Kitchn Love Letters

The $2 Aldi Grocery I’m Stocking in My Pantry All Summer Long

published Jun 20, 2023
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Aldi storefront with graphic shapes
Credit: Carina Romano

A well-stocked spice cabinet is my secret to cooking flavorful meals on the fly. With racks of spices on hand I can turn plain chicken wings into savory, cheesy garlic-Parmesan chicken wings, or a hunk of a leftover loaf of bread into slices of garlic bread that just make the meal. Of all the spices I keep stocked, garlic powder is the one spice that I can’t bear to run out of. 

Despite the store’s small size and curated culinary offerings, the quality and price of Aldi’s core ingredients like bronze-cut pasta and imported olive oil is unmatched. When it’s time to refresh the staple ingredients I rely on for simple summertime cooking, Aldi is my first stop. So when I rang in the season with a final shake from my bottle of garlic powder, I knew it was time for a road trip to Aldi. 

Credit: Patty Catalano

What’s So Great About Simply Nature Organic Garlic Powder?

Garlic powder is made by drying fresh garlic cloves and grinding them into a fine powder. Aldi’s Simply Nature Garlic Powder uses organic and non-GMO garlic cloves for its garlic powder. At Aldi, a 2.5-ounce jar is just $2.09, while the same size and quality spice at a large chain grocer costs between $4 and $6. 

I’m not going to try to convince you that garlic powder is an exact substitute for the flavor of fresh garlic. It’s not. But in a way, it’s better. Fresh garlic can be very sharp and leave a lingering flavor. Garlic powder is more mellow and mild. Freshly minced garlic can only cover so much surface area, while the powdered spice can be evenly sprinkled or stirred into any food you’re cooking. A bonus for busy cooks like me is that garlic powder requires no peeling or mincing, so I reach for this jar more often than I reach for a head of fresh cloves. 

What’s the Best Way to Use Simply Nature Organic Garlic Powder?

Fresh garlic is prone to burning, so in the summer when I’m standing at the grill, garlic powder is the smartest seasoning option. It adds the mild garlic flavor that is essential to the spice rubs and seasonings I sprinkle over St. Louis-style ribs, grilled flank steak, and grilled chicken

Salads are another summer staple that I like to dress up with simple homemade dressings. Chopped fresh garlic can increase in its astringency as it sits, so for creamy, herby ranch dressing and bright lemony vinaigrettes, replace every fresh clove garlic with 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder. 

Find it in stores: Simply Nature Garlic Powder, $2.09 for 2.5 ounces

What Aldi pantry staples are you stocking up on for summer? Sound off in the comments below.