12 Costco Frozen Foods You Should Be Stocking Your Freezer With

Go big—and stay home. Grocery-store whisperer Katie Workman did some sleuthing in our favorite warehouse.

August 26, 2019
Photo by James Ransom

It’s about 1,000 degrees out as I am writing this, but that wasn’t the only reason I wanted to spend a big chunk of time exploring Costco’s freezer aisles. 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 (not that I really mind food shopping, as must be pretty clear by now).

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!

These are some of the items I score at Costco on repeat, because I’m always glad to have them on hand.

Best Costco Frozen Food

1. Shrimp Galore

Bubba Gump would be impressed. 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 of pounds of frozen shrimp at your disposal, you can entertain in style at a moment’s notice. Two pounds of raw 21/15 shrimp sell for $15.79, two pounds of raw 31/40 shrimp are $13.69, and two pounds of 30/40 Wild Raw Gulf Shrimp are $22.89.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“While I buy my fresh salmon from Costco, I also like the frozen Trident Wild Pacific Pink Salmon Burgers (wild caught) in the freezer section. There are 12 burgers in the 1.36 kg package (3 lbs). There’re great as a burger cooked on the grill or cooked in the oven and served with your choice of sides. For a quick meal in the winter when there’s ‘nothing to eat’ and I remember I have these in the freezer, I put these in the oven to cook and serve with baked beans and a salad. ”
— SandraH

If you want cooked shrimp, prices start as low as $14.99 for two pounds of the 50/70 size, and you can get two pounds of cooked 31/40 shrimp for $15.79.

Recipes: Fresh Linguine With Shrimp & Peas in a Pink Cream Sauce, 15-Minute Hoisin Shrimp, Spicy Lemon Shrimp Over Rice

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 wild Alaskan salmon fillets—three pounds for $32.99. Individually wrapped wild Atlantic cod at $16.49 for two pounds. And wild mahi-mahi, three pounds for $19.99.

Recipes: Citrus-Marinated Salmon With Zesty Sauce, Salmon With Polenta & Warm Tomato Vinaigrette, Cod With Simplest Fresh Herb Sauce

3. Big, FAT Scallops

Two pounds of raw 15/20 sea scallops for $24.99? That is a little goldmine to keep in the freezer, not least because they cook up in a jiffy. And then you can make Scallop & Pancetta Kebabs With Balsamic Glaze whenever the mood strikes.

4. Ready-to-Cook Crab Cakes

Or take the immediate-gratification route and pick up a pack of Phillips Crab Cakes, six for $19.99 (that’s a little over $3 a cake!). Aren’t you fancy.

5. Lasagna

If you need to feed a lot of people on a budget, and want to know you’ve got a crowd-pleasing meal, then you should make a beeline to the lasagna section. Their Kirkland-brand lasagna is all-natural, it’s made from Italian sausage and beef (paging Ron Swanson), and a couple of three-pound lasagnas can be yours for $12.89. I’m already thinking about the football team dinners I have to host this fall ...

6. Pizzas

Of course there are pizzas. Get the classic Kirkland cheese pizza (a four-pack for $8.99), Sabatasso’s gluten-free four-cheese pizza (three for $15.99), or if you’re knee-deep in the cauliflower culture, Milton’s margherita and roasted vegetable cauliflower crust pizzas are also available (two for $12.99).

7. Kosher meat

Not all Costcos might carry this, but if they are located in an area with high demand for kosher meat, you might find:

8. Vegetables for Days

There are a lot of choices, and in terms of bang for the 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 a lot of ways to use them. Costco seems to have thought of many of these already! All of the following are under their house brand, Kirkland: five pounds of organic mixed vegetables for $7.89; five-and-a-half pounds of mixed stir-fry vegetables (broccoli, sugar snap peas, carrots, mushrooms, red peppers, water chestnuts, and onions) for $7.99; and a Normandy-style vegetable blend (broccoli, cauliflower, multicolored carrots), five-and-a-half pounds for $6.99. Not to mention straight-up broccoli, four pounds for $7.79.

Recipes: Spicy Stir Fried Beef & Vegetables, Simple Vegetable Soup, Vegetable Udon Noodle Soup

9. 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, save money, and waste nothing (because you’re using only what you need).

A few store visits revealed four pounds of Happy Village organic cherries for $9.99; four pounds of Wyman’s wild blueberries for $8.99; an organic tropical blend from Sunrise Growers (mango, strawberries, and pineapple), $9.99 for four pounds. Clovis Farms makes an organic “Super Smoothie” fruit blend (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, kale, spinach, and bananas), which retails for $10.79, and an organic “Supreme Berry Blend” from Townsend at $7.70 for three pounds.

On the Kirkland front: three pounds of organic blueberries for $7.99; five pounds of pineapple chunks $8.39; six pounds of whole strawberries $10.99; and four pounds of the three-berry blend for $8.99.

Recipes: Watermelon Strawberry Smoothie, Blintzes With Blueberry Sauce, Simple Berry Fool

10. 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 tart tatin, or nectarine crisp, 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 their super premium vanilla ice cream (made with pure vanilla) is yours for $12.99.

Recipe: The Best Streusel Apple Pie Ever

11. Frozen Dumplings for All

Anyone who has ever ordered dumplings from a takeout place knows that quantity can mean 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 Potstickers are $11.99 for a three-pound bag (which was further discounted by $3 when I was last there), 36 big steamed dumplings sell for $11.99, and their mini chicken wontons, great for a party? $9.99 for three pounds. Spicy fried seaweed rolls, a unique offering that caught my eye, await me in the freezer tonight (50 ounces for $9.59).

12. And!

Not all Costcos sell ice, but those that do sell a 20-pound bag for about $2. Hard to beat for filling up those summer coolers, and blending together your favorite cocktails.

Recipes: Frozen Pomegranate & Citrus Cocktail, Orange White Wine Campari Sangria

What frozen items do you stock up on when you go to Costco? Different stores sell different things, so tell us what we’re missing in the comments below!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • prajwal malhotra
    prajwal malhotra
  • AlwaysLookin
  • abbyarnold
  • Sue Wray
    Sue Wray
  • Lauren Miller
    Lauren Miller
Author of The Mom 100 Cookbook and blog. A New Yorker, cook, and mom, I don't sit still very much.


prajwal M. November 6, 2019
great work. just loved it
AlwaysLookin October 28, 2019
I wonder if Costco doesn't have the assortment of FROZEN meats that you mention when they have a Full-Service Meat Dept?
abbyarnold October 27, 2019
I eat Bibigo chicken cilantro wonton for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack. I boil up some Better Than Bullion (half the cost at Costco) and throw in a few handfuls of wonton along with spinach or bokchoy. Top it with some soy sauce or ponzu and a squeeze of lemon or lime. They also fry up into a nice appetizer for unplanned guests. Running out of frozen wonton is what gets me to Costco!
Sue W. October 27, 2019
Goolsby Country Sausage patties! I buy them at the Costco in Marietta, GA. It's the only breakfast sausage we eat anymore.
Lauren M. October 27, 2019
We love the Costco crispy shrimp and fresh tortillas for a quick shrimp tacos! Stick the shrimp in the oven, cook the tortillas, shred some cabbage, and make a quick a cilantro sour cream sauce, and dinner is ready!
SK October 27, 2019
I can’t imagine buying and eating the frozen veg you suggested, because fresh is 1000x better. Maybe here in CA excellent fresh veg are available year round, but not so elsewhere?
Lauren B. October 28, 2019
I eat a few cups of the mixed veg daily and it is better than the so called fresh which has to get transported. The frozen ones are processed soon after harvest. Of course they aren’t as good as what I grow in the backyard but the growing season in NYS is less than CA.
Ray C. October 27, 2019
The scallops are $33.99 at my local Costco
Eri G. October 28, 2019
OMG! Where do you live??
Heidi October 27, 2019
Cheese- Their New York Extra Sharp pre-sliced cheese that comes in a handy box with 2 generous stacks of sleep CHES for @$8 is the best cheddar I’ve ever had.
Lisa P. October 27, 2019
Brisket with wild mushrooms link not working. Please fix.
beth October 27, 2019

Dumplings: For years, we bought their all-veggie organic dumplings - but they are GONE. Seemingly forever. Why? We always had a minimum of two bags in our freezer. Now every offering contains some kind of meat - pork or chicken. Please Costco, bring hem back!!!
Lauren B. October 28, 2019
Yes! And how about the chocolate frozen yogurt in the food court?!
Kestrel October 27, 2019
I am so impressed with so many aspects of FOOD52, but I am always a little surprised when there are recommendations for buying beef, for example, as if it was a perfectly okay thing to do. Most meat available (and certainly that at Costco, in their lasagna, and, sadly Kosher is no better) is most certainly factory farmed. These animals are often full of antibiotics and suffer cruelly. Then there is the problem of clear cutting or burning the Amazon rain forests to raise cattle, which contributes to climate change. If people want to eat beef, I would recommend buying from a local farmer who ethically and organically raises those cows on pasture. This is certainly old news by now to most people reading this, but I felt it should be said again. We just cannot bury our heads in the sand when it comes to the impact on animals and the planet (and ourselves) when it comes to what we eat.
2tattered October 27, 2019
Frankly speaking, we HAVE gone the local route and have been deeply disappointed with the taste (metallic) and quality (tough as nails) of local grass-fed beef, for which we paid huge money. And then there was the 24 dollar three pound stringy tough chicken...not doing it anymore.
Kestrel October 28, 2019
So sorry you had such a bad experience. Maybe try a different farmer? I have given up beef entirely, but have gotten excellent chickens from my farmer down the road. I hope you will try again.
Sam October 27, 2019
Costco has a dismal selection of ice cream / frozen treats. And their vanilla ice cream is overpriced!
Runi October 24, 2019
Are you recommending these based on personal experience with these products? Because for the most part it reads like advertising. Not what we want from Food52.
Sam October 27, 2019
They have other kinds of articles?
Leslie October 27, 2019
I agree. I would like to know the financial ties of Food52 to costco and trader joe’s. I got my coffee and settled in to read some food articles and felt assaulted by this plug for costco. Is there a disclaimer somewhere I am missing?
2tattered October 27, 2019
Assaulted, really? Get a grip, dear. Lots of us shop at Costco, Trader Joe’s, etc., and this kind of informative article is very helpful for many. Not everyone can afford shopping where the air is thin......
Eri G. October 28, 2019
Honestly, I have to wonder the way you reel off prices like they don't matter. Beef Brisket for **$10.99 a pound**?!? Are you insane?? My god, we pay about that much at our awesome Barbque restaurants! Fresh brisket usually runs 1.99-2.99/lb. Six crab cakes for $20? I seldom purchase them because I can't afford them anymore, but I'm pretty sure that they aren't that expensive. I'd have to look them up in the last few ads. The scallop and shrimp prices look more in line with what we have here on the Texas coast.
I really have to wonder: How much do you people make per hour in - wherever you're from? I'm guessing that you're reporting from New York City or perhaps Chicago. Are prices on groceries truly that far out of alignment with the Midwest and Southeast? Ouch! No wonder this country is divided!
Sam October 29, 2019
The site is primarily designed for people who have run out of sensible ways to spend their money - disposable or otherwise.
2tattered October 29, 2019
Then why are you here?
Sam October 29, 2019
Because once in a great while, (maybe 1 out of 15 articles) interest me, like this one. Even though it is a plug, I'm a Costco member.
Leslie October 29, 2019
I asked Kate Workman, the author, and she said there is no quid pro quo, that she writes about grocery shopping. I just noticed a sentence at the end of the article that says the article is unsponsored. I just like transparency, and am glad to know what food52 is.
Denna P. September 12, 2019
I love the bibigo dumplings! They are korean style mandu's and the seaweed ones sound like kimari. I first heard about then from a youtuber named seonkyoung longest. She has an amazing recipe for mandu hotpot with them.
Nancy September 8, 2019
My Costco favorites in San Diego area: Earthbound Farms power greens (prewashed kale, chard mix), organic eggs, and our super-delicious local item “B*tchin’ Sauce”!! In other markets without a surf culture, this dip is called “This Dip is Nuts”. It’s made from organic almonds, tamari, lemon juice, and oil. It’s great as a dip, great for burgers or sandwiches, and just all around amazing. I have heard others rave about Costco’s cheese section, including a Greek friend who said their feta tastes just like feta from Greece.
Deidra G. September 8, 2019
I have been looking for the frozen crab cakes at my local Costco. The are non existent.
brice.phillips September 12, 2019
Hi Deidra-
Unfortunately, our Phillips Crab Cakes are only stocked in the Northeast and Southeast regions at this time. However, our Crab Cake Miniatures are going to be nationwide at Costco between late October and the end of the year, so please try those! Costco is great at responding to member's requests, so please submit your request to the Suggestion Box in your local club. If you want to try to find us at a grocery store, please call our Customer Service at (888) 234-CRAB and we can help you find them. Thanks - Brice Phillips
tastysweet October 28, 2019
Are they in Fort Myers Costco?
Amy B. September 8, 2019
Can't imagine how you STORE all this, unless you have a large, stand-alone, dedicated freezer. Life would be a dream if I could spend it up in Paradise up above, with a freezer I could love, life would be a dream sweetheart. Sh boom, sh boom. (With apologies to The Crew Cuts, and yes, I'm aging myself)
jude1 October 20, 2019
Bought my freezer at Costco!
SuziQ52 October 27, 2019
The article doesn’t suggest you buy it all dear. Pace yourself
Patricia P. October 27, 2019
Yes, I do have a stand alone freezer. One of the best investments we ever made. That and a generator!
Eri G. October 28, 2019
SandraH September 8, 2019
I’ll have to check out the freezer sections at Costco to see which of these are carried in Canada but certainly have bought the pizza, shrimp and those big scallops for a New Years treat. The prices are a bit higher here! While I buy my fresh salmon from Costco, I also like the frozen Trident Wild Pacific Pink Salmon Burgers (wild caught) in the freezer section. There are 12 burgers in the 1.36 kg package (3 lbs). There’re great as a burger cooked on the grill or cooked in the oven and served with your choice of sides. For a quick meal in the winter when there’s ‘nothing to eat’ and I remember I have these in the freezer, I put these in the oven to cook and serve with baked beans and a salad.
Rod September 8, 2019
The frozen fruit always seems to be one of the better buys versus what the groceries charge and of high caliber. Costco lasagna has been a “carry out” purchase on more than a few occasions!
Gregory D. September 5, 2019
Everybody out there that's fine Frozen Costco shrimp should be very aware that most of the shrimp now come from India and their farm shrimp they're not from from the ocean and India has the dirtiest filthiest contaminated water in the world keep that in mind when you're buying frozen shrimp
LS September 8, 2019
Might want to keep this in mind when buying bags of frozen shrimp, anywhere. Many news stories on the horrible conditions of Southeast Asian slave labor used by the shrimp industry to farm and process. Costco was involved in a lawsuit over this, which was dismissed.
Charlotte September 8, 2019
Gregory, thank you! It’s shocking that a gigantic, American company like Costco doesn’t support the American seafood industry, (which could really use the business from a big company like Costco) American fishermen and American seafood “farmers” have to comply to strict government standards unlike the Indian, Chinese and Indonesian seafood “farms” that have little to no standards, which keeps things good and cheap, just how we Americans like it. Not to mention the huge carbon footprint on this product, not to mention thousands of American jobs that could have been generated. Shame on Costco for not supporting the American seafood industry! I do not support seafood from these filthy “farms” and filthy waters that most of Costco seafood comes from, which are running American fishermen out of business....this is fact.
Liane October 27, 2019
My Costco's freezer section sells both domestic Key West Pink Shrimp and Gulf White shrimp. I've bought them both before and both are decent products, far better than the random Asian shrimp you will buy elsewhere without a clue about how they were raised or stored. That said, I've little doubt that both products have sodium tripolyphosphate or sodium bisulfite added at some point along the storage process. But that is true of most of the domestic shrimp that you will get in the U.S. unless you get it right off the boat or are a high end restaurant paying a premium.

Even when I buy shrimp from Savannah driven into local farm markets in Atlanta, I may be getting these chemicals. Only one company with its own two boats swears they don't use them in the individual quick freeze process. I stock up on these when I can. They are expensive but worth it.

So Costco does support the American shrimp industry in their freezer section (although they also have clearly labeled farmed shrimp too). Where they fail is in the sale of "fresh" shrimp. These are imported and I avoid them. When they have their touring seafood sales, virtually all of the product is imported and none of it seems appealing to me (or all that fresh). If consumers don't support these sales, they will cease.

Unfortunately, people think they can have cheap seafood and it will be good for them. Tilapia, swai, basa are all examples of low health value fish that Americans consume regularly thinking they are eating well.
As a consumer, it's our job to read the labels and ask questions. Accept that if you want high quality, it won't be cheap.
SuziQ52 October 27, 2019
Do you know this for a fact?
Patricia P. October 27, 2019
I’ve followed Costco closely - used to protest when they bought seafood and fish from negative, unhealthy sources.
They have been very responsive. I have been impressed.
Charlotte October 27, 2019
I live in Santa Barbara/ Goleta CA. My local Costco only sells Kirkland frozen shrimp from India... no thanks.