Prime Rib-Eye Steak with Mashed Potatoes

25 Costco Dinners You Can Make in Under 25 Minutes

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Prime Rib-Eye Steak with Mashed Potatoes

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 spend focusing on what we (and our family) consumes 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 doing the shopping or getting it delivered via Instacart. Not a Costco member? You can apply here.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

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Caprese Grilled Cheese

Caprese Grilled Cheese

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 ($5.99 for two loaves) with BelGioioso fresh mozzarella ($8.89 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. 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. 

Spinach Ravioli

Spinach Ravioli

Here's where you can put that remaining pesto to use. Costco regularly offers a 10-pound bag of frozen Seviroli cheese ravioli for $27.59. For that price, you buy 30 to 40 servings of versatile ravioli that can be prepared in less than 10 minutes from frozen and can be paired with any sauce from simple olive oil to pesto or Prego Pasta Sauce ($7.99 for three 45-ounce jars). As with any pasta, kids love ravioli, so save time and plan ahead to make extra for lunches. 

Related: Use Your Noodle: 20 Creative Recipes That Highlight Pasta’s Many Shapes

Chicken and Rice Pilaf

Chicken With Veggie Rice Pilaf

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 ($5.79 for 24 ounces) and zucchini ($7.49 for six). If you have leftovers from your rotisserie chicken, take this chance to plan ahead: Keep them for other meals. 

Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwich

Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches

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 for $4.99 per 12-pack. Kids love these for lunch, so plan to add these to the meal prep menu if you're a mom or dad.

Related: 50 Super Easy Back-to-School Lunches for Kids

Chicken Noodle Soup

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Using leftover rotisserie chicken ($5) 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

Shrimp and Quinoa

Two pounds of raw frozen shrimp sell for $17.49 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 (available from Costco for $10.99 for 4.5 lbs.). 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

Shrimp Fajitas

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 ($7.99 for six) and corn tortillas ($2.89 for 60). Plan to buy any extra ingredients you might like in your fajitas (or love) on your next trip to the supermarket, too. 

Swedish Meatballs
BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

Another handy Costco product to have around for a quick, budget-friendly dinner is their four-pack of frozen cheese pizzas ($10.99), 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 (the warehouse store's house brand) goat cheese ($8.09 for 21 ounces). 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

Chicken Stir Fry

Cut down on prep-time for this simple Asian stir fry by using Kirkland's Normandy-style frozen veggie blend ($8.79 for 6 lbs.). The other main ingredients you'll need to get from the store beforehand include boneless chicken breast ($2.99 per pound raw) or pre-grilled chicken strips ($10.99 for 2 lbs. pre-grilled), and extra-long grain rice ($20.19 for 50 lbs.). 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

Parmesan and Garlic Baked Chicken Wings

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 ($3.09 per pound) and Parmesan cheese block ($5.09 per pound). 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

Salmon With Brown Rice

Don't know what to buy and out of ideas for healthy family meals for the week? For about $8.90 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 organic quinoa and brown rice ($12.69 for just over 3 lbs. delivered). 

Asian Chopped Chicken Salad

Asian Chopped Chicken Salad

Taylor Farms' Asian Cashew Chopped Salad kit, available at Costco for $5.49 for nearly 24 ounces, has almost everything needed for a ready-made cold meal, including cabbage, almonds, cilantro, nuts, and sesame dressing. Members rave about the price and the taste. All you need for some hearty meals is to buy and add in some protein, such as pre-grilled chicken strips. For starters, add a piece of fruit, too.

Related: Kids Sick of PB&J? Try These Easy and Creative School Lunch Ideas

Sweet Kale Salad

Sweet Kale Salad Kit

This pre-made 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 ($10.99 per 2 lbs.) to make it more of an entrée than a side dish. This is one of those prepared dishes that is both tasty and high in nutrition, perfect for busy moms who need to eat and let their family eat quickly and get on with the week.  

Chicken and Apple Sausage

Chicken & Apple Sausage Salad

Costco typically offers a selection of Aidells antibiotic-free smoked sausages such as their Chicken & Apple variety ($15.39 for 3 lbs.) 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.

Italian Tortellini

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 ($2.33 per pound), mushrooms, parmesan, spinach, and basil pesto. The dish comes together in about 20 minutes. This is a hearty but easy summer pasta meal recipe that could go into the slow cooker, too. 

Related: Where to Find Good, Cheap Pasta in Every State

Ground Beef Tacos

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 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 ($3.99 for 100) at Costco, or look elsewhere for harder taco shells. Shop for foods to top off your tacos that fit your budget, too. 

Pasta Carbonara

Bacon Carbonara Pasta

Americanize the Italian classic carbonara pasta by replacing pancetta with Kirkland Signature (the warehouse store's house brand) bacon, whether fresh or pre-crumbled for $9.89 a package). 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

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 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

Ling Ling Chicken Potstickers

Ling Ling's chicken and vegetable potstickers go for $11.99 per 4.2-pound resealable bag in Costco's freezer section during your shopping trip, 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.

Related: Best Chinese Restaurant in Every State

Prime Rib-Eye Steak with Mashed Potatoes

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.


Tuna Yakisoba With Vegetables

Here's one to add to the list: For $14.29 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 white albacore available in eight-can packs for $17.69.

Vegetable Barley Soup

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, organic vegetarian soup that boasts only 80 calories per serving and sells for around $7. 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

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 $10.00 per pound) 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

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