My family tried 9 frozen meals from Costco and ranked them. Even the lowest-rated item was tasty.

My family tried several frozen meals from Costco to see which was the best.

My family tried and ranked nine frozen meals from Costco to see which ones were the tastiest.The Kirkland Signature breaded panko shrimp was OK, but I wasn’t fond of its $19 price tag.Red’s turkey-sausage breakfast burritos were delicious, and I plan on having them in my lunches.

Like a large portion of shoppers who buy frozen food, a retail sector that’s seen significant growth over the past year, I prioritize cheap, convenient meals for my family. Costco is typically my go-to store, as I can save money by buying items in bulk.

The freezer section at Costco always offers a broad variety of frozen meals, but buying anything in bulk-sized portions can be risky if you have no idea what to expect from the food.

My family of four tried nine different frozen meals from Costco and ranked them from worst to best.

Editor’s Note: The items in this taste test were purchased between April and June 2024. Prices and availability may vary by location.

The Kirkland Signature breaded panko shrimp was the most expensive item I purchased.
The Kirkland Signature breaded panko shrimp cost $19.

The 2-½ pound box of Kirkland Signature panko shrimp, which cost $19, was the most expensive meal I purchased. According to its packaging, each box comes with 40 to 50 shrimp that can be prepared in the oven.

Once it was prepared, I found this meal a little disappointing.
The Kirkland Signature breaded panko shrimp had potential, but it was just OK.

The slightly peppery seasoning on the shrimp was tasty, but I thought there was too much breading, making the shellfish feel like an afterthought.

Next time, I’ll make my own version with frozen uncooked shrimp, which is also quick and easy to prepare.

The Sandwich Bros. chicken-melt pocket sandwiches looked enticing.
I’d wanted to try the Sandwich Bros. chicken-melt pocket sandwiches for a while.

The Sandwich Bros. chicken-melt sandwiches, which I’d wanted to try for a while, looked enormous and delicious on the box. But when I opened the package, they were smaller than I’d expected.

A pack of 15 individually wrapped sandwiches cost $12.70, which seemed reasonable to me.

They were OK, but I thought the pita bread was a little rubbery.
I wish I’d found a better cooking method for the Sandwich Bros. chicken-melt pocket sandwiches.

The pita got a little rubbery in the microwave, but no other cooking methods were listed on the box. I tried heating the sandwiches in the oven and air-fryer, but both methods essentially baked the pita into a cracker.

Taste-wise, the chicken had a mildly peppery seasoning. The strongest flavor was the American cheese, which never came out as beautifully melted as it looked on the packaging. The sandwiches tasted best when I added a condiment like spicy mayo or hot sauce.

My 3-year-old loved these sandwiches, which seemed appropriate for someone whose favorite foods are bread, cheese, and chicken nuggets.

The Ajinomoto Tokyo-style shoyu ramen with chicken looked promising.
I liked the assortment of vegetables and protein in the Ajinomoto Tokyo-style shoyu ramen with chicken.

The Ajinomoto frozen ramen featured big chunks of chicken, noodles, dehydrated carrots, corn, red peppers, and green onions.

This pack came with six individual bowls, which required a decent amount of freezer space.

The ramen was tasty and would make for a great quick lunch.
The Ajinomoto Tokyo-style shoyu ramen with chicken was a satisfying meal.

I added water and microwaved the ramen for four minutes per the instructions. The noodles were tender, the chicken was a bit spongy and sweet, and the salty soy-based broth was tasty without being overpowering.

They were a great size for a small but satisfying lunch, though far less portable than other forms of ramen. And at $18 for six bowls, they didn’t seem like a very good value.

I tried a sample of the Bibigo mini chicken-and-cilantro wontons at Costco.
The Bibigo mini chicken-and-cilantro wontons came in a 3-pound bag.

On the day I went shopping, Costco offered samples of these dumplings, so I knew what to expect before I brought them home.

They seemed plain, but I was impressed by the price. The 3-pound bag was on sale for $7.50, though it normally costs $10.

The wontons were tasty and came out the best when steamed in the microwave.
I tried pan-searing and microwaving the Bibigo mini chicken-cilantro wontons.

When I opened the bag, I noticed some of the wontons fused in the freezer and didn’t easily come apart without ripping. Though it didn’t affect the flavor, this might make me less likely to use them as an appetizer while hosting.

I tried pan-frying them, but they took on a lot of the oil flavor. They were better when I steamed them in the microwave, as this cooking method allowed the filling’s subtle sweetness and cilantro flavor to shine through.

The Kirkland Signature Italian-sausage-and-beef lasagna required a long time in the oven.
The Kirkland Signature Italian-sausage-and-beef lasagna required little preparation, but it took a while to cook in the oven.

The Kirkland Signature lasagna requires 65 minutes in the oven, so it’s a little less convenient than many other frozen meals from Costco. That is, unless you risk the 24-minute microwave option suggested on the packaging.

But other than the baking time, the lasagna requires very little work. Each two-pack of lasagna was $16.70.

The lasagna was good but a little more seasoned than I’d prefer.
The Kirkland Signature Italian-sausage-and-beef lasagna looked delicious, but I wish it had a milder flavor.

The finished meal looked appealing, covered with brown, bubbly mozzarella cheese. The lasagna was surprisingly spicy, with a black-pepper taste.

The sauce was subtly sweet but more seasoned than I’d like. The noodles came out perfectly tender, and the meaty sausage had a nice fennel flavor.

Each lasagna was enough to feed my family, with plenty left for the next day’s lunch.

Red’s turkey-sausage egg’wich looked like a great low-carb breakfast option.
I pictured myself having Red’s turkey-sausage egg’wich as a light morning meal.

Red’s turkey-sausage egg’wich caught my attention as a quick, protein-forward, low-carb breakfast option at the perfect time — I’m trying to eat lighter meals ahead of three family weddings.

The preparation was fast and simple. I microwaved the egg’wich for 50 seconds on each side, and I had a piping-hot turkey-sausage sandwich with eggs patties for bread. 

This eight-pack of egg’wiches cost $15, which didn’t seem especially cost-efficient as far as Costco frozen meals go. 

I needed to add a few extra components to my egg’wich.
I added a hamburger bun and hot sauce to Red’s turkey-sausage egg’wich.

I was a bit surprised I enjoyed these, as I don’t usually like precooked egg patties. However, these were moist without being too greasy (though they were a little greasier than most foods I’d eat with my hands). The flavorful turkey sausage, which had a hint of black pepper, was good, too.

However, the egg’wich, which was only 190 calories and had 17 grams of protein, didn’t fill me up. I usually like to spice up my egg breakfasts with some hot sauce, but I was worried it would spill out the sides or off the top of the sandwich.

After some consideration, I took a hamburger bun and put the entire egg’wich between the bread to better protect my hands from grease and condiments. I found the egg’wiches tasted much better and were more satisfying this way, though they were no longer keto-friendly.

I’ll probably buy these again — along with more buns.

The Crazy Cuizine Mandarin-orange chicken reminded me of a similar Trader Joe’s meal.
The Crazy Cuizine Mandarin-orange chicken came with battered meat and sauce, similar to an item I’ve bought at Trader Joe’s.

This was similar to a frozen orange-chicken meal I frequently buy at Trader Joe’s. Both the Crazy Cuizine and Trader Joe’s versions contain frozen chicken nuggets and pouches of sweet, brown, tangy sauce.

The meal came together flawlessly in the air fryer.
The Crazy Cuizine Mandarin-orange chicken was perfectly crispy.

Without the sauce, the meat pieces’ crispy, salty, outer breading reminded me of chicken nuggets.

The meal seemed tailor-made for preparation in an air fryer and was ready in about 20 minutes. The chicken pieces came out super crispy and were even tastier than some Chinese takeout meals I’ve had.

I’d buy this $16.50 box again, especially since the chicken was enough for four meals for my family when I served it with white rice and vegetables.

The Authentic Motor City Pizza Co. deep-dish double-pepperoni pizza came with plenty of mozzarella and meat.
The Authentic Motor City Pizza Co. deep-dish pizza had both sliced and diced pepperoni on top.

I was eager to try this staple of the Costco frozen section. The package came with two six-serving pizzas and was on sale for $10, though it normally costs $13.

It may be a deep-dish pizza, but the crust was nice and airy. Each pie had plenty of molten mozzarella and both sliced and diced pepperoni.

The pepperoni got shaken up in the package, but that allowed me to rearrange the pieces to leave a meat-free section for my 6-year-old, who doesn’t like it.

I tried baking the pizza two different ways and was pretty satisfied with the results.
The cheese on the Authentic Motor City Pizza Co. deep-dish double-pepperoni pizza oozed when I baked the dish.

The instructions called for baking the pizza directly on the oven rack in the tray it comes in. I tried this method, but I thought the buttery crust had more texture when I set the tray on top of a preheated cast-iron pizza pan.

I tried preparing Red’s turkey-sausage breakfast burritos a few different ways.
I wasn’t sure how to best heat Red’s turkey-sausage breakfast burritos.

I experimented a lot with preparing Red’s turkey-sausage breakfast burritos. The tortillas tended to burst open when I cooked the burritos in the air fryer, and the microwave made them too chewy.

Eventually, I settled on a combination — 30 seconds on each side in the microwave, then 10 minutes in the air fryer at a low temperature.

I liked everything about the breakfast burritos.
Red’s turkey-sausage breakfast burrito was delicious.

I don’t normally enjoy precooked frozen eggs in dishes like these. However, these burritos and their egg fillings tasted freshly made. The cheese was gooey, the sausage was tasty, and the flavor was spicy enough to be interesting without turning off my kids.

Don’t let the name fool you — these do not have to be reserved for breakfast. Since this taste test, the turkey-sausage burritos have become my go-to lunch.

At $15.70 for 10 small burritos, they’re a similar price to some convenience-store burritos, but these taste like premium versions.

This story was originally published on June 6, 2024, and most recently updated on July 11, 2024.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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