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Does chicken broth contain gluten, milk, soy? Yes.

Over the holidays I was at a friend’s house, snooping in the pantry, when I decided to pick up a can of that good old-fashioned red-labeled Campbell’s Chicken Broth. I knew it was not gluten-free, but I couldn’t remember the exact details, so I turned it over to read the ingredients.

Yuck. How could anyone a) eat it, and b) think it is in any way close to real chicken broth? I’m not sure what put me off the most: the hydrolyzed wheat gluten, the monosodium glutamate (MSG), the corn oil, or the hydrolyzed soy and corn protein. Mmmm… just like homemade!

And so I began my own little research project on commercial chicken broth, stock and bouillon. I discovered a few things:

  1. some brands of chicken broths have gluten, milk and/or soy, and some don’t
  2. even within one brand, some products have allergens and some don’t
  3. different sizes of the same product can have different ingredients – Safeway brand actually had 3 different sets of ingredients for 3 different sizes of the same product!

Unfortunately, many restaurants use packaged “chicken bases” to make stock or broth for soups, sauces and gravies, so you have to be really careful when eating out.

Here is a list of some major brands and ingredient information (and sometimes my opinion too), as of 1/06/09. Remember, ingredients can change at any time, so always check. If you have another brand you would like to list, please do so in the comments. A ** denotes brands I highly recommend.


Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base


Campbell’s Chicken Broth 14 oz. can


College Inn Chicken Broth 99% Fat Free, all sizes

College Inn Chicken Broth Light and Fat Free 50% Less Sodium, all sizes

College Inn Flavored Chicken Broths, all sizes

College Inn Turkey Broth, 18.5 oz. can


Herb Ox Sodium Free Chicken Granulated Bouillon

Herb Ox Chicken Instant Bouillon and Seasoning


Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth, Organic Low Sodium Free Range Chicken Broth, Organic Chicken Cooking Stock


Kitchen Basics Chicken Broth, 32 oz. box

KNORR (this is a brand used in the foodservice industry)

Knorr Chicken Select Base (dry base)

Knorr Chicken No MSG Added (dry base)

Knorr Ultimate Chicken Base no MSG,  Roasted Chicken, and Low Sodium

Knorr Ultimate Gourmet Edge Chicken Base

Knorr Chicken Bouillon

MINOR’S (this is a brand used in the foodservice industry)

Minor’s Chicken Base

Minor’s All Natural Chicken Base

Minor’s Chicken Base no added MSG, and Low Sodium no added MSG

Minor’s Chicken Broth Concentrate

Minor’s Roasted Chicken Broth Concentrate


Pacific Foods Natural Free Range Chicken Broth, Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth, Organic Free Range Chicken Broth


Progresso 100% Natural Chicken Broth and Reduced Sodium, 32 oz. box


Swanson’s Organic Free Range Chicken Broth, 32 oz. box

Swanson’s Chicken Broth 99% Fat Free, 14 oz. can

Swanson’s Natural Goodness Chicken Broth 100% Fat Free Less Sodium, 48 oz. box or 49 oz. can

Swanson’s Chicken Cooking Stock, 26 oz. broth


Safeway Chicken Broth

Safeway Chicken Broth Fat Free Reduced Sodium, various sizes

O Brand Organic Chicken Broth, 32 oz. box


Trader Joe’s Chicken Broth

Trader Joe’s Organic Free Range Chicken Broth and Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth

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