10 Frozen Foods at Costco Nutritionists Love To Buy
When you’re looking for great price-per-ounce deals on everything from tortillas to toilet paper, Costco’s your place. The big-box bulk giant is known nationwide (and beyond) for its reasonable prices and reliable products. But besides the allure of low price and high quality, Costco is also a surprising source of good-for-you foods, especially in the freezer cases. Nutritionists (myself included!) frequently brave the frigid temps of Costco’s frozen food section to find healthy additions to meals and snacks.
Surprised that nutrition pros would gravitate toward the cold stuff? That’s understandable — many frozen foods are loaded with questionable additives and an ingredient list a mile long. But according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, frozen produce is typically harvested at the peak of freshness, retaining its in-season nutrients. And it’s not just fruits and veggies that make good frozen choices! Other simple, minimally processed foods can be found in the frozen section as well.
When I asked registered dietitians for their favorite frozen foods at Costco, here are ten they couldn’t stop raving about.
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1. Kirkland Normandy-Style Vegetable Blend
As a nutritionist, one of my family’s go-to’s for a simple side dish is Kirkland’s Normandy-style veggie blend. Because it’s a blend of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, it’s got something for everyone. Some of my family members even enjoy it as a snack! (No joke, my high school athlete son steams these in the microwave as his TV-watching munchies.)
Dietitian Christine Milmine, RDN of Plant Powered You agrees that Costco’s many veggie varieties are quick and easy to pull out of the freezer. “Costco has a variety of frozen veggies that I love to keep on hand! They save time on prep and can be easily incorporated into a meal.”
2. Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks
The dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets in Costco’s freezer case may be fun, but there are healthier options kids will still enjoy.
“My entire family loves the Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks,” says Dani Lebovitz, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDCES, Founder of Kid Food Explorers. “Not only are these the best make-at-home chicken nuggets we have ever had, but they are also made from hormone-free chicken and offer 16 grams of protein per serving.”
3. Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burgers
There’s no shortage of plant-based burgers out there these days, and — woohoo! — Costco carries some of the best ones.
“Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers are super tasty,” says Veronica Rouse, RD. “They are high in fiber because they are made with whole ingredients like black beans and quinoa,” Rouse recommends pairing the burgers with a green salad for an easy, filling, and (almost) no-cook meal.
4. Morey’s Marinated Wild Alaskan Salmon
We all know about salmon’s amazing nutritional qualities, but eating the fish all by itself can get a little ho-hum. Sometimes you want a little flavor to jazz up your seafood entree. Enter Morey’s Marinated Wild Salmon!
“Morey’s Marinated Wild Alaskan Salmon is individually frozen, defrosts quickly, and bakes in 15 minutes,” says Marsi Markowitz, RD, CDN, of Nutrition From Within. “They’re perfect for when I need a quick protein for lunch or dinner.”
5. Smart Harvest Frozen Organic Cherries
If you like frozen fruits for smoothies, pies, and muffins, buying in bulk is never a bad idea. And if you hit up Costco, you can find better deals on organic frozen fruits than at many typical grocery stores. E. A. Stewart, RDN of Spicy RD Nutrition recommends Kirkland frozen organic cherries.
“[They] are so sweet and delicious,” she says. “I pair them with unsweetened cacao powder, cottage cheese, and soy milk for a creamy, high-protein chocolate cherry cheesecake smoothie — no sweetener needed.”
6. Veggies Made Great Frozen Muffins and Frittatas
Need a quick, healthy breakfast? Check out Veggies Made Great’s frozen muffins and frittatas, packed with nutritious ingredients like zucchini, carrots, flax seed, blueberries, and more.
“These are the best for a quick breakfast made with veggies,” says Jenna Gorham, RD, LD, of The RD Link.
7. Jones Dairy Farm Chicken Breakfast Sausages
For another morning meal in a flash, don’t miss Jones Dairy Farm’s all-natural, pre-cooked chicken sausage. With 10 grams of protein per three-link serving, they’re a hearty, savory start to the day that clocks in at just 90 calories.
“They heat well in the microwave and are so easy to add to eggs without making me feel overly full like a traditional breakfast sausage,” says Caroline Thomason, RDN, LDN, CDE.
8. Kirkland Frozen Shrimp
“The big bags of frozen peeled and deveined shrimp at Costco are such a great find!” says Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN, of Bucket List Tummy. “They have a great shelf life, cook quickly, and are easy to toss on a stir-fry, in pasta, or on a quick sheet pan meal.”
Besides their convenience, Schlichter recommends frozen shrimp for their nutrient profile, too.
“Shrimp is a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, and iodine, as well as several other micronutrients,” she says.
9. Tattooed Chef Frozen Organic Acaí Bowls
Whether you’ve never tried acaí or have been on board since the beginning of these berries’ rise to mainstream fame, Tattooed Chef’s frozen organic acaí bowls are a great way to savor their flavor and nutrients.
“These are one of my favorites for busy mornings and when I’m craving something sweet in the evening,” says Brittany Crump, MPH, RD, LD, CDCES, of Savor Nutrition. “One bowl with the toppings provides 6 grams of fiber. Plus, it’s delicious and you don’t have to clean out a blender to make an acaí bowl.”
10. Three Bridges Spinach and Bell Pepper Egg Bites
A high-protein breakfast in 90 seconds? Yes, please!
“I love the Three Bridges spinach and bell pepper egg bites,” says chef and dietitian Julie Andres, MS, RDN, FAND, of The Healthy Epicurean. “They’re packed with protein (15 grams for two bites) and loaded with veggies. They’re so easy to warm up in the morning for a quick and nourishing breakfast.”
Read next: 8 Frozen Foods at Trader Joe’s Nutritionists Love to Buy
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