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Dinner, Done! Best Dinner Shortcuts to Buy From Costco Now

A Costco connoisseur shares easy pantry, deli and freezer faves for busy fams

Published on: December 10, 2021

An empty shopping cart waiting to be filled with items at Costco

On those busy nights when you need a dinner shortcut, turn to Costco for help. Cruise through the deli section for complete meals that need only reheating, or pick up ready-to-serve rotisserie chicken or a rack of ribs. Choose from fresh pasta that is ready in minutes and top it with pesto or marinara sauce. Then, stock your freezer with frozen entrées, bagged veggies and more for the next time you need a helping hand.

Dinner from the deli

The deli section at Costco offers a variety of delicious entrées, both cooked and prepped for cooking. Choose from chicken Alfredo, meatloaf with mashed potatoes, stuffed bell peppers, lasagna, enchiladas, mac and cheese, stir fry and more. Your family will thank you.

Rotisserie chicken

Costco is famous for its rotisserie chicken — and for good reason. Priced at $4.99, you can’t get a better deal even if you were to cook one yourself. Carve the whole bird and serve it alongside a salad mix or mixed vegetables for a simple dinner. Shred leftover chicken (or plan ahead and just buy two) for an easy ingredient base for noodle soup, a protein-rich salad, enchiladas, or any dish or casserole that calls for chicken.

Kirkland Signature–brand basil pesto

Kirkland Signature’s imported pesto sauce comes in a larger size than what you can get at the regular store. Use it right out of the jar on pasta, as a pizza sauce, or to top salmon or other fish before cooking. Pesto is also delicious drizzled over vegetables, chicken breasts, garlic bread and soups … See why the bigger jar comes in handy?

A package of butternut squash raviolis from Costco

Oodles of refrigerated noodles

Delicious, cheese-stuffed tortellini, found in the refrigerated pasta aisle, cooks quickly and is a no-fail crowd-pleaser. Top it with Kirkland Signature organic marinara sauce, butter and cheese, or pesto — or add them to your favorite broth to make a lovely soup. While you are there, be sure to check out the variety of ravioli options, from butternut squash to portobello mushroom, for more sophisticated palates.

Salad mixes

So, you have an entrée planned for a busy evening but you need a vegetable side. Enter Costco’s salad mixes. These packaged mixes have it all, from dressing to croutons, and there are enough different types that your family won’t get tired of salad for a very long time. These kits also make a great meal on their own — just top them off with cooked meat or canned tuna.

Wholly Avocado Organic Smashed Avocados served on toast

Wholly Avocado smashed avocados with sea salt

Avocados can go from hard to spoiled in a flash — making fresh ones difficult to keep on hand. Wholly Avocado offers portioned cups of perfectly ripe fruit with only sea salt added. Use them as a spread for a sandwich, garnish enchiladas or tacos, or make avocado toast. Pro tip: If you are making avocado toast, top it off with Olde Thompson Everything Seasoning for Bagels & More, found in the seasonings aisle.

Hard-boiled eggs

Costco’s Kirkland Signature organic hard-boiled eggs are perfectly cooked and already peeled, saving the cook a few steps. Dice them up for an egg salad, slice them to top green salads and Asian dishes, devil them or just pop them in lunch boxes for a nutritious protein snack.

A package of PuraVida fire-roasted vegetable mélange from Costco

Frozen vegetable mixes

Purchasing frozen vegetable mixes saves a ton of time that would otherwise be spent washing and chopping. Keep a bag of stir-fry vegetables in the freezer for a quick dinner; and mixed vegetables are great in soups and stews. My family’s favorite variety is the PuraVida fire-roasted vegetable mélange, which go straight from the freezer to the skillet and cook up in minutes.

Yakisoba stir fry

Speaking of stir fry, these microwavable noodle and vegetable cups are perfect for a quick meal on the go. Full-flavored and filling, they are a staple for my teenage vegetarians, but carnivores can easily add meat.

Kirkland Signature Italian meatballs

These fully cooked meatballs defrost quickly in the microwave. Add them to your pasta, make a filling meatball sandwich or cut them up to use in place of ground beef in lasagna. These are so juicy that they work as a rice topper (even without sauce), and serve deliciously on their own as an appetizer.

Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese

Serve up this scrummy mac and cheese, and you will be a dinner hero. Not only will the pickiest of eaters gobble it up, but the quality of Beecher’s signature Flagship cheddar elevates the dish for the adults around the table. Pair this homey hit with a bagged salad mix and you’ve got one terrific meal.

Bibigo cooked sticky white rice

You just got home and everyone’s too hungry to wait for the rice to cook. These perfectly portioned cups of restaurant-style sticky rice are microwavable. Make your own rice bowls, serve with a stir fry or as a side — any way you use it, this rice will save dinner.

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