10 Best Meal Subscription Services to Make Dinnertime a Cinch
We're breaking down the options to help you find the best meal subscription for you
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Dinner’s a breeze with a meal subscription
Meal subscription services have exploded in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. By delivering exactly the right amount of each ingredient, offering a wide range of tasty recipes and catering to all family sizes, they make it a cinch to get a delicious and nutritious home-cooked meal on the table with minimal food waste. You don’t even need to find time to grocery shop or meal plan! And it’s super easy to skip a week—like when you’re on that much-needed vacation.
That said, there are a few downsides to subscription services and subscription boxes, namely the fact that everything comes in bags and boxes, and you won’t always be able to recycle the packaging material. Another downside of a meal subscription? While you’ll find a wide variety of price points, some services may be too steep for the average family, despite the obvious convenience perks.
Keep reading for an overview of 10 of the best meal kits on the market.
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Best overall kit: Blue Apron
Cost: From $7.99 per serving for four (four-serving) meals per week to $11.99 per serving for two (two-serving) meals per week
As one of the original meal subscription services, Blue Apron is still doing it with the best of them. You have more than 60 delicious meals to choose from every week, in categories like Wellness, Fast & Easy and Family Friendly. The subscription cost, which is based on the number of servings (two or four) and the number of meals per week (two to four), is very reasonable—another reason Blue Apron earned the top spot on our list.
- Oregano Pork Chops and Roasted Vegetables
- New York Strip Steaks and Dijon Cream Sauce
- Oven-Baked Spinach and Artichoke Pasta
- Chicken Ramen with Mushrooms, Kimchi and Crispy Onions
- Very reasonably priced
- Ready-to-cook and heat-and-eat options in addition to meal kits
- Desserts and breakfasts as well as meals
- Added savings when you buy a Blue Apron gift card at Costco
- Others have more recipes to choose from
Best budget kit: Dinnerly
Cost: From $4.99 per serving for six (four-serving) meals per week to $7.04 per serving for three (two-serving) meals per week
You simply can’t beat the price of Dinnerly, the self-proclaimed “affordable meal kit.” After creating a taste profile, you’ll pick from more than 40 recipes. No time to browse? Dinnerly will use your taste preferences to suggest recipes for you. Also key for busy weeks: Many recipes have just five easy steps and are designed for a speedy cleanup. (Translation: You’ll spend less time wiping down the kitchen and more time vegging in front of your favorite streaming TV service.) Like other meal subscription options, Dinnerly prices kits based on the number of servings (two or four) and the number of meals per week (three to six).
- Easy Clean Up! French Onion Chicken and Gnocchi
- Beef and Green Bean Stir-Fry
- Katsu-Glazed Turkey Meatloaves
- Low-Cal Shrimp Pesto Risotto
- The most affordable option
- Can select family-friendly, vegetarian, fast and reduced-carb meals, among other options
- You have to get the recipes digitally
Best for families: HelloFresh
Cost: From $8.99 per serving for six (four-serving) meals per week to $12.49 per serving for two (two-serving) meals per week
Another OG meal subscription, HelloFresh is our pick for families looking for fast and easy dinners during the week and special meals fit for a gathering of loved ones on the weekends. With six meal preferences to choose from—Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family Friendly, Fit & Wholesome, Quick & Easy and Pescatarian—and more than 100 recipe options per week, you’ll find something tasty for everyone in your house. To gauge how much it’ll cost you, start by determining whether you’re feeding two or four people, then pick how many meals you want to make in a week (two to six).
- Sweet Corn and Green Pepper Chowder
- Pecan-Crusted Chicken
- Greek Goddess Bulgur Bowls
- Pork Sausage Rigatoni Rosa
- Tons of recipe options to please every member of the family
- Easy prep and clean-up options
- Difficulty levels on recipes
- Sustainability and social impact initiatives that support people and the planet
- Not as many categories and dietary options as other meal subscription kits
Best for adventurous eaters: Sunbasket
Cost: Varies based on meal choices; meal kits start at $11.49 per serving, while heat-and-eat meals start at $9.99 per serving
Whether you follow a paleo, gluten-free, diabetes-friendly, Mediterranean or other diet, you’ll find plenty of ways to customize your menu with Sunbasket. And with recipes pulled from different cultures from around the world, the meal kits will expand your palate as they make it easier to get a tasty dinner on the table. You can even add market items like lunches, breakfasts and snacks (similar to the way you can get groceries through Amazon Prime or Walmart Plus) to go along with the organic fresh produce in every box.
- Whole Grain Pita with Curried Chickpeas and Arugula-Date Salad
- White Bean Salad with Roasted Cabbage, Chimichurri and Soft-Cooked Eggs
- One-Pot Chicken and Spanish Rice
- Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp with Coconut Rice
- Recipes inspired by cultures across the globe
- Meal kits and ready-to-heat options available
- Very easy to personalize based on your tastes, dietary needs and preferences
- Features organic produce, sustainably sourced seafood and meat raised without antibiotics or hormones
- Sustainability initiatives include recyclable packaging
- Meal kits are designed for two people, so if you’re cooking for more, you’ll receive more than one of the same kit as opposed to one larger box
Best for young kids: Nurture Life
Cost: Each meal is a single serving; from $6.49 per serving for 15 meals per week to $7.49 per serving for six meals per week
For parents struggling to find nutritious foods their little ones actually enjoy eating, Nurture Life can be a game changer. It offers finger foods for babies and toddlers and kids meals for older children, plus nutritious snacks and smoothies for on-the-go nourishment that will expand your little ones’ tastes and give them the nutrients they need to grow.
- White Mac and Cheese with Hidden Cauli and Broccoli
- Chicken Taco Pockets with Fiesta Rice
- Turkey Meatballs with Mashies and Green Beans
- Eggs and Maple Sausage with Roasted Potato Medley
- All recipes crafted with kids in mind
- Creative and tasty recipes with hidden healthy foods
- Food arrives cooked, for speedy heating and serving
- Dietitian-designed kid foods for balanced nutrition
- Meals for children only; no options for adults
Best vegan kit: Purple Carrot
Cost: From $11 per serving for three (four-serving) meals per week to $13.25 per serving for three (two-serving) meals per week
Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, interested in becoming vegan or simply looking to add more healthy plant-based meals to your diet, Purple Carrot is a great pick. All the meals, which include breakfasts, lunches and dinners, feature nourishing plant-based ingredients like vegetables, grains, beans, nuts and tofu—you know, the stuff that’s proven to lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, reduce type 2 diabetes risk and otherwise boost your health.
- Romesco Grain Bowls with Pan-Roasted Mushrooms and Butter Beans
- Korean Tofu Tacos with Kimchi Slaw and Cilantro
- Green Dal with Farro and Tomato Chutney
- Lemon Zucchini Noodles with Cashew Cream and Crispy Artichoke Hearts
- Delivers vegan recipes only
- Meal kits and ready-to-heat options available
- Inventive uses for healthy ingredients cooked with creative methods
- Eating plants is more sustainable than eating animal products
- One of the more expensive options
Best prepared meals: Factor
Cost: Each meal is a single serving; from $10.99 per serving for 18 meals per week to $12.99 per serving for six meals per week
Not only are the meals from Factor all ready to eat, but they’re also designed by chefs and registered dietitians to offer a balance of flavors and nutrients. Are you following a specific diet? You’re in luck: Weekly menus include recipe options that are keto, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan and more. The cost of this meal subscription is based on the number of weekly dinners you’ll get, from six to 18.
- Creamy Parmesan Chicken with Broccoli and Tomatoes
- Chorizo Chili with Shredded Cheese and Scallion Sour Cream
- Jalapeno Popper Burger with Cauliflower “Popper” Rice and Roasted Zucchini
- Chipotle-Rubbed Pork Chop with Roasted Cabbage and Red Bell Pepper Fondue
- No need to cook; all meals come prepared
- Free nutrition consultations with a dietitian available
- Large portions
- Microwave-style meals mean limited variety
Best for streamlined recipes: Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon
Cost: From $8.69 per serving for six (four-serving) meals per week to $12.99 per serving for two (two-serving) meals per week
A meal subscription service that offers Martha Stewart’s best recipes, all ready in under 30 minutes and in just six steps? Sign us up! The Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon kits come with Stewart’s favorite spice blends, like Chorizo Chili and Italian seasoning, plus fresh, tasty ingredients that deliver big-time flavor for minimal effort. Browse more than 100 recipes—you can even sort them by the categories most important to you, like kid-friendly, dairy-free, no-added-gluten or one-pot meals.
- Seared Steak and Creamed Kale
- Garlic-Lime Marinated Chicken
- Mustard-Glazed Salmon
- Blue Cheese Burger and Onion Jam
- Six-step recipes yield some of the easiest meals
- Recipe instructions come with helpful photos
- Budget-friendly price for larger families
- No heat-and-eat options
Best organic kit: Green Chef
Cost: From $11.99 per serving for four (four-serving) meals per week to $13.49 per serving for three (two-serving) meals per week
As a company certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Green Chef features ingredients from farms and suppliers (many of them small and/or family owned) that use organic and sustainable practices. In addition to organic food, you’ll get to choose among six different menu preferences: vegetarian, keto and paleo, Mediterranean, fast and fit, vegan and gluten-free. Keto-curious cooks can add on a Keto Kickoff bundle to give the meal plan a try.
- Balsamic Mushroom and Tomato Chicken
- Italian Beef Stuffed Peppers
- Fajita-Style Spiced Shrimp and Steak Tacos
- Sesame-Ginger Salmon
- Certified organic produce and eggs, sustainably sourced seafood and responsibly sourced meat
- Plastic and carbon offset company
- Recipe cards come with instructions and visual cues
- Snack, breakfast and protein add-ons available
- Many recipes require the use of multiple pots and pans
Best for beginner cooks: Home Chef
Cost: From $9.99 per serving for four (four-serving) meals per week to $11.99 per serving for two (two-serving) meals per week
If you’re not really sure where to start in the kitchen—or even where to start when selecting the dishes in your meal subscription kit—Home Chef is for you. It gets rid of the guesswork with a quiz that helps determine the type of cook you are and the recipes you enjoy making. From there, it points you in the right direction, either toward its oven-ready meals, regular meal kits, heat-and-eat meals, express meal kits, family meals or culinary collection. Needless to say, there’s something for everyone.
- Elotes Beef Burger with Guacamole and Fries
- Cherry Balsamic-Glazed Salmon with Asiago Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts
- Chicken and Cheese Flautas with Pico de Gallo
- Chesapeake-Style Shrimp Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Crust
- Easy-to-follow recipes include photos and difficulty levels
- Digital versions of recipes with check-off steps for keeping track
- Customize options to upgrade or swap proteins
- Some meals available in Kroger, one of America’s most trusted grocery stores
- Not as many diet-specific options
Meal subscription FAQs
Still have questions about whether a meal subscription is right for you? Read on for more information about these services.
How do meal subscription services work?
Most of the meal subscription options on this list generally work the same way, and it’s similar to the way coffee subscription boxes and clothing subscription boxes work. First, you sign up for a subscription, indicating the serving size and the number of meals you want to receive per week. If it’s just you and your partner at home, you’ll sign up for two servings. Larger families may want more servings—say, four in each box.
Each week, you have the option to select which recipes you want from those that are available. This usually has to happen by a certain date; otherwise, the service will select recipes for you. You can also skip a week or more when needed, but you need to indicate this by a given deadline to make sure the shipment doesn’t go out.
Will I save money using a meal subscription service?
That depends. According to the USDA’s most recently published food plan, which looked at the cost of food at home, a family of four at a moderate spending level can expect to shell out around $320 per week on food, or about $15 per meal, depending on the ages of the children. Dinnerly, our budget pick, would be around $94 for four full dinners for that family, or $23 per meal. Sunbasket, one of the pricier options, is around $184, or $46 per meal, for the same number of meals.
Of course, those are just suppers, and you’ll still need to buy food for breakfast, lunch and snacks for your family. If you can budget those accordingly, assuming that ingredients for those other meals may be cheaper than ingredients for dinner, you may be able to save some money using a meal subscription service. But that’s a big if. Chances are, you’ll need to trade cost for convenience when signing up for one of the best meal subscription boxes.
Now that you know all about meal subscriptions, get the skinny on subscription boxes for men and clothing-rental services.
- USDA Food and Nutrition Service: “USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food Report for Low, Moderate and Liberal Food Plans for November 2022”