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Of the many great deals you’ll find at Costco, frozen dinners offer the best bang for your buck, with generous portions that can feed the whole family at low cost. But despite their per-ounce price appeal, some of the selections in the Costco frozen case have a major drawback: their nutritional content. In fact, dietitians warn against some unhealthy Costco frozen dinners in particular.

While some of the frozen dinners found at Costco may improve your health, others are highly processed and loaded with additives and related nutrients like sodium and saturated fat. Below, find out which frozen dinner dietitians recommend not tossing in your cart.


RELATED: 10 Best Frozen Foods at Costco Right Now

honey prawns and royal asia nuts
Tai Foong USA

Per portion: 240 calories, 13g fat, 610mg sodium, 65g carbs, 10g protein

In general, shrimp is a healthy food, offering plenty of protein and omega-3 fats for a heart and brain boost. But when sprinkled with sugar and oils, as in Royal Asia’s Honey Walnut Shrimp, the tiny sea creatures aren’t a good choice.

“This is one of the least nutritious frozen dinner options available due to the added sugar and highly refined oils used in the sauce,” she says. Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, by One Pot Wellness. Chun points out that this meal is also high in sodium with over 600 milligrams per serving. “Frequent consumption of foods high in sodium can increase your risk of high blood pressure,” she says.

RELATED: 8 healthiest frozen dinners at Costco

Giant corn dogs
Courtesy of Costco Business

For corn dog: 270 calories, 14 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 700 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 10 g protein


For a kid’s birthday party or backyard get-together, corn dogs bring a fun, festive vibe and (unfortunately) a hefty dose of sodium and saturated fat. “Although these party snacks are incredibly nostalgic, they’re not the most balanced option on the shelves at Costco,” she says. Caroline Thomason, RD, CDCES, a dietitian based in Northern Virginia. Each abused dog contains 700 milligrams of sodium and 4 grams of saturated fat.

On the bright side, Thomason says there are healthier, more enjoyable choices in the Costco freezer case. “I like to buy the grass-fed hot dogs if we have a barbecue.”

Raybern's Philly Cheesesteaks
Courtesy of Costco

For sandwich: 430 calories, 22 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 980 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 21 g protein

With high-rise beef and a generous layer of melted cheese, a Philly cheesesteak probably isn’t the healthiest choice wherever you find it. Raybern’s frozen take on the iconic sandwich is no exception. In each sandwich, you’ll rack up 60% of your daily intake for saturated fat and 43% of your RDA for sodium. The hoagie roll is made with refined white flour and questionable ingredients like palm oil and melted cheese make up the filling.

Kirkland signature chicken pies
Courtesy of Costco

For sandwich: 540 calories, 19 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 1,370 mg sodium, 58 g carbohydrates (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 35 g protein

You may know the Costco food court’s Kirkland Signature Chicken Bakes because they’re sure to be a member favorite. While they may be popular, these homemade quiches are less than nutritionally ideal.

“The problem with Kirkland Signature Chicken Bakes is that they contain 1,370 grams of sodium per serving. That’s more than half the RDA for sodium in one food!” He says Bonnie Newlin, MS, RD, LDN, CLTby Crave Nourishment. “Plus, there are over 30 ingredients listed, including high fructose corn syrup.” This ingredient has been associated with promoting certain health problems such as obesity and metabolic dysregulation.

For a less elaborate (but equally affordable) chicken dinner, consider Costco’s Ready-To-Eat Rotisserie Chicken with a Bag Salad Kit.

RELATED: The 30 Worst Frozen Foods in America

don miguel beef burrito
Courtesy of Don Miguel

For burritos: 430 calories, 13 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 990 mg sodium, 58 g carbohydrates (3 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 20 g protein

“Don Miguel’s Shredded Beef Burritos are a pass for me,” he says Amanda Sauceda, MS, RD. His reason for avoiding this frozen Mexican appetizer? A burrito nearly maximizes your sodium for the day, and the carb-to-protein ratio is pretty high. “Although the burrito is high in protein, it comes at the cost of having three times as many carbs, with nearly 60 grams of carbs. Having that many carbs relative to protein means you may feel hungrier sooner than you think.”

Pierre Angus cheeseburger
Courtesy of Costco

For sandwich: 500 calories, 27 g fat (10 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 820 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 25 g protein

Pierre Signatures Angus Cheeseburgers have been a Costco staple for years, but that doesn’t mean they’re a nutritious option. One hamburger contains 510 calories, 55% of your daily saturated fat, and 5 grams of added sugar. For health reasons, make this an occasional (not weekly) pick on your Costco rides.

Bibigo Beef Bulgogi Mandu Costco
Courtesy of Costco

Per portion of 4 pieces: 280 calories, 9 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 820 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 25 g protein

Bibigo’s Bulgogi Mandu beef in the Costco freezer aisle not only carries the fire of Korean spice, but it might also carry a fire of inflammation in your body. “The problem with these little ‘hot meat’ dumplings is that a serving of four small dumplings contains over 700 milligrams of sodium, 280 calories, 3.5 grams of saturated fat and 4 grams of sugar,” says Newlin. He adds that, with a long list of over 20 ingredients, bulgogi is decidedly ultra-processed.

RELATED: Costco’s best and worst restaurant items, according to a nutritionist

Marie Callender's chicken pot pie
Courtesy of Costco

For cake: 600 calories, 32 g fat (14 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 960 mg sodium, 61 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 17 g protein

Chicken pot pie is a comfort food classic, but save your appetite for when you can enjoy it made from scratch. Marie Callender’s Frozen Pot Pies are a far cry from the healthy version Mom used to make.

“While [the pies] may boast 17 grams of protein, they also contain 32 grams of fat and only 4 grams of fiber, making them an unbalanced and less filling choice,” he says Jessie Hulsey, RD, LD, a registered dietitian based in Atlanta. “Excessive intake of saturated fat and low fiber intake can increase your risk of heart disease and other health problems, so it’s important to limit your consumption of these types of convenience foods.”

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