10 Very Useful Aldi Products That Get Us Halfway to Dinner

Store-bought wonders that save our weeknights.

February  6, 2019

After a long work day, I find myself daydreaming about a personal chef waiting at my door with a glass of prosecco in hand and a perfectly cooked meal on the table. Maybe it’s slow-roasted salmon or a hearty beef stew. In reality, dinner is whatever I can cobble together in 10 minutes. Which is why I’ve turned to help of another kind: store-bought ingredients that get me halfway to the finish line. Rotisserie chicken is a solid standby—for shredding into salads, soups, and stir-fries. But more often than not, I’m seeking out affordable grocery finds that make pulling together well-rounded meals that much easier. And, no surprise, my favorite place to get them is Aldi. From restaurant-quality pastas to frozen seafood that I can stock up on, I’ve gathered ten of my favorite Aldi buys that help me get dinner on the table in no time.

Kirkwood Never Any! Chicken Sausage

The chicken sausages at Aldi come in a variety of flavors. I serve the tomato basil chicken sausage over a bed of basil, fresh mozzarella, and tomato, or with a simple spaghetti marinara. The apple chicken sausage and cranberry chicken sausage are both as good on a roll as they are mixed into a green salad.

Specially Selected Bacon-Wrapped Sea Scallops

Aldi’s frozen, ready-to-sear scallops are a true steal at around $8. Alongside some pan-fried cauliflower rice and simple potatoes—or any other vegetable sides—they make a special weeknight meal.

Mama Cozzi’s Take and Bake Pizzas

If you're looking to feed a family or group, Mama Cozzi’s pizzas are absolutely giant and only around $5. They have specialty toppings that rotate seasonally, but my staples are the extra large sausage and pepperoni with thin crust, the pepperoni, and the mega meat, which packs on Italian sausage, bacon, salami, pepperoni, and beef. I always serve a salad on the side, and the Little Salad Bar bagged salads do all the chopping for you.

Specially Selected Mussels

These mussels check all the boxes: They take minutes to heat from frozen, cost less than $3, and are versatile enough for a crowd. They come in plain, garlic butter, and tomato garlic and are all equally delicious. Boil some linguine and you have yourself dinner in under 10 minutes.

Kirkwood Fully Cooked Chicken Breast Strips

Pre-cooked chicken is a huge time saver during the week. If you feel like fajitas, just heat and enjoy. If you need extra protein in your salad, toss in some strips. I like making Greek salad wraps for dinner with shredded lettuce, tomato, feta, and the Specially Selected Greek Kalamata salad dressing with red wine vinegar. It’s salty, juicy, and really hits the spot.

Sea Queen Chili Lime Shrimp Skewers

Aldi has a few different shrimp skewer options, and they all go well with rice, zoodles, or pasta. I get the garlic black pepper and the plain most often, but if you love a good kick, try the Chili Lime—they're a little spicy, but are great with mac and cheese or a simple stir-fry.

Specially Selected Pear and Gorgonzola Ravioli

Aldi’s gourmet raviolis are the quickest way to a fancy pasta dinner at home. My standby is the sweet pear and gorgonzola, which I’ll drizzle with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but I also love some of their more seasonal specialties, like pumpkin sage and bourbon sweet potato.

Specially Selected Premium Seared Ahi Tuna

Perfectly rare and pre-sliced, this peppercorn and garlic-crusted tuna is a great add-on to salads. I like to pair it with avocado and cucumber or serve it over edamame spaghetti with a drizzle of soy sauce.

Priano Three Cheese Tortellini

I can’t get through the winter without some good comfort food, and Aldi's three cheese tortellini is a great place to start. I’ll make a giant brothy pot of beans and greens, bring it to a boil, toss in the tortellini, and serve up a huge bowl sprinkled with plenty of parm.

Specially Selected Coconut Top Crusted Flounder

Aldi’s freezer section has some truly wonderful seafood options like crab cakes, jumbo shrimp, and individually packaged fish fillets.These flounder fillets are coated with breadcrumbs mixed with sweet coconut flakes, papaya, mango, and cilantro. I serve them with some chips and guacamole or a side of steamed vegetables to make it a meal.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Matt
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    bernie navarra
  • Trish F
    Trish F
  • Rich Grippo
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Jessica Kelly

Written by: Jessica Kelly

National Food, Travel, and Entertainment Writer


Matt February 12, 2019
I'll never understand why food blog like Aldi for some reason. The portions are small, everything is overpriced, the stores are always suspiciously empty, and they smell bad.
JACQUELINE S. February 10, 2019
You must have a better quality Aldi near you. While I shop there, ours doesn't carry most of the items you noted.
Trish F. February 10, 2019
do you have a Trader Joe's near you? They are a division of Aldi's and have similar items available.
JACQUELINE S. February 10, 2019
Kinda sorta near me there is a Trader Joe's, but have not been in for about 7 years... guess I should take another look one day.
Matt February 12, 2019
Trader Joes is in no way a division of Aldi's.
Rich G. February 28, 2019
I guess it depends on how you define "division" but obviously Aldi and Trader Joe's are part of the same company. From your link: "Aldi Nord, operates a separate, but not dissimilar, supermarket called Trader Joe's."
bernie N. February 10, 2019
love aldis cooked jumbo shrimp make a fast easy addition to pasta alfredo