The $7 Aldi Dinner Shortcut That’s My New Weekly Staple

published May 10, 2023
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Aldi storefront photographed from parking lot
Credit: Patty Catalano

One of my perpetual shortcomings is I frequently think I have more time than I really do. This happens to me mostly around dinnetime. When this occurs on weekends, it’s not a big deal because I have more than enough time to make a from-scratch dinner, and we just eat a little bit later as a family.

But when it happens to me on a weeknight, I suddenly look up from my computer and realize I have less than 45 minutes to feed my child, make sure his homework is done, and get him to gymnastics practice on time — and the gym is 17 minutes away from our house. That’s why I stock up on flavorful meal kits and keep two packages of diced pancetta in my freezer at all times.

After picking up some snackable crackers and dried fruit, I meandered by the refrigerated, prepared foods section at the back of my favorite local Aldi. (For the uninitiated, it’s across from the bagged, organic coffee offerings and just before you reach the refrigerated meats and fish.) Just above the take-and-bake Mama Cozzi pizzas, I came upon a selection of Park Street Deli heat-and-eat dinner options. One in particular — Park Street Deli Thai Coconut Chicken — has become my latest (and greatest) time-management tool.

Credit: Jeanette Hurt

What’s So Great About Park Street Deli Thai Coconut Chicken?

Although the White Wine and Peppercorn Sauce Chicken and a Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken looked pretty intriguing, I was drawn to the Thai Coconut Chicken — my family loves Thai food. Normally priced at $7.69, I snagged a couple of packages on sale for $6.99.

I’d never noticed this dinner before (although I’ve since learned that it was voted a product of the year — last year! — at Aldi). And no wonder. They’re delicious, and so, so easy to prepare. The package of cooked, boneless, skinless chicken thighs nestled in a coconut sauce took about a minute-and-a-half to cook. And, at 16 ounces, there was plenty to feed my son (who raved about the chicken), myself, and my husband, with a little bit left over.

What’s the Best Way to Serve Park Street Deli Thai Coconut Chicken?

The Thai-inspired sauce is creamy and coconutty, but not overpowering, with a mild tang and just a bit of warm ginger spice, and there is enough sauce to flavor the accompanying components — in our case, some pre-cooked rice and frozen broccoli that I heated to complete the meal.

We were able to eat dinner as a family (albeit it was a brief meal), my son remembered to grab his grips, and he managed to get to gymnastics practice on time. Because there was just enough leftover chicken, veggies, and rice to fill a Thermos, he also got a lunch out of it, which meant I was ahead of the time-management game the next morning. 

I think the chicken could also be cut up and tossed into a salad; it would work particularly well with Aldi’s Little Salad Bar Asian Chopped Salad Kit. Try adding it, along with some veggies and cilantro, in a wrap for lunch, too.

Find it in stores: Park Street Deli Thai Coconut Chicken, $6.99 (on sale) for 16 ounces

What new Aldi dinner shortcuts are you adding to your cart this week? Tell us in the comments below.