Sam’s Club Vs. Costco: Who Has The Best Prepared Foods?
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If you’ve ever strolled by the refrigerated prepared food section at either Costco or Sam’s Club, then you’ve probably noticed the large selection of meals that are already prepped and ready for you to just throw in the oven to cook.
We even did a post on Hip2Save previously about which warehouse club offers the best deals on prepared foods, but this time we’re taking it a step further and I’m having my entire family taste test the similar options from both Warehouse clubs.
It’s Sam’s Club Vs. Costco in our prepared foods taste test!
Take and bake meal options can be convenient and yummy!
In a perfect world, I’d like to cook from scratch, homemade meals each day. However, sometimes that doesn’t happen – and that’s when these already prepared meals are such a lifesaver, especially for busy families like mine! They usually cost less than eating out, and in the end, you’ll get a straight from the oven comforting family dinner.
Today, my family and I will be taste-testing 3 popular Sam’s Club and Costco prepared foods! I’ll be going through the cost, plus the taste and texture differences I notice between the two warehouse versions of the same meal. We will ultimately be picking a winner of the best chicken pot pie, stuffed peppers, and chicken alfredo- YUM!
In case you’re like me and have both a Costco membership and a Sam’s Club membership, I hope this comparison post is super helpful! In fact, last week I discussed which warehouse club had the BEST pumpkin pie through a similar taste-testing comparison, and many of you readers asked for more posts like this.
Sam’s Club Vs. Costco Prepared Foods Taste Test
1.) Pan of 6 Stuffed Bell Peppers
Stuffed bell peppers are one of my favorite meals because they feature a roasted bell pepper as a vegetable, rice as a starch, and ground meat as protein, for a completely balanced meal that’s both delicious and filling. They are topped with cheese, and I love how the bell pepper becomes sweet and tender when roasted.
Hip Tip: Make stuffed bell pepper soup as a quick and easy way to enjoy these same flavors in a warm homemade soup, perfect for chilly weather!
Sam’s Club Stuffed Bell Peppers:
- The price is $3.99 per pound, and my container weighed 2.8 pounds for a total cost of $9.98.
- The bell pepper roasted nicely and was tender.
- The peppers had about half the amount of filling than Costco’s. This was the biggest difference. One bell pepper wouldn’t be filling as a meal in my opinion.
- Taste and flavor was good, noticed slightly less spice and flavor than Costco’s.
- It had a slightly more cheese to meat ratio, which was yummy.
Costco Stuffed Bell Peppers:
- The price is $4.29 per pound and my container weighed 3.48 pounds for a total cost of $14.93.
- These peppers have twice as much filling than Sam’s Club. In fact, the cook time was also much longer at 60 minutes.
- The roasted pepper was also sweet and tender.
- The sauce with the filling was more flavorful, and moist, plus I loved the addition of fresh parsley and herbs.
Result: Costco is the Winner!
I love the taste and texture so much! There is so much more meat and rice filling per pepper, so to me it’s definitely worth the extra per pound cost for the Costco peppers! 4/4 of my family members voted Costco!
It’s worth noting that the Sam’s Club peppers are also tasty, but if I had to choose one, I’d pick the Costco version of stuffed peppers over Sam’s Club.
2.) Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken pot pie is a classic childhood favorite with a creamy filling of veggies and chicken and then topped with a flaky crust, which most of us know is the best part! It’s pretty much the definition of comfort food, yet it’s a bit labor intensive to make completely from scratch so buying it prepared makes sense for busy evenings!
Both the Costco and Sam’s Club pies have 18 servings and take about an hour to bake in the oven.
Hip Tip: I make an easy Sheet Pan Chicken Pot Pie using puff pastry as a shortcut and it’s delicious!
Sam’s Club Chicken Pot Pie:
- The price is $3.84 per pound and my container weighed 4.11 pounds for a total cost of $17.98.
- Its filling has more of a creamy white color and thinner texture with frozen peas and carrots.
- The chicken texture seemed more boiled and soggy, and my slice had a giant thick piece of rubbery chicken skin. Thumbs down on the chicken in this pie.
- The taste of the filling however was delicious!!! It reminded me more of a Marie Callender’s frozen chicken pot pie, which we are big fans of.
- The crust was very flaky and buttery, yet noticeable thinner in texture than Costco’s.
Costco Chicken Pot Pie:
- The price is $3.29 per pound and my container weighed 5.53 pounds for a total cost of $18.19.
- The veggies in this pie are larger and fresh – not frozen.
- The filling in this pie is more of a translucent color, and has more fresh herb flavor. It’s more of a gourmet or grown up tasting pot pie than the Sam’s Club for sure.
- The chicken pieces are SO MUCH BETTER! There are lots of nice pieces of roasted chicken in here that have lots of flavor.
- The crust is thick and SO perfect.
Result: Costco is the winner!
This Costco chicken pot pie was the clear winner with a 4/4 majority vote from my family. It’s interesting too that the per pound cost is a little higher on the Sam’s Club version, but I think the quality of ingredients is higher with the Costco version, and seems more gourmet.
I will say that the flavor of the Sam’s Club cream filling was actually my favorite taste-wise, but I couldn’t get past the soggy tasteless pieces of chicken, and if I had to pick one over the other, I’d go with Costco!
3. Tray of Chicken Alfredo
Chicken alfredo is a rich, creamy pasta dish featuring lots of parmesan cheese, butter, and cream. It’s a crowd-pleasing savory Italian dish that my family sure loves. My kids like to order this meal at restaurants, so I was excited to try this take and bake version from both Sam’s Club and Costco!
Hip Tip: You can make homemade chicken fettuccine alfredo right in the Instant Pot! It’s super easy to make using that method!
Sam’s Club Chicken Alfredo:
- The price is $3.99 per pound and my container weighed 2.8 pounds for a total cost of $9.98.
- Spiral noodles are used in this version.
- The ratio of chicken to pasta was much less, meaning it was mostly pasta.
- I followed directions on the package, but would maybe cover the dish in foil next time to avoid drying out. It was pretty dry.
- It was tasty, but seemed to lack sauce, which meant it lacked flavor compared to Costco’s.
Costco Chicken Alfredo:
- The price is $3.99 per pound and my container weighed 4.08 pounds for a total cost of $16.28.
- The Costco version has penne noodles and tons of creamy and cheesy sauce. The sauce itself was very flavorful and appealing.
- There was also so much YUMMY chicken. I loved that they did not skimp on the chicken and it genuinely tasted great!
Result: Costco is the winner!
It’s so interesting that the cost per pound is the same for this dish, yet they are pretty different. Costco’s has much more sauce and chicken, and was overall a better tasting experience. 4/4 of us votes for this Costco version of chicken alfredo!
And that wraps up our taste test!
Costco for the win! 🏆
Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments!
On a side note, I may like the Costco prepared foods better, but team member Paige love to shop at Sam’s Club over Costco – here’s why!