Prepared Foods

44 Kitchen-Tested Ingredients

Firm Tofu
Firm Tofu
Check the nutrition label for a clue about your tofu’s texture.
Crushed Tomatoes
Crushed Tomatoes
Sometimes smooth like puree and sometimes chock-full of chunks, crushed tomatoe…
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Soy Sauce
Soy Sauce
Savory, fragrant, umami-rich soy sauce is a staple in American kitchens. But ch…
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Prepared Pesto
Prepared Pesto
We scooped up seven traditional basil pestos (also called pesto Genovese), price…
Dijon Mustard
Dijon Mustard
What traits guarantee a Dijon mustard that packs a wallop of clean heat and bala…
Apricot Preserves
Apricot Preserves
We tasted five top-selling products plain and in our Cook's Illustrated French A…
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Processed Artichoke Hearts
Processed Artichoke Hearts
With so many options on the market, selecting a brand of processed artichoke hea…
Supermarket Frozen Yogurt
Supermarket Frozen Yogurt
These days, supermarket frozen yogurts are flying off the shelves. Is that beca…
Blue Cheese Dressing
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
Frozen Straight-Cut French Fries
Homemade fries are not usually an option for weeknight cooking—but was there a f…
Supermarket Hummus
Supermarket Hummus
This creamy chickpea spread has gone from health food obscurity to the No. 1 ref…
Ice Cream Cones
Ice Cream Cones
We tasted five supermarket sugar cones and waffle cones (after much debate, we d…
Supermarket Tortellini
Supermarket Tortellini
Is store-bought tortellini any good?
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Supermarket Cheese Ravioli
Supermarket Cheese Ravioli
Store-bought cheese ravioli offer convenience, but would any pass muster?
Graham Crackers
Graham Crackers
We tasted three top-selling national brands to see which came out on top.
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Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and Cheese
We tasted 25 boxed and frozen versions of mostly clumpy, gloppy, wimpy mac and c…
Pancake Mixes
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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Reduced-Fat Potato Chips
Reduced-Fat Potato Chips
With reduced-fat chips crowding the snack aisle, we wondered if an acceptable st…
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English Muffins
English Muffins
Are there real differences among the four major national brands of English muffi…
Boxed Brownie Mixes
Boxed Brownie Mixes
Do any come close to homemade?
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Jarred Hot Salsas
Jarred Hot Salsas
Are hot salsas better than mild?
Mail-Order Brownies
Mail-Order Brownies
Got a chocolate craving? Discover the top mail-order brownies.
Applesauce
Applesauce
Our runaway favorite contains a surprising ingredient.
Refrigerator Biscuits
Refrigerator Biscuits
Pillsbury has cornered the market on refrigerator biscuits, but how do you choos…
Frozen Waffles
Frozen Waffles
One brand beat out seven other contestants.
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Packaged Stuffing
Packaged Stuffing
Supermarket stuffing is incredibly easy to use—but how much quality must you sac…
Supermarket Veggie Burgers
All the brands we tasted won high marks for convenience, but what about taste?
Ready-Made Graham Cracker Crusts
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
Ready-Made Pie Crusts
We have high standards for pastry pie crust. Is there a supermarket option that …
Milk Chocolate Chips
Milk Chocolate Chips
Most of us associate milk chocolate with supermarket candy bars and foil-wrapped…
Chocolate Ice Cream
Chocolate Ice Cream
Ice cream flavors abound, but chocolate remains a perennial favorite. We wanted …
Bottled Barbecue Sauce
Bottled Barbecue Sauce
Last year Americans spent more than $700 million on supermarket barbecue sauce. …
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100% Whole-Wheat Bread
100% Whole-Wheat Bread
The labels on whole-wheat bread can be perplexing. We set out to clear up the co…
Supermarket Sauerkraut
Supermarket Sauerkraut
To find out which kraut is king, we tried six nationally available supermarket s…
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Mild Jarred Red Salsa
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
Hamburger Buns
Which burger bun is the best?
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