We Tasted And Ranked 9 Canned Chicken Noodle Soups

Cans of chicken noodle soup
Cans of chicken noodle soup - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

When I say chicken noodle soup, what comes to mind? Sick days home from school? A famous painting? A cozy meal on a cold winter's night? Joey from the TV show "Friends" messing up his commercial lines? Few dishes evoke a sense of nostalgia quite like this one. Maybe you even have your hometown favorite or something special you ate as a kid.

There are also those store-bought classics of the soup world that are tried and true staples, and that's exactly where this ranking comes in. Many of us don't have time to whip up soup from scratch, especially those soups that take all day to prep and cook. For this, canned soups have entered the chat.

I decided to explore the world of canned chicken noodle soup to see if there's a standout in the lineup. Is Campbell's truly the best, or is there another brand out there that we should be praising? From salt content and ingredients, to texture and overall satisfaction, I felt it was my duty to give the big names, and few lesser-known brands alike, a fair shot at claiming the canned soup title. Let's see where the top contenders fall. I think this list might surprise you!

Read more: 12 Canned Foods You Should Avoid At The Grocery Store

9. Health Valley Organic Chicken Noodle Soup

Health Valley Chicken Noodle Soup
Health Valley Chicken Noodle Soup - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

First up was Health Valley's Organic Chicken Noodle Soup, comprised of dark meat chicken, carrots, celery, egg noodles, garlic, onion powder, and a variety of spices. With only 130 mg of sodium in 1 cup of soup, I had high hopes for this healthy option. However, my expectations came crashing down with the first taste. This one tasted like dishwater. Period.

I can't find one good thing to say about Health Valley's soup, outside of its organic ingredient list and healthy nutrition profile. The broth was super thin and essentially tasteless, with the sodium's absence shining through. The chicken was overcooked, too, giving it a gritty texture that didn't showcase a juicy meat addition. The only real flavor to be found was the onion powder, and that onion essence stayed with me long after I was done eating. I even hated the can, as it was the only soup option without an easy-open pull top.

Health Valley, you need to do better. With a stellar ingredient selection, spices listed on the can, and dark meat chicken, where did the flavor go? There are a lot of healthy soups on this list that prove you can have taste and a solid nutrition profile. Unfortunately, this one doesn't make the cut. Never again.

8. Great Value Chicken Noodle Condensed Soup

Great Value Chicken Noodle Soup
Great Value Chicken Noodle Soup - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

Up next was Walmart's attempt at chicken noodle soup with its Great Value brand. This condensed option was another no-go, but it fared better than the last.

After adding a can of water, the broth was super thin, but the taste was absolutely there. However, that taste was salt. This canned concoction featured 890 mg of sodium in 1/2 cup of soup. Yes, you read that right. It wasn't necessarily bad, but I could feel the hydration draining from my body.

Once I got past the broth, there was nothing else left to say about this one, as the rest of the soup was completely lackluster. The noodles were soggy and tasted as such, and there were only five tiny pieces of chicken that had a processed texture with no taste. Between the sodium content and poor ingredients, this one was another hard pass. Sometimes Walmart surprises me, but this surprise wasn't one I'd like to experience again.

7. Annie's Organic Chicken Noodle Soup

Annie's Chicken Noodle Soup
Annie's Chicken Noodle Soup - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

Placing lower down on my list than expected was the well-known Annie's brand, boasting its signature organic label. This comfort classic featured egg noodles, chunks of chicken meat, carrots, celery, and spices you can actually see in the broth. From the looks of it, I was expecting gold, especially with a sodium count of 590 milligrams per can, but unfortunately, this soup fell short of my expectations.

Overall, all the components of the soup were great. Everything tasted as expected, and the ingredients looked real and natural, but the broth failed to deliver. It was pretty bland and there was no salt taste to be found. I did taste hints of the added spices, but there was no cohesion in the liquid base. The can says thyme, rosemary, turmeric, and garlic powder are present, but they got lost in the literal mix.

For a healthier option, Annie's fell short. If I had to give this one a label, I'd call it "fine," but it's nothing special and nothing I'd recommend.

6. Pacific Organic Chicken Noodle Soup

Pacific Chicken Noodle Soup
Pacific Chicken Noodle Soup - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

Another organic option on my list was Pacific's Organic Chicken Noodle Soup, offering up a stellar assortment of ingredients. In this soup, you'll find chicken, egg noodles, peas, celery, and (mainly) carrots, along with sea salt, garlic, and spices. With ingredients and spices you can clearly see, this wasn't just another boring can of broth with limited items floating around.

At first taste, I got that signature salt flavor of chicken soup, but it wasn't overpowering. With that said, it leaned a little bland for me. The taste was there, but it wasn't impressive and died out with a limited aftertaste. 1 cup icludes 640 milligrams of sodium, and for that amount of salt, I want more from the flavor profile. The rest of the soup was decent, with garden vegetables like carrots and peas stealing the show, but to me, without a stellar broth and homestyle chicken, it just didn't impress.

My final thoughts: Pacific offers a solid canned chicken soup option. It's not the best, but it will get the job done.

5. Chef's Cupboard Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup

Chef's Cupboard chicken noodle soup
Chef's Cupboard chicken noodle soup - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

Placing 5th on my ranking is Chef's Cupboard from Aldi, featuring its chunky chicken noodle. I definitely found chunks when I opened the can, chunks of what I assumed were fat. Whatever it was, it wasn't appealing, but at least it dissolved upon heating.

This soup was filled with big pieces of chicken, carrot, egg noodles, and celery. While it had the same ingredients as most of the other options, this one tasted different to the rest. It had a lot of flavor, but there was no salt assault. It had hints of sweetness to it, too, which wasn't found anywhere else on this list. However, the chicken did have that processed texture and tasted overcooked. This soup also had 680 milligrams of sodium per cup, making it a little unhealthier than the rest.

While the flavor was there, Chef's Cupboard wasn't a favorite for me. I definitely recommend giving it a try if you want to try something new, and with Aldi prices, you can't go wrong.

4. Trader Joe's Chicken Noodle Soup

Trader Joe's Chicken Noodle Soup
Trader Joe's Chicken Noodle Soup - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

I was eager to try Trader Joe's attempt at this classic soup, as they always seem to find new and innovative ways to make traditional dishes shine. The store's branded soup contained 550 milligrams of sodium per cup, giving me hope that flavor would abound. What I liked right off the bat was that there were a ton of ingredients, so much so they piled above the broth line. You could also see spices floating around too. So far so good.

Out of all the others on the list thus far, this one was the first option to feel homemade. The chunks of chicken looked real, and while a little overcooked, tasted fresh. The broth had great flavor but it leaned a little bland in the aftertaste. However, I did get notes of the spices mixed in, adding more complexity to the profile than all the others so far.

I think TJ's created a solid chicken noodle soup experience that you can rely on for cold nights and sick days. Was it the best? No, but it's a top 5 contender for sure!

3. Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup

Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup
Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

When people think of soup, there's no doubt that the Campbell's brand comes to mind. They are the iconic standard that has been around since 1869, and that means something in the soup biz. But how does their famous red-canned chicken soup hold up against the rest?

The broth tasted exactly as I remembered it — salty, but just the right amount with that chicken bouillon taste. And with 890 mg sodium in just a half cup, I can see why. While the broth is iconic, it's very yellow and super thin, and the soup is overtaken by noodles with a limited amount of tiny cubes of chicken.

Look, I get that there may be "better" options out there when it comes to health and even ingredient choices, but it's hard to beat Campbell's signature broth. It's so flavorful and salty in the best ways where most of this list just fell short. However, those points are the reason this icon isn't in the top two. Without other ingredients like veggies and better chicken pieces, this one just can't make the winning cut.

2. Rao's Slow Simmered Chicken Noodle Soup

Rao's Chicken Noodle Soup
Rao's Chicken Noodle Soup - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

I know this option isn't canned, but we made an exception, as Rao's was said to be one of the top soups on the shelves. I have to say, the masses were not wrong.

Rao's offers a true homemade-style soup in a jar, and man, what a flavor! It's salty as you'd expect, but I could see and taste hints of herbs, along with a balanced amount of garlic. The best part, the entire jar contained 820 grams of sodium, which feels incredible to me with the amount of flavor in that soup. I loved that the chicken looked real, as if someone cooked a chicken and pulled it apart themselves to place in the broth. I also enjoyed the noodles and the big chunks of carrot. The soup really did have a homemade feel that made me believe it was cooked with love.

Why did this stellar soup place second? That garlic I mentioned. While this soup had a lot of flavor, that garlic presence was prominent. It's not a traditional chicken soup flavoring; you really have to enjoy garlic. Be that as it may, I can't recommend this one enough. It's not your average chicken noodle, but that's exactly why it placed second on my list. Rao's, for a tomato sauce champ, you really brought your A-game with this pantry staple. Well done!

1. Progresso Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup

Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup
Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup - Jenn Carnevale / Static Media

Are you as surprised as I was? Coming in first in this canned soup-off is Progresso's traditional chicken noodle soup, featuring 660 milligrams of sodium in 1 cup and a homemade vibe that (in my opinion) can't be beaten.

This one looked and tasted homemade. Every ingredient looked like it was cut in a kitchen, and the taste, while not super salty, was balanced and wholesome. That balance is the true homemade vibe for me, forgoing that aggressive bullion taste that sometimes covers the other benefits of a chicken soup. With Progresso, you'll find real chunks of carrots, celery, and chicken where the ingredients surpass broth, piling up to showcase all the goodies this can has to offer. The broth is thicker than most, too, giving the dish a smooth and silky texture

While I was a Campbell's girl, it seems my next trip to the soup aisle will lead me to Progresso. Whenever I might need a winter pick-me-up or something to fight off that head cold, Progresso is my new go-to — and it should be the same for you!

How We Determined The Best Canned Chicken Noodle Soup

Pot of chicken soup
Pot of chicken soup - Charles Brutlag/Shutterstock

For this article, I sought out and purchased the most popular canned soup brands, including a few lesser-known options, to see which chicken noodle soup was truly the best. I grabbed all of the soups you see here and taste-tested them personally. The main factor was taste and overall satisfaction, but ingredients and quality also went into my final decision.

Read the original article on Daily Meal