Costco’s 2 Best Party Trays — And the 2 to Skip

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

As we head into graduation party season (not to mention baby shower, wedding shower, and family reunion season), we thought we’d address the biggest question that crosses every party planner’s mind: Which Costco party tray to choose?

Okay, so maybe that’s not the burning question on every host’s mind, but if you’re looking for an inexpensive yet crowd-pleasing way to feed a large group, Costco’s party trays have you covered.

To find out which of them is the best, I scoured the web and performed an informal poll among friends and family members who’ve ordered their fair share of Costco platters. My mom, for example, has been ordering Costco platters for office parties and events for more than a decade — and she has opinions.

(Image credit: Costco)

The platter she and everyone else seems to agree is the best? The Roasted Chicken & Swiss Roller. It’s called Hye Roller in other places like the U.K. and Australia, and sometimes has turkey instead of chicken. But either way, this is the hands-down favorite.

The lavash flatbread, akin to a giant flour tortilla, gets slathered in cranberry cream cheese instead of more traditional mayo or mustard, which makes mayo-haters happy and keeps sogginess at bay. And the combo results in an irresistibly doughy base that sets off the lettuce, tomato, Swiss, and chicken. The rolled-up sandwiches are sliced into pinwheels that look pretty impressive on a platter and are easy to eat in just a few bites.

At $29.99 for a platter that serves 20 to 24 people, it’s a pretty good deal (although you could certainly make it yourself for far cheaper — assuming you have the time).

Another Party Platter at Costco to Try

  1. The Meat and Cheese Platter is $26.99 and serves 16 to 20 people, which is actually a great deal. It includes three pounds of meat (1 pound each of chicken, ham, and roast beef), and 28 slices of cheese (8 to 10 slices each of provolone, cheddar, and Swiss). Most grocery delis sell these meats for about $11 a pound, and an 8-ounce package of sliced cheese costs at least $4, so this is a steal!

2 Party Platters at Costco to Skip

  1. The Croissant Sandwich Platter is just 12 sandwiches, cut in half, for the same price as the Roasted Chicken and Swiss Roller. Plus, in order to keep them from getting soggy, the condiments are served on the side, which means guests have to doctor theirs up themselves.
  2. The Cocktail Shrimp Platter is $39.99 for 3 1/2 pounds of shrimp (20 to 24 servings) plus cocktail sauce and lemons. But a bag of Costco’s frozen shrimp costs about $8.50 a pound, which means you could get 4 pounds of shrimp for $34 if you were willing to cook and arrange them yourself.

Whichever platter you choose, be sure to give the deli department 24 hours notice. If you’ve never ordered a platter, look for the “Order Party Platters Here” kiosk near the bakery or meat department. Just fill out the form and drop it through the slot. Or call your local store and navigate through the phone menu to the deli department.