All of the Best Dinner Items to Buy, According to Customers



  • Insider had 15 Costco shoppers share their favorite grocery items to make dinner with.
  • Staples like Christopher Ranch’s garlic and Cento’s peeled tomatoes can be used in countless ways.
  • Sukhi’s premade chicken tikka masala and Kirkland Signature’s taco kit make easy, satisfying meals.

Customers across the US have signed up for a Costco membership to stock up on dinnertime staples from the wholesale chain.

Despite picking up groceries from the same chain, everyone has a different shopping list.

Insider had 15 loyal shoppers — from a nutritionist to an athlete to a Costco employee — share what they grab from the chain when they’re planning dinner.

Abigail Abesamis Demarest buys some of her dinnertime staples in bulk

Demarest gets a deal on one of her favorite dinners, salmon

Package of salmon at Costco

Costco’s salmon filets seem fresh and can feed multiple people.

Abigail Abesamis Demarest



One of Demarest’s go-to meals is seasoned baked salmon, some kind of green, and brown rice. The salmon fillets are boneless and skinless and feed Demarest’s entire family with enough for leftovers.

Fresh-farmed Atlantic salmon costs $9.99 per pound at Costco.

Read Abigail Abesamis Demarest’s full Costco shopping list: I’ve shopped at Costco for over 10 years. Here are the 15 products I always buy in bulk.

Lisa Tanner, a mom of 10, buys dinners she knows everyone will like

Pork tenderloin is a great base for a tasty meal

Packages of pork tenderloin at Costco

Pair pork tenderloin with gravy or noodles.

Lisa Tanner



Tanner likes making this pork tenderloin in her Crock-Pot or Instant Pot as it’s one of her go-to options. She pairs it with mashed potatoes or a noodle dish. 

For $3.49 per pound, you can get four tenderloins.

Chicken thighs are a juicy and flavorful protein

Bags of frozen chicken thighs at Costco

Chicken thighs are both juicy and flavorful.

Lisa Tanner



Chicken thighs are typically less expensive than chicken breasts and pack a lot of flavor so Tanner buys a couple of bags to keep in the freezer. 

Tanner uses the thighs in recipes that call for breast meat — like chicken teriyaki, stir-fry, and oven-baked dishes — to help keep costs down. She also cooks them in bulk and shreds them for tacos and casseroles. 

The packages have over 6 pounds of chicken and cost $11.99. 

Read Lisa Tanner’s full Costco shopping list: I’m a mom of 10 who’s shopped at Costco for almost 20 years. Here are 20 things I always buy in bulk.

Shopper Tara Zeller drives a total of 4 hours just for Costco’s bulk-buy options

Packs of roast beef can be used in countless dishes

Two-pack of beef from Costco

Packages of Canadian beef can go a long way.

Tara Zeller



Each pack contains around a pound and a half or so of meat, and Zeller vacuum-seals each separately for two Sunday-night meals. 

Zeller cooks her roast beef in the oven, makes gravy with the drippings, and serves it with mashed potatoes and a veggie dish.

Zeller picks up about 3 1/2 pounds of Canadian beef for just under $25.

Kirkland Signature’s chicken taco kit requires almost no preparation

Kirkland taco kit from Costco

Kirkland Signature’s taco kits come with a variety of ingredients, including salsa.

Tara Zeller



Zeller always grabs a chicken taco kit from Costco’s deli section before she leaves the store. This kit makes 12 tacos, and it’s a quick, filling dinner that Zeller’s whole family enjoys.

Read Tara Zeller’s full Costco shopping list: I drive 4 hours and spend $500 for every Costco trip. Here are 16 things I always stock up on.

Nutritionist Candace Nelson buys groceries to make easy, wholesome meals

Tilapia is an affordable and mild-flavored fish

Costco tilapia loins

Tilapia can complement the flavor of mango or pineapple salsa.

Candace Nelson



Tilapia is a protein-rich, sustainable white fish with a low carbon footprint, as well as a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Nelson likes tilapia because it can be a healthy source of muscle-repairing protein without many added calories from carbs and fat.

One of the lower-priced fish, tilapia has a mild taste that will absorb flavors and pair well with mango or pineapple salsa, so Nelson keeps it on hand for tacos.

Read Candace Nelson’s full Costco shopping list: I’m a nutritionist who shops at Costco for 2. Here are 15 things I always buy in bulk.

Kelli Catana likes to grab easy-to-prepare dinners for her 4 teenagers

Catana reheats premade stuffed peppers for an easy, filling meal

Several packs of premade stuffed peppers at Costco

If you’re preparing dinner for a crowd, premade stuffed peppers are a no-brainer.

Kelli Catana



Between everyone’s extracurricular activities, sports, and part-time jobs, it’s crucial that Catana has meals she can pop in the oven.

The peppers, which are stuffed with ground beef and rice, are perfect for when Catana doesn’t have time to cook.

The peppers cost $4.99 per pound.

Kirkland Signature’s 5-cheese tortellini is a no-brainer on pasta night

Packs of five-cheese tortellini at Costco

Kirkland Signature’s five-cheese tortellini contains about 14 servings.

Kelli Catana



Catana loves using Kirkland Signature’s five-cheese tortelloni instead of standard spaghetti or penne when she wants to change things up. This pasta comes in two 1 1/2-pound packages and is ready in just two minutes.

After boiling the tortelloni, Catana covers it with cheese and sauce, then bakes it in the oven. She uses the entire double pack and freezes leftovers for when she needs a quick dinner.

At just $10.69, it’s an affordable meal.

Kirkland Signature’s burgers are perfect for simple and delicious barbecues

Bags of frozen burgers in red boxes at Costco

Kirkland Signature’s 1/3-pound beef patties are great for barbecues.

Kelli Catana



Though Catana likes to make her own hamburgers, she thinks it’s nice to have premade patties in the freezer for busy nights or when friends and family stop by.

Kirkland Signature’s sirloin beef patties are the best-tasting frozen burgers Catana has tried and are super convenient.

For 18 of these 1/3-pound patties, Catana pays $26.99.

Read Kelli Catana’s full Costco shopping list: I’m a mom of 4 teenagers who shops at Costco. Here are 14 things I love to buy and how I use them.

Dana Engelbert drives 140 miles to stock up on as many Costco dinner staples as she can

Costco’s hand-pulled rotisserie chicken breast can be used in salads or enchiladas

bulk package of shredded rotisserie chicken at costco

Costco’s hand-pulled rotisserie chicken is great for quick meals.

Dana Engelbert



Engelbert is always looking for quick, healthy meals picky eaters will enjoy.

This 42-ounce pack of shredded rotisserie chicken can be used for several recipes, including salads and enchiladas.

Kirkland Signature’s flank steaks can be frozen and used later

bulk package of flank steak at costco

You can use Kirkland Signature’s flank steaks for fajitas.

Dana Engelbert for Insider



Costco has good-sized packages of two flank steaks at an affordable price.

Once Engelbert gets home, she packages each one separately and puts them in the freezer. She just thaws them in the refrigerator the night before she needs them for meals like sheet-pan flank-steak fajitas.

Read Dana Engelbert’s full Costco shopping list: I drive 3 hours to shop at Costco. Here are 21 things that make the 140-mile trip worth it.

Olympian Gemma Acheampong stocks up on produce and pasta essentials

Asparagus is a quick side to prepare alongside a grain or protein

Asparagus at Costco

Asparagus is a quick and easy side dish alongside a protein.

Gemma Acheampong for Insider



Acheampong makes a point of grabbing some vegetables she’ll enjoy no matter how they’re cooked. She likes a bag of asparagus because it’s easy to prepare.

A bag that’s just over 2 pounds costs $6.

Victoria pasta sauces are a delicious addition to noodles and meatballs

Pasta Sauce at Costco

The Victoria pasta sauce can be enjoyed right of the jar or used a base for meat sauce.

Gemma Acheampong for Insider



Acheampong tried a variety of sauces during her many years as a pasta lover, and the Victoria brand is her favorite. 

This brand is best straight out of the jar — Acheampong doesn’t need to add seasoning to get a great meal. She also makes meat sauce with this, since it’s a perfect base.

Acheampong usually gets two 40-ounce jars for just over $9.

Read Gemma Acheampong’s full Costco shopping list: I’m an Olympian and semi-professional athlete. Here are 16 things I always buy at Costco for myself.

Jennifer Espady has shopped at Costco since she was a child

Sukhi’s chicken tikka masala is a staple entrée

packages of chicken tikka masala at costco

Sukhi’s chicken tikka masala can feed two to four people.

Jennifer Espady



Sukhi’s premade chicken tikka masala is a staple in Espady’s household and a must-try for those who love Indian-inspired food. 

The tikka masala comes completely cooked in two separate plastic bags so you can use as much as you need to for a specific meal.

Each 36-ounce pack can easily feed two to four people. For $14.99, you can have a takeout-style meal with no extra delivery fees or waiting.

Impress guests at dinner parties with Australian lamb

packages of australian lamb in a cooler at costco

Kirkland Signature’s Australian lamb can be frozen and used later.

Jennifer Espady



Costco’s Australian leg of lamb is tender and versatile because it can be roasted whole and makes for a great party or holiday dish.

Espady cuts and slices the meat into cube-sized pieces to be frozen for multiple future meals. Once cut up, she easily gets five to eight meals for two out of them. They freeze wonderfully, and when thawed, seasoned, and cooked, still taste fresh.

The lamb goes for $7.99 a pound.

A few pounds of ground beef can go a long way

Packages of ground beef at Costco

Ground beef is a staple in nearly everyone’s kitchen.

Jennifer Espady



Ground beef makes excellent old-fashioned burgers, lasagna, or tacos. It’s also great as a protein addition to a hearty and filling salad bowl.

Espady thinks the meat quality is excellent and crumbles well without getting too mushy. She freezes the beef in the packaging it comes in and thaws it in the bottom of her refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before she uses it. 

Costco sells 4 pounds of ground beef for $19.99.

Read Jennifer Espady’s full Costco shopping list: I’ve shopped at Costco since I was 5 years old. Here’s what I’m still buying over 25 years later.

After losing 40 pounds, Gabriella Sorrento continues to buy Costco items to help keep the weight off

Miracle Noodle ready-made noodles are perfect for quick meals

box of noodles from costco

The Miracle Noodles spaghetti-style noodles are only five calories per serving.

Gabriella Sorrento



Also known as shirataki noodles, Miracle Noodles are made of konjac plant flour.

Sorrento uses them in place of wheat noodles to switch things up and balance out a heavy-carb day. The box comes with six individually wrapped bags of noodles, which are great for a quick meal.

Salsa can accompany a taco dinner

hand holding jar of salsa at costco

Mateo’s salsa is made in Texas.

Gabriella Sorrento



Sorrento noticed that a lot of salsas are packed with sugar and additives — but realized Mateo’s isn’t. She thinks the salsa tastes great and has a restaurant-style consistency.

Read Gabriella Sorrento’s full Costco shopping list: I lost 40 pounds. Here are 12 Costco products that helped me lose the weight and keep it off.

Pro baker Alana Al-Hatlani picks up key ingredients for herself and her chef boyfriend

Al-Hatlani invests in a good supply of quality olive oil

Kirkland extra-virgin olive oil on a counter

Kirkland Signature’s extra-virgin olive oil can be used in dressings and pasta.

Alana Al-Hatlani



Kirkland Signature’s organic extra-virgin olive oil is a cooking staple for Al-Hatlani. She uses it as the base of salad dressings, roasts veggies in it, and drizzles it on pasta.

For oil that’s high quality but not out of her price range, Al-Hatlani thinks Kirkland Signature’s option does the trick. 

A 2-liter bottle sells for $11.99.

Cento’s San Marzano tomatoes from Italy come peeled

Three-pack of Cento's San Marzano tomatoes at Costco

If you really like tomatoes, it makes sense to buy Cento’s San Marzano option.

Alana Al-Hatlani



Three 28-ounce cans of San Marzano tomatoes only last a few days in Al-Hatlani’s house.

Aside from adding canned tomatoes to marinara and ragù, Al-Hatlani uses them in braises, as part of soup bases, and her partner’s favorite egg dish, shakshuka.

You can snag a pack for $8.99.

Read Alana Al-Hatlani’s full Costco shopping list: I’m a professional baker and my boyfriend is a chef. Here are 13 of our favorite things to buy at Costco.

Shopper Joy Loving buys products for herself at Costco

Costco sells a variety of frozen pizzas

Roncadin's frozen bacon-mushroom pizza at Costco

A box of Roncadin’s bacon-mushroom pizza comes with three pies.

Joy Loving



Costco has a few different multipacks of pizza with three or four medium or large pies.

Loving picks up Kirkland Signature’s four-pack for $16.99, or a box of three Roncadin pizzas for $14.99. Most frozen, single pizzas at other grocery stores can range between $5 to $9, so both options are solid deals.

Read Joy Loving’s full Costco shopping list: I’m a single person who only shops at Costco 3 times a year. Here are the 15 items I always buy.

Extreme couponer Rachel Weber picks up simple dinnertime items at Costco

All you have to do is heat up WestEnd Cuisine’s chicken skewers

black and green stacked packages of chicken skewers at costco

Chicken skewers are a versatile protein.

Rachel Weber



Weber throws chicken skewers in the air fryer for a quick lunch, snack, or dinner. They’re great on their own or on top of a salad.

A 28-ounce package costs about $12.

Prewashed, precut vegetables are perfect for easy meal prep

Bags of Brussels sprouts at Costco

You can roast or air fry Brussels sprouts.

Rachel Weber



For weekday lunches and dinners, Weber throws a handful of veggies in her air fryer and calls it a day.

Weber opts for a green that lasts in the fridge for at least a week — like Brussels sprouts or broccoli — and freezes whatever isn’t eaten after seven to 10 days.

Read Rachel Weber’s full Costco shopping list: I’m a 25-year-old extreme couponer who loves to shop at Costco. Here are 13 things I frequently buy.

Janine Clements is a Brit who’s loved shopping at Costco more frequently since she moved to the US

Rao’s premium pasta sauce is perfect for a weeknight family dinner

jars of rao's marinara sauce at costco

Get a deal on Rao’s marinara at Costco.

Janine Clements



Clements’ kids prefer Rao’s pasta sauce. Rao’s marinara is the perfect accompaniment for spaghetti or penne as a quick, easy meal, especially topped with Parmesan shavings.

It’s one of the pricier sauces, so Clements gets it from Costco, where a pack of two 28-ounce jars costs $11.89.

Read Janine Clements’ full Costco shopping list: I’m a Brit who moved to the US and now loves shopping at Costco. Here are 12 things I like to buy.

Culinary judge Meredith Ochs can recommend several items for your next Costco trip

Rana’s beef and short-rib lasagna makes a delicious and comforting dinner

gray package of rana's beef and short rib lasagna at costco

Rana’s lasagna is stuffed with beef and short rib.

Meredith Ochs



Rana’s pastas and sauces are sold in smaller packages at supermarkets, but this lasagna weighs in at 42 ounces.

Though it can be cooked in the microwave, Ochs gives it 20 minutes in a hot oven and is rewarded with bubbling cheese, oozing marinara, and beefy goodness. Ochs recommends pairing the lasagna with a side salad and a glass of Chianti for an easy, substantial dinner.

A package costs $14.99.

Impress guests by serving a fresh, whole fish

White and clear packages of whole fish at costco

Serve a whole fish if you want to impress your guests.

Meredith Ochs



When Ochs wants to give dinner a “wow” factor, she looks for a package of clear-eyed, whole fish. Branzino stuffed with lemon and herbs with slightly charred skin makes for an impressive dish.

Costco sells white fish, also known as European bass, for $8.99 per pound.

You can grill it — use a fish basket if you’re nervous about it falling apart — or cook it in a hot pan. Just make sure the skin is crispy and the fish is cooked all the way through.

Almost every dinnertime staple calls for a little garlic

Purple and green bags of garlic piled at costco

Roast the garlic or add raw pieces to guacamole.

Meredith Ochs



Ochs wraps a few bulbs in foil and roasts them or peels some to make garlic confit in a ramekin with olive oil, herbs, and peppercorns. Either preparation is great in mashed potatoes or on toasted bread.

A 32-ounce bag of Christopher Ranch’s garlic costs $5.99.

Read Meredith Ochs’ full Costco shopping list: I’m a culinary judge who shops at Costco. Here are 12 things I recommend buying.

Veronica Thatcher has worked at Costco for 17 years so she knows which items are her favorites

Seeds of Change’s quinoa and brown-rice mix is an easy, microwavable side dish

The writer holds a box of Seeds of Change quinoa and brown rice

Seeds of Change’s quinoa and brown rice needs to be microwaved for only 90 seconds.

Veronica Thatcher



Seeds of Change’s organic quinoa and brown rice with garlic is a great ingredient for meal prepping and is very versatile.

Even better, the quinoa and rice dish is microwave-ready in 90 seconds.

Costco carries a six-pack for $10.99.

Kirkland Signature’s rotisserie chicken can be eaten fresh or refrigerated and used later

Container of Costco rotisserie chicken against a background with "Costco" on it

Kirkland Signature’s rotisserie chicken is a fan-favorite item for a reason.

Veronica Thatcher



Costco’s rotisserie chicken, a fan-favorite item, is a quick and easy dinner. The seasoned bird has made Thatcher’s life easy when it comes to preparing meals like chicken salad, enchiladas, or even sandwiches.

You can pick up a 3-pound rotisserie chicken for just $4.99.

Read Veronica Thatcher’s full Costco shopping list: I’ve worked at Costco for 17 years. Here are 13 of my favorite things to buy there.



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