The Best And Worst Pre-Made Meals You Can Buy At Aldi

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had the time, energy, and ingredients to whip up a delicious home-cooked meal whenever we felt hungry? In a perfect world we'd all be able to harness our inner Gordon Ramsay and crank out an award-winning dish any time of day. But alas, the world is far from perfect, and mustering up the energy to spend a solid chunk of time in the kitchen after a long and stressful workday just isn't in the cards for many of us. But, that's okay, because the concept of the pre-made meal exists, and when you're in a pinch, they swoop in like culinary superheroes to throw your unrelenting appetite in a chokehold until you're satiated.

There are plenty of grocery stores that offer customers a wide variety of pre-made meals, with the German supermarket Aldi being one of them. It's easy to walk the aisles of Aldi and feel slightly overwhelmed as to which pre-made dishes will knock your socks off with flavor and which ones are completely undeserving of your money. But, we're here to help you navigate the large world of Aldi's pre-made meals. So, keep this list of Aldi's best and worst prepared meals at the forefront of your mind the next time you're perusing the supermarket. Your appetite will owe you huge thanks afterward.

Best: Park Street Deli Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

As tasty as a piece of chicken can be if it's prepared correctly with the proper seasonings, that cut of protein is enhanced exponentially when you slice it open and stuff it with a concoction of delicious ingredients. This is exactly why you should snag yourself a package of the Park Street Deli Artichoke Stuffed Chicken the next time you're on the hunt for a delectable pre-made meal that'll hit all the right spots on your palate. This stuff will not disappoint.

You get a boneless and skinless chicken breast that's sliced open and packed with a mixture of artichoke, spinach, and Parmesan cheese. The chicken here is packed full of juices, and it makes for the perfect protein pocket to hold the filling. It's tender and full of really awesome flavor, so you get an appealing texture alongside solid taste. The three-ingredient mixture each breast houses is more than gratifying. The artichokes and spinach combine for a sweet and herby kick that help carry the salty punch of the Parmesan cheese to perfection. There's also a wonderful balance between the stuffing and chicken meat, so you never feel like you're getting too much of either.

Worst: Oscar Mayer Lunchables

Oscar Mayer Lunchables have been spotted at thousands of elementary school cafeteria tables for as long as anyone can remember. Lunchables make every parent's life so much easier. They don't have to do any prep work before their kid goes off to school. Simply grab the box and hand it to the kids on their way out the door. But just because these items are popular doesn't mean they're actually good. In fact, they're downright awful, so don't pay any mind to these when you see them at Aldi.

There are several different varieties of Lunchables, but one of the worst is the pepperoni pizza option. The box comes with pizza crust (if you can even call it that), a packet of red sauce, grated cheese, and discs of thinly sliced pepperoni. The idea of constructing a pizza using all those ingredients sounds like a fun little project, but the end result is a nightmare. The disc of dough used for the crust tastes like cardboard, and all the ingredients you put on top have gnarly textures and flavors. The red sauce is a thick paste that in no way resembles tomato sauce, the cheese is rubbery and flavorless, and the pepperoni feels super processed. If you're truly craving pizza, order one from a restaurant, and save yourself the immense disappointment.

Best: Park Street Deli Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad

Chicken salad comes in many different forms. Sometimes all you're craving is shredded chicken mixed with mayo, but other times you want your chicken salad filled with ingredients that really punch you in the palate and make it a memorable experience. The Park Street Deli Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad falls into the latter category. This stuff is way more than just chicken and mayo, and that means success for your food cravings. When your hunger starts clucking away, venture in whatever direction leads you to this salad.

The salad's white-meat chicken tastes super fresh, which is always a plus. Sometimes you get an ingredient that you can tell isn't fresh, but it's mixed in with a whole bunch of other flavors to help mask its poor quality, but that's not the case here. The protein is really soft and has a wonderfully delicate mouthfeel. But it's the addition of the cranberries and almonds that make this a sure-fire winner. Each cranberry gives the protein a burst of sweetness to offset any richness the chicken and mayo carry, and the almonds not only lend a great textural crunch but also a mellow nuttiness that elevates the chicken and cranberries.

Worst: Park Street Deli Macaroni and Cheese

Few foods are as comforting and delicious as a really well-prepared bowl of macaroni and cheese. When someone prepares it using high-quality ingredients and shows it the love it deserves, there's nothing that coats your mouth and warms your soul quite like it. But, if you use cheap ingredients, then the end result is a hot bowl of failure. This is exactly the problem that plagues the Park Street Deli Macaroni and Cheese at Aldi. Shelf your excitement for this classic pasta dish, and give it a hard pass.

Here's a word of warning: Please don't fall for the photo on the container. The picture makes this stuff look like the greatest and gooiest macaroni and cheese you'll ever have, when in fact you'll find the exact opposite rings true. The pasta dish uses American and cheddar cheese, and neither tastes like good quality versions. Instead of a gorgeous melt, the cheese is runny and pools up in the bottom of the bowl like a watery puddle. The pasta noodles are gummy, so you get a nasty texture combined with the bland flavor of the cheese walloping you in the palate all at once. You want as much distance between you and this bowl of macaroni and cheese as possible.

Best: Park Street Deli Hawaiian Style Chicken

Chicken is such a versatile ingredient, which is one of the reasons it's so darn popular. You can cook it a number of different ways, and when you whip up a delicious sauce to slather on top, you have yourself a gold medal-winning meal every time. When you don't have the time or energy to crank out a chicken dish from scratch in the comfort of your home kitchen, you gotta get your hands on the Park Street Deli Hawaiian Style Chicken at Aldi. This is one dish that'll turn the volume up on your love of chicken from 10 to 11 (and probably even higher).

The pre-made meal comes with grilled boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat slathered in teriyaki sauce and topped with chunks of pineapple. The umami-content of this dish is next level, which is exactly what your palate is always searching for. The teriyaki sauce is so good you'll wish it was socially acceptable to suck down a cup of it on its own. The chicken is super tender and falls apart in your mouth thanks to how deep the teriyaki sauce soaks into it. Every inch of the meat is a volcanic eruption of sweet-and-salty excellence. The addition of the juicy chunks of pineapple gives an even bigger burst of sweet tropical flavor that helps cut through the richness of the meat as well as the saltiness of the sauce.

Worst: Park Street Deli Pulled Pork

Some people don't like chewing through a thick cut of meat, and that's understandable. Not everyone wants to put their jaw muscles through a Navy SEAL workout while they're trying to enjoy their meal. This is where the excellence of pulled protein comes into play. Pulled meat is awesome because you still get to enjoy the flavor, but the texture is much easier for your mouth to handle. Every bite falls apart on your tongue while erupting with great taste. If you love pulled meat, you'll likely find yourself drawn to the Park Street Deli Pulled Pork at Aldi. However, this is one product you should pull your attention away from immediately.

The pulled pork is slow-cooked with onions and garlic and slathered in barbecue sauce, which, on paper, sounds like it should be nothing short of delicious. But in this case it's not. The texture of the meat is exactly how pulled meat should feel, but it tastes like you're eating a month's worth of sodium with every bite. A 5-ounce serving contains 720 milligrams of sodium. It's so overwhelming to the palate that anyone who finishes their helping in one sitting deserves some kind of award for toughing out the experience. You feel like you wanna check your blood pressure after each bite, and that makes for a product that in no way needs a place in your home. Save your diastolic numbers from this brutal beating.

Best: Bremer's Chicken Pita Melts

There's something about the word "melt" that immediately gets your appetite to start paying attention. The word conjures up thoughts of softened ice cream and gooey grilled cheese sandwiches, and who doesn't love those images prancing about their heads? Yeah, stuff that melts is usually pretty darn tasty, and the Bremer's Chicken Pita Melts at Aldi are no exception. These things pack amazing flavor, great texture, and, of course, a melty cheese extravaganza.

You get a pita pocket filled with a filet of white-meat chicken and American cheese. These simple ingredients join forces to create one heck of an awesome eating experience. The pita, while not super packed with flavor, has a wonderfully pillowy texture and makes every bite you take a real pleasure. The chicken that hides beneath is super juicy and has a soft feel, so your jaw muscles don't need to panic. The American cheese is melted to perfection and has that coveted gooeyness you want. The cheese coats the chicken with each bite, and you're left with a fantastic combination of protein and dairy nestled inside a delicately soft pita pocket. These are handheld vessels of yumminess you need in your freezer.

Worst: Reggio's Italian Sausage Pizza

When in doubt about what you want to eat for dinner, ordering up a pizza is usually a safe bet. A hot pie covered in zesty marinara sauce, gooey mozzarella cheese, and a slew of tasty toppings rarely misses the mark. Luckily for pizza lovers, there's no shortage of companies that sell frozen pizzas for an affordable and convenient way to have yourself a piping hot 'za in no time at all. One of these companies is Reggio's, and Aldi sells an Italian sausage pizza the company makes. It doesn't matter how hard your pizza craving is roundhouse-kicking you in the belly. Do not make this purchase.

Just about every aspect of this pizza is a huge bummer. The "famous butter crust" the company flaunts on the front of the box has the consistency of drywall, and there certainly isn't any rich, butter taste you'd expect. Both the sauce and cheese taste super-processed, with the cheese also feeling like a layer of melted plastic on your tongue. And as for the Italian sausage, these little morsels of meat are super salty and have a rubbery consistency, so that's a one-two punch in the palate of hard-hitting disappointment. This is no way to enjoy a pizza when you're in the mood for one. Order from your favorite pizza joint instead.

Best: Fusia Asian Inspirations Chicken Lo Mein

Have you ever been to an Asian restaurant and ordered a fantastic lo mein dish full of meat and veggies and thought, "I really wish I was able to enjoy this at home with minimal effort"? Well, luckily for you, you don't have to fork over a bunch of money at a restaurant to dive head-first into a delicious lo mein noodle dish in the comfort of your own kitchen. Simply scoop up the Fusia Asian Inspirations Chicken Lo Mein at Aldi, and buckle up for a flavor-drenched ride you'll want to hop on again and again.

Each frozen bag contains lo mein noodles, chunks of chicken, and a slew of vegetables like sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots, onions, and water chestnuts in a teriyaki sauce. Right off the bat, your mouth falls in love with the texture of the noodles. They're super soft but not gummy, which makes chewing a lovely experience. The chunks of chicken are plump and packed with juices, and the teriyaki sauce seeps deep into the meat to give it an extra blast of flavor. All of the veggies are tender and play the perfect role in getting you some roughage as well as offering great textures. Of course, everything is married with the sweet and salty teriyaki sauce, which lends a wonderful richness to the whole dish.

Worst: Breakfast Best Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Croissant

A flavor-packed breakfast sets you up for a successful day. Mornings aren't exactly the greatest time of day for many people, but when you're able to fill your belly with some awesome food, it makes any obstacle in your future seem a little less daunting. This is what makes breakfast sandwiches so darn efficient. You get several delicious ingredients all stacked up in a warm handheld vessel that's ready to help you conquer the workday. So, if breakfast sandwiches are your morning jam, do your appetite a huge favor and run in the opposite direction of the Breakfast Best Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Croissants at Aldi.

Just about everything on this sandwich is worth complaining about. The croissant is dry and crumbly and doesn't even come close to having the rich buttery taste that a quality croissant has. The disc of scrambled egg that rests on the bottom half of the croissant has a rubbery texture to it, and the sausage patty is so packed with sodium it's virtually inedible. The slice of American cheese clings to the sausage like melted plastic, and it doesn't hold a smidgen of cheese flavor. This is a looming stack of morning frustration, so don't even bother with it. Ordering the same sandwich from your local deli is a much better idea if you don't want to kick off your day with a horrendous dining experience.

Best: Park Street Deli Pork Carnitas

If you're sick and tired of chicken but you're trying to steer clear of red meat, there's one other white meat that fits the bill. Pork offers a richness that chicken lacks without flooding your body with the cholesterol that's crammed in red meat. And, you can do so much with it, which is what makes it such an ideal protein to have handy. If you're in the market for some pork while wandering around the aisles of Aldi, make a pit stop at the section where you can find the Park Street Deli Pork Carnitas, and grab yourself a box or two. Your palate will sing praises to you after the first bite.

Now, don't be fooled by the picture on the box. You're not getting flour tortillas and diced tomatoes and avocados in the package. It's just pork, but that's perfectly fine since the flavor is outstanding. The seasoned and seared meat is slow-cooked in a citrus marinade that'll blow your hair back. The zesty citrus flavoring slices through the richness of the pork like a samurai sword, and it helps balance out every bite so nothing ever feels overwhelming on your palate. Also, the texture of the pork is outstanding. It's so tender you feel like it falls apart just by looking at it. You can shred it super easily with a fork and pack it into a tortilla for a meal more than worth writing home about.