I tried 16 of Aldi's fall foods, and I'd buy nearly all of them again

I tried 16 of Aldi's fall foods, and I'd buy nearly all of them again
  • I've spent two years trying Aldi's fall foods and drinks, and plan to buy most of them again.

  • The Friendly Farms bourbon-caramel whipped topping is one of my new fall favorites.

  • I wanted to like The Bake Shop apple-cider doughnuts but I thought they were kind of dry.

Aldi stocks up on fun new items every month, and when it comes to fall, the chain brings its A game with plenty of pumpkin, apple, maple, and squash products.

The store's fall finds usually start hitting shelves in early September, so for the past two years I've tried every item I could get my hands on.

Here's how they stack up and which I'd totally buy again.

The Season's Choice frozen pumpkin risotto is made with spelt and veggie broth.

orange and beige back of pumpkin risotto from Aldi
The Season's Choice pumpkin-spelt risotto is frozen.Paige Bennett

I love risotto, but it takes a while to make at home and can be difficult to find at a restaurant without a meat-based broth, which I don't eat as a vegetarian.

But the Season's Choice pumpkin risotto swaps the usual rice for spelt (an ancient grain and subspecies of wheat) and uses vegetable broth.

It's also a freezer item, so I could stock up and enjoy a quick risotto whenever I want.

It tasted a bit bland, but a little salt and cheese fixed it.

Beige bowl of cooked pumpkin risotto from aldi
I really enjoyed the spelt base.Paige Bennett

The package says to cook the pumpkin risotto for seven minutes, but mine took about twice as long. Still, this was faster than making it from scratch.

It smelled good, and when I took a bite, I noticed the spelt had a soft, slightly chewy texture.

The spelt and pumpkin cubes were cooked well, but the small carrot pieces were a little too crunchy.

The risotto was actually a little bland on its own, so I added a bit of salt and grated cheese, which made it perfect.

The Season's Choice butternut-squash risotto was similar to the pumpkin one but made with rice.

yellow and beige bag of butternut squash risotto from aldi
The Season's Choice risotto contains butternut squash and rice.Paige Bennett

This alternate Season's Choice butternut-squash risotto is also made with veggie broth, cheese, and carrots.

I was excited to try another vegetarian risotto.

I actually preferred the spelt to the rice.

beige bowl of cooked butternut squash risotto from aldi
The Season's Choice butternut-squash risotto came together in 14 minutes.Paige Bennett

This risotto also cooked for 14 minutes, double the time listed on the package.

The taste was basically the same, and the carrots were still too hard.

The rice was slightly chewier than the spelt, and ultimately, I preferred the texture of the latter.

The Specially Selected pumpkin-cheesecake-drizzled caramel corn looked like a perfect Halloween snack.

black and orange bag of pumpkin caramel corn from aldi
Specially Selected's caramel corn came with a pumpkin-cheesecake drizzle.Paige Bennett

I'm not the biggest fan of popcorn, but the caramel corn looked pretty good, with a rich caramel coating and sweet drizzle flavored like pumpkin cheesecake.

It didn't really taste like pumpkin but was still delicious.

small white bowl of pumpkin caramel corn from aldi
I rarely eat popcorn, but I loved the Specially Selected caramel corn.Paige Bennett

The popcorn in the bag looked just like the picture on the front — an impressive feat for a packaged snack.

The texture was light and chewy inside, and the exterior had a nice crunch from the caramel coating.

I didn't quite taste the pumpkin from the drizzle, but the caramel corn was still good. I enjoyed several servings while watching some of my favorite fall films, which is noteworthy since I never eat popcorn.

I was intrigued by the Friendly Farms pumpkin-pie Greek yogurt.

orange and white container of pumpkin greek yogurt from aldi
Greek yogurt is high in protein.Paige Bennett

I eat a good amount of yogurt and love it with a variety of toppings, so I figured a Greek yogurt flavored like pumpkin pie would be good with some seasonal fruit and granola.

I thought that the yogurt hardly tasted like pumpkin.

Open orange and white container of pumpkin greek yogurt from aldi
I likely won't buy the Friendly Farms pumpkin-pie Greek yogurt again soon.Paige Bennett

This was super tangy, with a very slight pumpkin flavor. It wasn't quite sweet and tasted more like plain Greek yogurt than anything else.

On its own, I didn't like it much. It needed something to tone down the tanginess, like some honey or maple syrup and maybe a sprinkle of granola.

I probably won't buy it again since the pumpkin flavor was so faint. It'd be easier to get my usual yogurt and dress it up with seasonal toppings.

The bag of Clancy's apple chips felt nearly empty when I purchased it.

orange and red bag of cinnamon apple chips from aldi
I wasn't sure if I was going to like Clancy's apple chips.Paige Bennett

I prefer my apples fresh, so I wasn't too excited about trying them in chip form.

They come in a small plastic bag and are dusted with cinnamon.

When I opened the packaging, I was pretty disappointed with how few were in there. I know packaged snacks usually need to leave space for nitrogen gas to keep them fresh, but this bag was only about a third — if not a fourth — of the way full.

I still ended up really liking the apple chips.

View inside the cinnamon apple chip bag from aldi
Clancy's apple chips would be tasty with a dessert dip.Paige Bennett

Aside from the initial disappointment, I was impressed with the chips.

They were simple with a lightly sweet apple flavor that was balanced by the cinnamon. The texture was crunchy at first, then a little chewy and sticky.

I loved these on their own but also want to try them with dessert hummus or caramel dip.

Clancy's pumpkin-spice, yogurt-covered pretzels would make an easy fall snack.

orange bag of pumpkin spice yogurt pretzels from aldi
Clancy's pretzels are covered in pumpkin-spice yogurt.Paige Bennett

The pretzels are covered in a light-orange, pumpkin-flavored yogurt.

I've seen other retailers carry pumpkin-spice pretzels, but they've often tasted overly sweet or too artificial.

I was looking forward to this "naturally flavored" take from Aldi.

The pretzels found the ideal balance of sweet and salty.

Small white bowl of pumpkin yogurt covered pretzels from aldi
Clancy's pumpkin-spice, yogurt-covered pretzels were very tasty.Paige Bennett

The pretzels hit a good balance of sweet and salty, with a mild pumpkin-spice flavor.

I also appreciated the ratio of yogurt coating to pretzel — I could still slightly see the base through the orange lining.

I expected to love Benton's creme cookies flavored like apple-cider doughnuts.

Orange package of apple cider donut cookies from aldi
Benton's apple-cider-doughnut creme cookies sounded amazing.Paige Bennett

I was very tempted by Benton's creme cookies, which reminded me of Oreos.

But when I opened the package, I noticed they smelled overly sweet and a bit artificial.

These were my least favorite of the Aldi fall foods I tried.

Open orange package of apple cider donut cookies from aldi
I won't buy Benton's apple-cider-doughnut creme cookies again.Paige Bennett

The cookies were overpoweringly sweet, with a strong artificial flavor and strange aftertaste.

I was pretty disappointed since I love everything this treat represents: apple cider, doughnuts, and cookies.

This is one fall item I definitely don't see myself buying again.

I thought the packaging of Belmont's pumpkin Bundt cake seemed a little deceptive.

orange box of aldi pumpkin bundt cake beside cooked cake on white plate
Belmont's pumpkin Bundt cake does not include the pictured icing.Paige Bennett

I found both pumpkin and maple Bundt cakes in the freezer section. Each box contains two small, individually wrapped microwavable treats.

The photo on the package shows the cakes covered in a delicious-looking glaze, but a note in the corner says the topping isn't included. I found the advertising a little misleading.

It was still a delicious and easy dessert.

cooked pumpkin bundt cake from aldi with chunk cut out
I'd prefer Belmont's pumpkin Bundt cake without the pecans.Paige Bennett

The pumpkin Bundt cake was soft and spongy, with little pecan chunks throughout.

I didn't mind the flavor of the nuts, but they were chewy rather than crunchy. I'd prefer this dessert without them.

Benton's maple Bundt cake seemed pretty similar.

Brown box of aldi maple bundt cake beside cooked cake on white plate
I was intrigued by Benton's maple Bundt cake.Paige Bennett

Like the other packaging, there's also a photo of the maple Bundt cake covered in white frosting that's not included in the box.

The maple Bundt cakes were also much lighter in color than the pumpkin ones.

The maple-flavored cake was my favorite fall food from Aldi.

cooked maple bundt cake from aldi with piece cut out of it on white plate
Benton's maple Bundt cake tasted incredible with Sundae Shoppe's pumpkin-spice ice cream.Paige Bennett

I can't wait to buy more of this fall dessert.

The maple Bundt cake was super moist and soft, more so than the pumpkin variety.

I enjoyed one plain, which was great, and ate the other alongside Sundae Shoppe's pumpkin-spice ice cream, which was an incredible combo.

The Sundae Shoppe pumpkin-spice ice cream looked really simple.

orange carton of pumpkin spice ice cream from aldi
I expected the Sundae Shoppe pumpkin-spice ice cream to be pretty good.Paige Bennett

I found another fall gem in Aldi's freezer section: The Sundae Shoppe pumpkin-spice ice cream.

It didn't look flashy, rather just like a simple pint of pumpkin-flavored ice cream. I figured it would be good but nothing to write home about.

The pumpkin-spice ice cream had an amazing texture.

small white bowl of pumpkin spice ice cream beside orange carton from aldi
The Sundae Shoppe pumpkin-spice ice cream didn't need any add-ins.Paige Bennett

The pumpkin flavor of this ice cream was impressive, with a good balance of spices and sweetness.

But I was most in awe of the texture. The first scoop was super soft and creamy. But even as I ate it throughout the week, the ice cream stayed pretty soft and scoopable. Most pints get rock-solid after they've been opened and stored.

I typically prefer my ice cream with chunky add-ins, like cookie dough or brownie bites, but this simple dessert was amazing on its own.

I couldn't resist the Reggano fall-shaped pasta.

multicolor package of fall-shaped pasta from aldi
Reggano's fall pasta contains shapes like pumpkins and leaves.Paige Bennett

Aldi's fall-shaped pasta comes with noodles that look like pumpkins, leaves, and other seasonal shapes.

I thought they were so cute, and I liked that the noodles were dyed with natural food-based coloring.

The seasonal noodles tasted and felt like regular pasta.

navy blue bowl of cooked fall-shaped pasta from aldi
I'd pair Reggano's fall pasta with a tasty sauce.Paige Bennett

These noodles mostly cooked like regular pasta. The green ones, especially the leaves, held up the best, followed by the pumpkin-shaped pieces.

It tasted like standard pasta, and I plan on trying it again with Aldi's fall sauces once those hit the shelves.

The sparkling pumpkin-spice apple cider from Nature's Nectar would be a great alternative to alcoholic beverages.

orange and brown bottle of aldi sparkling apple cider
Each pack comes with four Nature's Nectar pumpkin-spice apple ciders.Paige Bennett

Nonalcoholic sparkling apple cider would make a great swap for beer or hard ciders at seasonal celebrations.

Each pack comes with four glass bottles.

I liked this drink but wished it was a little more bubbly.

Paige in a red shirt drinking aldi sparkling apple cider out of bottle
I'll buy the Nature's Nectar pumpkin-spice apple ciders again.Paige Bennett

It was really more of a spiced apple juice than a cider since it's filtered and pasteurized with a long shelf life. But it was still good.

It tasted similar to cinnamon apple sauce.

My only complaint is the "sparkling" beverage was hardly carbonated, but that won't stop me from buying it again this season.

I couldn't wait to try The Bake Shop apple-cider doughnuts.

The Bake Shop apple-cider doughnuts on a table
The Bake Shop apple-cider doughnuts looked promising.Paige Bennett

I love apple-cider doughnuts so I couldn't wait to try The Bake Shop ones available at Aldi.

The container of six was the perfect size for my household of two, and they looked pretty enticing in the package.

I liked the flavor but thought the texture was a little dry.

The Bake Shop apple-cider doughnuts on a table with one on a plate
I wish The Bake Shop apple-cider doughnuts were more moist.Paige Bennett

The doughnuts had a sweet but not overpowering apple-cider flavor.

In my opinion, the texture inside was soft but a little too dry. The next time I have one, I'll pair it with hot apple cider or dunk it in coffee.

Clancy's roasted sweet-corn-flavored popcorn piqued my interest.

Bag of Clancy's roasted sweet-corn popcorn
I'm a fan of sweet corn so I thought I'd give Clancy's popcorn a try.Paige Bennett

I'm not a big popcorn fan, but even I couldn't resist picking up a bag of Clancy's roasted sweet-corn version.

I enjoy sweet corn through late summer and fall, so I couldn't wait to try this snack.

I thought the sweet-corn popcorn would be perfect for fall movie nights.

The writer holds a cup of Clancy's sweet-corn popcorn with bag in background
My partner and I had different opinions about Clancy's sweet-corn popcorn.Paige Bennett

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Clancy's sweet-corn popcorn.

I loved that it tasted like buttery sweet corn. Overall, I enjoyed it and thought it was a fun twist on classic popcorn.

However, my partner didn't appreciate it. "It tastes like corn, and that's really not for me," he said.

I was hesitant to try the Friendly Farms bourbon-caramel whipped topping.

Friendly Farms bourbon-caramel whipped topped
I was afraid that the Friendly Farms bourbon-caramel whipped topping would be too sweet.Paige Bennett

At first, I wasn't sure what to expect from the Friendly Farms bourbon-caramel whipped topping.

The combination of bourbon and caramel sounded delicious, but I was concerned it would have a really artificial or overly sweet flavor to it. I decided to try it on its own and with coffee.

I ended up loving this flavored whipped topping.

Friendly Farms bourbon-caramel whipped topping and a mug of coffee with whipped topping
The Friendly Farms bourbon-caramel whipped topping tasted great with coffee.Paige Bennett

This was one of my favorite Aldi items I tried. The flavor was subtle but delicious, which was a nice surprise considering I expected it to have an artificial taste.

The texture was like whipped cream, and I had no issues spraying it out of the nozzle. The Friendly Farms whipped topping will be a fall staple for me moving forward.

I was impressed with the presentation of the Moser Roth autumn chocolate truffles.

Moser Roth limited-edition fall chocolates
I thought the Moser Roth chocolates would make a great gift.Paige Bennett

When I noticed the Moser Roth limited edition autumn chocolates, I had to stop and grab a box. The chocolates on the packaging looked decadent, and when I got home, the ones in the box looked just as tasty.

I thought they'd also make a great gift, especially since 12 truffles were only $3.70.

I ended up liking only one of the four flavors.

Four Moser Roth autumn chocolate balls cut in half
Some of the Moser Roth autumn chocolates weren't for me.Paige Bennett

The chocolates came in four flavors: Dark chocolate with pumpkin-spice filling, milk chocolate with almond-maple filling, milk chocolate with caramel-apple filling, and dark chocolate with berry filling.

I had high hopes for the chocolates but, in my opinion, three of the four flavors had a strong artificial taste.

I liked only the fall-berry flavor, which had a dark-chocolate coating and a filling that tasted like raspberries. I'd buy a pack of just the fall-berry flavor, but I wouldn't get this whole box of truffles again.

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