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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.

People need an Amazon Prime subscription to order meal kits from Amazon Fresh, but they do not have to order set amounts of meals each week.

This article looks into how Amazon Meal Kits work and what options it offers. It also provides some alternatives and tips for preparing quick meals without kits.

Amazon meal kits

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

The kits come with pre-prepared ingredients, which cuts down cooking time for customers. A person combines and cooks the ingredients using step-by-step instructions and photos of each step.

The number of dishes available varies from location to location, but most users have access to at least a dozen meal kits. They can include dinners and salads.

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

Amazon’s kits require a subscription to Amazon Prime — but a person can buy as many or as few meals as they want. In many cases, the kits are available for same-day or next-day delivery.

Amazon meal kits are a potential option for people with limited grocery shopping or cooking time. It may also be helpful for people new to cooking, as each kit includes full instructions on making the meal.

However, a person needs to have an Amazon Prime subscription to order from Amazon Fresh. This may make this service unsuitable for people who do not want or cannot afford a regular subscription on top of meal costs.

Amazon is an extremely popular global e-commerce brand.

On TrustPilot, it has an average rating of 1.7 out of 5 stars, based on over 21,100 reviews. While people praise its huge selection of products and very convenient delivery times, many complain about customer service issues and delivery problems.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has accredited Amazon and awarded it a rating of A-. There are over 2,400 reviews that give the company an average rating of 1.16 out of 5 stars. Positive reviews mention good experiences with customer service. However, there are a large number of negative reviews that raise complaints about deliveries, problems with accounts and memberships, and faulty or counterfeit products.

On the Amazon website itself, people can find reviews and ratings for most meal kits. For example, Amazon Kitchen’s Chicken Tikka Masala kit has a 4.2-star rating from over 2,590 reviews. Most of the products, including meal kits, salads, sandwiches, and soups, also have a rating of 4-stars or more.

Positive reviews praise the flavor and the fact that the kits saved customers time.

Negative reviews complain about small portions, unpleasant food textures, under or overcooked ingredients, lack of flavor, and imbalances in the kits’ nutrition.

A person may wish to consider the following pros and cons of Amazon Meal Kits.

Pros

  • meal kits can save people time
  • meals come with detailed instructions
  • can help those who are new to cooking
  • does not require customers to order a set number of meals

Cons

  • reports of small portions
  • may be more expensive than buying fresh ingredients
  • some meal kits may not offer balanced amounts of protein, fats, and carbohydrates
  • many meal kits contain high amounts of sodium
  • very few vegan or vegetarian options
  • does not provide meals for specific diets, such as keto
  • requires an Amazon Prime subscription

Amazon meal kits cater to a wide range of tastes. However, there is a lack of options for specialized dietary needs, such as vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free diets.

Most meal kits include meat or dairy, with few plant-based options.

Some meal kits available include the following:

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best single-serve meal: Slow-Cooked Beef & Mashed Potatoes

  • Price: around $8.99
  • Calories: 420

This meal includes beef with mashed potatoes, onions, mushrooms, and gravy.

It includes 20 grams (g) of fat and provides a person with over half their recommended daily sodium intake. It also provides 13 g of protein, according to the product labeling.

This is a one-person meal, which may make it suitable for people who live alone.

Overall, reviews are positive. However, some reviews mention there is not enough meat and that the portion size is small.

Best meal for two: Chicken Fajita Bowl

  • Price: around $14.99
  • Calories: 470

This “no-prep” kit is for two people, which may make it suitable for couples.

It includes pre-portioned ingredients and seasoning and reportedly takes 10 minutes to cook. Ingredients include chicken, corn, queso, rice, peppers, and seasoning.

According to the product labeling, each serving provides 34 g of protein. It is very high in sodium, with each serving containing 2,020 milligrams (mg) of sodium, which is 84% of a person’s recommended daily intake.

Amazon writes that it contains vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium.

Best lunch option: BBQ Seasoned Salad with Chicken

  • Price: around $8.99
  • Calories: 200–350

This meal may suit people looking for an easy lunch meal kit. It includes chicken, romaine lettuce, spinach, black-eyed peas, onions, cheddar cheese, and a BBQ ranch dressing.

The product labeling shows that this salad kit provides 19 g of carbohydrates, 23 g of protein, and 570 mg of sodium.

The calories per serving range from 200 to 350 depending on whether a person uses the salad dressing.

Reviews praise this kit as an easy option for lunches. However, some customers found it did not arrive fresh.

Best vegan option: Quinoa Lentil Salad

  • Price: around $3.99
  • Calories: 320

This meal kit costs around $3.99 per portion. Its ingredients include quinoa, lentils, split peas, olive oil, lemon juice, and spices.

It does not contain dairy. According to the product labeling, it provides a person with 13% of their daily carbs and 25% of their daily fiber. It also provides 10 g of protein.

However, it contains a high amount of sodium, and one portion provides 49% of a person’s recommended daily intake.

Reviews are generally positive, although some find it does not have enough flavor.

Amazon Fresh does not deliver meal kits everywhere.

Currently, it delivers to 42 cities in eight U.S. states, plus Washington D.C. These include:

  • California
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • Maryland
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • New Jersey

A person can consider the following factors before signing up for Amazon Fresh deliveries:

  • Cost: Meal kits may be more expensive than groceries in some cases. This is because a person must factor in the cost of an Amazon Prime membership on top of individual meals. Additionally, some meals are for one or two people, which may make buying meals for a family more expensive. Learn more about the cheapest meal delivery services.
  • Nutrition: Amazon Meal Kits may not offer customers balanced nutritional meals. They often contain high amounts of sodium and do not often contain a wide range of vitamins or minerals. Most meals offer some protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables. Learn more about the best low sodium meal delivery services.
  • Packaging: 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 reduced food waste and fewer fuel emissions during transportation.

Here are some other home-delivery meal kit options people can consider.

Sunbasket

This company offers fresh, sustainably sourced, non-genetically modified foods, and it claims its recipes generally take under 30 minutes to cook.

People can choose between Meal Kits or a Fresh & Ready option. Meal Kits come with portioned ingredients and instructions on preparing the meal, allowing the individual to learn how to cook.

The Fresh & Ready option may suit those very short on time. The company pre-cooks the food and delivers it in a heat-safe tray, which a person can heat in the oven or microwave within minutes.

To order with Sunbasket, consumers must have a subscription. The cost will differ according to the number of meals a person orders per week and whether an individual chooses Meal Kits or the Fresh & Ready option.

Excluding discounts, people can expect to pay between $9.99–11.49 per meal.

Learn more about Sunbasket.

Blue Apron

Blue Apron offers a variety of meals that can suit different dietary needs. People can choose from over 50 weekly options. Most options are meal kits with portioned ingredients and instructions on how to cook that particular meal.

However, the company also offers a small selection of ready, heatable meals.

Blue Apron does not offer diet-specific plans. Instead, it offers chef favorites, wellness, and family-friendly plans. People must look at the ingredients of individual dishes to see which ones are suitable for their dietary needs.

Prices are around $7.99–11.99 per serving. Signing up requires a subscription that consumers can skip, pause, or cancel at any time.

However, the brand offers a few meal kits people can purchase without a subscription.

Learn more about Blue Apron.

Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot offers a vegan meal subscription. Many meals are also gluten- or soy-free or low calorie.

There is a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, which rotates each week.

There are no diet-specific plans. Instead, Purple Carrot organizes its menus into Meal Kits and Prepared Meals.

Meal Kits allow a person to season and cook the ingredients themselves, whereas the Prepared Meals come in a microwaveable tray that a person can heat in a matter of minutes.

People can expect to pay around $11–13 per serving with Purple Carrot.

Learn more about Purple Carrot.

The table below compares Amazon Meal Kits to its main competitors.

Meal kitsTypes of mealsDietsRequires a set number of meals per orderRequires subscriptionPrice
Amazon Meal Kitsyes• salads
• dinners
• meat
• vegan
noyes• around $3.99–14.99 per serving

$14.99 a month Amazon Prime subscription
Sunbasketyes• breakfast
• lunch
• dinner
• snacks
• meat
• paleo
• vegetarian
• gluten-free
• keto
• diabetes-friendly
• pescatarian
• low carb
yesnofrom $9.99–11.49 per serving
Blue Apronyes• lunch
• dinner
• meat
• vegetarian
• family-friendly
WW recommended
yesyesaround $47–127 per week
Purple Carrotyes• breakfast
• lunch
• dinner
• gluten-free
• vegetarian
yesyesaround $79–132 per week

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 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.

If a person receives food that arrives above 40º F, they should not taste or eat it. A person should notify the company if this occurs. People can use thermometers to check the temperature of their food when it arrives.

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

People looking for more convenient ways to cook might consider the following:

  • 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 prepare quickly
  • 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

Below, we answer some of the top frequently asked questions about Amazon Meal Kits.

How much does Amazon charge for food delivery?

Amazon offers free 2-hour delivery for orders over $35 with Amazon Prime.

Buyers must have an Amazon Prime membership to buy meal kits and other products from the Amazon Fresh range. This costs $14.99 a month.

Does Amazon deliver cold food?

Yes, Amazon delivers cold food.

What is the most budget-friendly meal delivery service?

Amazon Fresh offers a small selection of meals typically priced between $3–14.99 per serving.

Other meal delivery services offer a wider range of meals for $4.99 per serving, such as Dinnerly and EveryPlate, which may make these services more suitable for those working with smaller budgets.

Are food kits worth it?

Whether a person finds food kits worth the price depends on their needs and circumstances. If a person is new to cooking, short on time, or wants to try a wide range of new meals each week, food kits may be worth it.

However, food kits may not be nutritionally balanced and can contain high amounts of sodium. Additionally, a person may be able to find the same ingredients at a grocery store at a more affordable price in some cases.

Amazon meal kits provide a range of prepared ingredients for meals that people can make in under 30 minutes. However, these kits are only available in certain parts of the U.S., and vegan and vegetarian options may be limited.

Additionally, a person must have an Amazon Prime subscription to order Amazon meal kits.

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

Online meal kits do not appeal to everyone. 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.