What is the Best Prepared Meal Delivery Service?

Top10.com StaffByTop10.com StaffJan. 22, 2020
What is the Best Prepared Meal Delivery Service?
If you’ve never experienced the pure joy that comes from opening a box full of customized, delicious, virtually ready-to-eat food, it’s time to get on board with meal delivery services. Because, seriously, is there anything better than receiving healthy, fully-cooked meals delivered right to your doorstep? We think not.

Prepared meal deliveries services offer pre-cooked lunches and dinners. The boxes are delivered directly to your door ready to heat and eat. If you want quick, easy kitchen prep, then opt for a prepared meal delivery service. There’s no muss, no fuss and no clean-up involved. Prepared meals are also great if you enjoy gourmet meals, spend too much eating out every month, and are too busy to fit cooking into your packed schedule. 

But when looking into the list of meal kit delivery services you can find out there, which meal delivery services offer the best food, programs, and specialized meal plans? We’ve rounded up the top 5 prepared meal delivery services to help you narrow down your decision.

1. Freshly

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


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


  • 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 meals are one of the best gluten free meal delivery service, prepared in a peanut-free environment, and contain no refined sugars. If there are other foods that you don’t want in your meals, you can customize your plan and request meals that don’t contain dairy, eggs, pork, turkey, fish, soy, and more.

As for pricing, Freshly isn’t expensive, nor is it cheap. It’s simply fair. Especially when you order the 12 meals/week subscription, in which each meal comes out to $8.99. And remember, you’re getting chef-prepared, healthy food delivered to your doorstep. All you need to do is pop it in the oven or microwave. Yep, the pricing is pretty fair.

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

Freshly Pricing

4 meals/week
6 meals/week
9 meals/week
12 meals/week

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.

Korean-Style Veggie Bibimbap with Brown Rice
Read the full Freshly review

Freshly Freshly View Plan

2. Veestro

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


  • 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


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

Veestro is the ultimate meal delivery service for vegans, people who want to embrace clean eating and paleo, or people who want to add more plant-based foods to their diets. Veestro specializes in creating delicious meals that are organic and plant-based (non-GMO plants), and there are over 50 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners 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 offers 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 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

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? Crazy! And even though it doesn’t really taste like meat, it’s still delicious, probably something to do with the crimini mushrooms and delicious red wine sauce. 

Carrot Osso Bucco

3. BistroMD

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


  • 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


  • 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. Designed by a physician, this meal delivery service is designed to assist weight loss and create healthy eating habits. And of course, it’s designed to be 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 it might seem like a lot, losing weight wouldn’t be so possible if you only have 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 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
3 meals/day

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


  • 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


  • 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.


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
1 complete meal
2 complete meals
3 complete meals

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.

Eggplant Parmigiana and Polenta with Spinach & Roasted Peppers

5. The Good Kitchen

Best for: People who want to eat healthy or adhere to certain diets but don’t have time to prepare meals at home


  • Healthy, responsibly-sourced food
  • Various specialty plans available, including gluten-free, Whole30, keto, paleo, and more
  • Free shipping


  • Only sample pricing is listed; you only find out the actual price once you load your cart

If you’re looking for healthy, delicious food that’s responsibly sourced, look no further than The Good Kitchen. Since responsible sourcing is a pretty big deal to The Good Kitchen, the company makes sure to only use grass-fed and grass-finished beef, pastured pork, antibiotic and hormone-free poultry and eggs, and organic and GMO-free produce. Now to the actual meals—they’re all 100% gluten-free, peanut-free, and soy-free. You can choose from gluten-free, clean eating, keto, paleo, autoimmune protocol, and Whole30 options. 

Meals are shipped fresh (with the exception of seafood as per FDA requirement) and can be stored in either the refrigerator or freezer—your choice. They stay fresh in the fridge for up to 7 days and can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.


All plans are custom, but meals typically range between $11-$14. The total price depends on the quantity of meals ordered, but shipping is always free!

To get an idea of the pricing, here’s a sample listed on the website:

Convenience Plan
10 meals
The Anti-Cook Plan
14 meals
The All-In Plan
21 meals

Favorite Meal: Steak and Eggs with Peppers and Onions (Frozen)

Believe it or not, this is a breakfast meal, and that’s what we love about it. Steak for breakfast! It certainly doesn’t get better than that. And partnered with eggs and healthy veggies, it makes for a delicious high-protein kickstart to your day.

Steak and Eggs with Peppers and Onions (Frozen)

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. 

Top10.com StaffByTop10.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 meal delivery service for your needs.