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When you're craving a comforting bowl of hot soup, there's no shame in reaching for a canned version of your favorite flavor. After all, canned soups are affordable and accessible. They also have a long pantry shelf-life and are convenient to make for a quick lunch or on nights you just don't feel like cooking soup from scratch. Canned soup simply needs to be heated on a stovetop or in the microwave, and it's ready to pair with crusty bread, your favorite crackers, a sandwich, or a salad for a more complete meal.
If the canned soup aisle brings the condensed tomato or cream of mushroom varieties you grew up on to the mind, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find there are so many more soup choices available today. Plus, there are lots of healthy options to choose from, including soups that are low-calorie, low-fat, and lower in sodium. There are also organic, gluten-free, or vegetarian options, so you can easily find one that fits your nutrition preferences. With so many choices, how do you know which soups taste the best and are worthy of a spot in your pantry?
We've combed through customer reviews and considered flavor, nutrition, and price to bring you this list of the best-canned soups.
Best Chicken Noodle Soup: Progresso Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup
When you don’t have time to make chicken noodle soup from scratch, there’s no need to fret: Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup is considered the best-canned chicken noodle soup for a reason. Everything about this soup—from the texture and quality of the noodles to the silky consistency of the broth to the yummy flavor—is on par with what your mom made you growing up.
There are no artificial flavors or coloring in this soup, and the white chicken meat is hormone- and antibiotic-free. Apart from chicken and broth, other ingredients include carrots, celery, egg noodles, garlic powder, parsley, chives, salt, and various other seasonings.
Calories per serving: 100 | Sodium: 680 milligrams | Carbohydrates: 13 grams
Best Tomato Soup: Pacific Foods Organic Vegan Tomato Basil Soup
In the mood for creamy, delectable tomato soup, without hours spent in the kitchen? Look no further than Pacific Foods Organic Creamy Tomato Basil Soup, whose flavor profile rivals that of any homemade tomato soup. It’s especially delicious when paired with buttery grilled cheese or cheese quesadillas.
This Organic Creamy Tomato Basil Soup is made with a soy milk base (so it’s vegan) and contains fresh, pureed organic tomatoes, garlic, onion, and lots of fragrant, fresh basil. It’s also USDA-certified organic.
Calories per serving: 90 | Sodium: 630 milligrams | Carbohydrates: 13 grams
Best Vegetable Soup: Amy’s Organic Chunky Vegetable Soup
Craving a nutritious, veggie-packed soup? Amy’s Kitchen Chunky Fat-Free Vegetable Soup boasts a delicate flavor and all-organic ingredients; it’s the perfect quick, convenient, healthy meal that’s soothing and comforting, especially on a cold day.
Chunks of fresh veggies—diced tomatoes, spinach, carrots, green beans, corn, peas, celery, and onion, all of which are fully organic—commingle with a homemade-like broth, and plenty of seasonings (sea salt and cracked black pepper), resulting in a nutrient-dense meal. As with all of Amy’s food products, the Chunky Fat-Free Vegetable Soup is certified organic, certified gluten-free, and non-GMO project verified.
Calories per serving: 80 | Sodium: 720 milligrams | Carbohydrates: 5 grams
Best Potato Soup: Campbell's Chunky Baked Potato with Cheddar & Bacon Bits Soup
When the cold weather starts to hit, few things are better than a bowl of piping-hot potato soup. And there’s no beating a classic: Campbell’s Chunky Baked Potato with Cheddar & Bacon Bits Soup is a much-beloved pantry staple for a reason. Thanks to the texture and ingredients—this soup is full of big chunks of baked potatoes, bacon, and cheddar cheese—this makes for a tasty and very filling meal. (Basically, if you’re craving a thin, healthy soup: look elsewhere!)
The full ingredients list includes water, chicken stock, baked potatoes, russet potatoes, vegetable oil, cheese flavor base, onions, salt, pork, spices, dehydrated butter, and several others. For an even heartier meal, Campbell’s recommends pouring this soup over a baked potato.
Calories per serving: 190 | Sodium: 790 milligrams | Carbohydrates: 22 grams
Best Tasting: Amy's Thai Coconut Soup
Creamy, spicy, hearty, and oh-so-flavorful: Amy’s Thai Coconut Soup is the best-canned soup when it comes to taste. Boasting a rich, robust flavor that you’re unlikely to find in many other canned soups, this Thai Coconut soup has sweet coconut milk, shiitake mushrooms, sweet potatoes, organic tofu, lemongrass, warming Thai spices, organic cane sugar, organic tamari, and other organic veggies (green beans, carrots, and more)—talk about a winning combo.
This soup is certified gluten-free, non-GMO project verified, and certified organic. It’s on the pricey end of the spectrum, but it’s well worth it if you want to indulge in a tastier-than-average canned soup.
Calories per serving: 210 | Sodium: 790 milligrams | Carbohydrates: 15 grams
Best Organic: Amy's Organic Lentil Vegetable Soup
When it comes to fully organic food products, few soup brands beat Amy’s. Started in 1987, Amy’s produces high-quality organic foods that are made without GMOs, insecticides, and other chemicals. Their soups, in particular, are also gluten- and dairy-free, so for those who have special dietary concerns, Amy’s Light in Sodium Lentil Soup makes for the perfect meal.
Made without trans fats and with 50 percent less sodium than regular soup, this soup has a very simple, but delicious ingredient list: filtered water, organic green lentils, celery, carrots, onions, potatoes, extra virgin olive oil, bay leaves, and sea salt (all of which are USDA-certified organic).
Calories per serving: 160 | Sodium: 720 milligrams | Carbohydrates: 24 grams
Best Vegetarian: Amy's Hearty Organic Rustic Italian Vegetable Soup
Chock-full of fresh, yummy vegetables, Amy’s Rustic Italian Vegetable Soup is the perfect vegetarian-friendly canned soup for a cold, wintery evening. It’s made with protein-rich organic chickpeas, brown rice, mushrooms, veggies, and fresh herbs, and in addition to being vegetarian (and vegan), it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and certified kosher. This isn’t a thin soup; thanks to its hearty texture and full ingredients list, it makes for a satisfying main course (especially if there’s a toasted baguette involved!).
As a brand, Amy’s is known for its commitment to producing sustainably sourced, nutritious foods—all of their fruits, veggies, and grains are grown organically, without the use of harmful chemicals—so you can rest assured you’re getting a truly high-quality soup.
Calories per serving: 190 | Sodium: 810 milligrams | Carbohydrates: 24 grams
What to Look for in Canned Soup
Nutrition Facts Panel
While there are plenty of healthier canned soup options on store shelves these days, canned foods are notorious for being sodium bombs. Be a smart shopper and check the label before adding that soup to your cart. If your favorite soup is high in sodium, it doesn’t mean you can’t have it, but it’s important to be aware, watch your portions, and perhaps reduce other sources of sodium in your meal to compensate.
This should be clear on the label, so read those instructions carefully. Products will recommend microwave, stovetop, or both; if the instructions mention reaching a minimum internal temperature, use your thermometer to make sure the soup is coming to a safely heated temperature.
Do you need a can opener? Take note of the can’s lid, and make sure you’re purchasing a can with a pop-open top if you don’t own a can opener.
How long is canned soup good for?
According to the USDA, canned goods can last for years; however, the can has to be in good condition; if there’s rust, dents, or swelling, toss it. “Dates on cans indicate peak quality as determined by the manufacturer. So don’t automatically pitch a can with an expired date,” advises the USDA. They suggest that low-acid canned products (think: canned meat, fish, stew, soups, beans, corn, peas, potatoes, etc.) can be stored for two to five years. On the other hand, high-acid canned products (like fruit, pickles, tomatoes, tomato-based soup), can last for 12-18 months. If you can foods at home yourself, these have a shorter shelf life and the USDA recommends consuming these foods within one year.
Moral of the story: It depends what kind of soup it is, and if the can is in good shape, but if it’s past the expiration date and the can is in good condition, you may not need to throw it out after all.
How can you make canned soup better?
Canned soup is a great starting point for a meal—with a little creativity and some spare ingredients, you can turn a basic soup into much more. Have some extra kale or spinach on hand in your fridge? Toss those greens into the pot and let them wilt down in just moments. If you have extra frozen veggies in your freezer (think: extra frozen spinach from a lasagna, or extra shelled edamame from a rice bowl), throw them into the pot, and let the simmering soup warm them through for a few minutes. This will not only add substance to your soup, but it will add tons of nutrients (lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber!).
If you have any extra rotisserie chicken, cut or shred it into small pieces and add it to a vegetarian soup for a protein boost. If you have any extra plain white rice from your Chinese takeout meal a few days back, give it a new life by adding it to your soup! And don’t forget about garnishes; a simple topping or side can really elevate a canned soup. Easy sides like garlic bread, toasted baguette, a sprinkle of shaved Parmesan, and crushed tortilla chips can turn a light dish into a filling meal. Even a squeeze of citrus or sprinkle of fresh herbs can add a bright element to liven up the canned soup.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Justine Harrington is a freelance writer for The Spruce Eats. From beers to tacos to takeout, the travel journalist has discovered and sampled a wide variety of food and drink in her travels. In addition to compiling this list of the best-canned soups, Justine has also written about vegan cheese for The Spruce Eats.
This roundup was updated by The Spruce Eats writer Alyssa Langer. She is a registered dietitian and foodie, always curious about the next food or ingredient craze, and hungry to learn and try more. Having worked in cookbook publishing, CPG label data, nutrition writing, and meal kits, her diverse background and varied interests provide a unique perspective that fosters clear, well-researched and trustworthy reviews. She is a huge fan of canned soup and loves finding creative ways to dress up these budget-friendly pantry staples.