At the end of a long, hard day, there’s nothing better than a delicious home cooked meal. If you live alone, however, it may be more of a hassle than it’s worth. There’s no one to share cooking duties with and, there’s almost always going to be leftovers.
If you’re tired of dealing with the hassle of prep work and food waste from leftovers gone bad, you might consider using a meal delivery service.
Meal delivery services make it easy to enjoy fresh and tasty meals without all the work. Rather than spending hours researching recipes, writing grocery lists, wandering around grocery store isles, and preparing meals, all you have to do is make a few clicks and wait for your box of food to arrive at your doorstep.
If you’ve started your meal delivery search already, you’ve probably encountered the biggest issue with most meal delivery services—they tend to only offer 2-serving or higher options. This is great for couples or big families but not a good option for singles who live alone. In this article, we’re going to cover the best single-serving meal delivery services so you’re not stuck with additional servings.
Best For Restaurant Quality Meals
What It Is: Cookunity is a pre-made meal delivery service that works a little differently than many of the other options on this list. Unlike other pre-made meal delivery services that have a central kitchen where they cook and ship out meals, Cookunity works with chefs nationwide who cook their meals. You can order as many as 16 meals per week or as little as 4 meals per week.
The Details: When Cookunity first launched, it was a pretty revolutionary concept in the meal delivery industry. Rather than having chefs cook all the meals in one large, central kitchen, they instead built a network of local chefs who would cook their meals and send them to Cookunity customers.
The biggest surprise for me was that the meals we've had from Cookunity have been exceptionally good. They are not your traditional pre-made meals in the way that Fresh n Lean is. Cookunity's meals feel as if they were cooked at a nice restaurant, packed, and brought to your door. That's because they are.
What really impressed me with Cookunity is that they bridge the gap between the meals you eat and the chef who cooked them. Not only does every meal packaging tell you about the chef (through a QR code), you can also filter your menu when selecting meals to chefs meals you've enjoyed previously.
Why It Made The List:
- Cookunity offers some of the most delicious meals out of all of the pre-made meal delivery services that I've tried. I would go as far as to say that the meals are restaurant quality.
- They offer add-ons like appetizers, breakfast, snacks, and juices.
- Since they work with chefs local to your area, the meals are sent in a shorter time frame, making them fresher than many other pre-made meal delivery options.
- They have dozens of meal options to choose from each week and allow you to filter their menu by diets such as keto, paleo, vegetarian, and certain food allergens.
Best For Uncertain Schedules
What It Is: Territory Foods, like Cookunity, does not have a central kitchen. They work with a network of chefs nationwide to deliver their meals. Territory is one of the only pre-made meal delivery services that does not have a flat-rate meal plan. This means rather than having to order the same quantity of meals each week, you can pick and choose how many meals you'd prefer to have that week since you pay per meal. They offer around 18 meals per week to choose from.
The Details: Territory Foods is similar to Cookunity in that they also use a network of chefs to cook their meals. However, I found Territory Foods to be much more customizable. As mentioned above, you pay per meal. This means that you're not locked into a meal plan whereby you have to order a set amount of meals per week. From my experience, this makes them perfect for more hectic schedules where you don't know if you're going to be away or eating out some days. Being able to select the exact amount of meals you need for the week means not having to worry about having too many meals for the week.
Territory Foods also takes quality to another level. Within each box they include a meal safety sticker. It acts as a time and temperature indicator so you know if your meals have spoiled in transit or they've gotten to warm to eat.
One of the things I really appreciated when using Territory Foods is that they designed their weekly menu in a way where you can see all the key macros for every meal right on the front page (including calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat). This makes it much easier to browse and select meals for those who are trying to be more conscious about what they're eating.
Why It Made The List:
- Since they do not have a set meal plan whereby you have to order a specific number of meals each week, you can customize the quantity of meals each week to best fit your lifestyle.
- They do a great job of giving back through charity work and donating meals to those in need.
Best For An Active Lifestyle
What It Is: If you want to enjoy healthy meals without the hassle of prepping them yourself, Factor Meals is just what you need. This meal delivery service offers a wide selection of chef-crafted recipes that are fully prepared and sent right to your doorstep for you to reheat and eat.
The Details: With Factor Meals, you’ll have the ability to select from over 20 dietitian-designed meal options each week and Factor’s chefs will do all the prep work and cooking for you. Your meals will be shipped for free right to your door.
Factor Meals (previously called Factor 75) started out crafting meals for fitness enthusiasts (high protein, low carb) but have since broadened their audience to really include anyone looking for a balanced, quality, meal. When it comes to pre-made meal delivery services, they’re one of my personal favorites for checking every box—high quality ingredients, variety of meals to choose from each week, no issues with shipping or spoiled foods, and delicious add ons available such as soups, snacks, and even desserts.
They have meal options like Parmesan Pesto Chicken with Green beans, Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, and Grass-fed Burger with Tomato Bacon Chutney. You can customize your meal plan with 4, 6, 8, or 12 meals per week with prices starting at $11.50 per meal.
Why It Made This List:
- They focus on high quality ingredients. For example: grass-fed and pasture-raised beef, antibiotic-free and hormone-free meats. Plus, soy-free, non-GMO, and gluten-free ingredients.
- Meals are very balanced and all include a lean protein (for example, grilled chicken breast), a complex carbohydrate, and vegetables.
- You can customize your box with their addons which range from green juices to sides like veggies and extra proteins.
- They have meals that fit into many diets including low-carb, vegetarian, and even dairy-free.
Best Plant-Based Option
What It Is: If you’re following a plant-based diet, Sprinly is one of the best pre-made meal delivery options to consider. This service offers delicious, plant-based meals made with organic ingredients.
The Details: Sprinly was one of the first pre-made vegan meal delivery services that surprised me with just how good their meals are. These are not just simple salads thrown together with some tofu, they have the quality and flavor of a gourmet meal. Even if you’re not currently living a plant-based lifestyle and you’re just looking to eat better food, you may want to look into Sprinly.
Each week you’ll select from a variety of organic, plant-based meals and they’ll be fully prepared and delivered fresh to your door. All meals are fresh, never frozen, and ready to reheat in just a few minutes.
Try some of my favorites like their Baked Lasagna with Tomatoes, Basil & Creamy Mushrooms, Burmese Lemongrass Noodles with Jade Pearl Ramen, and Mediterranean Oasis Bowl with Baked Falafel and Dill Tahini.
Why It Made This List:
- They offer delicious single-serving pre-made plant-based meals.
- All of their meals are made with clean and organic ingredients.
- They also offer a variety of plant-based comfort foods like their Mac & "Cheese" with Steamed Broccoli (made with vegan cheese).
Best Customizable Option
What It Is: When you don’t want to cook but you want to enjoy health, satisfying meals, Snap Kitchen is your best option. This service sends pre-made meals right to your door in convenient weekly deliveries.
The Details: Snap Kitchen is one of the few pre-made meal delivery services that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner options (many others skip over breakfasts). They also offer meals that fit into a ton of different diets—high protein, keto, low-carb, and balanced. Or, you can fully customize your meals by using their “custom” plan.
One of my personal favorite parts of Snap Kitchen is that they offer “better for you” comfort foods. For example, their banana pancakes are absolutely to die for and the main ingredients are simply banana, egg, almond meal, almond butter, and almond milk. So, you’re getting delicious foods without the guilt.
Choose from 6 or 12 meals per week and customize your meal plan by shopping from the vast library or recipes or just pick a meal plan. Snap Kitchen has low-carb, high-protein, and keto-friendly recipes as well as options that are designed for balanced nutrition.
When shopping for a meal delivery service just for yourself, customization is important. With Snap Kitchen, you can choose the 6-meal plan to enjoy one daily meal six days a week or the 12-meal plan for 2 meals per day. Because the meals are fully prepped, however, you can really enjoy them whenever you want. For 6 weekly meals prices start at $11.67 per meal and, for 12 weekly meals, $9.58.
Why It Made This List:
- They offer a variety of deliciously balanced meals
- They break down their plans by diet— low-carb, balance, high-protein, keto-friendly, or customize your box.
- They donate their unsold meals to food banks.
Best For Meal Plan Variety
Fresh ‘n Lean
What It Is: Enjoy fresh, fully prepared meals catered to your dietary preferences with Fresh ‘n Lean. This meal delivery service cooks your meals for you and send them to your door ready to reheat and eat. Everything comes in a single serving with no mess or fuss involved.
The Details: Fresh ‘n Lean takes the guesswork out of meal planning but enables you to stick to your diet whether you’re going high-protein, keto, paleo, or vegan. They also have a bulk meal plan where you can stock up on just meats, veggies, or complex carbs (best for bodybuilders looking to bulk up). Fresh ‘n Lean also allows you to add snacks to your box such as muffins, nuts, and more.
With Fresh ‘n Lean you can order your meals a la carte or start a weekly meal plan. A la carte meals come with an $85 minimum and entrees start around $13.99. If you choose to go with a weekly meal plan, you can choose from Protein+, Keto, Paleo, Vegan Standard, or Vegan Low-Carb for as little as $8.40 per meal. Enjoy recipes like Sausage, Egg, and Potato Breakfast or entrees with chicken, beef, or salmon.
Why It Made This List:
- They offer a wide variety of plans to choose from— Protein+, Keto, Paleo, Standard Vegan, Low-Carb Vegan, and Bulk.
- They’re one of the few pre-made meal delivery services that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinners, as well as addons like snacks.
- You aren’t forced to subscribe to their service. You have the option to order a one-off a la carte box.
Best Frozen Plant-Based Option
What It Is: If your diet is plant-powered, Daily Harvest is a great option to consider. While known for their smoothies, Daily Harvest has expanded into a variety of food categories that cover breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between.
The Details: When Daily Harvest first launched, they only offered smoothies. Fast forward to today and they have a ton of food options— smoothies, harvest bowls, flatbreads, soups, oat bowls, chia bowls, lattes, and even desserts. All of their foods are sent frozen so they can be heated up or made right out of the freezer.
When it comes to taste, Daily Harvest doesn’t skimp. Check out the video review above where we taste test literally every food category they offer to see our real reaction. They’re one of the few frozen meal delivery services out there that gets everything right.
Their plans are each a “build your own box” where you can choose 9, 14, or 24 of their foods to add to your box each week. And because they offer so many different types of foods, it’s hard to get bored eating Daily Harvest.
Why It Made This List:
- They offer a wide variety of plant-based meals that are easy to make.
- The meals arrive frozen so they stay unspoiled for longer and are ready to eat in under 5 minutes.
- They’re one of the few on this list that has a large selection of desserts.
Best Shelf-Stable Option
Proper Good Soups
What It Is: If you’re looking for a meal delivery service that minimizes hassle and maximizes value, I highly recommend Proper Good Soups. This service sends you single-portion soups that are ready to eat in 90 seconds, no fridge or freezer required.
The Details: When you’re looking for a quick and easy meal for one, soup is the way to go. Proper Good Soups offers a wide variety of keto, gluten-free, and plant-based options, all of which are ready to eat in under 2 minutes.
Each of their soups are made with high-quality, natural ingredients including organic chicken and grass-fed beef, along with fresh veggies and whole grains. What I love most is that they keep added sodium to a bare minimum to keep the taste without overloading you with too much salt.
When it comes to taste, these soups reminded me of the ones my grandmother used to make when I was a child. They’re full of flavor and are perfect for warming up a cold or rainy day.
You can make your own custom bundle of soups according to your taste, or choose a bundle deigned for the diet you’re following. Everything is made with zero added sugar and is shelf-stable, so you don’t have to worry about storage. Each soup sells for $6.99 or $7.99, but you’ll get the best savings with a pack or custom bundle. You can even try the All Soups Pack with 7 soups for just $49.99.
Why It Made This List:
- They’re one of the only soup delivery services that delivers nationwide.
- You can build a custom box or shop by diet. While they do have a subscription service, you’re not locked into it if you just want to place one order.
- All of the soups are shelf-stable and last for 6+ months, making it perfect for throwing in the pantry for a quick last-minute meal.
Best Sous Vide Style Meals
What It Is: Real food made simple is what RealEats does. This meal delivery service allows you to build a personalized meal plan of individually portioned meals then prepares them and sends them right to your door, ready to reheat (sous vide style) and eat.
The Details: RealEats gives you the option to personalize your meal plan, choosing from a wide variety of individually portioned meals that are perfect for singles. They then cook the meals with premium ingredients and deliver them right to your door in ready to reheat packaging.
To prepare your RealEats meals, you can pop the sous vide meal pouches into boiling water or put them on a plate to microwave. Choose from tasty entrees like Honey Sesame Chicken and Citrus Glazed Salmon or stick with simple soups like Carrot Ginger Soup. While it may seem odd boiling food in its container, I can tell you firsthand these meals are delicious and, quite literally, restaurant quality. In addition to their meals, which range from breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, RealEats also has a full marketplace of addons you can select from.
Each week you’ll have a new collection of meals to choose from starting at just $8.25 per meal. Choose from 4, 6, 8, or 12 dinners per week and pause, skip, or cancel your delivery at any time.
Why It Made This List:
- They offer breakfasts and add-on options, making it very customizable.
- Their meals are very easy to cook (heat up) and they heat much more thoroughly than a microwave since you boil the meals.
- They offer a pretty extensive addon marketplace, which includes snack like granola and nuts, soups, smoothies, and more.
Best Healthy Food Marketplace
What It Is: Get all your grocery shopping done with a few clicks using Hungryroot. This service helps you do your grocery shopping and even gives you recipes to use them in. Simply fill out a quick quiz to be paired with a personalized grocery plan then fill your cart.
The Details: Hungryroot offers healthy groceries with simple recipes. You’ll enjoy fresh produce, premium proteins, and more delivered right to your door. If you like to do your own cooking, you’ll have access to the premium ingredients you need to make a tasty meal. If you need a little help, Hungryroot will give you a personalized grocery plan with chef-designed recipes to go with it.
With Hungryroot, you can do as much or as little meal planning as you like. Starting at just $59 per delivery, you’ll save time on grocery shopping and have access to the freshest, most nutritious ingredients around. Plus, you’ll have access to thousands of top-rated, chef-crafted recipes. Enjoy simple meals like Classic Beef Burger with Sweet Potato Fries or take it up a notch with Creamy Sausage ‘n Broccoli Shells. Shop for recipes by diet, cook time, or protein to make life simple.
Why It Made This List:
- They’re a great middle ground between a traditional meal kit and a grocery delivery service.
- While they offer more healthy foods, they don’t skimp on the desserts. Their black bean brownie batter is one of the best desserts I’ve ever had and it’s 2 main ingredients are simply black beans and unsweetened almond butter.
- In addition to traditional groceries, they offer pre-made meals and will even give you recipes to make with the ingredients they sell.
Best All-In-One Solution
What It Is: Say no to mess, prep, and cleanup and yes to delicious single-serve meals with Tovala. This meal delivery service is the perfect pick for busy singles but it’s way better than microwave meals.
The Details: Tovala is a smart steam oven system that also has an accompanied and optional meal delivery service that works with it. The best part about this system is it does almost all of the work for you. You just put in the meal, scan the barcode it comes with, and Tovala cooks it perfectly. These meals aren’t pre-made, they actually come uncooked in tin containers where they’ll cook in the Tovala within 20 minutes. This gives you one of the freshest and quickest meals possible. In all of my years reviewing meal delivery services, Tovala is definitely one of the most technologically advanced.
You can choose from delicious meal options like Chicken Florentine Casserole, Smoky BBQ Pork Chop, and Balsamic Caramelized Onion Steak. Shop by diet or calorie content or customize your own meal plan. To get started, you need to purchase the Tovala oven and select the number of meals you want to receive each week (3 through 16). At 6 meals per week, the most popular option, you’ll pay $11.99 per meal. The Tovala Smart Oven costs $299, but you can save $100 by ordering at least 6 weeks of meals within the first 6 months.
Why It Made This List:
- With Tovala you’ll have the ability to enjoy truly home cooked meals with no prep or hassle.
- They currently offer a pretty extensive variety of meals to select from. They even sometimes partner with celebrity chefs to bring you new meals.
- Tovala Smart Oven prepares meals in 20 minutes or less. It can also be used as a regular oven to cook meals or even as a toaster (which is how I use it almost daily).
Best Frozen Gourmet Option
Meal Delivery vs. Cooking at Home
It’s no secret that cooking at home is healthier than takeout, but sometimes it seems like more effort than it’s worth. If you’re looking for a convenient alternative, you might consider a meal delivery service. These services offer the convenience of takeout but with healthier meal options.
Here are some of the benefits of a meal delivery service:
- Saves you time. You don’t have to research recipes, write grocery lists, or even shop for the ingredients yourself. Some services, like many of the ones listed above, even cook the meals for you!
- Cuts down on food waste. Whether you choose a servicer that sends fully prepped meals or pre-portioned ingredients, you’ll end up wasting less food.
- Great way to expand your palate. With a meal delivery service, you can choose from dozens of new recipes each and every week. You never have to have the same thing twice unless you want to.
- Easier to stick to healthy diets. If you’re trying to stick to a diet, or simply trying to eat healthier, a meal delivery service makes it easy. With a fridge full of meals, you’re much less likely order takeout or stop by the local drive through on the way home.
- It may be more economical. Though it may seem pricy at first, a meal delivery service could actually save you money. You only pay for the ingredients you need. Plus, you can’t impulse buy if you don’t go to the grocery store.
If you’re a busy single, your time is valuable and a meal delivery service could help you keep more of it to yourself. Think about the potential cost savings of using a meal delivery service versus shopping for your own groceries and ordering takeout several nights a week. If the time and effort you save doesn’t make it worth the added cost, consider using a grocery delivery service like Hungryroot, Shipt, Instacart, or Amazon Prime (Whole Foods home delivery service).
What to Keep in Mind Before Ordering a Meal Delivery Service
All meal delivery services are not created equal. Before you settle on one, you should shop around a bit to find the one that is the best fit for your needs. Here are a few things to consider when shopping:
- Some meal plans don’t offer single servings. Many meal delivery services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh only offer two-serving and four-serving meals. Unless you plan to use the leftovers for lunch the next day, these plans may not be the best idea for singles.
- Think about whether you want to do any prep work at all. Meal delivery services come in two types – one that sends you fully prepared meals to reheat and another that sends you ingredients and recipes to prepare on your own. If you don’t like to cook or don’t have time, you may want to opt for a fully prepared meal service.
- Consider whether you’re eating at home or on the go. If you’re eating at home and like to cook, something like Tovala or Hungryroot might work best. If you need to take your meals with you, a premade meal delivery service like Snap Kitchen or Fresh ‘n Lean might be a better option.
- Think about whether you want fresh or frozen meals. To build on the previous point, if you’re looking for meals you can take on the go think about whether you want them shelf-stable, fresh (refrigerated), or frozen. Frozen meals are obviously going to stay good for longer but they’re much more of a hassle to take with you and heat up on the go. On the flip side, refrigerated pre-made meals or shelf-stable meals can be an easy grab-and-go option.
Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a healthy and delicious meal at the end of a long day. Whether you’re super busy and looking for a reheat-and-eat option or you enjoy spending a little time cooking for yourself, there’s a meal delivery service out there for you. Check out the options we’ve reviewed above or do your own research to find the one that seems like a perfect fit.
Have a question about any of the meal delivery services listed in this article? Feel free to leave us a comment below!
Of the services on this list, only Munchery and Freshly actually offer options for one person looking to order meals for themselves. The others all require at least two servings, or meals for two people in order to use them. Which completely defeats the purpose of me reading this article about meals for single people, because I don't want two servings of the same meal.
(I see Munchery is suspending their service Jan 22, 2019. I’ve had Freshly and enjoyed it.)
There are so many websites that claim to have a list of ‘single serving kit’s’ that aren’t. Bizarre.
I’ll tell ya what, when one of these companies gets it figured out for single servings they’ll probably become an industry leader since some of us are looking for more than fast food (single servings) or making huge portions.
I suppose the issue is the packaging / shipping would cut into profits.
Glad to hear you're enjoying Freshly!
It seems all the plans are geared to more than one person. I’m single and need to have meals delivered.
Unfortunately, most meal kit services provide 2 servings. I tried to find meal kits that had both smaller portions and lower costs so it would be a better fit for singles looking for a meal delivery service option. Once I find more appropriate meal kits for singles, I'm going to update this article.
To be honest Freshly is the best option on this list. As the commenter listed before, Munchery has closed down. They're what I used in the past but obviously not any more. It's disheartening that none of these meal delivery companies prioritize people who live alone. I can't afford to buy double the meals only to have them go bad. I've switched to Freshly recently now that they're in my area on the east coast but I may try Go Ready Made since I've seen their ads recently.
do you create vegetarian meals?
Hi Joan! We do not create any meals. We only review these meal delivery services in order to help people find the best ones for them. However, we do have a full list of our top vegetarian meal delivery services here: https://foodboxhq.com/blog/best-vegetarian-meal-delivery/
I chatted with Freshly and learned that the size of a chicken breast is 6-7 ounces -- that double what I want. What I'm looking for is 2 smaller portions two or three nights a week for 2 people. I tried two meals two nights a week for two of us with Home Chef, but that meant we split each meal and had leftovers the other two nights. If Freshly would send 1 "large" meal 2 or 3 times a week that we could split -- or 4 individual small-portion meals -- that would be great. But it doesn't look they will.
Five of these services have minumum 2-portion meals. Munchery has now shut down, as well. So, there are really no delivery services here that are single-serving. Bummer
You're right :/. Meal kits make it super hard for one-person households because almost all of them only send 2-portion meals. A lot of the pre-made meal kits (like Freshly) are great options because you don't have to cook the second serving right away. However, if you're looking for a one-person meal kit that isn't pre-made, Tovala actually has one. The only reason we were hesitant to put it on this list is because you have to invest in their smart oven to cook them meals, which is a few hundred dollars.
Not true. Freshly delivers single-serving meals (4 to 12 per week, but all will be different unless you decide to purchase multiple of the sane type.) This article STILL needs to be updated because it contradicts itself; it says in several places that there are no meal delivery options that offer meals for singles. With Freshly, you never have leftovers go to waste or need to eat the same thing twice in the week.
Sun Basket has no option for single person!!!
What are cookunity breakfasts like? Can't imagine next day eggs actually taste good??
I've never seen just eggs on their menu but I have had their leek and mushroom quiche and it was delicious.
I love to cook