12 Best & Worst Frozen Foods to Buy at Costco, According to Dietitians
If you're crunched for time and need to feed the family something quick and healthy, the convenience of frozen foods is king. And when it comes to variety and value, Costco's frozen food aisle is unmatched. The bulk store carries everything from heat-and-eat chicken bakes to frozen fruit to premade breakfast sandwiches—all in large quantities at low prices.
But with all these affordable options to choose from, separating the nutritious choices from less wholesome fare can be tricky. However, it's particularly important to make smart food choices when shopping at this wholesale retailer because you don't want to end up with a month's supply of bites that aren't doing your body any favors. While it's ok to purchase treats every once in a while (all foods fit in a diet, but moderation is key), you're better off leaving those shopping trips for your local grocer rather than at Costco where you're buying in bulk.
To help you use your freezer space wisely, we curated a guide to the best healthy frozen foods from Costco that registered dietitians approve of. Below you will find 7 best picks from the frozen food aisle and 5 to stay away from. It's worth noting that our freezer picks are just one part of a well-balanced meal, so complementing your frozen goods with other healthy non-frozen options is important. For example, if you choose frozen salmon, then fill up the rest of your plate with one-quarter whole grains and one-half fruits and veggies. It's all about how you fit the healthy choices with other healthy choices to make a balanced snack or meal.
So without further ado, join us as we unveil the ultimate roadmap to mastering Costco's frozen food section. Read on to discover what to purchase and avoid, and for more, don't miss 8 Costco Items That Are a Really Great Deal, According to Customers.
The 7 Best Frozen Foods at Costco
Best: Sambazon Organic Acai Superfruit Smoothie Pack
If you're an acai lover, buying individual packs often can get pricey. That's when it pays off to buy these Sambazon Organic Acai Superfruit Smoothie Packs in bulk at Costco. My teen girls are obsessed with these and make smoothies or smoothie bowls topped with nuts and fresh fruit. As a registered dietitian and mom, I love that they do because acai provides a healthy dose of vitamins A and C, along with antioxidants.
Best: Alaska Seafood Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon, Wild Caught
Did you know Alaska salmon is typically shipped frozen? Frozen salmon, like Alaska Seafood Bristol Bay Wild-Caught Sockeye Salmon, is a fabulous way to get in protein, omega-3 fats, and nutrients like vitamin D and potassium. The American Heart Association recommends getting 2 servings of fatty fish like salmon each week, which is about 6 ounces total. Enjoy grilled, broiled, baked, or pan-seared with a starch like potatoes or brown rice and vegetables.
Best: Milton's Cauliflower Crust Pizza, Roasted Vegetables
"Certified gluten-free and made with real cauliflower, this frozen pizza is packed with nutrients and made with quality ingredients," says Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD registered dietitian, author of Fueling Male Fertility and partner with Milton's Craft Bakers. "On busy nights, it is nice having a better-for-you option that is ready to enjoy in 15 minutes. Topped with zesty tomato sauce, cheese, and gluten-free toppings, this pizza is a staple in my home." Manaker pairs her slice of pizza with a bagged salad for a balanced and quick meal on weeknights instead of delivery.
Best: Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks
"As long as you aren't deep frying these nuggets, Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks is said to taste just like popular fast food establishments, but with far less fat and sodium," exclaims Manaker. "These chicken chunks are made with 100% real chicken breast and they are perfectly crispy when baked." Pair with some steamed broccoli and thinly sliced roasted potatoes.
Best: Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberries
Both Manaker and I agree that Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberries are a must-have healthy choice at Costco. "Having frozen strawberries on hand that already have the top removed is a huge time saver for smoothie prep," Manaker says. Plus, Manaker points out that the shelf life on the frozen variety is longer than fresh, making it a great option for those who don't want to have to run to the grocery store all the time for fruit. And let's not forget that berries are frozen at their peak of ripeness making them just as nutritious as fresh.
Best: Kirkland Signature Stir Fry Vegetable Blend
Kirkland Signature Stir Fry Vegetable Blend makes healthy cooking easy and saves some major prep time in the kitchen. Plus, Manaker says it helps her and her family eat more veggies every day, which is something most Americans are missing out on since 90% of Americans do not meet the daily recommended amount of vegetables.
Best: Veggies Made Great Spinach Egg White Frittatas
Here's another frozen food that Manaker and I both recommend. Veggies Made Great Spinach Egg White Frittatas are a quick protein-packed breakfast option that "provides high-quality protein and veggies to help you start your day on the right foot in minutes," says Manaker. With only 70 calories, you can also enjoy it as a snack paired with a piece of fruit or cheese stick.
The 5 Worst Frozen Foods at Costco
Worst: Kellogg's Eggo Pancakes, Buttermilk
"These days, we can do so much better than white flour pancakes," says Manaker. "With so many other pancake options out there that pack a punch in the fiber and protein department, these Kellogg's Eggo Frozen Pancakes can be saved for a special breakfast instead of an everyday meal."
Worst: Kirkland Signature Italian Sausage and Beef Lasagna
Kirkland Signature Italian Sausage and Beef Lasagna is loaded with 39% of the daily recommended amount of sodium per serving and provides more than half of the recommended intake of saturated fat folks should consume every day and very little fiber. Plus, "this dish is made with ultra-processed meat, a product that when consumed in excess, is linked to an increased risk of certain forms of cancer," explains Manaker.
Worst: Motor City Pizza Co. Detroit-Style Deep Dish Pizza, Ultimate Meat
This Motor City Deep Dish Pizza is certainly tasty, but it is packed with calories, saturated fat, and sodium with very few good-for-you nutrients "making it a less-than-ideal item to toss in your Costco cart if you are trying to support your overall health," explains Manaker.
Worst: Foster Farms Jumbo Chicken Corn Dogs
This processed corn dog may seem healthier because it's made from chicken, but you don't need a Costco-sized package sitting in your freezer. One serving provides 20% of the daily recommended amount of saturated fat and 30% of the recommended daily amount of sodium without any good-for-you nutrients. If you want a corn dog once in a while, go for it! But don't buy a huge package as these just aren't a healthy treat or meal.
Worst: Raybern's Deli Style Sandwich, Pastrami & Cheese
This "old school" deli sandwich just isn't a healthy choice. It's even worse when you buy it in bulk and have 8 sandwiches hanging out in your freezer ready to be eaten. Although the calories are reasonable for a meal, between the pastrami, cheese, and other ingredients you'll get 45% of the daily recommended amount of artery-clogging saturated fat. Also, the sodium is extremely high providing 45% of the recommended daily maximum.