The name is an understatement. For when you can't cook from scratch, the Better Than Bouillon hearty food stocks beat out those crumbly, dehydrated bouillon cubes and canned liquid solutions any day, in terms of both flavor and versatility. Made from real meat, seafood, and vegetables instead of a mash-up of mock ingredients, Better Than Bouillon comes as a concentrated paste in an 8-ounce jar. Spoon a teaspoon into boiling water to make a bold-tasting, low-sodium soup, or else dilute it to make savory sauces, stews, gravies, and marinades.

You can also mix Better Than Bouillon right into pastas and rice dishes for an instant flavor punch. Mushroom Base added serious depth to our side dish of long-grain wild rice with portabellas, while Beef Base elevated an otherwise basic meat-and-veggie stir-fry. Besides the 11 premium base flavors, which include Lobster, Clam, and Chili, to name a few more, there are also five certified-organic options, two kosher varieties, and three flavors in the All Natural Reduced Sodium line, which have even less salt and zero dairy derivatives. [$5.95–$9.95; superiortouch.com]