Cooking dinner is a cinch with the best meal kit delivery services. With a few clicks on an app or website, you can order meal kits that bring you chef-prepared recipes with fresh, high quality ingredients. Just follow the instructions to whip up delicious meals from a variety of cuisines in less than an hour.
The best meal kit delivery services offer a range of recipes that cater to all types of eaters, whether you’re an omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, Keto, low-carb or gluten-free. They also factor in dietary restrictions and preferences, if you can’t eat nuts, dairy, eggs, shellfish or other foods.
If you’re an adventurous eater who enjoys bold flavors, many of the best meal kit delivery services feature recipes from cuisines far and wide — whether it’s a Mexican tacos, Chinese stir fry, Italian pasta, Indian curry or more homegrown fare like burgers and fries. You can also choose meals that are good for kids and families.
Keep reading for our list of the best meal kit delivery services.
What are the best meal kit delivery services?
The best meal kit delivery services combine choice, good ingredients and interesting recipes — all for a palatable price.
Our top selection, Martha & Marley Spoon, may be on the higher end when it comes to cost per serving, but the price comes down when you order more meals for more people. It also offers the most weekly recipes, so you have plenty of options to choose from. That makes it ideal for anyone who is following a certain eating plan, has dietary restrictions or is just plain picky about what they eat. The service partnered with Martha Stewart to use her recipes, so you know: It’s a good thing.
Sun Basket and HelloFresh aren’t too far behind, though they have different strengths. Sun Basket appeals to home cooks who want high-quality, organic ingredients and globe-trotting recipes. It is slightly more expensive per serving, though, so you’re paying for what you’re getting. HelloFresh is one of the cheaper meal kit delivery services, and while it offers a lot of menu choice, its recipes are mainstream. Plus, they don’t cater as well to vegetarians and certain eating plans as others on our list do.
The grandmother of meal kit delivery services, Blue Apron, is in the middle of the pack. Blue Apron still provides great value for its meals, but its menu is fairly boring and doesn’t have as many items as the top contenders. Our list also includes the vegan meal kit service Purple Carrot, if you eat a plant-based diet. Then there are several not-quite-meal-kits on our list, like Freshly and Factor75, that don’t require any cooking, just heating up in a microwave.
If you want to come up with your own dishes, get fresh ingredients from the best grocery delivery services. Or if you want fully prepared dishes, call up one of the best food delivery services. And for drinks to go with all of your meals, try the best alcohol delivery services.
The best meal kit delivery services
Domestic goddess Martha Stewart partners with Marley Spoon to give you carefully tested recipes from her archive. So, I wasn’t surprised to find the meal selections a little more ambitious, advanced and adventurous than many of the other meal kit delivery services on this list.
The weekly lineup of 40 recipes caters to all kinds of dietary needs, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, kid-friendly and healthy eating. I signed up for the standard three-meal plan for two people and chose Grilled Chimichurri Steak, Lemon-Caper Pork Cutlets with Parmesan Polenta, and Sweet and Sticky Salmon. The variety of options is excellent and I had a difficult time narrowing them down to just three. However, I eat meat, so I could choose from all meals. There are fewer vegetarian or vegan-only recipes.
When the box arrives, all of the ingredients are clearly labeled. The recipes are printed on colorful cards that are easy to read. While I didn’t set out to choose quick dishes, all three of my meals required less than 30 minutes to prepare. Granted, that really depends on your prep skills; I’m a decent slicer and dicer, but your mileage may vary. Once cooked, the meals tasted great and were well-portioned for two diners.
Martha and Marley Spoon isn’t the most inexpensive meal kit service, but it hits the sweet spot of having enough variety and quality ingredients at a decent value.
Sun Basket boasts the most variety of the meal kits I’ve tested as well as high-quality ingredients, like organic produce, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat and wild-caught, sustainable seafood. They offer 20 weekly meal recipes and 15 Fresh and Ready meals, which are single servings that are fully cooked and can be reheated easily in a microwave. And you can add market items to your box, such as bread, oatmeal, and juices.
Sun Basket really stands out in the variety of cuisines offered in the weekly recipe line-up. In my box, I got Korean BBQ meatballs with baby bok choy, sloppy joes with pickled jalapenos, butter chicken and pork chile verde over cilantro rice. Sun Basket also allows you to modify the protein choice, so I could choose a plant-based option instead of meat. I really like the plethora of choices, so much so that I spent quite a lot of time poring over the menu. The meals themselves turned out to be really easy to cook and delicious, to boot. The Fresh and Ready meals are so convenient and I found them perfect for lunch.
The only reason Sun Basket is ranked second is the price — per meal, the service is slightly more expensive than Martha and Marley Spoon. The ingredients are a bit higher quality and the recipes are more exciting, but budget does play an important factor for myself and many others.
As one of the first meal kit delivery services, Hello Fresh has had the time to fine-tune its offering. I was able to customize my meal plan according to fairly specific preferences and dietary requirements. Every week, they offer around 25 recipes and a range of market items (such as soups, sides and snacks). One week, my menu consisted of Pork and Veggie Bibimbap, Melty Monterey Jack Burgers and Parmesan-Crusted Chicken.
Anyone who enjoys cooking, appreciates fresh ingredients and values convenience will agree that Hello Fresh lives up to the hype. Still, the service assumes you have certain culinary staples accessible and that know your way around the kitchen. Or, at the very least, you’ve minced garlic before. The recipe cards are easy to follow and took into consideration the different times separate meal elements take to cook. They even offered some neat kitchen tricks.
Hello Fresh’s meal kits have expanded my household’s palate while taking the pressure off of making it to the grocery store every week.
Read our full HelloFresh review.
Every step of the Home Chef meal kit process is clear, from pricing (every dinner serving costs $9.95) to meal plans (choose from omnivore, carnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian) to cooking from the simple instruction cards. You can also easily set preferences for low-calorie, low-carb and various ingredients like nuts and dairy.
Likewise, the weekly recipe lineups are well-designed. They’re categorized with tags like customer favorites, “ready in 15,” oven-ready and culinary collection (premium meals for special occasions). You can customize most meals to swap out proteins. The best part is that you can set your personal menu for five weeks ahead of time. The recipes aren’t super bold but draw from different cuisines. Recent options include jalapeno popper burger, chicken satay bowl, Rockefeller salmon and barbacoa steak tacos. You can also add on lunch meals, smoothies and protein packs of uncooked chicken, steak, sausages.
The original meal kit service is still kicking. Blue Apron has been successful by offering pre-prepped meals that are easy to cook, relatively inexpensive and take 45 minutes or less to make. Blue Apron offers several plans for two people, two vegetarians or four people. And you can tell the service your dietary preferences to customize your weekly box. If you drink wine, you can subscribe to a monthly delivery of six bottles at $10 each.
Where Blue Apron lags behind its newer competitors is the number of recipes offered each week as well as the variety. On the four-person family plan, you only get six options; if you have allergies or other restrictions, you may end up ordering meals you can’t eat. For vegetarians, Blue Apron now stocks Beyond Meat, but again, the number of meal choices is paltry. While the recipes have gotten slightly more exciting in recent years, they’re still fairly mainstream, like chicken and kale salad or salmon with sweet chili glaze.
Freshly isn’t like the other meal kits on this list because it’s not really a meal kit. You don’t have to prepare or cook Freshly meals — they come fully cooked already. All you have to do is throw them in the microwave for around three minutes and you’re set. It’s the perfect meal kit for someone who wants healthy, nutritious food for the least amount of work. You can choose to get four to 12 meals a week, pick the day of the week you want them delivered and skip weeks. The meals come in a recycled container with ice packs to keep them cool.
The weekly menu offers around 30 mainstream choices, with each one labeled as low-carb, under 500 calories, high protein, soy-free, dairy-free and spicy. Recent meals include Silician-style chicken parm, pork carnitas, chicken teriyaki and slow-cooked beef chili. What Freshly is lacking, though, are more vegetarian and vegan options.
Gobble’s meal kits take just 15 minutes to cook, making them perfect for harried, on-the-go people who don’t have the time or energy to make an elaborate meal (they see you, parents who are working from home and home-schooling your kids). All ingredients are pre-chopped, peeled, measured and marinated. You just throw it all together and you’ve got a delicious, nutritious meal. Gobble offers a vegetarian plan, as well as a calorie-conscious lean and clean plan, and allows you to set protein preferences.
Though Gobble’s recipes are super quick, they’re fairly audacious. The dozen or so weekly options range in cuisine and flavors. Recent choices include Louisiana-style shrimp with grits, braised chicken enchiladas verdes, Mediterranean falafel fattoush salad, Vietnamese chicken lettuce wraps and seared ahi tuna with fennel. Recipes are labeled as kid-friendly, 600 calories or less or vegetarian, and tagged with ingredients like wheat, eggs and soy.
If you eat a plant-based, vegan diet, Purple Carrot is the meal kit delivery service for you. Each meal features fresh seasonal produce, herbs and creative sauces and is designed to be made in 30 minutes or less. And you can choose meals that are high in protein, under 600 calories, gluten-free and soy-free.
The weekly dinner recipes only number around eight, which is lower than most meal kit services (though Purple Carrot serves a more niche audience). But recent meals show good variety in cuisine and flavors, including spring vegetable gnocchi, tofu saag paneer and Thai skillet eggplant. The high-protein options have at least 20g of plant protein, such as kidney beans, quinoa, spinach and tempeh. And you can add extra breakfast and lunch meals, such as vanilla chia pudding or stuffed avocados, as well as snacks.
Green Chef is the first first USDA-certified organic meal kit company (now owned by HelloFresh). It aims to source high-quality organic produce and proteins for its meals, much like Sun Basket. The service caters to people on specific eating plans, like Keto, paleo and vegetarian, as well as omnivores who want to eat cleanly. Perhaps because it’s so focused on the best ingredients, Green Chef doesn’t offer a ton of meals per week.
The weekly recipe lineup also doesn’t provide much choice, with around seven options per plan. But the selections look delectable and hail from a variety of international cuisines. Recent meals include Korean beef and noodle stir fry, Malaysian-spiced pork patties, Jamaican sweet potato bowl and Mediterranean barramundi. All recipes come with a clear instruction card and chef tips and can be made in 30 minutes or less.
EveryPlate is for people who want an affordable meal kit delivery service that won’t try to turn them into a chef. Meals are less than $5 per serving (though there is a steep delivery fee) and extremely easy to prepare. Each one requires minimal tools, is made in six simple steps and can be made in under 40 minutes.
Because EveryPlate is going for ease and simplicity, don’t expect the 11 weekly recipes to be the kind of food you can get at a Michelin-star restaurant. Most of the meals are fairly basic, standard American cuisine. Recent selections include creamy smothered pork chops, honey garlic chicken, lemony shrimp penne and garden veggie melts. As you can see, not particularly adventurous or globe-trotting. And there are few options for vegetarians, vegans or people with particular dietary restrictions.
Factor75 ships you fully-prepared meals that only require a few minutes in the microwave or oven, much like Freshly. Their never-frozen meals are made by chefs with quality ingredients that are grass-fed and pasture-raised, gluten-free, antibiotic- and hormone-free, soy-free, non-GMO and with no added sugars. There are also Keto- and paleo-friendly options. And you can order up to 18 single-serving meals, so you can set up your entire week for healthy eating without worrying about cooking.
The weekly menu offers a nice balance of breakfast, lunch and dinner choices. Though Factor75’s recipes aren’t too adventurous, there is variety. Recent meals include steak au poivre, eggplant ratatouille, blueberry pancakes and polenta breakfast bowl. You can also add on items like extra protein (pan-seared salmon, herb-roasted chicken, etc.), snack packs, wellness shots and juices.
Freshology, powered by Diet-to-Go, is another prepared meal delivery service in the vein of Freshly and Factor75. Freshology offers four plans, including ones targeted for vegetarians, Keto dieters and eaters with diabetes. Meals are portioned for a certain number of calories, averaging from 1,200 to 1,600, and come fully cooked and ready to be heated up in just a few minutes in the microwave or oven.
The weekly menu offers five choices for each of breakfast, lunch and dinner. There isn’t much variety in cuisine and most of the meals are fairly basic, American food. Recent meals include Waldorf chicken salad, blackened salmon with Brussels sprouts, whole wheat bagel with veggie cream cheese and sliced turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy. Although the meals aren’t particularly inspiring, they’re a good option if you’re on a diet or eating healthy, but have little time to cook your own food.
How to choose the best meal kit delivery service for you
Eating is a very personal experience, since everyone has different tastes and dietary restrictions. Adding cooking preferences on top of that just makes selecting a meal kit delivery service even more difficult. We think there are two important questions to ask first.
Question 1: Can you eat their meals? Because you need to eat to survive, the first consideration should be whether the service offers the kinds of foods you need. If you follow a certain diet or have allergies, you should check to see if the service can accommodate your needs.
Question 2: Are the meals worth it? Most people have budgets, so you’ll want to consider the price (per serving and the delivery fee). But don’t compare the meals to ones you could cook with groceries. The services offer chef-created recipes, do a lot of prep work and ship boxes right to your door, so you’re paying for convenience.
After that, think about your taste preferences. Are you an adventurous eater? Do you like different cuisines? Do you crave variety in your day-to-day eating?
Take all of that into account as you determine which is the best meal kit delivery service for you.