 88 grams of fat.

So cream of mushroom soup is lower in calories and fat compared to heavy cream. But it’s higher in calories and fat compared to milk. The fat content is closer to half and half.

Ways the Fat Content Can Vary

Within cream of mushroom soup, the total calories and fat content can range quite a bit. Here are some factors that affect the nutrition profile:

  • Condensed vs prepared: Condensed cream soups are more concentrated so have more fat and calories per serving compared to prepared soup.
  • Low fat vs regular: Low fat cream soups use milk or chicken broth instead of heavy cream to cut the fat content in half.
  • Ingredients: Recipes with more mushrooms and less cream will be lower in fat and calories.
  • Thickeners: Some brands use more flour, cornstarch or roux to thicken, adding more calories from carbs.

Is 300-400 Calories Per Serving Considered High?

To judge if the 300-400 calories in cream of mushroom soup should be considered high, it helps to compare to other foods:

Food Calories
Cream of mushroom soup (1 cup) 300-400
Chicken salad sandwich 300-400
Medium fries 380
Slice of pizza 285
Grilled cheese sandwich 350

As you can see from these comparisons, a serving of cream of mushroom soup has a similar number of calories as many other common foods. The calorie count is not especially low, but not unusually high either compared to standard portion sizes.

Is the Fat Content of Cream of Mushroom Soup Considered High?

When looking at the fat content rather than just calories, cream of mushroom soup is moderately high in fat:

Food Total Fat (grams)
Cream of mushroom soup (1 cup) 10-15g
Fried chicken thigh (1) 15g
Burger patty (4 oz) 15-20g
Cheddar cheese (1.5 oz) 14g
Salmon fillet (3 oz) 8g

The fat content is similar to many cooked and processed foods. However, it’s 3-4x higher compared to low fat foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.

Nutritional Pros and Cons

Here is a summary of some of the pros and cons to the nutrition offered by cream of mushroom soup:


  • Provides protein from the dairy and mushrooms
  • Contains potassium, B vitamins, and selenium
  • Offers some fiber from mushrooms and thickeners like flour
  • Often uses olive or canola oil for healthier unsaturated fats
  • Lower in fat than heavy cream or cheese sauces


  • High in sodium from added salt
  • Has saturated fat from cream and full fat dairy
  • Added thickeners increase carbs with minimal nutrition
  • Higher in calories and fat compared to broth-based soups
  • Often lacks vegetables, fruits, or whole grains

Health Impact of Cream of Mushroom Soup

For most people, incorporating some cream of mushroom soup into a balanced diet should not have major effects on health and weight management. However, there are some factors to be aware of:

  • Sodium: The high sodium content can negatively impact blood pressure, especially in salt-sensitive individuals.
  • Saturated fat: The saturated fat may negatively impact cholesterol levels when frequently consumed.
  • Low nutrient density: Cream soups fill you up with calories but less vitamins, minerals, and fiber compared to other soup options.
  • Weight management: The moderate fat and calorie contents meancream soup can contribute to weight gain if consumed in large amounts.

Overall, enjoying cream of mushroom soup occasionally as part of a diet focused on whole foods is unlikely to have negative health effects. But regular, large consumption may contribute to increased chronic disease risk over time.

Tips for Lightening Up Cream of Mushroom Soup

There are many ways to create lighter versions of cream of mushroom soup at home. Here are some easy tips for reducing fat and calories:

  • Use reduced fat dairy products like skim or 1% milk and low-fat sour cream.
  • Substitute vegetable or chicken broth for some or all of the cream.
  • Increase the proportion of mushrooms to cream.
  • Blend extra vegetables like onions, carrots or celery into the soup.
  • Skip added oils and thickening with flour or cornstarch.
  • Season with herbs and spices instead of salt for flavor.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs instead of bacon or fried croutons.

Healthier Ways to Use Cream of Mushroom Soup

Enjoying cream of mushroom soup more healthfully depends largely on how it is used in recipes:

  • In casseroles or pasta bakes, bulk up the dish with extra veggies and lean protein.
  • As a sauce, keep portions small and serve over something nutritious like chicken breast.
  • In creamy dips or spreads, switch to using Greek yogurt or mix with refried beans.
  • For gravies and roux, substitute lower fat milk and chicken broth.
  • In creamy soups, add pureed cauliflower or potatoes to add nutrients.

With some modifications and smart recipe choices, it’s definitely possible to enjoy the creamy flavor of mushroom soup without going overboard on fat, calories or sodium.

The Bottom Line

Cream of mushroom soup is moderately high in calories and fat compared to many other soup varieties. However, it’s not at extreme levels compared to many common comfort foods. Enjoying small portions of cream soup along with an otherwise balanced diet is unlikely to cause weight gain or major health impacts.

To make this soup more nutritious, there are many ingredient swaps to lighten it up at home. And being mindful of healthy portions and recipe choices can allow you to savor the creamy mushroom flavor without overdoing it on fat, calories or sodium.

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