My Mushroom Gravy “Recipe” – Or “Nony Exposes Her Kitchen Cop-Out”

My Mushroom Gravy Recipe or Nony Exposes Her Kitchen Cop-Out at

If you read my menu plans, you may have noticed that one of our favorite meals is Blah-blah-blah with “mushroom gravy” over rice/potatoes/pasta.

About a month ago, one of you called me on it.  And then my aunt literally called me.  You were both being nice, and wanted to know my “recipe” for mushroom gravy.

Because it sounds nice.  And fancy.

I meant for it to sound that way, because I didn’t want it to sound like what it really is.

Which is cream of mushroom soup.  Like, from a can and everything.

Because all good bloggers do things like make their own home-made, non-canned version of cream of mushroom soup.  But I never have.

I’ve thought about it, but as I remind myself over and over in this deslobification process, thinking about things doesn’t count.

At all.

In my defense . . . it’s really yummy.  And I have a warm-fuzzy back-story.

Wanna hear?

I don’t remember my own mother using cream of mushroom soup in her cooking.  Maybe she did, but it wasn’t a staple.  She was a from-scratch kind of girl on most things.

But . . . when I lived in Thailand as a just-out-of-college woman, a married couple who were my same age invited me over.  They had made a simple meal of meat in “gravy” over mashed potatoes.  They raved about how simple it was to make, and how glad they were that the main ingredient was actually available in Bangkok.  The ingredient was Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup.

It tasted like . . . America.


It was comfort food.

I needed comfort food at a time when I didn’t know if I could eat one more plate of Guay-teow-ratna-gai.  Even though I LOVED Guay-teow-ratna-gai.

The next year I had two roommates.  We wanted to learn to cook, and were constantly trying out recipes on each other.  I was excited to find one for “Porcupines” (in a cookbook given to me, ironically, by the same aunt who called last month) that used Cream of Mushroom soup as the gravy.

Here’s the recipe as I make it:

Mushroom Gravy and Porcupines

Ingredients –

  • Two pounds of ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup of rice
  • One (or two, depending on how much gravy you like) can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • One (or two) cans water

Instructions –Mushroom Gravy and Porcupines 1 at


Mix together first five ingredients and form into meatballs.  Use your hands.  It’s okay.

Mushroom Gravy and Porcupines 2 at


Cook the meatballs in a skillet, turning them until they’re browned.

Mushroom Gravy and Porcupines 3 at

Drain the fat, then add the Cream of Mushroom soup and water, stirring around until mixed together.

Mushroom Gravy and Porcupines 5 at

Cover your skillet with a lid or foil, and simmer for 30 minutes if you used regular rice, or 10-15 if you used minute rice.  (I’ve done both.)

Mushroom Gravy and Porcupines 4 at

See how the rice pokes out when cooked, and looks like a porcupine?

Mushroom Gravy and Porcupines at

Serve over mashed potatoes, or rice, or noodles . . . or whatever your choice of carb.

My Mushroom Gravy Recipe or Nony Exposes Her Kitchen Cop-Out 2 at

You can be so much more awesome than me and make your own from-scratch cream of mushroom soup in the crockpot.  Here’s a recipe from the blog that made me desperate to blog . . . A Year of Slowcooking.

Note – You know that I love to pre-cook ground beef, and that I like to make meatballs in bulk.  However, I consider this to be best as the dinner you serve on the day you do all the cooking.  The “mushroom gravy” is fine with pre-cooked meatballs, but so much better with the bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Otherwise, strangely . . . it tastes a little like . . . Cream of Mushroom Soup.

And here’s our menu plan for the week:

Monday – Chicken and Dumplings

Tuesday – Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmagiana

Wednesday – Skillet Lasagna

Thursday – Chicken Stir Fry

Friday – Out to Eat

Saturday – Grilled Burgers


Oh, and have you voted today in the Top 25 Home Management blogs? Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Go here to find out.

I’ll be linking this up to Menu Plan Monday over at

Check Out All My Simple Recipes at




  1. 1

    Cream of mushroom is my gravy staple 🙂 one of my favorites is cream of mushroom mixed with a can of progresso french onion, good with meatballs or over meatloaf

  2. 2

    <3 Here is some big love from a mama who has opened plenty of cans and boxes, in an effort to get dinner on the table. It's all right and good for all "from scratch" meals, and I really enjoy them. Sometimes though, there are just seasons when it's a blessing just to GET dinner on the table. Yay for "gravy". 🙂

  3. 3

    I’ve never had porcupine meatballs, but have heard of them. I need to try them!!

    And my comfort food that reminds me of growing up? Pork chops simmered in cream of mushroom soup served with mashed potatoes. Mmm….perfect on a cold night! (And yes, I make WAY too many mashed potatoes. I’m ok with that. 🙂 )

  4. 4

    Our family has a dish we call “mice”. It’s actually chicken tenders wrapped in bacon, baked in a “gravy” of cream of mushroom soup and sour cream. My little nephew ate with us one night and when asked by his mom what we had he said “I don’t know, but I think it was mice.” (Not sure he ever got to eat with us again….) The name stuck. Really? People make homemade gravy? . . .

  5. 7

    Lol…… I do believe that’s called “Semi-Homemade”. =)

  6. 8

    No worries, I do the same thing, and mine isn’t as complicated as yours. I brown ground beef, mostly drain the fat, cover it with a can of campbell’s cream of mushroom, heat and stir until it turns brown-ish. No seasoning, no forming meatballs, it is OUTSTANDING over egg noodles. We call it “poor man’s beef stroganoff” even though it doesn’t have a drop of sour cream in it. It is sooo good. We add a pile of fresh or frozen green beans steamed until bright green and sometimes even stir it all together. I bet it would be great with peas (if you like them, which I don’t)

    • 9

      Also great with green beans or lima beans in place of peas. In our house this is Hamburger Gravy, though my mom also adds a package of onion soup mix–no water, or maybe 1/4 cup if necessary. Serve over carb of choice.

      • 10

        And actually, serving over raw mushrooms as a low-carb option is amazing. Also cabbage strips lightly sauteed, or lightly sauteed mushroom/pepper/onion combo. Mmmm delicious.

  7. 11

    Another thing Cambell’s Soup is good for? Chicken and dumplings — use cream of chicken soup. I do that when I need something hearty and fast. I’m not very kitchen-inclined, but I thought of it all on my own (and then saw that so had a million other people, LOL)!

  8. 13

    Hi Nony!

    I saw this pop up in my google reader and HAD to try it TODAY. I fancied it up a bit by sauteeing some chopped fresh mushrooms with some chopped green onion and minced garlic (which I buy in a jar from the dollar store) and I added all of that to a small pot with the soup using a can of milk instead of water. It was GREAT. I am thinking of making a post on my blog about it and linking to you if that’s ok?

  9. 15

    Nony, one of my family’s absolute favorite comfort foods is cream of mushroom soup mixed with cooked rice, some ground beef, and soy sauce.

    For my DD and I (it’s usually just the two of us), I put one can of soup in a saucepan with about a half can of water and enough rice to make it somewhat thick. I don’t measure the rice, but I’d guess I use 1 to 1-1/2 cups of cooked rice.

    I don’t “freezer cook” on a large scale, but I do like to keep pre-cooked rice in the freezer. I used to buy the big jumbo bags at Costco until they stopped carrying it, which really bummed out. Okay, call me slow, but eventually the lighbulb came on and I figured out that dry bagged rice is really cheap, and I could cook a bunch of it myself and throw in it a Ziploc freezer bag. So easy even this non-cook can do it. 🙂

    Anyway, I use about 1/3 lb of ground beef. Just brown it on the stove and crumble it up, and add it to the mushroom soup and rice mixture. Sprinkle on soy sauce to your liking, and enjoy!

    If you want to add a vegetable, it’s good with canned green beans.

  10. 16

    I just discovered your blog. And I am in blog love! LOL. I am so a slob and its a challenge that I am taking on now. I will overcome my slobby ways. 😉 I am so enjoying reading back through your entries.

  11. 18

    Sounds yummy. Now I want some comfort food.

    I went and voted for you.

  12. 20

    And if you get bored with it, there’s always golden mushroom soup! :O Just throwing that out there. 🙂 (I actually think we’re going to have ground chicken made into meatballs with golden mushroom soup over egg noodles for dinner tonight… I am actually skipping lunch in anticipation of the carb & fat overload tonight, lol.)

    • 21

      And, omg! I discovered Campbell’s “beefy mushroom soup” the other night for the first time. Yay! Even “gravier”. 🙂

  13. 22

    I use cream of chicken soup A LOT okay for MOST of my gravies lol. I’ll open a can or of coc and chick gravy and whisk together. Or if I’m out of chick gravy I’ll pop open a can of au ju gravy. Season it up and call it gravy lol.

    I voted for you. And looky look.. you’re in the LEAD! 🙂

  14. 23

    Nothing wrong with cream of mushroom soup! I use it a lot, especially in my crock pot meals. In fact, almost all of my husband’s favorite dishes contain this creamy goodness.

    We also really like the jarred Chicken or Beef gravies. Shh! Don’t tell! 🙂

  15. 24

    I love Cream of Mushroom Soup! I am putting this down as a recipe to try, thanks for sharing it.

    Found you through MPM

  16. 25

    That recipe you posted looks SO GOOD! I am definitely going to try this out!

    Our favorite “fancy gravy” recipe is:

    sauteed cubed chicken (seasoned with garlic, and poultry seasoning)
    then add the cream of mushroom soup and some milk making sure you scrape up the yummys from the pan. Let that cook up ’til thickened and then serve over gravy.

    this is seriously one of my family’s favorite meals and they always thought it was some major deal to prepare. So funny.

  17. 26

    No worries..cream of anything is a staple around here for sure!!

    The meatballs look great – thanks for sharing the recipe!

  18. 27

    I have never seen ‘porcupine meatballs’ cooked with cream of mushroom soup. In our family, we cook them in cream of tomato soup. Sooo good! So easy too. I don’t even brown the meatballs first. Mix up the soup with a can of water or milk and drop the meatballs in, simmer for 30 mins and they are done. Yum yum. Maybe I will make some and blog about it and then link up here for an alternative! I will have to try this version too (and some of the other suggestions).

  19. 28
    Shannon L says:

    Last night, around 6pm, I needed a quick dinner. } immediately thought of this recipe. I omitted the rice and made plain meatballs. While they were browning, I peeled potatoes and cut into small pieces to cook faster. While the potatoes were boiling, I poured a can of Campbells cream of mushroom soup with roasted garlic plus a can of water. Dinner was done in no time and it got rave reviews. A simple spinach salad on the side and dinner was done! Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. 29
    Nancy L. says:

    Oh how I miss cream of ___ (fill in the blank) soup. (Never thought I’d say that!) My husband recently went gluten-free and all my simple go-to meals are out. I’m really struggling. I may have to make some from scratch, but I’m so not feeling domesticated today.

  21. 30
    Angela Michaud says:

    I consider myself a pretty capable meatball-maker, but always of the “Spaghetti and” variety… My husband always likes them, so when I found that I had a bag of instant rice to use up I decided to try your recipe.
    UM… Delicious.
    He (and the kids – miracle!) love these way more than my previous Italian-breadcrumb-style, and I am making them tonight for the third time in less than two weeks.
    Thanks so much! They are amazing and easy.

  22. 32

    Ooh…that looks good. And thank you for the link for homemade mushroom soup! There are so many things I can’t eat now, that something like that will come in very handy. 🙂

  23. 33

    I make smothered chicken/steak with “mushroom gravy” but use milk instead of water. Also, if you add a drained can of mushrooms halfway through browning the meatballs, they brown up nicely. I rarely have fresh mushrooms on hand for these types ofeals. I wonder what it would be like if you added chicken/beef stock?

  24. 34

    My mom always made beef stroganoff using using either stewing beef or hamburger with a sauce of cream of mushroom soup, a packet of beef gravy mix and a little sour cream. She served it over egg noodles. I do the same thing, My family loves it!

  25. 35

    So I can’t use Campbells even though it is available in South Africa, it isn’t kosher. Hands down the most compliments I get is when I add a packet of instant soup to my meat for gravy, especially if the roast was done in the slow cooker. Tonight’s dinner gray is brown onion soup mix

  26. 36
    Jennifer says:

    i can’t use cream of mushroom. just. can’t. i had a traumatic experience when i was about 10 with a girl scout troop leader who had no business leading anything, who made me attempt to cook chicken in “gravy”… On an open grate charcoal grill. Outside. In the rain. In 40 degree weather. Did i mention i was 10? Now picture two hours later the chicke is still raw, the cream of mushroom soup tastes just like what it is, there’s nothing else to eat, and we’re stuck there for two more days.

  27. 37
    Jennifer McMillan says:

    Add a can of French onion soup at the end-so good!

  28. 38
    Shelia B says:

    Loved your post! I know it’s a little late (just now found you 🙂 but I have a secret recipe-gravy too, so I thought I’d share it. 1 can of Cream of Shrimp soup dumped into a bowl. Pour a package of dry pork gravy mix into the empty can. Add water and mix it up well. Dump into the bowl with the soup. Whisk well. Add a little more water if it looks too dry for you. Pour over boneless pork chops & bake at 400 for an hour. We call them Shrimp Chops and they are flippin’ DIVINE!

  29. 39

    My “mom’s mushroom gravy” came in a blue can with a rooster on it. I cannot find that brand anywhere. Campbell’s soup is the right gravy for porkchops, but that little blue can is my burger and mushroom gravy gravy.

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