Now Reading
The Best Meal Delivery Services (Meal Kits & Premade Meal Delivery)

The Best Meal Delivery Services (Meal Kits & Premade Meal Delivery)

Dan Scalco

Nothing is better than a hot meal at the end of a long day but sometimes you just don’t have the energy to plan and prep. When you want to enjoy a healthy, homemade meal but you want to skip the hassle, a meal kit or premade meal delivery service may be just what you need. These subscription services send tasty meals right to your door in convenient weekly deliveries.

When it comes to meal subscriptions, there are several different options to consider. For those who like to cook, meal kits are a great choice. These services send you weekly recipes and the fresh ingredients needed to prepare them, then you do the cooking. If you’d prefer an even quicker option whereby you just reheat and eat, a premade meal delivery service that offers ready-made options may be a better choice.

Having tried nearly every single nationwide meal delivery service currently available, we put together this list of our absolute favorite services and who they’re best for.

Read on to find out which might be best for you…

Our Favorite Meal Kits

Preparing healthy, homemade meals doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. If you’re looking for a way to level-up your cooking skills without adding hours of meal prep to your weekly to-do list, a meal kit service might be the right option for you. These services send you fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes so you can prepare delicious meals. And from my experience, they can often be ready to eat in 30 minutes or less.

Best Overall Meal Kit

Sunbasket

What It Is: With Sunbasket, you’ll enjoy delicious meals made with farm-fresh ingredients. They offer a range of quick and convenient recipes made with USDA-certified organic produce or skip the cooking altogether with their premade Fresh & Ready meals.

The Details: When you want to enjoy a healthy, home cooked meal Sunbasket has your back. This meal kit offers quick recipes designed for busy people that can be prepared in 20 minutes or less. If you don’t have time to cook, try their Fresh & Ready meals which go from microwave to table in as little as 6 minutes. In addition to meals, Sunbasket has a huge marketplace where you can add many grocery store staples right to your box every week. This includes snacks, juices, pasta, dips, sides, and even meats such as chicken and beef. I’ve found this marketplace to be super helpful in reducing my trips to the grocery store, since I can just add anything I might need right to my box instead.

Sunbasket also fits into a lot of different lifestyles and diets. When picking meals for your box, you can filter by prep time, calorie content, or special diet including options like paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and diabetes-friendly.

You’ll get to choose from dozens of recipes each week. Some of my favorites include their Mediterranean Turkey Kebabs with Carrot and Squash Ribbon Salad, Curry Chicken Noodle Bowls with Broccoli Leaves and Bell Pepper, as well as their Fresh & Ready Turkey Bolognese with Spaghetti. Prices start at just $8.99 per serving.

Why It Made This List:

  • They offer some of the highest quality and flavorful meals we’ve ever tried.
  • Their marketplace of hundreds of foods allows you to add additional items to your box, allowing you to cut back on grocery store runs.
  • You can mix and match their meal kit recipes with their Fresh & Ready premade meals, which I’ve found to be just as delicious as their meal kit meals.
  • They use high-quality ingredients across the board such as seasonal, USDA-certified organic produce.

Buy Sunbasket

Best For Learning To Cook

HelloFresh

What It Is: HelloFresh is one of the most popular meal kits around. I’ve found that they do a great job of taking intricate, delicious recipes and making them simple for any level chef to cook.

The Details: HelloFresh offers a range of both good-for-you recipes and comfort-food meals that can all be made around 30 minutes or less. You can choose from a variety of meal plans such as Meat & Veggies, Family Friendly, Calorie Smart, or Quick and Easy then customize your plan for 2 or 4 people. On their largest plan, you’ll be able to receive up to 5 meals per week, at 4 servings per meal. This makes it great for big families too.

From my experience using HelloFresh over the years, I’ve found that they do a great job of taking advanced recipes and making them much simpler to prep and cook. For example, we added their Louisiana-Style Tilapia with Potato Wedges, Red Cabbage Slaw & Spicy Remoulade to our recent box thinking it would be more of an advanced level recipe. However, it ended up being fairly simple to cook because HelloFresh does a good job of efficiently communicating each step of the recipe.

Like Sunbasket, HelloFresh also offers a marketplace where you can add on additional foods like meats and even some semi-premade meals (such as sandwiches). However, I found Sunbasket to have a much more substantial selection to choose from.

Some of my personal favorite HelloFresh recipes we’ve had over the years are their Firecracker Meatballs with Roasted Green Beans & Sesame Rice, Pub-Style Shepherd’s Pie with White Cheddar & Thyme Mashed Potatoes, and Coconut Curry Chicken with Kale over Basmati Rice. Pricing starts at just $7.49 per serving.

Why It Made This List:

  • HelloFresh offers delicious and easy-to-make recipes, perfect for those who are looking to improve their cooking skills.
  • They have a marketplace that allows you to add on extras like snacks and some semi-prepared meals.
  • They offer a good range of cuisines—from traditional American classics to Indian to Mexican.

Buy HelloFresh

Best Budget Option

Dinnerly

What It Is: Designed for simplicity and affordability, Dinnerly makes it easy to enjoy fresh, homemade meals. With meals starting at just $4.69 per person, we’ve found that Dinnerly is the most inexpensive meal kit out there.

The Details: If you want to enjoy a healthy homemade meal but you don’t want the hassle of meal planning or grocery shopping, Dinnerly is the most quick and affordable option. You can choose from 16 recipes each and every week, all of which can be prepared in just 5 steps or less. They even have vegetarian options.

Being affordable doesn’t mean Dinnerly skimps on recipes. Rather, we found that they offer more paired down versions of classics. This includes meal options including recipes like Chimichurri Steak with Oven Fries and Brown Butter Tortelloni with Lemon & Baby Spinach.

What’s more is they allow you to narrow down your meal options with filters like “kid friendly” or “under 30 minutes” to customize your meal plan each week. Dinnerly offers a 2-person box and a family box (for 4 people) with 3, 4, 5, or 6 meals each week.

Why It Made This List:

  • They offer fast and easy meals starting at $4.69 per person.
  • Recipes are fairly simple and require just 5 steps to prepare.
  • For being the most affordable meal kit, they offer features that many big/popular meal kits offer.

Buy Dinnerly

Best For Gourmet Style Meals

Marley Spoon

What It Is: Meal kits don’t have to be only modest, quick recipes and they definitely don’t have to be boring. With Marley Spoon you’ll enjoy gourmet-quality meals created by Martha Stewart and her team.

The Details: Marley Spoon is one of our favorite meal kits for decadent, restaurant-style meals. They do this by taking some of Martha Stewart’s best recipes and paring them down to just 6 simple steps. Many of the meals we’ve created with Marley Spoon were made within 30 minutes. However, more advanced recipes do take longer.

You’ll be able to choose from 29 different recipes each week, which gives you enough choices to find something every week you’re likely to enjoy. I found that they rotate back in popular meals often, giving you the ability to enjoy it again.

While the meals are decadent and delicious, they do a decent job of working in meals to fit specialty diets (for example low-carb and vegetarian) as well as family friendly recipes, which I found to be less “adventurous” recipe options.

Some favorite recipes of mine include the Spice Crusted Steak with Frizzled Onions and Chopped Salad and Oven-Fried Beef Taquitos with Tomatillo Salsa & Jalapenos.

You’ll be able to choose from a 2-person or 4-person plan with as few as 2 or as many as 6 meals per week, starting at $7.99 per portion plus $8.99 shipping.

Why It Made This List:

  • When it comes to taste and overall meal quality, Marley Spoon meals rival some of the best restaurants I’ve been to.
  • They do a great job of taking gourmet-style meals and pairing them down to easy-to-follow recipes, in 6 steps or less.
  • The meals are backed by the legend Martha Stewart and her team so you can rest assured you’re getting top notch recipes.

Buy Marley Spoon

Best Cooking Variety

Home Chef

What It Is: Home Chef is a meal kit that does a great job of offering meals that fit into every level of cooking preference—from 30+ minute recipes to simple oven-ready meals and even some premade options. They also allow you to customize your meal kit to fit a variety of dietary options and upgrade, swap, or double up on proteins as often as you like.

The Details: Home Chef is more than just a meal kit. With this meal delivery service you’ll enjoy homemade meals customized to your dietary preferences and cooking skills each and every week. Select from a variety of meal categories like carb conscious or vegetarian and upgrade, swap, or double up on proteins any time you like—something that no other meal kit offers.

What makes Home Chef stand out among the competition is the fact that they offer recipes in various different preparation and cooking levels. For example, they offer their regular meal kit meals, 15-minute meal kits, easy prep meal kits, oven ready meal kits, grill-ready meal kits, and extra protein packs (just meats like chicken breasts, burgers, steaks, and more). Or, if you don’t want to cook at all, Home Chef has a plan of only premade meals called “Fresh & Easy”. At this time you cannot mix and match their meal kit meals with their premade meals.

With Home Chef, you’ll have access to around 20 recipes each week. You can enjoy adventurous recipes like one of my favorites, Huli Huli Chicken Rice Bowls and Japanese BBQ Burgers or keep it quick and simple with oven-ready meals such as their Crispy Caesar Chicken or Creamy Tomato and Italian Sausage Penne Bake. Prices start at just $6.99 per serving, which makes them one of the most affordable popular meal kits.

Why It Made This List:

  • You can double up on proteins within your meal, which no other meal kit offers.
  • They offer one of the best variety of recipes to choose from when it comes to cooking level and preference (e.g. oven-ready, grill-ready, 15-minute meal kits, and premade meals).
  • They offer a good selection of both traditional and adventurous meals.

Buy Home Chef

Best Organic Meal Kit

Green Chef

What It Is: If you want to upgrade your diet without paying a fortune, Green Chef is the way to go. This certified organic meal kit offers plenty of easy-to-follow recipes for various different dietary preferences with prices as low as $6.99 per serving.

The Details: Green Chef is one of the only USDA-certified organic meal kits on the market. You’ll be able to choose from dozens of recipes each week for diets such as Keto, Paleo, and Plant-Based or keep it simple with their Balanced Living meal plan. Everything is made with sustainable, USDA-certified organic ingredients and delivered fresh to your door.

What I love most about Green Chef is the fact that I can enjoy delicious recipes that I know are also good for me and fit into any specific diet I’m following (generally keto). They’re also fairly simple to cook since Green Chef does the bulk of the measuring and prep work for you.

Some of my favorite Green Chef meals include their Artichoke “Crab” Cakes, Creamy Truffle Penne, and Porcini Mashed Potatoes with Creamy Mushroom Gravy, Sautéed Carrots With Walnuts, and Slaw.

You can customize your meal plan for 2, 4, or 6 people and enjoy 3 or 4 meals per week with prices starting as low as $6.99 per serving plus $8.99 shipping per box.

Why It Made This List:

  • I’ve noticed that Green Chef offers some of the biggest portions when compared to other meal kits on this list.
  • They are one of the only meal delivery companies that is USDA-certified organic and certified gluten-free.
  • Their meals fit into a variety of popular diets, including keto, paleo, and vegan.

Buy Green Chef

Our Favorite Premade Meal Delivery Services

Not everyone loves to cook, but everyone deserves to enjoy healthy and delicious meals. If you’re looking for a hassle-free meal option, a premade meal delivery service might be more your speed. These services send fully prepared meals right to your door, ready to reheat and eat.

Best Selection & Value

Freshly

What It Is: Enjoy chef cooked, certified gluten-free meals delivered right to your door with Freshly. This premade meal delivery service offers 30+ recipe options each week that will be cooked by tea of chefs and sent fresh to your door, ready to reheat and eat in 3 minutes or less.

The Details: Whether you’re a single person who wants to skip the hassle of cooking or you simply need some healthy meal options to take on-the-go, Freshly has your back. Choose from over 30 all-natural recipes each and every week, all chef-prepared and sent right to your door.

Freshly was one of the first national premade meal delivery services to hit the market and what initially drew me to them was their commitment to high-quality ingredients. In fact, they even have a page on their site dedicated to the ingredients they’ll never use.

Freshly offers a vast and varied menu of meal options. Some of my personal classic favorites are their Homestyle Chicken and Steak Peppercorn. They also offer more adventurous options like Cauliflower Shell Beef Bolognese, another personal favorite.

They offer plans that send 4, 6, 10, or 12 meals each week with prices starting at just $8.49 per meal. You can choose your meals several weeks at a time and pause, reschedule, or cancel your delivery at any time.

Why It Made This List:

  • They offer one of the largest weekly menus to choose from with around 30 meals.
  • With pricing around $8/meal, they’re one of the least expensive fully premade meal delivery options.
  • Freshly also offers a business meal delivery plan that allows businesses of every size to feed their whole team.

Buy Freshly

Best Keto & Paleo Option

Factor Meals

What It Is: When it comes to following a strict diet like keto, Factor Meals makes it much simpler. You’ll enjoy fully compliant chef-prepared meals sent right to your doorstep in convenient weekly deliveries, ready to reheat and eat.

The Details: Each week, Factor Meals gives you 20+ dietitian-designed meals to choose from with new menus each week. I found that they do a good job of rotating in customer favorites, so if you enjoy one meal, you’ll likely see it on the menu in the future.

Your meals will arrive fresh, never frozen, and you can prepare them in the microwave, oven, or stovetop.

With Factor Meals, every recipe is prepared using farm-fresh ingredients. All of their meals are free from GMOs, gluten, hormones, antibiotics, and refined sugars. Plus, everything is crafted by a team of culinary experts based on your dietary preferences to ensure nutritional balance and taste.

If you’re following a strict keto or paleo diet, Factor Meals is one of the few that is fully compliant. I’ve found that while there are many premade meal delivery services out there that say they are “keto”, they are really just focusing on meals that are somewhat low-carb but not focusing on the other necessary keto macros (such as protein and fat content).

Factor Meals also has one of my favorite marketplaces out of all of the premade meal delivery services on this list. This is because, they make all of their add on foods themselves, whereas many others simply sell prepackaged foods from other brands like snacks, smoothies, etc. Some of my personal favorite add ons that Factor offers are their soups (which we review in this video). Not only do they taste amazing but Factor designed the packaging so you can very easily take it with you on the go, microwave it, and even sip it right from the container (rather than pouring it into a bowl and using a spoon). They also have a pretty big variety of snacks and desserts to choose from. One of my personal favorites is their low-carb keto cheesecake.

When it comes to meals, Factor doesn’t skimp on taste or portion sizes. Some of my personal favorites are their Spicy Turkey Poblano, Keto Taco Poblano Bowl, and Grilled Chicken with Goat Cheese Polenta. Prices start at $11.50 per meal.

Why It Made This List:

  • I’ve found that Factor Meals has larger portions than many other premade options.
  • They’re one of the few premade options that offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner options as well as many addons like soups, smoothies, and snacks. This makes their premade meal delivery service one of the only that allows you to skip the grocery store entirely.
  • They are one of the few premade meal delivery services that is truly keto compliant.

Buy Factor Meals

Best Vegan Option

Sprinly

What It Is: Sprinly is, without a doubt, the best premade plant-based meal delivery service we’ve tried to date. They offer a variety of organic plant-based meals (never frozen) sent right to your door that you can reheat and eat.

The Details: Sprinly makes going vegan very simple. Everything they offer is 100% vegan and they use as much organic ingredients as possible.

What I love most about Sprinly is their meals are not your ordinary “bland” vegan meals and they’re not just pastas or salads either. They put a lot of effort into crafting vegan meals that taste as good or even better than many of the options on this list. This is because they not only use high-quality ingredients but they focus on delicious sauces and seasonings that level up all of their meals.

Your recipes will be fully prepped, ready to eat, and they’ll never be shipped frozen. You’ll enjoy meals made with clean, organic ingredients free from refined sugar, gluten, and artificial preservatives.

Some of my personal favorites from Sprinly have been their Mediterranean Oasis Bowl with Baked Falafel and Dill Tahini, Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai with Baked Tofu, and Warm Whole-Bean Chili with Fresh Pesto & Paprika Spinach Salad.

You can customize your meal plan with 6, 12, or 18 meals each week—perfect for singles but also enough for big families. You can skip weeks, switch plans, or cancel at any time with no hassle whatsoever. Prices go as low as $16.05 per meal with their 18 meal per week plan.

Why It Made This List:

  • They are easily the best plant-based meal delivery service and one of the only vegan meal delivery services that sends fresh (not frozen) meals.
  • They make starting a plant-based diet or continuing one very simple.
  • The meals they send are packed with flavor (mainly due to their delicious sauces and seasonings) and don’t rely on bland ingredients.

Buy Sprinly

Best Frozen Option

Daily Harvest

What It Is: Enjoy delicious frozen food made with clean ingredients and delivered right to your door with Daily Harvest. They send organic, nourishing, and fully premade plant-based meals ready to eat in minutes.

The Details: If you’re looking for a premade meal delivery service that has it all, consider Daily Harvest. Unlike some meal services that only offer lunch and dinner options, Daily Harvest has everything you need for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and all the snacks in between. You can shop their selection of extraordinary smoothies, harvest bowls, flatbreads, soups, and salads to create a custom meal plan that perfectly suits your needs.

If you’ve heard of Daily Harvest before, it’s likely because of their smoothies, since that’s what they started out selling and what they’re most known for. I’ve found that many of the flavors they offer are not your traditional fruit and vegetable mixes. Rather, they focus on tying in a variety of natural ingredients that not only compliment the overall flavor but provide functional benefits too. For example, one of my favorites is their Cacao + Avocado smoothie made with zucchini, pumpkin seed, dates, cacao, coconut, and avocado. It’s delicious and I found it gives me a nice boost of energy as a midday snack or grab-and-go lunch.

Every meal Daily Harvest offers is free from dairy, gluten, gums, fillers, and artificial additives—just pure, clean, natural ingredients. You can build your own box with item prices ranging from $5.99 to $8.99 and enjoy free shipping on every order.

Why It Made This List:

  • Daily Harvest uses flash freezing to lock in nutrients and flavor. So, while frozen, their meals still taste great and retain the majority of their original nutrients.
  • They have one of the largest selections of meals, desserts, and snacks to choose from.
  • All of their meals are made with organic, nourishing, and clean ingredients.

Buy Daily Harvest

Best Sous-Vide Option

RealEats

What It Is: When it comes to restaurant quality taste, RealEats is one of the best. Choose from a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options as well as a variety of addons. Everything comes fully prepped and ready to heat and eat via sous-vide (boiling water) or simply heating in the microwave.

The Details: If you’re looking for a meal delivery service that goes above and beyond on variety and taste, definitely check out RealEats. This premade meal delivery service offers a ton of meal options, including breakfast and brunch, soups and chilis, entrees, sides, snacks, and more. Everything is fully prepped by gourmet chefs and delivered fresh to your door, ready to reheat. Recipes are prepared with farm-fresh ingredients sourced from local farmers, designed to minimize food waste.

At first glance, RealEats seems odd compared to all of the other premade meal delivery services on this list because all of their meals come in plastic bags. This is because they pre-portion and cook their meals sous-vide style. I was a little hesitant to try them for this reason but was pleasantly surprised at just how delicious these meals came out. The process of sealing the meals this way seems to do a great job of locking flavor. The plastic pouches that they use are BPA, phthalate, and plasticizer-free.

Some of my personal favorites include their Dijon Mustard Steak, Southern Style Chicken & Grits, and Sustainable Miso Salmon.

With RealEats, you can customize your meal plan according to your needs. Choose from 4, 6, 8, or 12 dinners per week with prices starting at just $8.25 per meal with free delivery. Your meals will arrive in an insulated box, refrigerator ready.

Why It Made This List:

  • They offer a huge selection of meals for breakfast, lunch/brunch, dinner, and many addons (including sides and snacks).
  • Prices start at just $8.25 per meal with free shipping, making them one of the least expensive premade meal options.
  • Meals are refrigerator-ready and very quick to prepare on either the stovetop (via sous-vide boiling) or microwave.

Buy RealEats

Best Gourmet Option

CookUnity

What It Is: CookUnity brings you signature meals from award-winning chefs, cooked in small batches, all delivered right to your doorstep.

The Details: CookUnity is the first chef-to-customer platform, partnering with culinary innovators and even Michelin-starred chefs to bring you an at-home dining experience like no other on this list. With CookUnity, you’ll be able to select from dozens of new recipes each and every week or you can let their service choose for you. You’ll receive your order of chef-crafted meals fully prepared and ready to reheat with simple instructions. No more cooking, meal planning, or prepping—and virtually no clean-up!

CookUnity’s meals taste as close to gourmet restaurant quality as I’ve ever had. Some of my personal favorites have been their Seared Steak with Brussels Sprouts and Horseradish Cream Sauce as well as their Lamb Kebab with Turmeric Hummus and Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

Menus are posted 2 weeks in advance so you can schedule several weeks at a time and you can always skip, reschedule, or pause at your convenience.

Why It Made This List:

  • They’re one of the only national premade meal delivery services that connects you directly with professional chefs who create small batch meals and send them right to your door.
  • These are not your typical premade meals or home cooked meals. In my opinion, these meals truly taste gourmet-level.

Buy CookUnity

Best Shelf-Stable Option

Proper Good Soups

What It Is: When it comes to soup, Proper Good is one of our favorite meal delivery services. They focus on quality over quantity by giving you around 10 soups to choose from, all of which are made with high-quality ingredients and taste incredible. Many also fit into specialty diets like keto, gluten-free, and plant-based.

The Details: With Proper Good Soups, you can enjoy a delicious meal in just 90 seconds. Every recipe comes in shelf-stable packaging which makes them perfect for meals on-the-go. Choose from a variety of keto-friendly, gluten-free, and plant-based options and shop by single recipes or value packs. There’s no need to refrigerate your soups and they all have an 8-month shelf life. Plus, they can be reheated in the microwave in just 90 seconds or less.

I’ve found Proper Good soups to be the perfect last-minute meal option for when we don’t have the time or energy to cook but still want something delicious. The best part about Proper Good’s soups is they use clean ingredients. In fact, if you hope over to our full Proper Good review, you’ll see a section where I compare Proper Good’s soups to a name brand canned soup. The side-by-side look at the ingredients are staggering. Proper Good doesn’t use artificial ingredients, never adds sugars, and adds minimal salt.

I’ve tried nearly every soup they offer and have had zero complaints. Some of my top picks are their Sweet Red Pepper & Meatball, Chicken Noodle, and Broccoli Cheddar soups.

Prices start at just $6.99 per serving and you can add optional products like their Spicy Seasoning, which gives soups a little extra “kick” of flavor. Everything is backed by their Happy Spoon Guarantee—if you don’t love it, you get your money back!

Why It Made This List:

  • You’re not locked into a subscription like many other meal delivery services. You can order “a la carte” by building your own box or order a pre-selected bundle. However, they do offer a 15% discount for subscribing.
  • They offer great purchase incentives. For example, spending $35 or more unlocks free shipping and spending $80 or more will unlock free shipping, 5% off, and a free mystery gift.
  • They’re the only meal delivery services on this list that offers fully shelf-stable meals. This makes them perfect for storing as emergency or last-minute meals.
  • They offer soups that fit into a wide variety of diets such as keto, dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegetarian.

Buy Proper Good

Meal Kits vs. Premade Meal Delivery Services

With the massive growth of the meal delivery industry over the years, we’ve seen a divide among the types of services available for people to purchase. These days there are two primary choices you can choose—meal kits or premade meal delivery services. It’s important to know the difference between the two prior to making your final decision.

A meal kit is a service that sends you recipes and the ingredients needed to prepare them. Though the details may vary, these recipes are generally easy-to-follow and can often be prepared in just 30 minutes or less. Some meal kits take things a step further by prepping things for you, such as chopping and measuring, so all you have to do is assemble the ingredients and cook them.

Meal kits are ideal for people who:

  • Enjoy the process of cooking
  • Would like to improve their cooking skills
  • Would like to learn new, fun, and unique recipes
  • Are new to cooking and need a “hands on” place to start in order to build up the right skills

On the flip side, if you want to enjoy the flavor of a homemade meal but you’re not interested in cooking at all, a premade meal delivery service could be the right choice. These services give you the same level of convenience in terms of choosing your recipes and customizing your meal plan, but the company does the prep and cooking work for you. This allows you to receive fully prepared meals, either fresh or frozen, sent to your door ready to reheat and eat. Most of these meals can be reheated in the microwave or oven, often in 5 minutes or less.

Premade meal delivery services are ideal for people who:

  • Do not enjoy cooking
  • Want to save as much time as possible
  • Live alone (since most premade meal delivery services send single-serving meals)
  • Don’t want to deal with the clean-up of dishes and pots/pans

What to Consider Before Ordering

Meal subscription services are a dime a dozen these days, so you may be overwhelmed the first time you start to shop around. In fact, that’s one of the major reasons why we decided to start this website and our YouTube channel.

To help you narrow down your options, it’s a good idea to decide on a few details in terms of what you’re looking for. That way you’ll be able to check some options right off your list.

Here are some things to consider before ordering a meal subscription service:

  • How many people you’re feeding
  • Which meals you want and how many
  • How quickly you want to prep your meals or if you even want to cook at all
  • Any dietary preferences you have

Most meal subscriptions offer flexible meal plans for singles, couples, and families. If you’re feeding just yourself, a premade meal delivery service might be the most cost-effective option because they offer single-serving meals. Meal kits typically have a minimum of two servings per meal, but you can always use the leftovers for or lunch or dinner the next day. Some services offer only main entrees for lunch and dinner, but many are now starting to offer options for breakfast, brunch/lunch, snacks, and sides as well. There are some, like Sunbasket, that have a huge selection of both meal kit options premade options, as well as a marketplace that offers dozens of sides, snacks, juices, smoothies, and more.

The biggest factor for many people when it comes to choosing a meal subscription is how long it takes to get to the point of eating. Premade meal delivery services offer meals that are generally ready to reheat and eat in 5 minutes or less, though oven-ready meals (such as what Home Chef offers) may take 15 to 20 minutes. Many meal kits generally range from 15 to 45 minutes in prep and cook time, though most services offer the ability to filter recipes based on prep time.

Both premade meal services and meal kits also offer the option to shop for recipes based on specific dietary preferences and specialty diets like keto, paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan. There are also some meal delivery services I’ve come across that accommodate more niche diets such as low-sodium, dairy-free, low FODMAP, and more.

Pros & Cons of Meal Delivery Services

In addition to thinking about what kind of meal delivery service might best fulfill your needs, you should think about the pros and cons of meal subscriptions versus meal planning and prepping on your own.

Here are some of the pros of meal delivery services (meal kits and premade options):

  • You’ll save time on planning your meals and grocery shopping each week
  • With pre-portioned ingredients you’ll have less food waste
  • Meal kits are generally quick and easy to prepare in 30 minutes or less
  • Premade meal delivery services offer meals ready to reheat and eat in around 5 minutes
  • You may have access to ingredients you might not find locally
  • I’ve found many meal delivery services allow me to eat better and are more affordable than takeout

When it comes to convenience, meal delivery services are great. You get to choose your recipes each week and can customize your meal plan and your delivery schedule. That being said, there are a few downsides you should consider before making up your mind.

Here are a few disadvantages of meal delivery services (meal kits and premade options):

  • Meal delivery services can be more expensive than meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking yourself
  • Meal kits aren’t always the best option for singles since most have a minimum of 2 servings
  • Some meal delivery companies don’t offer plans that allow you to cover all of your meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any snacks)
  • Certain meal delivery services require more prep work than others

Everyone needs to eat but that doesn’t mean everyone has to spend their valuable time planning, prepping, and cooking if they don’t want to. With meal delivery services, you can take the hassle out of home cooking. Whether you still want to do a little cooking or just want something you can reheat and eat, the meal delivery services reviewed above may be just what you need.

Have you tried any of the meal kits or premade meal delivery services on this list? Have one that you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below!

View Comments (5)
  • Not a huge fan of Terra’s Kitchen.. Yes I do like the vessel idea but ALL of the ingredients is sent in plastic. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of being sustainable??? More food kits like these need to focus on what is inside of the packaging too. I do like that Sun Basket is fully recyclable (as they say on their website). I will have to give them a try next.

  • Tried Freshly! Surprised at this one actually…. You’d think it’d be like a frozen dinner but not really. It’s more like really good leftovers you reheat when you want lol.

  • What do you recommend as a good meal box for a family of 5? 2 adults, 1 teenager, 2 young kids. Quick and simple to prep meals are appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2021 Food Box HQ  |  Contact  |  Affiliate Disclosure  |  Review Process

Food Box HQ