The Best Groceries to Buy at Costco for a Backyard Picnic

updated May 11, 2022
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While we’re all well-aware that Costco is known for its oversized offerings, I recently made it my mission to scour the aisles for items that are especially suitable for this season’s smaller (and safer!) social gatherings. Yes, I’m talking backyard picnics. Here are the 10 best things to buy at Costco for when you’re dining al fresco, at home.

Credit: Patty Catalano

1. Le Petit Francais French Baguettes, $10.69 for 10

The French certainly know how to picnic; and if you’re taking even the smallest note from them, you’ve got to start wth a warm baguette, cheese, and charcuterie. Channel your inner Francophile and bake these frozen baguettes until hot and toasty. In minutes, you’ll be able to stash them in your picnic basket and take them out back.

Credit: Patty Catalano

2. Quinoa Salad, $4.79 per pound

Soggy pasta salad got you down? Upgrade your picnic spread by serving a lemony quinoa salad instead! Nutty quinoa, crunchy cucumbers, tomatoes, and kale are filling as a vegetarian main or a stand-up side act.

Credit: Patty Catalano

3. Schwartz Brothers Everything Bagel Chips, $7.79 for 15 ounces

I will never get over the everything bagel trend — especially since it’s now taken the form of these snack-able, crunchy bagel chips. Scoop even the heartiest of dips with ease and scatter the crumbs crouton-style over crisp green salads.

Credit: Patty Catalano

4. West End Cuisine Grilled Chicken Skewers, $11.99 for 28 ounces

Favorite hack ever. Tender chicken skewers without heating the grill? Yes, please! Serve simple sauces alongside these grill-marked Mediterranean skewers to add even more flavor.

Credit: Patty Catalano

5. Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips, $5.99 for 28.8 ounces

If you only buy one bag of chips for your backyard picnic, let it be this one. The multigrain crisps complement dips of all styles, from salsa to spinach-artichoke.

Credit: Patty Catalano

6. Palmetto Cheese, $6.99 for 24 ounces

There are very few foods that can’t be improved upon with a scoop of pimento cheese spread. This creamy cheddar cheese is spiked with cherry-red pimentos and a cayenne kick. (There’s a jalapeño variety too!)

Credit: Patty Catalano

7. Del Destino Grilled Vegetables, $8.99 for 39 ounces

All the hard work is already done when you buy a jar of these oil-packed grilled veggies. Layer grilled marinated eggplant, Piquillo peppers, artichokes, and zucchini on baguettes with creamy cheese, then wrap in parchment before you hit the picnic blanket.

Credit: Patty Catalano

8. Mesa Rattan Picnic Caddy, $24.99

Upgrade your picnic with a caddy to carry utensils to your blanket. In true Costco fashion, this caddy goes above and beyond with spots for utensils and napkins — of course — while also holding space for condiments and plates.

Credit: Patty Catalano

9. Upper Crust Bakery Lemon Bites, $6.69 for 28 ounces

Landing somewhere between cookie and cake, these citrusy sweets are the perfect finish to any backyard picnic. Serve the sweet bites on their own or with fresh fruit or an icy granita.

What are you buying at Costco for backyard picnics this summer? Tell us in the comments.