I love everything that is Costco. My membership to the retail super giant is the best $55 I spend all year. Just yesterday, I went in there to get butter lettuce, paper towels, and milk, and I came out with $100 of heavens knows what and a smile on my face. Plus, they were giving away chocolate and full-sized cookies. Of course, where Costco really thrives are their pre-prepared and frozen foods sections, without which I couldn't throw a single party. Being the Costco pusher that I am, I've compiled the 15 best pre-made holiday appetizers from Costco that you need in your life right now.
Costco's freezer and refrigerated section are a veritable busy person's wonderland. Seriously, who has time to make all of their holiday appetizers from scratch while managing your kids' Christmas pageants and Santa lists, office holiday parties, and those dreaded end-of-year deadlines? Trust me when I tell you that no one will be disappointed if your holiday party is chock-a-block with food from Costco. There is a reason Costco is so popular, and that's because their stuff is so amazing.
Whether you're looking for fancy seafood or simple crudité platters, you'll find it at Costco. (Disclaimer: The prices below are from my local Costco in Brooklyn, NY; prices can differ depending on location.)
1. Seafood Delight
$15 for two pounds of calamari is a steal. These aren't your typical Italian-style calamari. No, these have a decidedly Asian influence, and they're unbelievably good. You can fry them, bake them, or crisp them up in an air fryer, and they're ready to go.
I would eat these bacon-wrapped scallops at every meal if I could. Alas, they're a fancier treat. They are incredibly delicious and come together in a snap. And, at $18 for 20 scallops, they're super affordable.
3. Party Platter
If you've never had a chicken pot pie in the form of a pizza roll, you're not living your best life. Honestly, I never would have bought these assorted hors d'oeuvres had Costco not been sampling this particular variety pack one day, and that would have been a sad thing indeed. Normally, these are $15, but they're only $12 through December 30. You have plenty of time to pick up this box of delicious.
4. Getting Fancy
Chateaubriand on toast was one of my favorite fancy appetizers growing up. The creamy sauce over thinly sliced tenderloin on toasted sourdough (also available at Costco) is effortlessly chic and a timeless classic for just $14.
5. Smoked Salmon
Being a New Yorker, I am spoiled with the amount of lox I eat in a year. Costco agrees. This Norwegian smoked salmon comes with a mustard sauce, and would be delectable on bagel toast or served open face on rye bread. Until Christmas eve, it's just under $9.
These are my son's all-time favorite: hot wings and blue cheese dressing. I prefer heating them up in the toaster oven, but my son is happy with throwing them in the microwave for a minute or two. They're fully-cooked and "super zingy" as my son says. Better buy a few packages of these ($15 at my store).
The spinach and bacon salad is my favorite, but my husband would argue that the Cobb and Caesar are equally good. I mean, he's wrong, but that's what he'd say. The spinach salad has craisins and bacon and cheese and all that's good on a salad. It also comes with a prodigious amount of poppy seed dressing that's so yummy I'd eat it on just about anything. (Prices vary.)
8. Beef Skewers
This is not beef teriyaki. The EastWest cuisine beef skewers are more sesame-forward, and they're tender and delectable. Having eaten everything on this list, I will tell you, these are the easiest to prepare outside of the sandwiches and salad. And while they're not as fancy as the scallops, they can easily serve as a main course or an appetizer, for just $10.
I love quinoa. I know that's weird, but I do. And let me tell you, this quinoa salad is refreshing and light. I like to serve it in radicchio or butter lettuce cups. It's a great gluten-free option for your guests. (These go for around $10.)
There are two kinds of people in this world: people who love knishes, and people who are wrong. This is a cool 40 ounces of pastry-wrapped mashed potato for under $8. Be sure to serve it with spicy brown mustard as the universe intended.
11. Shrimp Salad
I would bathe in this salad if that wasn't weird. It's creamy and cool and ever so rich. At $10 per pound, it's the same price as regular frozen shrimp, only it's already prepared and the poop vein is nowhere to be found. I love this served over iceberg lettuce with some tabasco for a bit of kick.
So maybe you think these are "so 1998," but oh mylanta these are the tastiest tiny sandwiches you've ever had. They are incredibly popular with kids, too, so you're going to want the big platter. Also, how does Costco always manage to get the best tomatoes? It's one of life's great mysteries. Plus, you're getting over 7 pounds of itsy bitsy sandwiches for $33!
13. Scalloped Potatoes
I grew up in Ohio, so I cannot fathom any gathering without scalloped potatoes. They're the ultimate comfort food, and they're usually a pain to make. Not anymore. These bad boys are oven-ready and so creamy they could be the handiwork of my butter-obsessed aunt... and they're $7.
14. Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs
Pro-tip with these babies? Let them get a tiny bit crispy when you heat them up. That sweet and sour coating on these $14 meatballs becomes even more intense and it really packs a punch of flavor and texture.
Cookies are an appetizer. I will die on this hill. And have you ever seen a prettier Christmas cookie tray for a better price? No, I am sorry, you have not. And Costco is renowned for their absurdly good bakery. In the interest of science, I bought this tray for $18 and brought it into my office. It lasted 40 minutes. There were only 10 of us there.
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