The Canned Soup That Can Double As A Creamy Pasta Sauce

Gnocchi in a mushroom cream sauce
Gnocchi in a mushroom cream sauce - MOUTASEM PHOTOGRAPHY/Shutterstock

Homemade pasta sauce is a delicious and rewarding endeavor, but it's also a lot of work the average weekday night. Who really wants to stand over a hot stove to stir a simmering sauce after eight to 10 hours on the clock? And while there are plenty of premade pasta sauces that will do fine with a little doctoring up, who hasn't discovered too late in the game that they actually don't have any sauce left in their pantry? Never fear, there's a quick fix for that problem: Canned soup can come to your rescue! Specifically, canned mushroom soup.

Think about it, mushroom soup is already well-seasoned with plenty of garlic. It's velvety and buttery, just like you want any cream-based pasta sauce to be. And, as you know from those hearty casserole recipes, it goes well with all sorts of noodles. So why not give it a try the next time you're running short on sauce and time?

Read more: Canned Soups You Should And Shouldn't Buy

Using Soup As Sauce Is Super Easy

Creamy spaghetti with spinach
Creamy spaghetti with spinach - Oksanakiian/Getty Images

Cream of mushroom soup turned sauce is as easy as opening the can and heating it up. You can even do it in the microwave (just remove the soup from the can first and zap it in a microwave-safe bowl). Pour it over some noodles and there you have it -- easy peasy rotini (or penne or spaghetti or whatever you choose) and mushroom sauce. Of course, that's just the most basic way to throw a quick and effortless dinner together.

Assuming you are hungrier than that, there are also plenty of ingredients that you can toss in to beef it up -- including, well, cooked beef, chicken, or a handful of frozen shrimp. Fresh or frozen mushrooms are a sensible pairing that will elevate the soup's instrinsic earthy flavors. Keep it simple by grabbing a few items from the pantry, fridge, or freezer. Got a bag of frozen vegetable medley, some baby spinach, or a can of peas? Anything to that same effect will do. Just warm it all up together in the microwave or in a pot on the stove. Toss in some shredded cheese or top with parmesan if the mood strikes you. Really, you can do as little or as much as you want when it comes to this presentation, but less tends to be more when you're famished and in a hurry.

Should You Add Water To The Sauce?

Cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup
Cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup - Thinglass/Shutterstock

Condensed cream of mushroom soup can be used as is. While it is a little thick and high in sodium, pasta sauce tends to have a comparable saltiness as well as a similar thickness. But you can add a little bit of pasta water (or cream) to thin it down and cut the salt if you prefer. Ultimately though, it's a matter of taste. And if you're putting in other ingredients such as frozen vegetables, they will add a little bit of liquid as they defrost so be careful not to cut it down too much if you do decide to add water. Definitely don't use the same one-to-one ratio that is called for in preparing the cream of mushroom as a soup!

The whole point of using canned mushroom soup in place of pasta sauce is to keep it simple, so try not to overthink it or worry too much about the outcome. It's pretty much guaranteed to be easy and delicious as is.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.