I Tried Every Popular Meal Kit Delivery Service—and This Is the Best One
Meal kits are taking over the American kitchen. 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.
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 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 I 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 Clean & Lean program that contains lower-calorie meals and is certified by the American Heart Association.
I also really liked that the meals didn’t take that long to prepare and offered some pretty interesting cuisines from around the world. I was able to try foods and experiment with spices that I’d never used before.
Home Chef had some of the most interesting meals included in the kit, with about 12 diverse offerings per week. This ensured that I would find something that I was craving (or would like) in the weekly meal kit 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 shows you 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. (Psst…these are the crash diets nutrition experts secretly use.)
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. Don’t miss these 16 healthy recipes for weight loss that aren’t salad.
While Chef’d was a bit pricier than the others, the ordering experience was more fun. Unlike the other meal kits, Chef’d doesn’t give you just a small weekly menu to pick from; you select meals from a crazy array of options, from dumplings and empanadas to global soups and gourmet grilled cheese. Each meal is priced per two servings, so you can control your budget too.
Also, unlike the other meal kits, there is no subscription necessary, so you can order what you want, when you want, without having to go through the hassle of canceling or pausing your subscription. The company also breaks down meals by breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, so you can order what works for your everyday needs or a special event.
The food, likewise, did not disappoint. The meals were delicious: I sampled Korean sticky buns and pot stickers, and even meals I thought were going to take a little longer to whip up really didn’t. I sampled only dinner foods, but I have a feeling I will be back for more. Check out 10 more brilliantly simple cooking tips from a celebrity chef.
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.
If you’re Keto, Paleo, or vegan, Green Chef is definitely a treat. Even though I’m none of those things, I still loved Green Chef. The organic meal delivery service is a bit pricier than the others, but it’s delicious and the meals are easy to prepare. However, as much as I did love the peace of mind I got knowing I was eating organic, the offerings were a little sparse. I would have liked a few more menu options or the ability to mix and match from the other menus as well. But for someone trying to stick to a Paleo or keto diet on a hectic schedule, this meal kit is a win, no doubt. The Tuna Poke Bowl was worth going back for, as were the Cherry Barbecue Pork Patties. These 10 keto diet recipes will make you forgot you’re on a diet.
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.
The best part: It can be drop-shipped to your door the day you want a meal through Amazon Fresh (in some markets).
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.
In case you’re in the mood to watch pounds melt off your frame without ever going hungry, I’m going to recommend you try Euphebe. I lost four pounds in two weeks without a single hunger pang, and many Euphebe veterans have lost much more (the average pound loss is between 8 and 11). This plant-based meal delivery service is like a health makeover in a box, with zero sugar, refined grains, or pesticides. Users report feeling more energized, having lower blood sugar (Euphebe’s studies show it reverses pre-diabetes in one month and Type 2 diabetes in three months), lower cholesterol (equivalent to a daily statin), and clearer skin (sign me up!).
And here’s the thing: The chef-prepped meals are actually scrumptious. I could eat the Thai Green Coconut Curry with Lemongrass Rice every week, but only if I couldn’t also have Nikki’s Magic Mushroom Ragout, the French Ratatouille Pie with Roasted Tomato Sauce, and the Spring Veggie Faux-Soto—it tastes as creamy and yummy as white risotto but it’s made from white lentils, so it’s loaded with nutritional goodness. Just make sure to drink a lot of water to help you digest all the fiber (I learned this the hard way). Here are more genius ideas for making weeknight meal prep faster and easier.
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.
The only downside to Hello Fresh are that some of the meals are repeated or lack variety. Also, if you’re trying to stay no-carb or low-carb, it’s very difficult with Hello Fresh meals. All in all, Hello Fresh was my fave. It was just perfect 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.