Healthy Vegan Costco Finds: What Plant-Based Pros Buy at the Big Box Store

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Following a whole-food, plant-based diet isn’t just good for your health; it’s also a smart move for your finances, with research showing that plant-based eaters tend to spend less on food than omnivores. Big-box stores offer a way to make plant-based diets even more affordable. With its wide array of fresh and frozen produce and shelf-stable staples, Costco is the budget-conscious home cook’s best friend. We tapped whole-food, plant-based pros for their favorite vegan Costco products and rounded up top recommendations from our Facebook followers, as well. Add these to your shopping list and you’ll be on your way to a well-stocked plant-based kitchen.

Pro Picks

Whole-food, plant-based pros share which products make their Costco memberships worth the spend.

Unsweetened Dried Cherries

“Costco has a great price for Cherry Bay Orchards No-Added-Sugar Dried Montmorency Cherries. They’re tasty in oatmeal, pancakes, and cookies or savory dishes like rice pilaf, rice salad, and whole grain bread stuffing. Or sprinkle them over some banana nice cream!” —Katie Simmons, Chicago-based personal chef and founder of Plants Rule

Salt-Free Seasoning

Kirkland Signature Organic No-Salt 21 Spice Blend Seasoning is my go-to sodium-free seasoning. I like that it has strong aromatics, such as onion and garlic flakes. It has just a hint of Italian herbs, so I find that I can use it in many different cuisines without it making a dish taste distinctly Italian.” —Darshana Thacker Wendel, whole-food, plant-based chef and author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor!

Vitamin B12

“Costco has a few vegetarian-friendly B12 options, including Kirkland Signature B12 and Nature’s Bounty B12, and at least one is typically on sale.” —Cleodia Martinez, author of Ay Sus! Whole Food Plant-Based Global Filipino Cuisine

Guacamole

“Costco has individual containers of oil-free Kirkland Signature Organic Chunky Guacamole that they sell in bulk, so you can have a serving or two and then the rest doesn’t get brown. These are great with carrot sticks, baked chips, corn cakes, or rice cakes for a snack on the go.” —Matthew Lederman, MD, co-author of The Forks Over Knives Plan and co-founder of kinectin.com

Heat-and-Eat Rice Cups

“The Minsley Cooked Brown Rice microwavable cups are super expensive on Amazon and hard to find elsewhere, but they’re always cheap at Costco in LA. This one-ingredient wonder is great to keep at the office or take on a trip if you know you’ll have access to a microwave.” —Elizabeth Turner, editor in chief, Forks Over Knives

Salad Greens

“Costco is the only place to shop! It’s worth the price of a membership just for the Earthbound Farm Organic Power Greens, a blend of baby chard, baby spinach, and baby kale, which these days costs about $7 for 1.5 pounds. Baby greens are the most delicious, and I eat them in my daily huge salads.” —Chef AJ, culinary instructor and author of Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight and The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss

Dry Quinoa

“Costco sells quinoa for significantly cheaper than I’ve seen at other grocery stores, with 4.5-lb. bags of Kirkland Organic Quinoa for around $12.” —Del Sroufe, plant-based chef and author of Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook and The China Study Family Cookbook

Crackers

“I enjoy the whole grain and seed texture of Mary’s Gone Crackers Super Seed Crackers. They’re satisfying plain or with hummus or avocado.” —Melissa Mondala, MD, co-founder of Dr. Lifestyle

Pitted Dates

“The Made in Nature Organic Dates are a go-to. We use these plus walnuts to make delicious dessert truffles!” —Alona Pulde, MD, co-author of The Forks Over Knives Plan and co-founder of kinectin.com

More Vegan Costco Favorites

We also polled Forks Over Knives Facebook followers on their must-have vegan Costco products. These are the products that came up again and again.

Frozen Foods

  • Flav-R-Pac Broccoli Florets
  • Imperial Garden Organic Edamame
  • Kirkland Signature Stir-Fry Vegetable Blend
  • Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend

Refrigerator

  • Del Monte Organic Cubed Fresh Butternut Squash
  • Earthbound Farm Organic Power Greens
  • HouseFoods Organic Tofu
  • Josie’s Organics Organic Baby Spinach
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Chunky Guacamole

Nuts & Seeds

  • Carrington Farms Organic Milled Flax Seeds
  • Kirkland Signature Supreme Whole Almonds
  • Kirkland Signature Whole Fancy Unsalted Cashews
  • Nutiva Organic Black Chia Seeds
  • Rodelle Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Yupik Organic Hulled Hemp Hearts

Whole Grains

  • Bob’s Red Mill Quick-Cooking Steel-Cut Oats
  • Dave’s Killer Bread
  • Guerrero Corn Tortillas
  • Lundberg Organic Short-Grain Brown Rice
  • Minsley Cooked Brown Rice

Pantry Basics

  • Heartland Dry Black Beans
  • Kirkland Signature Creamy Almond Butter
  • Kirkland Signature Organic No-Salt 21 Spice Blend Seasoning
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Peanut Butter
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Pure Maple Syrup (Grade A)
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Quinoa
  • Made in Nature Organic Dates
  • Mary’s Gone Crackers Super Seed Crackers
  • Organic Imagine Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • Volupta Organic Unsweetened Cacao Powder

To learn more about a whole-food, plant-based diet, visit our Plant-Based Primer. For meal-planning support, check out Forks Meal Planner, FOK’s easy weekly meal-planning tool to keep you on a healthy plant-based path.

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About the Author

Headshot of Courtney Davison

About the Author

Courtney Davison

Courtney Davison is Forks Over Knives’ managing editor. A writer and editor on a wide range of subjects, she co-wrote a nationally syndicated advice column from 2016 to 2018 and co-authored the 2018 book Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice from Dear Annie. She is a longtime vegan and in her free time enjoys trying new recipes and spending quality time with her cats. Find her on LinkedIn.
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