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Meal delivery services are a great way to shake up your everyday dinner routine, and their convenience can’t be beat for busy families and working singles who don’t want to have to figure out how to use up half a bag of spinach at the end of the day. But it’s not just about pulling out a recipe card anymore — there’s been a whirlwind of new offerings from meal kits, with tailored vegans menus, three minute microwavable prepared dinners, and everything in between. How can you possibly choose?

We’ve tested out a lot of meal subscription boxes, and we chose our picks based on 4.0+-star reviews, having a wide range of dishes to satisfy everyone in your home, and offering options for various cooking ability levels that all still come out tasty (even with a missing ingredient or heinous knife skills). Bottom line: any of these kits below could give the grocery store a run for its money.

You’re the one putting on the chef’s hat for the night, so we’ve pitted these services together in a kitchen cook-off to give you the best meal delivery kits, according to your culinary preference. Bon appétit!

In This Article

What Are the Best Meal Delivery?

A Buying Guide for Meal Delivery Services

How We Pick the Best Meal Delivery Service

What Are the Best Meal Delivery Services?

With new meal delivery kits popping up every day, there’s undoubtedly an option for everyone that will help streamline weekly meal prep, or reduce the amount of time you’re spending in the kitchen. But it can be challenging to parse through them all, so here are the best meal delivery services for every need.

BEST OVERALL: Blue Apron

BEST VEGETARIAN: Green Chef

BEST VEGAN/PLANT-BASED: Purple Carrot

BEST BUDGET: EveryPlate

BEST PREPARED: Factor

BEST KETO: Territory

MOST VERSATILE: Hello Fresh

1. Blue Apron

Blue Apron

For self-proclaimed foodies, and novices in the kitchen that want a break from cup noodles, Blue Apron will help you learn how to make restaurant-level dishes at home that will impress. You’ll get chef-designed recipes delivered that include all the premium ingredients you’ll need to put together an amazing dish for as low as $4.37/serving (normally $7.99). Choose 2-4 servings a meal and two, three or four recipes per week.

For nicer dinners, sometimes online recipes will require expensive ingredients not found at your local supermarket, or take too long for an average weeknight. Almost all of Blue Apron’s recipes are ready in under 35 minutes, but they also offer “Fast & Easy” recipes to streamline the cooking process, such as sheet pan and one-pot dinners. But their recipes all strike the perfect balance of convenience and “this looks like I went out and paid $30 for an entree”. Bonus: they also deliver wine!

Even for someone like me who almost went to culinary school, and you can actually learn new kitchen skills as well (their guide to searing and cutting steak really helped my NY Strip steaks shine). While the lack of customization leaves something to be desired in the current meal kit landscape, this is still a solid option if you already know your way around a kitchen.

Promising Customer Feedback: “Blue Apron has changed my life for the better. I am a working mom, and getting dinner on the table is convenient and delicious.” —Delia V.

Honorable Mentions: Check out our guide to meal delivery services for home chefs here.

2. Green Chef

Green Chef

Forget “Meatless Mondays” — it’s never been easier to have a “meatless week” than with Green Chef’s vegetarian meal delivery options, which we’re big fans of. You can choose their meal kits with easy-to-follow recipes to cook yourself featuring pre-portioned ingredients, including a variety of “Quick & Easy” meals, which can go from your stove to your table in as little as 15 minutes.

For a veggie-centric box, the customization is unparalleled, with not just vegetarian plans, but Vegan, Keto, Gluten-Free, or Mediterranean dietary meals. We also like to see a company committed to offering high-quality, sustainably sourced ingredients, including organic produce, but also wild-caught seafood and antibiotic and hormone-free meat. Green Chef also offsets 100% of the delivery emissions to your door and 100% of the plastic in every box.

Green Chef proves that you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen just to eat well, and meals start at $4.79 a serving when you first sign up ($11.99 a serving normally), which can be one of the pricer options. Choose from 2-4 dinners per week, which can serve between 2-6 people, although they also offer add-ons like keto-friendly desserts, extra proteins, and breakfast items. Right now, you can get $370 off your first five boxes plus free shipping when you sign up below.

Promising Customer Feedback: “Healthy, flavorful and original. Nearly always high-quality produce. Great variety and surprising creativity of flavors for purely vegan meals — sauces and spice packets are fantastic.” —Anonymous

Honorable Mentions: Check our guide to the best meal delivery services for vegetarians here.

3. EveryPlate

Sometimes it can be hard to justify the cost of a meal delivery service with upscale ingredients and culinary skill-heavy recipes when you’re just trying to get something simple and tasty (preferably with at least one green vegetable) on the table as fast as possible.

Enter EveryPlate: the meal delivery service of the people, aka the best “budget-friendly” meal kit we’ve ever tested. Starting at just $1.49 per serving (which is even cheaper than most sign-up offers) you’ll get the most bang for your buck out of any box, with hearty portions and delicious, filling meal options galore.

How do they keep costs low without sacrificing quality? Well, you’ll only get eight meal recipes to choose from per week, and there’s an emphasis on heavier comfort food with not a ton of vegetarian and or specialty diet options. But everything we tried (like the much-loved Sriracha Pork Stir-Fry and Farmers Market Linguine) was still flavorful and easy to whip up in under an hour.

Prices typically range from just $5.99 to $7.49 per serving, and every weekly box includes between 3-6 recipes with either two or four servings each, depending on the plan. If you’re dipping your toes into trying a meal delivery box for the first time, or looking for a more affordable alternative, we can’t recommend EveryPlate enough.

Promising Customer Feedback: “Everything comes in a box. Great meals, affordable and economical compared to other meal kits. Whatever keeps me from a grocery store is A+ for me!” —April L.W.

3. Purple Carrot

BEST VEGAN AND PLANT-BASED

Purple Carrot

You do not need to be strictly vegan to enjoy Purple Carrot’s wildly creative plant-based dishes like the Kimchi Quesadillas, Almond Butter Tofu, and Grape Leaf Pilaf we tried — but they might just make you a believer that plants can pack big flavor.

They offer a rotating menu of veggie-centric ingredients delivered straight to your door, with a focus on organic produce. Even with a produce-heavy box, there’s still a lot of customization based on your lifestyle, from High Protein, Gluten-Free, to Quick & Easy meal plans. Because they adapt to season ingredients, Purple Carrot switches up the menu weekly, so there’ll be something new every time you order.

Select 2-4 recipes with 2-4 servings each per week, with meals costing between $11 and $13.25 per serving depending on the plan. Breakfast and lunch can be added on to keep you full of plant-based protein all day long. Right now you can also take advantage of Purple Carrot’s Early Access New Year’s Sale, which gives you 50% off your order for entire month of January.

Promising Customer Feedback: “I’m amazed by both the quality of ingredients and the cleverness of the recipes. We are not vegan or even vegetarian, but I’m really happy to be adding plant-based meals to our diet.” —Rob L.

Honorable Mentions: Our guide to delivery services for vegetarians will also give you tips on boxes with vegan options.

4. Factor

Factor75

Factor ditches the frozen offerings when it comes to their prepared meals, which they always ship fresh to preserve taste. Even still, you can heat up their meals in three minutes, and each is individually-portioned in insulated, vacuum-sealed packages that can stay fresh for up to 10 days in the fridge.

Their menu is designed by dietitians and chefs for folks with specific nutrition goals in mind (including athletes), and you can choose from keto, vegan (including an entire low-calorie menu), flexitarian, and high-protein menus. They’re also extremely flexible, letting you modify your meals to exclude up to three ingredients from your plan (due to a dietary restriction, or just if you hate a specific ingredient).

You can also let them know if you have specific allergies (although all their meals are gluten-free and organic). Feel like some meal kits skimp on the protein? We like that you can add on extra protein and veggies in bulk. Choose from six to up to 18 meals a week starting at $5.50 a serving (normally $10.99) as opposed to choosing a number of days. These were super easy to throw in my bag to bring to work or for busy nights when I needed a fast, tasty meal and the portion sizes were always on the money.

Factor’s menus aren’t revolutionary, cuisine-wise, but the company breaks down their macros, gives you nutrient-dense foods, and lets the simple, easy-to-heat meals speak for themselves. Right now you can also get 50% off your first box and two free Wellness Shots for life per box with an active subscription.

Promising Customer Feedback: “Factor has made our life easier. On those days we just do not have the time to prepare and cook a proper meal it’s a ‘Factor Night’.” —Preston

Honorable Mentions: Check out our guide to prepared meal delivery services here.

5. Territory

Territory

Territory’s offerings check all our boxes, not just for being Keto, but prepared, fresh, and easily heated up in a microwave or oven. We cannot emphasize enough that this is one of the freshest meal deliveries we’ve tasted, thanks to their independent chefs that prep all the food out of local commercial kitchens.

There are 10 different menus, but several “Keto” options, with menus that rotate weekly your specific menu varying depending on the time of year and where you’re located. They know their stuff, catering to a multitude of dietary needs, including vegan, vegetarian, and low-carb plans besides keto-specific options.

Territory have excellent, diverse menus that expand into different international cuisines while still keeping your Keto macro requirements in check. Simply adjust your macros and calories with the slider while building your plan, or choose from any flavorful Keto option. Think more “Mushroom Asado Bowl” and less bland, baked chicken on mashed cauliflower.

You can get six, 12, or 18 meals delivered once or twice per week, with over 35+ meal options per week.  If you’re just starting keto, Territory Foods will show you what flavorful possibilities lie ahead.

Promising Customer Review: “I’ve been eating Territory Foods regularly for more than a year. They are always healthy, filling, and the vast majority of the meals are also delicious. The chicken enchiladas and Dijon mustard pulled pork are my two favorites (though they might only be offered in the DC area). I haven’t had a single issue with delivery. I’d recommend Territory without reservation.” —Joey M.

Honorable Mentions: Check out our guide to keto meal delivery services here.

6. Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh, the self-proclaimed “America’s Most Popular Meal Kit”, deserves every bit of their popularity for being truly the definition of “crowd-pleasing”. Not only to they cater to a range of dietary needs, they also make use of seasonal vegetables and fresh produce for their many vegetarian-options, and also off “Gourmet Plus” fine-dining meals, “Takeout Favorites”, and multicultural “Taste Tours.”

There’s a little something for everyone, with 50+ recipes and market items (like breakfast bites and desserts) to choose from each week. You can personalize your order to cater to a variety of dietary restrictions, as well as the number of people in your household (two to four). Recipes change frequently, but it’s simple to choose more adventurous bites, all-upscale favorites if you’re feeling a little fancy, or veggie-specific options from the weekly menu.

Regular meals start at $4.59 per serving (usually $9.99 per serving), and there’s no pressure of commitment so you can skip a week at any time. HelloFresh is also currently offering 16 free meals and three surprise gifts, plus free shipping on your first box to all new customers.

Honorable Mentions: Learn more about other meal delivery services for home chefs here.

Trending

Promising Customer Feedback: “Hello Fresh offers interesting recipes, and so far my Mom and I have loved them! I really like being able to choose from the different categories of meals such as Bestsellers (always good), Fit & Wholesome and Quick & Easy. The choices are wonderful! The ingredient quality is excellent, too!” —Melanie

A Buying Guide for Meal Delivery Services

Here are a few factors to consider while shopping for the best meal delivery service, and what else you should know before you add to cart.

Type of Meals: When you think of the traditional meal delivery, you probably think of a box filled with pre-measured ingredients, whole produce, and provided recipe cards meant to help you try new dishes in the kitchen. But some services now offer fully-prepared meals, either frozen and quickly microwavable, or low/easy-prep meals that will only need a fraction of the time in the oven. If your weeknight schedule looks hectic, consider one of these options instead.

Dietary Preferences and Allergies: Have a food allergy or dietary restriction? There are plenty of meal subscriptions that provide vegetarian, vegan, paleo, keto, low-carb options and more — just check the menus and make sure you know what you’re signing up for. Some companies also produce all their good in gluten-free or allergen-free kitchens, or at the very least, let you opt out of certain meals for the week.

Level of Cooking Difficulty: Consider the time commitment the dishes are going to take when ordering. Some services will have “easy, medium, and hard” recipes on purpose for skilled chefs looking to try something new versus those who just want something made as quick as humanly possible. Some menus are also just more extensive than others, with international cuisine and fine-dining-like recipes, while some cater to comforting favorites. Check before ordering, or you might get stuck with a recipe too long to even be worth making at 8 PM on a work night.

Portion Size: Most meal delivery services offer varying portion sizes for the week, so you can easily find a subscription that works for any household. Feeding a big family? Make sure the box provides 4-6 servings per meal. If you live alone, it can be more convenient to check out prepared meals that are individually-portioned, although 2 serving meal kits can also be great for leftovers.

How We Pick The Best Meal Delivery Services

The best meal delivery services let you refresh dinnertime (and even lunch and breakfast too, in some cases). We look for meal kits that comes with fresh ingredients, and useful ones too — there’s a lot of tragically small garlic blubs and lemons we’ve sifted through). While menus don’t need to be too trendy, bonus points to having a wide range of culinary options and not just sticking to meat, potatoes, and cream-based fare.

Most importantly, even if the timing for the recipes is slightly off (not egregiously so; something listed as 30 minutes shouldn’t take two hours) the meal box inscriptions should be easy-to-understand and follow, especially if you’re a novice in the kitchen. Even if you’re not hosting a dinner party anytime soon, there are simple boxes that will help you get dinner on the table in an hour or less. You’re the kind of home cook that likes to think they could do better than contestants on Chopped? Plenty of brands offer chef-crafted menus too to expand your culinary horizons.

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Freelance journalist covering Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Bylines in the South China Morning Post, Nikkei Asia, The Telegraph and other outlets. Past TV work for ABC News US, Al Jazeera English and TRT World. Previously reported out of Taiwan.

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