The 7 best and 7 worst canned foods from Aldi

The first time you go to Aldi, you'll be in for a bit of a surprise. Not only do you need to rent your shopping cart, you'll need to pay for your shopping bags and go without many of the frills that you enjoy at other grocery stores. However, if you can survive the barebones shopping experience, you'll be rewarded with cheaper prices at the cash register. And at the end of the day, no one complains when they have extra money in their pocket.

While each Aldi location is packed full of items that are definitely worth trying at least once, it's easy to overlook their selection of canned foods. That would be a mistake. Not only do they offer an impressive variety of canned foods, but the quality is usually high and the price is dependably very low — as is the case with most items at Aldi.

That said, not all the canned foods Aldi has for sale are worth your money, as some of the options on their shelves shouldn't be touched with a 10-foot pole. Keep reading to learn the very best and very worst canned foods available at your local Aldi.

Best: Dakota's Pride Grill Style Beans

If you like baked beans, you will absolutely adore Dakota's Pride Grill Style Beans. Exclusively available at Aldi, these beans are perfect to take to a neighborhood barbecue or simply accompany you on a quiet night on your couch as you binge Netflix.

Dakota's Pride Grill Style Beans are available in three distinct flavors: Steakhouse Style, Southern Style BBQ, and Brown Sugar Bourbon. If you can't decide which one to select, start with the Brown Sugar Bourbon. The sweetness from the brown sugar is pleasant, while there's an unmistakable bourbon-flavored kick added to the party. While this bourbon won't make you tipsy — even if you eat a few cans of this stuff — its presence will make these beans even more memorable.

An added bonus is the fact that the Brown Sugar Bourbon and Steakhouse Style beans are fat-free, while the Southern Style BBQ version is 99 percent fat-free. That allows you to scarf down all the beans you want without feeling too much regret.

Best: Simply Nature Organic Tomato Basil Soup

Aldi's Simply Nature Organic Tomato Basil Soup ticks a lot of boxes for health-conscious people who love tomato soup. Not only is this soup organic, it also has no artificial flavors or colors. Just as important, it also tastes wonderful. Not only does the basil flavor add depth, but this soup is also sweet enough that you'll legitimately enjoy each spoonful.

A lot of tomato soup has a watery and otherwise underwhelming texture. That's not the case with Simply Nature Organic Tomato Basil Soup. This soup has an attractive thickness that will grab your attention and keep you satisfied from the moment you pour it into a bowl.

The richness of the tomato and basil flavors are just calling for cheese to be added to the equation. Whether it's in the form of shredded cheddar cheese or a handful of Goldfish crackers, get some cheese in this soup and you'll have yourself a meal that you won't mind eating every day of the week.

Best: Baker's Corner Cherry Pie Filling

Not only does Baker's Corner Cherry Pie Filling taste great, but its low price tag will keep you going back for more. Aldi has a lot of cheap canned foods but it's arguable that they don't have anything equally as inexpensive and yummy as this cherry-powered goodness. For less than two dollars a can, you can get 21 ounces of heaven.

Obviously, most people will use Baker's Corner Cherry Pie Filling to make cherry pie. That's completely understandable and you won't be disappointed with the outcome. However, that's not the only thing you can do with it. For example, you can heat it up in the microwave and then pour it over a bowl of vanilla ice cream for an unbelievable dessert. Or, if you wish, you can eat it straight out of the can. Sure, this might not be the world's healthiest snack but your taste buds won't protest.

Even though this pie filling is less expensive than the other well-known name brands, you're not sacrificing any quality. In fact, you will pleasantly be surprised at how many cherries Aldi is able to fit into one can and the perfect texture and flavor of each and every cherry.

Best: Brookdale Corned Beef

If you're looking for affordable corned beef, Aldi has what you seek. Brookdale Corned Beef is bursting with flavor but is affordable enough to allow you to stock up your pantry. It might not be as recognizable as the corned beef made by Libby's or have a history dating back to the 1800s, but it's every bit as tasty.

Brookdale Corned Beef has a strong salty flavor — but that's part of the joy when it comes to corned beef. If you find it too salty, eat it with potatoes or toast to balance out the flavors. Alternatively, if you want to kick the savory factor up a few notches, eat it with a couple of eggs sunny-side-up and let the runny egg yolk intermingle with the corned beef.

Don't be scared by the label that indicates Brookdale Corned Beef is made in Brazil. It turns out that about 80 percent of canned corned beef is made in that country in South America, including Libby's Corned Beef.

Best: Fit & Active Chicken Noodle Chunky Style Soup

A lot of chicken noodle soup you buy at the store leaves you disappointed. The noodles are limp, the taste is bland, and the chunks of chicken are nearly non-existent. Fit & Active Chicken Noodle Chunky Style Soup is completely different. You don't have to worry about any of those typical pitfalls when you purchase a can of this stuff at Aldi.

The first thing you'll notice is the big pieces of white chicken meat in the soup. The chicken chunks are not only large and plentiful, they're also soft and pop with flavor with each bite. Secondly, you'll notice the noodles. Unlike what you'll find elsewhere, these noodles are hearty but don't get in the way of the chicken flavoring.

Finally, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find an ample amount of carrots and celery along with a bit of parsley and a hint of onion. The next time you feel under the weather, eat a can of Fit & Active Chicken Noodle Chunky Style Soup and you'll be well on your way to recovery by the end of the bowl.

Best: Pueblo Lindo Chipotle Peppers

There's a whole lot you can do with the Pueblo Lindo Chipotle Peppers you get from Aldi. If you want to make your abuela proud and you have brave taste buds, you can eat these peppers right out of the can. Since that would require too much bravery for your average person, you can also use these chipotle peppers to make everything from taco sauce to a marinade for pork ribs.

Like most canned chipotle peppers, they are resting in adobo sauce. These peppers are also whole, so you don't have to worry about dealing with a lot of bits and pieces. While the taste is spectacular, be warned that Pueblo Lindo Chipotle Peppers are definitely spicy. They're far from the hottest peppers in the world, but compared to other brands, you'll find that these peppers bring much more spiciness to the table. If you can't handle spicy foods, these aren't the peppers for you. On the other hand, if you like your food to be hot, hot, hot — look no further.

Best: Fit & Active Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup

If you want everything you thought you knew about cream of mushroom soup to be turned upside down, go out and buy a can of Fit & Active Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup from Aldi. Typically, cream of mushroom soup is completely bland, lacks anything resembling a satisfying texture, and actual mushrooms are somehow an afterthought. This soup from Aldi is completely different.

When you empty Fit & Active Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup into a bowl, you'll notice a merry band of mushroom pieces swimming in the soup. The bits of mushroom give this stuff a pleasing texture that you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Once you taste it, the rich mushroom flavors will make you fall in love.

Another aspect you'll like about this soup is how healthy it is. It has only 60 calories per serving and is relatively low in carbohydrates. If you're on a low-carb keto diet, this cream of mushroom soup will fit perfectly into your daily meals.

Worst: Brookdale Pork Luncheon Meat

While the aforementioned Brookdale Corned Beef is sure to become one of your favorite Aldi purchases, do all you can to avoid Brookdale Pork Luncheon Meat. This grossness is a knockoff of Spam that will make you shudder from the moment you smell it. It smells so bad, in fact, that you might not even want to put it in your mouth to taste.

If you do taste it, you'll be perplexed that this Spam imitation somehow tastes even worse than it smells. Beyond the taste, this stuff is rubbery and breaks apart if you try to heat it up in a frying pan.

While real Spam has a lot of yummy flavors, there's nothing that you'll enjoy about Brookdale Pork Luncheon Meat. Unless you plan on buying it to feed it to your worst enemy, there's no reason for this canned junk to end up in your Aldi shopping cart.

Worst: Simply Nature Organic Lentil Soup

Lentil soup in a can is oftentimes hit or miss. Simply Nature Organic Lentil Soup from Aldi is an undeniable miss. Though the soup is organic and free of artificial flavors, it's missing one really important aspect: taste. After your first spoonful, you'll realize this supposed soup is actually just boring, flavorless mush.

If you look at the picture on the can, you might be tempted by all the lentils that are in this soup. And while there are certainly a lot of lentils, they're soggy and somehow get even soggier when you heat the soup up.

If you've already purchased a can of Simply Nature Organic Lentil Soup, just know that you are going to have to do something to add flavor to it if you have any hope of making it edible. Adding some sort of meat or at least some spices will help with swallowing this stuff. But, then again, the mushy texture will remain a turn-off no matter what you do to it.

Worst: Casa Mamita Traditional Refried Beans

Sadly, there's simply nothing to like about Casa Mamita Traditional Refried Beans. This Aldi exclusive manages to ruin refried beans — which, truthfully, isn't easy to do. If you have a can of this in your home, you might as well throw it away because there's nothing you can do to make it better.

Firstly, this stuff is oddly fibrous and annoyingly chewy. Refried beans shouldn't be difficult to eat but Casa Mamita Traditional Refried Beans get stuck in your teeth and then get caught in your throat when you try to swallow. Second of all, the flavor is all wrong. These refried beans have an oily taste that overpowers anything you mix it with. Even salsa is no match for the repugnant taste of these refried beans.

Even though the refried beans are high in fiber, high in protein, and low in fat, it just doesn't matter. Aldi could give cans of it away for free and it still wouldn't be worthing bringing home.

Worst: Sweet Harvest Mandarin Oranges in Light Syrup

As far as canned foods go, mandarin oranges sound like a safe bet. But something went horribly wrong with Sweet Harvest Mandarin Oranges in Light Syrup. While the low price at Aldi might entice you, you should know that these mandarin oranges have almost no flavor. The "light syrup" is actually a water-like substance that is only slightly sweet. The actual oranges are smaller than you would expect and somehow manage to not be tasty at all.

Even if you're watching your caloric intake, you might as well go ahead and get mandarin oranges in heavy syrup because that will be the difference between delight and disgust. That's especially true since this can of disappointment still has 8.5 grams of added sugar. If you are going to consume added sugar, make sure that you can actually taste it.

If you're looking for some yummy canned fruit from Aldi, go with Sweet Harvest Peach Slices in Heavy Syrup. The peaches are amazingly delicious and the syrup is so good that you could drink it by the glass.

Worst: Brookdale Chili with Beans

Brookdale Chili with Beans has a tempting price tag but it's a failure when it comes to flavor, even though it's loaded with salt. While it is possible to get a can of this chili for less than a dollar at times, it's just not good.

First of all, you can forget about opening the can, pouring it into a bowl, and eating it. While it has meat in it and a sufficient amount of beans, the meat is rubbery and the beans are hard. To make matters worse, while the chili is slightly spicy, neither the meat nor the beans are flavorful enough to make it enjoyable.

If you're determined to make the best of a bad situation, consider using Aldi's Brookdale Chili with Beans as a base for a chili and cheese dip. Another idea is to add some ground beef to it along with some hot sauce in order to make a chili worth eating. That said, a better idea is to just purchase a better quality canned chili, to begin with. Or, if you want some scrumptious chili and you want it now, save yourself a trip to the store and just go to Wendy's instead.

Worst: Simply Nature Organic Chicken Noodle Soup

Everything that is so right with the previously mentioned Fit & Active Chicken Noodle Chunky Style Soup is so wrong with Simply Nature Organic Chicken Noodle Soup. While some individuals may appreciate that this soup is organic while the other one is not, the rest of the tradeoffs are unacceptable. If you eat a can of this soup, the fact that it is organic won't be able to mask your disappointment — trust me.

The biggest and most noticeable issue is the chicken. The pieces of chicken in this soup are few and far between. Even when you are able to find the chicken pieces, they are so stringy that they're nearly inconsequential. It sounds impossible but things only go downhill from there. The noodles melt right when they get in your mouth and are forgettable at best. The slices of organic celery and organic carrots have the opposite problem. Instead of being too soft and too easy to miss, they are too crunchy and too distracting.

If you're shopping for chicken noodle soup at Aldi, be sure you get the Fit & Active variety and not the Simply Nature variety. It's the difference between a tasty meal and something that will leave you unsatiated and ridden with remorse.

Worst: Northern Catch Pink Salmon

To put it bluntly, Northern Catch Pink Salmon smells like cat food. While Whiskers and Mittens may get excited when you open a can of this stuff, you surely won't. The cat food aroma is the first sign that you made a bad selection at Aldi — but it won't be the last.

Canned salmon can be really, really good and it has an impressive array of health benefits. It can actually be almost as good as fresh salmon. But Northern Catch Pink Salmon is a thorough disappointment. Beyond the smell, you will find that the can has too much salmon skin in it and too many salmon bones. To add to the misery, the skin is tough and the bones are too rigid. Usually you can ignore the bones that you find in canned salmon but these bones are so noticeable that you will need to pick them out one by one before you think about eating it.

That said, instead of picking out the bones, do yourself a favor and just throw it away (or give it to Whiskers and Mittens). It's not worth the time and energy because even if you remove all the bones, the end result will be a dish that still tastes like cat food.