Kitchn Love Letters

I Tried 9 Entrées from Kevin’s Natural Foods and There’s One That’s Totally Worth It

published Feb 27, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

My weekly meal plan is a mixture of homemade meals, restaurant pick-ups, and easy pre-made entrées from the fridge or freezer. Some weeks I rely more on making recipes from scratch, while other times the drive-through cashiers greet me by name. As another busy season of life ramps up, I started looking for faster ways to feed my family without sacrificing the homemade feeling. I have heard my fellow editors rave about Kevin’s Natural Foods, but had yet to try them. When they offered to send me a variety of entrées to try, I responded with a resounding “Yes!” 

Credit: Patty Catalano

What Are Kevin’s Natural Foods Entrées?

Walk through the refrigerated section of the meat or deli department of your local Costco, Target, Whole Foods, or neighborhood grocery stores and you’re likely to see several of Kevin’s heat-and-eat entrées. You’ll also find them á la carte and in eight-pack bundles online. You can keep these meals in the refrigerator until the Use or Freeze By date or freeze the package for up to six months. The meals are gluten-free, and keto- and Paleo-certified, an important factor if that aligns with your personal health or wellness goals. The sauced, antibiotic-free proteins contain no refined sugars, and are instead sweetened with prune juice and monk fruit. Many of their meals are also soy-free, opting for alternative ingredients such as coconut aminos.

There are chicken dinners available in a range of flavors like Thai-style coconut chicken, General Tso’s chicken, and roasted garlic chicken. Korean BBQ beef and Mongolian beef are among the flavors offered in the beef-based meals. The proteins are prepared via sous-vide, where they are cooked to a specific temperature under vacuum in their own seasonings and juices. Because the chicken and beef are already cooked, it takes just five minutes on the stovetop to heat up. 

Credit: Patty Catalano

My Honest Review of Kevin’s Entrées

I prepared nine of the entrées according to the package instructions for the stovetop. Unlike other shortcut suppers where the sauces and proteins are packaged together, the beef and chicken are vacuum-sealed separately from the sauce. If you’ve ever vacuum-sealed foods for freezing, you know that with the removal of air, the foods tend to stick together. That’s why the first step for these meals is to massage the sous-vide chicken or beef to separate the pieces. Then cut open the pouch and drain the excess moisture. 

With the liquid removed, the chicken or beef can brown, rather than steam, in a hot skillet in just one to two minutes per side. Take it from me — you’ll want to make sure to drain the package well. I failed to do so for one of the entrées and the chicken did not brown well. Once the meat has warmed through and taken on some color, stir in the sauce and cook for a few seconds until the sauce bubbles and coats the food completely. While I used the entire package of sauce, one benefit of packaging the meat separately is that you can customize your meal, adding as much or as little sauce as you want.

I have spent a lot of money on and picked around enough sub-par prepared meals that I have a healthy skepticism of meals that promise as much as Kevin’s does. I can honestly say that these entrées have earned a permanent spot on my grocery list. The meals come in 16-ounce packages, which technically is enough to serve three people. Realistically, there’s enough to serve two for dinner, and you’ll still need to prepare a side dish like rice or flatbread and a vegetable to make it feel like a complete meal. 

All of the dinners were quite tasty, but the one bowl I kept reaching for to take another bite was the lemongrass chicken. The chicken in each of the entrées was portioned into hearty, irregularly sized pieces of seasoned boneless, skinless chicken breast, which gives the meal a homemade appearance. The creamy lemongrass sauce is full-flavored and made with coconut milk, coconut aminos, coconut sugar, lemongrass, basil, lime juice, ginger, and other seasonings. Fresh lemongrass is one of my favorite flavors, yet it requires a separate grocery store trip, as my neighborhood store doesn’t carry it. Lucky for me, I can serve the lemongrass flavor without the extra shopping trip or any of the prep work now that I’ve found this meal from Kevin’s. 

Did your favorite variety of Kevin’s Natural Foods make this list? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Buy: Kevin’s Natural Foods, starting at $12 for 16-ounce entree