10 Aldi Dinner Staples I’m Buying on Repeat This Year

published Jan 3, 2023
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Credit: Lisa Freedman

It’s time to clear the holiday clutter from the entire house, and that includes the kitchen. I love the thrill of discovering new products, but right now I am focused on restocking my pantry with dinnertime staples for every night of the week.

As an avid Aldi shopper, I know I can count on the discount market to have high-quality groceries under its many private-label brands and a few big name brands too. The best part is that I know when I slide that quarter into the cart, my pantry (and fridge! And freezer!) will be full without bursting my budget. These are the 10 dinner items I’m adding to my shopping list.

Credit: Patty Catalano

1. Kirkwood Breaded Chicken Breast Fillets, $7.99 for 24 ounces

These frozen fillets of breaded chicken have been impressing Kitchn editors for years. The chicken is surprisingly juicy with a flavorful garlic and paprika-spiked breading. Air-fry or oven-bake them for copycat restaurant chicken sandwiches, honey mustard salad toppers, quick chicken Parmesan, and more.

Credit: Patty Catalano

2. Earth Grown Extra Firm Organic Tofu, $1.69 for 14 ounces

I started eating more tofu in 2022 and it is a habit I am bringing into 2023. I gave tofu many treatments — tearing, freezing, grilling, etc. — and I’ve yet to tire of it. The best part is that no matter what flavors I want or the time of day, tofu is up to the challenge. Need proof? For breakfast, swap eggs for an easy tofu scramble; settle into the evening with crispy tofu noodle bowls or slow cooker mapo tofu.

Credit: Patty Catalano

3. Pueblo Lindo Queso Fresco, $2.39 for 10 ounces

No list of dinner staples is complete without cheese. Queso fresco is what my homemade tacos, tostadas, and corn on the cob have been missing. In lieu of adding mild and melty Mexican-blend cheese, queso fresco has a crumbly texture and salty, tangy flavor.

Credit: Patty Catalano

4. Simply Nature Organic Chicken Broth or Less-Sodium Chicken Broth, $1.75 for 32 ounces

I usually have a stash of homemade chicken stock in the freezer. But when I need a splash of flavorful liquid for soups and sauces, a good-quality broth is indispensable. A box of broth also makes quick work of dinner — especially when one of my family’s favorite one-pot pastas is on the menu.

Credit: Patty Catalano

5. Specially Selected Italian Bread, $3.49 for 16 ounces

Much of Aldi’s fanfare focuses on the store’s limited-edition Aldi Finds. Mine is on the bread aisle. I will not pass by without adding a loaf (or two!) of the crusty Italian bread to my cart. I use it through the week for sandwiches and French toast, and as a garlicky side for soups

Credit: Patty Catalano

6. Burman’s Hot Sauce, $2.05 for 12 ounces

If a food can be Buffalo’d, I am here for it. This hot sauce adds a kick to crispy cauliflower, dips, and classic chicken wings, and is a pantry all-star in this three-ingredient spicy sauce.

Credit: Patty Catalano

7. Priano Bronze Cut Pasta, $1.99 for 16 ounces

These old-fashioned bronze-cut pastas really are some of the best dinner staples you can buy at Aldi. At less than $2 per bag, stock up on short pastas like these conchiglie shell-shaped pastas for mac and cheese and casseroles.

Credit: Patty Catalano

8. Simply Nature Organic 100% Grass-Fed Ground Beef, $5.29 for 16 ounces

Buying good-quality beef is important to me, so I stock up on these one-pound packages from Aldi. The beef is in recipe-ready portions, plus it’s organic and 100% grass-fed. Pick up one pack for this week, and stash another in the freezer to keep on hand.

Credit: Patty Catalano

9. Tuscan Garden Ranch Salad Dressing Mix, 50 cents for 1 ounce

I love ranch dressing in all forms, whether it’s bottled or homemade. I always keep a packet of dry ranch seasoning mix on hand to bake into breads, season snack mixes, and add extra flavor to air fryer potatoes.

Credit: Patty Catalano

10. Priano Herb Chicken or Three Cheese Tortellini, $6.29 for 20 ounces

When a 30-minute meal is more time than I have to put dinner on the table, I reach for refrigerated tortellini. These fresh, filled pastas require a short swim in boiling water before they are ready to serve. Toss them with steamed frozen veggies and a shower of salty cheese, serve them in a soup, or tossed with a creamy sauce.

What are your favorite dinner staples to buy at Aldi? Tell us in the comments below!