HELP! Casserole Recipes Without MSG?

Updated on December 07, 2010
J.S. asks from Pocatello, ID
14 answers

Hi everyone,
My husband is allergic to MSG, so all of these supposed quick and easy casseroles that require things like cream of mushroom soup, or other canned soups are off limits to our family. Please, if you have in your possession a casserole recipe that doesn't require canned soup, could you pass it on to me? It has almost turned into a funny joke that any time I read in a magazine, "Quick and Easy Casserole" I just know it's going to contain exactly what I can't use! Thanks in advance!

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answers from Seattle on

All you need for a casserole is a creamy base that won't denature while cooking. People use canned soup because it's fast and cheap, but it's even cheaper and just a little more time consuming to make your own base.
I make casseroles with with a bechamel sauce as a base.
You will need to make a roux (heat and combine equal parts of butter and flour in the saucepan) and add liquid. There are a lot of different combinations, the easiest one simply calls for milk. You can add whatever herbs, spices and flavors you like to it. Add some broth (homemade or storebought and MSG free), whisk in some shredded cheese for great Mac'n'Cheese... it is very versatile.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, you may have already discovered this but you can make a great beef casserole with casserole beef that you brown off with an onion in a reasonable amount of butter or oil of choice then you add in a couple of tablespoons of flour so that you get a roux (like making a white sauce) then you can add some red wine if you like the flavour or just a can of crushed tomatoes. I then just add water if I need more liquid. But if you have some home made stock you can put that in (obviously the powdered form has msg). I then just let it cook for a long time in the oven on low or transfer into a crock pot and let it cook by itself. The beef gives it a really nice flavour. You can add any vegetables into it you like.

Another recipe is chicken with olives. You just put it in the crockpot or the oven. Chicken thighs, canned tomatoes, olives of your choice and let cook on low for the day, or if your doing it in the oven you could cook it for a shorter time on a higher temperature. You could add vegetables that you like as well.

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answers from Cumberland on

Look up Bechamel sauce--it is a fairly easy sauce to make and you can add mushrooms or cheese etc to it to flavor it. Add whatever spices you like and pour it over the other ingredients and bake! You only need milk, butter, flour salt and pepper

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answers from Boise on

You need to get the Bette Hagman book The Gluten-Free Gourmet: Living Well Without Wheat, revised. You can find it on Amazon or for real cheap. Anyway, there is a soup base mix recipe you put together it takes GF bullion, Powdered milk, minced onion, and White Rice flour. After you make up a batch of it, then you can just keep it by your stove, and whenever you are making a casserole, then you whip up a batch of mix, which turns into creamed soup. You can make it into any cream soup Campbells makes just by adding specific ingredients, like mushrooms for cream of mushroom. It is extremely fast to whip up. I made up a batch and used it to make the Green Bean Casserole for Thanksgiving and it turned out tasting better than if you bought the canned stuff and made it.


answers from Salt Lake City on

I have a fabulous recipe for Homemade Mac & Cheese with Ham.

2 c. elbow macaroni, cooked & drained
1/4 c. butter,
1/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
4 tsp chicken bouillon (you can find MSG free at Whole Foods/ "Better than
Bouillon" brand)
1/4 tsp pepper
2 c. grated cheddar, divided
1 1/2 c. cubed ham (I usually use Sunday dinner's ham leftovers)
1/4 c. grated parmesan

In large saucepan, melt butter, whisk in flour to make a roux. Whisk in milk, bouillon & pepper. Bring to a boil. Stir constantly until thickened. Remove from heat & add 1 c. cheddar, ham, parmesan, & macaroni. Stir. Pour into greased 2 qt. dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar. Bake 20-25 min @ 350 until bubbly. (6 servings)



answers from Provo on

Go ahead and use those recipes. Just make your own "cream soup."
Saute a small onion, a handful of mushrooms, some diced celery, some finely diced chicken, or other item of your choosing in 4T butter. Add 4T flour (I use whole wheat, but white will do). Add 1/2 t salt and 1/8 t pepper. 1/4 t garlic powder can be added if desired. Cook over low heat for about 3 min. This allows the roux (butter and flour paste) to cook so that it doesn't taste "pasty." Add about 1 to 2 c milk to the mixture, depending on how thick you want it.
Stir the milk in a little at a time so that the mixture doesn't lump. Cook until the mixture thickens. Use just like your canned soup.



answers from Las Vegas on

You may want to check out the recipes on and Both websites rely on fresh foods for their recipes from what I have seen so far.

Hope this helps.



answers from Seattle on

ACTUALLY all that cream of mushroom soup really is is cream + mushrooms + salt/pepper + any special spices you like. SO all you have to do is add those items (cream + mushrooms) to the crockpot. Requires about 5- 15 minutes extra work (washing and chopping mushrooms, depends on how fast you go). If you want to get fancy, add a dollop of bourbon or cream sherry. Campbells doesn't, but most cream based soups from scratch have a dollop of one of those two alcohols. It's part of what creates a "round" flavor in the mouth. The alcohol cooks off completely and just adds a lovely rich note to the mushrooms.

The thing about adding tinned soups to recipes is that is saves the average of 5 hours worth of simmering that ingredients need to become soup. So using tinned soups (or soups you make yourself and freeze) for FAST cooking (like sauteeing, etc) is a great "cheat". But for slow cookers... there is no reason at all to not just add the soup ingredients to the crock along with the recipe you're cooking.

Which, of course, is option 2. Since it's winter... every time you make a soup, make a little extra and freeze it. That way, next time you need cream of mushroom/ tomato/ chicken/ etc you just grab the ziplock with frozen soup and add it to the pan or crock.


answers from Austin on

Yes of course, just make your own base.. I do not care for the creamed of soups, but I suggest it because many people do not have the time to make their own cream sauces.. Like it has been suggested.. Get a good Bechamel sauce recipe. You can change the flavors with herbs, mushrooms and seasonings..



answers from Denver on

i make a great lasagna bake - one box of pasta in an interesting shape (I like campagnelle the best, but rotini would work) and one jar of spaghetti sauce. There are lots of kinds without MSG, or just use no salt added tomato sauce and season it with Italian seasoning and garlic. Put the pasta in a baking dish, pour over the sauce and an equal amount of water ( most jars of sauce are 28 - 32 ounces). Bake for about an hour, putting parmagiana and mozzarella cheese on top to melt for the last few minutes.

You can add a bag of frozen vegetables or fresh ones - I like broccoli and mushrooms. You can add a pound of ground meat - beef or turkey - or soy crumble. Adding meat and/or veggies adds about 1/2 to 3/4 hour to the cooking time.



answers from Biloxi on

I don't really like canned soup in foods so when I need something creamy and yummy I make a white sauce and season it with whatever and use that as the base for casseroles.

Add your choice of fresh ingredients and bake. I like chicken, or tuna, rice, veggies, a creamy sauce and cheese on top.



answers from Denver on

HI J.,

What kind are you looking for, I have several in my SHARING MTN RECIPES Cookbook. (See:
(Chicken/Turkey, beef, seafood, Fruit????)

Also a tip: In order to reframe from using canned Broths, make you own quickly by first boiling beef pieces/chunks, or poultry breasts--skinless preferably. Once boiling, lower the heat to slightly higher than a simmer, spice and herb it up as you would soup, and then once the product is tender, pull apart-ish, drain the liguid into a large bowl to cool, and put the product aside for dinner, sandwiches or a casserole.
You can use the broth to moisten casseroles, or make gravy out of. Or you can freeze it for use at another time.

Next question: Recipes with Cream Soup - Making Substitutions