As social distancing has become the new normal, the best meal kit delivery services have become an easy, fun, affordable and healthy way of eating out. They are also a good alternative to ordering fast food or going to the grocery. And these convenient meal kits are an excellent idea if you want to maintain your New Year’s resolutions. This is because they enable you to plan while also delegating control.
There are some factors to consider when choosing a meal delivery service apart from the price per meal. The majority of the meal delivery services let you choose your meals from a selected group of recipes that change from week to week. You should be sure that you like the variety of meals, and that the time for preparation suits your busy schedule.
I’ve reviewed and ranked a wide range of options to give you the top 10 best meal delivery services in the industry right now.
1. Blue Apron
Best for busy families and couples
Blue Apron is the most popular in the industry and has grown so much in recent in changing how we eat at home.
The goal of the company is to help customers learn more about cooking at home and to be more knowledgeable about their food and the ingredients used in making it. One issue with Blue Apron is the fact that it has a lesser variety of food than the competition. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t experiment with the smaller selection you have.
- Offers top-flight ingredients from trusted suppliers
- The cost of shipping is (almost) always free
- Has lesser recipes than some competitors
- It has no lunch, snack, or dessert options
Best for easy recipes
This is one of the most convenient and simplest meal delivery services. HelloFresh has uncomplicated recipes and pre-portioned ingredients. All of its meals can be put together in six steps or less, giving you the chance to sit down and have your dinner within 30 minutes.
Also, the convenience doesn’t end with the meals. It has a user-friendly website, and you can modify, cancel or reactivate your subscription anytime you want.
And although it does not have a variety of meals like other meal delivery services, it is second to none when it comes to quality, ease, and convenience.
- It uses fresh ingredients
- Has simple and time-efficient recipes
- You can easily manage your subscriptions
- The fresh ingredients need to be used in a timely fashion
- It offers a smaller, less diverse menu
Best for families and vegetarians
This company caters to a wide range of diets such as paleo, vegetarian, pescatarian. It offers 18 different recipes to pick from each week for all of its special plans.
It has a menu selection featuring ingredients and flavors from different parts of the world. So you could be eating Tex-Mex chicken fajitas with sweet-pepper tomato salsa one night, and Okinawa flaked tuna and egg stir-fry with arugula-mango salad the next.
Sunbasket sets itself apart from lots of its competitors by the variety of meal plans and dishes it offers, including the high-quality ingredients available.
- Offers organic ingredients
- It has chef-driven menus
- Its packaging is eco-friendly
- It is more expensive than other services
Best for weight-loss guarantee
This company is a dieter’s meal delivery service. Nutrisystem offers a complete diet plan with nutritionally-balanced meals according to your goals, body type, and food preferences. One of the best features of Nutrisystem is that apart from the fact that it has plans that are already made to your specifications, you can tailor any part of the meal plan you don’t like.
Also, it has over 160 meal options to select from, which makes it easier to have a wider range of choices.
- It has a free weight-loss app
- You can heat and eat your meals
- You can tailor your plans to your taste
- You don’t have much room for eating out
- It is not suitable for peanut or soy allergies
Best for busy people on a budget
This company is widely known as the budget-friendly meal kit delivery service. This is best for people who are conscious about their spending. EveryPlate offers a wide range of delicious meal options you can prepare yourself every week. However, the best part is the price. You can have healthy, scrumptious, and home-cooked meals every day of the week for less than $5.
- Offers delicious meals for under $5
- There are big portions
- Has easy-to-follow instruction cards
- It has a disorganized packaging system
- It does not have a variety of foods to choose from
6. Home Chef
Best for variety of meals
Home Chef allows you to set up your “taste profile”, which helps it to find the meals best suited for you. There is a range of 18 different dishes to pick from, including quick 5-minute entrées and lunches.
It also offers add-ons such as smoothies. Also, it has options for different dietary specifications, plus nut-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free variants. Its recipes are easy and simple to prepare, and some of the ingredients come pre-cooked, which saves a lot of time.
- It helps you build a “taste profile” to match you with recipes
- Offers the convenience of 5-minute lunches
- It allows you to choose meals a month in advance
- It has a limited range of options
- It has small and unadventurous recipes
Best for ready-to-eat meals
Although most of the meal kit delivery companies say they’re different from others, Freshly takes it to a whole new level. They don’t actually cook anything. Exactly, all of Freshly’s meals have been pre-cooked and would be ready to eat in less than 3 minutes. Its goal is to offer fresh meals that are both delicious and nutritious.
Freshly’s recipes are arranged by a team of chefs, culinary scientists, and nutrition experts. The team focuses on gluten-free, high-protein meals that contain less than 500 calories and 35 grams of carbs.
- It’s very convenient
- Uses quality ingredients
- Good for you
- It has no family plans
- Its menus rotate frequently
Best for a variety of diet options
This company puts high-quality, paleo, and keto-friendly food front and center. Factor’s meat is grass-fed and pastured, there are no antibiotics or hormones used. And the final product is organic and non-GMO. Also, the meals are completely sugar and soy-free, they’re also gluten. So they’re great for people on ketogenic or paleo diets.
Factor allows you to select a 4, 6, 8, 12, or 18 meals per week plan. You’ll fill a “taste profile” that includes the ingredients you do not want to eat. In short, Factor offers high-quality ready-to-eat meals that are customized for you.
- The meals are never frozen
- You can set up auto orders based on your meal preferences
- You cannot customize your meals
- There are few vegetarian options
9. Green Chef
Best for healthy eaters
Green Chef is the best company for chef-driven recipes using USDA approved organic, non-GMO, and high-quality ingredients from reliable suppliers. As the first approved organic meal kit delivery company, Green Chef works with farmers, fishermen, and purveyors to give you high-quality ingredients you’d have searched for at the farmer’s market.
Its recipes are tailored to be prepared and ready to eat within 30 minutes. The ingredients are pre-portioned and a lot of additional items like sauces, flatbreads, or dressings arrive premade. This is convenient and it simplifies things, making for a time saver. The downside, however, is that you’re not learning how to make the foods.
- Certified organic meal kit delivery service
- Provides quality ingredients
- There are many specialty diets available
- There are a lot of premade/processed ingredients
- Shipping cost is not included
Best for prepared meal deliveries
This company is part of the well known Diet-to-Go meal delivery service. Do you prefer ready-to-make meal kits delivered to your doorstep? Then Freshology is for you. They provide high-quality meals prepared by professional chefs.
The meals, therefore, arrive cooked and ready to eat when you get them. Freshology is the only meal delivery company that provides the freshest and most ready meals on the market.
- The meals are delivered fresh, never frozen
- Provides keto-based meals for nutrition and weight loss
- Offers contact-free delivery to your doorstep
- You have to provide payments info before choosing meals
- It does not provide much in the way of side dishes
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which meal delivery service is the cheapest?
The prices of meal delivery services vary and this depends on the size of the order and frequency. Therefore you may be able to get great deals with any service if you order in bulk or subscribe for membership.
2. Are meal delivery services worth it?
It’s worthwhile to use meal delivery services if you want to eat better, save money, and spend more time at your dinner table. They’re an excellent alternative to buying takeouts, as they help you to live a healthier lifestyle and save your time and money.
3. Are meal kits cheaper than buying groceries?
Of course! Meal kits are usually cheaper than purchasing groceries. Included are the ingredients you need so you don’t have to buy large amounts of food that might spoil if they’re unused.
And as they’re delivered to your doorstep, you’ll save gas money and reduce the time you spend going to the supermarket.
4. How were the best meal delivery services rated?
In rating the best meal delivery services and to help you choose the best company for your needs, I took my time to make extensive research so you won’t have to stress yourself. I tried most of these services and interviewed some people who tried the rest. All these were in a bid to check the following:
- User experience online
- Flexibility of a subscription
- Diversity and variety of meal plans
- Quality of the ingredients
- Recipe accuracy
- Difficulty level
5. Why try a meal delivery service?
When you are a user of a meal kit service, you can select recipes every week that will be brought to your home with pre-portioned ingredients and a step-by-step recipe card. These meal kits that are easy to prepare allow you to cook a healthy and tasty meal without going to the grocery store and spending hours preparing.
Apart from being convenient and healthy, meal kits are a good way to know different culinary techniques and ingredients. You can also get your family involved in the preparation.
6. How much do meal delivery services cost?
The prices of meal delivery services vary from one company to the other. It’s usually dependent on the number of meals you order in a week. Because companies have different pricing options that can be complicated, the best way to compare prices is to check how much each meal costs.
EveryPlate, one of the cheapest meal delivery companies, charges $4.99 per meal across the board. Then the prices go up according to the type of cuisine, the quality of the ingredients, and other factors.
HelloFresh is one of the top meal delivery services, and it charges $7.99–$8.99 per meal. It also has a variety of recipes and high-quality ingredients.
Green Chef is at the top of the price spectrum, as its meals vary between $10.99 and $12.99. It also features USDA-approved organic ingredients and lots of tasty and healthy recipes.
Also, the majority of meal kit companies have special family plans. Usually, they have affordable family recipe options per week which are a little less adventurous than the recipes for singles and couples. The main goal is to supply hearty, kid-friendly dishes that can be prepared in a single pot, and leftovers can be kept for later.
7. Is shipping included with meal delivery?
The shipping cost can really make a big difference when selecting a meal kit service. Costs of shipping vary from around $6.99 to $9.99 or more per order, which is basically the same price as a meal serving.
However, many companies waive the shipping cost if your overall order is above a certain amount. For example, Plated charges a shipping cost of $7.95 per order, but it will be free if your order is more than $60. Home Chef charges no shipping fee if your order is more than $45.
But with HelloFresh, all shipping is free, regardless of the price of your order. But with Sunbasket, shipping costs won’t be waived regardless of the order amount.
And if you’re ordering for only yourself, it might be hard to get to that order minimum, but if you can do it, then you can save the money you would have paid as shipping costs. But if you’re ordering for a family of four, it will be easier to exceed the minimum order.
8. Does meal delivery save time?
Yes. One of the main advantages of meal delivery services is the time factor. They save time, that’s why many people are relying more on them.
Meal delivery services have helped parents, busy professionals, and college students to manage their time more effectively after signing up for their services. For one thing, you don’t have to go to the grocery store as everything you need to will be delivered to your house. You can now use that time to do other important things.
With meal delivery kits, you can easily prepare your food, without wasting time looking for recipes, and then, chopping, grating, and preparing the ingredients. And with every ingredient delivered and ready to cook, you’ll save tons of time in the kitchen, and that includes washing the dishes afterward.
9. Are meal kits good if you have dietary restrictions?
If you have specific dietary requirements like gluten allergies, food sensitivities, or if you’re sticking to a low-carb diet—meal kits can be a good idea for breaking the monotony. Many companies have special meal plans for different diets, therefore you don’t have to feel limited by your dietary limitations.
While others allow you to substitute ingredients as you’re ordering meals, which means you can remove problematic ingredients. And since they all list the ingredients on the menu, you will find the meals that conform to your dietary requirements.
10. Are meal kits sustainable and good for the environment?
These days, we all can agree that environmental conservation is something we should take seriously. This is why meal kit companies are great in helping sustainable providers by ensuring that you have the exact amount of food you need and that your not over-purchasing and discarding food.
11. What types of meal delivery services are there?
As the meal delivery market has grown in recent years, there has been a rise in the number of specialty purveyors who focus on a variety of meals—vegan, gluten-free, and kid-friendly. No matter your food preferences or allergies, you’ll definitely find a service that will meet your needs:
With the growth of the meal delivery market has come to an increase in specialty purveyors focusing on anything from vegan to kid-friendly or gluten-free. No matter what your food preferences or allergies may be, there is a service that will meet your needs:
- Prepared Meal Services
- Vegetarian Meal Services
- Vegan Meal Services
- Gluten-Free Meal Services
- Organic Meal Services
- Weight Loss Meal Services
- Keto Meal Services
- Paleo Meal Services
- Diabetic Meal Services
You should, of course, be sure that the delivery service you select operates in your area before getting too excited. Then choose the best one that offers the correct blend of features and food that suits your dietary lifestyle. There’s always something for everyone, so get on the meal delivery service train, and discover what it means to eat healthier and easier today.