6 Best Meal Kit Delivery Services of 2023
Meal delivery kit services take the hassle out of thinking about cooking and planning out your groceries.
They provide recurring deliveries of ingredients along with instructions to cook your meals.
They’re also a great way to push pause on the takeout order and opt for something healthy and home-cooked instead. This habit can really pay off in the long run.
Let’s face it: coming up with recipes and shopping for ingredients can get exhausting and repetitive, especially while balancing the million other things on your to-do list.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best meal kit delivery kits to try this year, so you can skip the meal planning and get right to the healthy, home-cooked meal.
Best Meal Kits Services
- Purple Carrot: Best Meal Kit Service for Vegetarians
- Gobble: Best Meal Kit for Fast Meals
- Blue Apron: Best Meal Kit for Beginner Cooks
- Green Chef: Best Meal Kit for Special Diets
- HelloFresh: Best Meal Kit for Most Cuisine Choices
- Home Chef: Best Meal Kit for Meal Customization
Top Picks of the Year
This list of meal delivery kits offers delicious recipes with the convenience of meal planning from home.
We’ve selected the best meal delivery kits for all diet preferences and habits by evaluating price, quality, customer satisfaction, and additional features.
Purple Carrot: Best Meal Delivery Kit for Vegetarians
Designed for vegetarians, Purple Carrot offers plant-based dishes without skipping the protein.
The meal delivery kit service has six recipe options per week, with the Chef’s Choice gourmet dishes as an alternative.
Customers can get 20 grams of plant protein in each dish with the performance meal plan.
The recipes are relatively simple, with some meals that come pre-made.
Note: sometimes, you will need additional tools that you may not usually find in the kitchen, like a blender or food processor.
How Customers Feel About Purple Carrot
Customer reviews indicate that Purple Carrot does an excellent job of delivering fresh quality ingredients to make exciting dishes.
Some customers have pointed out that the recipes can be a little more advanced than other meal kits. But the high-quality ingredients are definitely as advertised.
How Much Does Purple Carrot Cost?
You can choose between two and four servings kits, between $9.99 and $11.99 per serving.
What Types of Recipes to Expect
Recipe examples include Miso-Glazed Eggplant Bowl, Creamy Cauliflower Potato Soup, and Cumin Black Bean Bowls.
Pros and Cons of Purple Carrot
- Healthy, vegetarian meals
- Fresh ingredients
- Can help with weight loss
- Breakfast and pantry options available
- Fully prepared meals are also available
- Not all recipes are made for beginner cooks
- No customization
Gobble: Best Meal Kit for Fast Meals
Gobble emphasizes quick meals with flavorful recipes by offering dinner prep in 10 to 15 minutes.
All boxes come with chopped, peeled, and marinated ingredients, so you don’t have to do the hard part of prepping and cleaning.
Customers can choose between different types of meals: Classic and Lean & Clean, but you can still mix and match meals.
The meals typically include protein, vegetables, salad, and starch. You can swap ingredients from different meals, making it great for people with particular preferences.
With over 23 recipes per week, this meal kit service offers the fastest cooking time of 10-15 minutes. Other meal kit recipes take upwards of 30 minutes to prepare.
How Customers Feel About Gobble
Customers agree that Gobble meals are effortless to prepare. They are also quite flavorful and come with ingredients that can be swapped between recipes.
However, the lack of customization and the price tag were limitations for customers.
How Much Does Gobble Cost?
Meals are $11.99 per serving, no matter the quantity. So two dinner kits for two people will be $47.96 plus $6.99 shipping per week.
Dinner kits are available in two or four person plans.
Gobble also makes it easy to cancel, skip, or pause an upcoming subscription before Wednesday 11:59 PM of a particular week.
What Types of Recipes to Expect
Recipe examples include Cilantro Pesto Salmon with Cauliflower Couscous, Peruvian Steak with Ahi Verde, and Shrimp Scampi with Linguine in Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce.
Pros and Cons of Gobble
- Quick meals with great taste
- Diverse menu
- Menu options can be adjusted to be dairy-free, nut-free, or gluten-free
- Breakfast, sides, and dessert options
- You must choose at least three meals a week
- Premium pricing
- Only three vegan and vegetarian offerings per week
Blue Apron: Best Meal Kit for Beginner Cooks
One of the original meal kits, Blue Apron is great for novice chefs just getting started in the kitchen. The service offers recipes, video tutorials, and fresh ingredients.
It has eight weekly menu items available and throws exciting ingredients into the mix, including flavors you may never encounter in your routine cooking.
Blue Apron meals are generally balanced with lean protein, vegetables, and hearty grains. You can choose between the Signature, Vegetarian, and Meal Prep plans.
Meals can range from 25 to more than 45 minutes in cook time, and they come with easy-to-follow and concise instructions.
What We Like About Blue Apron
Staff members tried out Blue Apron and was surprised at how straightforward the recipes were, while still providing unique flavors or cuisines we hadn’t tried before.
Generally, the dishes were palatable and delicious even for very picky eaters.
What We Didn't Like
While dishes were for the most part good, it may not be right for eaters who want exciting, bright, and bold flavors.
How Customers Feel About Blue Apron
Customers agree that Blue Apron is a great meal kit for beginners looking to get started with meal kits and has great ingredients.
On the flip side, the lack of variety and customization was a limitation for customers.
How Much Does Blue Apron Cost?
Pricing: $7.49 to $10 per serving, including options to receive two or four people with two, three, or four recipes per week. Meal prices go down the more you order.
For an extra $66 per month, you can add six bottles of wine to your meal kit delivery. These wines are paired with your meals.
Types of Recipes to Expect
Recipe examples include Shawarma Cauliflower Grain Bowl, Tuscan Ribollita Soup, and Mushroom Brown Butter Cavatelli.
Pros and Cons of Blue Apron
- Balance of straightforward, comfort food with some gourmet options
- Fresh ingredients
- Offers fully-prepared meals as well
- Most recipes take less than 45 minutes to prepare
- Recipes are hit or miss
- Few varieties and customization options
- Only three plant-based meals a week
Green Chef: Best Meal Kit for Special Diets
Green Chef has a strong commitment to only using certified organic ingredients: free of GMOs, pesticides, and antibiotics. It also supports local farmers with their supply chain.
The service accommodates a wide range of food preferences with various meal plan options like Keto + Paleo, Vegetarian, Fast & Fit, Vegan, Mediterranean, and Gluten-Free.
The service also offers a wide range of diet packages and certified fresh ingredients.
The recipes are generally easy for beginners to follow, and the instructions include information on allergies, calories, cook time, and ingredients.
While most recipes are easy for beginners to follow, the meal plans include more complex recipes for all cooking levels.
If you feel like breaking out of traditional ingredients and cuisines, this is an excellent option.
Green Chef commits to packaging that is eco-friendly and can be re-used.
What We Like About Green Chef
PropertyNest team members who tried Green Chef liked all the options for special diets and for their organic produce.
The recipe choices were also pretty interesting with plenty of options for people who like to try different ethnic cuisines.
What We Didn't Like
While generally, the recipes are straightforward, some of the recipes might require a cook with more experience. Not every recipe is for a true beginner.
How Customers Feel About Green Chef
Customer reviews show that while Green Chef is on the pricier side, it is a phenomenal option for the health-conscious.
How Much Does Green Chef Cost?
$11.99-$13.49 per serving for two people at three meals a week, $11 per serving for four people at two meals a week.
Types of Recipes to Expect
Recipe examples include Tempeh Sloppy Joes With Fingerling Potatoes, Tilapia with Mango Salsa, and Greek Feta Burgers.
Pros and Cons of Green Chef
- Excellent quality of organic ingredients
- Delicious recipes
- Easy to follow instructions
- Sustainable packaging
- Pricey (no free shipping)
- Cook times can be longer than expected
- Smaller portions
HelloFresh: Best Meal Kit for Most Cuisine Choices
HelloFresh strives to bring the most interesting and easy-to-make recipes to your dinner table.
They’ve partnered with famous chefs like Jamie Oliver and Antoni Porowski to create an eclectic selection of international recipes.
While most meal kit service companies offer some variety, none offer quite as many as HelloFresh.
HelloFresh offers a wide range of cuisine types, including Mexican, Korean, Middle Eastern, Italian, and much more. It also provides 17-20 meal options per week.
Customers can choose from a wide range of plans: Veggie, Meat & Veggies, Low Calorie, Quick & Easy, Pescatarian, and Family Friendly.
The company also launched the HelloFresh market, where customers can order a wide range of meals, including breakfast, snacks, and fresh produce.
These add-ons are included in their weekly box and are not confined to the weekly box, offering more flexibility when it comes to choosing ingredients.
The recipes take between 20-50 minutes to make and are easy-to-make and beginner-friendly.
HelloFresh offers caloric meals and quality ingredients in eco-friendly packaging.
How Customers Feel About Hello Fresh
Customers agree that what HelloFresh lacks in making most recipes quick and simple, they make up for in their flavorful ingredients and generous portion sizes.
How Much Does Hello Fresh Cost?
Pricing ranges from $7.50 to $10 per serving, with the option of two or four recipes per week and servings per recipe.
What Types of Recipes to Expect
Recipe examples include Veggie Bibimbap Rice Bowl, Barramundi with Poblano Corn and Potato, and Middle Eastern Chickpea Bowls.
Pros and Cons of HelloFresh
- A lot of options for people with special diet needs (keto, paleo, gluten-free, and more)
- Portion sizes are larger
- Helpful and easy-to-understand recipes
- Won’t get as much gourmet food
- Some recipes are time-consuming
- Shipping fee of $8.99 per box
Home Chef: Best Meal Kit for Meal Customization
With over 30 dishes to choose from throughout the week, Home Chef is the most customizable option on our list.
You can modify your meal kit to add more protein, fewer servings, different flavors, and many more combinations. This comes in handy when you have specific dietary needs.
While the meal delivery kit offers easy-to-follow recipes, many dishes are elevated and distilled from gourmet concepts. That means you won’t get bland meals.
I tested Home Chef’s meal plan and was impressed with how unique yet straightforward most dishes were.
The service allowed me to explore food combinations I wouldn’t have otherwise thought to try.
Home Chef also provides oven-ready meals and no-prep options, so you can skip the prep time on a busy day and throw your meal in an oven-safe tray. These come ready to eat in about 15 minutes.
How Customers Feel About Home Chef
Home Chef has been rated #1 in customer satisfaction since 2018, proving customers trust and value Home Chef’s offering.
Customers highlight the great selection and customization that Home Chef provides.
How Much Does Home Chef Cost?
Each serving will cost you $9.99, regardless of if you get two, four, or six meals a week.
Types of Recipes to Expect
Recipe examples include Greek Zucchini Tostadas, Creamy Shrimp Carbonara, and Garlic-Parmesan Crusted Filet-Mignon.
Pros and Cons of Home Chef
- Highly customizable meals and serving size
- No penalty for skipping a meal delivery
- Wide range of options for a balanced weekly meal schedule
- Also offers fully prepared meals
- Eco-friendly packaging and suppliers
- Not focused on health & wellness specifically
- Doesn’t come with a lot of organic ingredients
- Lacks certain nutrition facts
How We Decided
We evaluated the meal delivery kits on the following aspects:
Evaluating customer reviews for meal kit services are essential to our selection process.
Good reviews validate the meal kit’s offering by the hands of those that matter the most: the customer.
Unbiased reviews help us determine if the meal delivery kit walks the walk of what they offer online.
Meal kits differ in pricing due to their distinct offerings.
While some offer organic ingredients, others provide ease of preparation. Meal kit deliveries can cost you anywhere from $3.39 to $14 per serving, depending on what they offer.
We selected meal delivery kits from a wide range of price points that cover a spectrum of offerings, from easy-to-make quick dinners to organic ingredients.
In determining the quality of the meal delivery kits, we considered how they advertised themselves and how customers reviewed them.
It was essential to have an unbiased view of how the meal delivery kit ingredients arrived at home. Did the produce stay fresh, or was it spoiled in transit?
You don’t want to come back from a busy day at work looking forward to your meal kit and not using it because the ingredients are spoiled.
Quality was a crucial factor in selecting the best meal delivery kits. Services that don’t prioritize quality didn’t make the cut.
Apart from these factors, we took a look at a few extra components of the meal delivery kits. These include eco-friendliness, cooking learning, and ease of using the platforms.
Many services have additional features that can add a little kick to the meal kit offering, such as the Blue Apron wine pairing and HelloFresh Market.
What Are the Benefits Of Using a Meal Kit?
With busy working families and more waste-conscious consumers, meal kits are becoming increasingly popular.
Here are a number of benefits you can reap from subscribing to one of these services.
Saves You Time
Meal delivery kits take the hassle out of going grocery shopping for your meals. By sending you ingredients that you need, meal kits eliminate the trip to the store.
Actively planning out your weekly meals can be time-consuming and mind-numbing. Meal delivery kits save you time, so you can focus on the rest of your day.
You don’t need to decide what to eat out of millions of options with meal kits. Choose from the pre-selected options meal kits offer. There can be anywhere from five to thirty meal options across services.
Meal kits can also save you hours of browsing for recipes and cooking techniques online by offering easy-to-understand recipes.
Wastes Less Food
When going to the grocery store, it's normal to overestimate how much food you’ll need. But buying too much can result in a large amount of waste due to spoilage.
With meal kits, all packages are pre-portioned to fit exactly what the recipes call for—and not a potato over.
Saves You Money
A lot of meal kit deliveries come at affordable prices. If you’re constantly hitting the takeout buzzer, cooking your own food will save you a lot of money in the long run.
In addition, you won’t be buying more ingredients than you need because there won’t be as much guesswork in your cooking process.
Helps You Explore New Foods
When you know you’re good at cooking something, you tend to stick to that recipe. Whether entertaining guests or just treating yourself, cooking what you know is comfortable and makes sense.
With meal delivery kits, you can explore the boundaries of your cooking capacity and still make high-quality meals thanks to beginner-friendly recipes and portions.
Fosters Better Nutrition Habits
Ordering in can be an easy default. It’s not hard to understand why we can sometimes overdo it. However, doing it all the time isn’t the most healthy.
With meal delivery kits, you can build a practice of more easily cooking at home. Frequently using fresh ingredients instead of takeout will benefit your health in the long run.
Teaches You How to Cook
While meal-kit instructions are generally easy to follow, that doesn’t mean they don’t teach quite a bit of cooking techniques.
Meal delivery kits can teach you how to cook by getting you in the kitchen and making you combine ingredients you wouldn’t have tried.
Even if you’re only following the instructions for one meal, you’ll still absorb cooking techniques to apply to various dishes.
Meal Kits Versus Meal Delivery
What's easier than having prepped and portioned ingredients with instructions delivered to you? It's having fully-prepped and cooked meals delivered right to your door.
Instead of cooking yourself, meal deliveries are a great option if you hate cooking or don't have time but still want something healthier than takeout.
The whole week's menu can be fully planned out so you don't have to worry about what you're going to eat.
It's also another great way to lose weight if you have problems with portion control.
However, it may not be right for people who like to cook or have a particular idea of how they like something prepared.
Also, it might be more ideal for a single person than a family, especially for a variety of people with different portion needs.
While some services do offer great recipes the meals more closely resemble something you might find in the frozen meal section or what might be served on an airplane.
|Meal Kits||Meal Delivery|
|Price||A little more expensive than meal delivery||Less costly than meal kit but more than frozen meal from supermarket|
|Freshness||Freshest option because you cook it||Comparable to a store-bought meal|
|Servings||Good for single person to families||Better for single person or two people|
|Dish/diet options||About the same as meal deliveries||About the same as meal kits|
|Food waste||No waste||No waste|
|Packaging||Minimal and sometimes eco-friendly packaging||More packaging|
|Cook/prep time||Less prep than regular cooking||Minimal-only reheating is required|
Are Meal Kits Worth It?
Meal delivery kits may not always be as affordable as buying ingredients in bulk at the supermarket. Not all meal kits will be the most budget-friendly depending on your consumption needs.
You also have to schedule your food to make sure it fits in with your schedule, so this can be a limiting factor.
Only you can determine if a meal-delivery kit is right for you and your household.
If you’d like to make a habit of cooking healthy meals without much planning, a meal kit may be the way to go.
In any case, we recommend trying out meal kits for two weeks to see how they fit in with your meal habits.
Cook Fresh without the Hassle
Meal delivery kits come in all shapes and sizes, and all of them have pros and cons.
Whether vegetarian or gluten-free, there’s a meal plan for everyone’s dietary restrictions.
If you’re looking to be more adventurous with your eating and cooking habits, finding the right meal kit can do wonders for your health. Not to mention that they can also take the hassle out of deciding what to cook and grocery shop!
Take a breather from your hectic schedule and know you’ll have high-quality, healthy food with meal delivery kits.