15 Best Costco Foods to Buy, According to Dietitians
Buying in bulk at Costco is not just a great way to prepare for the apocalypse, it can save you trips to the grocery store, time, and money. The problem is that shopping at Costco can be overwhelming if you don't go in with a plan and a good list. When you're trying to be more mindful of your eating habits, walking in unprepared sans list might mean walking out with a cart full of unhealthy items. If you're unsure of which Costco foods to buy, we've got you covered.
The next time you head to that mecca of bulk buying for a four-gallon tub of mayonnaise or an 18 pack of Hubba Bubba Chewing Gum, take this list of 15 healthy foods that registered dietitians regularly add to their shopping carts at Costco. And for more tips on Costco foods recommended by dietitians, be sure to also read 6 Heart-Healthy Foods to Buy at Costco Right Now, Dietitians Say.
Kirkland Organic Signature Reduced Fat Chocolate Milk
"I'm always recommending chocolate milk to my clients for post-workout recovery," explains Lexi Moriatry, MS, CD, a registered dietitian, and certified sports dietitian at Expert Nutrition and Wellness. "Chocolate milk has the perfect combo of carbs, protein, and sugar to replenish energy stores and repair the muscles after a hard workout. Costco has a great organic option that's easy to take on the go and less expensive than other options."
Kirkland Plain Greek Yogurt
"Kirkland plain Greek yogurt is a great item to have in your cart at Costco," says Grace Scarborough, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist based in Florida. "We all know how expensive eggs are becoming, and Kirkland plain Greek yogurt provides a great alternative source of cheap, yet nutritious, protein. Just one two-thirds-cup serving provides you with 18 grams of protein, along with health promoting prebiotics."
Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
"Costco's brand of extra virgin olive oil is a staple in my house," explains Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, owner of babyledbliss.com. It has a great flavor that isn't overbearing, and it's always a fantastic price. Olive oil is ideal for cooking at lower temperatures and for making salad dressings because of its healthy fatty acid profile. I highly recommend this one!"
Kirkland Frozen Thin Sliced Boneless Chicken Breast
"I can't say enough about having this big bag of chicken at my disposal to make healthy and delicious weeknight meals like stir-fries, chicken, ziti and broccoli, or chicken piccata," says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and co-author, The Menopause Diet Plan, A Natural Guide to Managing Hormones, Health and Happiness. "Not only is it boneless, it's skinless and well-trimmed, and there is no mess preparing it. Boneless, skinless chicken is packed with high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals and low in saturated fat and cholesterol."
Sabatasso's Four-Cheese Pizza, 3 Pack
"One meal to stock up on from Costco is the frozen four-cheese pizza from Sabatasso's," says Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet. "This pizza is gluten-free, making it lower in inflammation-causing ingredients than traditional frozen pizza. Finding ways to cut down on gluten in your diet is an effective approach to reducing your chronic inflammation. If inflammation is allowed to persist it is shown to lead to or exacerbate chronic illnesses. This pizza allows you to feed yourself or your family quickly and affordably without sacrificing your health."
Kirkland Signature Organic Roasted Seaweed
"I love stocking up on seaweed snacks because they are a convenient snack to have on hand, as well as grabbing it on the go," says says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim and member of our Medical Expert Board. "They have a very long shelf life which makes buying in bulk very worth it. These seaweed snacks are healthy and rich in minerals like calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C ,and B12. They are also great to incorporate into meal."
Kirkland Frozen Wild Caught Atlantic Salmon or Wild Raw Red Argentinian Shrimp
"These products make it easy to include the suggested two seafood meals weekly," says Ward. "The salmon is individually portioned in 4-ounce portions, which is a seafood 'meal,' and there is no cutting involved."
"Both the salmon and the shrimp defrost quickly for easy weeknight meals," adds Ward. "I usually roast the salmon and use the shrimp in pasta dishes. Salmon is particularly rich in omega-3 fats, which are helpful for protecting against heart disease. Both salmon and shrimp are rich in high-quality protein."
Kirkland Organic Hummus
"Single-serving hummus cups are a great and convenient snack to pair with veggies, chips, or crackers," says Young. "They are perfect for portion control. Hummus is rich in protein and dietary fiber which makes this snack leaving you full and satiated."
Kirkland Signature Organic Chicken Stock
"This organic chicken stock is versatile and can be used as a base for soups, stews, and sauces, or as a flavorful substitute for water in a variety of recipes," explains Richards. "This can help to add flavor and nutrition to meals, without adding a lot of extra calories or sodium."
"I like to keep chicken stock on hand for when I'm sick because of its hydrating and nourishing nature," says Richards. "Staying well-hydrated is important for overall health, and can help to support healthy digestion, immune function, and skin health."
"Chicken stock is typically made by simmering chicken bones, vegetables, and herbs in water for several hours," Richards adds. "This slow cooking process releases vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Chicken stock is a good source of protein, collagen, and amino acids, which can support healthy skin, joints, and muscles."
Tattooed Chef Riced Cauliflower Stir-Fry
"This riced cauliflower is unique in that it is an entire meal, rather than plain frozen riced cauliflower," says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, at Balance One Supplements. "It's nutrient rich, gluten free, USDA organic-certified, and vegan, making it an option for most people."
"Cauliflower is a nutrient-dense vegetable that often gets overlooked for its lack of color and flavor," Best continues. "However, it is extremely versatile and is one of the easiest veggies to sneak into a meal to boost its nutritional value. A one-cup serving of this cauliflower is just 60 calories and 3 grams of protein."
"I always have three types of beans on hand from Costco—usually garbanzo, kidney, and black beans," says Ward. "I use beans in salads, soups, stews, chili, and pasta dishes. I prefer canned beans because I am too lazy to cook them from dried and having them in cans helps me get healthy meals on the table fast and add fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients to meals."
Bob's Red Mill Organic Quick Cooking Steel-Cut Oats
"Bob's Red Mill steel cut oats are a great high-fiber, low-sugar breakfast option. They are certified organic, 100% whole grain, and they cook in just seven minutes," explains Steph Magill, MS, RD, a sports nutrition specialist and owner of SoccerMomNutrition.com. You can sweeten the oats by adding your favorite dried fruit."
"In general, Costco offers great value when shopping for grains," says Magill. "I buy Kirkland brand organic quinoa, which is about the same price as a bag one-third the size at a regular store. Since quinoa is a great source of protein, it can really become a staple in your meals from breakfast to dinner."
Banza Rotini Made From Chickpeas
"Banza Pasta is a higher-protein chickpea pasta that is also high in dietary fiber and contains 14 grams of protein per serving," says Mary Wirtz, MS, RDN, a nutritional consultant at Mom Loves Best. "Most other wheat flour pasta contains half the protein per serving. Protein is essential for building lean muscle, helping maintain a healthy weight, and promoting fullness at mealtimes."
Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers
"These are such an awesome, healthy cracker that make a great snack," says Young. "They contain protein and fiber, which makes it the ideal nutrient-dense snack. They are super satisfying, leaving you feeling full for a couple of hours,"she adds. "They're the perfect snack to pair with dips, spreads or even just to eat plain."