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Your most (or least!) favorite costco appetizers!

I'm throwing a holiday party next weekend and have decided to give myself a break and get a bunch of appetizers from Costco and only cook a few things myself (thinking of doing crockpot ribs and maybe some wings in the oven.) I have a friend with a Costco membership, so I'll probably send my boyfriend and he to pick up some stuff. I'm thinking of going the mostly-frozen, easily reheated, totally unhealthy but somehow tasty, chain-restaurant style appetizer route versus our usual classy, homemade/gourmet route. I've never been to Costco.
Does anyone have any absolute favorites or total misses for something like this? We will probably get 3 or 4 different kinds and I will cook another 2-3 to hopefully feed about 35 people.
Thanks, hounds!

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  1. mini quiches
    spanakopita
    crab cakes
    fried macaroni and cheese balls
    mini "gourmet" pizzas- the gruyere/mushroom ones are quite good

    They also have boxes of frozen assorted appetizers, all usually puff pastry based. The types per box seem to vary by season.

    Have your BF check out their cheeses. You can find better cheeses as well as the ubiquitous cheese balls. They have boxes of assorted crackers too that are comparable to any name brands.

    1. Baked brie.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ferret

        Is this pre-made at Costco? It's certainly super simple to do a bake brie yourself anyway by buying the wheel there and using a piece of puff pastry. I like to cut the brie in half first and saute a bunch of mushrooms, them re-asseble and bake all together. I found a habanero relish at a local farmers market that goes great with it but any pepper jelly could add some spice.

      2. WORST,execrable..... COSTCO'S pre-made SUSHI

        EXCELLENT selection of cheese,crackers and bread,yes for the baked Brie

        10 Replies
        1. re: lcool

          The Kirkland, WA store is now carrying 3 varieties of freshly made sushi - a major improvement. While not on the level of a good sushi bar, at least comparable to the fresh made in most markets. Price varies by type, but about $10 for 2 large rolls and the crab is actually real not imitation.

          1. re: FoodDee

            That would be a welcome,huge step up.
            Here,DC area all we have is the pre-made,not on site trays that are truly vile,execrable

            1. re: lcool

              The Kirkland store seems to be where they try new house made products - the sushi isn't available in the Woodinville store which is about 10 miles away. I do remember buying house made sushi at Southern CA Costcos about 10 years ago before they started carrying the pre-made.

          2. re: lcool

            Thats strange, I would say their baked brie is meh, but out of all the pre-made sushi you could buy theirs is the best.

            1. re: RetiredChef

              I think there are a few close to home COSTCO stores that have decent sushi.Here in the east coast the pre-made is truly execrable.
              rice=wads of silicone
              vegetables, all opposite the desired texture,stale,rubbery,mushy etc
              fish,? utterly tasteless and mushy or rubbery

              If you visit a COSTCO with the large,party like clamshell of pre-made sushi,open and taste before you leave the parking lot and be grateful for the return policy.

              1. re: lcool

                Maybe it is a east vs west coast thing or the amount the store sells, my local store (I live in Washington state) gets sushi daily and many times it’s sold out by 5 PM.

                1. re: RetiredChef

                  Just above, FoodDee finds even on the west coast there are store by store differences.
                  Here it is strictly a long shelf life kind of product.

                  Maybe because in this area we have so much "kiosk" sushi available.Ten stores on my travel path,five make to order and pre-make until 7PM and five pre-make from 10 to 1 to sell that day,add the dozen or so Asian restaurants in the same geography with half of all making very good rice COSTCO may have a why ? compete directly philosophy. who knows

                  1. re: lcool

                    Now it’s making more sense, we only have 1 kiosk / drive thru sushi joint in a 20 mile radius and they are not very good. We also have about 5 different sushi options at Costco and while it’s about the same quality as the supermarket made sushi it’s about half the cost hence why they probably sell so well. I will admit I have been guilty of buying a few trays for parties and casual get togethers.

                    1. re: RetiredChef

                      As do I and would include COSTCO if they were like what you get

                      What should have been a dead give away at my COSTCO is the trays are in the "long date" refrigerated gondolas with cheese,lunch meat,herring etc,not in the fresh,short life cases with meat,fish,sandwiches etc.

                      1. re: RetiredChef

                        the new sushi that I am seeing in Kirkland are 3 different types of rolls packaged 2 rolls of one variety to a tray.

            2. Hosting a Christmas party in a couple of weeks and on my list is the Artichoke Jalapeno cream cheese dip...OMG, its so good and I get a couple of baquettes, slice them up and served warm and the dip is a huge hit.
              I've done the brie and heat up and do a jalapeno jelly over the top.

              Baby peppers in the bag, I halve them and stuff with goat cheese and heat in the toaster oven and then sprinkle with fresh herbs..
              The meat and cheese platter for $25 is a pretty good deal..get those pretzel rolls

              Shrimp cocktail platter for $10 can be gussied up with bamboo skewers over a bed of crushed ice and it comes with a little sauce but get more cocktail sauce with a big dollop of horseradish sauce.
              Great selection of cheeses during the holidays at Costco..

              Tamales if you want to put them in a crock pot...
              Sushi blows..

              2 Replies
              1. re: Beach Chick

                I'll see your artichoke jalapeno cream cheese dip and raise you a Stonemill® Kitchens Spinach & Artichoke Parmesan Dip

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Ha!
                  Love that stuff too...at first I thought it wasn't that great and then zapped it in the microwave, OMG, hot, cheesy goodness..

              2. I like the coconut coated shrimp, mini quiches, spanakopita, sandwich platters, cheeses, crackers, olives, Italian coldcuts and their pretzel rolls. Only heating and /or plating involved, no cooking! And they have those addicting chocolate barks now.

                3 Replies
                1. re: treb

                  Treb,
                  How are those coconut shrimp at Costco?

                  Concur on the peppermint bark..delicious!

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    The shrimp are surprisingly good considering they're frozen and you just heat them in the oven. The batter is crisp and does not over power the shrimp.

                    1. re: treb

                      Thanks!

                2. Quick and easy appetizer that's "homemade" with ingredients you can find at Costco.. Medjool dates (found in the produce section in 2lb plastic tubs), pitted and stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped in applewood)-smoked bacon and baked.

                  1. For a "relish tray": Pickled asparagus, "Sweety Pepp" peppers stuffed with goat cheese.

                    1. My Costco has a great package of what I guess you could call charcuterie - prosciutto and other thinly sliced italian meats. I also like the shrimp platter. I'm a fan of the jalapeno artichoke dip. Many of the cheeses are the same as what I can get at my local upscale grocery store.

                      1. Spanakopita
                        Le Delice de Bourgogne cheese
                        Marcona almonds
                        mini chicken & cilantro wontons
                        Guacamole - I usually add lime juice, chopped cilantro & red onion as necessary.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: ceekskat

                          Where do they keep the mini chicken & cilantro wontons?

                          1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                            DC area,the freezer case

                            1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                              Yes, freezer case here in NorCal too. Think next to potstickers.

                              1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                                They're in the freezer case in NY too. And they are addictive. I love to cook them like potstickers, with a little oil and a little water so they steam and fry simultaneously.

                            2. Kirkland's Frozen Meatballs in a crock pot....combine Barbq sauce and Pineapple Juice for the sauce....cook for 3-4 hours....trust me...I am asked to make them for every party...

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: christy1122

                                they are also really good in the Yoshida's Teriyaki/BBQ sauce.

                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                  A baseball mitt would probably taste pretty good in Yoshida's ...

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    have you got a recipe? i think i feel a theme party coming on. what do we marinade the baseballs in?

                                    i wasn't sure if the mainland Costcos had yoshida's, we have so many unique items here. Kim Chee, Portuguese Sausage, Kalua Pork, Charsubao, etc. Sometimes they have mini portuguese sausages which are great rolled up in crescent rolls . . .

                              2. The frozen Minh mini egg rolls are delicious, a big bag of 60 of 'em are on sale at my Costco (Chicago) for $7, and some sweet'n'sour sauce is included. They nuke or reheat quickly and are very tasty finger food.

                                I found the Ling Ling potstickers a bit doughy and time-consuming to prepare, relatively, hence, have stayed away from Chinese stuff at Costco, but the mini egg rolls are tasty, I think. I often have half a dozen of those and call it dinner.

                                1. I like to buy a wheel of brie, bake it with honey and almonds on top.

                                  The chicken pieces that they always have on sample, the ones where they put out a plain and a bbq, are good. Sorry I don't know the exact name of them. Edamame is a nice snack. Their spinach artichoke dip is good as is their chicken salad. They have some nice smoked fish, really like the white fish salad too. The falafel balls are good as is their tzatziki sauce. This time of year they usually have a ton of samples out, get your friend and bf to do some taste testing and buy what tastes good.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Rick

                                    can the spinach artichoke dip be heated or does it 'break down'?

                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                      Sometimes they demo it warm, so yes.

                                      1. re: treb

                                        I've only ever had it cold and sampled at Costco cold.

                                  2. Thanks to everyone posting in this thread- amazing ideas! And here I thought I was going to be heckled for service costco apps ;) The party is now up to 45 people-i'll try to update what we get and how it goes!

                                    1. I buy the large portobella mushrooms and add some of the lemon artichoke pesto on top and then top with shredded parm or asiago and bake it. Slice them up like mini pizza’s. Delish!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: gbliv

                                        hi, this mushroom appetizer sounds delicious. Do you oil the mushrooms before baking? also, do you remove or leave in the mushroom gills? Thanks so much, Judy