Complete Guide to Meal Kit Delivery Services

Review and Compare Popular Food Programs

Considering a meal kit delivery service? For many consumers, these programs are the most convenient way to eat a nutritious menu full of a wide variety of foods. But finding the best meal kit program can be tricky. Scan these reviews to find out which food delivery program meets your needs.

Plated

Plated Meal Kit
Plated

Subscription details: Meal kits are available for two, three, or four servings per night. Customers commit to automatic recurring weekly subscriptions for two, three or four nights per week. Changes and cancellations are allowed if made at least six days before your next scheduled delivery. Weekly delivery is available across the continental United States.

Meal and food information: Menus include meat, seafood, poultry, and vegetarian options. You'll find traditional fare as well as more adventurous ethnic recipes, spicy foods (labeled as such online), and options for cooks who need "quick prep" or "stovetop only" meals. Limited low-carb and gluten-free meals are also available. Dessert options are also provided. Ingredients are locally sourced when possible. Some, but not all, ingredients are organic.

Meal cost: You'll pay $12 per serving per night plus tax. A $6 shipping fee applies if you choose the two person/two night per week meal plan. Subscribers can add dessert to any dinner for $8. When dessert is added to the two person/two meal plan, the shipping fee is eliminated.

Nutrition information: Calorie and macronutrient information available online and calorie counts provided on meal cards. Most meals provide around 600-800 calories. Oil used for cooking (not provided in meal kit) is accounted for in the calorie counts. Allergen information is provided on the website, but the company is unable to guarantee that meals are free of allergens.

Package quality: Food is packaged nicely. All meals arrived cold, fresh, neatly labeled, pre-organized into nightly meal kits and in very good condition.

Food quality and taste: Very good

Cooking time: Accurate

Best for singles (who enjoy leftovers), couples, or small families who enjoy cooking and trying new foods and new tastes but don't have time to shop and investigate new recipes.

Blue Apron

Subscription details: Recurring, weekly meal kits available for two people three days per week (the 2-Person Plan), or four people for two or four days per week (Family Plan). Cancellation and changes are allowed up to six days before your next delivery.

Meal and food information: Meals are listed online according to cuisine (American, French, Southern, etc) and main ingredient (beef, lamb, fish, pork, etc). Some vegetarian and gluten-free meals are available. Some, but not all ingredients are organic. Wine pairings are suggested and a separate wine program is available. Cooking tips and techniques are also provided online.

Meal cost: You'll pay $9.99 per serving for the two-person plan or $8.74 per serving for the four-person plan. Shipping is free.

Nutrition information: A complete Nutrition Facts label and ingredients list are provided online and with each meal kit that is delivered. Customers can see data for the meal as packaged (just the ingredients provided in the meal kit) or as prepared (including cooking oil and salt used in preparation). Allergen information is also provided.

Package quality: Very good. Food arrived cold, fresh, and in very good condition.

Cooking time: Mostly accurate. Some meals took slightly longer than suggested.

Food quality and taste: Very good

Best for singles (who enjoy leftovers), couples, and small families who have time most evenings to cook and who enjoy exploring new tastes (and wine pairings), but don't have time to shop or plan meals.

Green Chef

Subscription details: Weekly meal kits available for two people, three days per week or for a family of four two days per week. Cancellation and changes are allowed as long as they are made by the cut off time seven days before your delivery. Green Chef is available in most parts of the continental United States.

Meal and food information: A wide range of meal choices is provided for customers who are omnivores (eat everything), carnivore (meat eaters), or for those who are following a Paleo, vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free diet. Almost all ingredients are USDA-certified organic and non-GMO.

Meal cost: Pricing depends on the food plan you follow. Two-person plans range from $10.49 per serving for the Vegetarian Plan to $14.49 per serving for the Paleo Plan. Family plans range from $11.99 per serving for the Omnivore Plan to $12.99 per serving for the Carnivore Plan. There is a $9 shipping and handling fee per box.

Nutrition information: A complete Nutrition Facts label and ingredients list are provided for each meal online. Calorie information is provided on the meal instruction cards. Allergen information is also provided.

Package quality: Ingredients are sent in eco-friendly packaging but items are not divided into separate meal kits. Extensive information is provided online about packaging specifics and suggestions for creative ways to reuse materials.

Food quality and taste: Very good

Cooking time: Meals took slightly longer than suggested on meal cards.

Best for environmentally-concerned consumers who have special dietary needs or who follow strict eating plans. Calorie counts were slightly higher for some of these meals so portion sizes may need to be reduced if weight loss is a goal.

Home Chef

Subscription details: Weekly two-serving meal kits are delivered to customers in most areas of the continental United States. Biweekly and monthly plans are also available. Delivery changes and skipped deliveries are allowed as long as the changes are submitted by the Friday before your scheduled delivery date.

Meal and food information: Most meals are protein-based and include a meat or poultry foundation. Some vegetarian meals are offered and vegan selections are also occasionally provided. Smoothie and fruit baskets are available as add-ons. Calorie-conscious and carb-conscious meal choices are indicated online.

Meal cost: Most meals cost $9.95 per serving. Delivery is free for orders over $45. Shipping costs $10 for orders under $45.

Nutrition information: Basic nutritional information (calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, and sodium data) is provided online. Calorie counts are provided on each recipe card.

Package quality: Very good

Food quality and taste: Although these meals were less adventurous in terms of taste, the meal quality was excellent.

Cooking time: Accurate

Best for consumers who enjoy more traditional meals with some (but not a lot) of experimentation in their weekly menu plan. Also good for customers who are looking for calorie- or carb-controlled meals.

Sun Basket

Subscription details: Weekly meal kit delivery with recipes provided by James Beard award-winning chef Justine Kelly. Customers choose from a Classic Menu including three meals per week for two or four people, or the Family Menu which provides two to four meals with kid-friendly flavors for four people per week. Changes may be made to your order by as long as they are submitted by the Thursday preceding delivery. Sun Basket delivers to much of the continental United States except for certain parts of the Midwest.

Meal and food information: Customers can choose from healthy meals that are Paleo, gluten-free, or vegetarian. Recipes are inspired by both global flavors and traditional comfort foods. Family-friendly favorites like tacos and pasta also include plenty of vegetables to help kids get their daily allowance. This is one of the few meal kit delivery services that includes breakfast choices.

Meal cost: Prices are based on the plan that you choose. If you choose the Classic Menu you'll pay $11.49 per serving plus a $5.99 shipping fee per order. Customers who choose the Family Menu will pay $9.99 per serving plus a $5.99 shipping fee per order.

Nutrition information: Extensive nutrition information is provided online and on meal cards. Most meals provide 500-800 calories per serving. Allergen information is also provided.

Package quality: High quality recyclable, compostable packaging. Food arrived cold, neatly packaged into meal kits and in excellent condition.

Food quality and taste: Excellent (this company was a reviewer favorite)

Cooking time: Accurate

Best for eco-conscious families, singles or couples who enjoy cooking and aren't intimidated by unique flavors and ingredients.

Hello Fresh

Subscription details: Weekly meal kits delivered for two or four people. Customers who choose the two or four person Classic Plan select 3, 4 or 5 recipes each week or three recipes for four people. Customers who choose the Veggie Plan (for 2-4 adults) or the Family Plan (for two adults and two children) receive three pre-selected recipes each week. Changes and cancellations are allowed as long as they are indicated at least five days prior to your scheduled delivery. Hello Fresh delivers to most areas in the continental United States.

Meal and food information: Recipes are built around meat, poultry, seafood, and pork. Vegetarian meals are also available on the Veggie Plan. Recipes are inspired by traditional favorites and also include meals that provide spicy, global tastes. Limited breakfast recipes are also available.

Meal cost: Prices depend on the plan that you choose. On the Classic Plan or the Veggie Plan, you pay $9.99 per meal. On the Family Plan, you pay $8.74 per meal. Delivery is free.

Nutrition information: Nutritional information is provided online so you can see it before ordering. But some oil used in preparation is not included in the calorie and fat count. Specific amounts are always given in the instructions so your calorie count may vary from the data that is provided. Allergen information is provided.

Package quality: Excellent. Food arrived neatly divided into meal kits. All items were cold, fresh and in very good condition.

Food quality and taste: Very good but each recipe used more oil than you might generally use to prepare meals.

Cooking time: Accurate

Best for singlescouples and families who do not have special dietary needs (vegan, Paleo, gluten-free) and who are less concerned about calories and fat in meals OR know how to cut back on fat when preparing meat, veggies, and seafood.

Daily Harvest

Subscription Details: Smoothies and soups made from healthy ingredients delivered weekly or monthly. Cups are kept frozen until they are used. They can be blended with water or with other suggested liquids such as broth, almond milk, or coconut water. Subscriptions auto-renew but can be changed as long as changes are submitted by Saturday prior to delivery. Daily Harvest delivers to most of the continental United States.

Meal and food information: Some, but not all of Daily Harvest's ingredients are organic and non-GMO. The company promises to use only organic ingredients when providing foods off of the "dirty dozen" list. Most smoothies are Paleo but the soups are not. Smoothie ingredients are vegan and also dairy, gluten, and soy-free. Note: In order to prepare the smoothies you need a blender. After blending, the meal can be poured back into the cup that comes with a straw-friendly lid.

Meal cost: Prices depend on the quantity that you order. If you order six weekly smoothies or soups you pay $7.99 per cup. Twelve soups or smoothies will run $7.49 per cup and if you order 24 cups you'll pay $6.99 per soup or smoothie.

Nutrition information: Nutrition information is provided online and on each package. Any calories from added liquids need to be accounted for separately. The smoothies provide plenty of (natural) sugar but very little protein. Exercisers and healthy eaters who are trying to include more protein in their diets may want to add protein powder for a more satisfying and muscle-boosting meal.

Package quality: Excellent. The cups are easy to store and arrived frozen and in good condition.

Food quality and taste: These cups are delicious when blended with liquids that add flavor, like almond milk or broth. But some were slightly bland when blended with water.

Cooking time: There is almost no cooking time required as you simply need to pour ingredients into a blender or pop the cup into the microwave for preparation.

Best for singles who need quick foods and don't mind paying a premium for convenience. Because the foods need to be kept frozen and require a blender or a microwave it's hard to recommend them for busy eaters on the go as those appliances aren't always available.

Harbour Trading Co.

Subscription Details: Fresh-caught fish meal kits are selected by the customer and delivered to your door. You can choose to order your meal for one person, two people, a family of four, or for a dinner party of eight. You can also send these meal kits as a gift. Harbour Trading Co. is available across the continental United States.

Meal and food information: You'll find information online about the complete chef-designed menu, wine pairings and ingredients for four different seafood meals each week. The online calendar provides weekly menus up to eight weeks in advance. Seafood choices are based on what Harbour Trading's fishermen are catching that particular week. (Note: according to the company, a seafood only option will be available soon)

Meal cost: Prices depend on the size of the meal. For one person, meals cost $34.99. A two-person meal costs $59.99. A meal for four will cost $99.99 and a dinner party for eight people will cost $199.99.

Nutrition information: Not provided

Package quality: Exceptional. The meal arrives in a unique wooden box with beautiful glass containers and gift-quality wrapping. Almost every piece of the packing is reusable. The fish was fresh and cold upon arrival and ingredients were beautifully packaged.

Food quality and taste: Again, exceptional. The recipe was easy to follow and ingredients were top-notch. This company was another reviewer favorite.

Cooking time: Accurate

Best for special occasions or gifts. This meal kit delivery option is pricey but worth the money for a celebration or romantic meal.

More Meal Kit and Delivery Services to Consider

The meal kit and food delivery market is constantly changing and there are always new options from which to choose. If you don't see what you want from one company, investigate another. Remember, the meals aren't a bargain if you end up throwing them away.

In addition to the food delivery services reviewed here, you might also consider:

  • Munchery: High quality, complete, portion controlled meals (traditional fare, spicy ethnic dishes, kid-friendly meals, and other options). Prices vary but are generally less expensive than many restaurants that deliver. Nutrition information provided.
  • Purple Carrot: Plant-based subscription meal kit service for around $11 per serving. Some nutrition information provided.
  • Freshly: Completely-cooked gluten-free meals delivered to your door by subscription. Meals cost around $10 per serving. Nutrition information and ingredients provided.
  • Food Matters NYC: Organic meal delivery service founded by chef Tricia Williams.
  • Feastive: Food and meal kit delivery service for dinner parties. Prices and menus vary.
  • Red Velvet NYC : Dessert kit delivery service. Fun for kids and for novice bakers who need help (and a few extra tools) in the kitchen. Prices vary.
  • Try the World: Chef-curated food boxes inspired by different regions of the world. Boxes include pantry items, snacks, and other goodies. Great as a gift.

A Word From Verywell

There are many different ways to plan nutritious meals and eat a healthy diet. For many people, a meal kit delivery service is a convenient way to achieve that goal. But if the cost of these programs doesn't fit in your budget, that's okay. Take one day each week to plan meals, shop for groceries, and prep ingredients in advance. It makes healthy food choices easier when you get busy later in the week.

If you do choose to use a meal kit delivery service, always remember to check out terms and conditions before you sign up. And if you follow a particular diet for health concerns check with your doctor or registered dietitian to make sure the food plan aligns with your health goals.

Disclosure: Some review samples for this guide were provided by manufacturers.

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