Meal kit delivery services may seem like a novelty to the veteran home cooks across America, but these businesses have been going strong in this country for nearly a decade and have turned into an industry all their own. The craze started in Sweden in 2007 but made its way to the U.S. in 2012 with Blue Apron, HelloFresh and Plated. Blue Apron and HelloFresh are still in play and are now fending off dozens of competitors.
We took a look at the offerings available from many meal delivery services — using factors like expert reviews, customer reviews and cost to guide us — and picked out the best meal delivery services so you know what you’re signing up for.
How Much Does Meal Delivery Cost?
Before we get into our list of the best meal delivery services, we wanted to cover some basic information about these businesses that seem to be common across all brands. First is the cost and commitment that goes into them. Nearly every one of these services requires a minimum order or a minimum subscription commitment to get going, although we did find a couple that allow you to buy single meals a la carte.
Based on our research, families of two can expect to pay about $40 to $80 a week on a meal delivery program at the minimum, which is likely in the neighborhood of what you’d spend for two on a single meal at a restaurant.
Common Issues With Meal Delivery
While customer satisfaction seems high with all the services we’re covering here, there are some common problems that pop up across virtually all of them. The occasional over-ripe piece of produce, mis-measured ingredient or missing item were routine issues that customer service seems happy to remedy with an account credit or by other means, based on what we read.
Another common problem, according to a review of five popular meal delivery services done by Consumer Reports, is high sodium content. Most meals you prepare from these services will ask you to add salt in multiple stages during the cooking process, and a dietician interviewed by Consumer Reports recommended skipping one or more of these steps during your prep.
Basic Items You’ll Need
While you might think meal delivery kits come with everything you’ll need to get dinner done, that’s not entirely true. No matter which service you sign up for — even the ones where the meals are completely pre-made for you — you’ll need basic kitchen appliances like a microwave, stove and oven, while some meals require things like a blender, a grill, a can opener and a knife.
You’ll also need basic pantry staples that often are not provided with your kit, like olive oil, salt and pepper, as well as eggs in the case of some services. During our research, we found that some companies will let you know ahead of time what items you’ll need, but others don’t, making for an unpleasant surprise when it comes time to cook.
Get The Most For Your Money
Meal delivery services are a modern luxury, and there are ways to maximize the money you are putting into them. One obvious way is to log in to your account and choose the meals you want before they ship. If you don’t select them, the service will typically pick them for you, and that’s kind of like the waiter ordering for you at a restaurant. If you’re on a delivery routine, be sure to let them know if you’ll be out of town for a week — otherwise you’ll automatically be sent a box of food that will go to waste.
If you sign up for one of the services that sends you a kit of ingredients and a recipe, use the experience as your own personal cooking class. These kits can teach you basics like sautéing and chopping, while also showing you what spices pair well with different foods, making you more confident in the kitchen overall.
Don’t Necessarily Expect Fast Food
While some of the services we’ve researched send you pre-made meals that take only about three minutes to heat up, many require more time in the kitchen to bring to life. We found that the meals from many services will take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes from box to table. The cooking process is a big part of what many people enjoy about these services, so just know what you’re getting into before signing up.
With all that out of the way, here’s our ranking of the best meal delivery services available now.
Starting price: $48 plus shipping for six single-serving meals per week
Many meal kit services are clearly aimed at non-parents in their 20s and 30s who are looking to expand their cooking skills and broaden their palates — but Yumble goes right for the youngest eaters. This company ships pre-prepared individual meals for children with a wide menu that’s loaded with kid-friendly staples and rotates every six to eight weeks. Plans offer six, eight or 12 meals per week and range from about $50 to $72. The company was created by a woman who is a mother of three and aims to give parents more time to spend with their little ones.
Starting price: $72 for three two-serving dinners per week
Gobble is a great self-cooking option for super-busy people, parents or anyone who loathes cooking but wants a homemade meal. All the company’s recipes are designed to take just 15 minutes to cook, as prep work like marinating, peeling and chopping is handled for you. Gobble has a classic plan and a Lean & Clean plan (less than 600 calories per serving) that ships three or four dinners a week for either two or four eaters, that range from $72 to $192 before shipping costs.
Roughly 1,800 customers who’ve reviewed the service on Trustpilot have nearly all been impressed, giving it an average score of 4.2/5.
23. Amazon Meal Kits
Starting price: $8 per serving (free shipping for Amazon Prime members)
If you thought Amazon was going to let the trend of meal kit delivery pass them by, you clearly don’t know the company very well. The retail giant offers its own meal kits that promise dinner for two in about 30 minutes with almost no prep work required by the cook. The meals are pretty cheap (as low as $8 each) and the packaging is eco-friendly, but there are a couple knocks against Amazon Meal Kits. Surprisingly, they are only available for shipping in a few major cities and they require a subscription to both Amazon Prime and Amazon Fresh to sign up for regular shipments.
22. Purple Carrot
Starting price: $72 for three two-serving dinners per week
While many meal delivery services get knocked for only offering safe, crowd-pleasing recipes, Purple Carrot has gotten points for its creative choices. It’s perfect for budding home chefs who are a bit more adventurous with their meal planning. Its kits include all plant-based, vegan-friendly ingredients that are ready for you to prepare into a meal. You can choose from the gourmet Chef’s Choice option, the speedy Quick & Easy plan or one that is either high-protein or gluten-free, and you can customize your deliveries by adding things like snacks.
Weekly subscriptions range from $72 for three dinners that have two servings each to $120 for three dinners that have four servings each.
21. Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon
Starting price: $53 for two two-serving meals per week
If you’ve ever wanted to cook like Martha Stewart, this meal kit service might offer the easiest path there’s ever been. German-based Marley Spoon hooked up with the iconic domestic goddess to bring her own recipes to customers every week. You’ll get pre-measured ingredients and portions of Stewart’s favorite spice blends along with recipes that include photos and are done in six steps. Reviewed.com felt that the portion sizes were smaller than other similar services, but Epicurious was more impressed, praising the speed with which the recipes come together for busy parents.
Plans range from two to six meals per week for either two or four people, ranging in price from $53 to $177, with $8.99 shipping included.
Starting price: $30 for three two-serving meals per week
EveryPlate is definitely one of the most affordable options on our list. The company prides itself on offering its recipe kits at less than $5 per serving, which is pretty remarkable for quality, home-cooked meals. Reviews from How Stuff Works (8.9/10), Buyers Guide (8.9/10) and Epicurious have been stellar, with the latter publication naming it one of the best meal delivery services in America.
The recipes take about 30 minutes to prepare, which is a plus, but the knocks against EveryPlate are that it doesn’t cater to special dietary needs, with just one flat plan offered to everyone, and that shipping is never free.
Starting price: $9 per dinner serving
Sunbasket is one of the most popular brands in this business and offers a meal plan for virtually every dietary need. From vegetarian to pescatarian to diabetes-friendly to paleo, the service currently has 10 different plans you can sign up for. Meals are either prepared by you or come pre-made, depending on which plan you pick, and come in either two or four servings, with subscription plans offering anywhere from two to four recipes shipped per week. When Consumer Reports tested five popular meal delivery services in 2020, it found that Sunbasket was the most expensive but its testers gave it perfect grades across the board.
Reviewed.com also gave the service top marks but slammed its cancellation policy as “dishonest,” while many reviewers at Trustpilot have complained about its customer service, resulting in an overall “poor” grade from thousands of customers.
18. Splendid Spoon
Starting price: $65 for five breakfast smoothies per week
Vegetarians are front and center in Splendid Spoon’s business model. This service ships ready-to-eat meals made from plant-based ingredients that include smoothies, pasta bowls and soups. If daytime cooking is a real pain for you, Splendid Spoon is a solid choice, as two of its plans aim to feed you breakfast and/or lunch, while leaving dinner up to you. The breakfast plan, the company’s cheapest offering, sends you five high-protein smoothies every week for $65, while the high-end breakfast, lunch and dinner plan sends you five smoothies, five soup and grain bowls, five noodle meals and five soups every week for $185.
Starting price: $41 for three two-serving meals per week
While many meal delivery services may give you sticker shock, Dinnerly prides itself on being affordable. Servings cost less than $5 each at the lowest end, and you can subscribe for a weekly box with three meals for two eaters for less than $41, which is pretty impressive. The most expensive plan, which will feed four eaters with six meals a week, costs $122, which is around the starting price for some services we’ve got on this list.
However, a review at Consumer Reports noted that the lower cost means less attractive packaging, with meal ingredients not individually contained and no printed recipe cards included in the box — small things that are staples of similar services.
16. Daily Harvest
Starting price: $54 for nine single-serving items per week
If you’ve seen Daily Harvest’s ads, you probably know they specialize in smoothies, but this service also offers oat bowls, lattes, soups, flatbreads and even desserts. The company loads its foods with ingredients that are 95% organic, including fruits and vegetables that are frozen on the day they are picked for peak freshness upon thawing. If you want to inject some color into your diet, Daily Harvest is ideal. Their popular smoothies simply require you to provide the milk and the blender.
Subscription plans start at about $54 for nine items and range up to about $200 for 24 items, with you getting to choose every item that goes into your box.
Starting price: $60 for four meals per week
HelloFresh — one of the biggest brands in meal kit delivery – recently bought Factor_ (also known as Factor75) in a move that will hopefully only make this health-centric company even better in the future. The reviews are already stellar for this company, which ships pre-made meals to a customer base that includes fitness enthusiasts and those on special diets like paleo, keto and gluten-free plans. Buyers Guide named it the best of the services that offer pre-cooked meals and nearly 12,000 customers at Trustpilot have given it an “excellent” average score of 4.5/5.
Subscription plans range from about $60 for four meals a week to about $200 for 18 meals a week, and the service even gives a 15% discount to first responders, medical workers, service members and teachers.
Starting price: $60 per week for three two-serving meals
Hungryroot is unique in the space of meal delivery services. The company, which was founded in 2015, aims to keep you from ever going to the grocery store again by shipping you your weekly food and a series of recipes that can be made from what you get. After you take a quiz that lets the brand know what you’re looking for, you can get started on a subscription plan that starts at about $60 per week. The items shipped by Hungryroot are aimed at health-food consumers, and the company has more than 3,000 chef-created recipes in its collection.
13. Fresh n’ Lean
Starting price: $74 for five single-serving breakfasts per week
Pre-made meals for people who like to keep their calories low are what Fresh n’ Lean is all about. This high-rated service ships you frozen meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner that are ready to eat in about three minutes. The ingredients are certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers and diet plans include paleo, keto, vegan, low-carb and high-protein. You can place a one-time, a la carte order of at least $85 or sign up for a meal plan that offers one, two or three meals a day for five or seven days a week. Plans range widely in price, depending on the one you choose.
Starting price: $11.70 per individual meal (part of a 10-meal package)
Veestro ships pre-made meals that can be heated up in the microwave or oven, using ingredients that are all plant-based and vegan-friendly. The packaging used by the company is 100% recyclable, further making them a top choice for those who want to support eco-friendly businesses. After picking your meals, you can make a one-time order of at least 10 meals or make it a subscription, which will save you 10% and the shipping fee.
The family-run company also offers a weight-loss plan that ships you five or seven days’ worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners every week, starting at $175.50.
11. Top Chef Meals
Starting price: $90 for 10 single-serving meals per week (shipping costs vary)
Top Chef Meals delivers its pre-made meals across the continental U.S. and offers a large menu that caters to a range of dietary preferences. The company has offerings suited for customers on paleo, keto, renal, low-sodium, low-fat, diabetic and other diets. Some may be turned off by the fact that not all ingredients are certified organic, but Top Chef Meals sources all of its ingredients from farms in New Jersey and New York, where it is based. Meals can be ordered as part of a recurring plan or a la carte, and all meals are fully customizable, which is rare in this sector, allowing the customer to pick the entree, side and veggie.
Nearly 4,000 customers at Trustpilot have given Top Chef Meals one of the top average scores in the pre-made meal delivery sector, with a 4.5/5. The company even offers 10% off to anyone over 60 years old.
Starting price: $109/week for two days of breakfast and lunch
Sakara, a lifestyle brand that touts supermodels among its supporters, offers a meal delivery service that is designed to make your Instagram followers jealous. These meals, which are among the most expensive on our list, are pre-made, plant-based and full of fresh, colorful ingredients that are touted as “clean” foods meant for “detoxing” your body. You can order a one-time program with a minimum two daily meals over two days but the prices are better for weekly subscriptions — despite still being out of many peoples’ price range.
Still, HuffPost reported that the service is worth it for people who are truly too busy to cook but want some really nutritious meals.
9. Blue Apron
Starting price: $28 for two two-serving meals per week
Blue Apron is one of the original meal delivery services that set up shop in America, and it remains one of the most recognizable. The company ships ingredients and recipes that you cook yourself and even offers suggested wine pairings and the option to add bottles to your order, which is a unique touch. In a review, Consumer Reports gave Blue Apron a grade of “very good,” praising it for featuring recipes with hard-to-find ingredients but also knocking it for an overabundance of sodium in the meals. Subscribers to WW (formerly Weight Watchers) will love that the two brands have paired together for a plan that makes sticking to their diet a snap.
Plans can feed two or four eaters from two to four nights per week, making Blue Apron’s meal plans a bit more restrictive than other services.
Starting price: $122 per week for five single-serving lunches and five single-serving dinners
Diet-to-Go is one of several meal delivery services that focuses on customers who want to lose weight, and the company has earned higher grades than most others in that subset. You can select from balanced, diabetes-friendly, low-carb/ketogenic-friendly or vegetarian meal plans and select how many meals you want every week. The balanced plan — Diet-to-Go’s most popular — ranges from about $120 to $175 per week, based on your calorie needs and whether you want five or seven days’ worth of meals. In a taste test against similar programs, Epicurious praised Diet-to-Go as the top of the class, besting Jenny Craig and Nutrisystems.
7. Home Chef: Fresh And Easy
Starting price: $50 for two two-serving meals per week
The popular service Home Chef offers this alternate delivery subscription that only includes pre-made meals that are ready in minutes. Home Chef: Fresh and Easy supplies you with meals that come in oven- or grill-ready trays and bags that also aim to make dishes and cleanup minimal. When signing up, you can let them know if you’re trying to avoid carbohydrates or calories (or neither) and you can select common allergens to avoid. Unlike many other plans, this one can accommodate up to six family members per meal, which makes it a great choice for big families.
Plans range from $50 to $330 per week, depending on how many eaters and how many days per week you want deliveries.
Starting price: Varies
If you live in Los Angeles, you are lucky enough take advantage of Everytable’s revolutionary meal delivery service. The budding service still only delivers around that city — while also offering unique vending machines and brick-and-mortar pick-up locations — but its customers have given it stellar grades so far, making it the highest-rated meal delivery business on Trustpilot with an average score of 4.9/5. Everytable ships pre-made meals that are ready in less than three minutes, but the most unique part of the company is its pricing model.
The company bases its prices on where the customer is ordering from, allowing subscribers in the least affluent neighborhoods to pay fast-food rates for chef-made meals, while charging more to people in wealthy areas.
5. Home Chef
Starting price: $40 for two two-serving meals per week (plus shipping)
While we already covered the pre-made offerings from Home Chef: Fresh and Easy, the brand’s classic meal kit service is one of the best in the business, based on our research. Home Chef got perfect grades across the board by the customers who tested it for Consumer Reports in 2020, while it was also given top honors by Reviewed.com and How Stuff Works. The reviews are rave because the recipes are easy and fun to prepare and the end result looks and tastes great.
There are price points to fit all budgets and delivery schedules to fit all needs, as plans start with two meals per week for two eaters and go up to six meals a week for six eaters.
4. Snap Kitchen
Starting price: $70 for six individual meals per week
Availability of Snap Kitchen is more limited than some others on our list right now, but it seems to be expanding at a steady rate. This top-rated service, which focuses on healthy meals that are totally pre-made, currently ships to 15 states and also has brick-and-mortar locations in several states and a partnership with Whole Foods Market that allows impatient customers to stop by and grab to-go meals anytime. Epicurious has praised Snap Kitchen for how customizable its menu is, with meal plan options including high-protein, low-carb, Whole30, paleo and others.
Plans range from $70 to $115 per week, depending on whether you order six or 12 meals.
Starting price: $46 for four individual meals per week
If you want a service that ships delicious, pre-made meals to your door every week, Freshly is the best you’ll find. The company saves its customers maximum time by delivering meals that are ready in about three minutes and are especially great for single people, as the meals are all single servings. The portions are reportedly generous, which may be one reason why more than 8,000 customers have given it an incredible average score of 4.8/5 at Trustpilot. That’s as close to perfect as you’re likely to get for any company that is this big.
Plans range from about $46 to about $102 per week before shipping, also making it an affordable choice when compared to typical grocery bills for meals with high-quality ingredients.
Starting price: $59 for two two-serving meals per week (price includes shipping costs)
HelloFresh boasts that it is “America’s most popular meal kit,” and it’s not difficult to see why. Stellar grades from customers, with a remarkable average score of 4.4/5 from nearly 40,000 users at Trustpilot, and from accolades from various publications make it a reliable choice for people who want to try this type of subscription. In a test of five popular meal kit services, Consumer Reports gave HelloFresh the best overall score, mostly praising its nutritional values but warning about high saturated fat content and a reliance on safe recipes.
Plans — which come in six dietary varieties — range from about $60 to $130 a week.
1. Green Chef
Starting price: $81 for three two-person meals per week (price includes shipping costs)
Green Chef puts an emphasis on — you guessed it — eco-friendly ingredients and packaging with its top-rated recipe kits. The service, which is actually owned by HelloFresh, is known for its colorful, USDA-certified organic meals that cater to many dietary needs, including gluten-free, keto, paleo and vegan. Recipes are ready in about 30 minutes and everything from pre-made sauces to pre-chopped vegetables keep prep work at a minimum, while you can follow along on step-by-step recipe cards that include chef’s tips and photos.
It scored a rare “excellent” grade from Consumer Reports and has similar marks from customers at Trustpilot, who’ve given it an average mark of 4.5/5. All those factors combine to make it the best meal kit service in America, based on our research.
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