High-protein foods—like meats, eggs, fish, and dairy products—tend to be some of the most expensive items in our shopping carts. If you're trying to eat well but want to avoid sticker shock at the grocery store, consider hitting up Costco, where you'll find the same high-quality foods at a bargain price compared to most grocery chains. If you're already a member of the warehouse club then you know it's all about buying in bulk, which means you can stock up on high-protein snacks and meal ingredients that will keep you full and energized throughout the day.
When it comes to protein, a good rule of thumb is to strive to get about 1 gram of protein per every pound of lean body mass. For example, if you weigh 130 pounds and your body fat is 25 percent, that means you have about 100 pounds of lean body mass. Your optimal protein intake would be 100 grams of protein per day. It's also best to spread out protein evenly throughout the day, ideally with 20 to 30 grams at each main meal. Eating more than 40 grams of protein in one sitting is not beneficial and those calories may be stored as body fat.
Costco has great, affordable protein finds in virtually every section of the grocery department. You can find plenty of the usual suspects like dairy, eggs, and meats, but a more thorough exploration of the aisles will reveal many other great high-protein foods. Here are 20 of the best dietitian-recommended protein finds to score at Costco.
Dairy and Eggs
Kirkland Signature Organic Hard-Boiled Eggs
Kirkland Signature is Cotsco's house brand, and this convenience item is a bulk package of 16 two-pack servings of hard-boiled eggs. I love to take them to work, or to the gym in the morning to ensure that I have high-quality protein post-workout. Eggs are the gold standard for high-quality protein as they provide all nine essential amino acids. Eggs provide more than 13 essential nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin D, carotenoids, zinc, and selenium.
Kirkland Signature Egg Whites
This 100% liquid egg white product contains one ingredient: egg whites. A serving has just 25 calories and is fat-free, carb-free, and low in sodium. It provides 5 grams of high-quality egg protein.
Fairlife Chocolate Protein Shake
This chocolate protein shake packs in 30 grams of protein from milk. It's also low in total sugar and has just 2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) of natural sugars and no added sugar. The protein in Fairlife shakes comes from filtered cow's milk. It's also a great source of several other nutrients including vitamin D, calcium, vitamin A, and zinc.
Fage Total 0% Milkfat Yogurt
This is 48 oz. container of strained Greek yogurt is a great option to use as an ingredient in recipes and to enjoy yogurt as part of your meals and snacks. A cup provides 23 grams of high-quality protein, which is similar to the protein you'd get from eating 3 ounces of chicken. It's also low in fat and carbs and has no added sugar.
Kirkland Signature Organic Plain Nonfat Yogurt
Kirkland's 48-oz. Organic Plain Nonfat Yogurt is similar to Fage's—but it's even more affordable since it's Costco's store brand. Other notable attributes include that it is Certified Organic, is a good source of calcium, and an excellent source of protein.
Meat, Poultry and Seafood
Kirkland Signature Farm Raised Atlantic Salmon (Boneless + Skinless)
Costco has so many options for more economical, frozen fish and seafood, including salmon, cod, sea bass, shrimp, and tilapia. This Atlantic Salmon is a great option to get an ideal amount of protein in a main meal with a moderate number of calories.
Kirkland Signature Farm Raised Tilapia Loins (Boneless + Skinless)
Tilapia is an extremely lean seafood option that is rich in many other nutrients including niacin, vitamin B12, selenium, and potassium. A serving of Kirkland's Tilapia loins is just 110 calories and packs in 21 grams of protein. This is one of the best protein-to-calorie ratios of any food. However, it's important to note that tilapia won't provide the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids that are present in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines.
Kirkland Sliced Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
Turkey breast is one of the leanest animal proteins you can buy. This option has just 60 calories but provides 10 grams of protein. It's also extremely low in total fat and has no saturated fat.
Dietz & Watson Organic Roasted Turkey Breast
For an organic version of turkey breast, this Dietz & Watson offering is a great choice. It's certified USDA Organic and contains no nitrates or nitrites. It has a limited ingredient list as processed deli meats go. Compared to the Kirkland turkey breast, it provides 2 grams more protein and less sodium. A win-win for your health.
Whisps Parmesan Cheese Crisps
Whisps are essentially cheese that is baked until it's crispy to create a low-carb, protein-rich alternative to traditional chips and crackers. They're also keto-friendly alternatives to traditional potato- or grain-based chips or crackers that tend to be high in carbs and low in protein.
Wonderful Pistachios No Shells Variety Pack
This pistachio package contains 24 individual packages of different varieties of shelled pistachios—Roasted & Salted, Sea Salt & Vinegar, and Chili Roasted. Each individual package provides 5 grams of protein. (Calories, carbs, and sodium levels vary slightly by flavor.) Even though pistachios provide plant-based protein, it is considered a "complete" protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids, according to research. The combination of high-quality protein, fiber, and fats can work together to help keep you satisfied.
Think! Creamy Peanut Butter Protein Bars
This 18-bar variety pack includes two dreamy flavors: Creamy Peanut Butter and Brownie Crunch. The bars are almost equal nutritionally, each providing 20 grams of protein and 230 calories. The protein comes from soy protein isolate, calcium caseinate, and whey protein isolate. For a post-workout pick-me-up or a better option when on the go, these bars deliver a hefty dose of protein.
Chomps Original Beef Sticks
It's usually impractical to have meat or poultry as a snack, but these meat sticks make it possible. This original version is made with grass-fed beef. Each stick has 100 calories and 10 grams of protein but zero grams of added sugar.
Simply Fuel Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Protein Balls
This dietitian-created protein snack is great for adding high-quality protein to your diet, but they are also especially great for a post-workout snack. The protein comes from slow-releasing whey protein and as a bonus, each serving provides a billion probiotics.
Kirkland Signature Chocolate Brownie Protein Bar
This tasty protein bar is a between-meal snack, a post-workout recovery aid, or a great choice to pack when traveling. The protein comes from a blend of milk isolate and whey protein. The combo of protein and fiber in these bars will help keep you satisfied.
Kirkland Signature Creamy Almond Butter
Almond butter can be a pricey way to get more protein, but Costco makes this plant-based treat more affordable. This almond butter has just one ingredient: almonds, and zero added salt or sugars. Almond butter packs in healthy unsaturated fat, is low in overall carbs, and provides 6 grams of protein—the same as a medium-sized egg.
Kirkland Premium Chunk Chicken Breast
This is a canned chicken breast product that provides one of the best protein-to-calorie ratios out there. Plus, despite being a processed poultry option, the sodium content is lower than a similar serving of turkey or chicken breast deli meat. It doesn't need to be refrigerated, so you can buy it in bulk without having to use it all up the same week.
Health Warrior Grains & Seeds Variety Pack Oatmeal
This great breakfast or snack choice comes in a variety pack with 20 individual packets (10 packets of Maple Cinnamon Date and 10 Apple Walnut flavor). This hearty oatmeal is made with whole-grain oats, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and other natural ingredients. Due to the addition of seeds, this oatmeal has more than twice the healthful plant-based protein compared to a traditional oatmeal.
S&W Organic Garbanzo Beans
Garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) are the MVP of anyone's pantry. It's one of the most versatile and healthy plant-based proteins you can buy. Buying garbanzos in bulk from Costco can help ensure that you have this affordable protein to add to salads, soup, or to make fresh hummus. Try seasoning and roasting them until crunchy for a satisfying snack. The high fiber and protein counts of garbanzo beans can keep you satisfied for longer.
Kirkland Signature Albacore Solid White Tuna in Water
This package contains eight 7-oz. cans of tuna. Tuna packed in water is one of the best ways to enjoy affordable, high-quality protein with moderate calories and minimal saturated fat. Tuna is also a great choice because it provides beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, and studies confirm that tuna is a heart-healthy choice.