Aldi’s 55 Cent Kirkwood Chicken Pot Pie

There may be no phrase more terrifying than this, to a serious food person:

“55 cent chicken pot pie.” That the chicken pot pie comes from the East Lake street outpost of the European discount grocery chain Aldi may or may not be of much comfort.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

The terrifying thing about the pie is this: How is it possible that even a terrible, bad, awful, poorly handled, store-brand, low-end pot pie gets designed, manufactured, packaged, shipped, stocked and sold for .55 cents? It’s not an obvious loss-leader; there’s no banner outside the store saying, “Come on in, shoppers, and buy our amazing 55 cent chicken pot pie!”

And yet, there it is in the freezer case. Lunch, or something that passes for it, for 55 damned cents.

The pie has a top and bottom crust, weighs in at about 7 oz., and is stuffed with chicken, potatoes, carrots and peas. 30 minutes in a 400° oven gets the crust browned and the gravy bubbling. Possibly the most surprising thing about initially biting into the filling is that the carrots actually taste like carrots; they haven’t been cooked down into the soft, character-free orange squares that make a Swanson pot pie such a Middle American classic. The gravy is overly salty, but not so much that you want to make a court case out of it. The shortening-driven crust is “meh,” but thin enough that once you cover it in the pie’s 17 cents worth of gravy, it’s edible. The chicken tastes like dark meat, which is a pleasant surprise — at least it tastes like something.

In short: This tastes like a $.89 pot pie, or even a $1.19 pot pie. It defies logic (and implies some kind of reliance on the Satanic arts) that Aldi is making any kind of money on these things, and yet: I have the receipt in my pocket, and the flavorless potato chunk in my mouth.

Underpromising and over-delivering; that’s the Aldi way. If there’s any one product emblematic of doing every possible thing the opposite way that Whole Foods does it, this may be the thing.


  1. Ed Kohler

    You’re telling me that for less than the cost of one bus ride in this town I could eat three of these things? I’ve gotta get out more.

  2. Tom

    Satanic arts or agricultural subsidies for mass-produced chicken… they probably aren’t mutually exclusive.

  3. Carmela Tursi Hobbins

    In these hard economic times shopping at Aldi’s just makes good CENTS. I started shopping there a few years ago when I was working on my cookbook, Carmela’s Cucina. The food stylist that I was working with sent me there to pick up certain food items for our photo session. I could not beleive the quality of their food and how easy it was to shop there. I have been hooked ever since. I will say, I always have to stop at another grocery store to complete my weekly shopping.

    Today, I was feeling a bit lazy and did not want to go out of my way, so I stopped at our local up-scale grocery store to pick up a few things and an on-line coupon got me in the door. But when I paid $4.59 for a pint of cherry tomatoes I was kicking myself in the butt for not having gone to Aldi’s where I am sure the tomatoes would have been half the price! Next time I will be going to Aldi’s first.

    Buon appetito,


  4. Joanna

    When we three kids were little (back in the sixties!) my mother would only serve chicken pot pie as a special treat when she and my father were going out. Kind of a bribe, because we loved it. But every single time, I would burn the roof of my mouth because I was too greedy to wait until it cooled.

  5. Karl

    Aldi is owned by the German equivalent to the Walden (of Walmart) family. Incidentally they also own Trader Joes.

  6. e

    Heh, a $1.19 pie. When I finally picked up a Swanson’s one after years of abstaining, I was a bit grossed out by the cheapness and overall… grossness of it. It cured any processed pot pie cravings forever.

  7. Mark

    Absolutely the funniest chicken pot pie review I’ve ever read. Incidentally, I will never eat one of these pies. Thanks for taking one for the team.

  8. Eaterlover

    I have been singing praises of this 55C pie for YEARS. What also is surprising is that Aldi also offers a “luxury” pot pie: a pack of four at $6.99 and yet I STILL BUY the 55C pies because they’re just that good.

  9. Joel

    Very funny review. I just had a 55 cent chicken pot pie for lunch. I was very skeptical, afraid, etc. But some co-workers were talking about how good they are, and only 55 cents at Aldi’s. Had to try one. They are very good. I will buy more, and I am very surprised by Aldi’s quality. Just as good if not better than most ‘store’ brands (or national brands for that matter.)

  10. Julianne

    Yes, Aldi is the opposite of Whole Foods. But I hate to break it to you – our economy allows us to eat – not always to eat healthy, or organically.

    If you have enough time to post a review on Aldi Chicken Pot Pies, then maybe you have enough time to sponser a less-fortunate family in their grocery shopping. Would you choose Whole Foods?

  11. Aldi shopper

    Bought one of these recently. My husband ate it and proclaimed it small and marginal, low quality. Other Aldi items are definitely biger winners in our book.

  12. janice

    i have been buying these pies since aldi opened in my town i think they are great.i have them at least once a week. along with other products aldi is my first store.i go to other stores to get products they dont carry witch is not much

  13. Rick

    Whatever you do, DON’T eat the 4 for $6.00 Kirkwood pot pies. Sinfully delicious and so unhealthy you will crave them at night.

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