The best meal kit delivery services

The best meal kit delivery services
  • Why spend yet another dinner eating the same takeout when you can impress yourself with your culinary abilities?
  • With Blue Apron, you'll be able to make a meal that is better than anything you can get delivered.
  • If you want to save yourself even more time and effort while still eating right, check out our guide to the best pre-made meal delivery services.


It's not the cooking you're unwilling to do. It's the recipe planning, the ingredient sourcing, and the shopping for difficult-to-find spices and cuts of meat that's sending you toward the takeout menu and keeping you from your kitchen. But with the right meal kit, you'll be able to (re)discover your inner chef and save yourself from getting the same takeout meal for the fifth night in a row.

While the meal kit space seems more crowded than ever these days, there are certainly a few standouts that will make for an impressive dining room debut. Of course, there are various factors that you should keep in mind before deciding upon which service is best for you.

First off, are you a carnivore, an omnivore, or do you have dietary restrictions that generally make it difficult for you to be a dinner guest? While most meal kits try to cater to various preferences, some do so a bit better than others, so you'll want to determine from the get-go how picky of an eater you are.

Second, and this was a big one for me, you'll probably want to keep eco-friendliness in mind. While meal kits may be convenient, they're not exactly the best for the planet. After all, aside from the emissions that come from delivering boxes of pre-packaged ingredients to your doorstep, you'll also have to think about all the plastic, cardboard, and coolant that goes into ensuring that your dinner gets to you safe and sound. Luckily, there are some meal kits that are very careful about their eco-footprint, so you and the planet can eat clean.

You'll also want to consider how big of an appetite you generally have, and how many people you'll be feeding. I've found that some of these meal kits have different standards when it comes to portion sizes, so be sure that you have a sense of how hungry you tend to be after a day's work.


That said, regardless of which meal kit you pick from our favorites, we're sure you're in for a delicious future. We've tested several meal kits already, but stay tuned for more tasty additions soon.

Here are the best meal kits we've tried:

Updated on 12/30/2019 by Jen Gushue: Updated pricing, links, and formatting.

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The best meal kit overall

The best meal kit overall
If you're looking for a simple yet composed meal, Blue Apron is the way to go.

One of my primary complaints about meal kits is that they often seem to be about two-thirds of a full meal. But with Blue Apron, this happily isn't the case. For folks looking for a well-composed, classic, yet creative take on dinner, there are few meal kits that fit the bill better than this popular (and heavily advertised) option.

Blue Apron is probably one of the most recognizable names in the meal kit world, and for good reason. The ingredients that I received were neatly packaged and high quality and the recipes were easy to follow. They also included clever little boxes for you to check off things that you had done, though this probably isn't quite so necessary for the more advanced chef.

Perhaps one of the best things about Blue Apron's recipe cards, however, has nothing to do with the instructions or the ingredients — rather, it's the wine pairings. Blue Apron has a companion wine subscription service, which we've previously reviewed, and the meal kits are actually paired directly with a Blue Apron wine.

As far as the meals themselves, I found Blue Apron to be simple yet creative. The Za'atar chicken was precisely what you might expect from a chicken dish, with a well-cooked protein, roasted vegetables, and a fluffy couscous base. But what saved it from boredom was the truly delightful Za'atar spice, which I tried on tofu, while the boyfriend/sous chef kept his on the chicken.

While I often complain about foods being under-spiced, this certainly wasn't the case with this Blue Apron meal, as the packet of Za'atar provided was plenty for the roasted vegetables and protein alike.

Blue Apron is also wonderfully customizable, as it provides options for both two-person and four-person meals. Although some delivery services seem to provide rather small portions for the sake of cutting calories, with Blue Apron, I always felt as though there was sufficient food for two full-grown adults.

More importantly, I didn't feel as though I was missing out on my vegetables or skimping on my protein — Everything felt well-balanced and thoughtfully put together.

Another perk of Blue Apron comes whether or not you decide to actually try out the kits. In the spirit of actually making people better chefs, which really, seems to be what meal kits ought to be all about, Blue Apron is actually teaching us to fish, metaphorically speaking, of course. You can now check out Blue Apron's online cookbook, which features detailed recipes of their dishes, organized by date and season.

So if you want to buy the ingredients needed for Crispy Catfish with Coconut-Lime Curry & Kale, you can easily recreate a Blue Apron meal without ever getting anything shipped to your front door. The digital recipe cards also feature the estimated preparation time, nutrition facts, and suggested wine pairings.

Pros: Familiar recipes with a twist, wine pairing suggestions, easy to follow directions, options for both two and four-person families

Cons: Some recipes may not justify the price point, given that ingredients are quite straightforward and easy to find in your local supermarket

Read our full review of Blue Apron's Mediterranean diet recipes

The meal kit for sauce lovers

The meal kit for sauce lovers
If you're all about the finishing touches, Sun Basket, with its killer sauces, has your back.

Sometimes, it's all about the sauce. And no one understands that better than Sun Basket. The California-based company has long hung its hat on its health-conscious recipes that can accommodate just about any diet, but really, all they need to do is have you taste their romesco, or have a spoonful of their pesto. From there, any consideration you may have had about calories will probably go right on out the window.

The availability of the sauces also makes Sun Basket meals very straightforward when it comes to preparation. After all, much of the flavor of your meal comes in a little jar, which you can simply spoon on at the end (or whenever need be throughout the recipe). But what doesn't come to you in a package comes to you from local sources.

Indeed, one of Sun Basket's primary talking points is its use of organic produce and clean ingredients. That's quite apparent in the ingredients that you receive. I once got a celery root that seemed as though it had just been plucked from the ground. Sure, this presented certain challenges, but it's nice to feel as though you could've gotten your meal from a farmer's market, and not from a kit.

Sun Basket also offers an interesting upgrade option when it comes to its ingredients — that is to say, if a recipe is offered with salmon, you can swap it out for a premium ingredient like halibut. Or, even more compellingly, if you love the sound of a vegetarian dish but need a healthy dose of protein, you can now add organic chicken breast or wild-caught salmon to certain no-meat meals.

When it comes to the actual cooking process, Sun Basket looks to make things as easy as possible and takes care of some of the more tedious components for you. For example, butternut squash will come to you pre-cut, and cauliflower rice comes pre-ground so you don't have to pull out your food processor. Some recipes are designated 20-minute meals, and Sun Basket lives up to this promise.

Sun Basket is also quite environmentally conscious. The vast majority of the company's packaging materials are recyclable, and even the ice pack can be composted and recycled. Plus, I've found myself reusing quite a few of those little sauce jars over the past few weeks, so Sun Basket keeps paying dividends long after I've finished all its meals.

Pros: Health-conscious meals that consider an assortment of dietary restrictions, easy prep, and a very wide variation in protein choice

Cons: Because so many of the ingredients come pre-cut and pre-chopped, you have to use Sun Basket ingredients quite quickly


The best straightforward meal kit

The best straightforward meal kit
If you're looking for a no-fuss dinner that is quick and easy to prepare, try HelloFresh.

The whole point of meal kits is to make cooking at home easier, and no one does this better than HelloFresh. Convenience and simplicity are at the heart of this company's value proposition, and truly, it delivers. If you're looking for a way to make your own dinner without breaking a sweat, breaking the bank, or slaving over a hot stove and oven for more than 20 to 30 minutes, then say hello to HelloFresh.

Of the many meal kits I tested, I can confidently say that few were as true to the estimated preparation time as HelloFresh. This is likely because there are fewer ingredients associated with these meal kits — there's little pretension and little complexity involved. But that's not a bad thing, and it doesn't mean that its meals are any less tasty.

In fact, for folks who are looking for something just a little more high brow, HelloFresh does have a few new premium options available every week in their recipe selection. I opted for the Pan-Seared Duck Breast, a well-composed meal that also featured duck fat fried potatoes, sauteed asparagus, and grape tomatoes.

When duck is on the menu, I temporarily forego my pescatarian tendencies, and I was certainly glad to have done so. While duck may seem like a rather unapproachable ingredient, HelloFresh's straightforward recipe made the protein easy to work with and decidedly delicious.

Indeed, this seems to be the mentality behind most of HelloFresh's recipes: Prove that even without bells and whistles, food can be delicious. For example, the Tuscan Shrimp and Orzo was easy to prepare, requiring naught but shrimp, orzo pasta, and roasted tomatoes, but was still a flavorful meal that took about half an hour to prepare (the duck, by the way, was similarly speedy).

Like Blue Apron, HelloFresh also offers a companion wine subscription service, and while Blue Apron offers smaller 500 mL bottles, you can get full-sized bottles from HelloFresh to go along with your meal.

HelloFresh similarly boasts a recipe archive where you can get the instructions for all your favorite meals (not just the ones that are on the docket this week). And if you have dietary restrictions, HelloFresh is useful in that you can select a veggie-friendly menu right from the get-go, helping to avoid sifting through recipes that you won't be able to eat.

Pros: Simple, straightforward recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, all while being quite tasty

Cons: While the premium meals are an exception, most of HelloFresh's meals might otherwise seem too simplistic for folks looking to go on a culinary adventure

The best comfort food meal kit

The best comfort food meal kit
If you're a fan of simplicity and classic comfort food, Dinnerly may just be the best meal kit on the market.

At less than $5 per serving, it's hard to beat Dinnerly when it comes to price, and that's even the case if you think about doing your own shopping at a grocery market. The meal kit is part of the Marley Spoon universe, also known as Martha Stewart's meal kit service. But instead of charging you an extra premium for having someone so well-versed in recipe creation on your side, Dinnerly makes it easy to eat homemade, tasty food.

While some meal kits want to turn you into a gourmand, Dinnerly is perhaps more approachable for folks just starting out in the kitchen. There will be no fancy techniques and no foreign ingredients. Just straightforward recipes that could quickly become staples in your own.

Generally speaking, the meals that you'll be making with Dinnerly consist of five ingredients. They're neither intimidating nor confusing, and meal prep is probably the easiest I've ever experienced with a meal kit. But this isn't to say that I'm conflating lack of complexity with lack of enjoyability. Rather, I've found that Dinnerly consistently provides comforting, approachable food that you'll want to make, eat, and serve.

With Dinnerly, I've made meals like their one pan potato, kale, egg, and cheddar cheese hash — the perfect fall dinner. Preparing the whole thing took effectively no time. I needed only to cut up the potatoes and kale, season them with the included paprika and add some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then throw everything in the oven. And since making it with Dinnerly for the first time, I've often returned to the same recipe, adding some variations of my own to keep things interesting.

There was also a delicious pizza, which was made even better by Dinnerly's inclusion of a still-rising crust — seriously, when a company sends you fresh pizza dough, take it as a gift. And why order a pie when you can just make one at home, and add all the toppings you want and none of the ones you don't?

I'll also commend Dinnerly on being more eco-friendly than most meal kits. The boxes are smaller, there's less packaging, and rather than sending you recipe cards, you'll receive a PDF of all the meals you're slated to enjoy so that you can save some trees.

Pros: Few ingredients, approachable food, eco-friendly, extremely affordable

Cons: if you're a more advanced chef, Dinnerly's options may be a bit too basic for your tastes


The best easy vegetarian meal service

The best easy vegetarian meal service
When it comes to eating healthy, delicious, and convenient food, there are few better places to turn than Veestro.

If you're looking for something even easier than a meal kit, then a meal delivery service may be the way to go. But that doesn't mean that you'll be stuck heating up greasy microwave dinners as you sit in front of the television and live out every negative stereotype on the planet. Rather, you can make health-conscious and delicious choices with Veestro.

Veestro is a meal delivery service that makes it easy to get more plant-based foods into your diet without sacrificing taste or convenience. The company sends fully prepared 100% plant-based meals to your door.

All meals are preservative-free and organic (96% of all ingredients used), and the recipes are created by a vegan chef with 30 years of knowledge. Don't worry about prepping ingredients — Veestro doesn't need you to do any heavy lifting. While I'd certainly recommend that you fire up your stovetop or preheat your oven for best results, you can just as easily throw these meals in the microwave if you really don't feel like cooking.

There are plenty of ways to interact with Veestro. You can pick and choose from 50 meals all priced starting at $10, like baked mac and "cheese," Tuscan calzone, portobello steak, and quinoa soup. Or, you can opt for meal packs, like an introductory starter pack, protein pack, and gluten-free option. These start at $8 per meal. Then there are also juices and various weight loss plans, all of which are 100% plant-based.

While frozen food normally incorporates artificial ingredients and preservatives, that's simply not the case with Veestro. The red curry is pretty awesome, as is the mushroom risotto I tried.

At $8 to $10 per meal, it's about comparable to the cost of meal kits, and you get the added convenience and freedom to concentrate on other parts of your life while still enjoying healthy, tasty food.

Pros: Healthy, extremely easy to make, 100% plant-based and a great way to get your vegetables

Cons: At the end of the day, if you're not a fan of frozen food, this may not be the meal for you

The best meal kit in a cup

The best meal kit in a cup
Daily Harvest provides you with yummy, healthy smoothies, soups, and other cup-based meals that you'll want to eat over and over again.

If it's good enough for Gwyneth Paltrow and Serena Williams, it's good enough for me. The ringing endorsement of these two super ladies has brought superfood-packed Daily Harvest onto the main stage, and for good reason. The smoothies, bowls, soups, and lattes from this meal delivery service have been a lifesaver on more than one occasion, and even when I do have the time to cook, I sometimes find myself reaching for one of these pre-portioned cups instead.

Daily Harvest offers smoothies, chia parfaits, soups, and more recently, harvest bowls to its health-conscious subscribers, and while healthy is often a euphemism for bland, that's certainly not the case with Daily Harvest. All options come to you in elegant little cups, which double as serving containers in order to reduce waste.

If you're making a smoothie, just add your liquid base of choice (almond milk is always my go-to), and then pour everything into your blender. Moments later, you'll have a delicious green beverage packed with ingredients like kale, banana, mango, and more. If you're opting for a soup or a harvest bowl, you'll just reheat the ingredients, and end up with a delicious meal for one.

To keep the ingredients fresh, Daily Harvest picks them at peak maturity and then flash freezes them to keep farm-fresh nutrient density and flavor, without adding any preservatives or sugar. So, according to the company, what you're getting delivered to you may actually be more nutritious than apples that get picked a year before they make their way to the supermarket aisle.

Sure, you may need more than just one Daily Harvest cup in order to fully satisfy your appetite (especially if we're talking about lunch or dinner). But if you add some of your own protein to say, the Brussels Sprouts and Tahini harvest bowl, you'll have a fully composed meal that's far healthier than heating up a box of mac and cheese.

As for pricing, the more you order, the less expensive your order. For nine cups, you'll pay $7.75 for each cup ($69.75 total) and if you order 24, you pay $6.99 per cup ($167.76 total).

Pros: Delicious and convenient, packed with superfoods, reduces waste by keeping everything in a cup

Cons: Small portion size, pricey if you're just getting smoothies