Prepared Foods

43 Kitchen-Tested Ingredients

Firm Tofu
Published: March 2017
Firm Tofu
Check the nutrition label for a clue about your tofu’s texture.
Crushed Tomatoes
Published: January 2017
Crushed Tomatoes
Sometimes smooth like puree and sometimes chock-full of chunks, crushed tomatoe…
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Soy Sauce
Published: September 2016
Soy Sauce
Savory, fragrant, umami-rich soy sauce is a staple in American kitchens. But ch…
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Prepared Pesto
Published: March 2016
Prepared Pesto
We scooped up seven traditional basil pestos (also called pesto Genovese), price…
Dijon Mustard
Published: March 2015
Dijon Mustard
What traits guarantee a Dijon mustard that packs a wallop of clean heat and bala…
Apricot Preserves
Published: November 2014
Apricot Preserves
We tasted five top-selling products plain and in our Cook's Illustrated French A…
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Processed Artichoke Hearts
Published: September 2014
Processed Artichoke Hearts
With so many options on the market, selecting a brand of processed artichoke hea…
Supermarket Frozen Yogurt
Published: July 2014
Supermarket Frozen Yogurt
These days, supermarket frozen yogurts are flying off the shelves. Is that beca…
Blue Cheese Dressing
Published: October 2013
Blue Cheese Dressing
Was it too much to ask for a blue cheese dressing that was thick, creamy, and ac…
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Frozen Straight-Cut French Fries
Published: June 2013
Frozen Straight-Cut French Fries
Homemade fries are not usually an option for weeknight cooking—but was there a f…
Supermarket Hummus
Published: January 2013
Supermarket Hummus
This creamy chickpea spread has gone from health food obscurity to the No. 1 ref…
Ice Cream Cones
Published: June 2012
Ice Cream Cones
We tasted five supermarket sugar cones and waffle cones (after much debate, we d…
Supermarket Tortellini
Published: April 2012
Supermarket Tortellini
Is store-bought tortellini any good?
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Supermarket Cheese Ravioli
Published: January 2012
Supermarket Cheese Ravioli
Store-bought cheese ravioli offer convenience, but would any pass muster?
Graham Crackers
Published: June 2011
Graham Crackers
We tasted three top-selling national brands to see which came out on top.
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Macaroni and Cheese
Published: April 2011
Macaroni and Cheese
We tasted 25 boxed and frozen versions of mostly clumpy, gloppy, wimpy mac and c…
Pancake Mixes
Published: December 2010
Pancake Mixes
What’s the secret to the best from-the-box pancakes? Here’s a hint: They don’t m…
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English Muffins
Published: February 2009
English Muffins
Are there real differences among the four major national brands of English muffi…
Boxed Brownie Mixes
Published: December 2008
Boxed Brownie Mixes
Do any come close to homemade?
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Jarred Hot Salsas
Published: April 2008
Jarred Hot Salsas
Are hot salsas better than mild?
Mail-Order Brownies
Published: October 2007
Mail-Order Brownies
Got a chocolate craving? Discover the top mail-order brownies.
Applesauce
Published: March 2009
Applesauce
Our runaway favorite contains a surprising ingredient.
Refrigerator Biscuits
Published: February 2006
Refrigerator Biscuits
Pillsbury has cornered the market on refrigerator biscuits, but how do you choos…
Frozen Waffles
Published: December 2005
Frozen Waffles
One brand beat out seven other contestants.
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Published: July 2005
Supermarket Veggie Burgers
All the brands we tasted won high marks for convenience, but what about taste?
Mail-Order King Cakes
Published: February 2018
Mail-Order King Cakes
Even if you're not in New Orleans, you can still get an authentic taste of Mardi…
Ready-Made Graham Cracker Crusts
Published: October 2017
Ready-Made Graham Cracker Crusts
When a homemade crumb crust isn’t an option, is a store-bought crust an acceptab…
Ready-Made Pie Crusts
Published: October 2017
Ready-Made Pie Crusts
We have high standards for pastry pie crust. Is there a supermarket option that …
Milk Chocolate Chips
Published: October 2017
Milk Chocolate Chips
Most of us associate milk chocolate with supermarket candy bars and foil-wrapped…
Chocolate Ice Cream
Published: August 2017
Chocolate Ice Cream
Ice cream flavors abound, but chocolate remains a perennial favorite. We wanted …
Bottled Barbecue Sauce
Published: June 2017
Bottled Barbecue Sauce
Last year Americans spent more than $700 million on supermarket barbecue sauce. …
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100% Whole-Wheat Bread
Published: February 2017
100% Whole-Wheat Bread
The labels on whole-wheat bread can be perplexing. We set out to clear up the co…
Supermarket Sauerkraut
Published: February 2016
Supermarket Sauerkraut
To find out which kraut is king, we tried six nationally available supermarket s…
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Mild Jarred Red Salsa
Published: February 2016
Mild Jarred Red Salsa
Piquant jarred salsas can add a little spice to any occasion. But what do mild …
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Hamburger Buns
Published: October 2015
Hamburger Buns
Which burger bun is the best?
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Fish Sauce
Published: September 2015
Fish Sauce
We gathered five products from grocery stores and Asian markets and sampled the…
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