The Best Chicken Noodle Soup: Our Updated Ranking

The best chicken noodle soup tastes like your grandma slow-cooked it in a crockpot for 48 hours, poured in generations of love and secret magical ingredients, and served it to you during the worst flu of your life. Luckily, we discovered all of those things (and more) are available in jars, tubs, and, thankfully, cans. Read on for our ranking of the best canned chicken noodle soup, because we don’t all have two days to let broth simmer.

In our taste tests, we looked for chicken noodle soup with a savory, spiced broth packed with enough flavor to sip by the spoonful; moist chicken that isn’t dry to the bite; and evenly-cooked veggies and noodles that don’t disintegrate into the soup.  

In our initial chicken noodle soup taste test, we mainly tried different brands of canned chicken noodle soup. But there are plenty of jarred chicken noodle soups and refrigerated chicken noodle soups in tubs at the grocery store that deserve to be tasted. And, it seems to me at least, that while grandma would never put her magical, cure-all chicken noodle soup in a can, she might put it in a jar. So, for our most recent update, we focused on tasting jars and refrigerated tubs of chicken noodle soup in search of new additions to our ranking of the best store bought chicken noodle soup.

To be in the right headspace for our most recent chicken noodle soup taste test, I contracted an illness. That’s right. I had the grace and good fortune to be actually sick with a cold while tasting some of these soups. To be clear, I did not get sick on purpose, but sometimes life has a way of working out that way. Thanks, life. So, believe me when I tell you that I found the best chicken noodle soup for when you’re sick. Here’s our definitive ranking of the best canned chicken noodle soup and the best chicken noodle soup in a jar. These soups might not be homemade like grandma’s, but surprisingly, a few come pretty darn close. –Ariana Losch


Best Condensed

Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup

Campbell’s condensed chicken noodle soup remains a classic for good reason. It’s cheap, nostalgic, and salty enough to kill a grown man (in a good way). Obviously, given this is a condensed soup, it’s far from gourmet grocery store chicken noodle soup, but it is still some of the best canned chicken noodle soup we tried. Campbell’s noodles are thin, the chicken is cubed, and there’s not much going on otherwise. But it still tastes good. Not everything has to be fancy and stocked with a million ingredients to taste good. Sometimes, you just need sodium. – Ariana Losch

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Best Noodles

Kirkland Signature Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup

When this Kirkland Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup arrived in a giant tub at our office with a fairly imminent expiration date (the biggest detractor of store-bought chicken noodle soup not from a can), I knew I was taking this big boy home with me. Luckily, it tastes pretty darn good. So I was happy to lend it some precious fridge space. On first glance, you’ll notice huge hunks of thick-cut veggies and chicken pieces half the size of my fist. Personally, I prefer shredded chicken (more on that later), because large chicken chunks often taste a little dry. So why did this Costco chicken noodle soup make it on our list of the best chicken noodle soup, you ask? The real MVP of Costco’s chicken noodle soup is the choice of noodle. They’re flat-cut and gloriously thick, cooked to the tooth, and taste like handmade egg noodles. Kirkland would be higher on the list, but the broth is one note: pepper. So much pepper (and not much else), the flavor was polarizing across the board. – Ariana Losch

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Best Grocery Store Brand

Signature Cafe Soup, Chicken Noodle

Two words: shredded chicken. I’m going to get on my soapbox for a second, okay? The worst part about store-bought chicken noodle soup, nine times out of ten, is the chicken. When cubed or sliced in thick chunks, it’s bound to be dry and, frankly, unpleasant to bite into. Signature Cafe (an Alberton’s brand) succeeds where so many others failed: They included moist, shredded chicken. While the rest of the ingredients are pretty standard, the broth is hearty, well-seasoned, and thick. If you tend to eat around the chicken in chicken noodle soup, give this one a try. In terms of store brands, it’s the best grocery store chicken noodle soup we tried, thanks to that good, shredded chicken. – Ariana Losch

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Rich and Fatty

Chef’s Cupboard Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup

This is an Aldi product, and it was a big hit with all of us tasters. Chef’s Cupboard has a unique quality that makes it stand out among all the soups on this list: It’s the fattiest of the soups we tried. There’s a thin layer of oil on the top, and my colleague Jordan Myrick astutely pointed out that the chicken tastes like dark meat. That means this soup is savory and rich. It’s also well salted, with a strong chicken flavor. The noodles are toothsome, as well. This one is up there with some of the best canned chicken noodle soup brands and it’s budget friendly. It’d be a crime to sleep on it. – Danny Palumbo

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Best Vegan

Gardein Plant-Based Chick’n Noodl’

We all agreed this vegan chicken noodle soup should rank high even though it has no actual chicken in it. Why? Because it tastes like chicken, and that’s kind of amazing. This vegan chicken noodle soup is more flavorful than so many others, and it does so without any meat products. That’s crazy! It’s got MSG listed in the ingredients, so that does the heavy lifting as far as umami goes, and the rest of it is well seasoned and quite nuanced. You get the hearty, comforting vibes of a classic chicken noodle soup despite it being vegetarian. It’s definitely the best vegan chicken noodle soup you can buy. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Runner-Up

Panera Bread Chicken Noodle Soup

Allow me to set the scene: My nose is running. My throat feels like sandpaper, and I’m cold. So cold, that no blanket burrito can truly warm me. But Panera Bread’s Chicken Noodle Soup? It was like grandma smiled down from the heavens (RIP, grams). When I sipped my first spoonful, I thought to myself, “Wow, this tastes better than a plate of french fries.” Panera’s Chicken Noodle Soup is top tier. The carrots and celery are thickly cut and evenly distributed. The chicken is moist and shredded in thin slices—it flows seamlessly with the broth, like the broth and the chicken are one, in harmony, in unison, in sync. The only problem with this soup is that Panera’s chicken noodle does not come in a can and it needs to be kept in the fridge. But it’s worth it if you have the space. It’s easily some of the best store bought chicken noodle soup I’ve ever had. –Ariana Losch

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Best of the Best

Rao’s Chicken Noodle Soup

This is basically homemade chicken noodle soup in a jar. (That’s right—a jar!) The noodles feel homemade—eggy, substantial, and delightfully chewy. And the herbaceousness is on par with what you’d expect from a homemade soup. It’s beautifully aromatic. And what do we say here at Sporked? If it has an appropriate amount of salt and pepper, chances are it tastes great and ranks high. Rao’s nails the seasoning and flavor, and the quality ingredients are all top notch. It’s like your grandma made it and put it in one of her jars. This is the best chicken noodle soup you can buy and it’s well-worth the extra cash. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Other chicken noodle soups we tried: Campbell’s Chunky Chicken Noodle, Annie’s Organic, Healthy Choice, Wolfgang Puck, Pacific Foods, Whole Foods 365, Great Value, Kettle & Fire, Progresso Hearty Chicken and Rotini, Home Chef Heat and Eat Classic Chicken Noodle Soup, Zoup Fresh Soup Company Soup, Chicken Noodle, Chix Soup Co Hangover Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup, Sprouts Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup, Marketside Chicken Noodle Soup


About the Author

Sporked Staff

The Sporked Staff tastes everything and anything. They are obsessive about groceries and finding the best of any type of food or drink, from frozen fried shrimp to Dijon mustard to gummy candy. And they're always on a hunt for the best new products. When they aren't eating professionally, they're eating recreationally. And often they're browsing grocery store aisles, just for fun.