The Best and Worst Costco Food Court Items – Eat This, Not That!

Trying to eat right while grabbing a meal on your Costco run? You might find it a king-size challenge. Like the wide range of products sold in their stores, Costco’s food court is not known for its small portions. And with high levels of sodium and saturated fat (and a serious lack of fruits and vegetables), many of Costco’s meal offerings leave a lot to be desired if you’re looking for a healthy lunch, dinner, or snack.

Part of the problem, of course, lies in the fact that Costco’s menu is pretty limited. Only a handful of entrée, drink and dessert options are available in the big box giant’s dining area. In addition, since the food court menu can vary by season or location, it can be hard to stick to your favorite healthy choice for very long.

However, all is not lost! A few options contain whole food ingredients and won’t set you back as much as others in terms of calories, fat, sodium and carbohydrates. As a nutritionist, I have recommendations for five choices for a healthy dinner, and five to steer clear of the next time you’re shopping at Costco.

RELATED: 7 Weirdest Things You Can Buy at Costco

Top 5 Costco food court items


650 calories, 40 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 2,450 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (6 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 40 g protein

Chicken Caesar salad tops the short list of Costco food court items that feature fresh vegetables. On top of a bed of leafy romaine lettuce, you’ll find grilled chicken, croutons, and shredded cheese, which combine to provide plenty of fiber and protein. Just go easy on the Caesar dressing to cut down on excess fat and sodium.

costco menu signs with acai bowl and frozen yogurt

240 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 25 mg sodium, 59 g carbs (1 g fiber, 50 g sugar), 0 g protein

Costco doesn’t disclose the ingredients on its menus, so it’s hard to know exactly how much fruit the fruit smoothie contains. That said, its nutritional profile is one of the best on the menu. This cool treat comes in at just 240 calories, no fat and low sodium. If you are watching your carbs, however, be aware that this is not a low carb option. It is not yet clear how much of its 50 grams of sugar comes from nature and how much is added.

RELATED: 7 Most Unique Costco Locations in the World

Costco food court

130 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 120 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (0 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 9 g protein

If you want a coffee to sip while you search for epic boxes of crackers and bags of meatballs, try the hot latte from the food court. It has only 130 calories and 12 grams of sugar. It also sneaks in 9 grams of protein!

costco restoration court

450 calories, 20 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 2,610 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (17 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 34 g protein

Surprisingly, Costco’s food court chili with beans and beef is one of their lowest calorie entrees at a modest 450 calories. Its fiber count of 17 grams also makes a considerable dent in your daily recommendation (which, for the record, is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men). The only drawback here is the sodium content of the chili. A bowl of soup lasts more than a whole day recommended sodium.

RELATED: 9 Most Overrated Grocery Items at Costco, According to Customers

costco restoration court

610 calories, 34 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 1,310 mg sodium, 54 g carbs (2 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 27 g protein

I’ll admit that this meaty sandwich has a lot of sodium and saturated fat, but it’s slightly lower in calorie totals than Costco’s other sandwich options. If possible, round off your meal snagging some samples of fruit or vegetables as you mosey along with your shopping.

The 5 worst Costco food court items

costco food court food with pizza
David Tonelson/Shutterstock

710 calories, 28 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 1,770 mg sodium, 77 g carbs (6 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 33 g protein

Costco’s pizza may be legendary for its size and taste, but it doesn’t score many points for health. A single serving of pepperoni persuasion provides a whopping 710 calories and 13 grams of saturated fat. My advice: if you want pizza, buy a Kirkland frozen variety from the Costco store and cook it at home.

menu signs at Costco's food court
Eric Broder Van Dyke/Shutterstock

770 calories, 26 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 2,470 mg sodium, 81 g carbs (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 46 g protein

As in all other restaurants, do not forget that in the food court of Costco, you can always split or take home a part of your order. It’s a great idea if you opt for chicken bread, which not only has 770 calories for the Hot Pocket-style hand pie, but also more than 100% of the daily sodium recommendation.

RELATED: 17 Healthy and Easy Meals You Can Make with a Costco Rotisserie Chicken

costco restoration court

960 calories, 32 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 1,550 mg sodium, 137 g carbs (1 g fiber, 101 g sugar), 24 g protein

You probably wouldn’t expect Costco’s hot dog and soda option to be a health slam dunk — and you’d be right. The classic dog and drink combo doesn’t have much to offer nutritionally. Their white flour bread provides only 1 gram of fiber, and the sugar in your choice of soda (plus the excess sodium and saturated fat in the hot dog) won’t hurt your cardiovascular system.

Costco food court
Andriy Blokhin/Shutterstock

970 calories, 32 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 1,560 mg sodium, 138 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 101 g sugar, 24 g protein)

Costco’s Polish sausage is neck and neck with the hot dog and soda combo, and not in a good way. Like the hot dog, the Polish sausage contains 32 grams of fat (12 of them saturated), and almost the same amount of sodium and calories as the hot dog. Since research has linked a diet rich in red and processed meats to colon cancer, it is better to choose foods such as sausage anyway.

Costco food court

830 calories, 37 g fat (16 g saturated fat), 2,330 mg sodium, 52 g carbs (6 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 53 g protein

A turkey wrap sounds like a healthy choice on paper, but Costo’s food court version is a far cry from a low-calorie sandwich you make at home. Although it boasts an amount of 53 grams of protein, this meal contains 101% of the daily sodium recommendation and 80% of the daily recommendation for saturated fat. In fact, turkey wraps have more saturated fat than any other item on the food court menu.

Leave a Comment