Snack foods you should be buying at Aldi

Every Aldi store is like a snack-filled heaven for people who like to graze on food throughout the day. Like much else in Aldi stores, many of the snacks are Aldi's private label brands — and that's a good thing. Aldi has been able to replicate nearly every hit snack from your childhood to the present in the best way possible. Whether you're a fan of traditional animal crackers, can't get enough of Go-Gurt, or you need some year-round Girl Scout cookies in your life, Aldi has you covered.

Some of Aldi's snacks are indulgent when it comes to sugar, salt, and fat, but there are also plenty of organic, gluten-free, and healthy options in both the savory and sweet departments. One of the biggest challenges is narrowing down which ones to go for. These are the best Aldi's snacks that you should always have on hand when the hunger pangs hit.

Aldi's Choceur Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

One name tends to dominate when it comes to the peanut butter cup conversation: Reese's. The brand was the most popular Halloween candy in 2019, according to USA Today. Though it doesn't have the same brand recognition, Aldi's store-brand peanut butter cups inspire some of the same devotion — so much so that more than a few people think it's better than the brand name peanut butter cup itself.

The filling in the Choceur Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups is creamier and more plentiful than Reese's, according to Reader's Digest, and the ratio is slightly different because the cups themselves are taller and skinnier. Apparently, the formula was different at one time, according to the blog Aldi Reviewer, and the old recipe wasn't that impressive. But when the recipe was switched up in 2019, Aldi Reviewer had to update its review — and add an editor's note that the year-round product "is so popular it has become difficult to find in Aldi stores."

If you do get your hands on some, you can expect to spend less than $3 for a bag of a little more than 30 peanut butter cups. Additionally, nearly 30 percent of the ingredients are labeled as Fair Trade Certified (important ingredients like the cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, and vanilla extract in particular), so you can feel good eating them, as well.

Original Beef Biltong from Aldi

If you're a beef jerky fan and aren't yet keyed into biltong, you can do worse than starting with the biltong sold under the Aldi's brand Simm's, according to the website Jerky Ingredients.

Biltong is a type of cured meat that originally comes from southern Africa. The original is made with various types of beef and game meats that are cut into thin strips, marinated in ingredients like salt, pepper, coriander, and vinegar, and is finally air dried, according to Eat This. It's not all that different than jerky, which is stripped, marinated, and is often slow cooked or smoked. Though Eat This notes biltong is often healthier because it's made from leaner cuts of meat and can contain as much as 50 percent of your daily protein in a serving.

While the Aldi take on biltong is made domestically, it's already made a number of converts from jerky lovers. Those in Reddit's r/Aldi subreddit are clear fans, with one person stating that it "tastes like the stuff I paid premium for, and the ingredients are legit down to [the] raisin juice."

Aldi's Bavarian Soft Pretzels

You don't have to go to an Oktoberfest party to get a good pretzel if you're a regular Aldi shopper. The Bavarian Soft Pretzels are a frozen snack that's easy to heat up and just as easy to eat.

The texture is part of what makes these pretzels a favorite among the Aldi loyal — especially the thin and crispy outside that contrasts with the soft and chewy inside, according The Aldi Nerd. There is more cooking involved than the straight out of the box snacks, but it's worth it. To make them, simply wet the pretzels and apply salt (though the blogger behind The Aldi Nerd noted there can be some difficulty with getting the large pieces of salt to stick to the pretzel). Then, just bake for five minutes at 350 degrees on parchment paper.

The other main downside: They're not always in stock in the freezer aisle. If you're looking to buy some, posts pop up in Reddit's r/Aldi whenever it's Bavarian pretzel season at the chain. Some users post about the best cooking methods (leave the pretzels out to defrost before putting in the oven to make sure each is evenly heated), while others simply announce when "the best soft pretzels of all time" are back in the store. 

When you do get to try them, savor it. One Redditor from Bavaria posted that the "pretzels are the closest thing to the real deal," and a bargain as well considering it's less than $4 for a six pack.

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels from Aldi

Sea salt, chocolate, and caramel — what's not to like? Aldi's Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels are made with all of the ingredients right there in the name, and according to Aldi, the treat is Rainforest Alliance Certified, so you're doing good by the environment as well.

In addition to the good feels are the good tastes. Real Simple listed the chocolate caramels as one of "The Best 4 Grocery Items to Buy at Aldi" in part because they're "the ultimate sweet and salty satisfaction." Aldi super fans on r/Aldi have called them "addictive," while a post asking about tasty dark chocolate snacks from Aldi led to a series of comments describing the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels as "ridiculous," "amazing," and "phenomenal" by three different people.

Like everything good in this world, there is a downside. Some have found that the chocolate caramels lack consistency, which has left more than one person wondering why the candies are so hit or miss.

Aldi's Cheddar Cauliflower Crackers

Cauliflower has found a way into many gluten-free versions of typically gluten-full foods over the past decade. Some work, others fall flat. Cauliflower pizza is one example that works, as are Aldi's Cheddar Cauliflower Crackers, which are like a gluten-free and vegan cauliflower version of Cheez-Its.

The crackers, which sell under the Simply Nature brand and come in sea salt or cheddar flavor (the latter being the best), are made with cauliflower flour and a mix of rice flour and cassava flour. Rather than cheese, the "cheddar flavor" snack uses an umami-packed, flavorful mix of vegetable blend powder. According to the Aldi Reviewer, the flavoring comes from spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, and shiitake mushrooms. Texture is key with the crackers. The satisfying crunch makes them just as good sprinkled on a soup or eaten with chili as they are if you decide to down a whole box on its own.

The flavor isn't exactly what you'd get if you were to eat name brand Cheez-Its or a knock-off that uses similar ingredients to Cheez-Its, but Aldi's cauliflower crackers are a more than fine substitute whether you're vegan and gluten-free or not.

Benton's copycat Girls Scout cookies from Aldi

Girl Scout Cookies are beloved by people across the nation. One of the biggest downsides regardless of where you are is that the cookies are only sold during a short couple of months every year. For the rest of the days, there's Aldi's Benton's Cookies.

There has been a range of Girl Scout style cookies at Aldi. The primary ones include the Peanut Butter Filled Cookies, which are similar to Tagalongs (also known as Peanut Butter Patties), Fudge Mint Cookies, which are like Thin Mints, and Caramel Coconut Fudge Cookies, which are like Samoas (also called Caramel deLites depending on where you're from). Each of the Benton's cookies come close to the real-deal Girl Scouts cookies when it comes to style and taste. And best of all, a box of any cookie type is under $2, according to Delish.

Which cookies are available may depend on which Aldi store you're going to, though. According to the Aldi Reviewer blog, the Fudge Mint Cookies stopped being sold between late 2019 and early 2020 at their store. It's not known why Aldi would cancel the imitation of one of the most popular Girl Scouts cookies (Thin Mints), but Aldi Reviewer was able to confirm with Aldi that the chain has indeed discontinued Fudge Mint Cookies. So if you see some still at your store, snag them while you can.

Aldi's Spinach Parmesan Tzatziki with Greek Yogurt

There's never a bad time for a good dip. Aldi's Spinach Parmesan Tzatziki dip is from the store's Park Street Deli brand. For those unfamiliar with tzatziki, it's a yogurt-based dip spiced with dill, garlic, parsley, and spices. It's originally from the parts of Southeast Europe and the Middle East that were once part of the Ottoman Empire.

Aldi's take on classic tzatziki is similar to spinach dip, as a snack reviewer from Insider put it, and tastes similar to the spinach filling in the Greek pastry spanakopita. And while it'd certainly be good on a sandwich, the best use is when you eat it on Aldi's pita chips or Black Sesame Brown Rice chips. 

Greek yogurt is right there in the name of the dip. Don't let that scare away anyone who isn't a huge fan of Greek yogurt, though. On Reddit, even those who said they hate Greek yogurt found a balanced sweet and sour taste in the tzatziki dip that they enjoy. The only downside is that it's far too easy to eat through the entire 10-ounce container in one sitting.

Aldi's Vanilla Cream Brioche

Just because most Aldi locations don't have a bakery doesn't mean there aren't worthy bakery goods to seek out. Aldi has a line of Specially Selected Brioche that includes a plain flavor, one with chocolate chips, and a vanilla cream flavor. The latter is one you don't want to miss. And if you're wondering whether brioche can really be a snack, the answer is absolutely. One slice of this brioche is just as satisfying as any other sweet snack you like to munch on.

The Vanilla Cream Brioche has the ingredients of a typical brioche, like wheat flour, eggs, and sugar. Then, swirls of vanilla creme patissiere filling are mixed in. Aldi Reviewer compares it to a cream cheese coffee cake, but fluffier and more moist. Plus, it's imported from France. Brioche doesn't get much better than when it comes from its home country.

While Aldi's brioche is tasty on its own with a cup of tea or coffee, there's a number of things you can do with the rich bread. Swap it in for regular bread when you're making French toast, for example, or liven up a bread pudding with a vanilla cream brioche kick. There's just one thing to keep in mind for anyone who is a fan of traditional brioche: Aldi's vanilla cream version is very much on the sweeter side.

Aldi's Simply Nature White Cheddar Puffs

Crunchy, airy, and savory are all apt words to describe Aldi's Simply Nature White Cheddar Puffs. And though "healthy" doesn't make it on that list, they're not all that bad for you compared to the other, more famous cheese puffs that turn your fingers orange.

Aldi's White Cheddar Puffs are certified gluten-free, and are made with baked rice and corn. It's also organic and there's also no sugar added, according to the packaging. The ingredients list is pretty straightforward: cornmeal, sunflower oil, rice flour, cheddar cheese, milk, buttermilk, whey, sea salt, and black pepper. The lightly dusted puffs have all the flavor you could want, and it turns out you don't need a bunch of complicated ingredients to make a delicious snack.

If you're the type of person who enjoys Pirate's Booty Aged White Cheddar, then you'll also enjoy the Aldi version. Though frankly anyone who enjoys a light, umami-packed snack will enjoy Simply Nature White Cheddar Puffs.

Benton's Animal Crackers from Aldi

You don't have to be a kid to partake in the joy that is a box of animal crackers. Aldi's Benton's brand, the same one that makes the copycat Girl Scout cookies, makes animal crackers that everyone who enjoys shortbread cookies will love no matter how old you are.

Benton's Animal Crackers are squarely on the "cookie" side of animal crackers style rather than the "cracker" side, as fans on Reddit have pointed out. Each is buttery, sweet, and lemony. All it takes is a look at the packaging to feel good. Unlike the name brand Barnum's Animals Crackers, which depicted animals in cages until 2018, Benton's Animal Crackers show joyous cookie animals riding bikes and scooters. 

Some who already regularly enjoy the animal crackers noticed that they recognized something familiar about the flavor. Turns out the Benton's crackers taste a lot like the beloved McDonaldland cookies from the 1980s. As a host at the radio station Fun107 put it, "the minute I popped one of those cookies into my mouth, it was 1987 all over again." They even went so far as to say that Benton's Animal Crackers taste "a LIIIIIIIITTLE bit better because there's SLIGHTLY more lemon flavoring, but not too much to make it overpowering."

Clancy's Peanut Butter Pretzels from Aldi

Aldi's Clancy's brand hits just right with its peanut butter pretzels. Pretzels and peanut butter are a clear winning combination (take, for example, the many other stores like Trader Joe's and Costco that also always have peanut butter pretzels in stock). The Aldi version is almost too easy to eat.

The nugget-shaped pretzels have a crunchy, salty outside and a satisfying peanut butter filling on the inside. It's sold in a 24-ounce bag, meaning there's plenty to keep you snacking. The pretzels themselves are small enough to eat a couple at a time. Check the nutrition label and you'll also notice the benefit of 4 grams of protein and 4 percent of your daily fiber packed into each 1-ounce serving. Though you also have to note the 5 grams of fat and 190 grams of sodium. It's all about balance.

While many find Clancy's Peanut Butter Pretzels more than satisfying (which has inspired a light thread of fan fiction on who, exactly, Clancy is), some have found fault with the pretzels. One reviewer noted that the amount of salt could be disappointing for some, while another found the pretzels "very very very dry...so much so that I couldn't even say 'these pretzels are making me thirsty!'" If it's dryness you're worried about, follow the advice of a superfan on Reddit who found the pretzels dipped in Aldi's chocolate hummus is the perfect combination.

Aldi's Friendly Farms Moo Tubes

Go-Gurt yogurt was released in the late 1990s specifically as a yogurt for kids, complete with a skateboarding teen on the package. By 2000, TIME had named it the "fastest selling yogurt product ever released," according to General Mills, and more than two decades later, more than a billion tubes are sold every year.

Aldi's Friendly Farms brand makes a similar product, but Aldi style, called Moo Tubes. Yes, it lacks the catchy name, but it's delicious. Aldi sells flavors like Grape Bubblegum, Fruit Punch, Carnival Cotton Candy, Orange Creamsicle, and Blastin' Melonberry.

They're the perfect snack on the go. On hot days, no yogurt is better than a tube that's been chilling in the freezer for a bit. It's true that the Moo Tubes are generally more geared toward kids just like Go-Gurt is, but don't let that stop you. Age is just a number when it comes to who gets to enjoy Moo Tubes.