Need some dinner inspiration? Here are easy, affordable ALDI dinner ideas for Fall & Winter that your family will love.
This blog post is NOT sponsored. Just wanted to share some easy ALDI meal ideas!
Your family wants dinner every night. Every. single. night.
But your food budget is tight–and so is your time.
And there are only so many times you can proclaim “Cereal for dinner!” before the novelty wears off.
Cheap ALDI meals to the rescue!
So many of you loved my ALDI Dinner Ideas for Spring & Summer blog post, I decided to deliver a Fall & Winter version full of comforting, colder-weather meal inspiration.
In this round-up, you’ll find simple, delicious, and easy homestyle dinner ideas that lean on hot and hearty meals that are perfect for this time of year.
We’ve also added up the cost of each dinner based on the prices at my local ALDI, so you can see how much money you’ll save by cooking at home.
As always, these dinner ideas focus on simple ingredients, easy preparation, and crowd-pleasing flavors. I’ve included links to some helpful recipes, but feel free to use your family favorites too.
Also remember that these easy ALDI meal ideas are meant to be a starting point. Adjust them to include the foods and flavors your family likes best. And if you shop at a different grocery store, these ideas can still inspire you.
What else you need
The photos below include the main ingredients you’ll need for each dinner idea. But I’m also assuming you have some basic pantry staples and equipment like:
- Olive oil and neutral oil like canola
- Salt, pepper, and a variety of seasonings
- Ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, butter, sour cream, and other condiments
- Onions and garlic
- Flour or corn starch
- Foil and parchment
- Sheet pans, pressure cooker, and/or slow cooker
Reminders about the total costs
These cheap ALDI meals range in price from about $7.00-28.00 for four servings. But keep a few things in mind:
- Total ingredient costs are calculated for approximately four servings. You may need to spend more or less depending on the number of people you’re feeding (and their appetites).
- There may be seasonal or regional price fluctuations.
- Some more or less expensive items may need to be substituted if ingredients pictured are no longer available in stores.
- You will likely have surplus ingredients from many of these ALDI dinner ideas, such as potatoes, bagged rice, eggs, lemons, and salad dressing that you can use for other meals.
26 ALDI Dinner Ideas for Fall & Winter
French Bread Pizzas: Homemade pizza is fast and easy when you start with a French baguette (a loaf of their unsliced Italian Bread works too). Cover a sheet pan with foil or parchment for easy cleanup, cut loaf in half, then slice it open horizontally, and toast under the broiler until slightly crisp. Then smother the cut sides with marinara sauce or spread with pesto, add cheese and your favorite toppings. Broil for 3-5 minutes more until it’s toasty and melty. Cut the pizza into slices and serve with quick side salads.
Baked Turkey Tacos: My Baked Turkey Tacos are a wintertime favorite around here. Aldi doesn’t carry pre-made enchilada sauce, so mixing up some tomato sauce with a bit of chili-lime seasoning stands in here. I top them with cheese (not pictured) but you can also serve them with salsa and avocado slices for texture and nutrition. Or add a dollop of sour cream or other favorite taco toppers.
Breakfast for Dinner: Sweet, eggy brioche transformed into custardy French Toast is a fast, super-cozy meal any time of day, even dinner. Whirl up some berry smoothies with frozen fruit, yogurt, a splash of milk, and a drizzle of honey. If you haven’t tried it yet, cook your bacon in the oven. It comes out in perfectly flat slices (and contains most of the mess).
Baked Ravioli: This cozy dinner is like lasagna on easy mode. Set your oven to 350F and prepare a baking dish (13 x 9 or similar) by lightly spraying the bottom and sides with cooking spray. Then spread a scant cup of pasta sauce all over the bottom, add the frozen ravioli, and top with the rest of the sauce, shaking or stirring gently to make sure all the pasta is coated. Sprinkle a generous handful of shredded cheese on top, then cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes more or until bubbly and very hot in the center. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving, while you prep some simple side salads.
Slow Cooker “Roast” Chicken: Did you know you can roast a whole chicken in your slow cooker? I’ve used this recipe in the past with success. Arrange the chicken on top of potatoes and carrots cut into 2-inch pieces while it cooks to infuse your veggies with that lovely roasted chicken flavor. Or roast them separately in the oven. If the texture of the chicken skin isn’t crispy enough for you after the cook cycle, place the chicken on a sheet pan under a hot broiler for a couple minutes to crisp it up. Serve with pan-roasted Brussels sprouts to complete this classic comfort meal.
Sheet Pan Schnitzel and Pierogi: Pork Schnitzel cutlets are a seasonal item only available for a limited time, so if you can’t find them, swap in kielbasa. Here’s a sheet pan shortcut that Real Mom team member Cheryll takes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Arrange the pork schnitzel on the pan and place the frozen pierogi all around them, leaving a bit of room for air circulation. Then use a fork to create loose little birds nests of well-drained sauerkraut on top of the pierogi (you may have quite a bit left over, those jars are packed tight.) Drizzle olive oil (or melted butter) on top of everything and bake for 20 minutes. Flip cutlets, flip pierogi as best you can, and bake 10-15 minutes more or until the breaded pork is sizzling hot. Add the green beans to the sheet pan in the last 10 minutes of cooking for a complete, German-inspired, one-dish dinner.
Kielbasa Sheet Pan Dinner: This One Pan Honey Garlic Kielbasa sheet pan dinner is one of our family favorites. It calls for broccoli but feel free to add other veggies you have on hand or prefer, like carrots, onions, asparagus, green beans, kale, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts.
Butter Chicken: Sometimes a nicely spiced warm curry over rice is exactly what will hit the spot, and ALDI makes it easy with their Indian-inspired simmer sauces. Cut a pound of chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Saute a diced pepper and small onion in a drizzle of oil, then add the chicken and cook until lightly browned. Pour the jar of sauce over everything, cover, and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Taste before serving and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve with brown basmati rice, roasted broccoli, and warmed naan flatbread on the side.
Foil Packet Salmon: Baking salmon in a foil packet is a convenient, mess-free alternative to stovetop cooking, prevents the fish from drying out, and also helps contain the aroma. Prepare four large pieces of foil, and place a cut salmon fillet, lemon slices and thinly sliced sweet peppers in the middle of each one. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs like oregano and basil and either drizzle with olive oil or dot with small pieces of butter. Fold in edges (not too tightly–you’ll want room for the salmon to steam inside), and bake on a sheet pan at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until salmon is cooked through. Serve with rice and roasted broccoli.
Chicken Stir Fry: Wow your family with delicious make-your-own takeout flavor. The key is to have everything cut up and ready to go when you get the pan hot, and to use the biggest skillet you have. Cook the chicken pieces first, then remove them to a plate while you sauté the vegetables, then bring everything back together right before dressing it with a stir fry sauce (here’s a quick recipe for a stir-fry sauce my family likes). The 90-second rice pouches make it super-easy too.
Sausage & Spinach Pasta: I love a bowl of warm, hearty pasta on a cold day, and this Cozy Spinach and Sausage Pasta is so easy. If your ALDI doesn’t have bulk Italian sausage, as the original recipe calls for, just remove the casings from fresh sausage links like the ones shown here.
Chicken Tenders & Fries: Making your own chicken tenders is a budget-friendly way to serve a real crowd-pleaser. Dip tenders into flour, then beaten egg, then dredge in breadcrumbs and saute in a skillet with a little oil (or use an air fryer if you have one). For a flavor boost, marinate your chicken tenders in bbq sauce for 30 minutes before breading them or use it as a dip. Serve with frozen fries and some quick veggies.
Slow Cooker 2-Packet Pot Roast: This is a simple meal that doesn’t take a lot of time to prep, but makes a big impact at the dinner table with my family. Whisk both seasoning packets into a cup of beef broth and pour over roast in the slow cooker. Arrange cut potatoes and carrots around the meat and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Jammy Pork Chops: Here’s a quick kid-pleasing dinner: Cook pork chops on the stovetop in a little bit of oil. Then mix 1/2 cup jam with 2 tablespoons each mustard, vinegar, and soy sauce and pour over pork chops in the last few minutes of cooking. It creates a sweet, pretty glaze that your kids might just love. Serve with buttered egg noodles and some green beans.
Instant Pot Mac & Cheese: You’re only about 15 minutes and 10 bucks away from one of the most comforting and cheap ALDI meals: A big batch of Homemade Mac & Cheese. Save time with bagged shredded cheddar or grab a block to shred at home. Serve with side salads.
Spaghetti & Meatless Meatballs: These vegan “meatballs” won product of the year from Good Housekeeping, and it’s easy to see why–they’re delicious and easy to make. Serve them with pasta, sauce, cheese, and salad, and you won’t feel like you’re missing a thing. Try a homemade dressing recipe or your favorite store-bought.
Chicken Parmesan: Slice each breast in half, horizontally, to make four, thinner cutlets. Then pound them into a uniform thickness (use freezer bags to contain the spatter) and season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken into a beaten egg, dredge in breadcrumbs, and lightly fry in an oiled, oven-safe skillet until browned. Top each cutlet with a generous spoonful of sauce, a slice of mozzarella, and your favorite Italian seasonings and bake at 400 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve over a bed of pasta, plus salads on the side.
Chicken Pot Pie: Does your gang love chicken pot pie? Mine does! I love how it’s an all-in-one complete meal. Use my chicken pot pie recipe, and if you’re short on time, swap in some refrigerated biscuits as the topping. Substitute chicken thighs for chicken breasts if you prefer.
Quiche: These are enough ingredients to make two whole quiches, so freeze one (after it’s cooked completely) or take to a neighbor. Pancetta and peas are a classic Italian flavor duo, but the beauty of quiche (and its crustless cousin, the frittata) is that it’s a super customizable easy meal and can adapt to include any flavors you like or leftover ingredients you have on hand. Try this recipe as a starting point.
Tofu Sheet Pan Dinner: Imagine a stir fry dish that you don’t have to stir – or fry. Enter the magical tofu sheet pan dinner. All the components cook hands-free while you make the rice and sauce. And check out that price for a pound of tofu. If you haven’t given it a try yet, let this be your nudge! At my local ALDI, they keep it with the deli items.
Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese: Total classic. With the famously low prices at ALDI, we can splurge on the fancy bread and organic cheddar cheese. To create a bistro-style bisque, cook the condensed tomato soup with milk instead of water for a richer flavor, and swirl in a splash of heavy cream to each bowl right before serving.
Black Bean Burritos: Burritos loaded with protein-packed black beans give you energy for all the pumpkin patch visits, holiday light displays, leaf-raking or whatever’s on your schedule. Sauté the (rinsed and drained) black beans in some oil along with finely chopped onion (and peppers if you have them). Spoon filling into the center of your burrito shell, top with cheese, sliced avocado, and a spoonful of salsa, then fold. If you’ve never gotten the hang of how to fold a burrito, I have some pictures that might help, attached to this recipe that calls for ground beef and mushrooms. To make them warm and melty, mist the rolled burritos lightly with cooking spray and toast them on both sides in a medium-hot skillet.
Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff: Normally, beef stroganoff takes hours of cooking time to tenderize the meat, but braised under pressure, this one is ready to dish up in about 40 minutes. We love this recipe from Oh Sweet Basil (finish with a dab of sour cream!). I serve it with a side of steamed or roasted broccoli.
Tuna Noodle Casserole: Tuna noodle casserole is a cheap, easy, stick-to-your-ribs dinner that can be made on short notice from pantry staples. It’s also one more way to introduce kids to good-for-you fish. You could top it with crushed potato chips instead of breadcrumbs for bonus points from your picky eaters. Use this basic recipe as a guide.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili: Real Mom team member Cheryll calls this hearty dinner her “potluck winning” chili, because the crock pot always comes home empty. The recipe is a spin on this one, but she uses readily available plain old chili powder instead of specialty dried peppers. The secret is roasting the spiced sweet potatoes separately and allowing them to cool completely before adding them to the chili, which both concentrates their flavor and protects them from breaking apart. The whole dish happens to be vegan, too. Garnish with avocado, cilantro, and lime.
Instant Pot Pasta: Instant Pot Beef and Pasta is one of the quickest and easiest ways to a healthy and hearty meal. My kids are big fans of this one, and it’s tasty the next day, too.