The Prepared Salad You Should Always Skip At Costco

prepared meals on display
prepared meals on display - The Image Party/Shutterstock

We commend Costco for offering us the convenience of ready-made meals. Its rotisserie chicken is so good (thanks to one ingredient), and shoppers can't get enough of Costco's rib-sticking prepped meal. But not all of its offerings are praiseworthy. There are some of Costco's prepared foods to avoid, such as its Tortellini Pasta Salad. What should be a vibrant medley of tortellini, salami, and mozzarella goodness is a bad off-the-shelf meal experience for many shoppers.

You can't spot the salad's shortfalls just by looking at it, but a few forkfuls in, and you, like our original reviewer Sarah Bisacca, might chew into a mushy mass of pasta. The principal feature of Costco's tortellini pasta salad comes overcooked or even, as in the case of one Redditor, can tend to be undercooked. Either way, it's a tale of two extremes that ought to be rectified by a cooking guideline or pasta timing rule to check for doneness.

Not only does Costco's tortellini pasta have texture issues -- it falters in flavor. The dressing is lackluster or, according to one Instagram commenter, the salad has "[n]o flavor and the tortellini is dry." Many Costco shoppers have echoed sentiments about the tortellini pasta salad being dry, too, while our reviewer struggled through an overdressed, greasy batch. It seems everything that can go wrong will go wrong with this salad, and unless you're partial to displeasure, you're better off skipping it.

Read more: 15 Popular Pasta Sauce Brands Ranked

Costco's Tortellini Pasta Salad Wasn't Always Bad

Costco's prepared tortellini pasta salad
Costco's prepared tortellini pasta salad - Facebook / Costco Does It Again

But it hasn't been all negative. It seems that Costco's tortellini pasta salad has had better days, as another Instagrammer professed that they "like[d] it the first time ... Lately it's not been very tasty," while a Reddit user had this to say about it: "This is by far one of the best if not the best I have ever had and is one of my most favorite things to get at Costco." A huge reason many shoppers complained is that they once loved Costco's tortellini pasta salad. But even the most positive reviews are eventually overshadowed by recurring negative ones pointing to similar issues, indicating that this is more than just a case of a bad batch.

The worst part is you never know what to expect with Costco's tortellini pasta salad. If, against your better judgment, you buy this thinking you'll simply reboil the undercooked pasta, you may be met with an overcooked batch. This means that even with all charges dropped against it, the crime of inconsistency will still betray Costco's tortellini pasta salad. Otherwise, you're likely to chew into another issue -- too much fat, a lack of veggies for relief, or no fresh elements. What initially cost you $4.99 may end up costing you more resources in attempts to fix it, so be sure to keep that in mind if you decide to go through with this purchase.

Read the original article on Tasting Table