12 Costco Items You Should Always Buy if You’re a Bad Cook

No matter your talent level in the kitchen, Costco has something for you to cook up.

Freshly cooked rotisserie chicken with spices
Updated June 6, 2024
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Anyone who knows their way around a kitchen can find great ingredients at Costco to help them quickly whip up a delicious dinner. But what if you are a lousy cook?

Fear not: Costco offers great, easy-to-make, and pre-made dinners for those of us who will never qualify as chefs.

So, get the most out of your membership by adding these simple items to your next shopping list.

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Frozen hamburger patties

Courtesy of Costco Costco's grass fed beef patties Kirkland Signature

The frozen section at Costco has some easy options for the kitchen-challenged. For example, grab some hamburger patties to toss on the grill or your stove for a quick-and-easy dinner.

You can also pick up some hamburger buns from Costco’s bakery.

Chicken breasts

Courtesy of Costco Chicken breasts from Costco Kirkland Signature frozen and individually wrapped

You can get a huge pack of chicken breasts at Costco. Pull out just one or two and make them tasty by adding a few simple ingredients.

Costco offers the option to buy a pack of bulk chicken breasts that are individually sealed. So, you can grab a few at a time without worrying about these items losing their freshness.

Rotisserie chicken

show999/Adobe rotisserie chicken

If you don’t want to grab a whole bag of chicken breasts, choose a rotisserie chicken instead.

A rotisserie chicken can be a good option on its own for lunch or dinner, or you can pick it apart as an easy ingredient for a recipe. Make chicken salad or add the chicken to a simple soup to give it more taste and heartiness.

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Meals from the Food Court

Courtesy of Costco $1.50 Costco hot dog

A genius Costco hack is to head to the Food Court and take advantage of the great deals on meals.

Costco is justly famous for its hot dog combo and pizza. And there’s no cooking required on your part.


Courtesy of Costco Costco farm raised salmon

Like Costco’s bulk-size chicken breasts, the warehouse retailer’s salmon filets are also individually wrapped.

You can bake them in an oven-safe dish, and you only need some seasoning to make them really shine. Try shaking a little dill on them with some butter or add some garlic powder for a little kick.

Street tacos

kalachevstudio/Adobe hands putting cheese on taco

Costco has plenty of pre-made options that are easy to take home and enjoy as part of a great meal. Street tacos are a favorite among Costco shoppers.

The street taco kit includes seasoned chicken, slaw, cheese, salsa, and cilantro lime crema, which can be wrapped in the soft shells included. This makes for a filling and cheap meal without much effort.

Salad kit

Courtesy of Costco Sweet Kale salad kit Eat Smart

There are several salad-kit options at Costco that can make for a filling and healthy meal. Check out the refrigerated section for bagged salad kits that include toppings and dressing for a quick fix.

Or try the Caesars salad kit made fresh by Costco. If you want a little extra for your salad, pick up a rotisserie chicken or canned chicken to bump up your salad to the next level.


Courtesy of Costco Kirkland Signature frozen meat lasagna

Toss a lasagna in the oven and walk away for a simple but hearty dinner.

Costco’s lasagna can feed a whole family, and the foolproof instructions on the side of the package prevent you from making a mistake. Check your local Costco for salad or garlic bread options to create a full meal.


Courtesy of Costco Kirkland Signature Costco Tuxedo Chocolate Mousse Cake

Costco is one of the best places to get a sheet cake for a birthday or other celebration.

Call ahead to get a special design on a sheet cake from the warehouse retailer. It’s a much better option than trying to bake a cake on your own.

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Courtesy of Costco Rana Maine Lobster Ravioli, 2 x 13 oz

Costco has some great options for an easy, end-of-the-day pasta meal. Check out the refrigerated section for pasta options such as five-cheese tortellini or lobster ravioli.

You can also buy dry pasta — like a pack of spaghetti — from Costco and match it with Costco pasta sauce and some frozen meatballs for a simple dinner.

Pulled pork

Courtesy of Costco Kirkland Signature Smoked Pulled Pork

Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand is a good option if you like smoked pulled pork.

It’s a simple ingredient to add to hamburger buns for a sandwich. You can also mix it with barbecue sauce to give it a little extra flavor.

Because it’s smoked, you can even get away with eating it without the sauce. Add a small salad or vegetables for a more healthful dinner.


Courtesy of Costco Kelloggs Frosted Flakes

When you can’t cook, there’s always cereal to fall back on. Costco has plenty of options to choose from.

Check out the variety of boxes you might get for less than at your local grocery store. The retailer also carries instant oatmeal that just needs some hot water, which shouldn’t be too difficult for even the least skilled of cooks.

Bottom line

Sundry Photography/Adobe costco wholesale logo

Costco is a great place to save on groceries, and you will find plenty of great options even if you are not a whiz in the kitchen.

Try some of the items on this list the next time you make a Costco run.

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Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.