It’s important to note that cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups are condensed, meaning they’re generally not intended for direct consumption without adding other liquids. Left in their thick, creamy, condensed state, these two soups are belles of the casserole ball. You can mostly thank Dr. John T. Dorrance for this; he’s the accepted inventor of condensed soups, including Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom.
Today’s casserole recipes using his invention largely depend on the ingenuity of home cooks. Tasting Table’s recipe creator, Molly Pisula, notes that her classic chicken casserole recipe, made with cream of mushroom and chicken soups, conjures memories of warming childhood casseroles emerging from her mother’s oven. In her twist on a chicken casserole, she mixes pre-cooked boneless chicken breasts and al dente egg noodles with both the condensed soups, then adds sour cream, thyme, and oregano and tops it with breadcrumbs and melted butter.
On super busy days — or even lazy ones — many home cooks opt for one-pan-wonder casseroles using either one (or both) condensed soups. Classic tuna and green bean casseroles typically call for a can of cream of mushroom, as does a simplified beef stroganoff, which, in its original form, employs fresh mushrooms. Or, you can create a quick and yummy one-dish casserole by mixing uncooked rice with both types of condensed soups, adding a layer of sliced carrots and celery, and topping with cubed, uncooked chicken breast.