The Best Store-Bought Broths

Cold season demands the best chicken noodle soup. But which chicken broth do you start with? Here, the tastiest in three categories.

Photo by Antonis Achilleos


(Note: Prices may vary by store.)

Regular Broth

Top pick: Campbell's Condensed Soup Chicken Broth, 89 cents for a 10 1/2-ounce can.
Comments: Most "regular" versions of chicken broth are 99 or 100 percent fat-free, only marginally different from those marked "fat free" or "low fat." So testers combined these categories. The winner? Campbell's regular. The only real health offender to consider when buying broth is sodium. Campbell's "intense" broth had a slightly salty taste, but testers gave it a thumbs-up because the salt added to a "full flavor" that worked well as a base for recipes. One 101/2-ounce can of condensed broth yields 21 ounces after water is added.
Bonus: The pop-top means no can opener is needed.

Low-Sodium Broth

Top pick: Swanson Natural Goodness, 99 cents for a 14-ounce can.
Comments: Less salt often means not as much flavor, but Swanson's Natural Goodness, which has a third less sodium than the company's regular broth, was "very tasty" according to our sippers. It wasn't "bland and flavorless like the other low-salt cans." It also helped that there was no "chemical" or "harsh" aftertaste.
Bonus: Like Campbell's, Swanson's Natural Goodness has an easy pop-top. It's also 100 percent fat-free and MSG-free. Not bad for a 99 cent product.

All-Natural or Organic Broth

Top pick: Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth, $2.50 for a 32-ounce carton.
Comments: The overwhelming winner in this category, Imagine's broth "is the most chickeny one yet!" as one tester said, and got high marks for a "pleasing color and flavor." It tasted so much like finished chicken soup that one tester asked, "Where are the crackers?"
Bonus: It's made from organic free-range chicken raised without pesticides or antibiotics. The large resealable carton stores unused broth in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.