I feel a huge sense of satisfaction when my freezer is full. In fact, I feel the same way about a well-stocked freezer as I do about a well-stocked pantry: peace of mind, building blocks for dinners at the ready, and fewer trips to the store.
Yes, some of the things in my freezer are things I’ve made and tucked away for another day (mini banana bread loaves and bolognese sauce and whatnot). But a lot of my freezer real estate is devoted to raw ingredients and some prepared foods, as well. Stocking up on quality ingredients at terrific prices essentially means that when I am meal planning for the week and don’t have time to go to the store, then I can just “grocery shop” in my own freezer!
So in the freezer-stocking spirit, here are some of the best frozen foods you can score at Costco—from frozen meats and seafood to Kirkland frozen pizzas and all the vanilla ice cream you could ever want.
1. Shrimp Galore
There are all kinds of sizes and versions of shrimp available in Costco's freezer aisle. And frozen shrimp is one of the foods I keep in my freezer at all times: They defrost quickly, they're of excellent quality, and with a couple pounds of frozen shrimp at your disposal, you can entertain in style at a moment’s notice.
If you want cooked frozen shrimp, you can find 2 pounds of the stuff (about 50 to 70 count) in the Costco freezer aisle for around $15.
2. Wild Fish
Wild fish is super flavorful and sustainable, as well—two very good reasons to stash some in the freezer. Plus, all of these varieties are individually wrapped for freshness and total convenience; pull out just the amount you need. You can pick up a pack of individually wrapped halibut, cod, and wild Alaskan salmon fillets, as well as 3-pound packs of wild mahi-mahi and wild sockeye salmon.
3. Big Scallops
Two pounds of raw sea scallops for under $30? That is a little gold mine to keep in the freezer, not least because they cook up in a jiffy.
4. Ready-to-Cook Crab Cakes
Or take the immediate-gratification route and pick up a pack of Phillips Crab Cakes—they even sell a 36-count mini version that's perfect for an easy appetizer or quick snack.
If you need a crowd-pleaser that can feed a lot of people on a budget, then you should make a beeline to the lasagna section. Costco's Kirkland-brand lasagna is all-natural, made from 100 percent ground beef chuck (paging Ron Swanson), vine-ripened tomatoes, and whole-milk mozzarella and ricotta cheeses. Oh, and did I mention that for about $15 you get a whopping 6-pound tray? Yep, that's sure to feed everyone.
Then, of course, there are pizzas. Get the classic Kirkland cheese pizza (it comes in a four-pack), Sabatasso’s gluten-free four-cheese pizza (you'll get three), Motor City Pizza Company's Detroit-style pepperoni deep-dish pizza, or, if you’re knee-deep in the cauliflower culture, Milton’s margherita and roasted vegetable cauliflower-crust pizzas.
7. Kosher Meat
Not all Costcos carry these, but in areas with high demand for kosher meat, you might find:
- London broil
- Angus ground beef
- Beef brisket
- Minute steaks
- Angus boneless rib eye
8. Frozen Burgers & Patties
For summer grilling season and beyond, Costco has plenty of between-the-bun options in their freezer aisle for pretty much everyone. Options range from 18-count packs of Kirkland sirloin beef patties and bison burgers to wild-caught Alaskan salmon burgers and Beyond Meat's plant-based burger patties.
9. Bring on the Chicken
If you've got kids (or adults) in the house who'll eat nothing but chicken tenders, stock up at Costco on their 3-pound packs of Rocky breaded chicken breast tenders, which are free of antibiotics and hormones. Chicken wings more your thing? Costco sells 10-pound packages of Kirkland chicken wings so you'll never run out. If you're looking for more of a blank canvas, go for their boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins.
10. Costco's Famous Chicken Bake
If you're one of those people who goes to Costco just to pick up a warm, cheesy chicken bake from the food counter, A) you're not alone, and B) you can save yourself a trip next time. Costco now sells a frozen microwaveable version (six in each package) complete with smoky bacon, that signature Caesar dressing, and, of course, a perfectly crispy-soft crust.
11. Vegetables for Days
In terms of bang for your buck, frozen vegetables can be a great place to save some cash. The vegetables are frozen immediately after harvesting, so you can know that you’re getting peak freshness (true of frozen fruit, as well; see below).
There are a lot of reasons you might want to have a stash of frozen vegetables on hand, and virtually endless ways to use them. Costco seems to have thought of many of these already! House brand Kirkland has all of the following, plus more: 5 pounds of organic mixed vegetables; 5 1/2 pounds of mixed stir-fry vegetables (broccoli, sugar snap peas, carrots, mushrooms, red peppers, water chestnuts, and onions); and a Normandy-style vegetable blend (broccoli, cauliflower, multicolored carrots). Not to mention 4-pound packages of nothing but broccoli.
12. And Fruit!
If you’re a smoothie person or into fruit desserts, then this is just smart fruit management for a multitude of reasons: You always have fruit on hand, you save money, and you waste nothing (because you’re using only what you need).
A few store visits revealed 4 pounds of Happy Village organic cherries, 4 pounds of Wyman’s wild blueberries, 3 pounds of organic dragon fruit cubes, and an organic tropical blend from Sunrise Growers (mango, strawberries, and pineapple). Clovis Farms makes an organic “Super Smoothie” fruit blend (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, kale, spinach, and bananas), which retails for a little over $10, and there's an organic “Supreme Berry Blend” from Townsend.
On the Kirkland front: 3 pounds of organic blueberries; 5 pounds of pineapple chunks; 6 pounds of whole strawberries; and 4 pounds of the three-berry blend.
13. The Most Popular (& Versatile) Ice Cream Flavor of All
C’mon, you know we’re talking about vanilla. Yes, we love all of the trendy flavors, but when it comes time to top your scoop of peach cobbler, pear tarte tatin, or blueberry galette, then you know what you want. Not to mention when you’re ready to à-la-mode that slice of apple pie. Two half-gallon containers of Kirkland super premium vanilla ice cream (made with pure vanilla) is yours for about $12.
Recipe Ideas: The Best Streusel Apple Pie Ever
14. More Frozen Treats
Beyond vanilla ice cream, there are plenty of other sweet possibilities in the Costco freezer aisles. Think: 40-count(!) Nestlé variety packs, including vanilla sandwiches, cookie dipped bars, and Drumstick cones; Kirkland and Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars; and It's It ice cream sandwiches.
15. Breakfast Favorites
Costco's freezer aisle isn't just all dinner and dessert—it's got breakfast covered, too. From 24-count packs of Krusteaz frozen Belgian waffles to spinach and egg white frittatas from Veggies Made Great, not to mention all that frozen fruit, there are tons of mix-and-match options.
16. Frozen Dumplings for All
Anyone who has ever ordered quality dumplings at a restaurant knows that they can get pretty pricey, pretty fast. But that’s because dumplings are the best. At Costco, you can go big—and stay home.
The Bibigo brand has a lot to choose from: organic chicken and vegetable pot stickers come in a 3-pound bag (which was discounted by $3 when I was last there); 36 big steamed dumplings; and mini chicken wontons. Spicy fried seaweed rolls, a unique offering that caught my eye, await me in the freezer tonight (50 ounces for under $10).
17. And finally...ice!
Not all Costcos sell ice, but those that do sell a 20-pound bag for about $2. Hard to beat for filling up those coolers and blending together your favorite cocktails.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).Order now