Costco Chicken Nuggets - Full Review, Comparison, Chick-Fil-A Clone

Costco Chicken Nugget Comparison scaled

Table of Contents

I’ve already reviewed all three chicken nugget products individually. Check out their full reviews here:
Perdue Panko Breaded Chicken Nuggets
Golden Platter Organic Chicken Nuggets
Just Bare Chicken Nugget Chunks

The full Chick-Fil-A vs Just Bare Nugget test is included at the end of this article.
Jump to Just Bare vs Chick Fil A Comparison

Costco Chicken Nugget Comparison

One of the more popular perennial frozen foods are Costco’s chicken nuggets. Costco has carried a variety of different chicken nuggets over the years, ranging from large poultry producers brands to chicken nugget newcomers. These chicken nuggets have come in all different shapes, filling, sizes, and some even looked like dinosaurs.

Currently, there are three Costco chicken nugget offerings. These are Perdue’s Panko Breaded Chicken Nuggets, Golden Platter’s Organic Chicken Nuggets, and Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Chunks. Today, we are going to look at the pros and cons of each and find out which Costco chicken nugget reigns supreme.

Which Frozen Chicken Nuggets are at Costco?

Before we get into the comparison and analysis, let’s get to know each of the competitors for this ranking and comparison.

Costco Panko Breaded Chicken Nuggets scaled

Perdue Panko Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets

We’ll start with Perdue’s Panko Breaded Chicken Nuggets. Perdue Farms is a large national poultry farmer and producer. They sell these panko breaded nuggets as well as panko breaded chicken patties at Costco. Their 5lb of panko chicken nuggets sells for $12.99 which breaks down to $2.59 per pound. Perdue produces a very traditional chicken nugget that is highlighted by its use of panko breading.

Golden Platter Organic Chicken Nuggets Costco scaled

Golden Platter Organic Chicken Nuggets

Our next nugget is produced by Golden Platter. Golden Platter is what I would consider a newcomer to the game. This is the first time I’ve seen the brand at Costco and in general. They specialize in healthier organic chicken nuggets that still taste great. Their 2lb bag sells for $10.99, which is $5.49 a pound.

Costco Just Bare Chicken Nuggets scaled

Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks

Finally, we have Just Bare’s Lightly Breaded Chicken Chunks. These have taken the Costco community by storm as many members feel these nuggets resemble Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets. These sell at Costco for $14.99 and come in a 4lb bag. The cost per pound for these nuggets is $3.75. The main appeal of these Costco chicken nuggets or chunks as they are called is the fact these are lightly breaded and the chicken meat is full chicken breast chunks instead of a traditional chicken nugget filling. 

The full Chick-Fil-A vs Just Bare Nugget test is included at the end of this article.
Jump to Just Bare vs Chick Fil A Comparison

How much are Costco chicken nuggets?

Chicken Nuggets Review Criteria

Costco Chicken Nuggets scaled

From here, I’m going to touch on each Costco chicken nugget and how they compare in a couple of different areas. When I eat a chicken nugget, I’m looking for a few different things:

Chicken Taste

Obviously one of the big factors is going to be the actual chicken itself. Is it tasty? How is it seasoned? Does it taste like chicken or is it processed beyond all recognition?

Breading

The second and just as important factor is going to be the breading. Breading will make or break a chicken nugget. I’m looking for an appropriate amount of breading, flavor, and crispiness. I heavily value a crunchy breading and would take average chicken meat with a great breading over great chicken meat with average breading. The breading is what makes a chicken nugget, a chicken nugget.

Costco Chicken Nugget Full Comparison scaled

Value

The third metric I will be utilizing would be cost and value. A $10 per pound bag of chicken nuggets will probably taste better than a $2 per pound bag of Costco chicken nuggets, but that $2 bag might provide much more value and bang for the buck. A slightly better chicken nugget for 2 or 3 times the price of a good chicken nugget is just not worth it. Value is king! 

Because I have reviewed each of these nuggets individually already, I am only going to be comparing the air fried version of their nuggets. From my results, this has consistently shown to be the best method to heat a chicken nugget and create a crispy breading. It’s only fair to compare the Costco chicken nuggets at their best.

Costco Chicken Nuggets Review

Perdue Panko Breaded Chicken Nugget

Perdue Farms is going to be our veteran in this Costco chicken nugget comparison. They have been at Costco and in the chicken nugget arena for a very long time. Their current chicken nugget offering, the panko breaded nugget, is your typical run of the mill chicken nugget.

Chicken Taste

Perdue Panko Breaded Costco Chicken Nugget Inner Filling scaled

The chicken is pretty typical for what you would expect from a frozen chicken nuggets. It’s ground up processed chicken. Nothing special about the texture, it does feel slightly lower quality, but nonetheless it is juicy and flavorful. The chicken doesn’t hurt the nugget but also doesn’t greatly improve the nugget, so I’m going to give it a 6/10.

Breading

Costco Panko Chicken Nugget Cooking Comparison Text scaled

This product is advertised as a panko breaded chicken nugget, and when eating this item, I have to expect the breading to be high quality. 

I would not have considered or known this to be panko breading, but because they have advertised it this way it must be technically panko. I personally would have expected larger flakier panko crumbs. 

When air fried with a spray of cooking oil, these come out super crispy. They heat up in about 8 minutes and the breading is excellent. It is very crispy and there is a nice solid crunch with each bite. 

What’s really special about this breading to me is how it’s seasoned. Some other frozen foods at Costco can be rather salty, but these were seasoned nicely. There is a substantial amount of flavor, but it’s not overly salty or overpowering. These can be combined with ketchup, bbq sauce, or any other dip to create a really nice and enjoyable eating experience. The breading didn’t feel like panko but nonetheless it’s above average and I’m going to give it an 8/10.

Costco Chicken Nugget Crispiness Test – Perdue Panko Breaded Chicken Nugget – Microwave vs Air Fryer

Value

Coming in at $12.99 for a 5lb bag, which is $2.59 a pound, there is definitely a lot of value to be had here. The Perdue panko nuggets are the most economical of the Costco chicken nuggets, but they still pack in a ton of flavor. As a grown man, I can expect 8-10 meals or midnight snacks from just one bag. These aren’t award winning nuggets, but the price is right and therefore the value is there. I give these a 9/10.

Overall

There may be some complaints in terms of chicken quality and it may be a touch salty for some, but Perdue panko nuggets are not bad. They are flavorful, affordable, and worth a buy at Costco. Overall, Perdue Panko Breaded Nuggets earn a 7.5/10.

Golden Platter Organic Chicken Nuggets

Golden Platter is attempting to disrupt the chicken nugget industry and pave its own path. People typically will consider chicken nuggets to be a low quality unhealthy junk food, but Golden Platter is targeting a new segment of eaters with their gluten free organic chicken nuggets. While it does have similar nutritional facts as its competitors, the quality and ingredients are going to be unmatched.

Chicken Taste

Golden Platter Organic Chicken Nugget Inner Filling scaled

When I’m looking for a high quality chicken nugget, I want a high quality tasty chicken that is minimally processed. Unfortunately, with these Golden Platter nuggets that are sold at Costco, they don’t meet my requirements. I was rather disappointed with the chicken filling that was in these nuggets. For a company that is creating a gluten free organic nugget, there is a level of expectation to be had for the chicken. 

The chicken in this nugget reminded me of that of your typical Costco chicken nuggets. It may be organic chicken, but it looks heavily processed and unappealing. The chicken was spongy and there left a lot to be desired. If I’m purchasing a premium chicken nugget, I’m expecting something that feels closer to a boneless wing than an everyday store bought frozen chicken nugget. 

That being said, the chicken itself was juicy, moist and flavorful. It didn’t look or feel the way I would have liked it to be, but it wasn’t a bad tasting chicken nugget. The texture was off but the flavor was on point, I’m going to rate this chicken a 6/10.

Breading

Golden Platter Finished Nuggets Labeled scaled

I mentioned this in the full review of Golden Platter’s Organic Chicken Nuggets, but it should be said once more that these remind me of McDonald’s McNuggets. This is the most expensive chicken nugget at Costco, and Golden Platter is attempting to create a healthy version of a nugget, so it’s very disappointing that the nuggets breading immediately reminded me of a fast food restaurant. 

While I felt the look of the nuggets were mediocre, the taste was good. These nuggets were seasoned on the lighter end, but I thought it was enough to create a tasty chicken nugget. The seasoning really allows you to focus on the natural chicken flavors. They were at that perfect level where you could eat the nuggets on their own with no additional sauces or dips, but also complemented any dip extremely well. I ate this with ketchup and bbq sauce and both dips enhanced the overall flavor of the nugget. 

The actual breading of the nugget was adequate in terms of crispiness. The most crispy version of this nugget was in the air fryer (I did not deep fry any nuggets in my testing) and with some cooking spray these nuggets came out golden brown and crunchy. It was a fine tasting chicken nugget, but the breading’s potential crispiness seems capped. I’m going to give the breading a 7/10.

Golden Platter Organic Chicken Nuggets scaled

Value

This is the most expensive of the Costco chicken nuggets, coming in at $5.49 a pound. These are organic and gluten free chicken nuggets and they should be charging a premium for this. While nutritionally this may check some of the boxes off your list, the quality of the chicken meat was sub par for the expectation and price. 

Organic chicken breasts at Costco are double the price of regular chicken breasts, and these nuggets are about double the price of the other Costco chicken nuggets. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like they are double the quality. For value, this Golden Platter Organic Chicken Nuggets score a 5/10.

Costco Chicken Nugget Crispiness Test – Golden Platter Organic Gluten Free Chicken Nugget – Microwave vs Air Fryer

Overall

As the only gluten free and organic chicken nugget at Costco, there is definitely a market for these. You can expect high quality ingredients, and the flavor profile is subtle but very natural. The texture of the chicken may be disappointing for some, given the expectation and price. Factoring in taste, texture, and value, I’m going to give this organic chicken nugget an overall score 6.5/10. It doesn’t jump out to me in any way aside from being an organic chicken nugget.

Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Chunks

Just Bare’s Lightly Breaded Chicken Chunks are one of the most hyped up of Costco’s frozen foods and potentially of the whole warehouse. These are heavily talked about in the Costco community and often in comparison to Chick-Fil-A’s chicken nuggets. Their uniqueness comes from the fact that they use chicken breast chunks for the nuggets instead of the typical ground or processed chicken.

Jump to Just Bare vs Chick Fil A Comparison

Chicken Taste

Just Bare Costco Chicken Nugget Inner Chicken scaled

The chicken is what sets this Costco chicken nugget apart from the rest. As we’ve seen with the previously reviewed nuggets, the filling is usually processed ground chicken. The Just Bare nuggets are full pieces of chicken meat that seemed to be cut directly from a chicken breast. The texture is more reminiscent of a chicken tender than a chicken nugget.

As chicken breast chunks, the texture of the chicken nugget is leaps and bounds better than the competition. You can taste the actual chunks and it contributes to an absolutely delicious chicken nugget. 

Each piece of chicken is also unique. The chunks seem to be cut randomly and could be likened to chicken nugget sized popcorn chicken. 

One issue with the chicken chunks is that some of the pieces can come out a touch dry. They aren’t inedible by any means, but I haven’t noticed this problem with the ground chicken nuggets. I’m going to give the chicken for the Just Bare chunks a 9/10. They aren’t perfect, but I really can’t ask for more from a frozen Costco chicken nugget product.

Breading

Costco Just Bare Nuggets 1 scaled

Just Bare advertises these nuggets as lightly breaded chicken chunks. I’m not entirely sure that if they never mentioned lightly breaded that I would come to that conclusion. They are definitely not heavily breaded but I do feel that is the proper amount of breading. I would even say that the Perdue’s Panko Chicken Nuggets are just as lightly breaded as these. 

While being properly breaded, the breading itself is fairly tasty, but can be slightly salty at times. There are occasions where you could pull pieces of pure breading off the chicken chunk. I’ve never hated eating just the breading, but I know for some that could be a turn off. 

I have no doubt that these would be excellent if deep fried and the breading would come out extra crispy. In my testing, I did not deep fry, but did air fry. The breading had a nice crunch coming out of the air fryer, but I believe there is a lot of untapped potential. I tried spraying with cooking spray and cooking for a few minutes longer to attain the perfect crispy breading, but was unable to do so. 

The breading is flavorful, savory, crispy, but does feel like it falls just a little short of its potential without deep frying. I’m going to give these a 9/10.

Value

Just Bare Nuggets from Costco scaled

At $3.75 a pound, the value is more than there. This is a high quality chicken nugget for a very reasonable price at Costco. It is more expensive than the basic traditional Perdue Panko Chicken nugget, but it is well worth it. Because these are chicken chunks, these nuggets offer quite a bit of versatility. 

Most chicken nuggets are eaten as is, maybe with a side of fries or chips. The Just Bare chicken chunks can offer much more than simply being chicken nuggets. These nuggets would not feel out of place in a salad or sauced up with some rice. This is a quality product that easily exceeds the $3.75 per pound price tag. The value is there and this is an easy 10/10.

Costco Chicken Nugget Crispiness Test – Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks – Microwave vs Air Fryer

Overall

This is exactly what I’m looking for in a chicken nugget. I want a piece of chicken that actually tastes and feels like chicken. Without a doubt, these are the best overall chicken nuggets at Costco. I don’t give out high praise and top tier scores very often, but these Just Bare Chicken Chunks live up to the hype. The taste, texture, and value are on point, and this may be one of the best items in the entire warehouse. I have no choice but to give these nuggets a 9.5/10.

Costco Chicken Nuggets Rankings and Comparison

All the Costco Chicken Nuggets scaled

Hands down the best chicken nugget at Costco are the Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks. They exceed expectations in all categories and really do set the standard for what a chicken nugget should be. The chicken was really tasty and just importantly real tasting.

Just Bare Chicken Nuggets from Costco scaled
Just Bare Chunks

While the Just Bare nuggets are the top dog, the other Costco chicken nuggets have their own strengths and are deserving of their spots at Costco. 

The Perdue nuggets are very economical and can easily satisfy the chicken nugget craving without breaking the bank. They are tasty, convenient, and will get the job done.

Golden Platters Organic Chicken Nuggets hit a completely different segment of the population who is looking for a healthy, organic, convenient, high protein meal. Their price point is high, but not unreasonable. These are an overall good tasting chicken nugget, but may only fill the need of a small subset of Costco members. 

While some of the nuggets are more highly rated than others, Costco does a great job of providing 3 options that can each reach a different customer. Depending on what you are looking for, the chicken nugget selection at Costco will have you covered.

Chicken Nugget Nutritional Information

While each of the three Costco chicken nugget options are quite unique and different from one another, their nutritional profiles are fairly similar.

Each of Costco’s chicken nugget options will consider 3 ounces to be a serving size and have between 160-180 calories per serving. Golden Platter’s Organic Nuggets comes in with the lowest fat content per serving at 5 grams, while Just Bare includes 6 grams of fat. 

The Just Bare nuggets lead the rest of the Costco chicken nugget pack with only 9 grams of carbohydrates and 16 grams of protein. With the lowest amount of carbohydrates and the highest amount of protein, the Just Bare nuggets bring the best overall nutritional profile.

While it’s most likely that these chicken nuggets won’t be eaten solely for their nutritional profile, it is important to be aware of the nutritional content of the nuggets. In this case, the clear cut macronutrient winner of the Costco chicken nugget nutritional profile challenge is Just Bare’s Chicken Chunks. 

Chicken Nuggets from Costco Cooking Instructions

As demonstrated there are many different methods to cooking Costco chicken nuggets. My personal favorite method for taste and convenience is going to be heating the nuggets in the air fryer.

Perdue Panko Breaded Nuggets

Conventional/Toaster Oven (Preferred)

  1. Preheat Oven to 425°F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Place frozen nuggets in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake in oven for 14 to 16 minutes flipping halfway through heating time.
  4. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Air Fryer

  1. Preheat Air Fryer to 350°F.
  2. Place a single, evenly spaced layer of frozen nuggets in the basket.
  3. Heat for at least 6 minutes or until internal product temperature reaches 165°F.
  4. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Microwave

  1. Place 6 nuggets on a microwave safe plate.
  2. Heat, uncovered, on High for 60 to 70 seconds turning halfway through heating time. 
  3. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Golden Platter Organic Chicken Nuggets from Costco

Conventional Oven

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Place frozen chicken nuggets in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Place sheet on middle of rack and bake for 11 minutes .
  4. Turn nuggets halfway through heating time.

Microwave

  1. Place frozen Costco chicken nuggets.
  2. Heat uncovered on high: 
    5 Nuggets for 1 minute.
    10 Nuggets for 2 minutes
    15 Nuggets for 3 minutes.
  3. Turn nuggets half way through heating time. Let stand for 1 -2 minutes before serving

Just Bare Chicken Breast Chunk Nuggets

Conventional Oven

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Place frozen chicken pieces in a single layer on ungreased baking pan.
  3. Bake uncovered for 23 minutes.

Air Fryer

  1. Preheat air fryer to 350°F.
  2. Place frozen chicken pieces in the basket in a single layer.
  3. Air Fry for 8 minutes.

Microwave Oven (1000W)

  1. Place frozen chicken pieces in a single layer on a microwaveable safe dish.
  2. Microwave on high for 2.5 minutes. 

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