The 3 Best Costco Party Platters (and 1 to Skip), According to a Superfan
Costco is the place to shop when you’re hosting any type of get-together: holiday gatherings, graduation festivities, showers celebrating babies and brides, and more. Once the invitations are sent and decorations are decided, the fun part of party planning — choosing food for the celebration — starts.
Feeding a large group of people can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and expensive. Luckily, Costco offers a variety of party platters to choose from. Some platters are ready-made, while others require a short pre-order period. The only question left is, which party platters are the best ones to buy and which one should you skip?
The Best Party Platters to Buy at Costco
1. Chicken & Swiss Rollers, $32.99 for 20 to 24 servings
This sandwich platter is a fan favorite and has been my go-to party platter for years. A flatbread is spread with cranberry-flavored cream cheese; layered with lettuce, tomato, Swiss cheese, and roasted chicken; rolled; and sliced into pinwheels. Plan on 48 sandwich spirals per platter. Smaller packages, including 12 rolls, are available, ready-made in the prepared foods section for $6.99 per pound (about $14 total). If you’re visiting Costco locations in the U.K. or Australia (lucky you!), this platter may be called the Hye Roller. The cost per serving of this platter is $1.37 to $1.65.
2. Croissant Sandwich Platter, $32.99 for 16 to 20 servings
Costco’s famous croissants are split and stuffed with either chicken and provolone, roast beef and cheddar cheese, or ham and Swiss, and lettuce. Generous portions of mustard-mayonnaise and pesto-mayonnaise are included in covered cups and must be added separately to the sandwiches. This platter consists of 10 croissant sandwiches cut in half. The cost per serving of this platter is $1.65 to $2.06.
3. Meat and Cheese Platter, $26.99 for 16 to 20 servings
This platter consists of one pound each chicken, ham, and roast beaf deli meat and 8 to 10 slices each of provolone, cheddar, and Swiss cheeses. While it isn’t the most attractive party platter you can purchase, it is pretty affordable. At my local grocery store, deli meat costs between $11 and $16 per pound. So, with Costco’s platter, you’re already saving money and you haven’t even accounted for the cheese. This platter is a good option for build-your-own sandwiches and for guests who prefer low-carbohydrate choices. The cost per serving of this platter is $1.35 to $1.69.
The Party Platter to Skip at Costco
Cocktail Shrimp Platter, $39.99 for 20 to 24 servings
This platter consists of three-and-a-half pounds of cooked, 31/40 tail-on peeled shrimp, a few lemon slices, and cocktail sauce. The cost per serving of this platter is $1.67 to $2.00. You can pick up a smaller, one-and-a-half-pound platter anytime for $8.99 per pound (about $14 total).
You can save about $5 if you pick up frozen cooked shrimp from the freezer section and assemble your own platter. Thaw the shrimp in the refrigerator overnight (or quickly thaw on the day of the celebration under cold running water). Cut lemons and arrange on a platter with dishes of your favorite cocktail sauce. Not only will the shrimp taste fresher, but you’ll also be able to serve more shrimp and save some money while you’re at it.
If You’re Ordering a Party Platter from Costco, a Few Tips
- Find the Party Platter Kiosk. The narrow stand in the deli department that you usually navigate right past en route to the eggs is where you order party platters. It’s an old-school ordering method (just like ordering personalized cakes). Fill out the form and drop it through the slot to place your order. Some warehouses may take orders via the phone.
- Give at least 24 hours notice. Costco might not be able to honor party platter orders made less than 24 hours in advance, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time.
- Check out the deli for last-minute options. You may pay more to purchase smaller quantities already premade from the deli section. For example, Chicken & Swiss Roller party platters are $0.83 per pinwheel, while from the deli section you get 12 sandwich spirals for about $1.23 each. But the benefit is that you can pick them up in a pinch.
- Serving sizes are recommendations. The servings suggested on the party platters are a general guideline to aid in planning. As the host, you should take into account the entire menu, party duration, and whether your guests are hearty or light eaters.
A version of this story was first published on May 3, 2018, by Danielle Centoni.