These convenient meal kit services deliver weekly menus and preportioned ingredients to enthusiastic but time-poor home cooks. We have listed six of the best options below.
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Best overall meal kit
Sunbasket not only has the best meal kits, by our admittedly subjective calculations, but they're also some of the best for you too. Healthy and fresh are common favorite meal kit descriptors, but Sunbasket goes a step further with lots of organic, non-GMO, sustainably and responsibly raised ingredients. Basically, the box took the trip to the farmer's market for you and the thoughtful meals are as delicious as they are interesting. In a test of all the leading meal kit services, Sunbasket came out on top.
Sunbasket's recipes are developed by Justine Kelly, a San Francisco chef known for her work at the James Beard Award-winning Slanted Door restaurant and it shows. Many of Sunbasket's easy and delicious meals made with organic ingredients are nutritionist-approved (500 to 800 calories per serving) and most meals take only 30 minutes to prepare.
The meal kit service gives you options for these nutritious meals too — you'll be able to choose from a selection of six to 18 different organic meal recipes each week, including paleo, vegan meal, vegetarian and gluten-free meals, so you'll always get what you want. Sunbasket delivery is available in 36 states and shipments arrive on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Beyond the great meal kits, Sunbakset offers premade “Fresh and Ready” meals ($9 per meal). There's also an enormous market of grocery items that can be added to your weekly order including meats, fish, cheese, snacks, breakfast foods and more. See how much we loved the meal delivery service in our full review of Sunbasket.
Subscription: For three Sunbasket meals each week, you'll pay $74.93 for the two-person plan (or the $11.99 price per serving) and $143.87 for the four-person Sunbasket plan ($10.99 per serving), with a $5.99 shipping fee either way.
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Best for picky eaters and families with kids
Home Chef boasts over 38 meal kits to choose from in any given week — more than any other service — including oven-ready meals and one-pan dinners. I tested Home Chef myself and loved how much customization you can do from week to week like swapping the protein in your meal choices from chicken to pork to fish or double the protein if you're feeling especially carnivorous. You can even double the portion size of an entire meal if you're planning on entertaining the following week or just want more leftovers for lunches and snacks.
These flexible features make Home Chef stand out from the pack. Other modifications from the meal delivery service include ordering antibiotic-free protein instead of the standard version or adding plant-based meats like Impossible Beef instead of regular meat. Meal kits, recipes and ingredients are pretty standard in their offering (which is what keeps Home Chef an efficient meal delivery kit for the masses). Examples include meal kit options such as Chipotle Chimichurri Mini Pork Meatloaves with Roasted Sweet Potato and Garlic Peppercorn Salmon Scampi with Garlic Cream Gemelli and Broccolini.
One new and unique offering from the meal delivery service is their oven-ready meals, which come with everything you'll need to make the meal including the cooking tray (no messy kitchen and no dishes). See an example of an oven-ready meal from Home Chef here.
Subscription: Starting at $7.99 per serving with additional premium Home Chef recipes offered at market price.
Best for those who crave home cooking but don't actually cook
A few of these meal kit service options provide fully cooked, ready-to-eat meals to your doorstep. Freshly is a good one if you desire wholesome, tasty comfort foods such as peppercorn steak, penne bolognese or chicken and rice pilaf. The oven ready meal options are prepared right before delivery and are never frozen. With minimal reheating required by you, it's like having Mom cook dinner for you in your kitchen, without having Mom live with you. (Sorry, Mom.) Read our full review of Freshly to learn more about the prepared meal delivery operation.
Subscription: $8.99 to $12.50 per serving, with up to 12 servings per week. Shipping is free.
Best for those on a budget
At just $4.99 per serving and with an emphasis on delicious, hearty meal options and generous portion sizes, EveryPlate is the best plan for those whose journey into meal kit delivery is based on affordability. It keeps its overhead low by offering eight easy recipes to choose from weekly, which mostly excludes vegetarians and those on special diets, but the eight available meals are full of variety and flavor otherwise. Get 18 meals for only $3.33 each, free shipping on your first order, plus the ability to skip or cancel anytime.
Check out this full review of EveryPlate to find out how much I liked the affordable meal kit service.
Subscription: Each serving is only $4.99. Each weekly box includes three recipes with either two or four servings apiece. Snag a sign-up offer and get meals starting as low as $2 per serving.
Best intro to meal kit delivery
Blue Apron is largely accepted to be the granddad of meal kit delivery programs in the US. The eight weekly menu choices available range from simple pastas to delicious international options, with a seafood and vegetarian option always available. With even the simplest recipes, you might find an unfamiliar component or two on the recipe card, and the website often highlights these ingredients as an educational opportunity. Recipes are tagged with helpful keywords such as “customer favorite,” “quick and easy,” “great for grilling” and so on. Occasional promotions include a menu from guest celebrity chefs, or recipes that highlight popular travel destinations. An optional wine pairing service is also offered.
See how Blue Apron compares to HelloFresh in our head-to-head review of the two popular meal delivery services.
Subscription: Price per serving ranges from $7.49 to $9.99, with options to prepare two to four recipes per week and two or four servings per recipe.
Best for those with designer food allergies
HelloFresh helpfully tags each recipe accordingly, whether you are allergic to (or avoiding) dairy, gluten, soy, nuts and so on. Familiarity of ingredients is key, even when applied to dishes from various world cuisines. HelloFresh's portion sizes are generous, going with its relatively high cost per serving (up to $10 a person). A “dinner to lunch” element is a unique twist that provides the home cook a variation on tonight's dinner to serve as a tasty portable lunch tomorrow.
Learn more about the convenient and flexible meal kit service in this full review of HelloFresh.
Subscription: Options range from $8.74 to $9.99 per serving, with options for two to four recipes per week and two or four servings per recipe, customizable along with Classic, Veggie and Family plans.
(sources: cnet.com, self.com)