SOS Mix Recipes: Soup or Sauce Mix as a Frugal Replacement to Canned Creamed Soups and More

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Make sure to check our full list of recipes, ideas and tips on how to use Soup-or-Sauce (SOS) Mix!

It is time to share a series of recipes to provide help in the kitchen, meal planning, recipe building all while helping your budget too!

You see, we don’t buy canned soups for cooking unless they go really cheap! We also don’t buy a lot of pre-made soups, gravies, sauces or casserole/recipe bases unless they happen to go down to a rock bottom price, which usually isn’t low enough or often enough to keep up with normal consumption.  With that in mind, we wanted to share a universal dry mix that you can make as the recipe replacement for those soups, sauces and gravies.  It is the miracle mix called SOS mix.  It stands for Soup or Sauce Mix as that is literally what it is!

Not only is it frugal, but it is quick and easy to use and fat free as well!

What we are going to do is first share the base mix recipes today and then we will share recipes on how to use the SOS mix to give you ideas from casseroles, soups and side dishes.

We have talked about this recipe in our money-saving classes and how it is a good idea to have this as a pantry staple!

If you want to make this even healthier, check out our post on MSG Free Chicken Soup Base Option for even Healthier SOS Mix HERE.

Note: If you desire to print this recipe or are not reading this on our site please click here for a nicely formatted and printable recipe!

SOS Mix (Soup or Sauce Mix as a Frugal Replacement To Canned Creamed Soups)
Recipe type: Sauces, Gravies, Soups and Mixes
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: Equal to 9 cans of cream soup
This frugal make ahead and store recipe can be used as a replacement for creamed soups in any recipe, as well as the base for other sauces, gravies, soups and much more! It is also fat free.
  • 2 Cups of powdered non-fat dry milk
  • ¾ cup of cornstarch
  • ¼ cup of instant chicken bouillon
  • 2 TBS. dried onion flakes
  • 2 tsp. of Italian Seasoning or a combination of dried Parsley, Oregano and Basil
  • 1 tsp. of black pepper
Make Your Mix:
  1. Combine all of the above dry ingredients and stir until blended.
  2. Store in a ziploc, glass or plastic jar or even a can to use when needed. It can be stored on the shelf! No need to refrigerate.
Instructions to substitute for 1-10.75 can of creamed soup:
  1. Combine ⅓ cup of dry mix with 1¼ cups of cold water.
  2. Cook and stir on the stove top or in the microwave until thickened.
  3. Add thickened mixture to the casseroles/recipes just as you would a can of soup.
More Recipe Ideas:
  1. Check out for more recipe ideas using this mix!
Yield: This amount is equal to using (9) 10.75 cans of creamed soups.


We haven’t really run into anyone or known anyone who uses an SOS mix, but it’s a brilliant idea.  The idea and recipe originated from the Utah State University Extension although I have modified the spices slightly to fit more of our taste-bud preferences. Their agents have come to speak at our ladies groups at church events concerning food preservation and shortcuts in the kitchen, many of which I have adopted because they are frugal as well!  I have been using this recipe ever since and have been using the SOS mix multiple times a week for the past few years – truly a life-saver and even more importantly a budget-saver!

See our Recipes Section of our site for more frugal, healthy and hearty meal ideas!


  1. Gwen says

    Thanks for this! I have been looking for a good cream soup recipe free of MSG for a while. This looks like a great alternative! Do you use it for all your cream based soups – chicken, celery, etc. Thanks again!

  2. Liz says

    Oh, never mind, I understand now, you are teaching us to how to make this ourselves by using different ingredients

  3. sandra johnson says

    This recipe sounds great. However, when I click on the link “See our Recipes Section of our site for more frugal, healthy and hearty meal ideas!” it just sends me back to this page. I could use the other recipe ideas

    • says

      Yes – you do need to make it first with the water and cook until the lumps are out – but then it can be used exactly as you would use a can of soup in a recipe! Hope that helps!

    • Lisa says

      As a vegan I substitute the non-fat dry milk with powdered soy milk. I substitute the chicken bouillon with any vegan chicken seasoning I have. My favorite is McKay’s chickinish seasoning.

  4. says

    i would say that the person that told you that when you click on the part in this site that says click here for a nicely fromatted one here this is all that we get the same thing over and over again so i would like to say show me the recipes thank you kindly

    yours truly

    • says

      Hi Penny – It is probably a bit confusing, but the problem is that you are already reading it from our site and so you can print it from there already (just click on the icon of the printer in the box where the recipe is in the above post, this will give you that printable recipe) – there is no other place to be redirected to as that is the final place :) That note at the top of the recipe with the link is intended for those that are reading this post in our email, on our RSS feed or somewhere else online where it may be published. It wouldn’t be a nice printable recipe from those places and so they can click on that and be taken right to this post to print :) Hope that helps clear up the confusion!

  5. Amy says

    I am very interested in trying this….quick question though. Are you using Instant Powdered non-fat dry milk or the non-instant variety? Or does it even matter? Thanks!

  6. donni says

    I was wondering if you’ve tried this with a beef boullion and if it works as good? I’m thinking I should make 2 of these to have on hand

  7. Katie C says

    My son is dairy and soy free. Do you think this would work with leaving the powdered milk out, and just adding rice milk in place of the water before cooking?

  8. Beth P says

    Hi, love this! I am wondering about eliminating the bullion powder and using chicken or beef stock to make the soup with?

  9. says

    And why are canned soups so salty? Or some brands try hide the salt by calling it “Natural, Sea Salt”.

    I use canned soups (on sale of course) as a starter mix of sorts, adding water & veggies and other ingredients.

  10. Carol says

    Pretty much everyone on a gluten free diet uses this recipe or a version of it. Its been around for a long time.

  11. says

    I thought I’d share some ideas for variations:
    * use Herbs de Provence in place of the Italian seasoning
    * use arrowroot in place of the cornstarch

    If you’re on a dairy free regime you can eliminate the dry milk powder and then use nondairy milk instead of water when reconstituting it.

  12. Di H. says

    If you are using this recipe to avoid MSG, then you will need to find chicken bouillon that doesn’t have the MSG in it.


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