Whether you’re cooking for two or 12, frozen foods have made it so much easier and more convenient to get dinner on the table without a lot of fuss.
Frozen chicken is uniquely versatile, and Germany-based grocery chain Aldi has a surprisingly good selection for low prices.
Have you ever heard of Aldi’s Red Bag Chicken? While there are social media groups devoted to the phenomenon, you’re not alone if this is the first time the product has come onto your radar.
Here is everything you need to know about this cult-status item!
What Is Aldi Red Bag Chicken In 2022?
Aldi’s Kirkwood Chicken Breast Fillets, nicknamed Aldi Red Bag Chicken or RBC, is a fully cooked, frozen product packaged in the titular red bag. Retailing at $5.99 for four-to-six pieces of chicken per bag, the item has become an Aldi cult-favorite for its resemblance to Chick-fil-A chicken.
Aldi fans love the chain’s products so much, but this chicken has special clout. Read on to find out why, where in the store you can find it and why some people have begun to rebel against the hype!
Why Do People Love Aldi Red Bag Chicken So Much?
Aldi fans have made their love of RBC so well known that the Aldi website even includes multiple references to them. The site states, “With no added hormones or steroids, these frozen chicken breasts are the perfect addition to any meal…”
The lack of hormones or steroids in the chicken is just one reason fans go nuts over those red bags.
RBC is an Everyday Buy, which means that instead of being around once a year – or appearing in stores once and never again, as some Aldi Finds do – fans can get their hands on the chicken every time they go grocery shopping, provided it’s in stock.
Then there’s the price. At just $6 for four to six pieces of breaded chicken (the most common amount in the bag seems to be five, with six if you’re lucky), a similar Chick-fil-A sandwich – just the sandwich – will already cost you more than half the price of the entire RBC package.
And everyone raves about the flavor and the quality. Think juicy, tender chicken within a lightly breaded and well-seasoned exterior. How crispy you want that exterior is up to you, but the interior stays succulent.
It’s also important to note that this isn’t a formed, puck-shaped patty, like you would get in a McChicken from McDonald’s. These are whole breast fillets, about four or five ounces each, with variations in width and texture.
RBC is also extremely easy to prepare. As it states on the packaging, the pieces are already fully cooked, so you don’t have to worry about undercooked, raw chicken and all the cross-contamination woes that entails.
You have many options when it comes to heating up these fillets. We’ll get to that below!
How Much Is Aldi Red Bag Chicken?
Aldi RBC is only $5.99 in stores, plus applicable sales tax.
That said, if you are shopping at Aldi via their partnership with grocery pick-up/delivery company Instacart, you very well might see a mark-up on these fillets. (On my Instacart currently, they are $6.59.)
Where Can You Find Aldi Red Bag Chicken In Stores?
This infamous chicken is located in the freezer department (and it must be kept frozen at home). If its location doesn’t jump out at you immediately – sometimes it’s on a lower shelf – look for frozen chicken items in general, like the purple, yellow or green bags.
RBC is notorious for being sold out due to its popularity, causing some to worry that Aldi has discontinued it.
Fear not! As of this writing, RBC is not discontinued. If you can’t find it, your store is likely awaiting a new shipment. Politely ask an employee next time you’re in-store to see if they know when the next truckload will arrive, and then plan to get there as early as possible.
What Is Aldi Red Bag Chicken’s Nutritional Information?
Aside from it being antibiotic and hormone-free, Aldi’s RBC is not going to win any nutritional awards, thanks to its breading. However, a little splurge now and then never hurt anyone!
Here is the nutritional information:
How Do You Cook Aldi Red Bag Chicken?
There are multiple ways you can cook Aldi’s RBC.
Microwave: This isn’t the best method, as you won’t crisp up the breading, but if you’re in a rush, it will do the trick and still be tasty. Try a few minutes on high first, and then 30-second increments if more time is needed.
Oven: Oven baking is the method the bag recommends. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, put chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes on each side.
Toaster oven: Don’t want to heat up your whole house during summer? You can follow similar instructions as the oven, just on a smaller scale. Just make sure you keep an eye on the chicken, because toaster ovens can overheat and catch on fire.
Oh, and make sure the setting is on “oven” and not “toast.”
Air fryer: Die-hard fans of RBC swear by the air fryer method (and I’d have to agree). Set the air fryer to 400 and let cook for 10 minutes on each side. This will get you to moderate crispness; if you want the breading crispier, try more like 15 minutes per side.
And don’t forget to have long tongs ready, because RBC can be a pain to get out of the deep bowl of some air fryers.
How Do You Make A Chick-fil-A Sandwich Out Of Aldi RBC?
The thing that originally got people so excited about RBC is that it can serve as crispy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A dupe. Even better, you can make the complete sandwich entirely out of ingredients found at Aldi.
Get the RBC, the specialty brioche buns from the baked good aisle and Great Gherkins dill or sweet pickles.
If you don’t have the following on-hand, pick these up, too (recipe courtesy Today.com): ¼ C honey, 2 TBSP yellow mustard, ¼ C barbecue sauce, ½ C mayo and juice of one lemon.
Give the sauce a mix, apply a generous dollop to the buns (a quick toast on them would not go amiss) and pile on the RBC and pickles.
What Can You Get If Aldi Red Bag Chicken Is Sold Out?
The bane of the RBC hunter’s existence: a sold out space where the chicken should be.
Aldi’s frozen chicken selection is pretty top-notch all around, though, so if you can’t get RBC, try the Blue Bag chicken – Kirkwood Crispy Chicken Strips.
There is also the Green Bag, Kirkwood Parmesan Herb Encrusted Chicken Tenders, and the Yellow Bag chicken, the delicious-sounding Kirkwood Honey Battered Chicken Tenders. These all have similar price points and their own, smaller fan clubs.
The Green, Blue and Yellow bag chicken can all be heated up in the air fryer, too, for maximum convenience.
Beyond Aldi, if you’re hankering for chicken, Sam’s Club has a few breaded chicken products that could compare and compete. Try the Member’s Mark Southern Style Chicken Sandwich, which includes 10 in a package and retails at $15.98.
Their Member’s Mark Southern Style Chicken Bites, which come with a “hint of dill pickle” cooked in, sell for $12.08 for a 48-oz bag.
Finally, Walmart carries Tyson’s Air Fried Perfectly Crispy Chicken Breast Fillets in 1.25-lb bags for $6.68.
These fillets have fewer calories and less fat than similar fast-food options, if you’re looking for a healthier chicken snack.
Does Aldi Red Bag Chicken Really Taste Like Chick-fil-A?
Everyone’s taste buds are going to be different, but on the whole, the general consensus is yes, Aldi’s RBC tastes very similar to Chick-fil-A.
One writer for Insider chronicled her experience with RBC, and after making chicken parmesan, she remarked that it definitely reminded her of Chick-fil-A and advised fans of the fast food chain to “run, not walk” to Aldi for RBC.
Does Anyone Not Like Aldi Red Bag Chicken?
Believe it or not, after all the hubbub over this beloved product, there are detractors out there who claim that RBC does not live up to the hype.
The Redditor u/Paigenacage called the chicken “gross” and said it “tastes nothing like Chick Fil A [sic]” and “It’s so bad.”
And many turned out to agree with her, saying they found the chicken “weirdly sweet” or calling out the sodium content as “scary.”
Fans of the other bag colors also put in their two cents, many of them expressing blue or green’s superiority.
Aldi’s Red Bag Chicken has, like so many of their quality items, achieved Icon Status on the Internet, and if you can get your hands on a bag, you too can enjoy homemade Chick-fil-A dupes from your own kitchen.