The Costco Dinner Shortcut That’s My New Weekly Staple

published Aug 8, 2022
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There is a moment that every Costco shopper dreads: The moment a grocery staple goes missing. “Maybe it’s in a new section?” you wonder, zipping through the aisles again, your eyes scanning the shelves from top to bottom. But after a second loop yields the same result, you realize your staple is out of stock — or, worse, discontinued.

During my last two Costco runs, I searched the premade meals section looking for my favorite heat-and-eat, saucy chicken entrée. But it was nowhere to be found! There I was, standing in front of the refrigerated cases with an empty space in my cart. So I did what I’m sure many Costco shoppers faced with a loss like this would do. I cycled through the five stages of grief and (briefly) accepted my new chicken-free reality. Then I backtracked through aisles a third time, hunting for a replacement.

Credit: Liana Lozada

What’s So Great About Wolf Family Pulled Chicken?

I turned the corner to find a display of Wolf Family Pulled Chicken. The chicken is seasoned, smoked, and shredded — and I was intrigued. With my intense work schedule, I look for shortcut products that can be turned into two to three different types of meals throughout the week. I also follow a Paleo-style diet, so I wanted something that is low in sugar and has no dairy, soy, gluten, or vegetable oil. This chicken seemed to meet all my requirements, so I grabbed a box and headed for the checkout.

Credit: Liana Lozada

At home, I — a single woman with almost two pounds of chicken on my hands — began meal planning and prepping. The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the way this chicken was packaged. My beloved saucy chicken was split into separate servings, but this chicken was packed in one hearty heap. I decided to start with tacos (because tacos).

You can heat the chicken in the microwave (2 minutes), the oven (20 to 30 minutes), or boil it in the bag (15 minutes). I chose the microwave (because 2 minutes!). Two minutes wasn’t long enough in my microwave, so I set it to cook for three more minutes to make sure it was nice and hot. Next time, I might try heating it in the oven or boiling the bag — just to compare.

Credit: Liana Lozada

What’s the Best Way to Use Wolf Family Pulled Chicken?

The chicken was juicy and tender, and had a subtle smokiness that lends itself to a variety of dishes. I imagined it would be great in a pasta salad or served with a vegetable purée. But first, tacos! I shredded the pieces a little more (they are larger than I like for my tacos) before tucking them into tortillas and topping everything with cilantro, Greek yogurt, hot sauce, Mexican cheese, and a squeeze of lime. It was a delicious meal in less than 15 minutes — and was so tasty that I made chicken tacos twice that week.

Another night, I had leftover chicken with air-fried green beans and a fried egg — another speedy, satisfying meal after a tiring day. And later that week, my dinner guest and I finished the remaining pieces together. I’m already thinking of new ways to incorporate my next box into my meal planning — as long as it remains in stock, of course.

Find it in stores: Wolf Family Pulled Chicken, $12.99 for 32 ounces

What’s your favorite Costco dinner shortcut? Tell us in the comments below.