Have you ever ordered a meal kit service? If not, you should…at least once. It's a unique experience worth trying out at least once, kind of like trying a new cocktail or venturing out from your standard order at your favorite restaurant. Even if you don't like it, at least you tried. For me? I really fell in love with meal kit services after trying trying Blue Apron when it first came out.
I was just bored of cooking the same damn thing over and over again. Yes, there are thousands of free recipes online, but that takes time and planning. As a bachelor, I didn't really care much for planning and just invented whatever I could think of with the items I bought. I wasn't a bad cook – I was just a boring one. Ordering meal kit services for me was about branching out into something new, even if it did cost quite a bit of money.
I'd say cost is the main issue with these services. If you're on a budget, these delivery kits simply won't work on a long term basis. For $8+ per serving, and a total of sometimes $20 per meal or more, it's a hard sales pitch compared to delicious meals under $5 you can cook with fresh groceries from the store.
Price isn't the only thing to consider though! With some of the more exotic kits, you'll get just a little of those weird spices or hard-to-find vegetables that you can try out without investing too much. Are you really going to use that whole pack of turmeric or are you going to use it once for a curry then let it sit in your cabinet for a year before you throw it away? (I've done that!)
Plus, even if you are on a budget you still have some cool options. Most of these services give you a deep discount for the first delivery, and regularly send “we want you back” discounts. If you time things right, you could be paying 40% less for some of your orders.
And don't forget, eating isn't always about cost effectiveness. Sometimes it's about enjoying the process of cooking and enjoying time with friends and family. With a bottle of wine and an hour to kill, you can have a wonderful Friday evening in your home.
There are so many meal kit delivery options out there though, which one should you try? I've done the work for you and organized them into this giant list of everything I could find. There are probably some local ones unique to your area as well! What's my favorite? Well, I haven't tried them all yet, but my favorites so far are Plated and Sunbasket. There are links to the full reviews below!
What's your favorite meal kit so far? Let us know and we'll tally the vote! (Comment below)
Meal Kit Services
Sun Basket emphasizes healthy meals, which includes relying on organic produce, along with seasonal and sustainable ingredients. They only offer two menus, the Classic Menu and the Family Menu. Sun Basket produces a selection of meals for these each week, which contains a variety of different recipes to choose from ($45 discount link!).
You're limited to the meals on the menu but there are plenty of options. Many of them also meet specific dietary needs, such as gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and paleo. The service is also one that I've tried myself and you can read the full review here. The short story is that Sun Basket is one of the better meal kit services out there and it offers good value for money. It's particularly interesting if you're looking for an organic meal kit service, although there are other options out there too.
While there are only two menus, Sun Basket offers multiple plans that combine the meals in different ways. These include a Lean & Clean Plan, along with vegetarian, Mediterranean, vegan, and pescatarian options. So, there is plenty of choices.
Regardless of the plan, the Classic Menu starts at $11.99 per serving and provides three recipes per week for two or four people. The family plan starts at $10.99 per serving and provides two, three, or four recipes each week. There are fewer dietary styles with the family plan, although many of the meals are designed to be kid-friendly.
We have grown to associate plant-based meals with a bland taste or at best, a raw taste. Purple Carrot puts an end to this stereotype. The company does focus entirely on plant-based meals. But, they offer dishes that taste amazing and are incredibly creative. Their menu includes many different styles of meal as well and you're bound to find some of them inspiring.
You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the dishes either. They can work well for all diet types and are a good way to eat more vegetables regularly. All of their meals are high in protein and they also offer a performance meal plan for athletes and people who are very active.
The prices range from $10 to $13 per plate. They have three plans; the 1 to 2 person option at $12 per plate, the 3 to 4 at $10 (returning early 2018), and the 1 to 2 person high-performance program at $13 per plate. The 1 to 2 person plans provide three meals each week, while the 3 to 4 person plan offers two meals per week. Their 100% plant-based meals are not just easy to make, but they are also great for your health.
Located in Aurora, Colorado, Green Chef delivers all-natural meals (get $40 off your first Green Chef box). All their ingredients are certified organic and do not contain antibiotics, hormones, synthetic ingredients, or GMOs. They have a range of meal plans which include Carnivore, Vegan, Vegetarian, Omnivore, Gluten-free, and Paleo options. Each recipe comes with a different green salad that is tastes very good. All of the provided instructions are precise and easy to follow.
They pack the meals in recyclable containers and deliver ingredients in refrigerated boxes that are insulated to ensure they remain fresh. Their experienced chefs attach easy-to-follow recipes alongside with each meal, so you know exactly what to do. The Vegan option goes for $11.99, Omnivore for $11.99, Carnivore for $13.49 per meal. The Gluten-free option costs $13.49, Vegan $11.99, Vegetarian $10.49, while the Paleo plan costs $11.99. They also charge a shipping and handling fee of $9 regardless of your location.
The company is also one that I've reviewed myself. I tried the Carnivore version and was not disappointed. Green Chef wasn't my absolute favorite meal kit service but it is still one that I recommend.
All meal kit companies offer flexibility. You can often pick and choose from their menus and you can leave out ingredients (or make substitutions) while you are cooking. Plated provides more versatility than most, allowing you to choose from around 20 meals each week. They organize these well, making it easy to find the types of meals that you will enjoy.
I tried the meal kit myself to review it and I did enjoy the variety of options, along with the design of the website. Nevertheless, meals from Plated are sometimes on the complicated side and they're more expensive than many other meal kit companies. They can still be worth it and the food itself tastes great.
There are three different meal plans to choose from, based on servings. You choose either two, three, or four servings per night and then two, three, or four servings per week.
The two servings plan goes for $11.95 per serving while the three and four-servings plans go for $9.95 per serving, regardless of how many nights per week. Modifying the ingredients in your food is a button click away. Of course, there is a limitation to when you can do it, but the restrictions are reasonable.
Terra’s Kitchen delivers top quality, pre-measured, sustainably produced and chopped ingredients in meal kits to your doorstep. Their meal kits will take you less than half an hour to prepare, which is a bonus. Their menu has over 50 recipes founded on the principle of the Mediterranean lifestyle and they include vegetarian, paleo, low-calorie, gluten-free, and vegan options.
They pack each ingredient in separate containers to prevent cross-contamination. These also make meal prep and storage easy. Plus, they're recyclable. Your meals come in a specially designed refrigerated box that the company picks up the following day.
Meals are priced individually, often around $10.99 to $12.99 per serving for dinner. They ship meals for free as long as you meet the minimum order amount of $62.99. The style gives you more control over your meals and you don't need to rely on a rotating weekly menu.
Chef’d operates much like an ‘eat out’ meal kit delivery service. You can subscribe if you wish, but unlike many other delivery services, you do not need a subscription to place your order. It is as easy as visiting their website, choosing your preferred meals, and they will deliver your meal kit when you want it. They offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks within the structure of five meal plans.
In total, Chef'd provides more than 650 different meal kits. This is a much larger selection than you'll find elsewhere. The options don't rotate weekly, although new meals are added from time-to-time. Prices vary depending on the meal. But, a dinner for two can often be around $29 to $32. Many meals can serve two or four, depending on your preferences.
There are also diet plans provided, developed by experts. These include: American Diabetes Association, Atkins, New York Times, Spoon University, and Weight Watchers plans. These offer easy ways to get healthy meals, without needing to plan each week.
Hungryroot is a nutritious meal kit service that delivers pre-prepped fresh ingredients with easy to follow recipes. Their products are high in nutrients, good fats, and fiber, while also being low in sodium, sugar, and calories. The style is slightly unusual, as you're not getting individual ingredients. Instead, you get packages like sweet potato ribbons and kale pesto. Meals often just involve combining a few of them over heat and typically take 10 minutes or less to prepare.
They offer two meals plans: The Starter Set and Good Life. The Starter Set includes two servings with three meals and four sides, sweets, and snacks. The Good Life comes with two servings of five dishes and five sides, desserts, and snacks.
They beautifully package the ingredients and encourage you to eat crinkle-cut veggies, desserts, succulent sauces, and cookie dough. Their oatmeals are flavored using cane sugar as opposed to refined sugar. The shipping boxes are 100% recyclable, and they fill the ice packs with a non-toxic gel that you can clean and reuse. The Starter Set costs $69.00 while the Good Life box costs $99.00.
For highly customized weekly menus and flexible schedules, Hello Fresh is an interesting choice. They provide three meal plans: Veggie Plan ($9.99/serving), Classic Plan ($9.99/serving) and Family Plan ($8.74/serving). The Veggie and Classic plans cater for either two or four people, while the Family Plan is for four people only. You choose between two, three and four meals per week, depending on the plan.
The emphasis is on fresh and healthy meals, although the selection is on the small side. Meals are labeled based on allergens. But, this isn't the best company if you want dairy-free, gluten-free or vegetarian meal kits. There just aren't enough meals to choose from.
Meals include a variety of fish, meat, and seasonal produce. Hello Fresh uses a weekly rotating menu, so the meals you get access to vary from one week to the next. The prices are highly reasonable, and the food is of high quality. They do not charge a shipping and handling fee for any order. You can choose to cancel, pause, or modify your subscription at any time.
The service is also one that I've tried and reviewed personally. It does have some good aspects, including meals that are easy to prepare. But, it was one of my least favorite meal kit services and the meals could use improvement.
The main selling point for Gobble has to be the speed of preparation. Meals from Gobble are designed to take just 15 minutes and can be cooked in a single pan. The recipe cards also involve just three distinct steps, which makes cooking easier and faster still.
The style isn't for everyone. When I reviewed Gobble myself, I found that the food wasn't exciting enough. You're also relying on pre-made sauces, which is never my preference. But, the appeal is easy to see if you have a busy schedule or want fast and easy meals. There are also kid-friendly dinners, making this an interesting meal kit service for families.
You have to choose a dinner for two or four people, and they will deliver three weekly dinner kits for your order. They have a weekly menu including ten tasty meals. There is no shipping fee, you get easy-to-follow chef-crafted recipes, and their meal plans are flexible.
Ordering six or more meals from Gobble will cost you $ 11.95 per serving. A weekly shipment of meals for two people costs $71.70, while it costs $143.40 for four people. After the first week, if you order four meals, the cost per serving is $13.95 per meal and a total of $55.80 for the four servings.
Since 2014, Daily Harvest has been offering a vast range of tasty and quick solutions for a healthy diet. The company is a little unusual, as they don't focus on traditional meal kits. Instead, their options include smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, sundaes, and lattes. Ingredients are flash-frozen and can be easily cooked or blended to create a nutrient-dense snack or meal.
Daily Harvest allows members to pick and choose which products they want. They do have a weekly subscription service delivering six or twelve cups of flash-frozen and unrefined organic ingredients. You can also opt for the monthly subscription offering twenty-four cups of their foods.
Their subscriptions are highly flexible, and you can cancel or skip orders if need be. There are no shipping charges on any orders. The recipes are gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free. The cost for the weekly deliveries with six cups is $7.99 per cup translating to $47.94 per box. The weekly order for twelve cups is $7.49 per cup, and the cost per box is $89.88. The monthly subscription with twenty-four cups costs $6.99 per serving, and the price for the entire package is $167.76.
As the name suggests, Green Blender simply focuses on smoothies. The idea is similar to Daily Harvest, although Green Blender has a wider range of smoothies and focuses more heavily on greens like kale and spinach. They also use hard-to-find superfoods and often end up with unusual flavor combinations.
Every week you will get five smoothie recipes that are pre-measured allowing you to make up to ten smoothies. Their smoothie recipes include Butternut Chai, Mint Detox, Pineapple Mulberry Persimmon, Pear Spice Chia, Superfood Oatmeal, Cran Coconut Grape, Cranberry, and Coconut Kick.
The recipes are handcrafted and packed with nutrients and flavors using organic ingredients from local farms. There is no set minimum subscription period, and you can cancel or pause an order as long as you communicate five days before the upcoming delivery. The prices depend on how many boxes you want, with each box containing five recipes and a total of ten servings. The week-to-week subscription plan costs $4.90 per serving, a total of $49.00 per box. The four box subscription goes for $4.40 per serving and a total of $176 per package. The price of the twelve box subscription is $3.90 per meal, a total of $468 per box.
FreshRealm is a meal kit service that delivers fully pre-cut, prepped, and portioned ingredients right to your doorstep. They have more than 100 dinner options and a selection of snacks, juices, and breakfasts. Tastemakers design perfect recipes for their menu, often relying one ones that are simple and easy to prepare.
You do not need a subscription; you only have to hit the minimum order size of a vessel with a requirement of four servings. If you order six meals, you qualify for free shipping. They separately pack the ingredients in reusable containers to avoid wastage.
At FreshRealm, meals range from $10-$20 per serving, and two meals per week cost $60 at a rate of $15 per serving plus a shipping fee of $10. The charges for three meals per week goes to $90 at the cost of $11.95 per serving, and there are no delivery charges. You can save $0.75 if you do not want the printed recipe card.
Nutrisystem maintains a strong focus on weight loss. It isn't the only weight loss meal kit service out there – but it does have some unusual approaches. The meal plans include the Basic plan, Core plan and Uniquely Yours plan. These involve some meals that you prepare yourself using kits, along with various other products, like bars, shakes, and boosters.
The chefs focus on combining lean proteins and fiber sources to help you feel full. There is also a reliance on low-glycemic carbs for stabilizing blood sugar. They avoid artificial colors, preservatives, and sweeteners. Most of their items are frozen and packed in recyclable coolers to reduce the environmental impact. The basic plan costs $9.96 per day while the four-week option costs $278.99. For the Core plan, a meal goes for $10.68, and a four-week cost is $298.99. The cost of the Uniquely Yours plan is $12.29 per day while the four-week price is $343.99. The Diabetes Basic plan goes for $9.96 per day, the Diabetes Core plan is $10.68 per day, and the Diabetes Uniquely Yours plan cost $12.29 per day. The Vegetarian plan goes for $13.71 per day.
Medifast follows a similar style to Nutrisystem and also emphasizes weight loss. As the image below shows, many of the components are already prepared. The meal kits provided typically involve less work than average and the food isn't as exciting. Nevertheless, the style can work well for long-term weight loss. The provided programs include the Jump Start 5 & 1 plan, Stay Fit Maintenance Plan, Medifast for Men, Medifast for Seniors, Medifast for Diabetes, and Special Weight Loss programs.
The meals contain fewer calories than normal, making them powerful for weight loss. The programs have been clinically tested as well. You work with a certified weight controller counselor to support you in preparing healthy meals. The rate for the 30-day 5 & 1 plan is $390 (including taxes and shipping charges). A 2-week 5 & 1 plan is $195. A 2-week trial kit with 56 meals plus a food journal as a bonus gift is at $149. The Medifast Achieve Plan is $299 or $399 for 30 days. A seven-pack of a single meal replacement like a shake, smoothie, or oatmeal costs $16.95.
Peach Dish is a meal kit delivery service in Georgia that delivers fresh meal kits accompanied with cooking instructions right to your doorstep every week. They focus on modern and fusion recipes, which means the meals are often unusual and a little exciting. Peach Dish uses a weekly menu that provides four original and four seasonal recipes each time. The seasonal recipes are often in place for weeks at a time, while the original ones change regularly. At least two selections will contain seafood and meat each week, while at least two others are vegetarian.
This is also a service that I've tried myself. They do offer some unusual meals but many others are conventional and a little boring. The ingredients are fresh and locally sourced (excluding the exotic spices and any other foods that are not native to the residents of the United States). This is also one of the more expensive meal kit services.
There is no shipping fee for all locations. An order of four meals, which provides two dinners for two people, goes for $12.50 per person. There is also a price break if you're ordering for four, where two meals for four people costs $90 rather than $100. The minimum order size per meal is four servings while the maximum is eight servings.
One Potato helps families eat healthy organic meals that take about 30 minutes to prepare. The meal kit delivery service offers non-GMO plant proteins as well as meat, poultry, and fish from sustainable sources. The service is also designed to use few ingredients per meal to create something that still looks and tastes amazing.
Their plans include the two, three, four, five and six potato. Those names simply refer to the number of servings. Each program allows two to three orders a week. Like many services, One Potato operates off a rotating menu. However, there are relatively few options each week.
Even the pickiest eaters will enjoy One Potato meals, and they also have some meals that are designed for that exact audience. The average price per adult meal is $11.99, but you will have to add $1.50 if you need gluten-free customization (you'd be better off with an entirely gluten-free meal kit service). Pricing for child-specific meals is set at just $4.50 per serving. Some of the plans can reduce the price per serving significantly. Shipping is free for standard orders, but their surprise gift box will cost $4.99 to deliver.
Planning meals can be strenuous for most people. PlateJoy takes the burden and prepares you meal plans that suit your preferences. The food delivery service’s unique characteristic is that they do not deliver ingredients; they just help you make a grocery list. This means they're not quite a meal kit service but they still offer many benefits. You can also reduce your costs by eliminating things that are already in your pantry.
They cater for a variety of diets including vegetarian, paleo, diabetic, low carb, pre-diabetic, gluten-free, and low sodium, among others. You can opt for their annual subscription that will cost you $99. There is also a semi-annual plan that costs $69. The only downside is that they only allow you to purchase from Instacart (if you need the ingredients delivered to you). Your subscription price does not include the items you buy on Instacart.
Good Eggs delivers to the San Francisco Bay Area only and offers ingredients that are extremely fresh. The local area focus should mean that you are getting food much sooner than with other companies. Recipes are designed to minimize your time in the kitchen. Most take between 10 to 15 minutes to cook and cooking times are listed on the site.
The best thing about them is you don't need a subscription, although you can sign up for one if you choose to. This means you can order what you want, when you want it. There is a decent selection of meals to make your choices from. They are also a green company; they take back their packaging and re-use it. You can even get your delivery on the same day if you order dinner kits.
So far, they only have an omnivore menu, but they plan to start catering for paleo, vegetarian and other diet options soon. Costs vary depending on what you order. For example, Roasted Chicken Panzanella costs $21.99. Sides and salads tend to be less expensive. The minimum purchase amount is $30 and each meal has three servings. Shipping is free for items above $60 and $9.99 for purchases below that amount.
Imagine having your meals created by Martha Stewart. The renowned chef has teamed up with Marley Spoon to ensure you can cook just like her. The meal kit service brings you only the best fresh, seasonal ingredients. Their meal options change every week. The selection isn't large but there are always interesting meals to choose from.
They refer to their plans as boxes. You can either order the two-person or the three to four person boxes. In each case, you can get two, three, or four meals each week. There is also the option to choose vegetarian or non-vegetarian meals. The recipes tend to be simple to prepare, often taking around 30 minutes to cook. The recipe cards are also simple and easy to follow.
Breakfast, lunch, and dessert options are not provided as part of the plan. However, these can be added on as side dishes. The price for the two-person package starts at $9.50, and you will pay at least $8.20 per meal for the three to four person meals. Shipping is free to all locations.
Every once in while you have a cheat day, but it is mostly the same old junk food. Burga Box brings you burgers with a difference. Your two person kit arrives bearing two massive burgers, 16 oz fries, another 16 oz gourmet mac and cheese, and a side of baked beans and coleslaw. The portions are so large you will probably have a lot of leftovers for another meal.
You get recipe cards to help you along the way, and these are very easy to use. For A la Carte meals, you will pay $65 for a two-person kit, $75 for a four-person package and $45 for a small trial box. You can also subscribe, which decreases the cost per meal. The more extended the subscription period, the more savings you make off of your orders.
When you think of meal kit services, Blue Apron is probably one of the first names that springs to mind. Blue Apron was one of the earliest companies in this field and they heavily advertise their services. I’ve been a member myself multiple times as well. While their meals aren’t the most amazing or creative options out there, they are consistently decent and would appeal to many people.
You do get to select your own meals with the service and there is even a wine option. The biggest limitation is dietary needs. Blue Apron does have vegetarian meals, but this is the only dietary need that they cater for. If you can eat pretty much anything, the style is fine. But, if you have an allergy or are on a specific diet, Blue Apron may not be the best choice.
There are two main plans from Blue Apron. The Two-Person plan can provide either two or three recipes each week and costs $9.99 per serving (free shipping). The Family Plan is designed for four people and offers two, three or four recipes per week. This one costs $8.99 per serving.
Home Chef was the most recent meal kit service that I’ve tried – and it was enough to make me excited about the process again. The absolute best thing about Home Chef was the food. The meals managed to taste delicious, without requiring an excessively long time in the kitchen. This was often because the recipes were a little creative, relying on some interesting flavor combinations.
The service doesn’t promote itself as being allergen-friendly but they do allow you to select taste preferences. This includes stating whether you prefer low-calorie and/or low-carb meals, along with ingredients that you want to avoid. But, it isn’t clear how strictly the company follows these requests. As such, the company is best suited to people who aren’t highly sensitive to specific ingredients.
Home Chef uses a rotating meal plan, giving you somewhere between 11 and 15 options each week. Some of these are vegetarian, while others are meat-based or fish-based. There are normally a few smaller meals in the mix too, which could make for an interesting lunch.
Meals cost around $9.99 per serving and you can choose between two and six servings per meal (perfect for a family!). You can also choose between two and six meals each week. But, there is a minimum order size of $45.
The end result is that Home Chef is a decent enough service. The pricing is reasonable and the meals are interesting. It isn’t my favorite company but it is still better than many others.