6 Frozen Costco Foods You Should Always Buy And 6 You Should Leave At The Store

Buying in bulk is a great way to make the most of your food budget and make prep work easier and more efficient. When it first opened in 1976 under the name Price Club, warehouse retailer Costco brought bulk goods to businesses looking to save money. As it expanded to include household and individual memberships, Costco found that one of the best ways to keep costs down for customers was to focus on a limited offering of high-quality foods. To do this, it sourced only the best options, including a wide variety of freezer items. Frozen food is fantastic for ready-to-go dishes, snacks, and ingredients, reducing the need for impulsive shopping trips that can add to your budget and menu. Frozen foods from retailers like Costco combine cost savings, taste, and convenience. 


Many of the best foods on Costco's frozen food shelves are Kirkland Signature products. And many of our top choices come from this brand. Costco also stocks many specialty items that cater to specific dietary needs or preferences. But not all Costco frozen foods are on our list of must-buy foods. Some are not the best for your budget, while others lack in taste or nutritional value. We've compiled a list of the best frozen foods you should make sure are in your Costco cart and those that are better left behind in the frozen food section.

Buy: Kirkland Signature chicken breast chunks

Frozen chicken is a time and budget saver in many households and the Kirkland Signature chicken breast chunks make meal planning even easier. It comes cooked and lightly breaded in a 4-pound bag for around $16.00. You can reheat in the air fryer, microwave, or oven. The individual pieces are pretty uniform so cooking is very predictable and consistent. You can pop a tray in the oven or air fryer and not worry that some pieces will still be frozen.


These versatile chicken pieces work in everything from casseroles to salads and are just as tasty on its own. It's made from white meat antibiotic-free chicken and have a light breading on the outside, a must-buy for anyone who enjoys chicken. The chicken used is also free of steroids or added hormones. Keep in mind that these are two-bite chicken breast chunks rather than chicken tenders or chicken fingers, which are shaped differently. For less than $20, it stores well in the freezer but unfortunately, it does not have a resealable top. You'll need to use a clip or band to keep the bag closed to prevent freezer burn.

Avoid: Smucker's Uncrustables

Smucker's Uncrustables is a good frozen food option for people in a hurry. You can eat it with one hand thawed or still frozen. But it's not the most economical choice. The 18-count bulk pack at Costco doesn't provide much difference in savings over purchasing in smaller quantities at a local grocery store, such as Safeway. It's just under $1.00 per sandwich and can be found for a similar price and with even more flavor options at other grocery chains. When you consider the added cost of the Costco membership, items like Uncrustables become less appealing for your wallet when purchased in bulk. The larger pack is convenient if you're already at Costco and looking specifically for Uncrustables. But if you're on a budget, this may not be the best choice.


If you like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and want something convenient, there are cheaper alternatives available at Costco. Use Kirkland Signature organic peanut butter, organic strawberry spread, and bread from the Costco deli to make sandwiches for a fraction of the cost. Put it in individual serving packages for on-the-go sandwiches. You can even use a crimping tool to make your own Uncrustable-style handheld sandwiches. It freezes well and you can stock up your snack stash without spending a lot of money. With tasty ingredients like customizable bread options and organic jelly, it also tastes better and provide larger portions.

Buy: Kirkland Signature Italian sausage and beef lasagna

If you want to feed delicious comfort food to a crowd, Kirkland Signature Italian Sausage and Beef Lasagna is the perfect choice. While we heartily recommend one these 14 tasty homemade lasagna recipes, it still requires a lot of work, especially if you are cooking for a lot of people. Kirkland Signature's lasagna tastes homemade but provides the convenience of frozen ready-to-cook entrees. It comes in two family-size servings for just under $20.00, each tray with a 3-pound lasagna ready to cook. Each tray feeds around eight people with generous helpings.


There are two frozen lasagnas in the Kirkland Signature lineup, a beef option and this Italian sausage and beef lasagna. The Italian sausage and beef lasagna has a deeper flavor and appeals to customers who like a meatier lasagna. It has a bit more spice and a richer flavor compared to the beef lasagna. Both are comparable in price and portions, although you can find it on sale occasionally. If you have the space to stock up, these are perfect for unexpected gatherings. It can be cooked from its frozen state and tastes just like the perfect homemade lasagna.

Avoid: Kirkland Signature chicken bakes

These handheld chicken sandwiches are convenient but it just does not have the flavor of other Kirkland Signature dinners. There is a lot of breading and not as much filling as we'd like. Inside each sandwich is chicken, three kinds of cheese, bacon, green onions, and Caesar dressing. The flavors work well together but it lacks an extra oomph or zest that would make it mouthwatering.


A single package includes six sandwiches for around $2.60 each. This won't break most budgets but also isn't a great value if you want extras like chips or fruit to round out a meal. When you consider that each sandwich is over 500 calories, these sandwiches quickly become a lackluster way to have lunch that may not be a part of a well-rounded diet or for your wallet. Costco loves to let customers sample its products, including these Kirkland Signature sandwiches. So if you see it on a sample tray, give it a try. Otherwise, look for one of the other tasty options in the freezer section.

Buy: Sabatasso's gluten-free four cheese pizza

If you're gluten-free, finding a decent frozen pizza that is affordable and tasty can be difficult. This version from Sabatasso's hits the mark for taste and budget. It costs under $7.00 per pizza, which is a steal compared to many gluten-free frozen pizzas sold at Safeway, for example. The four-cheese pizza has plenty of flavor and a crust that crisps up without falling apart, a challenge for most gluten-free options. It's certified gluten-free so those with celiac disease or sensitivities can be sure that it won't cause issues. If you like toppings, throw on pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, or other favorites before baking. It won't impact the baking time and let you personalize your frozen pizza.


Each box includes three large pizzas that are individually wrapped in plastic. You can cook one in the oven and save the others for another day. It's ready in less than 15 minutes in a conventional oven. The good news is that it's big enough to feed a family or have leftovers for lunch the next day. The bad news is that the pizzas are too big to fit in anything but a full-size oven. Be sure to clear out some space in your freezer beforehand to store these pizzas.

Avoid: Amylu chicken meatballs

Amylu's meatballs taste good and are made with quality ingredients, including a variety of seasonings and spices. But at around $17.00 per package and only available in a 46-ounce size, it's pricey. It's hard to justify the higher cost when there are equally tasty options available just a few feet away in the same section. The chicken meatballs come in cranberry and jalapeño as well as basil and parmesan, which bring in traditional Italian flavors. Teriyaki pineapple chicken meatballs, chicken burgers, chicken breakfast sausage, and andouille sausage are also available from Amylu. But there are better options for meatballs.


Kirkland Signature meatballs are roughly the same price as a 46-ounce package of Amylu chicken meatballs but over twice the size. It has the same traditional Italian flavors as the Amylu basil and parmesan variety thanks to its seasoning blend. We love the Kirkland Signature meatballs with everything from pasta to meatball subs. You can take out as many as you need and keep the rest in the freezer thanks to the resealable bag.

Buy: Kirkland Signature farm-raised raw shrimp

When it comes to frozen shrimp, there are a lot of options at Costco. The best type for you depends on your preparation and preference but anything from Kirkland Signature will stand out. Prices range from $15.00 to $25.00 depending on size and preparation. The farm-raised raw shrimp that is tail-off, peeled, and deveined is the best for most uses and great to keep in the freezer for any recipe that calls for shrimp. It comes in a 2-pound resealable bag and is ready to cook right out of the bag. You can take out what you need and save the rest for another recipe. It also thaws quickly when stored in a refrigerated bag, although you should keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook some delicious shrimp stir fry.


Other options worth noting include the slightly larger farm-raised tail-on, peeled, deveined raw shrimp. Because it's tail-on, it's good for shrimp cocktails and similar dishes. There is also a smaller 1.5-pound bag of similar jumbo shrimp. Kirkland Signature has cooked versions of its frozen shrimp as well. If you want frozen shrimp, anything from Kirkland Signature is by far the best choice for your budget and your taste buds.

Avoid: Crazy Cuizine Mandarin orange chicken

Crazy Cuizine's Mandarin Orange Chicken is a good alternative to takeout Chinese food that can save money. At around $1.50 per serving, this tasty orange chicken entree works well with most budgets. But don't expect to save on calories. Just one serving, a single cup, has 14 grams of sugar. The reason we tend to avoid this purchase is because, like other Costco products, it comes in a large quantity. Unless you're feeding a large family, there's a good chance you'll have leftovers. Eating a high-sugar dinner or lunch multiple times per week isn't generally recommended for a well-rounded diet. This orange chicken is an option that is best viewed as an occasional item rather than a dinner staple.


The package indicates that there are 13 servings in the box. One box can feed about six hungry people, assuming that each person has more than one serving. You can stretch it with some rice and veggies alongside, but you might be tempted to eat more than you expect. Given the high sugar content, this is a dish to avoid if you're looking for a healthier alternative to takeout.

Buy: Veggies Made Great superfood veggie cakes

Frozen breakfast foods tend to be high in sugar so when you find a healthy alternative, it's worth trying. These microwavable bites are perfect for health-conscious diners who want something that tastes good, includes plenty of nutrients, and cooks quickly. Each serving is 80 calories and makes a great breakfast or lunch bite. Plus, it's gluten-free. So whether you have food sensitivities or just want something filling to start your day, this is a must-buy breakfast item.


The box includes six individually wrapped mini frittatas. It comes already cooked and you can reheat it in the oven, toaster oven, or microwave. The oven is the best bet if you want a crisp exterior and moist interior. But the microwave does the job in under a minute, making it the winner for those on-the-go. These mini frittatas are the perfect breakfast because it cooks quickly and provide plenty of nutrients in just a few bites. At a cost of around $1.00 per frittata, it's considerably less than what you'd pay for something similar at a coffee shop or convenience store. You can also find a larger pack of egg white and spinach frittata bites from the same brand. It's good but not as filling as the superfood veggie cake variety.


Avoid: Kirkland Signature organic blueberries

If you love frozen blueberries, this is a good option. It's a budget-friendly bag that reseals like those of Costco's other frozen fruits. The blueberries are organic and plump, but when compared with other Kirkland Signature frozen fruits, these blueberries don't stand out. It tends to be mushy and flavorless on its own and really only work in smoothies when paired with other more flavorful ingredients. This could be just the nature of frozen blueberries when compared to strawberries, raspberries, or tart cherries.


The frozen blueberries are similar in price to the Kirkland Signature frozen strawberries and the frozen three berry blend, two similar options that fly off the Costco shelves. But the blueberries come in a 3-pound bag for just over $9.00 while the other two come in 4-pound bags for a few dollars more. Unless you use frozen blueberries a lot, there's a good chance that these will get freezer burn before you go through the entire bag. As far as frozen blueberries go, it's decent. But we'd rather skip it in favor of other frozen fruit.

Buy: Kirkland Signature three berry blend

The Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend, on the other hand, is a must-buy for frozen fruit lovers. Throw in a handful for a delicious and refreshing smoothie or let it thaw for a sweet and healthy dessert. The 4-pound bag, which costs around $12.00, is also resealable to keep the berries fresh and free from freezer burn. Four pounds is a lot of frozen berries so make room in your freezer before making this purchase. But the bag allows it to fit in most spaces, which only gets easier as you go through the bag.


What sets the three berry blend apart from other frozen fruit is that it includes raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Not only are these some of the most expensive options to buy fresh, but it also blends well together. If thawing a portion, you can expect it to be ready at similar times due to its uniform size. If you want to fish out particular berries to use in a recipe, this blend makes it easy to do without having to keep multiple large bags on hand. Overall, this berry blend gets top marks for taste, value, and ease of use.

Avoid: Kirkland Signature organic normandy vegetables

Another frozen food that misses the mark is the Organic Normandy Vegetables Blend from Kirkland Signature. It doesn't have the same flavor or crisp texture that other frozen veggies do, even from the same brand. In general, frozen vegetables aren't that different from its fresh counterparts. The Normandy blend includes broccoli, cauliflower, and both orange and yellow carrots. But this particular blend doesn't maintain the same flavor or texture as freshly steamed or roasted veggies. 


It's just under $15.00 for a 5.5-pound bag. This means a lot of vegetables in your freezer. Unless you really love this blend, you probably won't get through the entire bag before some get freezer burn occurs. Unlike other frozen vegetables that can be used as ingredients in a variety of pureed soups, the Normandy blend has a more limited utility. You can separate out the individual vegetables but it will have a different taste than if you kept it on its own from the start.

How we selected these Costco frozen foods

Taste, value, and nutritional profile were three big factors used to decide which Costco frozen foods to buy and which to skip. We tested the top sellers in our own kitchens, including some favorites that have been on rotation for years. We researched current pricing and availability in the store as well as relied on our 10+ years as Costco customers and the frozen foods that we regularly keep stocked. Kirkland Signature frozen foods stood out from other offerings in many cases for their budget-friendly pricing. As Costco's store brand, it's not surprising that many of these would be the most economical as well. And it often comes with superior taste and texture. Best of all, Kirkland Signature frozen foods includes organic and antibiotic-free options, as well as gluten-free foods.


Even when taste and cost were great, some foods didn't routinely make it into our carts due to their ingredients or nutritional value. Foods high in sugar were best left as occasional purchases and not something we wanted to have on hand in bulk. Frozen foods that tasted good but came with a lot of sugar or calories were ones we decided to avoid in large quantities as part of a balanced diet. Other frozen food options were good but not as good as alternatives on the Costco shelves.