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Amazon meal kits offer prepared ingredients delivered quickly. A person combines and cooks the ingredients for a convenient meal.

While other meal kit services require customers to commit to monthly or weekly deliveries, Amazon provides a more flexible service for people who do not want a subscription.

Below, learn how these kits work and what some options are. We also provide some alternatives and tips for preparing quick meals without kits.

Please note that the writer has not tried this service. All information is based purely on research and company claims.

Amazon meal kits

Amazon meal kits promise chef-designed meals that take 30 minutes or less to make.

Having prepared ingredients delivered cuts out time spent washing and chopping — a person simply combines and cooks the ingredients using step-by-step, photo-rich instructions.

The range is relatively diverse, from comfort foods to gourmet favorites. The number available varies from location to location, but most users have access to at least a dozen meal kits.

In addition to its Amazon-branded kits, the company also offer a wide range of kits with same-day delivery through Whole Foods, including salads and frozen meals. They also sell a number of kits from other providers.

Unlike other meal delivery services, Amazon’s kits do not require a subscription — a person can buy as many or as few as they want. In many cases, the kits are available for same-day or next-day delivery.

Meal kits typically require more packaging than store-bought groceries. Amazon relies primarily on paper boxes and has made other efforts to reduce plastic waste, though the amount of packaging in a kit may still exceed that of groceries.

Nonetheless, a 2019 study suggests that meal kits produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional grocery shopping. This is mainly due to a reduction in food waste and fewer fuel emissions during transportation.

Amazon meal kits cater to a wide range of palates. However, reviewers have reported a lack of options for specialized dietary needs.

Most meal kits include meat or dairy, with few plant-based options. The range of vegetarian or vegan meals is small.

There is a wide range of gluten-free meals, such as steak au poivre and seared salmon, and others may be paleo-friendly.

A person can check the nutritional information for each item prior to ordering it. However, people can choose additional seasonings, which influences the nutritional content.

Amazon meal kits are available only in areas that Amazon Fresh serves. Currently, a person can order them in Seattle, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and the Northeast.

Some other home delivery meal kit options include:

  • Blue Apron: These meals have a variety of preparation times and can suit several dietary needs.
  • Sunbasket: The company offer fresh, sustainably sourced, non-genetically modified foods, and the recipes generally take under 30 minutes to cook.
  • Purple Carrot: These meals are plant-based and arrive with minimal packaging. Also, many gluten-free or low-calorie options are available.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend researching each meal kit delivery service before making a purchase.

When ordering a meal kit:

  • Check the company’s food safety standards, especially when food poisoning is a special concern, as it is for:
    • adults aged 65 or older
    • children younger than 5
    • pregnant people
    • people with weakened immune systems, due to health issues or immune-suppressing medications
  • Be sure to arrange delivery for when someone is home and can put the food away quickly.
  • Check all packaging to ensure that nothing has been opened or punctured.

Meal kits are not for everyone. Some people have concerns about eating prepared meals containing meat, fish, or other potentially contaminated products.

People looking for more convenient ways to cook might consider:

  • preparing meals in batches, then freezing them in individual serving containers with use-by labels
  • making larger portions and freezing the leftovers
  • chopping and portioning ingredients ahead of time, once a week, so that they are ready to quickly prepare
  • purchasing prepared meals from grocery stores
  • signing up for meal delivery services from local restaurants or chefs
  • ordering a few meal delivery kits, mastering the recipes, then preparing those meals with store-bought ingredients

Amazon’s kits provide a range of prepared ingredients for meals that can be made in under 30 minutes — all without a subscription. However, these kits are only available in certain parts of the U.S., and vegan and vegetarian options may be limited.

A person may enjoy using meal kits for their convenience or as a way to master new recipes and have a more varied diet.

Online meal kits do not appeal to everyone, and there are plenty of other ways to boost the convenience of cooking, such as having a weekly chopping and prep session, freezing batches, purchasing prepared meals, and trying local meal delivery services.