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The 10 best Amy’s microwave entrees, ranked

If you can afford a pricier microwavable experience, talk to my good friend Amy.
A photo of my personal assortment of Amy's microwavable entrees. Which of these made the Top 10 list?
A photo of my personal assortment of Amy's microwavable entrees. Which of these made the Top 10 list? [ KIRBY WILSON | Times ]
Published Apr. 10, 2020|Updated Apr. 10, 2020

I’ve met someone.

Well, not someone, as in, a human. And “met” might be the wrong word. Meeting is frowned upon these days.

But she’s still special to me.

Her name is Amy. If you’re like me, a 25-year-old who struggles to take care of himself, you may know her too.

I’ll end the bit and get to the point. Amy’s is a brand of vegetarian frozen meals to which, as a vegetarian, I am partial. They’re kind of pricey, running about $4.79 a pop at my local Publix. But they’re about as close to tasting like a home-cooked meal as one can get after four minutes of nuking.

Amy’s meals have always been special to me. But during a time when every trip to the grocery store seems fraught with peril, they’ve taken on extra significance.

I began hoarding, uh, I mean buying, a reasonable amount of nonperishable Amy’s meals early in March. Now, I feel closer to the brand than ever — and extra qualified to deliver a Top 10 ranking of her many, many microwavable entrees.

The company’s website lists 90 offerings. I’ve tried most of them. They each take about five minutes at most to heat up in the microwave. I won’t spill any ink in this article about Amy’s other products — soups, microwavable burritos and other vegetarian victuals — but many are excellent.

If you want to get to know my friend Amy and her delicious entrees, here’s where you should start.

10. Indian Paneer Tikka with Aloo Gobi

Indian Paneer Tikka with Aloo Gobi
Indian Paneer Tikka with Aloo Gobi

I’ll spoil this now: There’s a lot of Indian food on this list. The (heavily Americanized) cuisine is ideally suited for a high-end microwavable meal. This dish in particular is beautifully composed: The rich tomato sauce is well proportioned with the savory bites of potato and cauliflower. Throw both into a bite of rice or eat the three components separately. They all have something to offer. The only downside: The cauliflower can sometimes be limp and overly watery.

The tomato-y goodness of Amy's Indian Paneer Tikka with Aloo Gobi.
The tomato-y goodness of Amy's Indian Paneer Tikka with Aloo Gobi. [ KIRBY WILSON | Kirby Wilson ]

9. Thai Green Curry

Thai Green Curry
Thai Green Curry [ Amy's ]

I almost wish this plate were composed entirely of the just-firm-enough sweet potatoes and the green curry sauce. Those are by far the two most flavorful components. The rest of the vegetables, aside from perhaps the green beans, are forgettable. Still, the curry is creamy without including any dairy — no small accomplishment for a vegan dish. If I were vegan and 10 percent lazier, this Amy’s meal would be a shockingly high percentage of my diet.

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8. Meatless Pepperoni Mac & Cheese Bowl

Meatless Pepperoni Mac & Cheese Bowl
Meatless Pepperoni Mac & Cheese Bowl [ Amy's ]

If you’re thinking “this dish sounds kind of like it should be served to a 4-year-old,” I do not have a counter-argument. However, it is delicious. The meatless pepperoni adds a salty punch I didn’t know I was missing in regular mac. The cheese is high-quality, particularly for a microwavable dinner. It’s on the border of too rich, but it toes the line perfectly. I’m so into this cheese, I’ve taken to mopping up the leftover sauce with a piece of bread post face-stuffing.

7. Roasted Vegetable Tamale

Roasted Vegetable Tamale
Roasted Vegetable Tamale [ Amy's ]

Most of what you taste here is the sticky body of the tamale — not even the mild sauce can overpower the corn goodness — but that should bother exactly nobody. In typical Amy’s fashion, the black bean side dish is the consummate second fiddle: happy to cede the spotlight to the flashier tamale; there when you need a salty palate cleanser. Combine a veggie-filled tamale bite with the beans and thank me later.

6. Indian Mattar Paneer

Indian Mattar Paneer
Indian Mattar Paneer [ Amy's ]

Another stellar Indian offering from Amy’s. The chickpeas are the star here: a rich, sturdy anchor for the dish. I’m not a big fan of regular peas, but they work exceptionally in this composition, offering a subtle vegetable subtext to the loud, cheesy paneer. As always, the basmati rice is also exquisite. Just be sure to avoid the inferior “light in sodium” Mattar Paneer option. You’re eating a frozen meal, and you’re eating vegetarian. Take on the extra salt.

5. Asian Dumpling Bowl

Asian Dumpling Bowl
Asian Dumpling Bowl [ Amy's ]

This surprisingly vegan dish offers perhaps the loudest flavors of any Amy’s dish. The tofu has a delicious herbiness that sparkles between bites of dumplings. The dumplings themselves are well thought out: Ginger and carrots offer the requisite crunch and personality. My only qualm: This feels to me like a Frankenstein monster of two dishes. When I’m eating, I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to be focused on the dumplings or the noodles and tofu. Luckily, both are scrumptious, so the Asian Dumpling Bowl cracks the Top 5.

This bowl is packed with flavor even if the composition is a bit confusing.
This bowl is packed with flavor even if the composition is a bit confusing. [ KIRBY WILSON ]

4. Indian Vegetable Korma

Indian Vegetable Korma
Indian Vegetable Korma [ Amy's ]

If you put on a blindfold, this might be No. 1. The cashews are the nutty glue. They add coherence to two unlike side dishes: the creamy lentil dal and the flavorful vegetable curry. The raisins in the curry are another unheralded star. There’s no bite on the plate that feels wasted or poorly thought out. Unfortunately, you do have to look at what you’re eating, and this microwavable entree looks ... kind of gross. Trust me on the flavors, though.

This veggie korma tastes better than it looks. Trust me.
This veggie korma tastes better than it looks. Trust me. [ KIRBY WILSON ]

3. Indian Palak Paneer

Indian Palak Paneer
Indian Palak Paneer [ Amy's ]

Another Indian dish starring paneer, and I will not apologize. The secret of this genius creation is its simplicity. Three flavors dominate: cheese, beans, spinach. Separately, they are stellar. It can’t be possible, given four minutes of prep time, to top the spinach in this dish. Together, they reach a higher plane of microwavable existence. I’ve eaten this Amy’s meal more than any other — often with a side of toasted pita and hummus — for a reason.

2. Roasted Poblano Enchilada

Roasted Poblano Enchilada
Roasted Poblano Enchilada [ Amy's ]

The metric ton of poblano sauce heaped on these enchiladas makes it nearly impossible to tell what you’re actually biting into. But if you have any followup questions after munching your first bite of this dish, we are very different people. To a greater extent than any Amy’s meal, the flavors here are indistinguishable from one another in the best way. Where does the Monterey Jack cheese end and the poblano begin? Am I crunching on zucchini or bell peppers? A thoughtful consumer may ask these questions. The plate is filled with so much goodness, you will not care about the answers.

1. Chinese Noodles & Veggies

Chinese Noodles & Veggies
Chinese Noodles & Veggies [ Amy's ]

We’ve reached the apex. I said at the top that an Amy’s dish is, at its best, akin to a home-cooked meal. That’s what this creamy, cashew-y delight tastes like to me. When my stomach is upset — and it’s upset a fair amount these days — there’s room for the nutty sauce of this dish. When I am down or discouraged, I remain hungry for the tofu in this dish. I crave its broccoli. Even during non-pandemic times, this meal tastes like home to me. How many microwavable meals can you say that about?

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