Alana Vandagriff | 

The 11 Most Cost-Friendly Costco Prepared Meals

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If the dreaded question of “What’s for dinner?” stresses you out like it does me, then I need to fill you in on Costco's prepared meals. These meals are fully cooked and ready to eat — you just pop them in the oven for an easy weeknight meal. And they come out to around $5 per serving, making them an affordable lunch or dinner option if you're short on time.

Although these Costco-prepared meals come at a higher price point than they might if you're cooking them from scratch, let’s not forget that time IS money. The precious time that these ready-made meals will save you in the kitchen is totally worth the extra cost IMO. Besides, they are definitely more cost-effective than eating out when you break down the price per serving. Most of the prepared food options on this list will cost you about $5 per person, which isn’t too bad compared to even the cheapest McDonald's meal.

And if all else fails … just grab a large pizza for $9.95 from the Costco Food Court menu.

Keep in mind that these meals are separate from the party trays you get with Costco Catering. And if you need help with breakfast options, check out our Costco Bakery secrets for a few recommendations.

For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, download the Krazy Coupon Lady app or text HACKS to 57299.

Are Costco premade meals worth it? 

Costco's prepared meals can be a pretty sweet deal, but they're not exactly what you'd call a steal every single time. At my local Costco, the prices for these ready-to-eat dishes range from $3.49 to $5.99 per pound. This means you're likely to spend about $20 on most of their prepared food, which works out to around $5 per serving if you're feeding a family of four.

Now, if you're the type of person who likes to whip up your meals from scratch, you'll need to consider if the time-saving aspect of these meals is worth it. But if you’re like my family and always on the go — and hitting the fast food drive-thru more times than you care to admit — grabbing a cheap weeknight meal from Costco could be both easier on your wallet and your sanity.

What makes a premade meal worth it, according to Krazy Coupon Lady.

To decide if a prepared meal is worth it, we factored in how much it would cost to make the meal ourselves. For the most part, we like to see prices come out to under $5 per serving. We're okay with up to $6 per serving, as long as the meal is cutting out the hassle of something like prepping ribs.

This means that Costco's huge, sharable salads (priced at $6.49 per pound with no protein on them), would not be worth it. Think about it like this… would you spend $6.49 per pound for organic spinach? I wouldn’t.

Costco Premade Meals Worth Buying

1. Mac and Cheese, $2.99 per pound (about $1.50 per serving)


Costco’s mac and cheese is a no-brainer. It’s made with tender elbow pasta and a creamy blend of cheddar, asiago, and parmesan cheeses. The pre-made dish comes in an oven-safe container and is topped with shredded cheese.

Why It’s Worth It: It’s priced at $2.99 per pound, with most packages weighing under four pounds (for a total of around $12 for about eight servings, which comes out to $1.50 a serving). I like to pre-bake their mac and cheese at home and bring it to a cookout — no one will know it’s from Costco!

KCL TIP: If you see a Costco prepared food item that's packaged in an aluminum container, that means you can freeze it to reheat at a later time. However, if the meal is packaged in a plastic container, it should be baked and eaten by the "Sell By" date listed on the label.

2. Garlic Pepper Seasoned Drums, $2.99 per pound (about $0.75 per serving)


Costco sells garlic pepper-seasoned chicken drumsticks already warmed, near the shelves with the rotisserie chicken. They cost $2.99 per pound, with most packages weighing around three pounds, so expect to pay about $9 for this one.

Why It’s Worth It: The average price per pound of chicken drumsticks is $1.98, and you get about four servings per pound. So at $2.99 per pound (and already cooked, hot, and seasoned), I’ll take it!

3. Meatloaf with Mashed Yukon Potatoes and Glaze, $3.99 per pound ($2 - $2.67 per serving)


Our household is a big fan of Costco’s meatloaf with mashed Yukon potatoes and glaze. This meal has a big serving of meatloaf made with ground beef, breadcrumbs, and seasonings. Plus, it comes with creamy mashed potatoes and a glaze all over the meatloaf. It comes fully cooked, so all you have to do is pop it in the microwave or oven. We can typically get six to eight servings. It’s even better when reheating the next day!

Why It’s Worth It: It’s priced at $3.99 per pound, with many packages weighing around four pounds. Considering the average price per pound of ground chuck is $4.77, this is a good price for a fully prepared meal.

4. Chicken Pot Pie, $3.99 per pound (around $2.74 per serving)

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Costco’s chicken pot pie has a crispy crust and a creamy filling with plenty of chicken — around one and a half pounds of chicken per pie. There are also fresh vegetables like carrots and peas, plus gravy. It comes in a ready-to-bake container, making it an easy and hassle-free option for a quick meal.

Why It’s Worth It: The pot pie costs $3.99 per pound, and most pies we saw weigh about five and a half pounds. We typically get eight good-sized portions out of it. This is also a good meal to purchase to bring to a neighbor.

5. Chicken Alfredo, $4.49 per pound (around $3 - $3.60 per serving)

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Costco’s chicken Alfredo with penne pasta is a tasty option that kids like, too. This dish includes penne pasta, shredded rotisserie chicken, and a creamy Alfredo sauce, and it's topped with shredded cheese of the parmesan variety.

Why It’s Worth It: The price of this chicken Alfredo is $4.49 per pound at Costco, and most packages weigh around four pounds (serving five or six people). Considering the average cost of chicken breast is $3.73 per pound, this is a nice price for a prepared meal.

6. Ravioli Lasagna with Beef Pork Bolognese Sauce, $4.99 per pound (about $1.87 per serving)

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Costco's spin on this dish has layers of meat-filled ravioli pasta and a flavorful bolognese sauce. Since it comes in an aluminum container, you just heat it up in the oven or microwave. This is another fan favorite at our house. 

Why It’s Worth It: The large size makes this one a great option for feeding a family with enough for leftovers (expect about eight servings). It costs $4.99 per pound, with most packages weighing around three pounds.

7. Stuffed Peppers, $4.99 per pound (around $0.83 per half-pepper)

The stuffed peppers are a reasonable price on their own, but the convenience of not having to stuff peppers myself is a big win. You get six half bell peppers that are stuffed with well-seasoned ground beef, cheese, and rice, and then topped with more cheese and a bit of parsley. They come in a ready-to-bake aluminum container, making the prep process easy.

Why It’s Worth It: Considering ground beef is reaching $5 per pound, the stuffed peppers are right on the money in terms of cost. They are decently stuffed, so you’ll be able to serve six people with this meal.

8. Chicken Street Tacos, $5.49 per pound (about $1.30 per taco)


If there’s one Costco prepared meal you need to try, it’s the chicken street tacos. The tacos come with seasoned chicken, soft tortillas, sauces, shredded cheese, and all the toppings. All you have to do is heat up the chicken and warm the tortillas before adding your favorite stuff on top.

Why It’s Worth It: Their chicken street tacos cost $5.49 per pound, with most packages weighing under three pounds. It comes with 12 soft corn tortillas. Most of my family members will eat three tacos, making each taco about $1.30 each — much cheaper than Taco Bell.

KCL TIP: We’re a family of five, and the majority of the Costco meals we eat for dinner have one or two servings left over. (The exception is the chicken street tacos. Those don’t last an hour in my house.)

9. Enchilada Bake with Rotisserie Chicken, $5.99 per pound (about $3 - $4 per serving)


Costco’s enchilada meal has soft corn tortillas filled with seasoned rotisserie chicken, red enchilada sauce, pinto beans, corn, rice, and shredded cheddar cheese. It’s already pre-made in an oven-safe container, allowing for easy heating at home or storing in the freezer.

Why It’s Worth It: With a cost of $5.99 per pound, most packages weigh just under four pounds. The enchiladas are generously filled, and we can get an easy six to eight servings out of one meal, making each serving cost about $3 - $4.

10. Yakisoba Stir Fry with Seasoned Chicken, $5.99 per pound (about $3 per serving)


Costco’s yakisoba stir fry with seasoned chicken includes yakisoba noodles, chicken, fresh vegetables (broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers), and two whole servings of sauce. The meal comes in a plastic container you can just dump into a pan and reheat.

Why It’s Worth It: This dish is priced at $5.99 per pound, and most packages weigh just under four pounds. So their yakisoba stir fry with seasoned chicken is nearly cheaper than a single serving of takeout!

11. Ribs, $7.99 per pound (about $6 per serving)


If you’re looking for an easy meal option, Costco's baby back ribs pair nicely with a pack of pre-made mashed potatoes and a salad.

These pre-cooked and seasoned ribs cost $7.99 per pound and are available hot, near the rotisserie chicken. You can reheat them on a grill, oven, or microwave, making it an easy and hassle-free way to enjoy ribs.

Why It’s Worth It: Considering the average price per pound of baby back ribs is $5.99, this is a pretty good price for already prepared and cooked ribs.

Meals Not Worth Buying

Although we haven’t tried anything that tastes bad from Costco, there are a few prepared food options from Costco that just aren’t worth the cost. Some of these items you can make for much cheaper at home, and some cost too much for the amount you're getting.

Here are the prepared food options we don't recommend based on the cost:

Premade Salads


Any of the premade salad kits are overpriced. They range from $4.99 to $6.49 per pound, without any protein on the salads. I personally can’t justify paying $5 per pound for greens!



We’re also skipping the salmon. The Salmon Milano with Basil Pesto Butter is priced at $14.99 per pound, with most packages weighing under two pounds.

The average price of salmon fillets is about $10.99 per pound, so you’re paying $4 more for butter, seasoning, and the pan to cook it in.

Chicken Salad


The chicken salad looks good, right? But let's break it down: you're paying $6.49 per pound mostly for rotisserie chicken mixed with mayo, eggs, spices, celery, and onion. Now, considering you can grab a whole rotisserie chicken for about $1.66 per pound, you're paying close to an extra $5 per pound for those mix-ins.

Honestly, this is one of those things you can whip up at home for way cheaper. And if you wanna cut a corner, just grab some of that pre-shredded chilled rotisserie chicken.

Gyro Kit


Their gyro kit is priced at $6.49 per pound, but it only includes six small pitas. Now, when I grab a gyro from a Greek takeout, I'm usually full after just one of their pita sandwiches. But the pitas in this kit are so small that I was left feeling a bit hungry afterward. It's fair to say the Costco gyro kit realistically offers about three servings, which puts each serving at $6.63. Considering I can get a full-size Greek takeout gyro pita for $7.99 (with fries!), the kit seems a tad underwhelming by comparison.

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