That means none of the cutting, chopping, measuring, and straining that leaves you with lost time and a sink full of dirty dishes. Most meal prep services offer kits that require just a few minutes in the oven or microwave before they’re ready to eat.
And with everything available from all-natural and vegetarian and vegan meals to weight-loss-friendly plans, these alternatives make no sacrifices when it comes to the healthiness and flavor of your pre made meals.
Not sure which prepared meal delivery kit to go with? Here is our round-up of the top 10 best prepared meal delivery kits - fresh and frozen - worth checking out.
Our Top 10 Best Prepared Meal Delivery Services in 2022:
- Factor_ - Best prepared meal delivery service overall
- Fresh and Easy - Best for oven ready classics
- Home Chef - Best for minimal prep work
- HelloFresh - Best for busy families
- Freshly - Best for gluten-free diets
- Green Chef - Best for plant-based meals
- Blue Apron - Best for gourmet cooking
- EveryPlate - Best for affordable eating
- Sunbasket - Best for organic eating
- Nutrisystem - Best for weight loss
A Closer Look at Our Top 10 Best Prepared Meal Delivery Services - Quick Reviews:
1. Factor_ Pre Made Meal Plan
Complete line of pre-prepared to put your health goals in reach
✓ Price: From $11.00 per serving
✓ Shipping: $9.99 per delivery
Factor_ aims to provide a huge selection of keto, paleo, plant based, low-calorie, or just flavorful premade meals to suit your health goals. Pre-portioned and pre-packaged meals ready to cook, it doesn’t get simpler than this. Most, if not all, of their meals come ready for you to pop in the microwave or oven and enjoy mere minutes later. The fact that all of their meals are always fresh, and never frozen, makes Factor_ one of the fresher prepared meal kits available.
The combination of diet-friendly options and heat-and-serve convenience makes Factor_ one of the most appealing meal delivery services for busy people who want to eat for better health.
- Suitable for a range of dietary restrictions
- Fresh, not frozen, whole foods options
- A complete line of pre-made meals to help you achieve your health goals
- No customization available in ingredients or meal size
- Few breakfast options
2. Fresh and Easy Pre Made Meal Plan
Oven-ready classics to save you time and money
✓ Price: From $8.99 per serving
✓ Shipping: $7.99-$13.99
Fresh and Easy delivers all of the ingredients you need washed, cut, and portioned as well as the pots and pans you need to cook them in, and preparing the meals is still required. However: meals are delivered home complete with oven- and grill-ready dishes so that you can just pop the ingredients inside, heat up your meal, and enjoy the fruits of your own stove without having to deal with the aftermath of a dirty sink.
A new service by meal-delivery veterans Home Chef, Fresh and Easy states its goal in its name: to make it even easier for people short on time but big on health to have access to fresh, home-cooked meals.
- Oven- and grill-ready dishes included
- No cutting or prep work necessary
- New service from Home Chef
- Limited menu options
- No plans for singles
3. Home Chef Pre-Made Meal Plan
Full range of easy-to-make prepared meals to choose from
✓ Price: From $8.99 per serving
✓ Shipping: $7.99-$13.99
Home Chef has multiple options for customers looking for minimal preparation, ranging from microwave-ready meals to meal kits completed in 15 minutes.
Home Chef’s “oven-ready” line only requires you to unwrap, bake and enjoy. The “fast & fresh” meals are microwave meals with no prep work, or cleanup, required. Then there are the 15-minute meal kits, which are typically one-pan meals that you can whip up on your stovetop in a matter of minutes.
No matter what your time constraints are, Home Chef has a meal delivery option that works for you. If you want to save time above all else, this may be the meal delivery service for you.
- Microwave-ready, oven-ready, and quick stovetop options give you all the choices you need for an easy dinner
- 3 health-related meal plans to suit your needs: calorie-conscious, carb-conscious, and vegetarian
- Chef designed menu is as delicious as it is convenient
- Limited pre-prepared options for people with dietary restrictions
- No grab-and-go options
4. HelloFresh Pre Made Meal Plan
Sub-30 minute line of meals for busy night
✓ Price: From $7.99 per serving
✓ Shipping: Free
HelloFresh strikes a great balance between price, variety, and ease of preparation. By striking that balance, however, HelloFresh does not offer a line of fully prepared meals.
What HelloFresh does offer the convenience-minded home cook is their “Quick Meals'' line of dinners. Each of these recipes can be completed in 30 minutes or less, which makes them ideal for evenings when you're short on time, but not for when you literally have no time.
Generally, the quick and easy meals are a pasta dish, a grain plus protein recipe, or some form of tacos. Even though there are dozens of options, this pattern could get old after a while. Although much easier than making a fresh dinner from scratch, Hello Fresh still needs some work from you to complete the meal.
- Easier than cooking a meal from scratch
- Numerous options in the 30-minutes or less category
- Boxes include many pre-prepared ingredients
- Not as easy as a heat-and-eat meal plan
- No gluten-free, dairy-free, or nut-free meals
5. Freshly Pre Made Meal Plan
Fresh, never-frozen gluten-free delights
✓ Price: From $8.99 per serving
✓ Shipping: $3.99-$12.11
Freshly, as you may have guessed from the name, doesn’t include any frozen food—all meals are prepared using fresh, all-natural ingredients (and thus, have a fridge shelf life of about 4-5 days). You can choose from a rotating menu of 30 meals per week, so there’s plenty of variety and little chance of getting bored with your food. Freshly is a premier gluten-free meal delivery service, and its meals are prepared in a peanut-free environment and contain no refined sugars.
If there are other foods that you want to avoid, you can customize your meal plan to be dairy free - or exclude eggs, pork, turkey, fish, soy, and more. All of this makes Freshly meals some of the best out there, and Freshly the leader of our pack of the best meal prep services.
- Fresh, healthy meals delivered to your home
- Rotating menu of 30 meals per week
- All meals are gluten-free and peanut-free
- No desserts or snacks available
- Doesn’t offer paleo or keto meal plans
6. Green Chef Pre Made Meal Plan
Prepped organic delights
✓ Price: From $11.99 per serving
✓ Shipping: $7.99 after first box
Green Chef is distinguished by their almost completely organic line of meal kits. If you’re strapped for time, unfortunately, the preparation required for the meals they offer averages at about 30 minutes.
Green Chef’s line of meals does come with pre-made sauces, dressings, and spice blends in order to minimize some of the more advanced and time-consuming preparation. Chef’s tips are provided when necessary in order to make prep work a little more convenient. Some ingredients may even come pre-chopped to expedite things further.
Green Chef may be the right choice if you have some time to spare for dinner prep, but if you need a plan that prioritizes convenience, you will have better luck with another service.
- Emphasizes simple preparation methods
- Most recipes can be prepared in 30 minutes or less
- Offers keto/paleo, balanced, and plant-based menus to choose from
- Meals are more expensive than non-organic meals
- No pre-prepared options on the menu
7. Blue Apron Pre Made Meal Plan
Convenient culinary delights
✓ Price: From $7.49 per serving
✓ Shipping: First box for free
Blue Apron emphasizes enjoyable culinary experiences that cut some of the prep time out of making a balanced meal. You will not find any pre-prepared meals in Blue Apron’s meal kits.
What Blue Apron does offer by way of convenience is a series of fresh ready meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. They take some of the stress out of gourmet cooking by providing pre-portioned ingredients for every recipe, as well as step-by-step tutorials on how to best prepare items.
Although Blue Apron does not offer the convenience of a microwave- or oven-ready meal, this meal kit delivery service may be suitable if you don’t have enough time to explore your culinary interests. Ultimately Blue Apron is a meal delivery service whose focal point is flavor and the cooking experience itself, not convenience.
- Offers sub-30 and some 20-minute meal kits
- Requires preparation, but takes the stress out of it
- Provides step-by-step instructions to expedite prep-time
- No ready-to-heat meal kits available
- No lunches, snacks or desserts
8. EveryPlate Pre Made Meal Plan
Well-priced and tasty 30-minute dinners
✓ Price: From $4.99 per serving
✓ Shipping: $9.99
EveryPlate strikes a middle ground. Although they do not deliver pre-made meals each week to your doorstep, the meals kits they provide emphasize simplicity and ease. Their 30-minute dinners are also very affordable compared to other meal delivery services on the market. EveryPlate provides step-by-step instructions to take the stress and guesswork out of meal prep - they're ready to cook.
By focusing on simple ingredients, simple cooking methods, and having you do what little meal-prep these meals entail, EveryPlate helps you to gain the skills to cook meals more quickly yourself. EveryPlate does not work well for busy people looking to optimize for convenience above all else. But, if you have 30-minutes a day to spare for dinner, then EveryPlate might be right for you.
- Emphasizes simple preparation methods
- Many recipes can be prepared in 30 minutes or less
- Provides step-by-step instructions to make prep-time fast and easy
- Shipping costs extra
- Limited options for allergies
9. Sunbasket Pre Made Meal Plan
Certified organic meals ready in minutes
✓ Price: From $9.99 per serving
✓ Shipping: $5.99-$7.99
Sunbasket may be the only meal delivery service that combines the convenience of zero-prep meals ready in minutes with the quality and flavor of an almost entirely organic collection of ingredients.
Their line of “speedy” meal kits are intended to be cooked in under 20 minutes. The “fresh & ready” meal options, on the other hand, can be popped in the microwave or oven for a hearty, healthy meal that’s ready in minutes. Whatever you choose, Sunbasket makes healthy high-quality eating within reach, especially if you’re too busy to cook.
Sunbasket offers a full day of meals — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — made with certified-organic and sustainably sourced ingredients that cater to every major health diet plan. Healthy eating doesn’t get faster, easier, or more delicious than this.
- Almost completely organic or sustainably sourced ingredients
- Speedy meal kits are ready in less than 20 minutes with minimal preparation
- Heat-and-serve microwave-/oven ready meals are perfect for a healthy meal plan for an on-the-go lifestyle
- No single-meal option for people who live alone
- Recipes are packed in a facility that handles all major food allergens, so they may not be right for someone with a severe food allergy
10. Nutrisystem Pre Made Meal Plan
A veteran in the field of prepared meal delivery for weight loss
✓ Price: From $9.99 per serving
✓ Shipping: Free
As a long-standing provider of pre-prepared meals, Nutrisystem knows what they're doing when it comes to combining health and convenience.
Nutrisystem has two main preparation styles in their meals. Their “all-in-one” meals are completely frozen meals ready to be baked in the oven or microwaved. The “skillet-ready” options are one-pan meals that make a fresh dinner a snap. Both of these options make healthy eating just minutes away.
Aside from the heat-and-serve options, Nutrisystem is one of the few meal delivery services that also offer grab-and-go snacks. The calorie-controlled options for 3 snacks a day will keep you from feeling famished on your health journey. Nutrisystem takes all of the guesswork out of weight loss, and caters to multiple dietary needs, making it a great choice for people on the go who want to lose weight.
- Portion controlled options to make the healthy choice the easy choice at any time of the day
- Meal prep is a thing of the past with grab-and-go, microwave-ready and skillet-ready options
- Caters to a number of different healthy eating plans
- Does not accommodate food allergies/intolerances
- Few fresh options (most meals/snacks are frozen or packaged)
Our Methodology for Choosing the Best Prepared Meal Delivery Services
There are many prepared meal delivery services to choose from, so we get why it can be confusing. To find the best prepared food services, we considered those that have been around for a while to establish themselves as a reputable business for pre cooked meals. It was also important to include services which are available nationwide, as well as those that were transparent about their meals, the terms of subscriptions and their customer service accessibility. Our team of experienced dietitians and nutritionists tried and tested these services for the following:
- Customer service and customer experience
- Subscription flexibility
- Quality of ingredients
- How diverse and varied the meal plans are
- How long it takes to prepare the meals
- How well these services cater to people following gluten-free or other diets
- Overall taste of their meals
Why Should I Use a Meal Delivery Service?
You might be asking yourself: are meal prep services worth it? Meal delivery services save you time spent on shopping and cooking, without having to give up healthy eating. They’re also a great way to make sure you always have backup meals stored in the freezer in case of emergencies.
It basically comes down to a combination of convenience, simplicity, and health that makes meal delivery services a great choice if you lead a busy life.
Prepared Meal Delivery vs. Meal Kits: What's the Difference Anyway?
While prepared meal deliveries are shipped ready-to-eat, meal kits offer ingredients that need to be chopped, mixed, cooked, or prepared in some way. These ingredients are packaged with clear recipe cards and instructions to follow. Sometimes, they even include fun facts about the dish.
Meal kits are usually cheaper than ready-made meals. If you opt for meal kits, you’ll get the chance to improve your cooking skills and try new dishes all for a fraction of the cost it would cost you at a restaurant or cooking school. On the other hand, preparing the meals requires a bit more time and effort on your part.
How Do Prepared Meal Delivery Services Work?
A prepared meal delivery service delivers pre-made dishes (breakfast, lunch, and dinner!) to your door based on what you like and the number of meals you choose on the website. These services are usually subscriptions that deliver regularly (for example, every week) but some companies also allow for one time purchases without subscription. The food arrives pre cooked and only needs to be heated in the oven, microwave, or stove, depending on the instructions.
Are Prepared Meal Delivery Services Cheaper Than Buying Groceries?
Meal delivery services may not be as affordable as making home cooked meals from scratch, but it can make sense for people who don't have time to cook or make visits to the grocery store. Prepared meals are often cheaper than take-out food and healthier than eating out at restaurants. Plus, when you order online, you can avoid spending time on shopping and wasting money on fuel or public transportation.
Choosing the Best Meal Prep Delivery Service for You
With so many top meal prep services to choose from, it can be hard to sit down and figure out which one is right for you. Some companies specialize in organic, plant-based frozen meals, some focus on specialty needs like diabetic and paleo diets, and others simply focus on taste and flavors that can appeal to everyone.
So when deciding on a healthy frozen meal delivery company, assess the needs of you and your family. Pay attention to what kinds of foods are on the weekly menu, what kinds of diet the service is catering to, and how appealing the cuisine is.
A few other key details to look for:
- Make sure the company delivers to your state
- Make sure there’s a meal plan that accommodates the number of people in your home
- Keep an eye out for promotions and special offers
- Pay attention to shipping costs
Additional Prepared Meal Delivery Services Worth Mentioning
These services did not make it to our Top10 list, but they are definitely worth a mention here:
Should I Choose a Fresh or Frozen Meal Delivery Service?
Almost all meal delivery companies have a team of professional chefs on staff that prepare your meals fresh. The flash-freezing process allows kitchens to ship their freshly prepared meals across the country without sacrificing flavor, nutrients, or quality. This way, customers can enjoy chefs’ creations and professionally made entrees during your family meals at home without ordering in or cooking themselves.
Many services offer the option of delivering your meals unfrozen. Be sure to check how long the meals can be kept in the fridge before ordering in bulk if you don’t like freezing your food.
If you keep all of this in mind, you should have no trouble finding a meal prep home delivery service that is right for you.