These Are the Best Frozen Foods You Can Buy at Costco, According to Nutritionists
Dietitians share their fave freezer aisle finds—and why they should be yours, too.
Costco might be best known for its economy-sized snack foods and enormous packages of toilet paper (like, U-Haul enormous)—but even more impressive is their frozen foods section, which is packed with a wide variety of healthy, organic eats that can save you time and money without skimping on quality.
Ready to put your membership to good use? We went to the experts to find out which frozen finds they always pick up during a Costco run, and why you should do the same.
Jimmy Dean Delights English Muffin, Turkey Sausage, Egg White & Cheese
Instead of carb-heavy waffles or high-fat croissant egg sandwiches, this one by Jimmy Dean Delights is perfect for when you're in a rush, but still want to stay on track with your healthy eating goals. "The clean ingredients of whole grains, lean turkey sausage and egg white provide you with the energy needed to start your day, with each sandwich providing 17 grams of protein," says Texas-based registered dietitian Maggy Doherty, RD.
Scott & Jon's Garlic Butter Shrimp and Rice Bowls
Each bowl contains only 220 calories and 16 grams of high-quality lean protein. They're gluten-free, and made using fresh ingredients and sustainably sourced shrimp. "Seafood is incredibly healthy, but most Americans don't consume the recommended amount (two 4-ounce servings per week), so these bowls are an easy way to change that," says Boston-based registered dietitian Sheri Kasper, RDN. Bonus: They're ready to eat in only four microwave minutes.
Milton's Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Frozen pizzas are handy to have on hand when the whole making dinner thing doesn't pan out. This particular pizza by Milton's "tastes very similar to the brand's standard cheese pizza, but with a slightly lower carb content than traditional pizza," says Texas-based registered dietitian-nutritionist Mary Ellen Phipps, RDN. Load it up with veggies and you've got yourself a great dinner complete with protein, veggies, and complex carbs.
Amy's Bean & Cheese Burritos
These burritos are a delish center-stage item that can be upsized with veggies to feed a family lightning-fast on a busy weeknight. "The whole food-based ingredients are competitive to other products in this category, and provides a reasonably healthy option for those with allergies and intolerances," says Gabrielle Mancella, RD, corporate wellness dietitian at Orlando Health in Florida.
Kirkland Signature Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless)
These are competitive in quality to the cooler-section chicken breasts (USDA Grade A), with no additional sodium added for preservation, says Mancella. They're also individually frozen and wrapped, allowing for more efficient prep for those who aren't cooking for a family.
Kirkland Signature Organic Ground Beef
"For those who are trying to purchase the organic version of ground beef, this item is gold-standard," says Mancella. "This retails for much more when we're not buying it in bulk, and grass-fed beef typically contains omega-3 fatty acids, which most of us are deficient in." This bulk purchase is one that can outlast many other items in the freezer when stored properly, and is super-versatile—use for meat sauces, burgers, meatballs or an array of other recipes.
Trident Alaskan Salmon Burgers
At only 170 calories and 20 grams of protein per patty, these salmon burgers are basically frozen gold, says Mancella. They're a great way to decrease your saturated fat intake while increasing omega-3s, and don't contain any harsh preservatives to maintain their longevity in the freezer. They also contain rosemary extract for freshness, lemon juice and beet juice for additional coloring.
Morning Star Chipotle Black Bean Burgers
These burgers are rich in plant-based protein and dietary fiber, which most Americans are lacking, says Diana Gariglio-Clelland, RD, registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements. They also stay under 20 percent of the daily value for sodium, which is impressive for a ready-to-go food.
Grain and Simple 2 Minute Grains
Grains can be intimidating, especially without the help of a pressure cooker or the right cookware for the stovetop. "This frozen version allows us to include whole grains (and essential prebiotic fiber) into our diets—minus the lengthy preparation process," says Mancella. This version is also flavored, making it a convenient side dish to any meal.
Tropicland Organic Riced Cauliflower
If you're going grain-free or just want to improve your veggie intake, riced cauliflower is where it's at. (The time and effort saved on ricing and storing the cauliflower yourself more than justifies the purchase.) "This is frozen at peak freshness, with no additional preservatives," says Mancella. It can be added to an organic, canned soup for extra fiber, made into a substitute for mashed potatoes or thrown into a pan right from the freezer as a spin on traditional fried rice, she adds.
Kirkland Signature Stir-Fry Vegetable Blend
"This stir-fry blend includes broccoli, sugar snap peas, green beans, carrots, mushrooms, red bell peppers, water chestnuts and yellow onions—and that's it," says Toby Amidor, RD, nutrition expert and author of The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. No sauces, no salt, no added anything, which means there's no limit to how you can morph this veggie blend into a meal.
Whether you whip it up into a stir-fry, serve it as a side or mix it into a pasta dish, it's a budget-friendly way to add more veggies into your diet with minimal fuss: "Instead of buying many frozen bags of vegetables, I just have one big one in my freezer that includes a variety of vegetables I love," says Amidor.
Kirkland Signature Organic Broccoli Florets
You can never go wrong with the frozen veggies at Costco, but what makes the broccoli florets especially wonderful is they come in four separate bags within the larger bag that you can steam, roast or air fry, says Phipps.
Frozen Apps and Snacks
Brazi Bites Brazilian Cheese Bread Rolls (Cheddar & Parmesan)
These rolls not only have a higher protein content compared to standard bread (each bite-size roll offers up 1 gram of protein), but they sport a no-fuss ingredient list with no artificial colors or preservatives, says Phipps. They're also gluten-free, grain-free, and nut-free, accommodating many dietary needs and restrictions.
Garden Lites Cranberry-Orange Muffins
Non-GMO and free of gluten, soy and nuts, these muffins are a healthier substitute for traditional muffins that contain over 500 calories and a bucket of sugar. (Kidding. Sort of.) They're highly competitive to other frozen foods, as they don't contain harsh preservatives or a ton of sodium, says Mancella. Just pop into your lunch bag and mosey on with your day.
Seapoint Farms Organic Edamame
"Compared to their non-frozen counterpart, these are less costly and can be prepared significantly easier," says Mancella, making them one of the fastest ways to incorporate more plant-based protein into your daily routine. (One serving contains 10 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and barely any sodium.) Pop in the microwave for less than two minutes and throw them into a to-go container with your favorite seasoning for a whole-food based, protein-powered snack.
Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend
If you're looking for a convenient berry blend for your morning smoothies and yogurt parfaits, look no further. Besides no longer having to worry about your fruit going moldy in the fridge, making your own smoothies is a healthier option than buying prepackaged smoothie mixes, which are often full of added sugars (and way pricier), says Doherty.
Wawona Mango Chunks
Frozen mango is a convenient (and super-healthy) way to satisfy your sweet tooth. "Just one cup of mango provides you with 100 percent of your daily need for vitamin C," says Doherty. Plus, it uses up way less calories than other frozen desserts, like ice cream and fudge pops, giving you more bang for your nutritional buck. (Try it in our Strawberry-Mango Nice Cream!)