Kitchn Love Letters

The $12 “Gourmet” Costco Grocery I’m Stocking in My Pantry for Winter

published Jan 2, 2024
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After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, stop by Costco to welcome the new year with a fresh start and clean slate. There’s no place I (a loyal member of 13 years and counting) would rather stock up on cleaning supplies, and the warehouse can also prompt playful reflection on the years that have passed.  

Trends from the ’90s have taken over, with the return of low-rise jeans, fanny packs (ahem, belt bags), and espresso martinis. And let’s not forget the recent resurgence of cottage cheese, and the quintessential gourmet ingredient of the decade: the sun-dried tomato. Costco, naturally, carries a hefty 35-ounce jar of the herby, garnet-hued tomatoes, and it’s the very best thing you can buy at the warehouse this month. Here’s why.

Credit: Patty Catalano

What’s So Great About Bella Sun Luci Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil?

Fresh tomatoes are at their peak during a short window in the summer, so that leaves many long and cold months left with ones that are mealy and tasteless. The sun-dried tomatoes in this jar are anything but — they have an intense sweetness and umami flavor that comes from concentrating the natural flavors of tomatoes, which are julienned into recipe-ready strips. And because they are packed with herbs and garlic in olive oil, they are plump and tender. 

Plus, you can’t beat the price. At my local grocery store, a jar of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (that is less than half the size!) sells for $10, while I can spend $12 at Costco and be set with summer’s candy for the many months ahead. 

What’s the Best Way to Use Bella Sun Luci Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil?

It seemed like sun-dried tomatoes were in every “gourmet” meal my mom made in the ’90s, and I find myself going back to those retro flavors. With a jar of Bella Sun Lucci’s Sun-Dried Tomatoes by my side, I started adding the sweet and savory strips to my plate at every meal, filling omelets with the tomatoes and other favorites, like feta or goat cheese, or in breakfast casseroles that feed a crowd

Homemade white pizzas get a pop of flavor when finished with the julienned strips. Try adding them to sautéed broccoli, tossing with creamy fettuccine pasta, or in my new-favorite weeknight dinner: marry me chicken meatballs. Still some left in that oversized jar? Bake the remaining tomatoes into scones or swirl them with pesto and ricotta for a savory spin on babka

Find it in stores: Bella Sun Luci Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil, $12.79 for 35 ounces

What Costco staples are you stocking up on in the new year? Tell us about it in the comments below.