Stocking your pantry with canned soups is a good idea whether you’re planning your next meal or keeping your pantry stocked up in case of emergency. Soups are affordable, last for years in your pantry, and the best soups taste really, really good.
It’s not just hoarders who buy canned soups. As of 2018, the 11 top-selling soups in America sold in excess of 420 million cans — with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom topping the list with nearly 80 million cans sold.
With so many canned soups to select from at your grocery store, picking the best cans of soup can be a perplexing endeavor and entail a lot of trial and error. But instead of dealing with that headache, we’ve made it easy by listing the best popular canned soups you can buy. The soups are ranked from worst to first, so grab and spoon and get ready to start scooping.
15. Campbell’s Chunky Hearty Cheeseburger Soup
Some people say Campbell’s Chunky Hearty Cheeseburger Soup tastes like a liquified version of a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. However, that’s actually giving this soup too much credit. A McDonald’s cheeseburger tastes like gourmet food compared to this inedible slop.
While McDonald’s isn’t exactly known for the quality of their meat, the meat in Campbell’s Chunky Hearty Cheeseburger Soup is just gross. The cheese tastes like brackish water and your taste buds will revolt once they realize there are chunks of potatoes in this cheeseburger soup. In fact, potatoes are listed second on the list of ingredients, only behind water.
Other lowlights of this soup are its neon orange coloring and the fact that it comes out in one gigantic, disgusting glob when you pour it out of the can. Campbell’s Chunky Hearty Cheeseburger Soup is like if you found a half eaten cheeseburger on the sidewalk, gathered some old french fries out of the gutter, and put it in the blender with some orange nuclear wastewater. Stay away. Far away.
14. Dinty Moore Beef Stew
You very well could have grown up eating Dinty Moore soups. Their cans are recognizable and their soups created many fond memories over the last 80-plus years. Unfortunately, Dinty Moore Beef Stew is no longer what it used to be even five or ten years ago.
The problem will hit you right between the eyes once you open up the can. Dinty Moore Beef Stew went from being one of the beefiest stews around to being almost devoid of beef. Remember those big chunks of beef from your childhood? Well, those chunks have been replaced by smaller, less flavorful flecks of meat.
Additionally, Dinty Moore Beef Stew used to have an equal amount of potatoes and carrots. But these days, the quantity of potatoes far outnumber the carrots. To make matters worse, the potatoes don’t have as pleasant of a texture as they used to and the carrots you do find will underwhelm.
13. Well Yes! Chicken Noodle Soup
Campbell’s has a Well Yes! line of soups that they market as a healthier alternative to their other soups due to their use of real ingredients and the forgoing of all artificial flavors. While not all of the Well Yes! soups are bad (the Butternut Squash Apple Bisque is surprisingly decent, in fact), the Well Yes! Chicken Noodle Soup is a disgrace to Campbell’s good name.
Sure, this soup might not have any artificial flavors but the problem is that they forgot to put in any flavors at all — whether real or artificial. The chicken in it is minimal and manages to be virtually flavorless. The noodles in Well Yes! Chicken Noodle Soup are very light egg noodles made from a mix of quinoa flour and wheat flour. Other ingredients include white beans that taste like nothing, watery tomatoes, and round orange bites that are apparently carrots.
Should you buy this soup? Well No! That’d be a waste of money.
12. Rao’s Italian Wedding Soup
Rao’s makes highly-rated marinara sauce that is legitimately some of the best stuff that you can find anywhere in the world. They’ve become a trusted brand if you want quality. Rao’s soups, which hit shelves for the first time in 2019, must also also be really good, right? Tragically, that is far from the case.
Rao’s Italian Wedding Soup has beef meatballs, pork meatballs, spinach, carrots, onions, and pasta resting in chicken broth. Those are impeccable ingredients and Rao’s clear soup jar makes it look fancy and could cause your mouth to water.
On your first bite, you’ll realize the main issue: this soup has way, way too much salt. Technically, one serving of Rao’s Italian Wedding Soup has more than 30 percent of the amount of sodium you should consume per day. Your taste buds will think the percentage is even higher than that.
Maybe this company will eventually learn how to make good soups. In the meantime, divorce any thoughts of purchasing Rao’s Italian Wedding Soup.
11. Wolfgang Puck Chicken & Dumplings Soup
While Wolfgang Puck Chicken & Dumplings Soup won’t cost you an arm or a leg, this soup is definitely pricier than the competition. Factoring in the connection to world famous chef Wolfgang Puck and the yummy picture on the can, your expectations will be sky high. But prepared to be left unsatisfied.
Although Wolfgang Puck Chicken & Dumplings Soup isn’t bad, it’s painfully average. The chicken in this soup is stringy and not the quality you’d expect. The amount of potatoes in the soup is also disappointing; it’s obvious the potatoes are used as a filler ingredient. The few so-called "dumplings" you find in the soup are just slimy pieces of dough in reality.
The overall flavor is watery, too. You’ll need to jazz things up with your own spices in order for you to get any enjoyment out of this soup. Wolfgang Puck has a lot of good soups but this is certainly not one of them.
10. Amy’s Organic Lentil Soup
Lentil soup is something you may believe can only be tasty if you make it from scratch in your own kitchen. While there are a lot of terrible lentil soups on the market that try too hard and add too many unneeded flavors, Amy’s Organic Lentil Soup is an option that you can go to that is consistently above average. There are better soups available, but this stuff is perfect for a cold day when you just want to stay inside and relax while a hot bowl of soup gently warms you up.
In addition to lentils, Amy’s Organic Lentil Soup has celery, onions, carrots, and potatoes. All those ingredients are organic and the soup is free of gluten, soy, and lactose. If you eat a vegan or plant-based diet, this soup should be in your cupboard.
If you’re looking for a spicy soup, you’ve come to the wrong can. Though there are a lot of seasonings at play, they add to the depth of the overall flavor of the soup and not to any sort of spiciness.
9. Healthy Choice Chicken with Rice
Healthy Choice Chicken with Rice does a whole lot right. First of all, it is likely the healthiest soup on this list — as the name would suggest. A 15-ounce can has only 220 calories and four grams of fat. It’s also relatively low in carbs and sodium, while being high in protein. You don’t have to feel guilty if you eat even two cans of this soup.
Secondly, Healthy Choice has really good vegetables. The celery and carrots are soft — but not so soft that they melt in your mouth — and burst with flavor with every bite. And finally, the broth of this soup is really good. If you have any left over in your bowl, you won’t hesitate to drink it right up.
The drawback when it comes to Healthy Choice Chicken with Rice is the chicken. While there is an adequate amount of chicken, both the flavor and texture are underwhelming.
8. Progresso Southwest Style Black Bean and Vegetable Soup
Buying Progresso Southwest Style Black Bean and Vegetable Soup at your local market is a bit of a gamble. By the end of the day, you may be completely happy with your decision… or you could be regretting it. The reason for that is due to the fact that you never know quite what you’re going to get when you open a can of this soup.
When it’s good, Progresso Southwest Style Black Bean and Vegetable Soup is loaded with red bell peppers, green peppers, corn, tomatoes, and cilantro. All those veggies mix with the chicken broth and black beans to create a winner. Add a dollop of sour cream on top and you’ll be in soup heaven.
Unfortunately, there’s another scenario that could play out. Sometimes when you open this soup made by Progresso, the vegetables are scarce. Thus, instead of being a praiseworthy soup, it basically turns into a bowl of black beans sitting in broth. When that happens, it’s truly heartbreaking.
7. Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup
Heinz has been making ketchup since 1876 and their ketchup is by far the most popular ketchup in America. With over 140 years of experience, we know that this company knows their way around a tomato. For that reason, it’s no surprise that Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup is really good, and criminally underrated.
When it comes to tomato soup, you probably don’t think about Heinz — but that should change. While this is different from tomato soup you’re accustomed to, it’s wildly popular in Europe — specifically in the United Kingdom. Give it a try and you may never switch back to traditional American tomato soup again. Comparatively, this soup by Heinz has a truer and richer tomato flavor.
Finding Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup in the United States can actually be a chore. However, you’ll find it very much worth the effort and eventually Heinz won’t just be your go-to company for ketchup. You will turn to Heinz for tomato soup, too.
6. Campbell’s Vegetable Beef
Campbell’s Vegetable Beef has a classic taste that hasn’t changed one iota over the years. While the beef in this soup comes in small pieces, the pieces are plentiful enough and tasty enough to make up for it. To add to the beef flavor of this soup, Campbell’s beef broth is amazingly savory.
Also, there’s no shortage of vegetables. In Campbell’s Vegetable Beef, you’ll find green beans, carrots, peas, celery, and more. Since all the veggies have been bathing in the beef broth, they taste extra yummy.
The only thing that will slow you down when it comes to this soup is the sodium. Finishing off a can of this can be challenging because eventually you will tire of the saltiness. You won’t be surprised to learn that a can of Campbell’s Vegetable Beef has almost an entire day’s worth of suggested sodium intake. It’s best to plan to eat no more than half a can at a time.
5. Bar Harbor Clam Chowder
If you have a love affair with New England style clam chowder, particularly clam chowder like they make it in Maine, you will absolutely adore this soup. Bar Harbor Clam Chowder tastes so good that you’ll think you’re at an expensive restaurant.
Bar Harbor is a company based in Maine, so there’s a good reason why this clam chowder is so authentic. It tastes homemade and it’s perfect for eating by itself or adding it to your favorite seafood recipe. There are potatoes in this soup but not an overwhelming amount that ruins the taste.
It should be noted, however, that Bar Harbor Clam Chowder isn’t chunky. It has a ton of flavor but you aren’t going to find chunks of clam or lobster. If that’s how you like your chowder, you’ll either have to look elsewhere or take the extra step of adding in your own seafood.
4. Progresso Minestrone
Progresso Minestrone is the very best Progresso soup you can find — hands down. They’ve used the same recipe forever and the quality of the soup hasn’t degraded at all over the years. If anything, it has managed to get better and better as the years have passed.
When you crack open a can, what will grab your attention first is the penne pasta. Progresso puts a generous amount in each can and all the pasta is the perfect texture. There’s also a number of kidney beans and garbanzo beans that will grab your eye.
The real star of the show, though, is the wide variety of veggies. Progresso Minestrone has celery, carrots, green beans, spinach, peas, and potatoes. The base of this soup is made from tomato paste, which helps the flavors from the vegetables stand out.
While a lot of soups leave you yearning for more, you’ll be surprised that Progresso Minestrone is able to fit so much goodness into one humble can.
3. Amy’s Thai Coconut Soup
While coconut soup hasn’t been discussed much in America, Amy is on her way to changing that thanks to Amy’s Thai Coconut Soup. This stuff is so good that you’ll use your fingers to scrape every last drop off of the bowl and into your mouth.
In Thailand, tom kha gai is a very popular soup, particularly in the northern part of the country. It’s basically coconut soup with chicken added into it. The vegetarian version of that soup is called tom kha phak — and that’s what inspired Amy’s Thai Coconut Soup. In fact, it says "tom kha phak" on the can.
Besides coconut milk that is pleasantly sweet, this soup also has carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, onions, mushrooms, garlic, tofu, and a lot of other all natural, all vegan, and plant-based ingredients. Even if you have timid taste buds that don’t enjoy a good adventure, this coconut soup is tasty enough that it’s worth it to push the envelope and give it a try.
2. Wolfgang Puck Tomato Basil Bisque
While his chicken and dumplings soup we’ve already mentioned was a disappointment, Wolfgang Puck more than redeems himself with his Wolfgang Puck Tomato Basil Bisque. This goodness lives up to the hype and is worth every penny of its price tag.
Wolfgang Puck Tomato Basil Bisque isn’t just normal tomato soup. It has actual pieces of organic tomatoes inside of it to make it notably more hearty. It also has an unmistakable basil taste and a sweet cream that immaculately balances out all the competing flavors. If you have any creme fraiche on hand, that’s a great addition to this soup. One scoop on top really does the trick.
There are a lot of good Wolfgang Puck soups that you can buy at the store, but this one takes the cake. You wouldn’t think a soup based on tomatoes would be so exciting, but all it will take is one can for you to be convinced.
1. Campbell’s Classic Chicken Noodle Soup
Campbell’s has a history that dates back to 1869. While they have had a lot of stiff competition throughout the proceeding 150 years, they still are able to reign supreme when it comes to having the very best canned soup you can buy. Campbell’s Classic Chicken Noodle Soup deserves to top this list because it has the tastiest pieces of chicken you can find in any soup, egg noodles that can brighten even your grayest of days, and a broth you wouldn’t mind drinking from a straw all day long.
If you want even more chicken in your soup, Campbell’s Chunky Classic Chicken Noodle Soup is the solution to your desires.
No matter which variety you decide to go with, these chicken noodle soups made by Campbell’s set the bar for outstanding canned soups.