Prime Rib-Eye Steak with Mashed Potatoes
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Costco Dinners You Can Make in Under 25 Minutes

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Prime Rib-Eye Steak with Mashed Potatoes
cobraphoto/istockphoto

Bulk Up Your Menu

Whether you're a busy parent or making meals for one, it's an unfortunate fact of life that we often don't have enough time to focus on what we (and our family) consume for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For anyone struggling to find the time to eat a healthy meal in between all their other commitments and for those of us who are eating more meals at home these days, 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. Your family is sure to love these healthy recipes, so plan ahead by adding some delicious ingredients to your grocery list, whether you're shopping or getting it delivered via Instacart


Prices and availability are subject to change. Not a Costco member? You can apply here.


Related: 26 Prepared Meals at Costco to Feed Your Family

Caprese Grilled Cheese
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Caprese Grilled Cheese


What to buy:

Out of ideas on how to update grilled cheese that your kids will still eat? This grown-up grilled cheese variation combines Costco's fresh-baked-onsite Country French Bread with BelGioioso mozzarella and Kirkland's imported Genovese basil pesto. 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. Roasted garlic can add some zing, too.


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

Chicken and Rice Pilaf
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Chicken With Veggie Rice Pilaf


What to buy:

Costco's $5 whole rotisserie chicken is one of those products that's remained at the same remarkably affordable price for so long it defies common best business logic. For a healthy and easy meal for the whole family to eat the evening after shopping, pair the fresh chicken with this veggie rice pilaf you can make using Costco's own mushrooms and zucchini. If you have leftovers from your rotisserie chicken, take this chance to plan ahead: Keep them for other meals. 


Related: 10 Quick Recipes to Make With Costco's $5 Rotisserie Chicken

Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwich
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Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches


What to buy:

You might plan to save and refrigerate your rotisserie chicken leftovers for quick-and-easy use in any number of other recipes for the family, like these chicken salad sandwiches that can be made more quickly with the cold rotisserie chicken leftovers, plus a few additional condiments and fresh croissants, available from Costco's bakery center. Kids love these for lunch, so plan to add these to the meal prep menu if you're a mom or dad.


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Chicken Noodle Soup
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Easy Chicken Noodle Soup


What to buy:

Using leftover rotisserie chicken will let you prepare this sick-day favorite for your whole family (or just your sick kids) in less than 30 minutes, provided you also have some onion, garlic, celery, carrot, or other soup-ready vegetables on hand. If not, plan ahead a bit and add them to your shopping list and look for them all in cheap bulk quantities from Costco's produce section.


Related: 25 Recipes That Transform Canned Soup Into a Meal

Shrimp and Quinoa
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Shrimp and Quinoa


What to buy:

Two pounds of raw frozen shrimp are available at most Costco locations, so you can make several days' worth of dinners using the tail-on shellfish. One of the best simple ways to prepare them is just by sautéing them with lemon juice and seasonings for a couple of minutes per side before serving over rice or quinoa. Quinoa is a good source of fiber, too, and this quick recipe is sure to become one of your family's favorite meals for dinner. 

Shrimp Fajitas
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Shrimp Fajitas


What to buy:

With a few spice substitutions and vegetable additions, the same shrimp can be used for fajitas, a tasty dish that can be done in around 10 minutes after cutting everything — even while sticking to a budget. To complete the recipe, you can also get from Costco mixed bell peppers and tortillas. Plan to buy any extra ingredients you might like in your fajitas (or love) on your next trip to the supermarket, too. 

Swedish Meatballs
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Swedish Meatballs


What to buy:

No plan for dinner? All it takes to make this delicious meatball recipe is 15 minutes, some flour, butter, sour cream, broth, and Kirkland Signature's Italian-style beef meatballs. At Costco you can also find and buy bulk packages of the sour cream and add egg noodles from your pantry to serve with your family meals of Swedish meatballs.

BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza
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BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza


What to buy: 

Another handy Costco product to have around for a quick, budget-friendly dinner is their four-pack of frozen cheese pizzas, to which you can easily add your own toppings before baking for 10 to 12 minutes at 425 degrees. For a homemade barbecue pizza, adapt this recipe with pulled pork, red onions, and Kirkland Signature goat cheese. Any meatballs leftover from the Swedish meatballs? Try some as a pizza topping ingredient. It's a meal that's a favorite of almost all kids (and it's healthier than many other pre-made choices), so add it to your list for lunch meal prep. A piece of fruit makes it a healthier lunch to pack, too. 

Chicken Stir Fry
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Chicken Stir Fry


What to buy:

Cut down on prep-time for this simple Asian stir fry by using Kirkland's Normandy-style frozen veggie blend. The other main ingredients you'll need to get from the store beforehand include boneless chicken breast or pre-grilled chicken strips, and long grain rice. If you don't want to use a wok for the recipe, chicken can be tossed in the family slow cooker if you want to plan ahead. 

Parmesan and Garlic Baked Chicken Wings
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Parmesan and Garlic Baked Chicken Wings


What to buy: 

Want some real summer fun party food on a budget? Consider this recipe as part of your plan. Whether you're preparing something for game day or just spicing up a weeknight dinner, these baked parmesan chicken wings are sure to impress and are easy to make for a reasonable price using Costco's chicken wings and Parmesan cheese block. Chicken wing snacks or meals? Cook time is just about 25 minutes.


Related: The Best Chicken Wings Spot in Every State

Salmon and Brown Rice
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Salmon With Brown Rice


What to buy:

Don't know what to buy and out of ideas for healthy family meals for the week? 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 organic quinoa and brown rice. 

Chicken and Apple Sausage
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Chicken & Apple Sausage Salad


What to buy:

Costco typically offers a selection of Aidells antibiotic-free smoked sausages such as their Chicken & Apple variety for savory family meals, 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 organic spinach, cherry tomatoes, and mustard from the store, which shouldn't blow your budget.

Ground Beef Tacos
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Tex-Mex Organic Ground Beef Tacos


What to buy: 

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 for dinner. By following this recipe, you only need to season and fry the meat (or toss in the slow cooker) a few minutes before assembling your Tex-Mex tacos with additional tomato, lettuce, and cheese. You can find large quantities of corn tortillas at Costco, or look elsewhere for harder taco shells. Shop for foods to top off your tacos that fit your budget, too. 

Pasta Carbonara
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Bacon Carbonara Pasta


What to buy: 

Americanize the Italian classic carbonara pasta by replacing pancetta with Kirkland Signature bacon, whether fresh or pre-crumbled. The only other ingredients needed for this Gwyneth Paltrow-originated recipe when you go shopping are eggs, parmesan, salt, pepper, and noodles, all foods you can shop for at the right price, no matter what your budget, at Costco. Just add them to the list.

Madras Lentils with Rice
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Madras Lentils With Rice and Veggies


What to buy:

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 added ingredients — items like additional veggies and chickpeas for a more involved lentil chili. This Indian-inspired food is a hearty meal any busy mom will appreciate. 

Chicken Potstickers
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Prime Rib-Eye Steak with Mashed Potatoes
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Prime Rib-Eye Steak With Mashed Potatoes


What to buy:

Costco is also home to restaurant-quality USDA prime grade steaks like rib-eye. They can be grilled to perfection in under 10 minutes and pair easily with premade Costco sides.

Yakisoba
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Tuna Yakisoba With Vegetables


What to buy:

Here's one to add to the list: In Costco's freezer section, you can get a box of Ajinomoto's Japanese-style fried noodle salad containing six 9-ounce reheatable servings of food. It can make an easy side for an Asian main dish or be upgraded into an entree of its own in no time with a little canned tuna, preferably one of higher quality like this wild albacore available in six-can packs.

Vegetable Barley Soup
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Chicken Noodle Soup


What to buy:

This pack of two 32-ounce containers of hearty chicken noodle soup is made with chicken, slow-simmered stock, vegetables and herbs. 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.


Related: When Is It Worth Buying Organic? 

Salmon Basil Pesto Butter
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Salmon Milano With Basil Pesto Butter


What to buy: 

For an even easier salmon preparation you won't have to defrost, try this Kirkland Signature refrigerated fixture featuring farm-raised Atlantic salmon topped with dollops of rich seasoned butter that bake with the filets at 400. Salmon is good-for-you food, and they take about 25 minutes of time in this recipe.

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

Snack Bar Bonus: Hot Dog and Soda


What to buy:

  • Hot dog + soda combo ($1.50 at the snack bar)

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 as meals go it may not be anything fancy, it's an undoubtedly a cheap and fast way to fit in dinner on a long shopping day. And the kids will likely love it.


Related: 18 Lunch-Box Staples That Are Surprisingly Bad for Your Kids