I love everything that is Costco. My membership to the retail super giant is the best $55 I spend all year. And being the Costco pusher that I am, I've compiled the best pre-made holiday appetizers from Costco that you need in your life right now. Whether you're hosting a family gathering or a giant office holiday party, Costco's there to make things easy. Just yesterday, I went in there to get butter lettuce, paper towels, and milk, and I came out with $100 of heaven knows what and a smile on my face. Plus, they were giving away chocolate and full-sized cookies. I mean, it's the ultimate shopping trip.
Where the sore really shines is their pre-made dishes and meals. 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 fully believe this. 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.
Say what you will about pate, but this stuff is always super classy, and always delicious. If you’ve never had it, trust me, give it a try. It’s fabulous on cheese boards and charcuterie trays, and goes well with both sweet and savory foods. It’s a classic for a reason. This tray has three types of pate for under $10 in most locations.
17. Crab Cakes
These crab cakes are made with premium lump crab, and they are absolutely delectable. At under $20 for over a pound of cakes, they’re also a steal.
18. Fig & Walnut Baked Brie
Baked brie is finally making the comeback it deserves. Say what you will about it being dated, I guarantee the minute you take it out of the oven, everyone will pounce on it. I think this fig and walnut version is best served with the cheese course, but it also works great as an appetizer. This is also a really big wheel for around $10.
19. Blue Crab Spread
Blue crab dip is a perennial favorite at holiday parties. Maybe it’s the novelty of it, maybe it’s just because it is crazy tasty, and never disappoints. Either way, the Costco version is under $9 and worth every penny.
Sukhi’s Samosa Trio is the perfect appetizer if you’re inviting a combination of vegetarian and meat eating guests to your party. There are chicken samosa, potato samosa, and my favorite: the chickpea samosa. $15 nets you 26 samosas.
21. Mini Chicken & Cheese Tacos
If you’re having kids at your party, you need to get these chicken and cheese taco appetizers. Each box contains 72 mini tacos and costs only $10. Will this be the only thing that the kids will eat? It’s possible, but at least they’re eating.
22. Chicken Skewers
Seasoned grilled chicken skewers are about as versatile an appetizer as you can get. You could make a satay sauce and drizzle it atop the chicken, you could make several dipping sauces, or you could even chop them up to use them in pita sandwiches. $12 for 24 ounces.
23. Rice Balls
If you don’t live on the east coast, you might not know what a rice ball is. Let me tell you, they are deep fried magic. Risotto is made with an absurd amount of cheese, and then the mixture is cooled so that it can be molded like meatballs or play dough. They are formed into balls, stuffed with meat sauce or vegetables, breaded and fried. Russos On The Bay is a New York institution famous for their rice balls, and everyone will love them. $12 for 24.
24. Brisket Sliders
These brisket sliders are new to Costco, and having sampled them, I can tell you that they are worth the $7 per pound price tag. These could easily be an appetizer or a main course, depending upon how formal you would like your meal to be.
25. Mediterranean Tray
Do you love a good crudité tray but hate all the chopping and dicing? Costco has taken the work out of it by introducing this Mediterranean platter that includes peppers, carrots, cucumbers, feta, olives, and Costco’s own hummus for $5.29 per pound.
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