The $1.05 Aldi Find So Delicious I Buy 6 at a Time

I keep this affordable ALDI find in my pantry for quick meals.

The $1.05 Aldi Find So Delicious I Buy 6 at a Time
aldi storefront
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I admit it. The first time I saw canned potatoes—you didn't read that wrong—at the grocery store, the food snob in me assumed they were a bad idea. Maybe an early memory of trying canned asparagus and finding it inedible caused me to judge all canned vegetables. Who knows! It turns out not all canned veggies are bad. Some, like canned potatoes, are delicious.

Canned Potatoes, Really?

My friend Michael, who studied theater in London for a few years, urged me to try canned potatoes. According to Michael, the British love potatoes and have a tradition of eating pantry foods. It makes sense that the people who survived World War II by stocking durable canned foods would hold on to this tradition.

Pantry cooking is a time-saving strategy and a throwback to wartime privation. In London, he discovered the inexpensive, time-saving genius of canned potatoes.

Of course, I needed convincing, so I asked Michael to demonstrate his favorite way to serve them. He drains the potatoes, slathers them in butter, and roasts them on high heat. He turns them once the bottoms are browned for a crispy browned crust. “Because they are already cooked, they turn out like fondant potatoes,” he says. One bite, and I was sold. 

I now buy six cans of whole potatoes every time I go to ALDI. The Happy Harvest Whole Potatoes in a can are only $1.05 per can. You can’t beat a pantry stash of peeled, cooked potatoes at the ready for affordable comfort food. As I put them in the cart, I honor the brave cooks who kept families going while listening to Churchill on the radio.

canned ptoatoes over a colorful background
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Endless Uses, No Peeling

Like Michael, I roast them and throw in any twiggy herbs like thyme or rosemary. Here are other ways you can use canned potatoes:

  • When it’s too hot to turn on the oven, I like to crisp them in a pan of hot olive oil and stir in a handful of salad spinach before sprinkling with shredded Parmesan.
  • They are a great cheat for patatas bravas—just sauté in olive oil and mix up some paprika, cumin, crushed garlic, and red wine vinegar to add to the hot pan and toss to coat.
  • Make your favorite potato salad with canned potatoes, and keep the kitchen cool. Make a creamy soup with a cooked vegetable and add a can of potatoes before puréeing, then add a little milk or stock to thin.
  • Buy a curry simmer sauce, heat the potatoes in it, and add a can of chickpeas for a budget-friendly vegan meal.
  • Heat the drained potatoes in a pot and mash them with plenty of butter and milk. You can serve them with gravy or make Shepherd’s pie.
  • Cook split peas and add quartered canned potatoes.
  • You can even bash them into oiled muffin cups and top with egg and cheese for a gluten-free egg bite.
  • If you’re an air fryer aficionado, these are for you. Just crisp them with a splash of oil. 

Give canned potatoes a chance; they may become a regular in your pantry.