I Tried 16 Meal Delivery Kits—Here Are the Ones I’d Buy Again
If you've ever been curious about them, now is the best time to try a meal delivery service.
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Dinner in a box
Meal kits were already are taking over American kitchens and now, when folks are sheltering in place, having dinner delivered straight to your door is more appealing than ever. From the ones that make you mince shallots to microwavable single-serving packs, I tried every popular meal kit delivery service—here are the ones that are worthwhile.
After a short survey about food preferences, you can choose to shop for ingredients yourself or have a personal shopper shop for you. You can choose from vegan and vegetarian-friendly options, gluten-free choices, and more—everything is super healthy. Unlike some other meal kits where you really need to cook, Hungryroot is mostly already prepped, all the proteins are cooked, and the only veggies that really needed to be cooked are stir fry vegetables. It’s also great that you can get some other groceries, like granola, lettuce, and sandwich wraps delivered in your order, which is super helpful right now. The food is then delivered with recipes that are designed to be easy to follow and take about 10 minutes to prepare. There are plans for one, two, and three or more people, so you’ll never have to worry there won’t be enough to go around. Find out how to avoid becoming a victim of coronavirus shopping frenzy.
There may be nothing better than having plant‑based, no added sugar, chef‑crafted meals delivered to your door, and that’s exactly what Plantable promises. Think pizza pockets and zucchini faro soup. Not only do you get fully prepared meals delivered right to your door, the plans include access to a personal coach who can help you reach your wellness goals one meal at a time. Find out what would happen if an entire country suddenly went vegan.
Trifecta is the nation’s largest organic meal delivery service and partners with the PGA Tour, UFC, Team USA, and more. The meal delivery service is designed for athletes and those who are looking to eat a bit leaner and cleaner. While the portions look small, the meals are ultimately rich and filling. After being cooked, the meals can be frozen for up to three months and then zapped in the microwave, which is very convenient. Meal options include a keto plan, a vegan plan, and a clean plan. Find out more about the best Keto diet for beginners.
California Pizza Kitchen
As part of its response to the coronavirus shelter in place rules that prevent dining in restaurants, California Pizza Kitchen restaurants across the country are offering CPK Market meal kits for you to pick up. You can choose from one of six options including pizzas, taco kits, and a lettuce wrap kit. The ingredients are all raw and the kits come with easy-to-follow recipe cards.
Made for those who are looking to live the plant-based life or eat more plant-based meals, Purple Carrot focuses on quick and healthy meals that are packed with nutrition. With meals like beet, coconut, and bacon flatbreads and Thai skillet eggplant, Purple Carrot is a way to open yourself up to using ingredients and flavors in a completely different way. It also offers breakfast, lunch, and snack options.
While cooking may be tough these days, it’s always good to have a healthy ready-to-go meal on hand. This is where Daily Harvest comes in. The array of soups, smoothies, flatbreads and bowls can be a lifesaver. The meals come pre-packed and prepared, with most only needing a simple warm-up or spin around the blender.
Every Plate doesn’t just offer ten delicious meals made with familiar ingredients every week, but it also does so on a budget. Meaning, it is easier to make homecooked meals even if you’ve been hit with sudden hardship. In fact, with complete meals starting at about $4.99 per serving for one or two people, it may actually be a budget boost as well.
If you’re Keto, Paleo, or vegan, Green Chef is a treat. The meals are easy to prepare and are mostly pre-prepped, which is great when you’re looking for a healthy meal in a pinch. From boxes for two to a family meal plan, Green Chef also has a wide variety of meal selections.
Additionally, the meal delivery service is a USDA organic-certified company, which means you’ll never have to worry about the quality of your ingredients.
Designed to take only 15 minutes and require one pan, Gobble may be the weeknight savior that stays with us when the world returns to some normalcy. Completely prepped and ready to cook quickly, the meal delivery service also offers kid-friendly recipes as well as lean and clean selections for those looking to eat a bit healthier. You can’t go wrong with meals like brown sugar spiced chicken breast with sweet potato and pepper hash and braised chicken enchiladas verdes with avocado and pinto beans, now, can you? We think not. Find out how to stock up wisely, emergency or not.
Home Chef had some of the most interesting meals included in the kit, with about 12 diverse offerings per week. This helped me pack my weekly box with something that I was craving or knew I would like without having to skip a week or modify my options. Some of these meals included an Umami burger, Parmesan-crusted chicken, and ceviche-style shrimp tostadas.
Home Chef also offers add-on purchases that made my life easier, including a smoothie basket for easy breakfasts and fresh fruit for snacks. I also appreciated that the schedule showed meals for the upcoming five weeks. Not only could I see what was being offered and decide to sign up for the week (or not), but I could dream about what I was going to eat for the rest of the month. Try out these food hacks for getting dinner on the table quickly.
Time is my number one problem when it comes to healthy weeknight eating because fast meals aren’t healthy, and healthy meals aren’t fast, especially if you’re vegetarian or looking to eat a more plant-based diet. All that washing, peeling, and chopping takes time. Enter Veestro, a meal delivery service that finesses this dilemma with pre-prepared, plant-based meals that you can just heat and eat. No prep, no sweat. And I didn’t miss the meat at all. I especially loved soba noodles in peanut sauce, the golden chickpea stew, the oatmeal breakfast pie, and the breakfast burrito. The meals come with calorie, fat, carb, and protein counts, but I barely needed to pay attention—every single one is a good choice for a healthy diet. I chose meals that seemed tasty, but if you try it, you can order up gluten-free, kosher, or high-protein meals, or opt for a starter kit, wedding prep, a 3-, 5-, or 7-days weight-loss plan, or even a juice cleanse. Here are 12 expert tips on how to become a vegan.
Martha & Marley Spoon
The Martha & Marley Spoon Kit came with a wooden spatula wrapped up adorably and a little note from Martha Stewart herself. I have to say, this definitely one-upped every other meal kit in terms of packaging. I felt like the queen of the kitchen herself welcomed me to some sort of private cooking club. It got me really excited to cook! These meals were great at teaching the basics of cooking and helped to perfect my skills. The selections I got were comfort food based—a quinoa burger and garlic-braised chicken with creamy grits. All of the ingredients were fresh, and I even had leftovers.
Blue Apron proved the most authentic cooking experience and that was a good thing: It actually took the fear out of trying new techniques for me. While liquids all came pre-measured and prepped, vegetables and herbs did not. I definitely sharpened my knife skills while prepping and preparing these meals, which I loved…when I had the time.
Unfortunately, the time factor is also what deterred me from ordering more complicated dishes. My schedule doesn’t always allow for 40 minutes of cooking, especially when I’m working late, walking the dog, or attempting to make my favorite SoulCycle class.
Also, I found myself modifying this kit more to meet my tastes/time constraints than the others, but it also taught me some easy basics—like pickling onions for a fried plantain torta or whipping up an easy mint-basil-butter sauce for pork chops—that I can do again.
Plated was also a really enjoyable meal kit with a lot of options that surprised me. The meal kit used ingredients in ways that hadn’t occurred to me before—and I definitely added to my repertoire. For example, I tried a beef and sweet potato “lasagna” that is now a staple in my diet. I kept going back to Plated because of the options available and I appreciated how they would “encore” customer favorites. Good ingredients are only half the battle, you also need the right tools. Find out 25 kitchen gadgets you’ll wish you had years ago.
Sun Basket has definitely taken the meal kit game up a notch. The company has made the most concessions for people who are serious about healthy eating and it has the most choices for different types of diets. For example, while I try to stick to a Paleo/Whole30 lifestyle for 90 percent of the week, I wasn’t always able to do that on many of the other meal kits. However, with Sun Basket, not only was I able to stick to my eating regimen, but I also enjoyed some pretty great meals too, including a poached salmon salad with tahini goddess dressing and lettuce-wrapped turkey sliders. The company recently launched a Lean & Clean program that contains lower-calorie meals and is certified by the American Heart Association.
Sun Basket is a game-changer when it comes to meal plans. Many of the ingredients come prepped and pre-measured, the company has made the most concessions for people who are serious about healthy eating and has the most choices for different types of diets. I also like that it offers some pretty interesting cuisines from around the world. I was able to try foods and experiment with spices that I’d never used before. Find out delicious ways a meal delivery service will change the way you cook.
Hello Fresh is really everything a meal kit should be: I was able to cook meals quickly because a lot of the slicing and dicing was already done for me and/or the simple meals didn’t require a ton of prep. The ingredients were basic and fresh but weren’t always used in the traditional way, which taught me how to switch things up and how the same ingredient could create different sauces or flavors. I’ve replicated a few of the meals with ingredients I picked up on my own at the grocery store. Meals offered in the kit include mushroom ravioli, maple and mustard glazed pork chops, and a variety of different types of flatbreads and pizzas. In addition, the brand has recently upped its game with a variety of entertainment boxes, including special Mother’s Day boxes as well as ones that focus on wine pairings.
The only downside to Hello Fresh is that, though they do offer low-calorie options if you’re trying to stay no-carb or low-carb, it’s very difficult. That said, all in all, Hello Fresh was my fave, because everything was prepped already and the recipes were easy to replicate even if I didn’t have a kit, making it a time saver and meal expander! Win-win! For easier meal-making, steal these cooking tricks they only teach in culinary schools.