My first few times shopping at Costco were a bit overwhelming. I’d seen so many people on social media talking about their favorite healthy Costco finds, but it took a while to get my bearings. Flash forward a couple years and I now have a feel for things, especially when it comes to high protein Costco finds.
I want this post to be more than a checklist, though you will find my Costco shopping list at the end of the post. Instead of giving you a list of products to buy, I want to show you how to make some of my favorite meals with each item (plus a few bonus recipes to make with each). Grass fed sirloin and grilled chicken skewers are great, but you need to know how to make a meal of them.
- Honorable Mentions
- 1. Grass Fed Sliced Beef Sirloin
- 2. Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks
- 3. Mediterranean Chicken Skewers
- 4. Great Range Ground Bison
- 5. Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings + Kirkland Chicken Bone Broth
- 6. Andouille Chicken Sausages
- 7. Golden Island Korean Pork Jerky
- 8. Premier Protein Frozen Protein Pancakes
- 9. Nonfat Greek Yogurt and Low Fat Cottage Cheese
- 10. Starbucks Egg Bites
- My Costco Shopping List
- Watch Me Make Each Recipe (Video)
Everybody knows warehouse stores like Costco are great for buying lean meats in bulk, as well as protein supplement options like bars and Fairlife protein shakes.
My goal with this guide was to highlight more niche items and meals you can make with them instead of the basic protein sources and high protein snacks at Costco. However, I’d be remiss to not at least mention them.
- Liquid Egg Whites
- Albacore Tuna in Water
- Jones Frozen Chicken Breakfast Sausage
- Rotisserie Chickens
- Fairlife or Premier Protein Ready-to-Drink Protein Shakes
- Protein Bars (Kirkland or Rx Bars would be my choice)
- Chicken Breasts/Thighs (fresh or frozen), Lean Beef Roasts, Pork Loin, and Seafood
Now, let’s get to the fun stuff!
1. Grass Fed Sliced Beef Sirloin
Nutrition Facts: 120 Calories, 19g Protein, 1g Carbs, and 5g Fat per 3 oz serving.
Fully cooked proteins at Costco are hit or miss for me, but I really like this steak option. Thanks to the sous vide cooking method, it’s perfectly cooked and the sliced makes it easy to eat straight out of the package. Though I like to quickly reheat it in a hot pan for most uses.
Pro tip for reheating: Leave it whole and sear the outside to heat without overcooking the center.
What to Make: Steak Quesadillas
As an alternative reheat method, check out my steak quesadillas that pair the sliced sirloin with peppers and onions inside Mission Carb Balance tortillas (another great Costco find) and shredded Mexican cheese.
- served straight up with air fryer smashed potatoes and roasted veggies
- loaded steak nachos
- steak sandwich
- steak fried rice (plug this sliced sirloin into my brisket fried rice recipe)
2. Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks
Nutrition Facts: 160 Calories, 16g Protein, 9g Carbs, and 6g Fat per 3 oz serving.
I’m guessing the Just Bare chunks have been selling like hot cakes since Costco made a Kirkland copycat. And for good reason, these chicken chunks are really great. Crunchy exterior, lean white meat interior, and no funny business or heavy breading (as the name suggests).
The macros are great for a crispy chicken option, and you can use them for a stand alone snack or use to make all kinds of dishes.
What to Make: Sweet and Sour Chicken
I think this chicken really shines for healthier spins on Asian-fusion chicken dishes. My spin on sweet and sour chicken combines the air fried chicken breast chunks with air fried veggies and a low calorie sweet and sour sauce (reduced sugar ketchup, rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce, corn starch, and pineapple bits in juice).
You could replicate this style of recipe with any number of sauces (even premade stuff right off the shelf).
3. Mediterranean Chicken Skewers
Nutrition Facts: 150 Calories, 24g Protein, 3g Carbs, and 4g Fat per 2 skewers.
Who doesn’t love grilled chicken breast? Especially when it reheats surprisingly well like these skewers. With what might be the best macros out of all the finds on my list, these are a must try.
You can use them to make all kinds of stuff like snack wraps, Mediterranean protein bowls, salads, gyros, and more.
What to Make: Chicken Snack Wraps
Toss 20 oz of cherry tomatoes and a chopped zucchini with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of Greek seasoning. Roast on a half sheet pan in a 425ºF oven for about 25 minutes.
Toss the roasted tomatoes and zucchini with half a package (7 skewers) of the grilled chicken and 8 oz of crumbled feta cheese (Costco has a great whole block feta option).
Roll the mixture in Mission Carb Balance tortillas and bake on a sheet pan in the 425ºF oven for 8-10 minutes or use a grill pan to grill the wraps on all sides. Serve with tzatziki and hummus.
4. Great Range Ground Bison
Nutrition Facts: 190 Calories, 23g Protein, 0g Carbs, and 11g Fat per 4 oz serving (uncooked).
I know I mentioned I wanted to stay away from the “basics” and bulk proteins, but I think bison is worth highlighting. It’s one of the most nutrient dense protein options out there, and I want to make it clear that it’s not gamey and can be treated like every other ground protein.
Use it to make burgers, chili, meatballs, tacos, or one of my favorites—firecracker bowls.
What to Make: Firecracker Bison Meal Prep Bowls
It’s hard to beat the sweet and spicy firecracker sauce that’s made from buffalo sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, salt, and rice vinegar. To make these bowls, I brown a pack of ground bison before adding the sauce and reducing for a few minutes.
I then serve the bison over a blend of riced cauliflower and cilantro lime rice (from Costco) and a pound of air fried broccoli that’s been tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper. And as always, I add a scallion, sesame seed, and chili crisp garnish.
5. Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings + Kirkland Chicken Bone Broth
Nutrition Facts: 250 Calories, 15g Protein, 34g Carbs, and 6g Fat per tray (6 dumplings).
Very solid steamed dumplings with surprisingly solid macros. You can eat these as-is, pan fry potsticker-style, or pair it with another great high protein Costco find—chicken bone broth—for a great dumpling soup.
What to Make: Dumpling Soup
I like to add some scallion whites, soy sauce, a cube of frozen crushed garlic (or 1 garlic clove), 2 cubes of frozen ginger (or 2 tsp of crushed ginger), a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, and a teaspoon or two of gochujang or a chili sauce to the broth while heating it up in a saucepan over medium heat.
I pour the broth over the heated dumplings and garnish with the scallion greens, pickled vegetables or kimchi, and some gochugaru and/or chili crisp.
6. Andouille Chicken Sausages
Nutrition Facts: 110 Calories, 13g Protein, 1g Carbs, and 6g Fat per sausage link.
I remember the days when I had to drive 30 minutes across town just to stock up on Trader Joe’s chicken sausages. These days, they are readily available in most grocery stores.
Having tried them all, I can confidently give these my stamp of approval.
What to Make: Cajun Chicken Sausage Alfredo
To make this dish, slice 4 chicken sausages into coins and medium dice a bell pepper, zucchini, and sweet onion. Add the sausages to a skillet over medium heat with a teaspoon of olive oil and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they pick up a bit of color. Throw the veggies in along with another tablespoon or two of oil and cook for another 6-8 minutes until the veggies begin to soften.
While all that’s going, cook 8 oz of farfalle or bowtie pasta in a large pot of salted water and make a cottage cheese sauce. For the cheese sauce, blend together a pound of low fat cottage cheese, a teaspoon of cajun seasoning, and 2-3 tablespoons of water until smooth.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the veggies and sausages. Follow that with the cheese sauce and fold everything together gently over low heat.
Finally, you can top the pasta with an ounce or two of shredded cheddar cheese and cover to melt.
Side note: I actually made a double batch in the photo above.
- red beans and rice
- low carb jambalaya
- chicken sausage gnocchi with mushrooms
- my OG cajun sausage pasta bake
7. Golden Island Korean Pork Jerky
Nutrition Facts: 90 Calories, 8g Protein, 10g Carbs, and 2g Fat per 1 oz serving.
This might be the most tender jerky I’ve ever had, and the flavor is great, too.
The use case for jerky is pretty obvious—just snack on it. But I’m not too proud to admit I occasionally use it as a protein source for dishes like fried rice or noodles when I don’t have anything else on hand (or I’m too lazy to cook another protein).
What to Make: Jerky Fried Rice
To make this quick version, I throw a bag of frozen riced cauliflower or a riced cauliflower stir fry in a skillet with about a tablespoon of oil. While it cooks for 5-6 minutes, I use kitchen scissors to cut the jerky into small pieces.
Once the cauliflower rice is thawed and picking up a little color, I’ll either add another bag of ready rice (like the cilantro lime rice from my bison bowls) or scramble 1-2 eggs in a center well in the pan. (I use about 2 oz of jerky per bag of rice.)
Then I’ll add a bit of Bachan’s Japanese BBQ sauce (which you can buy at Costco) or a little soy sauce and bring everything together before adding the jerky. It will soften a bit in the pan while you garnish with sliced scallions, sesame seeds, and a little chili oil.
8. Premier Protein Frozen Protein Pancakes
Nutrition Facts: 210 Calories, 15g Protein, 27g Carbs, and 4g Fat for 3 pancakes.
If you’ve had protein pancakes, these are exactly what you think they’ll be. I will say, they’re surprisingly soft for a frozen protein pancake.
Are they the fluffiest things you’ll ever make? No, that’s my three ingredient protein pancakes. But these are more than serviceable and great for making a fun breakfast like the one below.
What to Make: Protein McGriddles
I pan fried some Columbus uncured turkey bacon (available at Costco) and some folded eggs topped with cheese to make a triple decker McGriddle knockoff with a pack of the pancakes. Each pack comes with three pancakes, so it felt weird to leave one out of the fun.
Other protein options include the bison breakfast sausage patties above (you can also make breakfast sausage patties with ground chicken) or something like Jones breakfast sausage links from Costco (I’d slice them in half for sandwich artistry.
9. Nonfat Greek Yogurt and Low Fat Cottage Cheese
This duo technically falls under the “basics” category, but I felt they deserved their own moment in the spotlight for this post. Especially since they’re both featured in other recipes in this post.
You’ll spot the creamy jalapeño ranch made with Greek yogurt in the sirloin quesadillas and egg bite breakfast tacos below. And the cottage cheese is featured in the chicken sausage pasta above.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you can use these two protein powerhouses for.
What to Make: Creamy Jalapeño Ranch
We always have this handy in our fridge.
To make it, toss 6 oz of pickled jalapeño peppers, 1 cup of salsa verde, a handful of cilantro, 3 tablespoons of ranch seasoning (buy this in bulk at Costco), and 2 tomatillos in a food processor. Blend until smooth then fold into 2 cups of nonfat Greek yogurt.
Serve this with fresh veggies and tortilla chips as a dip or as a sauce for things like tacos, quesadillas, and burrito bowls.
More Ideas for Cottage Cheese
More Ideas for Greek Yogurt
10. Starbucks Egg Bites
Nutrition Facts: 280 Calories, 17g Protein, 8g Carbs, and 19g Fat for 2 egg bites.
While the fat content is a bit high (wish they had the egg white bites), these are exactly the same thing you’re getting from Starbucks. So if you’re a fan of the egg bites, here ya go.
I’m really highlighting these for a frequently cooked recipe from the bachelor food connoisseur in my house, Vanessa. And that’s her breakfast tacos.
What to Make: Egg Bite Breakfast Tacos
To make her famous (in my opinion) breakfast tacos, toast a carb balance tortilla directly over a flame (if you have a gas range). Top the warmed tortilla with some reheated refried beans (from Costco) and air fried or baked egg bites. Smash it all together and top with hot sauce or pico and the creamy jalapeño ranch from above.
It’s a bit of an indulgent breakfast, at least in the fat department, but it’s super filling with all the protein and fiber from the beans and tortilla.
My Costco Shopping List
Whew! There are tons of healthy foods to buy at Costco but now you should have a feel for my favorites and how I like to use them. You can enter your email below if you’d like me to email you my printable shopping list.
If you found this post helpful, I’d appreciate it if you shared it with your friends. It took a few weeks of shopping, cooking, and eating (happy to make the sacrifice) to write this post!
Watch Me Make Each Recipe (Video)
Visual learners will want to check out my YouTube video covering every item and recipe mentioned in this post.