The 8 Best Bone Broths of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Jul 16, 2023
Plus, a dietitian’s expert opinion on whether bone broths are healthy or not.
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Shape / David Hattan
These days, it’s nearly impossible to scroll through social media without seeing posts about bone broth. The salty, warm beverage has become super popular in recent years, thanks to its supposed benefits for the skin, joints, gut, and overall inflammation. So much so that fans love drinking bone broth by the cup, just like you would hot tea.
Worth noting, bone broth isn’t exactly new. It’s a part of many traditional cuisines around the world, and it’s been used medicinally for centuries, says Pasquariello. But in more recent times, wellness enthusiasts have become obsessed with the product, prompting many brands to make their own. So how do you know which bone broth to try? The wide range of options can feel overwhelming, so Shape tried 17 fan-favorite bone broths using a comprehensive lab testing process. After comparing the results, we determined the best bone broths for different needs and preferences.
Why We Liked It: With its smooth texture and lack of aftertaste, this product is easy to drink in one sitting.
It’s Worth Noting: The flavor is quite mild, which might not be ideal if you prefer strong-flavored broths.
Brodo is a popular brand in the bone broth space, so it’s no surprise their Signature Hearth Bone Broth is our top pick. Made with a blend of beef, chicken, and turkey bones, the broth reminded us of a lightly flavored chicken noodle soup — which is a plus if you love the comforting dish or enjoy customizing broth with additional ingredients. We also detected the vegetables used in the product, such as carrots and celery, but there was no aftertaste after drinking it.
During our tests, we were impressed by the product’s smooth texture. We didn’t see any particles in the actual broth or left over in the pouch. If you want to make sure your broth has no clumps or sediment, you’ll appreciate this product. Additionally, the product is packaged in single-serving pouches, which is a perk if you don’t want to store leftover bone broth in the fridge.
Price at Time of Publish: $33 per 6 8.3-ounce pouchesSodium content: 16% DV | Form: Liquid | Calories per serving: 45 calories | Protein: 10 grams | Dietary needs: Gluten-free, paleo, Whole 30, keto
Why We Liked It: This broth is delicious thanks to its unique ingredients, including turmeric, cauliflower, and reishi mushroom.
It’s Worth Noting: The powder didn’t mix well with water. It had a thick and clumpy texture.
If flavor is a priority for you, Dr. Kellyann’s Homestyle Bone Broth might be just what you need. We thought it was very flavorful and savory, despite its low sodium content. This is likely due to the combination of chicken bone broth powder, grass-fed beef collagen, and other ingredients not often used in bone broths, including minced green onion, garlic powder, cauliflower, parsley, and turmeric extract. It even has reishi mushroom powder, which is a plus if you’re looking for more ways to eat medicinal mushrooms — though you’ll want to chat with your healthcare provider if you want to consume this bone broth regularly.
This bone broth powder didn’t mix well with water, and the finished broth wasn’t as smooth as others we tried during our research. It was clumpy and thick, and it had particles and powder floating on top. After we poured out the broth, there was a significant amount of sediment at the bottom of the mug. It’s possible that heating the mixed bone broth could break down the excess clumps if you’re sensitive to texture or looking for a smoother liquid.
Price at Time of Publish: $60 per 2 4.55-ounce boxesSodium content: 10% DV | Form: Powder | Calories per serving: 70 | Protein: 16 grams | Dietary needs: Paleo, gluten-free, keto, soy-free
Why We Liked It: Despite being unsalted, this broth boasts a rich and potent flavor.
It’s Worth Noting: We noticed this product leaves a mild aftertaste.
For those watching their sodium intake, an unsalted product like the Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Bone Broth is a great option. It contains just 5% of your daily value for sodium — about 125 milligrams — which is less than any other bone broth we tried. It wasn't bland, even though it’s so low in sodium. Instead, it had a hearty and layered flavor thanks to flavoring ingredients such as apple cider vinegar and rosemary. We did notice a slight aftertaste after drinking the broth, but it washed away as soon as we drank water.
According to our tests, the texture of the bone broth was thick and smooth, but not jelly-like or gummy. It was clear and free of particles. After we poured the broth out of the cup, there was no sediment left at the bottom. You might enjoy this product if you’re looking for an easy-to-drink, low-sodium bone broth.
Price at Time of Publish: $66 per pack of 12 32-ounce cartons
Sodium content: 5% DV | Form: Liquid | Calories per serving: 40 | Protein: 9 grams | Dietary needs: Gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free
Why We Liked It: It’s made with minimal ingredients, making it ideal for cooking and blending with other foods.
It’s Worth Noting: If you want to drink this broth on its own, you’ll need to add other ingredients to spice up its super mild flavor.
Sometimes you might want to cook with bone broth — and using a simple product without flavoring agents (such as vegetables or herbs) is the best way to incorporate it in recipes. FOND’s organic chicken bone broth is an excellent choice, as it’s made with just three ingredients: water, chicken bones, and sea salt. The company markets it as an unflavored product, and the broth had an incredibly mild flavor, despite its strong chicken scent. Because of this, we think it’d be a great foundational ingredient for recipes like soups, stews, and grains or even customizing your own broth for sipping.
When pouring the bone broth in and out of the cup, we discovered that the liquid was very smooth. There were no particles, clumps, or chunks in the broth. The product is made with 100% pasture-raised chickens from verified regenerative farms (i.e., farms that meet certain standards for protecting the soil, animals, and other natural sources), which may be a desirable feature if sustainability is important to you.
Price at Time of Publish: $60 per 4 24-ounce jars
Sodium content: 11% DV | Form: Liquid | Calories per serving: 25 | Protein: 6 grams | Dietary needs: Whole 30
Why We Like It: This product is packaged in a to-go cup, so it’s great for traveling.
It’s Worth Noting: Compared to the other broths we tried, the sodium content of this product is on the higher end.
Bone broth, like any other liquid, can be transported in a reusable water bottle or coffee mug. However, there’s a chance the savory broth will leave a lingering taste and smell in your portable drinking containers. If you want to avoid this, you might appreciate a travel-friendly alternative such as the Swanson Sipping Chicken Bone Broth. The product is packaged in a microwaveable (and sippable!) to-go cup — about the size of a small coffee cup — so you can easily pack it for lunch or trips. On the flipside, if minimal packaging is a priority for you, we recommend skipping this product and finding a broth packaged in reusable glass jars instead of disposable cups.
During our taste test, we detected a mildly salty chicken soup flavor. The broth is also flavored with ingredients like cabbage, onions, and parsley, though we didn’t notice them while drinking it. There was also no aftertaste. The product was perfectly smooth and free of particles or residue, making it a good option if you prefer a broth with an easy-to-drink texture. And compared to other bone broths on the market, it has a lower price point if you’re looking for budget-friendly products.
Price at Time of Publish: $22 for 8 10.75-ounce cups
Sodium content: 20% | Form: Liquid | Calories per serving: 45 calories | Protein: 9 grams | Dietary needs: N/A
Why We Liked It: The chicken flavor was mild, tasty, and well-balanced with seasonings.
It’s Worth Noting: If you prefer bolder broths, you might need to add other ingredients to this product.
The Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Bone Broth had a mild yet satisfying chicken flavor with no unpleasant aftertaste. The seasoning, which included a blend of black pepper, bay leaf, and thyme, was balanced as well. That being said, it didn’t pack a flavor punch like other brands, so it might not be for those looking for bolder flavors.
While drinking the broth, we noticed that it wasn’t gummy but felt rich and creamy on the tongue. It didn’t leave behind an unpleasant sensation, which is good news if you’re sensitive to textures. There were no sediments or particles left in the cup after we poured out the broth. Kitchen Basics also offers this broth in individual 8-ounce boxes (like a juice box), so you can easily sip it on the go.
Price at Time of Publish: $37 for 12 8.25-ounce cartons
Sodium content: 17% DV | Form: Liquid | Calories per serving: 50 calories | Protein: 10 grams | Dietary needs: Keto, gluten-free
Why We Liked It: It had a flavorful beef taste that was enhanced by vegetables and spices.
It’s Worth Noting: The texture of this product is slightly thicker than water and somewhat creamy.
The Bare Bones Organic Beef Bone Broth combines grass-fed beef bones and myriad flavoring ingredients, including tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, mushroom powder, ginger juice, and turmeric. This layered flavor profile came through during our tests, as we felt the vegetables enhanced the overall flavor. We thought the taste was also a bit briny, but in a good way.
During our testing, we noticed that the broth was slightly thicker than water. It had a smooth texture when we poured it into the cup, but there was leftover sediment after pouring it out. While drinking the broth, we thought it had a slightly creamy consistency, which you might like if you enjoy more full-bodied broths.
According to the label, this product’s sodium content is 23% DV, which is higher than many of the broths we tested. However, the listed serving is 16 ounces, whereas other broths suggest 8-ounce servings. This is important to keep in mind if you want to compare broths based on their sodium content.
Price at Time of Publish: $60 per 6 16-ounce pouches
Sodium content: 23% DV | Form: Liquid | Calories per serving: 80 | Protein: 20 grams | Dietary needs: Keto, gluten-free, Whole30, soy-free, paleo
Why We Liked It: This product is made of chicken and beef bones, which is great if you want both ingredients at once.
It’s Worth Noting: The powder is a bit difficult to mix in water. It creates a thick and gelatinous liquid broth.
If you’re looking for a simple broth that combines chicken and beef, Ancient Nutrition’s concentrated bone broth powder might deserve a spot in your pantry. The powder contains just two ingredients: chicken bone broth concentrate and beef bone broth concentrate. However, since there are no flavoring ingredients like vegetables or spices, the flavor is on the blander side. We could see this being a good base ingredient if you want to customize chicken-and-beef broth with additional ingredients.
We found that the powder was difficult to mix with water, though microwaving made it more dissolvable. The heated broth was quite thick and gelatinous, which you might like if you want a heartier broth. Otherwise, you might need to add more water to thin it out if you prefer a lighter consistency. We were impressed by its high protein content and lower sodium content of this product.
Price at Time of Publish: $45 per 15.7-ounce tub
Sodium content: 7% DV | Form: Powder | Calories per serving: 90 calories | Protein: 20 grams | Dietary needs: Gluten-free, paleo, keto, soy-free
Why We Liked It: The variety pack makes it easy to keep multiple favors in hand. It’s also packed in individual sticks, making it convenient for traveling.
It’s Worth Noting: Even after being mixed and heated with water, the powder left behind clumps.
For those who want chicken and beef bone broth but don’t want to combine them, the Bare Bones Instant Bone Broth variety pack is worth considering. One package contains 16 packets (eight of each flavor) of instant powdered bone broth mix. The packaging makes it a stellar choice if you travel often or want to take bone broth on the go. As far as flavor goes, this product reminded us of the instant noodles many of us ate back in college — in a good way! We noted it had a bold flavor and slight aftertaste, but we didn’t think it was unpleasant.
After mixing the powder with water, the texture was mostly smooth, except for a slight hint of grittiness. It also felt thicker in the mouth compared to other brands we tested. We discovered clumps in the cup even after we heated and mixed the liquid, and there was a lot of sediment leftover after we poured it out. However, this didn’t bother us too much, as we felt the broth was still very drinkable. It’s also worth noting the chicken flavor has more sodium than other bone broths we tried.
Price at Time of Publish: $30 per 16 15-gram stick packs
Sodium content: 20% DV (beef), 24% DV (chicken) | Form: Powder | Calories per serving: 50 calories | Protein: 10 grams | Dietary needs: Gluten-free, keto, paleo
We tested the Vital Proteins Beef Bone Broth Collagen but disliked the flavor or texture. We thought it didn’t taste like beef and noticed an unpleasant aftertaste after drinking it. The texture was also very clumpy, almost like brown jelly, and the powder stuck to the spoon as we mixed the liquid.
We also tried the Kettle & Fire Bone Broth Variety Pack. According to the label, it was made with vegetables and herbs, but we thought it had a very light flavor and couldn’t detect those ingredients. However, we thought the texture was very drinkable and soothing to consume.
To nail down the best bone broths, we did comprehensive research on the most popular bone broths on the market. From there, we picked 17 fan-favorite products to test according to the instructions provided by each brand. For liquid broth, we warmed the recommended serving size in the microwave; for powdered broth, we combined the powder with the listed amount of water before warming it in the microwave. After preparing each broth, we noted its texture in the cup, plus how well powdered broth dissolved in the water. Throughout the testing process, we also examined how the broth tasted and smelled, how heating the liquid changed the odor (if at all), and whether or not the flavor matched the packaging, tasted artificial or natural, or left an aftertaste.
We also interviewed registered dietitians Kristen Carli, MS, RD, registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of Camelback Nutrition Wellness, says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, registered dietitian and author of Everyday Snack Tray, and Maddie Pasquariello, M.S., R.D.N., for expert insight on bone broths and how to choose the best bone broth overall.
“To create bone broth, bones and connective tissue of meat, poultry, or fish are boiled in water for 10 to 48 [hours] or more,” explains registered dietitian Maddie Pasquariello, M.S., R.D.N. Some bone broth manufacturers will also add cuts of meat, vegetables, and spices for extra flavor and nutrients. According to Pasquariello, the prolonged simmering extracts the collagen and flavor from the bones and into the water, which is then strained to produce bone broth. This liquid is different from regular broth or stock, which is cooked for a shorter period of time (about 30 to 60 minutes for broth and a few hours at most for a stock), says Pasquariello. “This makes bone broth a more time-intensive alternative, but many see the payoff as an increase in the nutritional quality of the final product,” she explains.
If bone broth had a claim to fame, its high collagen content would be it. Collagen is the most abundant protein in animals (including humans), as it’s a crucial component of connective tissues — including tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and skin, says Carli.
Research on the benefits of collagen for skin and joint health is limited, but the available studies suggest it may improve certain aspects of each. For example, “it’s possible that regular intake of collagen could improve the skin’s elasticity and even help reduce some of the skin-related changes that come with the natural aging process,” explains Pasquariello. The mechanism for this involves amino acids (i.e., building blocks of protein like collagen), which can regulate skin fibroblasts, the cells that help repair skin damage and form connective tissue. On that note, the amino acids in bone broth — particularly glutamine, glycine, and proline — may also benefit gut function, according to Carli. Bone broth also has bone-supporting vitamins and minerals (think calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc), according to Pasquariello.
Finally, as a liquid, bone broth can help you stay hydrated by increasing your daily fluid intake and providing electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, says Largeman-Roth. But despite these potential bone broth benefits, supplementing with the product isn’t necessary for most people, says Pasquariello. It’s also not a miracle “cure” for skin, joint, or gut health — but if you’re interested in trying bone broth, it can be a tasty addition to your meals and wellness routine, so long as your doctor gives you the green light. Talk to a trusted medical professional before adding bone broth to your diet; they can offer personalized guidance and determine if bone broth is safe for you.
Since bone broth can be made with many different ingredients, it’s worth considering several factors to find the best option. “When selecting a bone broth, look for grass-fed and finished beef or pasture-raised chicken [or] turkey bones as the main ingredients,” recommends Pasquariello. “You’ll also want to look for added flavorings from whole foods, like seasonings and vegetables, and ideally limited additives (like gums) if [they] upset your stomach easily,” she adds. As for the nutrition label? Pasquariello suggests picking a product with at least 10 grams of protein per serving and moderate salt levels (150 to 200 milligrams per serving or less). Finally, if you prefer organic foods, check the label for that feature as well. “From a functional standpoint, it can also be helpful to find bone broths that are resealable or can be easily frozen for convenience if you don’t use it all in one sitting,” says Pasquariello.
One of the easiest ways to enjoy bone broth is to sip it as is out of a mug. This is a popular method during the cooler months, as broth offers a savory alternative to the usual hot drinks. However, the beauty of bone broth is that you can use it in many ways. It can easily replace water in cooking — whether you’re making rice, quinoa, or lentils — for an extra dose of flavor and nutrients, says Carli. Bone broth can also replace some of the water or milk in homemade mashed potatoes, and it’s tasty in marinades for meats and tofu, she adds. Stuck with extra bone broth? Pour it into ice cube trays to make bone broth cubes. “You can use these cubes to add flavor to sauces, stir-fries, or any other dish that needs a little extra seasoning,” shares Carli.
Yes, it’s possible to make your own broth at home. According to Largeman-Roth, you’ll need chicken, turkey, beef, or pork bones; feel free to mix and match the type of bones, depending on what you have on hand. (Some people blanch beef bones before cooking to get rid of impurities and blood for a clearer broth, notes Largeman-Roth.)
To a stockpot, add the bones and fill with water, making sure the bones are fully submerged. “You can also add celery, carrots, onions, garlic, and herbs for extra flavor,” says Largeman-Roth. Simmer the mixture for eight to 12 hours, occasionally skimming the foam and fat and adding more water as needed to keep the bones submerged. “Once [the broth is] fully cooked, strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve,” shares Largeman-Roth.
“Bone broth can absolutely fit into an overall balanced diet — so if you love it and drink it often, that’s great — but it’s not something you need to [consume] every day to be healthy,” explains Pasquariello. Also, whether bone broth fits into your daily routine depends on many factors, including your dietary preferences and health goals, says Pasquariello. If you already eat a lot of soups, stews, and bone-broth based foods (and you eat animal products), swapping out your usual stock or broth for bone broth could be a great way to add additional nutrients, she adds.
Despite the many health benefits of bone broth, it does have some disadvantages. According to Largeman-Roth, many bone broths contain 300 to 350 milligrams of sodium per serving (13 to 15% DV), which can add up if you’re drinking it several times a day. Excess sodium intake can increase the risk of high blood pressure, so if you need or want to limit your sodium intake, constantly sipping on bone broth may not be the best move. Also, bone broth is very low in calories, about 45 calories per one cup serving, says Largeman-Roth. This means bone broth shouldn’t be used as a meal replacement, as it lacks enough calories and sustenance.
You can add bone broth to your dog’s diet for extra flavor and nutrients. It’s also helpful for increasing their fluid intake, where you serve it on its own or with dry food. But not all bone broths are equal, let alone made with dog-friendly ingredients. To be safe, choose a bone broth specifically made for pups. These products are readily available at pet supply stores; they’re made with minimal ingredients, little to no salt, and free of harmful ingredients such as onions. If you want to make broth for your dogs at home, be sure to use dog-safe ingredients and skip the spices. Always consult your veterinarian before making broth for your dog or feeding them new foods.
Kirsten Nunez is a health, nutrition, and food journalist with nearly a decade of experience. Her educational background includes an M.S. in Nutrition and B.S. in Dietetics. For this piece, she researched the most popular bone broths on the market and analyzed results from our testing staff. She also interviewed registered dietitians for the lowdown on the benefits of bone broth and what to look for when buying bone broths. Why We Liked It: It’s Worth Noting: Price at Time of Publish:Sodium content: | Form: | Calories per serving: | Protein: | Dietary needs: Why We Liked It: It’s Worth Noting: Price at Time of PublishSodium content: | Form: | Calories per serving: | Protein: | Dietary needs: Why We Liked It: It’s Worth Noting:Price at Time of Publish: Sodium content: | Form: | Calories per serving: | Protein: | Dietary needs: Why We Liked It: It’s Worth Noting: Price at Time of Publish:Sodium content: | Form: | Calories per serving: | Protein: | Dietary needs: Why We Like It:It’s Worth Noting: Price at Time of Publish:Sodium content: | Form: | Calories per serving: | Protein: | Dietary needs: Why We Liked It: It’s Worth Noting: Price at Time of Publish:Sodium content: | Form: | Calories per serving: | Protein: | Dietary needs: Why We Liked It: It’s Worth Noting: Price at Time of Publish:Sodium content: | Form: | Calories per serving: | Protein: | Dietary needs: Why We Liked It: It’s Worth Noting: Price at Time of PublishSodium content: | Form: | Calories per serving: | Protein: | Dietary needs:Why We Liked It: It’s Worth Noting: Price at Time of Publish: Sodium content: | Form: | Calories per serving: | Protein: | Dietary needs: Vital Proteins Beef Bone Broth Collagen, $50Kettle & Fire Bone Broth Variety Pack, $32