Grocery

17 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.

October  4, 2020
Photo by James Ransom

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.


Best Costco Frozen Foods

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.

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
Comment

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.

Recipe Ideas: Fresh Linguine With Shrimp & Peas in a Pink Cream Sauce, 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 halibut, cod, and wild Alaskan salmon fillets, as well as 3-pound packs of wild mahi-mahi and wild sockeye salmon.

Recipe Ideas: Salmon With Polenta & Warm Tomato Vinaigrette, Cod With Simplest Fresh Herb Sauce

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.

5. Lasagna

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.

6. Pizzas

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.

Photo by Costco

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.

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

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.

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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Author of The Mom 100 Cookbook and themom100.com blog. A New Yorker, cook, and mom, I don't sit still very much.

57 Comments

Elizabeth K. October 11, 2020
Last time I checked, their shrimp is foreign, Thailand or Vietnam. Also the same with Phillips crab? Not for me!
 
cmtyree October 9, 2020
I have found Lobster knuckles and claws at Costco for $14.99 a bag in the last few weeks. Easy luxury in the air fryer. I have 4 bags ready for the holidays!
 
Kestrel October 8, 2020
Articles like this make me feel like there are two different worlds we live in.....one where it is seen as perfectly okay to buy all kinds of fish and factory farmed meat, and one where we know the reality behind those foods. Read THE OUTLAW OCEAN by Ian Urbina and you might decide against ever eating fish again. I wonder where the shrimp at Costco comes from. And surely everyone knows the horrors of factory farmed meat by now.
 
Mm October 8, 2020
I think most of the foods from Costco are not health promoting for people or the planet. Sorry to be a downer but learning about health and our food is key especially now.
 
Tbe October 11, 2020
A must read!
 
tastysweet October 8, 2020
I am not sure, but the frozen shrimp at Costco might be from Asia. Not sure. I only buy frozen local Key West shrimp. Haven't tried the frozen Cod. I will try that one.
 
BoulderGalinTokyo October 8, 2020
Certainly different items I would love to have access to! The only frozen vegetable we buy is the frozen sliced avocado. At first, I thought it wouldn't be good defrosted, then put on a salad -not the best- but there are a lot of other uses for smashed or heated avocado. Also, I don't have to peel or throw out a damaged, bad one.
 
Gordon October 7, 2020
Costco has some very good Kirkland branded product. But much of it comes up deficient in the flavor department, I guess people overlook taste when price is important. I prefer Sams Club and BJ's as they carry BRAND name items in addition to their own branded itemds. But for a single person, or even a couple, it does not pay to shop there anymore for many items. They spoil and then I throw out food. Costco is perfect for the overcomsumptive person. Even if you shop with friends to spead out the amount of goods you purchase, it is just to much.
 
bjm September 21, 2020
We regularly purchase their Scallops. During one of their Seafood Specials, I asked the attendant about whether the scallops were dry or wet packed. She did not know but went to someone in the meat/seafood management area and was able to get the answer for me. They are dry packed and not injected with that vile solution found in so many frozen scallop brands. They are wonderful!!!
 
prajwal M. November 6, 2019
great work. just loved it
costco
 
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?
 
les C. October 9, 2020
Not a "full service" meat dept. they will not special cut anything or grind meat for making chili.Want a thick cut steak? They wont do it.
 
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.
 
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?
 
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.
 
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.