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15 Best Prepared-Food Deals at Costco

Geoffrey Swaine / Shutterstock.com
Geoffrey Swaine / Shutterstock.com

With the cost of living, and groceries specifically, continuously rising, the question, “What’s for dinner?” can be stressful. Dining out costs even more, with the price of restaurant food up 5.1% year-over-year in January 2024, compared to the 1.2% rise in the cost of food at home.

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For many, prepared meals fill that happy medium between savings and convenience. Sure, picking up prepared food may cost more than cooking everything from scratch, but you’ll also save time, stress and a mess in the kitchen.

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You can find some great ready-to-go meals at Costco. Let’s see what the experts recommend.

Tim Boyle / Getty Images
Tim Boyle / Getty Images

Rotisserie Chicken

“Hands down this is one of the best prepared food deals to get at Costco, as they’re about $5 and make an easy, great main dish for dinner,” said Julie Ramhold, Consumer Analyst with DealNews. “All you have to do is carve it up and add some sides, which you can readily pick up from Costco while you’re there, and dinner is done. Even better, if you’re only feeding one or two people, you can eat the juicier pieces like the thighs and legs, and use the chicken breasts for something else, like chicken salad.”

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Bartosz Luczak / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Bartosz Luczak / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Caesar Salad with Dressing, Croutons and Lemons

If you’re looking for the perfect pairing for that leftover rotisserie chicken, consider Costco’s pre-made Caesar Salad with pre-packaged dressing and croutons. At just $4.49 per pound, you’ll get roughly 2 lbs. of salad in each clamshell package, which is enough for at least four lunches or dinners when topped with your favorite protein like shredded chicken or pre-cooked shrimp, also available in Costco’s prepared foods section.

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LauriPatterson / Getty Images/iStockphoto
LauriPatterson / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ravioli Lasagna

You may not think of lasagna as a weeknight meal, simply because there’s so much preparation involved. Unless you make a tray and freeze it in portions, you’ll probably save lasagna for a special occasion. But Costco makes it easy to serve lasagna any day of the week.

“Lasagna is delicious but super time-consuming to make,” Ramhold said. “This Costco rendition takes all the hard work out; the lasagna is made up of huge raviolis and topped with a bolognese sauce and shredded cheese. You’ll probably spend around $20 for a pan, but you’ll get around 4 pounds of food.”

That’s enough to feed a hungry crowd, with leftovers for days.

DebbiSmirnoff / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DebbiSmirnoff / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Kirkland Signature Mac and Cheese

Who doesn’t love gooey, homestyle mac and cheese? Costco does it right, and for less than you’d pay at a restaurant. Best of all, you don’t have to spend hours cooking and draining pasta and shredding cheese.

“It won’t be as cheap as the boxed stuff, and it’ll take more time to cook since you have to throw it in the oven,” Ramhold said, pointing out a few of the drawbacks. “But you’ll be rewarded with a pan full of cheesy goodness that works perfectly as a side dish or even a main, especially if you throw some meat into it (a friend swears by the Johnsonville Beddar with Cheddar smoked sausage with this mac and cheese for a full meal).”

With more than 3 lbs. in each container for less than $10, you can feed six to 10 people or more as main course or a stick-to-your-ribs side dish.

Anna Hoychuk / Shutterstock.com
Anna Hoychuk / Shutterstock.com

St. Louis Pork Spareribs

Speaking of ribs, lurking right next to Costco’s famed rotisserie chicken, we found pre-cooked, seasoned ribs, served warm, for just $7.99 per pound, with more than 2 lbs. per package.

The perfect meal for a night when even heating food in the microwave or oven seems like too much effort, serve these with a side of cole slaw or potato salad and some fresh bread from the Costco bakery.

You can also find marinated ribs in Costco’s meat section for roughly $3.19 per pound (prices may vary) in a 6 to 7 lb. package, but you’ll have to cook them.

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©iStock.com
©iStock.com

Chicken Alfredo

Costco’s pre-made chicken alfredo provides another hearty dinner idea to feed a crowd. At $4.49 per pound, you’ll get 4 lbs. of chicken, cheese, and cream for less than $20. Boil up some egg noodles or Fettuccini to serve with the chicken.

Keep in mind, this dish requires roughly an hour in the oven before it’s cooked through, but with virtually no prep time, that’s time you can spend doing something else — like relaxing or shopping the month’s best deals at Costco.com.

©GOBankingRates
©GOBankingRates

Kirkland Signature Stuffed Bell Peppers

“For those looking for an option on the healthier side, Costco has Kirkland Signature Stuffed Bell Peppers made with ground beef and rice that will last a meal or two,” said Kristin McGrath, a former shopping expert with BlackFriday.com.

Each package has between three and four pounds of stuffed peppers, all for just $5 per pound. With the price of ground beef exceeding $5 per pound right now, not to mention the high cost of fresh produce like bell peppers, we bet you couldn’t make stuffed peppers from scratch for this price.

EzumeImages / Getty Images/iStockphoto
EzumeImages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Kirkland Signature Yakisoba Stir Fry with Seasoned Chicken

“Another great family pick is the Kirkland Signature Yakisoba Stir Fry at Costco,” McGrath said. “This prepared meal comes with all of the ingredients packaged together. Shoppers will just have to throw the ingredients in a pan to cook and they’ll have one large stir fry for the family.”

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4kodiak / Getty Images/iStockphoto
4kodiak / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Meatloaf with Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes

“You can’t go wrong with classic meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and once again you’re looking at about $18 or so for 4 pounds of food that just needs to be heated,” Ramhold said. “The meatloaf comes with a ketchup-based sauce, though, so if you prefer brown gravy for yours you may want to skip it.”

Still, it doesn’t get easier than this “heat-and-eat” meal; the mashed potatoes even come with little pats of butter on top that melt in as the dinner cooks.

Foxys_forest_manufacture / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Foxys_forest_manufacture / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Chicken Street Tacos

“The kit comes with everything you need, including seasoned and cooked chicken, 12 corn tortillas, salsa, cilantro lime crema, lime slices, shredded cheese, and lettuce,” Ramhold said.

“All you have to do is warm it up and feast,” she added, pointing out that this is another meal that to roughly $18 for 3 pounds of food. “It might not be the best deal compared to some of the other prepared foods, but it’s still hard to beat Taco Tuesday made easy.”

©Gazali's Restaurant
©Gazali's Restaurant

Gyro Kit

If you’re in the mood for Greek food, instead, Costco makes it easy with a Gyro Kit for six. The pre-packaged kit includes marinated gyro meat made from beef, lamb and seasonings, plus vegetables, pitas, and tzatziki sauce, all for $6.49 per pound. Expect to spend roughly $20 for at least 3 lbs. of food to feed your family.

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farbled / Shutterstock.com
farbled / Shutterstock.com

Chicken Pot Pie

“The chicken pot pies are ridiculously huge — about five and half pounds or so — and will set you back around $20 depending on where you shop,” Ramhold said. “They’re big enough to feed a family or a couple of people for several meals, and the taste is perfect; it’s the best chicken pot pie I’ve had. I refuse to make my own when I can buy this from Costco.”

Aimee M Lee / Shutterstock.com
Aimee M Lee / Shutterstock.com

Kirkland Signature Chicken Noodle Soup

“Another great option at Costco is the Kirkland Signature Chicken Noodle Soup,” McGrath said. Made fresh with Costco’s rotisserie chicken, celery, onion, and carrots, you can’t beat this deal for just $3.49 per pound.

Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock.com
Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock.com

Beef Chili

Costco’s prepared beef chili should be another go-to for a weeknight dinner or a weekend get-together with friends. Snag it for $3.99 per pound. Made with ground beef, kidney and pinto beans, with shredded mild cheddar on top that will melt perfectly in the oven or microwave, your guests won’t believe it wasn’t simmering in your crockpot for hours.

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MonicaNinker / Getty Images
MonicaNinker / Getty Images

Artisan Rolls

Pair the chicken soup or beef chili – or really, any meal on this list – with melt-in-your-mouth artisan rolls for a satisfying meal. You’ll pay $5.99 for a 12-count package, which means you’ll have plenty left over for chicken sandwiches all week.

Nicole Spector contributed to a previous version of this article.

Photo Disclaimer: Please note photos are for representational purposes only and may not be of the exact item listed.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 15 Best Prepared-Food Deals at Costco