Hot soup on a cold day is one of life's great comforts. Making soup from scratch is a great way to know exactly what ingredients are in the finished product, but sometimes you just don't have the time or energy. Canned soup, on the other hand, can be stored for months and ready in a matter of minutes. The only downside? It's not always as healthy as you think. Canned soup can be extremely high in sodium, or contain added sugar or saturated fats.
However, there are plenty of easy, healthy canned soups out there, and we've rounded up a list of our 10 favorites. Our number one pick is the Organic Black Bean Vegetable Soup from Amy's. It's low in fat and sodium, has no added sugar, and has plenty of fiber and protein for a balanced, filling, and delicious meal. Keep reading to see our other picks! Then check out our buying guide reviewed by a registered dietitian so you know what to look for.
Rachel Binkley is a registered dietitian who helps individuals develop healthy habits that fit into their lifestyle. She recommends adequate intakes of all micronutrients to help prevent deficiency as well as chronic conditions that may arise. You can keep up with her recipes, lifestyle, and more on Instagram or her blog, S'more Satisfaction.
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Table of Contents
Canned soups can be broth or cream-based and contain a variety of ingredients. Many contain a good balance between carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. However, some contain more fiber and filling ingredients than others. In addition, you'll want to consider any dietary restrictions you may have.
Soup can be a meal by itself or part of a meal as a side or an appetizer. Before deciding which type and flavor of soup to buy, think about the meal's purpose and your taste preferences.
Broth-based soups usually contain fewer calories than cream-based soups. Broth can provide hydration and some sodium to replenish your body after a strenuous workout. Vegetable-based broths can come from a mix of vegetables, although tomato bases are very common.
Non-vegetarian stock is usually made with beef or chicken meat. Bone broth is made from boiling animal bones and connective tissue. It's high in protein, amino acids, and many minerals, and has numerous health benefits, from improving your digestion and joint health to helping you sleep better.
Soups with a cream base, such as broccoli and cheese or clam chowder, tend to taste heavier or richer. They also usually have more calories than broth-based versions.
Cream bases can contain dairy ingredients or non-dairy substitutes, such as almond or cashew milk. Some vegan versions use vegetable broth and combine that with smashed cashews. Others use a purée like pumpkin or squash to get a cream-like consistency.
Simple soups like tomato and chicken noodle can be a great side dish as part of a complete meal. Others can be used in cooking, for example, recipes like green beans at Thanksgiving that use a creamy mushroom soup base.
Puréed pumpkin, cream of chicken, or tomato soups are versatile enough to keep in your cupboard all the time. They can become the base for an easy pasta sauce or casserole on a busy weeknight.
At the same time, there are soups that are heartier and contain more ingredients. These can serve as a complete meal on their own. Lentil soup, chili, corn chowder, and black bean and veggie soups fill you up with fiber and protein. Of course, you can also add some bread, crackers, or a salad to round out your meal.
While recommended macronutrient ratios will vary from person to person because everyone’s body and health goals are different, a general guideline is to get 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories from carbs, 20 to 35 from fats, and 10 to 35 percent from protein.
When looking for a healthy soup, look for one containing complex carbs rather than simple carbs. Simple carbs like pasta break down into sugar quickly, while complex carbs like beans, legumes, whole grains, and vegetables provide longer-lasting energy. They also contain important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
In canned soups, sources of fat may be meat, dairy, oil, and butter. A general rule is to avoid trans and saturated fats and look for soups with healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The FDA requires saturated fats and trans fats to be identified on the nutrition label, so you can easily tell at a glance how much "bad fat" is in a soup.
Fiber is another ingredient that can keep you from getting hungry after eating soup. Fiber is usually found in vegetables, rice, beans, whole-grain pasta, and base ingredients like pumpkin.
Your preferences may include low-sodium or low-sugar soups, or you may have allergies or follow a special diet. Here are some things to watch out for when it comes to canned soups.
The recommended amount of sodium is less than 2,300 milligrams per day. Unfortunately, canned soups can be extremely high in sodium, which is often added because it is cheaper than other ingredients that improve flavor.
If the rest of your day is looking a bit sodium-heavy, look for lower-sodium options and aim for less than 400 milligrams per serving. If you want to aim for the lowest possible amount of sodium, look for soups with a clear "low sodium" label; according to FDA standards, this label means it has less than 140 milligrams per serving.
Some soup will contain sugar that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables, which is generally better, since that sugar is paired with vitamins and fiber. However, canned soups can be a surprising source of added sugar.
Added sugar isn't usually helpful because you're already getting energy from the other carbohydrate sources in your soup, and it lacks the added micronutrients that come with naturally-occurring sugars. If you can, find soups with no added sugar or aim for added sugar below four grams per serving.
Diabetics may want to choose soups with non-starchy or low-carb vegetables like green beans and carrots. High-fiber soups are helpful for diabetics since fiber has less of an influence on blood sugar levels. Since many diabetics can also be impacted by hypertension, you may also want to opt for low-sodium soup varieties.
If you follow a specific diet or have food allergies, you'll want to check the list of ingredients twice. Do not assume that all vegetable soups are suitable for vegetarians. Some of these contain beef or chicken broth.
For those who are sensitive to dairy or milk-based ingredients, double-check the tomato flavors. Some contain milk or cream.
Some brands make it easier by including labels that indicate the soup flavor is certified vegan, vegetarian, kosher, or gluten-free. However, if you make a habit to check the ingredient list, you can save yourself from an upset stomach or allergic reaction.
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Amy's Organic Soups
Best for Weight Loss
Campbell's Healthy Request
Best for Classic Chicken Noodle Lovers
Best Vegetable Soup
Amy's Organic Soups
Best for a Creamy and Sweet Tomato Flavor
Amy's Organic Soups
Best Warming Split Pea Soup
Best Organic Soup With Very Low Sodium
Campbell's Healthy Request
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Best for Cream of Mushroom Recipes
Right Foods Dr. McDougall's
No Chicken Noodle Soup
Best Vegan Lentil Soup
Chunky Healthy Request
Best Hearty Chicken and Rice Soup
Kettle & Fire
Organic White Bean Kale and Millet Soup
Best Bone Broth to Drink or Use as a Base
Amy's Black Bean Vegetable soup is great for weight loss because it combines fiber-rich black beans with a wide variety of tasty vegetables. There is a good balance between protein, complex carbs, and fiber to keep you satiated and full. There are also zero added sugars so you won't be eating empty calories.
Some reviewers found this soup to be bland or too sweet. However, the majority of reviewers praised this soup's flavor and texture, saying it was thick, hearty, and delicious. They mention adding things like cheese, sour cream, or rice, and said this soup is an easy and satisfying meal.
Campbell's Healthy Request Homestyle Chicken Noodle soup is best for those who want a healthier alternative to a classic flavor. This version provides familiar comfort but with less fat and cholesterol. Containing seasoned chicken broth, enriched egg noodles, and tender chunks of chicken, it's sure to hit the spot.
Some reviewers complained about the balance of chicken, noodles and broth. However, most reviewers appreciated the lower sodium content and liked the home style recipe that has vegetable and chicken chunks. Many said this is a pantry staple!
This healthy canned soup is best for those who love vegetables. The delicious broth is filled with tender carrots, corn, potatoes, celery, zucchini, tomatoes, and peas to help ensure you get some fiber and vitamins. Plus, kidney beans are a nice addition to amp up the protein.
Some reviewers weren't fans of the flavor, saying that it was bland or had a taste they didn't care for. However, most reviewers liked the variety of vegetables in the soup and said there was a good amount of each. And they appreciated that there was enough salt to bring out the flavor without being too high in sodium.
This tomato soup is best if you're craving something that is creamy and savory with a touch of sweetness. Made with tomatoes, sweet cream, and a hint of aromatic basil, this soup elevates tangy tomatoes into a warm, filling meal or side dish. This soup isn't a huge source of protein, but you can always pair it with grilled cheese!
Some reviewers found that this soup was too sweet for their liking. However, most reviewers loved this soup, saying it was rich and fresh-tasting. They liked the creamy texture and the contrast provided by the chunks of tomato. They also really appreciated that it's low in sodium.
This soup is best for vegans and vegetarians who love split pea soup without the ham. Made from organic split peas blended with onions, celery, and carrots, it's the perfect meal or side dish for a cold fall or winter evening. While this soup does have a fair amount of fiber and protein per serving, the sodium content is on the high side, too.
Some reviewers complained about the salty taste and high sodium content. A few people also said the soup was not thick enough. However, many reviewers thought this soup was flavorful and delicious as a quick lunch or dinner. They appreciated having a vegan split pea option and liked that there were not any filler ingredients.
Health Valley's Minestrone soup is one of the lowest sodium options out there. It's packed with healthy veggies like celery, carrots, tomatoes, peas, and spinach, to help you get your vitamins and fiber. In the mix of ingredients is pasta, as well as kidney beans and white beans for some protein.
Some reviewers thought that this soup lacked flavor. However, many other reviewers praised its texture and heartiness, and many enjoyed spicing it up with some pepper or lemon. Those on a low sodium diet said this was one of the best low sodium soups they had tried.
This Campbell's Healthy Request soup is great to use as a base in casseroles and pasta dishes like beef stroganoff. This soup is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and appropriate for people who want to follow a heart-healthy diet.
Some reviewers thought the soup tasted watered-down and the consistency was too thin. However, the majority of buyers said they liked having this soup on hand for recipes and to add flavor to dishes with noodles and pasta. Others enjoyed eating the soup for lunch on cold days.
This soup is best for vegans who want plant-based sources of protein and a filling meal. Besides protein, there is a good amount of fiber per serving and a mix of starchy and non-starchy vegetables. The ingredients are organic.
Some reviewers didn't like the texture of the soup. They thought some of the lentils and vegetables were too soft and the taste suffered as a result. Most reviewers thought the soup made for a great lunch. They enjoyed eating this soup with bread and some added toppings like Parmesan cheese.
Healthy Choice's Chicken with Rice soup doesn't contain any added sugars. There is a good balance between non-starchy vegetables and animal-based protein. The light broth and filling ingredients make a nice balance as a side dish or for when you're feeling under the weather.
A few reviewers were disappointed in the amount of chicken; they thought it was too low. Others found the soup to be too watery. However, others appreciated the aroma and taste. Some said they relied on the soup as a filling meal to also help with weight loss.
This boxed bone broth is low in calories and can substitute for a sugary sports drink in-between workouts. It has 10 grams of protein per serving. You can warm it and drink with a slice of lemon, or use it in recipes like gravy or stew.
Some reviewers were expecting a richer flavor and weren't impressed. Yet, most reviewers appreciated how easy the bone broth was to make and enjoy. They thought there was a good mix of nutrients and the broth could be a tasty standalone drink or add to the flavor of other soups and meals.
Pre-made soups can be super quick and convenient, but if you want to take them to the next level consider adding some extra veggies or protein. Frozen pre-cut vegetables are easy to throw in while you heat the soup and will give you a boost of vitamins, nutrients, and fiber.
If you have a vegetable soup that is in need of some protein, try adding a lean protein like beans, tofu, or chicken. Or if you’re in the mood for something a bit more hearty, try adding milk to broth-based soups for a creamier taste and extra calcium.
Also, don't forget about toppings! Drizzle your soup with olive oil, yogurt, or sour cream. Sprinkle on some croutons, cheese, fresh herbs, nuts, and even dried fruit. You can always heighten the flavors with extra spices, hot sauce, or a squeeze of citrus.
You don't have to sacrifice health for flavor! Check out more of our favorite healthy and convenient soups.
No. 1: Amy's Organic Soups | Organic Soups
No. 2: Campbell's Healthy Request | Healthy Request
No. 3: Healthy Choice | Country Vegetable
No. 4: Amy's Organic Soups | Organic Soups
No. 5: Amy's Organic Soups | Organic Soups
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