10 Foods I Don’t Buy at Aldi

10 Things We Don't Buy at Aldi

EDITOR’S NOTE: Like all posts on Aldi Reviewer, this piece is the opinion of its respective authors. Also like all posts, comments are welcome, although we ask users to be mindful of our Community Guidelines.

Aldi is my main grocery store. That’s not just because I write about Aldi. It’s also because they sell good food at affordable prices. Whether I’m shopping for staples such as bread and milk or more fancy fare such as steak, cheese, or cake, I like most of what I buy at Aldi. I’ve been shopping at Aldi for decades, and I love converting my friends and family to Aldi aficionados.

However, not everything at Aldi is a slam dunk. I’ve found a few things over the years that my family and I dislike or simply don’t care much for. It’s always a good idea to take best-of or worst-of lists with a grain of salt. Your mileage may vary. Everyone has different preferences.

With that said, the following is a list of Aldi products (some of them everyday Regular Buys and others limited-time Aldi Finds) that my family does not care for. Feel free to chime in with your own Aldi don’t-buy suggestions at the end of this post, but keep our Community Guidelines in mind.

1. Tuscan Garden Artichoke Hearts

Tuscan Garden Artichoke Hearts

My family loves Rich & Charlie’s Salad, which consists of romaine and iceberg lettuces, sliced red onion, grated parmesan cheese, sliced salami (optional in the recipe but a must for us), creamy Italian dressing, and … artichoke hearts. After making many Rich & Charlie’s Salads with Aldi Regular Buy canned artichoke hearts that had too many tough pieces, I eventually went back to buying name brand Reese artichoke hearts, which are more reliably less tough.

2. Baker’s Corner Frosting

Baker's Corner Frosting 

We put these Aldi Regular Buy cake frostings to a taste test and found them all — except for the chocolate flavor — to be disappointing. The vanilla and cream cheese frostings had odd smells and fake, plasticky flavors. I prefer to buy name-brand frosting or, better yet, make buttercream frosting from scratch.

3. Benner Earl Grey Black Tea

Benner Earl Grey Black Tea

This Regular Buy Earl Grey tea is not bad, but it’s also kind of forgettable. While my husband and I initially thought it was okay, we noticed over time that there is a subtle difference between the Aldi stuff and name-brand Bigelow or Twinings Earl Grey. The Aldi tea seems a bit weaker.

4. Park Street Deli Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

Park Street Deli Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

The Park Street Deli private label at Aldi features many fantastic refrigerated, ready-to-heat meals such as pork carnitas and burnt ends. So I figured this Regular Buy artichoke stuffed chicken would be good, too. Instead, what I got was a bland, mushy meal that looks nothing like the picture on the package.

5. Bon Italia Spaghetti & Meatballs

Bon Italia Spaghetti and Meatballs

This Regular Buy spaghetti and meatballs was just weird. Granted, no one in my family eats name-brand canned spaghetti and meatballs either, and we probably wouldn’t like that any better. The noodles in this are mushy and don’t compare at all to regular spaghetti. It’s worth taking the time to cook your own noodles.

6. Appetitos Cream Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos

Appetitos Cream Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos

These breaded stuffed jalapenos are a Regular Buy in the freezer aisle at Aldi. They’re not terrible, but they’re not great either. Just so so.

7. Appetitos Mozzarella Cheese Sticks with Marinara Sauce

Appetitos Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

I’ve love breaded mozzarella cheese sticks ever since I used to buy them in my high school cafeteria. These Aldi Regular Buy frozen cheese sticks are sold in a mixed case with the above-mentioned stuffed jalapenos. My family’s opinion of the cheese sticks is similar to the stuffed jalapenos: okay, but not great.

While we’re on this subject, my favorite grocery store breaded cheese sticks by far are Trader Joe’s Breaded Mozzarella Cheese Sticks. They taste just like what I’d get at a restaurant, and it’s hard not to eat the whole bag at once.

8. Specially Selected Tomato and Sweet Basil Soup

Specially Selected Tomato and Basil Soup

I love tomato soup. I enjoy it homemade or will happily eat the Campbell’s canned stuff, especially with a nice grilled cheese sandwich to accompany it. However, this Regular Buy tomato and sweet basil soup has a whopping 29 grams of added sugars, and I call it a “dessert soup.” It is way too sweet, and we couldn’t finish it.

9. Season’s Choice Kung Pao Broccoli

Season's Choice Kung Pao Broccoli

My family loves broccoli, and we like food with an Asian flair. This frozen Aldi Find kung pao broccoli doesn’t have any flavor nuance, though. If you dumped hot pepper all over some steamed broccoli, this is what you’d get. Spicy is the only flavor.

10. Fremont Fish Market Beer Battered Shrimp

Fremont Fish Market Beer Battered Shrimp

Shrimp are one of my favorite foods, so I’m always happy to try new options from Aldi. This Aldi Find frozen beer battered shrimp looked promising. However, these are mushy on the inside and had a strange aftertaste.

I air fried our shrimp according to the package directions, and I even cooked them for a minute or two longer than the directions indicated, but after hearing from some readers who baked these in conventional ovens (in one case baking them for double the amount of time the package directs), I wonder if the problem is that the cooking directions are wrong on the box, and maybe these need a much longer cooking time. That’s a pretty big oversight on the part of whoever manufactured these.

Do you have any Aldi foods you avoid buying? Tell us about them in the comments. Just remember our Community Guidelines.

About Rachael

Rachael is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. When she isn't busy shopping at Aldi, she enjoys cooking, gardening, writing gothic romance, and collecting more houseplants than she probably should. You can learn more about her at rachaelsjohnston.com.


  1. I’m picky about the pickles. I won’t buy the jarred peperoncini or the banana peppers because they’re just too mushy and a little too vinegary.

    I used to love the Park Street half-sour pickles in the refrigerated case but they changed the recipe some months ago and it tastes like they use horseradish now. I don’t buy those any more either.

  2. I completely agree with you about the artichoke stuffed chicken – mushy and did NOT look like the picture.
    Also, the Clancy’s Cheese curls (supposedly similar to Cheetos) are truly awful with a very strange aftertaste. Don’t buy these Aldi products. I’ve learned that not everything is delicious from Aldi.

  3. wlwrth@yahoo.com

    Many of the soups, especially the German ones, are way too salty. The sodium numbers don’t lie. This is common across the board for commercial soups.

  4. The au gratin potatoes were pale and awful tasting.

  5. The only food item that I ever returned/complained about was the canned Sauerkraut. The Claussen jars are soo much better!!

  6. I completely agree on that tomato soup! So far that is the one thing I avoid at Aldi. It was so weird tasting and with your assessment of here, I believe it is way to sweet with to much sugar? I couldn’t eat more than a bite. Terrible. I love Aldi. But this is no good. Lol

  7. The jarred jalapeno is a solid NO for me – a good one-third of the jar is stems and hard bits.

    I insisted we stop buying the pepperoni, not only was it too greasy (beyond what normal pepperoni should be) but it left a bad aftertaste and didn’t have a good flavor to begin with.

    We stopped buying the taco shells also, they are small, flavorless, and often broken. It would be a good price deal if it was a good product, but it isn’t. The taco seasoning also doesn’t taste right. No umami flavor. Come on… you gotta respect the taco, Aldi!

    We stopped buying their mini croissant boxes, sadly too many had moldy ones, and you couldn’t see the mold till you bit into them!

    • We actually like Aldi pepperoni. I take a sheet of wax paper, lay a paper towel on it, lay out the pepperoni on it that I am going to use for my pizza, fold over my paper towel and wax paper, and heat it in the microwave for 9 seconds. Then I press the grease out of it so that it soaks up in the paper towel. It makes good homemade pizza, for us. We like the thinness of the pieces. I also like the taco shells. And we use the taco seasoning to cook with. So I guess what I am getting at is that people need to try their product just to see if they like it or not.

  8. Bacon at Aldi is very inconsistent. Sometimes it’s cut well, but many times it’s cut too thin or is either too fatty or too meaty.

    Also, the ketchup has a weird taste to it. Every other ketchup I’ve had outside of Aldi has tasted pretty similar, but they add something else to Aldi’s.

  9. I don’t buy their Parmesan cheese (the unrefrigerated kind in the plastic cylinder). It has a strange texture and taste and doesn’t melt, which makes me wonder what is in it to cause that.

  10. I purchased plain walnuts in the baking area when I ran out of my Costco ones. The Aldi ones were quite bitter and much smaller. I notified “corporate “ thinking the buyer would want to know. Instead, I was told to return them. By then I’d thrown them away.

    I also bought some frozen salmon that was inedible. I think it had to have melted and been refrozen. Yuk.

  11. The Mexican diced tomatoes w/ chilies used to be a match for Rotel. They are awful. The refried beans are mush with nary a whole bean. The Casa Mamita brand has certainly gone downhill. Maybe there is a new manufacturer?!

  12. Thanks you all for contributing to this post. We can steer each other away from the Aldi mistakes.

  13. I LOVE the jalapeño cream cheese poppers. To each their own!

  14. I stopped buying Aldi’s Pueblo Lindo white corn tortillas once I closely read the ingredients listing and discovered they contain methyl and propyl parabens, which are problematic food additives. I now buy tortillas at Walmart, which don’t contain these additives and actually cost less per tortilla.

  15. I’m sorry not to have anything “meaty” (so to speak) to add to this post, but I just want to commend Rachael for writing on this subject, and to echo Patti’s thanks to all of you who have contributed these follow-up comments. It’s true that taste choices are individual; readers can understand that there probably is no definitive BAD. But it’s so helpful to know what others think of items one has never tried–whether you liked them or did not. Thanks to all of you!

  16. But hey let’s commend Aldi for starting to provide choices for grass fed meats and organic milk !
    Love that….

    I’m not a big fan of their lunch meats , too slimy.

  17. Harmony McConnell

    So glad to hear these comments. I can’t remember anything specific but am fussy with what I get, I just tried their Priano Marinara Sauce and it was to sweet for me. I added pepper, garlic sausage and Italian seasoning and still couldn’t get away from the displeasing taste of sweet. Thanks for Listening.

  18. I agree that the canned artichokes are tough. I also thought they lacked flavor.

  19. I dont care for the string cheese at Aldi. I prefer getting it a Trader Joes as it seems to have a “smokier” more mozzarella flavor, to me.

  20. I don’t really care for their peanut butter. I know lots of people do though. I prefer a store brand natural type from a regional store.

    • I use their organic peanut butter which is just ground peanuts and sea salt. I love it. I know my daughter uses their natural peanut butter. We have never tried their regular peanut butter. I am thinking that you are maybe talking about that.

      • Yes I am. I’ve never tried Aldi natural peanut butter maybe I should. I don’t eat a ton of it and my local store just had a great sale so I got two which should last a long while.

  21. Used to love the gluten free brownie mix, but something’s changed. The cookies (made from the mix) used to come out of the oven cracked and shiny on top; now they’re dry-looking with no shine. I’ve not changed the added butter or eggs or baking time, so I’m guessing the change is in the mix. Disappointing!

  22. We’ve been shopping at Aldi for YEARS (literally) and lately we’ve noticed a “trend” that they seem to be selling more household items, kitchen gadgets, live plants, clothing, etc., and it seems that their focus on food quality, and ingredient integrity is slowly taking a ‘back-seat’ ?!

    They still have many good products, at competitive pricing, but some of the comments are unavoidable, and the constructive criticism is increasing. We have noticed our weekly expenditure, at Aldi, is declining.
    I won’t waste too much time critiquing specific items/products, because everyone’s palate and taste buds are as unique as fingerprints or DNA.
    None of us want Dollar-store quality at Whole Foods pricing, but the plain truth is that the reliable quality of Aldi food items seem to be “slipping” down, while prices are “creeping” up.
    With SO many food additives, enhancers, preservatives, and fillers in ALL grocery stores/products, the best way to go, these days, is to make as much as we can, from “scratch”. . . . . at home, and avoid all the “weird taste” many of you are finding in current ‘ready-to-eat’ products.

  23. I too find the frozen Jalepeno Poppers just “OK”, not bad but I prefer a different, name-brand version.

    Years ago I tried the Aldi frozen little breakfast link sausages (I forgot the exact name for those), and found they really were not as good as the Armour or whatever name brand you see everywhere; a little sweet, and meh texture. And I too find the (natural/ just peanuts and salt) peanut butter just OK, something about the texture, not bad at all but I go for a natural PB from elsewhere.

    Just one comment about the canned spaghetti, which I buy all the time to stick in my pantry (along with the ravioli and mini ravioli) as a an easy, quick “I’m-not-cooking-or-waiting-for-food-tonight” filler: Yes, canned pasta is a completely different animal than any spaghetti you cook yourself, but I find the Bon Italia brand very very comparable to the Chef Boyardee. Sounds like you (Rachael) never tried those name-brand canned pastas, but they’re pretty much the same as Aldi’s! Totally different from homemade spaghetti, but the Bon Italia brand and Chef Boyardee are pretty much the same deal. It’s not the Aldi brand in particular you dislike I think, just the ‘genre’!

    There are so many Aldi things that I buy regularly that are equal to or even superior to name-brand versions of them, as well as much less expensive, so to me the above items listed— as well as those mentioned by commenters— are, at least at this point, sort of the “exceptions”. I’m sure there are probably other Aldi products I’ve bought and disliked and never bought again and have completely forgotten about, but I can’t bring any to mind at the moment beyond the ones listed above.

    Oh wait— I think I once bought that creamy, soft butter/oil combo (in tubs) that I really didn’t care for at all. Although I rarely buy that style of butter in general, I have tried the Land of Lakes (Butter and Olive Oil) and it’s fine. Didn’t like the (Happy Farms?) Aldi version. But I buy the Aldi regular salted butter all the time!

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