Our all-time favorite Aldi products

It’s no secret that Aldi is one of the most popular grocery chains. Low prices, smaller-than-average stores, solid, reliable products…it all comes together to create a shopping experience that’s less overwhelming than your standard grocery store visit (and a whole lot less expensive, too). But even if you frequent Aldi regularly, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut, finding yourself buying the same things over and over again.

It’s time to branch out and experience all the best Aldi has to offer. Whether you’re looking for frozen meals that are easy to whip up in minutes, or looking for the staples that will make your week easier and more delicious, this list will point you in the right direction. These are my all time favorite Aldi products.

If it looks like there’s a lot going on with this pizza, you’re absolutely right. It starts with the pretzel crust. Your Italian grandma probably wouldn’t stand it, but I have to admit, I love the salty taste and thick, chewy texture of the crust. The pepperoni is nice and juicy, and it’s all perfectly complemented by the spicy honey drizzle on top. This affordable frozen option goes beyond the basics, and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things to buy from Aldi.

When you need a snack that won’t leave you feeling too full and uncomfortable, it’s time to get your hands on Aldi’s Simply Nature Organic White Cheddar Puffs. The texture is just right, providing the crunch you want when eating your favorite snack, and the slight crispness of the cheddar ensures you get a dose of that mouth-watering flavor you’re looking for.

Of course, making your own fries isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does take time. If you want an affordable option that tastes better than any batch of home fries I’ve ever made, go with Season’s Choice Garlic & Herb Seasoned Fries. They don’t go easy on the garlic here, which I’m forever grateful for. Feel free to add even more herbs to these fries, but they seriously don’t need it – just pop them in the oven and you’re good to go.

Back in my vegan years, I regularly frequented Aldi for their meatless products. But even though I eat meat now, I’m still a huge fan of Aldi’s Earth Grown Vegan Chickenless Tenders. The texture of the “meat” is surprisingly chicken-y, but the breading is what really does it for me. It has a nice crispiness even when microwaved. Of course, it reaches maximum crispiness when you put it in the air fryer.

Sparkling water is absolutely essential in my home. Unfortunately, that means I can’t always choose the most expensive things. This is where a water like PurAqua Sparkling Water comes in. These flavored sparkling waters are surprisingly tasty; they are comparable to polar seltzers. The black cherry is my favorite, but the strawberry and lime flavors are also solid.

Ask anyone who’s been to dinner with me, they’ll tell you I don’t make good desserts. All of my effort and energy goes into the savory stuff, so by the time dessert comes around, I usually try to keep it simple. That’s why the mixed berry cheesecake from Aldi’s dessert menu is so perfect. First of all, it’s cheesecake, which makes it an automatic win in my book. But add the tartness of the berries and you’ll realize there’s no point in making your own dessert.

The nut butter trend is going nowhere. And when you encase that nut butter in a crisp, salty shell, it tastes even better. Aldi’s new Simply Nature Almond Butter Filled Pretzels might be the perfect on-the-go snack: they’re hearty, crunchy and full of creamy nut butter. Unfortunately, I can’t keep them at home because I have no self-control. If you’re more disciplined than me, however, they’re worth buying.

You’ve probably heard of the cowboy caviar hype before, but now you don’t even have to make the recipe yourself: the Park Street Deli Texas Caviar at Aldi will have you covered. This corn-heavy salsa is perfect with fries or as a garnish. I just wish it came in a bigger container – it’s hard to stop eating it once you start.

Do you receive guests and want to offer them something satisfying and sophisticated? Then go for Aldi’s Caramelized Onion and Gouda Mini Puff Pastries. These little pastries have a ton of flavor despite their small size, and the sweetness of the caramelized onions is perfectly matched with the slight spiciness of the gouda. These things can get a little messy, but we think it’s worth sweeping up the crumbs after your guests have left.

Kirkwood Breaded Chicken Breast Fillets are one of the most legendary Aldi products of all time, so it’s no surprise that it’s also one of my favorites. When you’re going through a week where you just can’t be bothered to cook from scratch, these things will have you covered. However, you won’t get the boring, watery fried chicken fillets you might be used to from other brands. Either way, red bagged chicken stays extremely juicy with a crispy breading exterior. It’s my easy dinner.

Samantha Maxwell is a Boston-based writer and food writer. Follow her on Twitter at @samseating.

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