The Best Pre-Made Meals You Can Buy At Costco

Modern life is hectic with the balancing of work, friendships, family, personal growth, and chores. A big time suck is figuring out what to make for meals every day. Thankfully Costco comes to the rescue with its delicious and easy to make pre-made meals.

These time saving heroes also make great leftovers so they can be stretched into multiple meals and will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Costco's pre-made meals are also a great way to plan ahead as many are packaged in an aluminum tray which is perfect for freezing for a rainy day. One should absolutely have these pre-made meals on hand for when the need arises like those days when a meeting runs late. The first step of course is adding them to your Costco cart.

If you're concerned about the lack of a Costco membership, have no fear. It is cheaper to buy it directly at the warehouse but you can also order the meals through Instacart without a membership, which honestly saves even more time. Time is money after all.

While your family devours their home cooked meal one can discuss the frustrating fact that the 40 hour work week is actually based on only one partner working outside the home while the other focuses on domestic life. While this might seem incredibly unfair, and not realstic for many families, it is easier to handle with a yummy and pre-made Costco meal on the table. The 12 on this list will save time and energy, make life's injustices easier to handle, giving you fuel to push through another day.

Kirkland Signature Mac and cheese

Mac and cheese is good for the soul. It summons thoughts of childhood, holidays, and special family gatherings. It's one of those meals that provides nourishment and comfort in every bite. Even the pickiest eaters will be appeased. On those days you can't even, mac and cheese hits the spot but it is not the fastest dish to make from scratch. If it's been a frustrating day, the last thing you want to do is tackle a complicated recipe. Enter Costco.

Costco's creation is made up of elbow pasta, cheddar, romano, and parmesan cheeses. It costs $4.34 a pound on Instacart with most containers coming in at just under 4 pounds making it a wise economical decision.

It is often debated whether mac and cheese is a meal or a side dish but who has the time to answer that deep burning life question? What matters is, it is delicious. Costco's comes in an oven-safe dish so you'll even save time with dishes. It would be a shame to use that free time arguing over mac and cheese's place in the world. Instead, opt for dessert. We suggest pairing it with Kirkland Signature Tuxedo Chocolate Mousse Cake for an excellent choice, further proving Costco's pre-made brilliance.

Kirkland Signature stuffed bell peppers with ground beef and rice

A controversial truth is that a bell pepper is technically a fruit. This is because they grow from a flower and have seeds. The reality is this does not really matter and most people consider it a vegetable because of its savory flavor. Regardless of how one classifies them, they make a delicious and nutritious part of any meal. Since the bell pepper's spread from Central and South America in the 1400s, it has been a great source of vitamin C, B6, E, and A as well as potassium. So how does this all tie into Costco?

Well, Costco transforms bell peppers into tasty comfort food by stuffing them with ground beef, rice, and cheese. The result is a delicious creation that is both healthy and filling. It checks off all the major food groups including protein, grain, and veggies all in one dish. If kids or kids at heart like dishes such as meatballs, it's safe to infer they will also dig these.

Each tray comes with six stuffed peppers making it a great way to feed the entire family. The price point is $6.21 on Instacart which is worth it. Who has the time and patience to make all that from nothing?

Kirkland Signature meatloaf with Yukon gold mashed potatoes

Meatloaf is a comfort food that many associate with grandmothers or mothers. It seems like every family has their own unique recipe, naturally followed by the claim that their family's version is superior. Of course, taste and memory are intertwined and subjective.

When there's no time to follow Bobe's handwritten recipe, there is Costco's pre-made meal to save the day. It is important to note that while this will save valuable prep time, it still requires about an hour to cook. This can be convenient when one needs to do a load (or seven) of laundry though.

Costco's meatloaf comes with a sweet red glaze. This complements the ground beef, bread crumbs, and seasonings. Sweet and savory flavors pair well together, deepening each other through contrast. The dish is rounded out with mashed Yukon potatoes which are the perfect side for this meal. This runs for $4.96 per pound on Instacart. When compared to Whole Foods' Turkey Meatloaf which runs for $10.99 for 13.5 ounces, the price point can't be beat — especially when trying to feed a family.

Kirkland Signature chicken street tacos

Tacos are a great metaphor for life. They are messy and often fall apart but still delicious and loved by the masses. Plus they are cheaper than therapy. When the mood for tacos hits but the desire to prepare them does not, consider Costco's chicken street tacos (12 count).

This is by far the most popular pre-made Costco option as it had a loyal following on Reddit and other food discussion forums. It is easy to see why. This kit comes with everything needed for a festive taco Tuesday or really any day ending in y. It contains the protein and tortillas plus cilantro lime crema, salsa, and slaw. You're able to customize the taco exactly to your personal standards.

Prepping this meal could not be simpler. All one has to do is heat the chicken and tortillas. Then maybe get out of the way as the family makes a mad dash to the food. Extra points if it is paired with a margarita on the rocks with salt on the rim. This feast runs $6.83 per pound on Instacart. That is way cheaper than take-out or any taco Tuesday option.

Kirkland Signature rotisserie chicken enchilada

The concept of enchiladas dates back to the Aztecs but one does not need to know ancient history to understand they are cheesy and delightful. When the craving hits, ditch the history books and try Costco's version of the popular dish. (There will be time for studying later.)

Much like the meatloaf option on this list, this will take about an hour to bake, so plan accordingly. The dish itself is not your standard rolled-up tortillas like one would order in a Mexican restaurant. Instead, the tortillas are layered more like lasagna with toppings such as enchilada sauce, corn, rice, bell peppers, beans, tomatoes, cheese, and cilantro in between. There is a substantial amount of rotisserie chicken inside, which is obviously delicious.

This dish goes for $7.45 a pound on Instacart and comes in an oven-safe dish in case you want to freeze it and pop it in the oven later. This meal is great when paired with sides such as a salad but is equally satisfying when served on its own. It easily can feed at least five people on its own and possibly more with some extras like tortilla chips or a side of beans. It makes great leftovers even if it is not the whole enchilada so to speak.

Kirkland Signature chicken alfredo with penne pasta

America has silent film star Mary Pickford to thank for bringing alfredo sauce to the country. She and husband Douglas Fairbanks discovered it while traveling in Rome and brought the recipe to the Musso & Frank Grill in Los Angeles, California. While Costco's version varies from Mary Pickford's original contribution, it hits the spot when the desire for classic creamy sauce arises.

This pre-made meal's base is penne pasta topped with alfredo sauce, and extra unmelted mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. If you love cheese this is the meal for you. The sauce and additional cheeses make a thick gooey sauce. For the protein portion of the dish, there are generous chunks of rotisserie chicken.

The preparation for this meal is easy. Simply heat the sauce until it comes to a simmer, then add the rest of the ingredients in the sauce cooking on medium heat for around six to eight minutes. Do not forget to stir.

This is a great option because it does not take much time to make, unlike the meatloaf and enchilada options on this list. It costs around $5.59 a pound, so the price cannot be beaten when it comes to value for a hearty meal.

Kirkland Signature seasoned St. Louis ribs

Oven baking ribs is time consuming and can take upwards of three hours. Barbecuing ribs is an art where you must learn to become one with the grill. Sometimes we just do not have that kind of time but the desire for tender, fall off the bones ribs persists. Costco and their seasoned St. Louis ribs to the rescue.

The good news is these ribs come pre-cooked and seasoned so all you really have to do is heat them up. The bad news is ribs by themselves do not make a full meal. Thankfully there's also the option to pick up pre-made sides such as Main St. Bistro All Natural Mashed Potatoes, Main St Bistro Baked Scalloped Potatoes, and/or a Green Goddess Salad Kit to round the meal out.

You'll likely find these ribs near the rotisserie chicken which is a whole other layer of convenience. You could even snack on them on the way home (no judgement). They run for $9.94 a pound so it is not the cheapest item on the list but still the quickest way to have ribs at home without ordering take-out.

Kirkland Signature ravioli lasagna with beef and pork bolognese sauce

After a stressful, busy day sometimes all one wants is to eat a giant plate of pasta. Bonus points if it's accompanied with a scrumptious meat sauce and cheese. Thankfully Coscto's ravioli lasagna fits the bill and even puts its own unique spin on things — it even pairs well with a glass of chianti.

This is not your grandma's lasagna. Sorry, Nonna, but Costco's version is just much more adventurous. Instead, it is layers of meat-stuffed ravioli transformed into lasagna form topped with a rich, hearty bolognese sauce. One will be singing "that's amore" in no time. The combination of the two dishes into a mega one is impressive.

This pre-made meal runs around $6.21 a pound with the average portion weighing under four pounds. It is a family-approved meal that is almost guaranteed to be a hit for everyone. Especially since all that is required to cook it is heating it up in the oven or microwave.

Kirkland Signature salmon milano with basil pesto butter

Instead of feeling like a salmon swimming upstream trying to balance all of life's ups and downs, you could just have some for dinner. Plus it is a good source of vitamin B12, potassium, iron, and vitamin D. It's also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids also known as healthy fats which one's body cannot make on its own. Costco makes it easy to reap all the health benefits of the fish without all the fuss of preparation.

Costco's Salmon Milano comes already seasoned with herbs and spices to save time. It also comes with delicious pesto butter in an oven safe container garnished with dill. To cook, simply remove the top and place the whole container in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. The salmon should reach an internal temperature of 140°.

It is important to note that this meal will run around $16.78 per pound. It is entirely possible to purchase salmon fillets separately, season them, and make one's own pesto sauce for a cheaper price point but that's not really the point is it? Sometimes time is money and one pays for convenience.

Kirkland Signature yakisoba stir fry

Stir Fry is yummy but it also involves shopping for all the ingredients, washing, and chopping them up. If that was not tiring enough, now you still have to cook all of it. Thankfully Costco can help expedite this whole arduous process with its Yakisoba stir fry. Yakisoba noodles are Japanese and look similar to ramen noodles. They are made out of wheat flour and water and are typically served fried.

Costco's pre-made meal comes with these Yakisoba noodles plus chicken, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, snap peas, and onions. The dish is topped with a delicious Yakisoba sauce. There is zero preparation needed for this meal. Simply toss everything into a wok or pan and heat it up. Easy peasy. It is way cheaper and healthier than take out and makes for great leftovers. The price is right as well as this pre-made meal costs $7.45 a pound on Instacart.

"The chicken yakisoba is my favorite. Quick to stir-fry, and can easily feed up to four people," gushed one Reddit user. Many on the popular forum agree. "The yakisoba is my favorite hands down. It makes enough for days too," chimed in another. One skeptic even sang its praises. "Just tried the yakisoba chicken kit this weekend," they recounted. "It was surprisingly yummy."

Gyro Kit

Remember the scene at the end of "The Avengers" where they save the world only to find out there is more work to be done but decide to take a meal break anyways? The superheroes treat themselves to some shawarma which is the Middle Eastern version of Gyros. For those days when you want to channel your inner Tony Stark or Captain America, Costco can swoop in to save the day.

The six-count gyro kit comes with a generous portion of gyro meat which is a combination of beef and lamb. All one has to do is heat up the meat to prepare this meal. Next, put the meat in a pita and customize with toppings to your heart's content. The kit comes with a tomato-cucumber mixture, romaine lettuce, red onion, and feta cheese. There are also two containers of tzatziki sauce.

A good tip is that the meat tends to be greasy. Some people prefer this and are totally okay with it. If you are not one of those people to combat the grease, slowly heat up the meat and drain it before adding it to your gyro. This kit has all the fixings for six gyros. It runs around $7.59 per pound location dependent.

Kirkland Signature chicken quesadilla

Who doesn't love a quesadilla? In its purest form it combines two delicious foods, cheese and tortillas. Costco's meal goes the extra mile and adds in chicken creating something extra special that is packed with protein.

Costco's premade quesadilla variety uses flour tortillas instead of corn. The cheese is a blend of Monterey jack, medium cheddar, and Asadero cheese. The chicken is chipotle-flavored and also spices up the cheese. There are three dipping sauce options, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa — something for everybody, right? The quesadillas simply need to be heated up to melt the cheese and get it perfectly gooey. 

One shopper took to Twitter to sum it up in straightforward terms, "Costco quesadilla kit is solid. Highly recommend." It's a sentiment that other customers seem to agree with.  The price point for this premade meal is $7.45 per pound on Instacart.