I’ve Had Dozens of Costco Prepared Meals—THIS Is the Best One

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I cut myself some slack. With three kids, I’m shuffling between basketball, chess, soccer, Magic Club, and too much homework. So I often reach out to my support system for help with dinner: takeout.

One of our favorites is Indian, but by the time we order enough mains, rice, and naan for the five of us, the bill approaches $100. Though being too busy is a solid excuse for not cooking, the cost is a good reason to break the habit.

What do I do instead of spending my children’s college funds on takeout? I reach for my all-time favorite Costco find: Sukhi’s Chicken Tikka Masala. I can throw together an equally delicious meal in under 15 minutes using this $14.99 pack* of creamy, spiced curry made with hunks of chicken.

*This is the retail price from a Costco location in Central Virginia in January 2024. When they’re on sale for about $10 each, I stock up and keep them in the freezer.

What’s Chicken Tikka Masala?

It’s highly likely you’ll find chicken tikka masala on the menu of most Indian restaurants. The tandoor-grilled chicken pieces smothered in a creamy, buttery, tomato-based curry are beloved for good reason. It’s delicious. The creation of this popular dish is often credited to a Pakistani restauranteur in the United Kingdom, though its origins are still up for debate.

Simply Recipes / Photo Illustration by Wanda Abraham / Sukhi’s

How I Turn Sukhi’s Curry Into a Meal for My Family

The Sukhi’s Chicken Tikka Masala from Costco comes with two pouches (36 ounces total) which isn’t quite enough to feed my family even when served with rice and naan. So here’s what I do to stretch it.

Pour the two pouches into a medium pot. Add one (13.5-ounce) can of full-fat coconut milk and one (15.5-ounce) can of drained chickpeas. This is a smart way to almost double the volume and bulk up on vegetable protein. Give everything a good stir, cover the pot with a lid, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes.

Sometimes I add a teaspoon of garam masala (you could use curry powder) and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to make it spicier, but it isn’t necessary. The flavor is bold as-is and adding the coconut milk and chickpeas won’t mellow it out too much. If you’d like it saltier, taste and season it after it’s fully heated through.

Trader Joe’s carries frozen garlic naan that you can throw into the toaster and pre-made frozen rice you can reheat in the microwave—two conveniences I rely on to round out this meal quickly.

All in all, this meal costs me about $20. This is a sanity and money-saving strategy I’m sticking to and a reliable weeknight dinner my whole family loves.

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