14 Best Healthy Canned Soups and Soup Products (& The Worst)

A select few of canned soups are teeming with the right blend of nutrients to make for the perfect snack.
Canned soup on supermarket shelves

It's no wonder many of us head to the store to buy canned soup. The best canned soup is convenient, inexpensive, filling, and healthy.

The only issue? While canned soups feel like a bargain these processed goods are truly some of the sneakiest diet saboteurs of them all. Even if your pick is low in calories and fat, it's likely overflowing with sodium—some are over 1,200 milligrams—which is bad news for your gut. Constantly flooding your system with sodium can overwork your kidneys. As a result, the salt sits in your bloodstream where it attracts water, causing water retention and bloat, making you look five pounds heavier.

But that doesn't mean you need to can the cans—you just have to buy the best canned soup.

How we chose healthy canned soups.

Manufacturers have come out with countless waistline-friendly options that can warm you up without filling you out. Because many labels are more than misleading, we've done the dirty work and combed through the dozens of picks on your supermarket shelves to find Eat This-approved soups.

Each of the healthiest canned soups is:

  • less than 200 calories
  • less than 870 mg sodium

We've listed many of the popular flavors, as well as ranked the building blocks that you'd use to whip up your own favorite recipe at home. Don't have a killer go-to soup recipe yet? Make it one of these best-ever fat-burning soups—and take it easy with the salt shaker.

Healthiest Chicken Noodle Soup: Pacific Organic Chicken Noodle Soup, Reduced Sodium

Canned soup

Ingredients you want to see in the best chicken soup: cooked chicken, chicken broth, peas, carrots, spices. Ingredients you don't want to see: potassium chloride, maltodextrin, yeast extract, carrot juice concentrate, sugar, flavoring, xanthan gum, carrageenan, and a slew of others. Just because both options are low sodium doesn't mean they're both good for you. Pick up Pacific's organic option over Campbell's if you don't want to sip on the same contents that are found in a food scientist's test tube.

Eat This

Pacific Organic Chicken Noodle Soup, Reduced Sodium

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 80 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 460 mg sodium, 12 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 5 g protein

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Campbell's Healthy Request Homestyle Chicken with Whole Grain Pasta

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 100 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 410 mg sodium, 13 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 7 g protein

Healthiest Clam Chowder: Bar Harbor Condensed New England Clam Chowder

Canned soup

After scouring the shelves for the best canned clam chowder, we came to the conclusion that your safest bet is to grab a condensed version. Ready-to-eat cans contain loads of preservatives, gums, and additives to retain that creamy, thick taste. With these condensed versions, you have to power to add as much milk, cream, and butter as you'd like. The best base is Bar Harbor's, which is packed with protein (so you know there are a lot of clams!) and boasts a moderate sodium content. SNOW's is low in protein, high in sodium, and full of corn syrup solids, soybean oil, and artificial color—which is also one of the scary ingredients in your kid's lunch box.

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Bar Harbor Condensed New England Clam Chowder

Nutrition per ⅔ cup serving: 150 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 550 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 12 g protein

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SNOW's By Bumble Bee Condensed New England Clam Chowder

Per 1/2 cup serving: 80 calories, 1.5 g fat, 670 mg sodium, 14 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 3 g protein

Healthiest Lentil Soup: Pacific Organic Vegetable Lentil & Roasted Red Pepper Soup, Reduced Sodium

Canned soup

Some of your best weapons against fighting fat are foods high in protein and fiber, and lentil soup has significant amounts of both. While Progresso packs a third of your day's worth of sodium in just a cup (and nearly twice of Pacific's offering), Pacific is packed with protein in their hearty, clean soup, which is why they earn the title of best soup in this category.

Eat This

Pacific Organic Vegetable Lentil & Roasted Red Pepper Soup, Reduced Sodium

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 140 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 430 mg sodium, 27 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 7 g protein

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Progresso Lentil Soup

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 160 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 810 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 9 g protein

Healthiest Minestrone Soup: Amy's Organic Light in Sodium Minestrone Soup

Canned soup

Both options are low in sodium, but only canned soup is worth eating: Amy's Organic (which also make a pretty good frozen pizza). Minestrone soup is supposed to be teeming with vegetables and a rich broth, not riddled with additives like corn syrup, natural flavor, caramel color, soy lecithin, and faux-thickening-agent calcium chloride like in Progresso's option.

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Amy's Organic Light in Sodium Minestrone Soup

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 90 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 290 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 3 g protein

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Progresso Reduced Sodium Hearty Minestrone

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 110 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 480 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 5 g protein

Healthiest Tomato Bisque: Wolfgang Puck Organic Tomato Basil Bisque

Canned soup

Often a staple pairing with gooey grilled cheese, tomato bisque is certainly a soup of comfort and tradition. Don't be fooled by Campbell's new "Slow Kettle Style" offering, which serves up as much sugar as what you'd find in 130 Teddy Graham cookies. Wolfgang Puck's organic offering contains home-pantry-style ingredients and nutritionals that won't derail your diet. The same can't be said for these worst pasta sauces.

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Wolfgang Puck Organic Tomato Basil Bisque

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 150 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 590 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 2 g protein

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Campbell's Slow Kettle Style Tomato & Sweet Basil Bisque

Nutrition per 15.5 oz container: 510 calories, 28 g fat (18 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 1,410 mg sodium, 58 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 43 g sugar, 7 g protein

Healthiest Garden Veggie Soup: Progresso Light Vegetable Soup

Canned soup

Because veggies are low-cal and full of hunger-quelling fiber, vegetable soup is one of the most waist-friendly meals around. Not to mention, it's also chock-full of other beneficial vitamins and nutrients. But vegetarians beware: just because it says "garden vegetable" doesn't mean it's solely full of veggies. Campbell's choice has both chicken broth, chicken fat, and beef fat. Progresso's option is by far the best canned soup in this round. It's completely vegetarian and contains fewer carbs and less sugar than Campbell's offering.

Eat This

Progresso Light Vegetable Soup

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 90 calories, 0 g fat, 480 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 3 g protein

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Campbell's Chunky Healthy Request Savory Vegetable

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 110 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 410 mg sodium, 22 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 3 g protein

Healthiest Black Bean Soup: Pacific Organic Spicy Black Bean and Kale Soup

Canned soup

Looking for some protein without the beef? The beans in these soups deliver big time. But even more so if you're grabbing a carton of Pacific's organic as opposed to Amy's. They both offer options with Eat This-approved ingredients, but Pacific is lower in calories, sodium, and sugar, and higher in protein than their organic comrade. For more meat-free options, check out these best vegetarians sources of protein.

Eat This

Pacific Organic Spicy Black Bean and Kale Soup

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 120 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 560 mg sodium, 24 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 7 g protein

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Amy's Organic Black Bean Vegetable Soup

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 140 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 620 mg sodium, 26 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 6 g protein

Healthiest Chili: Campbell's Chunky Chili Grilled Steak with Beans

Canned soup

For a hearty soup, look no further than chili. Campbell's Chunky Grilled Steak with Beans is surprisingly lean and by far the best canned soup you can buy if you want chili; There aren't many kinds of soup on the shelf that can top a mere 200 calories per serving. One of the ones that can't is the Steak House Reserve from Stagg, which racks up a solid chunk of your recommended intake of sodium for the day. Not to mention, the can is tinted with caramel color—an additive which may contain an artificial form of phosphorous that's been shown to leach calcium from our bones. Other foods with this nasty ingredient? Sodas.

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Campbell's Chunky Chili Grilled Steak with Beans

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 200 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 870 mg sodium, 28 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 15 g protein

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Stagg Chili Steak House Reserve Chili with Beans

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 280 calories, 11 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 1,160 mg sodium, 26 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 20 g protein

Healthiest Bone Broth: Pacific Organic Chicken Bone Broth

Canned soup

Sipping on bone broth is a great way to heal your gut. After animal bones are simmered in water, their collagen turns into a rich broth full of gelatin. "When we ingest it, it acts as an intestinal Band-Aid, protecting and healing the lining of the digestive tract which aids digestion and helps us absorb extra nutrients from the foods we eat," explains nutritionist Lauren Slayton, MS, RD. Besides the fact that Pacific's bone broth is lower in calories and sodium than that of Kitchen Basics, we also like their addition of cider vinegar to the broth—which Slayton also recommends. Apple cider vinegar is another ingredient that will further improve your digestion thanks to it containing active enzymes.

Eat This

Pacific Organic Chicken Bone Broth

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 45 calories, 0.5 g fat, 90 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 9 g protein

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Kitchen Basics Organic Chicken Bone Broth

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 380 mg sodium, 1 g carbs, 0 g fiber, <1 g sugar, 10 g protein

Best Soup On the Go: Campbell's Healthy Request Chicken & Mini Round Noodles Soup

Canned soup

If you're grabbing a cup to go, use Campbell's "Healthy Request" label as your go-to guide. This series of soup choices differs in that they're lower in blood-pressure-raising sodium. Saving 570 mg of sodium—or about 25 percent of your daily recommended intake of sodium—is definitely worth the extra gram of sugar Campbell's adds to make up for lost flavor (which only accounts for 2 percent of your recommended intake of added sugars).

Eat This

Campbell's Healthy Request Chicken & Mini Round Noodles Soup

Nutrition per 1 container: 60 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 410 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 3 g protein

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Campbell's Chicken & Mini Round Noodles Soup

Nutrition per 1 container: 60 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 980 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 3 g protein

Best Bouillon Cube: Better Than Bouillon Reduced Sodium Chicken Base

Canned soup

If you've ever examined a bouillon cube's ingredient list before, you've most likely noticed that salt is often the first ingredient. That really shows in Knorr's version, as just a half a cube racks up over half a day's worth of the stuff, leaving you more than parched for a glass of detox water. Not to mention, it's loaded with five versions of MSG, potentially trans-fat-laden hydrogenated palm oil, caramel color, artificial colors Yellow 5 and 6, as well as TBHQ—a corrosion inhibitor also used in biodiesel. Instead, grab a broth concentrate like that from Better Than Bouillon (bonus points for reduced sodium!). This stock is super-reduced until it's just a paste-like product that's packed with flavor. Our pick is made up of real chicken meat with natural juices, spices, only one source of MSG, and colored with turmeric instead of coal-derived artificial colors.

Eat This

Better Than Bouillon Reduced Sodium Chicken Base

Nutrition per 1 tsp (6 grams): 15 calories, 0.5 g fat, 500 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 1 g protein

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Knorr Bouillon, Chicken Flavor With Other Natural Flavor

Nutrition per ½ cube (6 grams): 15 calories, 1 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 1,230 mg sodium, <1 g carbs, 0 g protein

Healthiest Vegetable Stock: Kitchen Basics Unsalted Vegetable Cooking Stock

Canned soup

The fact that Kitchen Basics offers an unsalted version almost was enough to earn them first place, but they also have one of the shortest ingredients lists of all brands and their production reflects traditional homecooked methods (i.e. simmering whole vegetables in water). Swanson's—on the other hand—is a salty broth that's flavored with the ambiguous ingredient: "spices."

Eat This

Kitchen Basics Unsalted Vegetable Cooking Stock

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 25 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 0 g protein

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Swanson's Certified Organic Vegetarian Vegetable Broth

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 10 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 530 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 0 g protein

Healthiest Beef Stock: Kitchen Basics Original Beef Stock

Canned soup

A staple for French onion soups, beef stock is a tricky product to purchase. That's because store-bought versions are littered with flavor-enhancing chemicals and not much beef. For example: Knorr's Beef Stock Concentrate contains inflammatory palm oil, four versions of MSG, sugar, two types of gums, and carcinogen-containing caramel color.

If you don't have time to make a stock at home (which is your best option), go for Kitchen Basics' Original Beef Stock, which contains real beef stock rather than just beef flavor, vegetable stock, honey, salt, and spices—much simpler than Knorr's. Plus, it's a surprisingly great source of protein!

Eat This

Kitchen Basics Original Beef Stock

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 25 calories, 0 g fat, 430 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 0 g fiber, <1 g sugar, 4 g protein

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Knorr Homestyle Beef Stock Concentrate

Nutrition per 1 tsp (9 g): 10 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 710 mg sodium, 1 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 0 g protein

Healthiest Chicken Broth: Imagine Foods Organic Free-Range Low-Sodium Chicken Broth

Canned soup

When shopping for the best chicken broth, look for low-sodium options so you can adjust the seasoning yourself. Otherwise, you'll be stuck with an option like College Inn that soars to almost 1,000 milligrams per cup. We also like organic stocks, which use chickens not raised with antibiotics or hormones. Otherwise, look for a short list of ingredients without any MSG, hydrolyzed protein, or yeast extract. College Inn contains two out of the three of these along with a type of trans fat, mono and diglycerides, as well as added sugar (in the form of carrot juice concentrate), vegetable juice concentrates (instead of real vegetables), and xanthan gum.

If you can't find Imagine, make your soup with Swanson's Organic Low-Sodium Chicken broth. It's a taste-tester favorite, but it was just a little too high in sodium for it to take our first spot. Speaking of making your own soup, whip up a bowl of one of these high-protein soups for abs!

Eat This

Imagine Foods Organic Free-Range Low-Sodium Chicken Broth

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 20 calories, 0.5 grams fat (0 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 2 grams carbs, 0 g fiber, <1 g sugar, 1 g protein

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College Inn Chicken Broth (Can)

Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 5 calories, 0 g fat, 900 mg sodium, 1 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 0 g protein

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Olivia Tarantino
Olivia Tarantino is a senior editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in nutrition, health, and food product coverage. Read more