Have no clue what’s for dinner? Here’s some inspiration for easy, affordable ALDI dinner ideas.
(This post is NOT sponsored. Just wanted to share some easy dinner ideas!)
I’ve had a long love affair with ALDI.
I love the low prices, the simplicity of the stores, and the fact that I can buy a week’s worth of groceries without feeling like I’ve just made a mortgage payment.
It’s also a great place to shop when you need a last-minute meal.
So I headed to my local ALDI and pulled together 20 meals for inspiration.
Keep in mind that these easy ALDI dinner ideas are meant to be a starting point. You can (and should!) feed your family any way you like, with any foods you choose.
I’m also assuming you have some simple pantry staples on hand like:
- Olive oil
- Salt, pepper, and a variety of seasonings
- Ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, butter, and other condiments
Also, these total costs are just estimates for four servings. You may need to spend more or less depending on the number of people you’re feeding (and their appetites), and there may be seasonal or regional price fluctuations too.
20 Last-Minute ALDI Dinner Ideas
Brats: Bratwurst are a german-style pork sausage, and they make a quick warm-weather dinner. For raw links like these, cook them all the way through the middle (160F on a meat thermometer) in a skillet on the stove, by browning both sides and then adding a little liquid to finish them under a lid with some steam. You can also cook bratwurst on a grill, turning them over every 5 minutes for about 20 minutes until done. Served with a salad kit and some corn on the cob.
Main Dish Salads: This is what you make when you’ve got a craving for a restaurant-quality salad, but you’re in a “let’s stay home” mood. Use delicate spring mix lettuce and then top it with fresh berries, chicken strips (frozen grilled chicken breast strips are a nice shortcut), then a crispy element, like these seasoned nuts with dried fruits. Add some soft cheese if you like, such as feta or blue. Pro tip: Toss your greens with dressing before you add all the toppings, and then drizzle a little more to finish. If you’re going meatless, swap the grilled chicken for garbanzo beans
Lemony Shrimp Pasta: Boil the pasta water and toss the shrimp in a bowl with a little oil, salt, garlic, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cover and refrigerate. Chop several asparagus spears into bite sized pieces and juice one lemon. When pasta is done, reserve some of the pasta water and drain the rest, then spray or coat a big sauté pan with a little bit of oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp, and cook one side until pink, then flip them, add the juice of half a lemon and the asparagus pieces, and sizzle them together until asparagus is slightly softened.
Use a drizzle of reserved pasta water to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the cooked spaghetti and the rest of the lemon juice. And a small pat of butter or splash of heavy cream if you like to the skillet and toss with tongs to coat. Top with parmesan cheese.
Loaded Baked Potatoes: This is a super easy ALDI meal idea. Potatoes are filling and simple to customize (and potatoes are one of the least expensive foods around). Pro tip for crispy skins in a hurry: Microwave the potato until cooked, then bake in a toaster oven or toss onto a hot grill for a little while to brown the outside. Then slice down the middle and fill your baked potatoes (aka “jacket potatoes”) with things like chili or beans, cheese, steamed broccoli, sour cream, or whatever your family likes.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches: Is there a simpler summer picnic main dish than pulled pork sandwiches? And you don’t have to heat up the whole kitchen. Choose pork shoulder (sometimes called butt), season it all over with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pour about a cup of barbecue sauce over the pork and cook for 8 hours on low in the slow cooker. Remove from the slow cooker and shred into pieces, then return to the slow cooker to warm, stirring in more barbecue sauce. Serve it with coleslaw on top, and corn on the cob on the side.
Chicken Kebabs: Kebabs are fun for kids to eat and simple to cook on the grill. Mix up a batch of this marinade. Cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces, combine with marinade, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Then thread chicken onto skewers along with pieces of bell peppers, zucchini, and mushroom, leaving a little wiggle room between so they cook thoroughly. Brush everything with another coat of marinade and then grill until chicken is cooked through, turning at least once. Rained out? Put the kebabs under the broiler. Serve on a bed of ALDI’s 5-minute couscous.
Cold Quinoa Salad: There’s a lot of flavor (and protein) packed into this little dish, making it a great option to fuel busy summer days. Prepare the quinoa blend according to the box, and finely dice some zucchini and peppers (scoop the seeds out of the squash to reduce its moisture). Sauté the vegetables in a little oil with a bit of salt and pepper until just tender, then mix in a bowl with the cooked quinoa and chill. Then stir in the almonds, feta cheese, and dressing to taste (or use olive oil and your favorite seasonings).
Charcuterie Board: It’s a perfect end of the week meal when you don’t feel like cooking and you’re in a celebratory Friday night mood. Choose your family’s favorite meats, then grab a cheese or two and crackers or a baguette to slice into thin rounds. Add berries, snap peas, carrots, and apples. Want to go big? Here’s how to make an Epic ALDI Cheese Board.
Shortcut Fish Tacos: If your kids are iffy on fish, this one might turn them around. Make it easy with frozen fish sticks (or frozen fish fillets) tucked into corn tortillas with slaw mix and chopped mango. Mix Friendly Farms sour cream with some lime juice, lime zest, and a dash of salt for an easy sauce to drizzle on top. Pro tip: Char your corn tortillas around the edges on a gas burner, using tongs to carefully flip them.
Teriyaki Kielbasa: This easy ALDI meal idea comes from Real Mom Nutrition team member Cheryll, and it’s one of her family’s favorites. Slice the kielbasa into bite sized pieces, and warm them up a little in the skillet before adding drained pineapple chunks and ALDI’s teriyaki stir fry sauce. Serve with the 90-second heat-and-eat rice pack (or use instant or regular brown rice), plus a salad for something cool and fresh on the side.
Pasta Salad: It’s a potluck favorite for a reason. Mix cooked, cooled pasta with diced veggies and salami. Pro tip: Dress the pasta with half the bottle while it’s hot off the stove, then chill it down, add the veggies and other stuff, and dress it again.
BBQ Chicken Drumsticks: Drumsticks are affordable, flavorful, and fun finger-food for kids. Brush them with barbecue sauce and cook on the grill. Serve with sides like baked potatoes, fresh corn on the cob, and a green veggie like grilled asparagus.
Flatbread Pepperoni Pizzas: ALDI flatbreads are the perfect canvas, and come in a pack of two. Spread with jarred red sauce (or pesto) and top with thin slices of fresh mozzarella and pepperoni. Bake at 400 degrees F until melty and bubbly on top. Serve with green salads. (Another flatbread option: ALDI’s jarred pesto sauce, fresh mozzarella, and drizzle of their Baslamic Glaze.)
Hummus Plate: Hummus plates are especially fun for family movie nights or eating on the patio, a low-effort dinner option for hot days when you don’t want to turn on the stove. Serve one or two varieties with veggies, crackers or pita chips, olives, and cheese.
Veggie Burgers: ALDI carries at least two varieties of veggie burger patties you can grill or cook on the stovetop. Pick up a package of buns and cheese. Serve with salads and fresh fruit.
Black Bean Burritos: Heat drained, rinsed black beans (or pinto beans) in a skillet on the stove, smashing with a fork. You can stir in some taco seasoning or your own taco seasoning blend. Spoon onto the center of warmed tortillas, sprinkle with cheese, and add some salsa. (Sliced avocado inside would be yummy too.) Fold in the sides, roll, and eat!
Baked or Grilled Salmon: Season salmon with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and either bake it at 425 degrees F or grill until cooked through. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and serve with roasted or sauteed asparagus and a quinoa/rice blend.
Steaks on the Grill: Nothing smells and tastes like a nicely grilled steak, simply seasoned with salt and pepper. You can bake potatoes right on the grill, too: Scrub and pat dry the potatoes, and tear off 2 sheets of foil per potato. Rub the potatoes all over with olive oil, and sprinkle all over with salt, then wrap in 2 layers of foil. Bake each one at 350 for 30-40 minutes, depending on size. (That’s a lot more time than the steaks will need, so, cook the potatoes first.) Serve with veggies like corn and green salads.
Cheeseburgers: Kick your home cheeseburger game up a notch with fancy brioche sesame buns, angus patties, and Happy Farms sharp white cheddar cheese. (If you’d rather make your own burgers, each one-pound package of fresh ground beef can be shaped into three or four patties.) Grill burgers or cook on the stovetop.