18 Vegetarian Staples at Aldi

>> Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It’s been a while since I posted about shopping at Aldi. Those of you who have been reading along might remember how we were able to buy a whole month of groceries for just $291 by switching stores. We use our CSA share to make up the bulk of our produce purchases, but now that the growing season is coming to a close, we’re starting to look inside the pantry.

I thought it’d be fun to share some of the pantry staples I’ve started taking for granted. It’s true that since we switched stores, I’ve had a bit of sticker shock when going to other supermarkets. So, these are the items I always buy at Aldi, no matter what. And I’m sure I’m missing a few -- so if you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments!


We eat these plain for breakfast. Toss them into Veggie Burger recipes. Grind them in the food processor to make oat flour. They’re extremely versatile.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is a great side dish on its own. I have recently been experimenting with brown rice risotto recipes. Like oats, I toss it into veggie burgers. Brown rice pudding. And it makes a wonderful addition to last-minute slow cooker soups.

Whole Wheat Pasta

Ada eats a lot of spaghetti for dinner. We’re even considering starting a cold months spaghetti dinner party with friends and family. It’s a cheap, hearty way to fill the table. Just top with sauce and veggies, etc.

Pasta Sauce

Aldi has a good variety of different pasta sauces. I prefer the organic Simply Nature brand. I make a lot of my own tomato sauces during tomato season -- but this stuff gets me through when I run out. Tomato Basil is our favorite.

Tomato Paste

Similarly, tomato paste makes a quick, convincing pizza sauce on a weekend when we’d rather skip the expensive takeout. Just mix it with some water, add some herbs and spices, minced garlic, etc -- simmer on the stove and DONE!

Pumpkin Puree

Our store isn’t always stocked with this fall favorite, but when I see it on the shelf -- I toss a few cans in my cart. I make my own pumpkin puree too -- but I’ll be honest here: I like canned better. Is that weird? Makes the best Pumpkin Garlic Knots.

Black Olives

Ada absolutely loves black olives. So, we started getting them on occasion to go with her pasta and other toddler-friendly meals. Makes a great addition to pasta, pizza, or simple snacks.


Of course I’d love to buy all local, raw honey. But it’s just not in our budget right now. The organic wildflower honey we get at Aldi tastes good and mixes well with oatmeal breakfasts, afternoon tea, and whatever else needs a touch of sweetness.

Peanut Butter

I don’t have the standard peanut butter pictured, but we use that for sandwiches, breakfast, and dipping when we don't make our own peanut butter. It’s comparable to any other store nonorganic brand we’ve purchased previously.

Special Nut Butters

And then there’s the chocolate hazelnut butter, the white chocolate and chocolate chocolate peanut butters, the almond butter, etc. I’d love to see Aldi make a sunflower butter! I haven’t made my sunflower butter chocolate chippers in a while.

Sea Salt

Conveniently packed with a grinder, I use this sea salt almost every day.

Dry Beans

I’m simmering some beans on my stove right now. If you haven’t started using dry beans versus canned, you can learn more about the method and benefits in this post. Our store carries black, pinto, and white beans. I’d love if they added garbanzos.

Hot Sauce

The Burman’s Hot Sauce is a lot like . When we do get a chance to head to Wegmans, I like to make up Vegan Tofu Wings for something different on the weekends.

BBQ Sauce

I’m pretty sure our offering is a regional thing (because Dinosaur BBQ is located in nearby Syracuse), but we get all our BBQ sauce at Aldi now. Does your store offer a good selection? I’m curious!

Grainy Mustard

I think you see a trend. The condiments at Aldi are price-friendly and tasty. So, try different ones out. This grainy mustard is a favorite in our house. Nice on sandwiches, burgers, etc.

Brown Sugar

I don’t get a lot of my baking supplies at Aldi simply because I don’t like bleached all-purpose flour. But I do stock brown sugar because it’s basically the same as what I usually use. I have also noticed a huge explosion in gluten-free packed mixes if you’re into that sort of stuff. Cookies, cakes, etc.

Baking Extracts

And yes! I just recently started getting my baking extracts at Aldi. So far I’ve used vanilla and almond extracts. The next time I get there, I’ll probably try the peppermint. I don’t have my boxes anymore, but I do believe they are pure extracts.


I can’t speak to the flavor, but Stephen says the Barissimo coffee is really good. He just finished up a bag of the Fair Trade Dark Roast and is now on this seasonal blend. A lot cheaper than the stuff he gets at Wegmans.

More #unsponsored ALDI recipes/posts:
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