Easy Costco Dinners
rudisill/istockphoto

25 Costco Dinners You Can Make in Under 25 Minutes

View Slideshow
Easy Costco Dinners
rudisill/istockphoto

Bulk Up Your Menu

It's an unfortunate fact of life that we often don't have enough time to spend focusing on what we consume for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For anyone struggling to eat healthy in between all their other commitments, grocery stores like warehouse giant Costco can be a major help by providing reliably sourced frozen and refrigerated meal starters. We've compiled a collection of the tastiest and most time-saving dinners you can whip up using groceries found at most Costco stores across the nation.

Note: Prices and availability are subject to change.

For more great shopping guides and grocery tips, sign up for our free newsletters.

Caprese Grilled Cheese
gerenme/istockphoto

Caprese Grilled Cheese

This grown-up grilled cheese variation combines Costco's fresh-baked-onsite Country French Bread ($5.99 for two loaves) with BelGioioso fresh mozzarella ($8.69 for two 1-pound logs), and Kirkland's imported Genovese basil pesto ($9.39 for 22 ounces). It takes barely any time to assemble the sandwiches (tomatoes and greens optional) and crisp the bread in butter or oil, and the recipe leaves you with lots of leftover ingredients to whip up other easy Italian meals for the following evenings.

Savings Tip: If you're not already a Costco member, join today and start saving. You can even order products online. 

Spinach Ravioli
Carpe89/istockphoto

Spinach Ravioli

Here's where you can put that remaining pesto to use. Costco regularly offers a 10-pound bag of Seviroli cheese ravioli for $25.59. For that price, you get 30 to 40 servings of versatile ravioli that can be prepared in less than 10 minutes and can be paired with any sauce from simple olive oil to pesto or Prego Italian Sauce ($7.99 for two 67-ounce jars).

Chicken and Rice Pilaf
kajakiki/istockphoto
Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwich
chas53/istockphoto

Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches

You might save and refrigerate your rotisserie chicken leftovers for quick-and-easy use in any number of other recipes, like these chicken salad sandwiches that can be made more quickly with the cold chicken leftovers, plus a few additional condiments and fresh croissants, available from Costco's bakery center for $5.99 per 12-pack.

Chicken Noodle Soup
rez-art/istockphoto

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Using leftover rotisserie chicken ($5) will let you prepare this sick-day favorite in less than 30 minutes, provided you also have some onion, garlic, celery, carrot, or other soup-ready vegetables on hand. If not, look for them all in cheap bulk quantities from Costco's produce section.

Shrimp and Quinoa
zia_shusha/istockphoto

Shrimp and Quinoa

Two pounds of raw frozen shrimp sell for $17.69 at most Costco locations, so you can make several days' worth of dinners using the tail-on shellfish. One of the simple ways to prepare them is just by sautéing them with lemon juice and seasonings for a couple minutes per side before serving over rice or quinoa (available from Costco for $10 for 4.5 lbs.).

Shrimp Fajitas
TheCrimsonMonkey/istockphoto

Shrimp Fajitas

With a few spice substitutions and vegetable additions, the same shrimp can be used for fajitas that are done in around 10 minutes after cutting everything. To complete the recipe, you can also get from Costco mixed bell peppers ($7.99 for six) and corn tortillas ($3.59 for 60).

Swedish Meatballs
rudisill/istockphoto
BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza
LauriPatterson/istockphoto
Chicken Stir Fry
Mizina/istockphoto
Parmesan and Garlic Baked Chicken Wings
Nadezhda_Nesterova/istockphoto
Salmon and Brown Rice
JamesPearsell/istockphoto

Salmon With Brown Rice

For about $9 a pound, Costco sells frozen salmon in pre-sliced portions easy to defrost and saute with seasonings for a convenient meal starter. Just pair it with a grain like homemade rice or these heat-and-serve pouches of garlicky quinoa and brown rice ($12.69 for just over 3 lbs.).

Asian Chopped Chicken Salad
whitewish/istockphoto

Asian Chopped Chicken Salad

Taylor Farms' Asian Cashew Chopped Salad kit, available at Costcos for less than $5 for nearly 24 ounces, has almost everything needed for a ready-made cold meal, including cabbage, cilantro, nuts, and sesame dressing. All you need to add is some protein, such as pre-grilled chicken strips

Sweet Kale Salad
Fudio/istockphoto

Sweet Kale Salad Kit

This premade salad kit includes all the ingredients you need to make almost two pounds of salad for just $5.99. Try adding pre-grilled chicken breast ($10.79 per 2 lbs.) to make it more of an entrée than a side dish.

Chicken and Apple Sausage
dbvirago/istockphoto

Chicken & Apple Sausage Salad

Costco typically offers a selection of Aidells antibiotic-free smoked sausages such as their Chicken & Apple variety ($14.89 for 3 lbs.), and this recipe from the company's site puts them to use in a simple yet spicy green salad that can be made in just 10 minutes. You'll also want to pick up some spinach, cherry tomatoes, and mustard.

Italian Tortellini
pidjoe/istockphoto

Italian Sausage Tortellini

Alternately, you could also try tossing those Aidells sausages in this one-pot pasta recipe, which can also use up Costco products like their cheese tortellini (under $2.30 per pound), mushrooms, parmesan, spinach, and basil pesto. The dish comes together in about 20 minutes.

Ground Beef Tacos
EasyBuy4u/istockphoto

Tex-Mex Organic Ground Beef Tacos

Costco is one of the best places to go for decently priced organic and/or grass-fed beef (price varies), and one of the easiest yet most satisfying preparations is to turn it into taco meat. By following this recipe, you only need to season and fry the meat a few minutes before assembling your Tex-Mex tacos with additional tomato, lettuce, and cheese. You can find large quantities of corn tortillas ($4.69 for 100) at Costco, or look elsewhere for harder taco shells.

Pasta Carbonara
WEKWEK/istockphoto

Bacon Carbonara Pasta

Americanize the Italian classic carbonara pasta by replacing pancetta with Kirkland bacon, whether fresh or pre-crumbled for $11.49 a package). The only other ingredients needed for this Gwyneth Paltrow-originated recipe are eggs, parmesan, salt, pepper, and noodles, all of which you can stock up on at Costco.

Madras Lentils with Rice
Zbarovskiy96/istockphoto

Madras Lentils With Rice and Veggies

At Costco, these delicious, oft-discounted lentils finished with red beans and tomato sauce come in packs of eight microwavable pouches that are ready in just one minute. Serve them with cheese for a rich dip, over rice for a quick meal serving, or with some additional veggies and chickpeas for a more involved lentil chili.

Chicken Potstickers
bhofack2/istockphoto

Ling Ling Chicken Potstickers

Ling Ling's chicken and vegetable potstickers go for $12.99 per 4.2-pound resealable bag in Costco's freezer section, providing for 12 servings of five potstickers each. They need only to be fried in oil before serving with soy sauce or other seasonings over rice.

Prime Rib-Eye Steak with Mashed Potatoes
cobraphoto/istockphoto

Prime Rib-Eye Steak With Mashed Potatoes

Costco is also home to restaurant-quality USDA prime grade steaks like rib-eye for $18.99 per pound or $10.99 for USDA choice. They can be grilled to perfection in under 10 minutes and pair easily with premade Costco sides like Potato Pearl's creamy mashed potatoes  ($7.49 for 54 ounces).

Yakisoba
piyato/istockphoto

Tuna Yakisoba With Vegetables

For $14.79 in Costco's freezer section, you can get a box of Ajinomoto's Japanese-style fried noodle salad containing six 9-ounce reheatable servings. It can make an easy side for an Asian main dish or be upgraded into an entree of its own with a little canned tuna, preferably one of higher quality like this white albacore available in eight-can packs for $16.99.

Vegetable Barley Soup
svariophoto/istockphoto

Organic Vegetable & Barley Soup

This is one of the rotating soups you'll find on offer around Costco's refrigerated sections, a pack of two 32-ounce containers of a hearty vegetarian soup that boasts only 80 calories per serving and sells for around $5. All the chopping is already done for you, so the soup just needs to be reheated in the microwave or stovetop before serving. Consider serving it with Costco's Country French Bread and one of the salad kits to round out the meal.

Salmon Basil Pesto Butter
MorePixels/istockphoto

Salmon Milano With Basil Pesto Butter

For an even easier salmon preparation you won't have to defrost, try this Kirkland Signature refrigerated fixture (about $10.09 per pound) featuring farm-raised Atlantic salmon topped with dollops of rich seasoned butter that bake with the filets at 400. They take about 25 minutes.

Costco lunch $1.50
Costco lunch $1.50 by Brave Heart (CC BY-NC-ND)

Snack Bar Bonus: Hot Dog and Soda

This one's a cheat, but it deserves mention anyway just for its exceptional value. Costco snack bars have been selling a hot dog and soda combo at the same price — $1.50 — for more than 30 years, and while it may not be anything fancy, it's an undoubtedly a cheap and fast way to fit in dinner on a long shopping day.