What is the Top Prepared Meal Delivery Service?

Kerstin Kuhn
What is the top Prepared Meal Delivery Service?
If your idea of ready-meals is a tasteless TV dinner out of the freezer, it’s time to get with the program. Meal delivery services not only take the guesswork out of making dinner, they’re fresh, healthy and tasty, too. And what could be more convenient and delicious than a box of customized, chef-prepared, virtually ready-to-eat meals that’s delivered straight to your front door?

As the effects of coronavirus ripple through the world, nations, communities and families are scrambling to make sense of how to adapt to this new way of life. While our social and work habits are being reassessed, food remains a constant, giving our bodies nourishment and fuel and our minds some much needed comfort.   

Meal delivery services are one great way of keeping our fridges stocked without having to think of recipes or make the now arduous journey to the grocery store. By signing up to a meal delivery service, you can enjoy the convenience of receiving regularly scheduled meals while still juggling whatever else life is throwing at you. 

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the many different meal delivery services that are out there — and wondering which top meal kit delivery services offer the best food, programs and specialized meal plans — look no further. We’ve rounded up the top 10 prepared meal delivery services to help you narrow down your choice.

1. Freshly

Best for: People who eat gluten-free diets, want to lose weight, or simply eat healthier meals

Pros

  • Fresh, healthy meals delivered to your door
  • Rotating menu of 30 meals per week
  • All meals are gluten-free and peanut free
  • Free shipping

Cons

  • No desserts or snacks available
  • Doesn’t offer paleo, keto, or other special meal plans

Freshly delivers protein-rich, gluten-free meals to your doorstep, with the option of ordering up to 3 meals per day and 12 meals per week. 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). Freshly also offers a rotating menu of 30 meals per week, so there’s little chance of you getting bored with your food.

What’s in Freshly Food?

Freshly is one of the best gluten-free meal delivery services 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 exclude dairy, eggs, pork, turkey, fish, soy, and more.

As for cost, Freshly is in the middle of the meal delivery spectrum, with pricing that is adequate and fair. When you order the 12 meals per week subscription, each individual meal works out to $7.99. Bearing in mind that you’re getting fresh, chef-prepared, nutritiously balanced meals delivered straight to your doorstep, you really can’t complain about the price point. 

Plus, shipping is free, and you can choose your day of delivery and cancel your subscription at any time.

Freshly Pricing

4 meals/week
$46/week
$11.50/meal
6 meals/week
$53.94/week
$8.99/meal
9 meals/week
$53.94/week
$8.99/meal
12 meals/week
$95.99/week
$7.99/meal

Favorite Meal: Korean-Style Veggie Bibimbap with Brown Rice

It’s gorgeous, it’s colorful, it’s packed with interesting flavors, and it’s plain delicious. And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that it is vitamin-rich, loaded with protein from edamame and egg, and includes heart-healthy fats.

Read the full Freshly review

Freshly Freshly View Plan

2. Veestro

Best for: Vegans, vegetarians, paleo dieters, people who want to lose weight

Pros

  • Over 50 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to choose from
  • All meals are plant-based, making it a great vegan and paleo option
  • Free shipping for meal plans

Cons

  • One-time order option is expensive
  • No poultry, meat, or dairy

Veestro is the ultimate meal delivery service for vegans and vegetarians, people who want to embrace clean eating and paleo, or flexitarians who want to include more plant-based foods in their diets. Veestro’s meals are organic and non-GMO, with more than 50 breakfast, lunch, and dinner options to choose from.

Meal Plans

Veestro offers 3 meal plans: A La Carte, which allows you to handpick every meal in your basket, Chef’s Choice, in which the chef chooses the meals to send based on your food preferences, and Weight Loss, which includes 3 meals a day totaling approximately 1200 calories. If you opt for Chef’s Choice, you can tick off special food preferences like high protein or gluten-free

What’s in Veestro Meals?

Your meals are created with fresh, organic ingredients, and then frozen using the latest technology. Your meals are packed with dry ice to keep them frozen, and they can be stored in the freezer for up to 8 weeks. When you’re ready to eat, just pop it into the microwave and enjoy!

Veestro Pricing

Veestro offers competitive pricing, especially considering how specialized its meals are. A La Carte and Chef’s Choice have a similar pricing structure, while Weight Loss is set up a bit differently (and it’s also more costly).

A La Carte also offers the option of a one-time order (as opposed to recurring). Be aware though that the one-time order is significantly more expensive, and you have to pay $11 in shipping per meal. When you set up a recurring order, shipping is free, and you can pause, change your plan, or cancel at any time (before the next billing cycle).


10 meals
20 meals
30 meals
A La Carte & Chef's Choice
$117
$216
$297

5 day plan
7 day plan
Weight loss
$175.50 + free shipping
$226.80 + free shipping

Favorite Meal: Carrot Osso Bucco

We love this for the sheer creativity of it—osso bucco from carrots? Yes please! It may not taste like the original meat-heavy version but it’s just as delicious and hearty thanks to the crimini mushrooms and red wine sauce.

Read the full Veestro review

Veestro Veestro View Plan

3. BistroMD

Best for: People who want to lose weight and eat healthy

Pros

  • Meals are designed by a physician to enable weight loss
  • Over 150 meal choices each week
  • Specialty plans available, like gluten-free and diabetic-friendly
  • Meal programs come with personalized weight loss plan

Cons

  • Additional shipping costs
  • 5-day/week minimum meal program

If you want to lose weight but don’t have time or energy to prepare nutritious meals, BistroMD might be just what you’re looking for. Developed by a physician, this meal delivery service is designed to assist weight loss and create healthy eating habits. And of course, it’s delicious as well. While the nutritional content is created by doctors, the food is prepared by professional chefs, and there are over 150 meals to choose from each week.

Meal Plans

Since BistroMD is more of a comprehensive diet plan than plain meal delivery service, there are only 2 options for subscriptions: 5 days a week or 7 days a week, with 2 or 3 meals per day. While that might seem like a lot, losing weight takes commitment and is not really achievable with just 1 healthy meal per day.

Meal plans can be customized to suit different diets, including gluten-free plans and plans for menopausal women and diabetics. You can also request special dishes that are vegetarian, vegan, low carb, dairy free, heart healthy, and low in sodium.

The meals themselves are chef-crafted and prepared from fresh ingredients; they are, however, frozen before shipping and then shipped with dry ice to ensure that they don’t defrost. Cooking instructions (aka how long to microwave) come with each meal.

In addition to meal delivery to your doorstep, BistroMD also offers each customer a personalized weight loss plan designed by weight loss experts, along with diet analysis and support.

BistroMD Pricing

BistroMD is surprisingly affordable, especially when you consider that you get a personalized diet plan and prepared meals delivered right to your door.


5 days/week
7 days/week
2 meals/day
$97.46
$119.96
3 meals/day
$119.96
$142.46

Meals are shipped via FedEx ground and shipping costs $19.95.

Read the full BistroMD review

Bistro MD Bistro MD View Plan

4. MagicKitchen

Best for: People who have specific dietary needs, people who enjoy hearty, delicious food but don’t have time to cook

Pros

  • Options for single servings, full meals, and full meal programs
  • Healthy meals with no preservatives, made from USA-sourced ingredients
  • Huge variety of food options, including specialty meal plans

Cons

  • Shipping isn’t free
  • No set prices; the cost is determined based on the meals you choose

There is something rather magical about receiving healthy food delivered to your doorstep, especially when the meals come from MagicKitchen. This food delivery service prides itself on using USA-sourced ingredients, cooking without preservatives, and creating healthy choices for different audiences. MagicKitchen meals are prepared in small batches, then flash-frozen to preserve freshness.

Meal Plans

MagicKitchen is one of the rare food delivery services that offers both food programs and the option of purchasing one order at at time.

There are 2 meal plans to choose from: A La Carte and Complete Meals. A La Carte allows you to choose your meals and mix and match entrees, sides, soups, and desserts, whereas Complete Meals offers prepackaged meals of 1 entree and 1-2 sides.

You can also order special meals that cater to your needs. Options include: Senior diet, portion control, diabetic-friendly, low sodium, low carb, low fat, renal diet, dialysis-friendly, gluten-free, and vegetarian.

MagicKitchen Pricing

The cost of MagicKitchen meals depends on what you order. You can order complete meals, single items (entree, soup, etc.) which are the best meal kits for singles, meal bundles, which typically include 7 portions of the same meal, or you can sign up to an auto-ship meal program, which is the standard option that most other food delivery services offer.

There are no set prices for the auto-ship program; once you set your food preferences and how many meals you want, you’ll be shown the total cost. Meals ordered in bulk are typically discounted, and shipping is calculated based on the weight of the box and distance it needs to be shipped.

Here’s sample pricing for low sodium, diabetic, and senior meal programs:

7 days
Cost
1 complete meal
$82-$90
2 complete meals
$164-$180
3 complete meals
$246-$275

Favorite Meal: Eggplant Parmigiana and Polenta with Spinach & Roasted Peppers

One of MagicKitchen’s best sellers, and it’s easy to see why. Okay, it’s not that easy to see, since MagicKitchen’s food photography leaves something to be desired—so just imagine rich and saucy eggplant and cheese paired with hearty, Italian-style polenta. And don’t be surprised when your mouth starts to water.

Read the full Magic Kitchen review

Magic Kitchen Magic Kitchen View Plan

5. Fresh & Easy

Best for: People without the time for a sinkful of dishes

Pros

  • Oven- and grill-ready dishes
  • No cutting or prep work necessary
  • New service from Home Chef

Cons

  • Limited menu options

Fresh & 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. A new service by meal-delivery veterans Home Chef, Fresh & 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. Meals are delivered complete with oven- and grill-ready dishes so that you can enjoy the fruits of your own stove without having to deal with the aftermath of a dirty sink.

Meal Plans

Fresh & Easy lets you choose between 2, 4, or 6 servings per meal and from anywhere between 2-6 meals per week. Though there’s no a la carte option, customers can skip deliveries, change the amount of servings they wish to have delivered in a box, or cancel their subscription altogether.

Home Chef just rolled out the new service, and the menu is still being developed. But a sample menu shows a promising selection of poultry and fish entrees as well as a variety of salads.

Fresh & Easy Pricing

For 2 people:

Meals per week
Price per box
2
$49.80
3
$39.70 special price
4
$79.60
5
$99.50
6
$119.40

For 4 people:

Meals per week
Price per box
2
$79.60
3
$119.40
4
$159.20
5
$199.00
6
$238.80

For 6 people:

Meals per week
Price per box
2
$119.40
3
$179.10
4
$238.80
5
$298.50
6
$358.20

Favorite Meal: Chicken Parmesan Penne

Boneless, skinless chicken breast with a panko breadcrumb coating is the centerpiece of this hearty Italian dish, which is served with a side of penne pasta with rosee sauce, sliced yellow onion and mozzarella. The before-and-after photos below show how the ingredients arrive with an oven-ready pan as well as the finished dish.

Place all the ingredients in the included oven pan, heat for 50 minutes, and enjoy.

Read the full Fresh & Easy review

Fresh and Easy Fresh and Easy View Plan

6. Freshology 

Best for: Those looking to lose weight and get additional support from dieticians and nutritionists

Pros

  • Healthy, chef-prepared entrees
  • Meals ready to eat in 2-3 minutes
  • Support from dieticians and health coaches
  • Veggie, diabetic, and keto menus available

Cons

  • No dessert options
  • Falls on the pricier side

Freshology, a part of Diet-to-Go, has been offering weight-loss meal plans for more than 25 years, though it continues to find new ways to help its customers reach their health goals. Today, it’s expanded its reach with meal plans that cater to vegetarians, diabetics, and Keto dieters. 

The meals themselves are designed and prepared by chefs with the help from in-house dieticians and nutritionists. Every week customers can choose from a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options that range from kale and swiss frittatas to turkey burgers and chicken pesto salads. All meals are delivered straight to your door ready to eat in 2-3 minutes. 

Unique to Freshology is its supplementary wellness services. Customers can consult with in-house registered dieticians, nutritionists, and certified health coaches with questions about their diets or for advice and motivation. With its nutrition-based entrees and expert team of dieticians, Freshology offers an easy and supportive path to losing weight and eating healthy.  

Freshology Pricing

Freshology offers a number of meal plans, each with their own pricing that varies depending on the number of meals you select and other preferences. Below is a table for the Balance plan with seafood (a non-seafood option is available and costs slightly less). 


2 meals per day for 5 days a week
3 meals per day for 5 days a week
2 meals per day for 7 days a week
3 meals per day for 7 days a week
Men
$129.99 per week
$151.99 per week
$174.99 per week
$198.99 per week
Women
$121.99 per week
$143.59 per week
$162.99 per week
$179.99 per week

Read the full Freshology review

Freshology Freshology View Plan

7. HomeBistro 

Best for: Meat lovers and those who don’t want to commit to a subscription   

Pros

  • No commitments necessary
  • Meals made with premium meats
  • Paleo, heart-healthy, and Mediterranean bundles available 
  • Ready to eat in 10 minutes or less

Cons

  • Geared towards meat eaters  
  • Single meals are expensive 

HomeBistro uses premium meats as the centerpieces for globally inspired, to-your-door meals that can be prepared in minutes. 

Entrees such as Mediterranean chicken with orange honey sauce, pecorino turkey kabobs, and Spanish cod with tapenade are thoughtfully sourced and flanked by Mediterranean sides such as Greek yogurt, Israeli couscous, and Tunisian cauliflower. HomeBistro offers a revolving menu that offers a wide variety of flavors and proteins from different regions. 

Unlike other meal delivery services, HomeBistro allows you to order a la carte meals as well as combo packs. There’s no subscription or commitment needed, simply place an order whenever the need arises and you’ll receive meals shipped directly to your door ready to eat. 

HomeBistro Pricing

With HomeBistro, you can order individual meals or bundles. The bundles, which come with 10 or 20 meals, can be tailored to dietary preferences. Here are the prices for some of the most popular 10-meal bundles: 

10 meals - Paleo
$199
10 meals - Heart healthy
$159.99
10 meals - Vegetarian
$132.99
10 meals - Mediterranean
$184.99
10 meals - Diabetic-friendly
$174.99

Read more about HomeBistro

8. Gobble

Best for: Parents looking for meals for the whole family

Pros

  • Meals ready in 15 minutes
  • Veggie and gluten-free options
  • Globally inspired entrees
  • Add on sides, salads, breakfasts, and pastries 

Cons

  • Shipping costs extra 
  • Limited number of plans offered 

Gobble offers simple, hearty meals delivered straight to your door without much fuss. The menus are diverse enough to feed parents and children, and the flexible subscriptions make it easy to order when you need meals and skip when you don’t. 

The menus themselves rotate every week and feature a slate of globally inspired dishes. These may include Tuscan-style meatballs, Thai stir fry with chicken, or miso-glazed salmon, all of which include tasty sides and can be prepared easily in under 15 minutes.  

While Gobble’s menus are relatively meat-heavy, the company offers at least 3 all-veggie meal options per week. Additionally, customers can add additional items to their orders including soups and sides, salads, breakfast items, and pastries. 

Gobble Pricing

Plan 
Price per meal
Price per week
2-person plan
$11.99
$71.94
4-person plan
$11.99
$143.88

The 2-person plan includes a total of 6 meals each week, 3 for each person. The 4-person plan includes a total of 12 meals per week, 3 for each person. Gobble does offer some flexibility with its meal plans, however: you can order as little as 2 kits (or 4 meals) per week or add on as many as you like. All orders have a shipping fee of $6.99. 

Read the full Gobble review

Gobble Gobble View Plan

9. MamaSezz

Best for: Those who keep or aspire to take up plant-based eating  

Pros

  • 100% organic plant-based meals
  • Buy meals a la carte or in bundles
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees

Cons

  • Menu could use more variety
  • Individual meals are expensive  

If a plant-based diet sounds unsatisfying to you, you may want to look into MamaSezz. The meals are all 100% vegetarian and plant-based, but don’t let that fool you into thinking you’ll be getting nothing but lettuce. 

MamaSezz’s entrees are surprisingly hearty while still hewing to their mission of 100% plant-based ingredients. Dishes like the Lazy Lasagna, made from soft brown rice elbow noodles, or a vegetarian spin on meatloaf with BBQ sauce, are enough to satisfy even the heartiest eaters. These stews, pastas, and mac and cheese entrees resemble familiar comfort foods that kids and adults can enjoy. 

With MamaSezz, you can order meals individually or by bundles. The bundles are offered for weight loss, heart health, general eating, and more, which each including a collection of meals, sides, and snacks that combine to encourage nutritious whole-food eating. 

MamaSezz Pricing 

MamaSezz offers its meals a la carte or in bundles that include a variety of heart entrees and healthy snacks. All bundles cost $169, though the contents differ depending on which bundle you choose. Here’s a look at one of the more popular bundles:

The Get Me Started Bundle ($169): 

  • 3 servings of Miliie’s Chili 
  • 4 servings of Mama’s burgers
  • 3 servings of Lazy Lasagna 
  • 3 servings of Moroccan Stew
  • 3 servings of Quinoa Stack
  • 3 servings of Gardener’s Pie
  • 3 servings of Breakfast sausage
  • 5 servings of granola 

Read the full MamaSezz review

MamaSezz MamaSezz View Plan

10. Diet-to-Go

Best for: Health-conscious meals ready to eat in 2-3 minutes

Pros

  • Flexible meal plans
  • Meals ready in 2-3 minutes
  • Vegetarian, diabetic, and Keto menus available

Cons

  • High shipping costs
  • No desserts 

Diet-to-Go’s meals are prepared by chefs with the help from in-house dieticians and nutritionists. Every week customers can choose from a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options that range from kale and swiss frittatas to turkey burgers and chicken pesto salads. All meals are delivered straight to your door ready to eat in 2-3 minutes. 

Unique to Diet-to-Go is its supplementary wellness services. Customers can consult with in-house registered dieticians, nutritionists, and certified health coaches with questions about their diets or for advice and motivation. With its nutrition-based entrees and expert team of dieticians, Diet-to-Go offers an easy and supportive path to losing weight and eating healthy.  

Diet-to-Go Pricing

Diet-to-Go offers a number of meal plans, each with their own pricing that varies depending on the number of meals you select and other preferences. Below is a table for the Balance plan with seafood (a non-seafood option is available and costs slightly less). 


2 meals per day for 5 days a week
3 meals per day for 5 days a week
2 meals per day for 7 days a week
3 meals per day for 7 days a week
Men
$129.99 per week
$151.99 per week
$174.99 per week
$198.99 per week
Women
$121.99 per week
$143.59 per week
$162.99 per week
$179.99 per week

Read the full Diet to Go review

Diet To Go Diet To Go View Plan

Prepared Meal Delivery vs. Meal Kits: What's the Difference Anyway?

There are a few key differences between prepared and ready-to-cook meal kits.

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.

Choosing the Prepared Meal Delivery Service That’s Best for You

With so many similar meal delivery services to choose from, it can be hard to sit down and figure out which one is right for you. Especially since many of the top 5 offer customized options, like paleo, gluten-free, and keto, you might find yourself torn between all the good choices!

The good news is, all of these meal delivery services allow you to cancel at any time, and as long as you do so before the next billing cycle, you’ll only be charged once. Which means you have the luxury of trying one out; if you’re not a fan, just cancel and move on. If you love it, even better! The most important thing is that you get the peace of mind and body that comes from receiving healthy, nutritious meals delivered to your home.

Prepared Meal Delivery FAQs

1. What is the best prepared meal delivery service?

While there are a bunch of great options, Freshly offers quality prepared meals delivered straight to your door. Freshly delivers protein-rich, gluten-free meals to your doorstep, with the option of ordering up to 3 meals per day and 12 meals per week.

2. Which meal delivery service is already cooked?

There are a number of meal delivery services that offer prepared food that is already cooked. Some of the best services include freshly, veestro and bistromd. By signing up for a prepared meal delivery service, you can ensure that you’ll receive regularly scheduled cooked meals delivered to your door.

3. What is the least expensive meal delivery service?

Freshly isn’t expensive and offers great value for money when it comes to prepared meals, starting at $8.99 per serving. Here's how it works:

- $8.99 per serving for for 12 meals per week

- $9.99 per serving for 6- and 9-meals per week

- $12.50 per serving for 4 meals per week

Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best prepared meal delivery service?
-
+
While there are a bunch of great options, Freshly offers quality prepared meals delivered straight to your door. Freshly delivers protein-rich, gluten-free meals to your doorstep, with the option of ordering up to 3 meals per day and 12 meals per week.
Which meal delivery service is already cooked?
-
+
There are a number of meal delivery services that offer prepared food that is already cooked. Some of the best services include freshly, veestro and bistromd. By signing up for a prepared meal delivery service, you can ensure that you’ll receive regularly scheduled cooked meals delivered to your door.
What is the least expensive meal delivery service?
-
+
Freshly isn’t expensive and offers great value for money when it comes to prepared meals, starting at $8.99 per serving. Here's how it works: $8.99 per serving for for 12 meals per week, 9.99 per serving for 6- and 9-meals per week, $12.50 per serving for 4 meals per week
Kerstin Kuhn
Kerstin Kuhn is an award-winning journalist and food writer, who has traveled and eaten her way around the world and written about it. She is also the founder and CEO of Little Foodie Club, the California baby food delivery company that is revolutionizing the way babies eat and learn about healthy food.