Foods You Didn't Know Contain MSG

This additive appears in a lot of unexpected places

Foods You Didn't Know Contain MSG

MSG is one of the most misunderstood food additives out there. It’s actually a lot more prevalent than you think, and there are a bunch of food products it appears in that you most likely eat without even realizing it. 


You know that bold, rich flavor that you get when you eat a Dorito? That’s not just powdered cheese, it’s MSG. Odds are, if you’re eating a flavored chip of any kind, it contains MSG. 

KFC Fried Chicken


Very few people know what all 11 herbs and spices are, but MSG is definitely one of them. Not only is there MSG in all the different varieties of KFC fried (and grilled) chicken, it’s also in the gravy, chicken pot pies, potato wedges, and even the green beans.

Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich

Want to know what that Chick-Fil-A is seasoned with that makes it taste so good? According to their website, it’s salt, sugar, spices, paprika, and MSG. If you’re looking to avoid it, opt for the grilled chicken sandwich instead. 

Flavored Pringles

There are dozens of varieties of Pringles, and just about all of the flavored ones (including BBQ, Sour Cream & Onion, and Pizza) include MSG. One variety that doesn’t? Salt and Vinegar. 

Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Yes, this classic soup gets much of its rich and satisfying flavor from MSG. It’s not just chicken noodle, either; nearly all of the brand's condensed soups, from Cream of Mushroom to Vegetable Beef, contain it. 

Lipton Onion Soup Mix

The secret ingredient in that French onion dip? MSG. Just about all powdered soup mixes, from Lipton or otherwise, contain the flavor enhancer. 

Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

If you’ve watched its recent commercials, which include kids eating Hidden Valley Ranch-doused vegetables in a pastoral, farm-like setting, you’d be forgiven for not realizing that, as with so many other packaged dressings, this one is made with MSG.

Knorr Chicken and Beef Bouillon

One of the easiest ways to give soups, stews, and other dishes a flavor boost is by adding some bouillon. But like powdered soup mixes, it gets much of its flavor from the addition of a whole lot of MSG. 

Seaweed Salad

This popular Japanese restaurant appetizer and side dish gives the impression of being healthy, and while it’s full of nutrients, very few restaurants make it from scratch. Not all brands include MSG, but most of them do (along with a whole lot of salt and sugar), so we recommend making it yourself if you’re concerned.