The best vegetable broth is a real lifesaver when soup season rolls around. Say you’re making a soup, stew, or risotto for a group of friends on a cozy evening. You don’t want to spoil the pot (literally) by using chicken broth or beef broth when someone might be vegetarian. And, truly, no one expects you to boil celery, carrots, and herbs to make your own base. That’s where the best store bought vegetable broth comes in.
I recently sat down at a table strewn with cartons of veggie broth and sipped them one by one to find the best tasting vegetable broth you can buy. Some of them really do just taste like salty carrot water, but others are surprisingly complex and delicious. Before your next potluck, check out this list of the best vegetable broth (low sodium vegetable broth, too)!
- Imagine Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
Imagine Low Sodium Vegetable Broth has a pleasant, mild flavor. You get carrot and you get a lot of tasty parsley flavor. And it only has 135 mg of sodium per cup. That’s low! The next vegetable broth on this list, Swanson Vegetable Broth, has 800 mg per cup. This broth also has a very neutral color, so if you’re making something you don’t want to look all carroty, grab this instead of our top low sodium vegetable broth (see # 3).
Credit: Merc / Instacart
- Swanson Vegetable Broth
During this taste test, I found that a lot of vegetable broth tasted a little bit odd and chlorine-y, almost like it was made with unfiltered tap water. This one does not, and that’s a win. It’s very parsley forward and, as I said above, it’s quite salty—but sometimes salty is good. Really, this tastes like ready-to-eat vegetable soup, just add vegetables, baby. We also love an accessible product. You’re gonna find Swanson pretty much anywhere you shop.
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- Trader Joe’s Low Sodium
This is the best low sodium vegetable broth because it’s just so interesting. It’s very carroty and tomatoey—it’s even a different color than most other vegetable broths. It’s also unbelievably low in sodium with just 115 mg per cup. It’s like they amped up certain flavors so they could turn down the sodium. This is the best vegetable broth for chili, minestrone, and other tomato-forward soups, especially if you’re watching your salt intake.
- College Inn Garden Vegetable Broth
College Inn makes one of the best tasting vegetable broths we tried. It’s super tomato forward, which means it would be great in a minestrone, tomato soup, or tortilla soup. But it’s also so unbelievably flavorful you can eat it on its own. It fills your mouth with a variety of flavors that meld really beautifully. It does have a good deal of sodium—700 mg per cup—but that means you’ll just have to season it less after your soup simmers. On the carton, they show it in tortellini soup, and that’s a hell yes for me.
Credit: Merc / Walmart
- Trader Joe’s Organic Hearty Vegetable Broth
Trader Joe’s Hearty Vegetable Broth got the edge over College Inn because it’s extremely flavorful without being quite so salty. You can taste carrots. You can taste celery. You can taste garlic! Even though it only has 270 mg of sodium per cup, it’s massively flavorful—you won’t miss the salt. My colleague Justine Sterling suggested using this in something with a lighter flavor, like veggie noodle soup. Trader Joe’s makes excellent broth (we loved their chicken broth, too), and this is no exception. Toss a few cartons of it into your cart the next time you pop in. It’s the best vegetable broth you can buy.
Low Sodium (Runner Up)
Best Available Anywhere
Best Low Sodium
Best Overall Flavor
Best of the Best
Other vegetable broths we tried: Sam’s Choice Vegan Protein Broth, Kettle & Fire Vegetable Broth, Pacific Foods Low Sodium Vegetable Broth, Kroger Vegetable Broth, Simple Truth Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Broth