I love throwing a party, but after cooking for the holidays and making sure every last cookie was perfect, I want to ring in the New Year with a little less stress. Thankfully, Costco is ready. I found all the best food at Costco for New Year's Eve, and let me tell you, they do not disappoint.
I simply could not throw a party without Costco. I rely upon their mega platters of crudité, their ready-made sandwiches and dips, and I live for their frozen, oven-ready appetizers. If you've never used one of their chickens as a base for a big plate of chicken pasta or buffalo chicken dip, are you even a Costco shopper? I think not. The point is that they do the big work for you. They chop the veg, pick the best fruit, season the chicken wings, and all you have to do is that final step to make it a showstopper. The best part? No one will be any wiser, and even if someone does know your secret, they won't care because it's their secret, too. So get ready to arrange the cheese puffs on your best sparkly platter, heat up those spinach pies, and uncork those bottles of champagne, because this party only comes once a year, and you've got to make the most of it.
1. All Of The Chicken, Ribs, & Wings
If you go to Costco and you don't grab their rotisserie chicken, chicken wings, or ribs, you're missing out on one of the best and tastiest deals at Costco. These are their loss leaders, so they are always priced really well, and can be used in any number of ways.
2. If Your Store Has Costco Champagne, Buy It
The Costcos in New York City don't have the champagne, but the stores in New Jersey, do, and it is cheap and delicious. Buy several bottles.
3. Every Cheese. Just, All of Them
I could write power ballads about how much I love Costco's cheese section. If you're searching my fridge, chances are you'll find a log of their goat cheese, one of their brie samplers, and a few types of slices. They have a huge selection, so pick what fits your fancy.
4. Baked Brie
Inevitably, someone will tweet me and say "But Cat, baked brie is so '90s." To which I say, "and so is Jurassic Park, but no one complained when Chris Pratt started training velociraptors, did they?" They accepted it as good and moved on. I argue that baked brie is even better than a franchise remake, because it's creamy and never disappoints.
5. Cranberry Cinnamon Goat Cheese
The cranberry cinnamon goat cheese log is seasonal, people. Get it now and enjoy it, because this stuff doesn't last past the holidays. It's life-changingly good. I suggest Costco's bagel chips as a serving accompaniment.
6. Blue Crab Spread
If they're sampling this dip at Costco, the line will be six people deep, and customers may start throwing elbows to keep people back. It's that good. For under 10 bucks, it's a delicious steal.
7. Shrimp Salad
I don't know what Costco puts in their shrimp salad, but it's divine. There's definitely some garlic and lemon, and of course the creamy dressing, but the herb blend they use is so distinct and tasty, that the whole dish is instantly fresh and elevated.
8. Braised Lamp Shanks In Rosemary Mint Sauce
If you like lamb, you want this. It's braised in a rich sauce to the point where the lamb is falling off the bone. I love it over a pile of creamy mashed potatoes (which Costco also sells fully prepared), but my husband loves it straight — no chaser. It is also wonderful in stew if you have leftovers.
9. Crab Cakes
These are the butteriest, crispiest crab cakes you can buy. They're so easy to make, especially if you have an air fryer, and they disappear from the table as soon as you put them down. They're so good that my kids routinely fight over the last of these.
10. Risotto Bites
Those of us on the East Coast know rice balls as the ubiquitous appetizer of pizza shops everywhere, but they're actually pretty fancy stuff. Provide your guests a range of dips like marinara, vodka sauce, and maybe a chipotle ranch, and they will clamor for these bite sized bits of goodness.
11. Roller Trays
OK, so this is also food for me, as these are my favorite. These pinwheel sandwiches are inexpensive and truly tasty. Kids love them, adults love them, and Costco always has them.
12. Mediterranean Tray
It can't all be mayonnaise and cheese — even if you want it to be. This hummus tray is the balance of those richer dishes, but not lacking at all in depth of flavor.