The 10 Must-Have Costco Buys for Summer

updated Jul 29, 2019
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Credit: a katz

As much as we love to cook, when summertime comes around we don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen. We want to kick back and soak up these warm summer nights, so we’re looking for easy meals and refreshing treats we can take outside. To make that happen, Costco might not be the first store that comes to mind, but the warehouse behemoth actually has a great selection of summer favorites that can be ready in mere minutes.

Whether you’re still thinking about a membership or you go on a regular basis, here are the 10 best items to stock up on at Costco during the summer.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

1. Costco Chicken Street Tacos, $6 per pound

Every day can be Taco Tuesday with this smart kit. It comes with everything you need to put together a dozen tacos: seasoned cooked chicken, corn tortillas, shredded cabbage, shredded cheese, cilantro-lime crema, salsa — even lime wedges. Look for it in the refrigerated section in the meat department.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

2. Delici Strawberry Shortcake Mousse, $9 for six

Need an easy, breezy dessert? These sweet little cups feature rich layers of strawberry cheesecake, cookie bits, silky vanilla mousse, and strawberry purée. They look elegant, taste decadent, and all you have to do is open the package. 

Credit: Lisa Freedman

3. Yasso Mint Chocolate Chip Bars, $11 for 15

Sure, you can get these Greek yogurt pops at other stores, but Costco has the best price we’ve seen. At less than 75 cents each, these are very easy to justify.

4. Slim Chiller’s Vodka Martini Freezers, $20 for 12 popsicles

Bright and fruity cocktails like Lemon Drops, Cosmopolitans, and Appletinis are ideal for summer, but they’re even better when you serve them in frozen pop form. These no-fuss boozy treats, like Otter Pops for adults, require no effort — you won’t even have to wash a glass — and contain just 100 calories. They’re made with triple distilled vodka. The Costco variety pack also contains Watermelon Lemonade.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

5. Santa Teresa Gazpacho Soups, $10 for two 1-liter cartons

Few things are better on a hot summer evening than a cup of chilled gazpacho with a sprinkle of diced cucumbers and tomatoes, maybe some bay shrimp, and a drizzle of good olive oil. These 1-liter cartons of gazpacho made in Andalucia, Spain, make it super easy to get your fix. Just pop the top and pour — although you’ll have to add your own toppings.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

6. Kirkland Signature Bratwurst, $8.50 for two 1.75-pound packs

Nothing says summer like grilled brats on a bun, and Costco’s two-pack is party ready with 14 quarter-pound links. But a brat without kraut is a sad sight, so grab a giant tub of Wildbrine’s organic kraut ($8 for 50 ounces). It’s raw so it’s rich with gut-friendly probiotics. 

Credit: Danielle Centoni

7. Smoked Pulled Pork, $11 for two pounds

This two-pound package of hickory-wood smoked pork, pulled into shreds, is ready to be heated and tucked into buns, rolled into enchiladas, even piled on top of a salad. It’s a smoky blank slate for just about any quick dinner you can imagine. 

Credit: Faith Durand/The Kitchn

8. Artisan Rolls, $6 for 12

As simple as this is going to sound, our Editor-in-Chief, Faith Durand, said she won dinner the other weekend just by putting these ciabatta-style rolls on the grill. Brush them lightly with olive oil and you’re good to. People will go wild for them.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

9. Healthy Noodle, $14 for six 8-ounce packs

We love cold noodle salads on a hot summer day, and these refrigerated shirataki-like noodles only need to be rinsed before using. They’re made with soybean fiber powder and yam konjac powder, giving them a similar consistency to rice noodles but without the carbs. Toss with Kirkland basil pesto ($8.50 for 22 ounces) or your favorite vinaigrette, or maybe mix up some Vietnamese nuoc cham. Add some blanched or pickled vegetables and leftover cooked chicken or steak, and you’re good to go. 

Credit: Danielle Centoni

10. Kirkland Signature Panko Butterfly Shrimp, $18 for 2.5 pounds

These deliciously crispy breaded shrimp take just a few minutes to heat in the oven or toaster oven, and make a great addition to a tossed green salad for a light summery lunch or dinner. You can even tuck them into rolls and top with shredded lettuce or slaw for a super-quick po’ boy-style sandwich. 

Credit: Trong Nguyen

What are your summer essentials at Costco?