Kitchn Love Letters

The $11 Costco Cookout Staple I Buy All Summer

published Jun 1, 2023
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close up of pasta salad
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

Now that it’s basically summer, it’s time to stock up on all of the seasonal essentials. Luckily Costco shoppers have the inside track to buying everything they need for the season in one place (and in bulk). As Kitchn’s unofficial Costco critic, I’m your guide to getting the most from the big-box store. Every month, I share my pick for the one item I think every Costco member should add to their cart. 

This month the competition for my best buy was hot! After all, Costco has everything you’ll need for the season: luggage, camp snacks, beach towels, and even a pool. My pick for the single best thing to buy this month might come as a surprise, but if you’re invited to any potlucks this month you’ll thank me: Kirkland Signature’s Five Cheese Tortelloni is the best thing you can buy from Costco in June. Here’s why.

Credit: Patty Catalano

What’s So Great About Kirkland Signature Five Cheese Tortelloni?

I have learned to keep a package of tortellini on hand for quick dinners. The fresh-packed cheesy pasta is more expensive than the dried and cheese-free alternatives in the pasta aisle, so I used to stock up whenever they were on sale. Once I saw that Costco carries tortelloni that is just as tasty as the name brand from my neighborhood grocer, I started picking it up there instead. 

Kirkland Signature Five Cheese Tortelloni is a much better deal at Costco; it rings up at just 23 cents per ounce versus 40 cents per ounce at the nearest supermarket. The pasta is also sold in two (1.5-pound) packages, which is enough to feed my family of four for dinner. I can also prepare both packages if I’m prepping it for a crowd.

What’s the Best Way to Serve Kirkland Signature Five Cheese Tortelloni?

The very best way to serve Kirkland Signature Five Cheese Tortelloni in the summertime is in pasta salad. Lots of pasta salad recipes call for short pasta shapes like bowtie or fusilli. If you’re a savvy cook, you know that swapping tortelloni for the standard shapes adds a surprise boost of cheesy flavor. Cook and cool the tortelloni, then toss with your choice of mix-ins. Drizzle in half of the dressing and toss to coat before chilling. The pasta will soak up the flavor and moisture, so remember to add the remaining dressing just before serving. 

Kirkland Signature Five Cheese Tortelloni is also ideal for quick summer snacks and suppers. Try air frying the tortelloni and serving with a dip instead of boiling the pasta. Toss the cheese-filled pasta with sun-ripened tomatoes, basil pesto, or garlic butter for a quick and filling dinner. Tortelloni can also stand in for pasta in some unexpected ways, like this cheesy spin on taco night or threaded onto skewers.

Find it in stores: Kirkland Signature Five Cheese Tortelloni, $10.99 for 48 ounces 

What summer staples are you buying at Costco this month? Tell us about it in the comments.