Best Meal Kit Delivery Services to Try in 2019
Jun 10, 2019
If you’re a stressed-out parent looking to make better food at home or a single looking to hone your kitchen skills, home meal kit delivery can have you putting together delicious and unique home-cooked meals in no time.
These meals are healthy, tasty, easy to make, and maybe best of all, you don’t have to wait for inspiration to strike and then battle the crowds at the grocery store. With home meal kits, you just go online and browse the latest recipe ideas, and they come straight to your door ready for you to put together.
When looking for a meal delivery service, there are a few things to consider beyond just the price per meal. Most meal kit delivery services allow you to pick your meals from a selected group of recipes that changes each week. Make sure that the variety of meals is to your liking, and in particular if you have any dietary issues - such as a gluten sensitivity or if you’re a vegetarian - you’ll want to make sure that the company can provide enough options for it to be worth your time - and money. Also, life can be unpredictable, you’ll want to look for a company that will allow you to skip a week if you’d like, or that makes cancelling your membership painless and simple.
Home Chef has put a personalized touch on the meal kit industry, letting customers build a “taste profile” which helps the company determine which meals will be the best match for them.
The meals are easy and straightforward, and you can find options for all type of dietary needs, including vegetarian, nut-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free meals.
There are only about a dozen meals to choose from per week, though the recipes are interesting and easy enough to be all but foolproof. The company works hard to source ingredients locally and use only top-shelf providers.
Smoothies and fruit baskets available
Helps you build a “taste profile” to match you with recipes
Sun Basket combines variety and high-quality ingredients to create one of the best meal kit delivery options on the market.
The company’s mission is based around 3 core values - clean eating, flavorful meals, and sustainability. Over 99% of the produce the company supplies is organic, and Sun Basket always uses organic dairy and eggs, antibiotic and hormone free meat and poultry, and puts a real focus on using sustainable providers.
How’s that translate to your dinner table? With Sun Basket you can find options for paleo, gluten-free, and vegetarian diets, and recipes ranging from mu shu pork to Vietnamese salad bowls. You can also pick and choose “lean and clean” healthy eating options.
The recipes are easy to make, and with organic, premium ingredients, you’ll be asking for seconds.
Great food doesn’t need to be a hassle. HelloFresh gets this, and that’s why each of their recipes only take 6 steps or less and will have you sitting down to dig in within 30 minutes.
Now, there are only 8 menu items to choose from per week, but the ingredients are responsibly sourced and highly customizable. The menus feature a wide variety of meat, fish, poultry, pasta, produce and grains, so you should be able to find something that works for your palate.
And while there isn’t currently a dessert option, that company is one of the few that offers breakfast in addition to dinner, so you can start your day off right.
Not everybody can be a celebrity chef or launch their own lifestyle brand, but with Martha and Marley Spoon, you can get some help from one of the best.
Martha and Marley Spoon describes its mission as being “to bring delightful, market-fresh and easy cooking back to the people while building a sustainable supply chain for a waste-free world.”
As part of this mission, this meal delivery service features the award-winning recipes and kitchen technique of Martha Stewart and 10 delectable meal options per week, ranging from Seared Steak and Crispy Potatoes to Thai Shrimp Lettuce Wrap Bowls and Salsa Verde Veggie Enchiladas. There are always at least a few veggie options each week.
The meals range from as little as $8.20 per serving to $12.00 per serving, depending on if you take the 2 or 3-4 people plan, and how many meals you order per week. To sweeten the pot some, all shipping is included with any Martha and Marley Spoon order, which can mean big savings over the term of your membership.
Simply put, Martha and Marley Spoon gives you great home dining options. You’ll enjoy delicious dinners and also learn how to bring a little bit of that Martha Stewart magic into your home kitchen.
Green Chef believes “you are what you eat,” and gives you a lot of leeway to determine who you are—with 7 different meal plans to choose from.
The 7 meal plans include omnivore, carnivore, gluten-free, vegan, paleo, vegetarian, and keto. There is also a family meal plan, which provides you with 2 dinners for a family of 4 per week. All of the meals with Green Chef are designed to be prepared within 30 minutes.
The company focuses on using high-quality, well-sourced ingredients and was the first meal delivery service to be certified organic.
Signing up with Green Chef is easy, there’s no minimum commitment, and you can cancel anytime.
True, Plated has easy to follow recipes and is very flexible with customers, but it's the food that is simply divine.
The recipes are crafted by the company’s culinary team and use high quality ingredients that are free of hormones and antibiotics. And while the recipes can be exotic and seductive, you can also just whip up some more standard fare like waldorf chicken salad and spicy crunchy shrimp bowls. You can also add dessert if you really feel like getting carried away.
Plated is also flexible - the company will allow you skip weeks, switch recipes and cancel anytime. One drawback though - the company doesn’t offer specifically vegan options.
If you’d like to eat healthy meals at home but don’t want the fuss, take a look at BistroMD. The company sends you pre-made, ready-to-heat-up meals that are meant to help you lose weight while also keeping a nutritious diet.
BistroMD offers four different meal plans—standard, gluten free, diabetic, and menopause. Whichever plan you select, you will be able to pick from more than 150 chef-prepared meals each week, all of which use premium ingredients that are responsibly sourced from trusted, sustainable providers.
Every BistroMD customer gets to create a custom diet program with the help of a registered dietitian. Each week you’ll be able to set your own taste preferences and plan out the meals just the way you want.
The plans range from 5 days with lunch and dinner (10 meals total) to the full 7-day program, which includes 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 6 dinners, for a total of 20 meals.
If you’re looking for variety in a meal delivery service, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than Freshly. Every week the company features more than 2 dozen entrees to pick from, in addition to 7 breakfasts, and all of it is pre-prepared and ready to eat.
Dining options range from high protein to vegetarian, paleo friendly and low calorie. If you have particular goals for your eating regimen, Freshly can probably find a plan that works for you. In addition, the company is certified 100% gluten-free.
Freshly’s menus are based on “a new standard of health,” with meals averaging 30 grams of protein and 500 calories.
At the moment, the company doesn’t offer desserts or snacks and is only available in 27 states. If it's available in your area though, you’ll have access to the sort of variety that would put most meal delivery companies to shame.
Balance takes convenience to a whole other level by giving you the option to order from over 100 available meals which are delivered directly to your home fully prepared, flash frozen, and ready to heat up and eat.
The meals are all developed by doctors and nutritionists with a focus on healthy eating. Each offering comes with complete nutritional facts, so if you’re on a diet or just trying to keep a close eye on what you’re eating, Balance has you covered.
The company provides meals which are engineered for a wide variety of diet options, including heart healthy, gluten free, diabetic, low sodium, menopause, dairy-free, low sodium, and low carb.
There’s no minimum order requirement so it's really up to you how much and how often you order.
Factor 75 is a meal delivery company that has put high-quality, paleo and keto friendly food front and center.
The company's meat is grass fed and pastured, with no antibiotics or hormones, and the produce is organic and non-GMO. In addition, the meals do not have any added sugar and are gluten and soy free, so for people on paleo or ketogenic diets, it's worth checking out.
Factor 75’s meals are planned by chefs, arrive at your house ready to be served, and are never frozen.
The company also partners with AGS genetic testing, so customers can get a genetic profile through AGS, which Factor 75’s dietitians and chefs can then use to formulate a custom food plan.
With Factor 75 you can select a 4, 6, 8, 12, or 18 meals per week plan.When you sign up, you’ll fill out a “taste profile” that covers which ingredients you can’t or won’t eat. Simply put, Factor 75 provides high-quality, ready-to-eat meals, customized for you.
With a meal kit service, you choose recipes each week, are shipped fresh, pre-portioned ingredients along with a step-by-step recipe card, and put it all together to cook up the meal when you’re ready.
This takes care of the hassle of grocery shopping—and of thinking of what to eat—leaving you only to cook up the food. It’s a fresh and convenient way to get familiar with different cooking techniques and seasonings.
Some of the main advantages of meal delivery services are:
1) Creativity and variety
One of the hardest parts of cooking at home is finding inspiration. By the time we get home after work, we put a premium on easy and fast, and even if we have the energy to cook, the lack of ideas can be a deal-breaker. With meal kits, there is virtually an endless variety of recipes that you can instantly work into your repertoire without waiting for inspiration to strike.
2) No shopping, no prep
With meal kits you don’t have to worry about heading out to the grocery store hungry (and coming back with all types of stuff you didn’t need) and wrangling with a long ingredients list. The recipes come broken down into their components for easy cooking and preparing.
3) Mix healthy and convenient
Meal kit delivery services have found a way to combine the speed and convenience of fast food, with the healthy, fresh ingredients of home cooking. You don’t have to be a Michelin-starred chef to whip up the recipes, and the prices are affordable, so you can start phasing out the fast food.
4) Dietary restrictions
If you have dietary specifications other than being vegan—like a gluten allergy, or you’re abiding by a low-carb diet—meal kits can be a great way to help you break the monotony. Most companies have special meal plans that are suited for specific diets, so you don’t need to feel so limited by your dietary limitations.
5) Weight loss and dieting
Most meal kit companies print the nutritional information online, so if you’re on a diet, it can be an easy way to track what you’re eating. Some companies will offer low-calorie dishes and low-carb dishes designed for dieters.
How to Choose the Right Meal Delivery Service for You
The question that stops most people in their tracks is, which meal delivery service is right for me? With so many options out there, placing that first order can be overwhelming. As with any decision, when picking a meal delivery service, you'll want to look at your particular needs and circumstances to narrow down the selection. We’ll take you through the top questions you should consider when choosing the right meal delivery service for your needs.
Are you tied to any dietary restrictions?
Are you looking to lose weight?
Are you cooking for kids?
Are you cooking for one?
Are you trying to save money?
Are you new to cooking or do you struggle with cooking?
How much does the environment factor into your daily decisions?
These types of questions will help lead you to the meal delivery service that will best suit you. Let’s take a look.
1) Are You Tied to Any Dietary Restrictions?
If you have an allergy to nuts, are staying away from gluten, or are vegetarian or vegan—you’ll need to make sure the meal delivery service you choose offers meal plans that suit your needs.
Some meal delivery providers like Sun Basket will let you select a meal plan tailored to your dietary preferences—be it paleo, diabetes-friendly or vegan. Services like Martha & Marley Spoon label dishes clearly so you’ll know what you can order and what to stay away from, and you select exactly which ingredients you like and don’t like so your meal options will be tailored according to your preferences.
Whether you prefer a specialty meal plan or want to pick dishes from a full list of options is entirely up to you.
2) Are You Looking to Lose Weight?
Another way to narrow down the options is if you are looking to lose weight. Fast and convenient generally translate to unhealthy, so you might be concerned with the ingredients and cooking methods of some meal delivery services.
Health-focused meal delivery services won’t just offer you better quality ingredients and recipes, but they’ll also offer you tools, instructions, and support to guide you in your weight loss journey. Pick from services that are focused on portion control, calorie reduction, and healthy menu planning.
3) Are You Cooking for Kids?
Ordering meals when there are kids in the house is a totally different ballgame. Not only will you require more food, but you'll also want kid-friendly options and lots of them.
Chances are you don’t want to be standing in the kitchen for 3 hours preparing a meal every day. If you’re concerned with time-management and kid-friendly recipes, choose from the best meal delivery services for families with kids.
4) Are You Cooking for One?
What if it’s just you—you don’t have too many preferences, and you are pretty flexible with your food requirements? Well then, you can easily go with just about any meal delivery service with a good reputation that delivers to your area.
If you’re cooking dinner for one, keep in mind that most companies offer a 2-serving minimum per recipe. Of course, that allows you to invite a friend for dinner or save the tasty leftovers for the next day’s lunch.
5) Are You Trying to Save Money?
The idea of meal delivery sounds great, but to some people, all they'll hear is the cha-ching of the cash register. While some services charge an arm and a leg for choosing, preparing, and delivering your meals, there are still several options that will fit even the tightest budget.
Meal delivery companies like Dinnerly charge just $5 per portion for all meals. You can also opt for a higher priced service and take advantage of special offers to keep the price down.
Get 50% off your first order with Sun Basket
6) Are You New to Cooking or Do You Struggle with Cooking?
Okay, getting the ingredients is nice and all, but if you're the type who can burn water, meal prep can be intimidating. If this sounds like you, you may want to choose a meal delivery service that will walk you through every step of the cooking process—or better yet—do all the work for you!
Companies like Home Chef focus on offering tasty meals while keeping the prep work and difficulty level to a minimum. Most recipes will take less than 30 minutes to prepare, and the step-by-step recipe cards will walk you through it all.
If you’ve decided to cut out cooking altogether, services like Freshly or Balance MD will deliver ready-made meals to your door. All you’re left to do is heat and enjoy!
7) How Much Does the Environment Factor into Your Daily Decisions?
Do you care about your carbon imprint? Do you recycle your bottles, sort your papers, and collect the deposit on your cans? If sustainability and environmental awareness is a priority for you, you’ll want to go with a meal delivery service that shares these values.
Ordering a meal kit every week can mean a lot of waste. There’s the carton box, the plastic packaging, the ice packs, and everything else used to deliver your ingredients in a convenient and organized way. So, if your meal kit company doesn’t take recycling seriously, you’ll be asking for some green guilt.
Luckily, most meal delivery services have earth-conscious values that make it possible to enjoy their services without causing too much harm to the environment.
With HelloFresh, for example, all packaging is fully recyclable—from the insulating liners to the ice packs and the meal separators.
Place Your Order
Of course, make sure the service you choose delivers to your area before getting too excited. Then pick the best service that offers the right combination of features and food for your lifestyle. There’s something for everyone, so get on the meal delivery service bandwagon, and find out what it’s like to eat healthier and easier today!
ByTop10.com StaffJun. 18, 2019
Our editorial staff is comprised of writers who are passionate about the world of online consumer services. We specialize in simplifying the process of choosing the right VPN for your needs.