Costco Prepared Meals Ranked Worst To Best

It's always nice when you have the time to peruse your cabinets and fridge and pick out all the ingredients you need to craft a delicious meal complete with side dishes. It takes effort, but if you know your way around a kitchen, then the outcome is well worth the time and energy. Unfortunately, with the kinds of work and life schedules many people have, carving out a chunk of the day to focus on preparing a meal isn't always feasible. In fact, most times, you end up reaching for some kind of frozen prepared food, so you can just fire up the oven and wait patiently until your feast is ready.

At any supermarket you go to, you find there's no shortage of prepared meals to stock your freezer with. The behemoth chain Costco certainly understands that customers are often in a time crunch throughout the day, so they offer a ton of frozen goodies to make life a bit easier. But, you gotta be careful when choosing the goods. Sometimes even though the ingredients sound great and the picture on the box looks mesmerizingly delicious, the end result is an absolute disaster. The next time you're at Costco looking to replenish your supply of prepared meals, keep this list in mind. These are the foods that deserve a spot in your home and ones that don't deserve any of your attention.

12. MOJI Sushi Classic California Roll

Sushi is one of the most beautiful types of food available. If you've ever been to a sushi restaurant and paid any attention at all to the kinds of dishes leaving the kitchen, you're blown away by how vibrantly colorful and ornately constructed they are. You eat with your eyes before your mouth, and the aesthetics of sushi get your appetite roaring with excitement before you even take that first bite. This is exactly why you need to avoid purchasing the frozen MOJI Sushi Classic California Roll at Costco. 

Sushi is meant to be eaten almost immediately after the chef makes it and it just doesn't keep well in the fridge for very long. You must enjoy it immediately, which is also what makes it so special. This frozen California roll is packed with disturbing textures and flavors that taste so off. After this thing thaws out, the rice is super gummy, and the flavors of the faux crab and avocado have all but perished. Anyone who enjoys sushi even a little would take one look at this and give it a hard pass. If you're craving sushi, this is the completely wrong way to go about getting your fix, especially since there are better grocery store sushi options to reach for instead. 

11. Jimmy Dean Breakfast Croissant

Your day is infinitely better when you manage to eat a great breakfast in the morning. It's never easy to get yourself stoked for a day full of errands or dealing with a frustrating boss, but if you can fill your belly with some tasty flavors beforehand, it takes the edge off of anything negative that might come your way. One way to get a variety of enticing flavors in your mouth is by chowing down on a breakfast sandwich. But, if you have your eyes set on Costco's Jimmy Dean Breakfast Croissants, change your mind quickly.

These breakfast sandwiches come with sausage, egg, and cheese, and none of it works at all. Because they're frozen, none of it is fresh, and it's glaringly obvious. After you heat it up, the croissant becomes this hardened vessel that's too crumbly and tough on the outside and oddly squishy once you bite through the unappealing exterior. The egg feels like rubber and has no flavor, and the slice of American cheese might as well be melted linoleum. The only ingredient that gives any kind of flavor is the sausage, but it's an overly salty one. Don't start your day with this huge disappointment.

10. Three Bridges Egg White Bites

Eggs are always a solid option for a morning meal. They're easy to make, you can prepare them in a ton of different ways (100 according to a chef's toque), and they give you a nice punch of protein to kick off the day. If you don't feel like breaking out the skillet and whipping some eggs up yourself, you can always purchase the Three Bridges Egg White Bites at Costco. They're small little morsels of egg white filled with breakfast ingredients. Are they convenient? Yes. But are they worth your money? Absolutely not.

The biggest problem with these egg bites is the texture. It feels like you're tossing little rubber balls into your mouth. They're super chewy and don't even have close to the consistency you want with eggs. On top of the unappealing texture, there really isn't much flavor in them, either. When you're hungry, you don't want to fill up on a bland meal that gives you no satisfaction. You crave loud flavors, and that's exactly what these things lack. If you're simply looking for gut fill that'll give you some protein, these do the trick. But if you actually want to enjoy your breakfast, opt for something else.

9. Texas Tamale Co. Black Bean Tamales

A really good tamale packs a load of flavor. You carefully unwrap the corn husk it's nestled inside, and you have yourself a masa wrap that's stuffed full of great tastes. You can fill them with meat, cheeses, and veggies and have yourself a worthwhile meal. If tamales are on the mind, Costco customers can scoop up a box of the Texas Tamale Co. Black Bean Tamales. Sadly, these will in no way give you the epic tamale experience your craving desires.

The Costco website says, "Let Texas Tamale bring the delicious taste of Texas to YOU!" Eh, there are definitely a lot of other ways to experience the taste of Texas, because this sure isn't one of them. These tamales don't pack nearly enough flavor to please your palate. The black beans are quite bland, and the only way to overcome this is to douse them in some kind of sauce.

The texture of the tamale is actually okay, which is surprising since they come frozen. Many times frozen foods will heat unevenly and leave those cold pockets throughout, but here everything cooks at the same temperature. However, the evenly distributed temperature alone is in no way a good reason to purchase these.

8. Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowl

When those eyes flutter open and you roll out of bed in the morning, there's only one thing on your mind: breakfast. You gotta get some nutrition in your body and get it revved up for the day ahead. So, what's the play? Sure, you could pour yourself a heaping bowl of cereal, but maybe you want something other than a pile of sugary carbs with milk splashed over it. So, why not make it a heaping bowl of something else? The Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowl at Costco keeps with the bowl theme but stuffs it with scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage, cheddar cheese, and bacon.

Now, as enticing as this list of ingredients is, the overall satisfaction level isn't high. The bowl is extremely salty, which takes away much of the enjoyment while you eat. Not only is the bacon very salty, but it tastes like a hefty amount of sodium is crammed into all the other ingredients as well. The texture of this bowl is appealing, however. The eggs are super fluffy, and the potatoes are nicely cooked to a soft texture. Unfortunately, the levels of salt throughout this make it an item you should think twice before purchasing.

7. Ivar's Loaded Baked Potato Soup

There's nothing that warms the soul quite like a hearty bowl of soup. Most people enjoy a steaming helping of broth on a cold winter night, but let's be honest, a great bowl of soup hits the spot no matter what time of the year it is. If you're in the market for some soup while wandering around Costco, Ivar's Loaded Baked Potato Soup might jump out at you. The photo on the box immediately gets your belly rumbling, but the actual product itself might let you down (although it does have some redeeming qualities).

The soup comes with chunks of potato, cheddar cheese, and bits of bacon. There's also a ton of cream in it to give it that silky, coat-your-mouth consistency. The texture of this is super appealing. It's super rich and hits your palate like a tsunami of creaminess after every bite. The cheddar cheese also adds a creaminess that gives a wonderful mouthfeel. The one drawback of this product is its saltiness. You can tell there's a lot of sodium used to give it flavor, and that's not something your blood pressure wants to hear.

6. Frontera Chicken Fajita Bowl

There are a lot of great things you can stuff into a bowl to have yourself a meal full of vibrant flavors and textures. At Costco, you can scoop up the Frontera Chicken Fajita Bowl for a medley of tastes ready to strike your palate like a boxer. The bowl comes with pieces of grilled chicken breast, fire-roasted peppers, a blend of various grains as the base, and chipotle fajita sauce. Is this the best chicken fajita bowl you'll ever eat in your entire life? Probably not. But, it gets the job done without also offering a helping of disappointment.

The biggest issue you'll face here is the texture of the chicken. The grilled pieces tend to fall on the dry side, making for a slightly unappealing mouthfeel. However, the rest of the ingredients swoop in to alleviate much of the dryness. The peppers are delicate and soft, and they have a smoky flavor that seeps into the rest of the ingredients. The grain base is also a bit dry, but once that chipotle fajita sauce comes into play, it soaks it right up. It's the sauce that's the star of the show here. It's creamy with an awesome smoky kick of chipotle that won't overwhelm your tongue but definitely lets you know it's there.

5. Raybern's Hand Crafted Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwich

Purchasing a frozen, microwavable sandwich is definitely a risk some just aren't willing to take. We get it. Many of us who have tried microwavable sandwiches have experienced that awful sensation of biting into a freezing cold spot that the heat didn't reach. It results in you tossing the rest of the meal straight into the garbage and searching for something else. This disastrous incident might cause you to immediately look past Raybern's Hand Crafted Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwich at Costco. However, this is one microwavable meal that won't fall victim to that frozen failure.

The sandwich is simple. You get a bun and a heaping pile of pulled pork smothered in a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. As we said earlier, the bun heats up in the microwave evenly, which makes for a warm, welcoming bite every time. The texture of the bun is super soft, and it feels great when you bite down on it. The barbecue sauce the pulled pork is covered in gives a big wallop of loud flavor. Some people might find it to taste a little too sweet because it's definitely more sweet than tangy, but those who like sweetness in their sauces will certainly enjoy it.

4. Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie

If there's one lady out there who knows how to craft a meal that keeps our stomachs smiling wide, it's Marie Callender. Her company cranks out a ton of great products, from dessert pies to savory ones, and you can snag one of the chicken pot pies at Costco the next time you're there. Chicken pot pie is a classic dish; when it's made correctly, every bite has your palate throwing a party. Luckily, Marie Callender certainly knows her way around a chicken pot pie, and that means this product deserves some real estate in your freezer.

This pie is filled with chunks of white meat chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Let's start with the very first ingredient that hits your mouth: the crust. The pie crust is super delicate and wonderfully flaky, and it's the perfect buttery vessel to hold the rest of the ingredients. Once you break through it, you're treated to a warm array of flavors and textures that happily find a home on your tongue. The chicken is super moist, and the veggies are all extremely tender, almost melting in your mouth as you chew them. This is an all-around great product that won't disappoint in the slightest.

3. Kirkland Signature Chicken Bakes

Many of us remember the excitement of unwrapping a Hot Pocket and tossing it into the microwave, eagerly awaiting the moment it emerged so we could stuff our faces with that crispy, crunchy, tender, flaky crust teeming with gooey innards. Yes, Hot Pockets were a pretty good time. At Costco, you can buy basically the equivalent of Hot Pockets in the form of Kirkland Signature Chicken Bakes. You get a pocket of crispy dough chock-full of really tasty stuff that'll take you no time at all to make.

These chicken bakes have a lot going on inside them, and that spells happiness for that little (or big!) appetite of yours. The pockets come with chicken breast strips, a trio of cheeses — mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan — bacon, green onions, and Caesar dressing. It might not be as superior as the delicious Costco food court chicken bake, but this thing still punches you in the palate with intense flavors.

Your tongue is sparring in a ring with a winning combination of textures and tastes. The chicken is juicy, the bacon is salty and rich, and the Holy Trinity of cheeses combine to coat everything with a buttery, nutty, and slightly salty flavor. The Caesar dressing is an ingredient you wouldn't expect, making it such a welcome addition. These are Hot Pockets on steroids.

2. Beecher's World's Best Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is one of those classic comfort foods that's nearly impossible to turn down when it's available. How can you resist a huge forkful of tender pasta covered in gooey cheese? It warms your mouth as well as your soul, and that's a win-win situation everyone craves. At Costco, you can snag a box of Beecher's Mac and Cheese when that urge to get your gooey cheese on hits you like a cement truck. The box boldly states it's the "World's Best," and Beecher's might not be lying.

The macaroni and cheese comes with penne pasta in Beecher's Flagship cheese, a semi-hard cow's milk creation that's aged 15 months to give it a deep flavor profile. The flavor of the cheese is outstanding. Your palate gets pummeled with an intensely robust flavor and a hint of nuttiness.

Many of the customers who explored this Beecher's product had positive things to say. One reviewer wrote on Costco's website, "In my 75 years on earth, this is absolutely THE BEST I've ever had." Another raved about their satisfaction, saying, "This is great Mac & Cheese!!!!!! Very creamy & cheesy!! Great rich delicious flavor...! HIGH-HIGH-HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!" All those exclamation points don't lie, folks. Snag yourself a box of this pronto.

1. La Boulangerie Smoked Ham & Swiss Cheese Pockets

Ham and Swiss is one of those classic sandwich combinations that travels with you throughout your whole life, always hitting the spot when the mood for a sandwich strikes. The two ingredients pair perfectly, and each bite you take has you thanking the sandwich gods for the wonderful combination. At Costco, you can purchase a box of La Boulangerie Smoked Ham & Swiss Cheese Pockets, which not only gives you the great flavor of meat and cheese but a fantastic bread to ride alongside.

Let's start with the smoked ham. It's not overly salty, as some ham can taste, and it has a wonderful smoky flavor that never overwhelms your palate and instead manages to let the rest of the ingredients borrow a bit of the flavor to enhance them as well. The Swiss cheese is aged and has a wonderfully buttery and nutty taste, and when it melts, it coats the ham in a creaminess that gives a fantastic mouthfeel.

But it's impossible not to bite into one of these and really be blown away by how amazing the texture and flavor of the flaky, delicate pocket of bread is. It's the perfect vessel to transport the great meat and cheese flavors, and it almost melts in your mouth thanks to the warmth of its innards. This is truly a must-buy product.