Serverless framework deploy does not install node dependancies

I have a very simple node app which I got from the serverless examples: examples/aws-node-express-api at master · serverless/examples · GitHub. I deployed with:

serverless deploy

serverless.yml is:

service: aws-node-express-api

frameworkVersion: '2'

  name: aws
  runtime: nodejs12.x
  lambdaHashingVersion: '20201221'

    handler: handler.handler
      - http:
          path: /
          method: ANY
      - http:
          path: /{proxy+}
          method: ANY

handler.js is:

const serverless = require("serverless-http");
const express = require("express");
const app = express();

app.get("/", (req, res, next) => {
  return res.status(200).json({
    message: "Hello from root!",

app.get("/hello", (req, res, next) => {
  return res.status(200).json({
    message: "Hello from path!",

app.use((req, res, next) => {
  return res.status(404).json({
    error: "Not Found",

module.exports.handler = serverless(app);

package.json is:

  "name": "aws-node-express-api",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "dependencies": {
    "express": "^4.17.1",
    "serverless-http": "^2.7.0"

When I run a CURL, I get:

{"message": "Internal server error"}

When I check the logs I see:

    "errorType": "Runtime.ImportModuleError",
    "errorMessage": "Error: Cannot find module 'serverless-http'\nRequire stack:\n- /var/task/handler.js\n- /var/runtime/UserFunction.js\n- /var/runtime/index.js",
    "stack": [
        "Runtime.ImportModuleError: Error: Cannot find module 'serverless-http'",
        "Require stack:",
        "- /var/task/handler.js",
        "- /var/runtime/UserFunction.js",
        "- /var/runtime/index.js",
        "    at _loadUserApp (/var/runtime/UserFunction.js:100:13)",
        "    at Object.module.exports.load (/var/runtime/UserFunction.js:140:17)",
        "    at Object.<anonymous> (/var/runtime/index.js:43:30)",
        "    at Module._compile (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:999:30)",
        "    at Object.Module._extensions..js (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:1027:10)",
        "    at Module.load (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:863:32)",
        "    at Function.Module._load (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:708:14)",
        "    at Function.executeUserEntryPoint [as runMain] (internal/modules/run_main.js:60:12)",
        "    at internal/main/run_main_module.js:17:47"

I went to the Lambda function on AWS and I see:

enter image description here

So you can see there is no node_modules folder. I dont want to push up the node_modules folder, I expect the dependancies to get installed automtically (Im pretty sure this happened before when I last create a serverless node function). But it’s not getting installed. How can I ensure dependancies get installed?

Before running serverless deploy, did you run
npm i

Is there a node_modules folder in your project before deploying it?

serverless deploy is just going to package up what’s in your project folder.

thanks for the information.

thanks my issue has been fixed.