For folks looking to shop for groceries on a budget, Aldi needs to be on your radar. And if you don’t recognize the company’s logo, you may know its distant cousin: Trader Joe’s is a subsidiary of the parent brand, so you will see similar products (and low prices) across the two stores.
Whether you’re looking for inexpensive pita chips, pretzel crisps, or jams for a gathering or purchasing a Mama Cozzi’s pizza for a family pizza night, you will know that your money will be well-spent at Aldi. Another benefit to shopping at the grocery chain is its friendliness towards vegans. You can purchase an array of vegan proteins (including low-cost tofu — which you should totally stock up on), snacks, and other vegan items and comparatively cheaper to standard grocery stores. But how do the vegan options at this brand compare to one another?
For our evaluation, we’ve considered numerous vegan products (without egg, dairy, or meat) at our nearby Aldi. In addition, Aldi is notorious for not always having the same items across locations, so we recommend checking your local store to find your favorites. We have also omitted fresh produce (which is indeed vegan) for the sake of simplicity.
17. Barissimo Coffee vanilla almond creamer
Vegans — we have to have our morning cup of coffee too! Barisimo Coffee, one of Aldi’s in-house brands, makes dairy-free almond milk creamer in several flavors, including caramel and vanilla (year-round) and some seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice.
We decided to try the vanilla creamer. The flavor was definitely sweet and had an undertone of plastic; the vanilla almost crosses the line into artificial. Another big complaint about this product is how it sinks to the bottom of the cup. According to HiLine Coffee, this is usually because the proteins in almond milk coagulate when it interacts with the acids in coffee, causing the creamer to clump and sink. Although we’ve found that stirring the product into the coffee helps, there will always be some splitting that makes the final beverage less desirable. However, blending the almond creamer with an oat-based one may help reduce the coagulation issue, but it’s only worth it if Aldi were to eliminate the artificial flavor first.
16. Friendly Farms pumpkin spice coconut whipped topping
What else would you garnish a pumpkin pie with this Thanksgiving? Aldi is opening up the doors for a festive holiday season with Friendly Farms’ pumpkin spice coconut whipped topping. We give this product top marks for its fall spirit as well as its ability to hold shape when piped onto a hot chocolate or a cup of coffee (which we recommend in replacement of creamer).
Regarding how well this product works as whipped cream, we would have liked to see a bit more flavor in terms of spice and less sweetness. Like the vanilla almond coffee creamer, this product gave us major plastic vibes. We also get more of an egg nog undertone, which is somewhat unexpected from an item with the "pumpkin spice" label.
This whipped cream is priced at $2.99 (at the time of publication), but we doubt it is even worth that.
15. Earth Grown Vegan veggie burger
Aldi’s Earth Grown Vegan veggie burger is just that — an average, run-of-the-mill patty of mixed vegetables. This product has minimal flavor, despite the occasional texture of edamame or a chunk of carrot. Although the taste of this veggie burger is bland, you can classify it as one of the "healthier" options we sampled from Aldi’s Earth Grown Vegan collection. Each patty contains 11 vegetables and a mere 90 calories — so it’s a good option for someone looking to get the feeling of eating a burger without the heaviness of beef or soy protein. You could also cut up this item and add it as a garnish to a salad or serve it with farro, rice, or other grains in a bowl.
We give this frozen veggie burger some brownie points for sticking together and not breaking into pieces when microwaved. And with an added layer of vegan cheese, it can have some flavor and substance. As to whether we’d buy it again — we’re going to stick with leaving it in the freezer section.
14. Friendly Farms almond nog
We will be the first to admit that egg nog is an acquired taste, and Aldi has capitalized on its cult-like following with its Friendly Farms almond nog. Aldi’s Friendly Farms vegan almond nog is much thinner than the traditional dairy egg nog, which combines egg, milk, sugar, nutmeg, and rum. So, if you’re looking for a lighter alternative to enjoy this holiday season without skimping on the flavor, the brand might just have your new favorite holiday beverage.
At $2.89 at the time of publication, we thought this was an appropriate price for the product. This would have scored higher on our rankings if it was thicker and resembled traditional egg nog more vividly, but it is still one option vegans have during the holiday season. To get the consistency of the standard drink, this almond variety contains ingredients like gellan and xantham gum, which some consumers may try to avoid.
13. Earth Grown Vegan flame grilled protein burger
Aldi has a consistently vast selection of vegan and veggie burgers. However, we were enticed to try this flame-grilled frozen option because of its nutrition label — 16 grams of protein per 100 calories. This is a much higher protein-to-calorie ratio than other vegan patties offered by Aldi and other brands like Beyond Meat and Dr. Praeger’s. At $2.99 at the time of publication for four burgers, the price was much cheaper too.
This product comes two-to-a-pack in a cardboard container. You could see the grill marks on the patty, as well as its thinness and relatively small size compared to other comparable brands. The flavor was lackluster overall; you could barely tell it was a burger outside of its shape. Like the meatballs we sampled later, the flame-grilled patty appeared to have a certain dryness factor that we couldn’t put our finger on.
When you purchase these burgers, be sure to read the label. Aldi’s has an Earth Grown flame-grilled vegetarian burger that contains cheese (so, not vegan) in the same aisle. Look for the word "Vegan" on the front of the package to be sure.
12. Earth Grown Vegan vegetable potstickers
Potstickers are delicious appetizers that should definitely make their way to your dinner table if they haven’t already. Aldi’s Earth Grown Vegan vegetable potstickers are gluten-free. The filling is made with a blend of cabbage, vermicelli noodles, onion, carrots, green onion, and shiitake mushrooms. Each box of potstickers contains a soy sauce packet that can be easily thawed under warm water.
Although the package claims you can microwave the dumplings, we chose to pan-fry them for the crispy texture on the bottom. We noticed that these potstickers took a little longer to cook than the time listed on the box and did not get the same golden color as other ones we’ve made in the past. The resulting product was crunchy, flavorful, and paired well with the dipping sauce (which we thought was enough for these dumplings). At $5.49 at the time of publication, these potstickers were the most expensive item we sampled, and we appreciated the flavor inside each little pocket.
11. Earth Grown Vegan chickenless tenders
The Earth Grown Vegan chickenless tenders made us reminisce on school cafeteria chicken tenders. The flavor is mild but salty and resembles a lot of what we remember about middle school lunch.
Each of the tenders in this box is 70 calories and shaped just like a meat-based one. In fact, we would have thought these had real chicken inside based on the texture and the flavor. But overall, the inside of the nugget was definitely chewier than we had anticipated and notably stringy. We heated the tenders in the microwave for about a minute and a half before we dug in.
So, if you’re craving chicken tenders while on a vegan diet, this is a halfway decent (and cheap) option. Each box contains eight breaded chicken tenders and costs $3.15 at the time of publication. For folks wanting a similar flavor in a larger form, Aldi’s also sells vegan chickenless patties in the frozen section.
10. Earth Grown Vegan meatless meatballs
Aldi’s Earth Grown Vegan meatless meatballs come in both zesty Italian and original flavors — we opted to purchase the standard variety to taste test.
These meatballs are smaller than the ones offered by brands like gardein or Beyond Meat but have a similar flavor. We noticed a distinct dryness that caused them to crumble rather than hold together when prepared in the microwave. Overall, the product is salty and doesn’t have much of a taste beyond that. One serving (six meatballs) contains 490 milligrams, or 21%, of the recommended daily allowance of sodium. So paired with a sauce, your tastebuds may get overwhelmed with the saltiness.
Price-wise, you can get a bag of these meatless meatballs for $4.49 (as of November 2022). Each pack contains 30 pieces — which is surely enough to mix into your vegan pasta or offer as an appetizer for your next tailgate party. These meatballs lack a distinct Italian spice undertone, so you can serve them with a sweet-and-sour sauce or an Italian marinara.
9. Simply Nature nacho flavored cauliflower tortilla chips
Aldi’s Simply Nature cauliflower tortilla chips have a texture similar to that of a very hearty corn tortilla chip. This is made possible by adding cassava flour — a gluten-free flour with a high starch content and a nutty, earthy flavor. The combination of the cauliflower and the cassava makes these chips snappy yet thick. In addition, folks on a gluten-free diet can eat this snack without issues.
The oddest part about these chips was the lingering aftertaste — not from the nacho flavoring from the powder on the chip’s exterior, but from the actual ingredients of the snack. The taste is not as overpowering as the smaller cauliflower crackers, and we would argue that the cassava flour has something to do with it. You can also purchase the original flavor variety — its flavor is akin to the delectable taste of fresh pico de gallo or homemade guacamole.
8. Simply Nature cheddar cauliflower crackers
These Simply Nature cheddar cauliflower crackers were made to imitate Cheez-Its, and other vegan alternatives, like those offered by from the ground up. The Aldi brand also makes plain sea salt crackers for the same price, but we decided to go with the cheddar option to test the flavor.
The taste of the cheese variety is a little crunchier than from the ground up’s offering, but not overtly different. However, there are obvious differences between the Aldi’s cracker and Cheez-Its — mostly in terms of butteriness and thickness (the Cheez-Its being more buttery and comparatively thicker). In short, you wouldn’t be able to mistake a Cheez-It and this cauliflower cracker easily.
We were impressed with the snackability of Aldi’s snack (meaning that you found your hand diving back into the box). However, our biggest complaint is the sheer amount of powder that came off the chip when eating it. The surface seasoning might be where all the flavor is, but you’ll need a pair of chopsticks to avoid coloring your hands orange after eating these.
7. Earth Grown Vegan mozzarella style shreds
There’s no doubt that vegan cheese can be expensive. But Aldi’s Earth Grown Vegan shredded mozzarella is here to offer an alternative that won’t break the bank. (You can also purchase Earth Grown Vegan cheddar shreds in the refrigerated section of your Aldi store.) The cheese substitute is made of coconut oil, potato starch, and potato protein and rivals the nutrition of significantly more expensive options from competitors like Violife.
The flavor of the Earth Grown Vegan mozzarella style shreds is average — not particularly pungent but also not distinctly cheesy. We tested its melting capabilities by putting a sprinkle over cooked vegan meatballs and heating them for just over a minute in the microwave. The results of this test were favorable; the shreds melted down like dairy-based cheese but did not deviate too much from the shred shape — which was disappointing. However, what was a little more exciting was that the mozzarella-like pieces melted similarly to the Violife product we had tried in the past.
6. Earth Grown Vegan peanut butter non-dairy frozen dessert bar
We found these oat-based peanut butter frozen dessert bars to be just as smooth and flavorful as the almond creamer we sampled. These treats, which come in flavors including peanut butter, caramel, and forest fruit, are priced at $3.99 (as of November 2022) for three pieces. Per unit, it’s also one of the more expensive products we sampled.
We found that the peanut butter bar (the only one available at our local Aldi) had a lot going on. The flavor of the ice cream shone through and had a remarkably creamy texture — to the point where we had to be sure this product didn’t contain dairy. The roasted peanut butter pieces on the bar’s exterior also added an extra crunch.
This product scored favorably on our ranking because of its flavor and texture. However, it was undoubtedly rich, and we would have preferred a smaller bar or possibly a cookie-like frozen dessert for a similar taste in a more snackable size.
5. Simply Nature sea salt caramel coconut cashew crisps
Shopping for sweet treats that don’t contain milk or eggs can be tough, but Aldi is here to make it easier. Simply Nature’s coconut cashew crisps can be found in the cookie aisle in the store in vanilla, chocolate, and sea salt caramel flavors — all of which are vegan.
The base of these thin cookies, which kind of reminds us of a bagel chip, includes cashews, cassava flour, coconut, coconut sugar, and flavorings. The fat content in this snack makes them a few-and-done treat from the brand — but we wouldn’t blame you if you ate the whole bag. Despite the fattiness of the crisps (which almost makes you think that the treats contain butter), they are snappy — like any good biscuit should be. At first whiff, the snack smells like coconut, and you get the residual coconut pieces stuck in your teeth. But, overall, this is a solid treat with a bit of saltiness. This pick would have scored a little higher on our list if it had been less sweet.
4. Benton’s maple leaf creme cookies
If you want a delicious cookie that reminds you of falling leaves and a roaring fire, these maple leaf creme cookies from Aldi need to be in your shopping cart. These treats are deliciously buttery and feature a crisp vanilla biscuit (shaped like a maple leaf, of course) with a maple-flavored filling.
These maple cookies are undoubtedly sweet, to the point where one is a little too much for one sitting. But, you might be able to curb some of the sweetness of this snack with a warm cup of coffee. The treats are hard enough to withstand dunking and might be your next favorite milk-and-cookie dipping vehicle. Overall, we give this product a high score for its texture and its size (which is bigger than other cookies we tried). But, if Aldi’s revamped its recipe to diminish the maple sugar in the filling, we would have considered moving them higher in the roster.
3. L’oven Fresh keto friendly wheat bread
It can be difficult to find bread that is both keto and vegan because some options contain whey as an added ingredient. And while the whey assists with browning and flavor (via The Fresh Loaf), it also makes the product non-vegan. Aldi’s brand, L’oven Fresh, offers vegan, keto-friendly bread in both white and wheat varieties. Each slice is 30 calories, thus making this a good option for those looking to reduce daily caloric intake. Plus, at $4.49 (as of November 2022), you can keep a loaf of this bread in your freezer and pull out slices as needed.
The flavor of this product is on-par with other wheat loaves. It’s light, not overly salty, and holds together well while being manipulated and poked. This fits all the major qualities of a good loaf of bread — the keto part is just an added bonus.
2. Earth Grown Vegan mocha fudge non-dairy frozen dessert
Aldi began offering vegan ice cream options a few months ago and has really impressed its community of vegan shoppers. You’ll find varieties of almond milk-based frozen desserts – as well as creamy oat milk-based treats — in flavors including cold brew coffee, classic vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, and mocha fudge. As expected with Aldi, not all of its products are always in stock, but we found chocolate and mocha fudge on our last grocery trip.
For the sake of comparison (and trying the most exciting flavor), we chose to try the mocha fudge. When we opened the container, we were immediately impressed by the number of fudge ribbons and the mocha undertone of the ice cream. We also knew this frozen dessert was a winner because the sweetness of the treat did not overpower the coffee flavor. If you’re looking for a spoonful of vegan bliss, $3.49 (at the time of publication) will buy you a whole pint.
1. Benton’s peanut butter fudge cookies
Move over, Girl Scouts — you’ve got a competitor in town. These peanut butter fudge cookies feature a soft, buttery chocolate biscuit with a thin schmear of peanut butter and a smooth fudge topping. The peanut butter balances the chocolate well and isn’t particularly rich, which makes these treats perfectly snackable. The fudge is not overtly sweet either, so you can eat more than one without feeling sugared out.
Although these might not be your go-to "healthy" vegan choice at Aldi, these cookies are by far one of the best (unintentionally) plant-based products the chain makes. And if you’re looking for a cheap snack, the brand has this one covered too. One package (18 cookies) rings in at $1.69 at the time of publication. Your wallet and tastebuds will be grateful if you pick up a packet on your next trip to Aldi.
If you’re not a fan of peanut butter, the brand also makes vegan mint striped fudge cookies that are vegan and delicious.