The 5 Best Costco Appetizers to Buy (and What to Skip)

published May 4, 2017
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If you’re a Costco regular, then there’s no doubt you’re well acquainted with just how often this massive store can come to the rescue when you’re getting ready to feed a crowd. While there are a ton of great buys, Costco really wins in the appetizer department. Meaning: The warehouse store can really be a life-safer this time of year when holiday parties are nonstop.

Whether you’re hosting or just tasked with bringing something, here are the best Costco appetizers to add to your cart, and the ones that are worth skipping.

Costco Appetizers to Buy

Between Costco’s huge freezer section, dreamy cases of cheese, and totally stocked deli section, they have a selection of really great appetizers that always deliver. Here are some to grab.

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

1. Boursin 3-Pack

This soft herbed cheese spread is totally irresistible, so it’s no surprise that it gets gobbled up in a flash. Costco offers these up in a three-pack (a single box of shallot and chive plus two boxes of the garlic and fine herb fan-favorite), so you can rest assured it will last past the first 10 minutes of your party. Boursin is a hit served with plain crackers or thin slices of baguette.

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

2. Ling Ling Potstickers

When I asked my fellow editors about their favorite Costco apps, both Lauren and Christine were quick to sing the praises of these potstickers. Found in the frozen foods aisle, these savory dumplings come in two flavors: chicken and vegetable and pork and vegetable (both of which get our thumbs up).

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

3. La Terra Fina Baked Brie en Brioche

Sure, you could make your own baked brie, but when you’re going big, this convenient alternative wins out. This extra-large cheese round is already assembled and ready to bake. Wrapped with buttery brioche with a layer of sweet chopped apples and cranberries, this cheese is a Brie-lover’s dream.

(Image credit: Patty Catalano)

4. Cuisine Adventures Mini Quiches

For brunch and beyond, these three-bite quiches are a hit every single time. Mixed with half Florentine and half three-cheese (to satisfy vegetarian and meat-lovers alike), these savory apps are like a mini version of a cheesy, savory deep-dish quiche.

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

5. Kirkland Signature Italian-Style Beef Meatballs

From the freezer section, Costco’s signature lightly spiced, bite-sized meatballs are just the right size for an appetizer, and they get high praises all around. For an easy app, toss them in the slow cooker with your choice of sauce. You may want to grab an extra bag to stash in the freezer for last-minute dinners.

Fun fact: Our Editor-in-Chief, Faith Durand, is still bitter about the time she catered a wedding mostly from scratch and the Costco meatballs were the dish that got the most praise.

Bonus tip: Always get the big veggie platters.

Costco veggie platters win on so many counts. Care to take a guess at how long it might take you to prep all those veggies? These four-pound platters (which serve about 16 people) save you a ton of prep time, and Costco is known for its reliably fresh produce. Plus, they come with dip.

Costco Appetizers Worth Skipping

While we’re hard-pressed to find any particularly bad choices in the sample-studded aisles of Costco, there are simply some that are better than others. Here are two that are worth skipping.

1. Shrimp cocktail

We don’t doubt the quality of these massive trays of shrimp cocktail — it’s just hard to know how long they’ve been sitting there. If you really want to serve shrimp cocktail, consider grabbing a bag of frozen shrimp and cooking them up at home.

2. Sushi

Sushi certainly makes a fun party appetizer, but these sliced rolls are a pass. Again, it’s hard to say how long the trays have been sitting out, and this isn’t an appetizer that can stand the test of time.

Prices and availability vary by location.