Meal Planning

Everything You Need for Your Backyard Cookout Is at Costco

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If you and your social bubble are taking advantage of the last of the summer weekends to get your cookout game on, you may be in need of some basics and essentials from Costco. Here are classics in every category for a minimal effort cookout with maximum fun!

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Crowd-Pleasing Appetizers

You can’t go wrong with a good vegetable platter and dip. I love the Costco vegetable trays: With plenty of variety and already arranged for you, they’re ready for the table! For a little zip in your dip, I like the La Terra Fina Artichoke Jalapeno dip. And if you like a little something more substantial to nibble on, the El Monterey Chicken and Cheese Taquitos are a quick heat-and-eat option.

Buy It: Organic Veggie Tray ($15.89), instacart.com | La Terra Fina Artichoke Jalapeno Dip ($7.19), instacart.com | El Monterey Chicken and Cheese Taquitos ($12.19), instacart.com

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Drinks for All Ages

Everyone is going to need to stay hydrated, and sugary sodas might not be the best option. I love Pure Leaf unsweetened iced tea, because it tastes like homemade, and people can add sweeteners or not as they prefer. The San Pellegrino Essenza flavored sparkling waters have slightly more sophisticated flavors that are still kid friendly, like Dark Morello Cherry Pomegranate and Tangerine Wild Strawberry.

Buy It: Pure Leaf Unsweetened Black Tea ($15.89), instacart.com | S. Pellegrino Essenza Flavored Mineral Water Variety Pack ($16.19), instacart.com

RELATED: 9 Common Mistakes You're Making at Cookouts That Could Make You Sick

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Burgers and Dogs

Cookouts are all about burgers and sausages on the grill, and Costco always has great variety in both categories. I love their signature frozen ground beef burger patties, but if you need a vegetarian option, look for the Don Lee Farms Organic Chipotle Black Bean Burgers. I’m a Chicago girl, so I am always going to opt for a Vienna Beef hot dog when given an option, but if you are more of a bratwurst family, the Kirkland Signature Brats are a great way to go!

Buy It: Kirkland Signature Ground Beef Patties ($20.79), instacart.com | Don Lee Farms Organic Black Bean Burgers Chipotle Blend ($10.99), instacart.com | Vienna Beef Franks ($15.89), instacart.com | Kirkland Signature Brats ($10.39), instacart.com

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Cheeses

Your cookout sandwiches always need cheese. The Finlandia two-pack gives you the choice of cheddar or Colby Jack slices, and while they are a reduced-fat product, they melt beautifully and you won’t taste the difference. If you want to get a little fancy, try the Arla sliced Havarti, with a creamy melt and mild flavor everyone will love.

Buy It: Finlandia Reduced Fat Cheese Deli Cheese Slices ($9.69), instacart.com | Arla Sliced Havarti Cheese ($9.79), instacart.com

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Buns

A basic cookout doesn’t need fancy buns, so go with the tried and true. Rosen’s makes terrific brioche-style hamburger and sandwich buns, and their hot dog buns are the perfect delivery service for any sausage.

Buy It: S. Rosen’s Deli Brioche Buns ($4.69), instacart.com | S. Rosen’s Enriched Hot Dog Buns ($3.49), instacart.com

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Condiments

Stocking up on the basics for me always means the Heinz Picnic Pack: two bottles of ketchup, one each of mustard and relish. And of course, ranch-on-everything folks will want to grab a two-pack of Hidden Valley. Do I dip my chicken taquitos in ranch? Maybe. Am I sorry? Nope.

Buy It: Heinz Picnic Pack ($9.79), instacart.com | Hidden Valley Salad Dressing ($12.19), instacart.com

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Side Salads

A traditional cole slaw is never unwelcome at a cookout, and Costco has a great one. But if you are looking for something more special, try their salad kit with dried cherries, almonds, and blue cheese for a little next-level salad situation.

Buy It: Golden Taste Cole Slaw ($4.69), instacart.com | Organic Cherry Almond Blue Salad Kit ($9.79), instacart.com

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Carb-y Sides

You always have two choices when it comes to a cookout carb: the cold salad or the hot side. If you love potato salad (and who doesn’t), try the Alison’s Loaded Potato Salad, which tastes like a loaded baked potato in salad form. And there may be no more perfect accompaniment to any cookout than a great mac and cheese: The Kirkland Signature is a perfect choice. 

Buy It: Allison’s Deli Loaded Potato Salad ($8.59), instacart.com | Kirkland Signature Mac and Cheese ($12.69), instacart.com

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Chips

My go-to for any cookout is always the variety pack of chips, because they don’t go stale sitting out in a bowl the way the big bags do. Everyone can pick their favorite style, and for me, a little bit of portion control is not a bad thing! I stick with the Frito Lay, either the regular Variety Pack or the Baked Variety Pack if I know my guests prefer them. For something more interesting, and helpful for my own low-carb needs, I will sometimes grab Whisps Cheese Crisps, which are crispy rounds of either cheddar or parmesan and are great for snacking or tossing onto salads.

Buy It: Frito Lay Variety ($16.59), instacart.com | Cello Whisps Variety Parmesan & Cheddar Cheese Crisps ($13.49), instacart.com

RELATED: How Long Can I Safely Leave Food Sitting Out at a Cookout?

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Desserts

You know you want something sweet after all that salty cookout food, and I love the Costco bakery for desserts on every end of the spectrum. My go-to for cookouts is usually the butter pound cake, which I can slice up and serve with fresh fruit and either ice cream or whipped cream. But if I want to be a little bit more elegant, their caramel très leches cake is a slice-and-serve dream. And both freeze beautifully, so if you happen to have leftovers, wrap them in single servings for future cravings!

Buy It: Butter Pound Cake 3 count ($9.79), instacart.com | Caramel Tres Leches Bar Cake ($18.29), instacart.com

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