If you’re trying to get more vegetables, whole grains, and other simple and wholesome ingredients into your diet while still enjoying convenient and quick-to-heat meals, the Aldi Whole & Simple house brand is a good place to look. This Aldi private label is known for its healthier offerings, most of which are found in either the specials freezer aisle or the daily Regular Buy freezer section.
Past limited-edition Whole & Simple options have included burritos and omelet breakfast bites. Today, I’m looking at a Whole & Simple entrée that is part of Aldi’s Regular Buy selection, meaning you can buy it at Aldi all year.
Whole & Simple Southwestern Style Chicken Quinoa Bowls cost $2.99 for a 10.5-ounce bowl at the time of publication. The box description lists primary ingredients as brown rice, sweet potatoes, black beans, corn, and bell peppers. It also includes a spicy chipotle and lime tomato sauce. This is a product of Canada.
Ingredients are straightforward and simple, as they usually are for the Aldi Whole & Simple house brand. This contains cooked white and red quinoa, cooked brown rice, cooked seasoned chicken breast with rib meat (chicken, water, potato starch, sea salt), water, tomatoes (tomatoes, tomato juice, calcium chloride, citric acid), sweet potatoes, black beans, corn, onions, red bell peppers, lime juice, garlic puree (garlic, water), canola oil, corn starch, salt, spices, cilantro, and chipotle powder.
One serving (298 grams) has 320 calories, 6 grams of total fat (8% DV), 1 gram of saturated fat (5% DV), 25 mg of cholesterol (8% DV), 530 mg of sodium (23% DV), 53 grams of total carbohydrates (19% DV), 8 grams of dietary fiber (29% DV), 3 grams of total sugars, no added sugars, and 16 grams of protein.
The box has instructions for heating this frozen meal in either the microwave (recommended) or in a conventional oven. This is not recommended for toaster ovens.
To microwave, remove the bowl from the carton. Do not pierce or remove the film. Heat on high for 3 minutes. Peel back the film and stir thoroughly. Replace the film and cook on high for an additional 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the microwave, stir, and let stand for 1-2 minutes before serving. Be careful because the bowl will be hot.
To bake in the oven, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the bowl from the carton. Do not pierce or remove the film. Place the bowl on a baking sheet on the middle oven rack for 25-30 minutes. Halfway through cooking, peel back the film, stir, and replace the film for the remaining cook time. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. The bowl will be hot, so use caution. Remove the film and stir thoroughly. Let stand 1-2 minutes before serving.
I microwaved mine, and it came out hot and smelling good. This is a very filling meal. It has a decent amount of chicken, but it’s a veggie-and-grain-heavy dish with the chicken playing a minor role. I like the combination of grains and vegetables. The seasoning is good but mostly tastes slightly spicy, and I was hoping for some more flavors or nuance, considering that this meal includes other ingredients such as cilantro and garlic. I didn’t think this was too spicy, but I did keep my water glass nearby while eating it. If you want a meal with whole and healthy ingredients, overall this is a decent option.
The Whole & Simple Southwestern Style Chicken Quinoa Bowl features chicken, red and white quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, black beans, and corn. It’s slightly on the spicy side, but not too much. If you want an easy and convenient microwavable meal without highly processed ingredients, this might be worth a look.